We, whose ancestors conquered with our fleets Antiochus the king, and Perses, and in every naval engagement defeated the Carthaginians, the best practiced and best equipped of all men in maritime affairs; we could now in no place prove ourselves equal to the pirates. We, who formerly had not only all Italy in safety, but who were able by the authority of our empire to secure the safety of all our allies in the most distant countries, so that even the island of Delos, situated so far from us in the Aegean sea, at which all men were in the habit of touching with their merchandise and their freights, full of riches as it was, little and unwalled as it was, still was in no alarm; we, I say, were cut off, not only from our provinces, and from the sea-coast of Italy, and from our harbours, but even from the Appian road; and at this time, the magistrates of the Roman people were not ashamed to come up into this very rostrum where I am standing, which your ancestors had bequeathed to you adorned with nautical trophies, and the spoils of the enemy's fleet.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF THE PROPOSED MANILIAN LAW.
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