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"There is one matter about which our religious instincts compel us to make a special complaint, and we should be glad if you would hear what has happened, and if you so decide, take steps to clear your State from the taint of sacrilege. [2] We have seen with what pious care you not only worship your own gods, but even recognise those of other nations. [3] Now there is in our city a shrine sacred to Proserpine, and I believe some rumours of the sanctity of that temple reached your ears during your war with Pyrrhus. [4] On his return voyage from Sicily he touched at Locri and added to the atrocities which he had committed against us for our loyalty to you by plundering the treasury of Proserpine, which up to that day had never been disturbed. He placed the money on board his fleet, and continued his journey overland. What happened, senators? [5] The very next day his fleet was shattered by a terrible storm and the ships which were carrying the sacred gold were all cast ashore on our coast. [6] Taught by this great disaster that there are gods after all, the arrogant monarch gave orders for all the money to be collected and carried back to Proserpine's treasury. In spite of this nothing ever prospered with him afterwards, he was driven out of Italy and in a foolhardy attempt to enter Argos by night he met with an ignoble and dishonourable death. [7] Your commander and the military tribunes had heard of this incident and of countless others which were related to them not so much to increase the feeling of dread as to give proofs of the direct and manifest power of the goddess, a power which we and our ancestors had often experienced. [8] Notwithstanding this, they dared to lay sacrilegious hands on that inviolate treasure and to attains themselves and their houses and your soldiers with the guilt of their unhallowed plunder. [9] We implore you therefore, senators, by all you hold sacred, not to employ these men in any military service till you have expiated their crime, lest their sacrilege should be atoned for, not by their blood alone but also by disaster to the commonwealth.

Even now the wrath of the goddess is not slow to visit your officers and soldiers. [10] Frequently have they already engaged in pitched battles; Pleminius leading the one side, the military tribunes the other. They have fought quite as furiously with one another as they ever fought with the Carthaginians, and in their frenzy would have given Hannibal an opportunity of recapturing Locri if we had not sent for Scipio. [11] Do not suppose that whilst the guilt of sacrilege drove the soldiers mad, the goddess did not manifest her wrath by punishing the leaders. It is just here where she manifested it most clearly. [12] The tribunes were beaten with rods by their superior officer, afterwards he was caught unawares by them and, in addition to being hacked all over, his nose and ears were sliced off and he was left for dead. [13] At length, recovering from his wounds, he placed the tribunes in irons and then, after flogging them and subjecting them to all the tortures that are inflicted on slaves, he put them to death and after they were dead forbade them to be buried. [14] In this way is the goddess inflicting retribution upon the despoilers of her temple, nor will she cease to vex [15??] them with every kind of madness until the sacred hoard has once more been deposited in the shrine. Once when our ancestors were hard pressed in the war with Croto, they decided, as the temple was outside the city walls, to carry the treasure into the city. [16] A voice was heard at night proceeding from the shrine and uttering a warning: 'Lay no hand upon it! The goddess will protect her temple.' Deterred by religious fears from moving the treasure, they wanted to build a wall round the temple. After it had been carried up some distance it suddenly collapsed. [17] Often in the past has the goddess protected her temple and the seat of her presence, or else as at the present time she has exacted a heavy atonement from those who have violated it. But our wrongs she cannot avenge, nor can any one but you, senators; it is your honour that we invoke and your protection beneath which we seek shelter. [18] To allow Locri to remain under that commander and those troops is, as far as we are concerned, the same as handing us over for punishment to all the rage of Hannibal and his Carthaginians. [19] We do not ask you to accept what we say at once, in the absence of the accused or without hearing his defence. Let him appear, let him hear the charges against him, and let him rebut them. [20] If there be any single crime that one man can be guilty of towards another, which that man has failed to commit against us, then we are willing to go through all our sufferings, if it is in our power to do so, once more, and ready to pronounce him void of all offence towards gods and men."

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load focus Summary (Latin, Frank Gardener Moore, Professor Emeritus in Columbia University, 1949)
load focus Summary (Latin, W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1884)
load focus Summary (English, Frank Gardener Moore, Professor Emeritus in Columbia University, 1949)
load focus English (Cyrus Evans, 1850)
load focus Latin (Robert Seymour Conway, Stephen Keymer Johnson, 1935)
load focus English (Frank Gardener Moore, Professor Emeritus in Columbia University, 1949)
load focus Latin (Frank Gardener Moore, Professor Emeritus in Columbia University, 1949)
load focus Latin (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1884)
hide References (50 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (10):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 31.13
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 35.42
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 39.50
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 40.14
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 40.9
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.15
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.42
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.66
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 43-44, commentary, 43.7
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, book 45, commentary, 45.39
  • Cross-references to this page (9):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Locri.
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Proserpina
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Pyrrhi
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Templum
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Velamenta
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Vox
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Fanum
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), LOCRI
    • Smith's Bio, Perse'phone
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (31):
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