For how can we rank a man among generals of any class at all, if centurionships 1 are sold, and have been constantly sold in his army? What great or honourable thoughts can we suppose that that man cherishes concerning the republic, who has either distributed the money which was taken from the treasury for the conduct of the war among the magistrates, out of ambition 2 to keep his province, or, out of avarice, has left it behind him at Rome, invested for his own advantage? Your murmurs show, O Romans, that you recognise, in my description, men who have done these things. But I name no one, so that no one can be angry with me, without making confession beforehand of his own malpractices. But who is there who is ignorant what terrible distresses our armies suffer wherever they go, through this covetousness of our generals?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF THE PROPOSED MANILIAN LAW.
1 The Scholiast says that Cicero is here hinting at Glabrio the consul, or at the younger Marius.
2 Lucullus is supposed to be meant here as it is said that he had employed large sums in soliciting the votes of influential men, so as to be left in command of the province of Asia, in which he had amassed enormous riches.
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