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[42] Why do I say these things? Because without [p. 155] associates1 no one attempts any such mischiefs. It must, therefore, be enjoined upon good men2 that if by any chance they should inadvisedly fall into friendships of this kind, they must not think themselves so bound that they cannot withdraw from friends who are sinning in some important matter of public concern; for wicked men, on the other hand, a penalty must be enacted, and assuredly it will not be lighter for the followers than for the leaders in treason. Who was more eminent in Greece than Themistocles, who more powerful? But he, after having saved Greece from slavery by his leadership in the war with Persia, and after having been banished because of his unpopularity, would not submit to the injustice of an ungrateful country, as he was in duty bound to do: he did the same thing that Coriolanus had done among our people twenty years before. Not one single supporter could be found to aid these men against their country; therefore, each took his own life.3

1 e.g. as in the friendship between Carbo and Tiberius Gracchus.

2 “Good men,” in political parlance were the members of the aristocratic party.

3 The treason of Themistocles was in 471 B.C.; that of Coriolanus in 491. Thucydides, i. 68, says that Themistocles died a natural death at Magnesia, in Asia Minor, and Livy ii. 40 quotes Pictor as saying that Coriolanus lived to an advanced age among the Volscians; see also Cic. Att. ix. 10. 3; Plut. Them. 31.

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