Verres, Caius

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Caius Verres (kā´əs vĕr´ēz), c.120 BC–43 BC, Roman administrator. He held various posts before serving as governor of Sicily (73–71 BC). His corruption and extortion were notable even in an era when corruption among Roman governors was taken for granted. He was brought to trial, and Cicero began to issue his thundering Verrine Orations against him. Undeniably the trial was a political maneuver to bolster the senatorial party and the denunciations by Cicero were highly colored, but Verres' lawyer, Quintus Hortensius, was unable to offer an adequate defense. Verres fled to Massilia (modern Marseilles).