18. Cicero Speech on behalf of Sulla 60-62

As to the prosecutor's allegation that my client drove the Pompeians into Catiline's conspiracy and his unspeakable acts, I am simply unable to understand it. Do you think the Pompeians joined the conspirators? Who ever said so? Was there ever even the least suspicion of it? According to him, my client divided Pompeii between the original Pompeians and the colonists in order to gain control of the town in the wake of the divisions and dissensions. The Pompeians, he thought, would hand it over to him.

To begin with, the dispute between the Pompeians and the colonists was referred to the patrons of the colony. The dispute was of long standing and had been simmering for many years. When the colony's patrons made their decision Sulla's vote was precisely the same as that of the others. And finally, the colonists themselves realize that Sulla protected the interests of both parties equally.

The state of the matter is revealed, judges, by the crowd of colonists present and active on behalf of their patron. They are honorable men, and although they have not been able to keep this man, their colony's patron, protector, and guardian safe in all circumstances and in all his many offices, nevertheless they desire you to come to his aid in his present grave situation. The Pompeians are present and equally supportive of Sulla despite the fact that my opponents have called upon them to testify. Their disagreement with the colonists about matters of local politics did not blind them to their common interest.

And I would be remiss if I omitted to credit Sulla with a more positive virtue. When the course of Roman history yoked the settlers' advantage to the Pompeians' loss Sulla was popular among both groups. They felt not that he had dispossessed the one group, but that he had settled both.