I believe that the term “governor” and “corruption” have been synonymous since at least 70 B.C., when Cicero made the legal case against Caius Verres, the Roman governor of Sicily. Amongst a host of other allegations, Cicero charged that Verres was stripping the interior of that contented island of everything of value, and forcing the city of Syracuse to build and crew a new ship each year to transport Verres’ plunder back to Rome, where he kept the plunder and sold the ship. Before Cicero had even finished presenting his case, on the advice of his own lawyer, Verres fled Italy with a fair part of his wealth. We know this because years later Mark Anthony had Verres executed, in order to steal what Verres had stolen from Sicily. The murder of corrupt Roman officials by other corrupt Roman officials had, by then, become part of the Roman circle of life.
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