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Immense Exertions of Rome

The conclusion, then, is that those who put themselves in the power of the enemy from want of proper precaution deserve blame; but those who use every practicable precaution not so: for to trust absolutely no one is to make all action impossible; but reasonable action, taken after receiving adequate security, cannot be censured. Adequate securities are oaths, children, wives, and, strongest of all, a blameless past. To be betrayed and entrapped by such a security as any of these is a slur, not on the deceived, but on the deceiver. The first object then should be to seek such securities as it is impossible for the recipient of the confidence to evade; but since such are rare, the next best thing will be to take every reasonable precaution one's self: and then, if we meet with any disaster, we shall at least be acquitted of wrong conduct by the lookers on. And this has been the case with many before now: of which the most conspicuous example, and the one nearest to the times on which we are engaged, will be the fate of Achaeus. He omitted no possible precaution for securing his safety, but thought of everything that it was possible for human ingenuity to conceive: and yet he fell into the power of his enemies.
Betrayal of Achaeus by Bolis. See infra, ch. 17-23.
In this instance his misfortune procured the pity and pardon of the outside world for the victim, and nothing but disparagement and loathing for the successful perpetrators. . . .

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 43-44, commentary, 43.19
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SAMBU´CA
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