CEFALÙ AND A DECEITFUL TRICK BY VERRE
At Cephalaedium there is a regular month, in which the pontifex is bound to be appointed. A man of the name of Artemo, surnamed Climachias, was desirous of that honour a man of sufficient riches to be sure, and of noble family; but he could not possibly have been appointed if a man of the name of Herodotus had been present. For that place and rank was thought to be so decidedly due to him for that year, that even Climachias could say nothing against him. The matter is referred to Verres, and is decided according to his usual fashion. Some beautiful and valuable specimens of carving are removed from Artemo's. Herodotus was at Rome; he thought that he should arrive in time enough for the comitia if he came the day before. Verres, in order that the comitia might not be held in any other month than the regular one, and that the honour might not be refused to Herodotus when he was present, (a thing which he was not anxious for, and which Climachias was very eager to avoid,) contrives, (I have said before, there is no one cleverer, and never was, in his way,)he contrives, I say, how the comitia may be held in the regular month for them, and yet Herodotus may not be able to be present.
It is a custom of the Sicilians, and of the rest of the Greeks, because they wish their days and months to agree with the calculations as to the sun and moon, if there be any difference sometimes to take out a day, or, at most, two days from a month, which they call exairesimoi. And so also they sometimes make a month longer by a day or by two days. And when he heard of that, he, this new astronomer, who was thinking not so much of the heavens as of the heavy plate, he orders (not a day to be taken out of the month, but) a month and a half to be taken out of the year; so that the day which, as one may say, ought to have been the thirteenth of January, became the first of March. And that is done in spite of the remonstrances and indignation of every one. That was the legitimate day for holding the comitia. On that day Climachias is declared to have been elected priest.
When Herodotus returns from Rome, fifteen days, as he supposed, before the comitia, he comes on the month of the comitia, when the comitia have been held thirty days before. Then the people of Cephalaedium voted an intercalary month of forty-five days, in order that the rest of the months might fall again into their proper season. If these things could be done at Rome, no doubt he would somehow or other have contrived to have the forty-five days between the two sets of games taken away, during which days alone this trial could take place.
Cephaloedi mensis est certus, quo mense sacerdotem maximum creari oporteat. Etat eius honoris cupidus Artemo quidam, Climachias cognomine, homo sane locuples et domi nobilis. Sed is fieri nullo modo poterat si Herodotus quidam adesset: ei locus ille atque honos in illum anuum ita deberi putabatur ut ne Climachias quidem contra diceret. Res ad istum defertur et istius more deciditur: toreumata sane nota et pretiosa auferuntur. Herodotus Romae erat; satis putabat se ad comitia tempore venturum si pridie venisset. Iste, ne aut alio mense ac fas erat comitia haberentur, aut Herodoto praesenti honos adimeretur (id quod iste non laborabat, Climachias minime volebat), excogitatdixi iamdudum, non est homo acutior quisquam nec fuitexcogitat, inquam, quem ad modum mense illo legitimo comitia haberentur nec tamen Herodotus adesse posset.
Est consuetudo Siculorum ceterorumque Graecorum, quod suos dies mensisque congruere volunt cum solis lunaeque ratione, ut non numquam, si quid discrepet, eximant unum aliquem diem aut summum biduum ex mense, quos illi exaeresimos dies nominant; item non numquam uno die longiorem mensem faciunt aut biduo. Quae cum iste cognosset novus astrologus, qui non tam caeli rationem quam caelati argenti duceret, eximi iubet non diem ex mense, sed ex anno unum dimidiatumque mensem hoc modo ut, quo die verbi causa esse oporteret Idus lanuarias, is eo die Kalendas Martias proscribi iuberet: itaque fit omnibus recusantibus et plorantibus. Dies is erat legitimus comitiis habendis.
Eo modo sacerdos Climachias renuntiatus est. Herodotus cum Roma revertitur, diebus, ut ipse putabat, xv ante comitia, offendit eum mensem qui consequitur mensem comitialem, comitiis iam abhinc xxx diebus factis. Tunc Cephaloeditani fecerunt intercalarium xxxxv dies longum, ut reliqui menses in suam rationem reverterentur. Hoc si Romae fieri posset, certe aliqua ratione expugnasset iste ut dies xxxxv inter binos ludos tollerentur, per quos solos iudicium fieri posset.