previous next

28. [75]

But I beg you now, O Romans, to take notice how he is planning to besiege and occupy all Italy with his garrison. He permits the decemvirs to lead colonists, whomsoever he may choose to select, into every municipality and into every colony in all Italy; and he orders lands to be assigned to those colonists. Is there any obscurity here in the way in which greater powers and greater defences than your liberty can tolerate are sought after? Is there any obscurity here in the manner in which kingly power is established? Is there any disguise about your liberty being wholly destroyed? For when it is one and the same body of men who with their resources lay siege, as it were, to all the riches and all the population,—that is to say, to all Italy,—and who propose to hold all your liberties in blockade by their garrisons and colonies,—what hope, yes, what possibility even is left to you of ever recovering your liberty? [76] But the Campanian district, the most fertile section of the whole world, is to be divided in accordance with the provisions of this law; and a colony is to be led to Capua, a most honourable and beautiful city. But what can we say to this? I will speak first of your advantage, O Romans. Then I will recur to the question of honour and dignity; so that, if any one takes particular pleasure in the excellence of any town or any district, he may not expect anything; and if any one is influenced by the idea of the dignity of the business, he may resist this fictitious liberality. And first of all I will speak of the town, in case there is any one whose fancy is more taken with Capua than with Rome. He orders five thousand colonists to be enrolled for the purpose of being settled at Capua; and to make up this number, each of the decemvirs is to choose five hundred men. I entreat you, do not deceive yourselves about this matter. [77] Consider it in its true light, and with due care. Do you think that in this number there will be room for you yourselves, or for any men like you—quiet, easy men? If there be room for all of you, or even for the greater part of you—although my regard for your honour compels me to keep awake day and night, and to watch with eager eyes every part of the republic—still I will close my eyes for a time, if your advantage will be at all promoted by my doing so. But, if a place and a city is being looked out for five thousand men, picked out as fit instruments for violence, and atrocity, and slaughter, from which they may be able to make war, and which may be able to equip them properly for war,—will you still suffer a power to be raised and garrisons to be armed in your own name against yourselves? Will you allow cities and lands and forces to be arrayed against your interest? [78] For they themselves have desired the Campanian district which they hold out a hope of to you. They will lead thither their own friends, in whose name they themselves may occupy it and enjoy it. Besides all this, they will make purchases; they will add the other ten acres to their present estate. For if they say that that is not lawful by the law; by the Cornelian law it certainly is not. But we see (to say nothing about lands at a distance) that the district of Praeneste is occupied by a few people. And I do not see that anything is wanting to their fortunes, except farms of such a description that they may be able by the supplies which they derive from them to support their very large households, and the expense of their farms near Cumae and Puteoli. But if he be thinking of what is for your advantage, then let him come, and let him discuss with me, face to face, the decision of the Campanian district.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Albert Clark, 1909)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Italy (Italy) (3)
Capua (Italy) (3)
Rome (Italy) (1)
Puteoli (Italy) (1)
Praeneste (Italy) (1)
Cumae (Italy) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: