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[9]

What an immense benefit, again, have you done in having liberated Asia from the tribute exacted by the aediles, a measure which cost me some violent controversies! For if one of our nobles complains openly that by your edict, "No moneys shall be voted for the games," you have robbed him of 200 sestertia, what a vast sum of money would have been paid, had a grant been made to the Credit of every magistrate who held games, as had become the regular custom! However, I stopped these Complaints by taking up this position—what they think of it in Asia I don't know, in Rome it meets with no little approval and praise—I refused to accept a sum of money which the states had decreed for a temple and monument in our honour, though they had done so with the greatest enthusiasm in view both of my services and of your most valuable benefactions; and though the law contained a special and distinct exception in these words, "that it was lawful to receive for temple or monument"; and though again the money was not going to be thrown away, but would be employed on decorating a temple, and would thus appear to have been given to the Roman people and gift in its favour, I determined that I must not accept it, for the immortal Gods rather than to myself—yet, in spite of its having desert, law, and the wishes of those who offered the this reason among others, namely, to prevent those, to whom such an honour was neither due nor legal, from being jealous. Wherefore adhere with all your heart and soul to the policy which you have hitherto adopted—that of being devoted to those whom the senate and people of Rome have committed and entrusted to your honour and authority, of doing your best to protect them, and of desiring their greatest happiness. Even if the lot had made you governor of Africans, or Spaniards, or Gauls—uncivilized and barbarous nations—it would still have been your duty as a man of feeling to consult for their interests and advantage, and to have contributed to their safety. But when we rule over a race of men in which civilization not only exists, but from which it is believed to have spread to others, we are bound to repay them, above all things, what we received from them. For I shall not be ashamed to go so far—especially as my life and achievements have been such as to exclude any suspicion of sloth or frivolity—as to confess that, whatever I have accomplished, I have accomplished by means of those studies and principles which have been transmitted to us in Greek literature and schools of thought. Wherefore, over and above the general good faith which is due to all men, I think we are in a special sense under an obligation to that nation, to put in practice what it has taught us among the very men by whose maxims we have been brought out of barbarism.


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