What city ever was there before this time,—I speak not of the city of the Athenians, which is said formerly to have had a sufficiently extensive naval dominion; nor of that of the Carthaginians, who had great power with their fleet and maritime resources; nor of those of the Rhodians, whose naval discipline and naval renown has lasted even to our recollection,—but was there ever any city before this time so insignificant, if it was only a small island, as not to be able by its own power to defend its harbours, and its lands, and some part of its country and maritime coast? But, forsooth, for many years before the Gabinian law was passed, the Roman people, whose name, till within our own memory remained invincible in naval battles, was deprived not only of a great, aye, of much the greatest part of its usefulness, but also of its dignity and dominion.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF THE PROPOSED MANILIAN LAW.
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