Defence of Roscius

Mind Map by hattiedg, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by hattiedg about 6 years ago


A Levels Classics (Cicero) Mind Map on Defence of Roscius, created by hattiedg on 04/08/2014.

Resource summary

Defence of Roscius 80 BC
1 What happened BEFORE trial?
1.1 RtY had been accused of killing his dad (he was accused of planning it, not actually DOING it)
1.1.1 In 81 BC his father had been murdered in Rome while visiting friends, by unknown thugs Slaves only witnesses RtY was in Ameria - nothing to connect him to the crime
1.2 Magnus, Capito + Chrysogonus sought and succeeded in depriving RtY of his inheritance
1.2.1 Had the name of RtE placed on posthumously placed on the proscriptions lists


  • Sulla had created the proscription lists the year before - it meant any man on it could be killed. The killer would not be prosecuted, and usually was given a reward. A way of getting rid of his opponents. Men placed on the lists, once dead, would lose their inheritance + property would be auctioned at a low price Meaning - they obtained his property Though he had never been an enemy of Sulla
1.2.2 They had clearly expected to get away with this - they were powerful + intimidating However RtY sought to regain the property + inheritance The men realised they had underestimated him This is when they hired prosecutor Erucius + charged RtY with murdering his father
2 Significance
2.1 Cicero's first appearance in a criminal as opposed to civil court
2.2 A very high profile case
2.3 The trial was the first in 1 of 7 new courts established by Sulla
2.3.1 It was one of the courts that had received particular attention Crimes of murders + poisoning The first trial held in said court
2.4 The people were anxious for a conviction - to demonstrate some return to law + order
2.5 Cicero believed that it was the first to launch his oratorical career
2.6 Cicero was attacking Chrysogonus - a favourite of Sulla
3 Who?
3.1 Roscius the Younger (RtY) - the accused
3.1.1 Defended by - Cicero Had been given the trial by the Metelli family Provided RtY with support, but did not speak in the trial
3.1.2 Son of Roscius the Elder (RtE) - wealthy man from Ameria
3.2 Erucius - the prosecutor. Hired by:
3.2.1 Magnus + Capito Relatives of both RtY + RtE
3.2.2 Chrysogonus A favourite of Sulla
4 What happened DURING trial?
4.1 The prosecutors had contradicted themselves - IF RtY had killed his father, he was on the proscription lists, thus meaning he could not be punished
4.2 Despite being told not to, Cicero criticised + incriminated Chrysogonus (as it would have seemed like an attack on Sulla)
4.2.1 To his shock, Cicero repeatedly mentioned his name
4.3 Cicero drew great rhetorical mileage from the hideous nature of both the crime + punishment to highlight the weakness of the trial
4.4 Cicero denied allegations that RtY did not get on well with his dad + was afraid he'd be disinherited
4.4.1 He argued RtY was too naive + devoted to his father to commit/consider committing the crime
4.5 He did not have to PROVE the other men did commit the crime, just provide the jury was a possible + plausible alt
4.5.1 Why did Capito hear the news before RtY? Even though the men had previously fallen out
4.5.2 Why did Magnus + Capito not hand over the slaves (the only witnesses)?
4.6 Cicero argued that RtY did not have the character, motive nor opportunity to kill his father
4.6.1 Whereas the 3 men did
5.1 RtY seems to have been acquitted
5.2 Chrysogonus seems to fall out the history books
5.3 Cicero - increasingly called upon to undertake new cases
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