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"After the final defeat of Philip and of Antiochus we received the most splendid rewards from you. If the good fortune which, through the kindness of heaven and your own courage, is now yours had fallen to the lot of Perseus and we had gone to Macedonia to meet the victorious king and ask him for rewards, what could we possibly say for ourselves? [2] That he had received assistance from us in money or corn? Or in naval and military contingents? Or that we had held any fortified position for him? Or that we had fought any battles for him either under his generals or on our own account? [3] If he were to ask where our soldiers were supplying his garrison or our ships joining his fleet, we should, perhaps, make the same defence before the victor that we are now making before you. [4] This is what we have gained by sending envoys to both parties to urge peace-we have won the gratitude of neither, and from one side we have incurred suspicion and danger. [5] And yet Perseus truly might bring a charge against us which you, senators, cannot bring. At the outset of the war we sent a deputation to promise assistance with whatever was needful for the war, and to assure you that everything was in readiness, our naval forces, our munitions of war, our fighting men, just as in the former wars. [6] It was owing to you that we did not supply them; whatever the reason was, you refused our assistance. So then not only did we show no hostility to you, but we were not lacking in our duty as faithful allies, though you prohibited us from discharging it.

[7] "Some one may say, 'What then? Has nothing been done or said in your City which you disapproved of and which was such as to give just offence to the people of Rome?' I am not here now to defend what has been done-I am not so mad-but I shall draw a distinction between the cause of the State as a whole and the guilty conduct of individual citizens. [8] There is no State which does not at some time possess bad citizens and at all times an ignorant populace. [9] I have heard that even amongst you there have been men who made their way by flattering the mob, and that there have occasionally been secessions of the plebs when the government was no longer in your hands. [10] If these things could happen in so well-ordered a State as this, can any one feel surprised that there have been amongst us a few men who in their desire to win the friendship of the king have led our plebs astray by their evil counsels? All the same, they did not effect anything more than make us slacken in our duty. [11] I will not pass over what is the most serious charge brought against us with regard to this war. We sent embassies to you and to Perseus simultaneously to urge peace. [12] This unfortunate policy has been, as we have heard, held up as abject folly by a furious orator, who it is admitted spoke in such a tone that he might have been C. Popilius, your envoy, whom you commissioned to dissuade Antiochus and Ptolemy from war. [13] Still, whether we are to call it arrogance or folly, our policy towards you was the same as towards Perseus.

[14] "States, like individuals, have their distinctive characters, some are hot-tempered, others bold and enterprising; some are of a timid disposition, others more prone to sensual indulgence. The people of Athens are generally reported to be quick and impulsive and venture upon enterprises beyond their strength: [15] the Lacedaemonians are said to be slow in action and only with difficulty are they brought to engage in undertakings in which they feel perfectly safe. [16] I quite admit that Asia as a whole produces somewhat empty heads and that the language of my countrymen is somewhat inflated because we fancy ourselves superior to our neighbours. This in itself is due more to the honours which you have judged us worthy to receive than to any strength which we ourselves possessed. Surely that embassy was sufficiently chastised when it was dismissed without any reply. [17] If the humiliation then inflicted was not enough, this embassy, at all events, with its piteous and suppliant appeal will be an adequate atonement for an even more peremptory set of negotiators than that one was. Arrogance, especially in language, is bitterly resented by hot-tempered people and laughed at by sensible people, particularly when shown by inferiors towards a superior, but no one has ever regarded it as a capital offence. [18] Possibly some one imagined that the Rhodians felt a contempt for the Romans. Some men even abuse the gods in presumptuous language, but we do not hear of any [19??] one being struck by lightning for it.

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load focus Notes (W. Weissenborn, 1881)
load focus Notes (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1911)
load focus Notes (W. Weissenborn, 1880)
load focus Summary (Latin, Alfred C. Schlesinger, Ph.D., 1951)
load focus Summary (Latin, W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1911)
load focus Summary (English, Alfred C. Schlesinger, Ph.D., 1951)
load focus English (Alfred C. Schlesinger, Ph.D., 1951)
load focus English (William A. McDevitte, Sen. Class. Mod. Ex. Schol. A.B.T.C.D., 1850)
load focus Latin (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1911)
load focus Latin (Alfred C. Schlesinger, Ph.D., 1951)
load focus Latin (W. Weissenborn, 1881)
hide References (26 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (5):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 33.18
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 38.49
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 39.26
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 43-44, commentary, 43.7
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, book 45, commentary, 45.37
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Lacedaemonii
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Asia
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Athenienses
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (18):
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