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The Third Punic War

IT may occur to some to ask why I have not given a
The dramatic representation of debates though convenient is not history.
dramatic turn to my narrative, now that I have so striking a theme and a subject of such importance, by recording the actual speeches delivered; a thing which the majority of historians have done, by giving the appropriate arguments used on either side. That I do not reject this method altogether I have shown in several parts of my work, in which I have recorded popular harangues and expositions delivered by statesmen; but that I am not inclined to employ it on every occasion alike will now be made clear; for it would not be easy to find a subject more remarkable than this, nor material more ample for instituting a comparison of such a character. Nor indeed could any form of composition be more convenient to me. Still, as I do not think it becoming in statesmen to be ready with argument and exposition on every subject of debate without distinction, but rather to adapt their speeches to the nature of the particular occasion, so neither do I think it right for historians to practise their skill or show off their ability upon their readers: they ought on the contrary to devote their whole energies to discover and record what was really and truly said, and even of such words only those that are the most opportune and essential. . . .

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