previous next

35. [95]

Ought we not to think that those men who foresaw all these things, O Romans, ought to be venerated and worshipped by us, and classed almost in the number of the immortal gods? For what was it which they saw? They saw this, which I entreat you now to remark and take notice of. Manners are not implanted in men so much by the blood and family, as by those things which are supplied by the nature of the plan towards forming habits of life, by which we are nourished, and by which we live. The Carthaginians, a fraudulent and lying nation, were tempted to a fondness for deceiving by a desire of gain, not by their blood, but by the character of their situation because, owing to the number of their harbours, they had frequent intercourse with merchants and foreigners. The Ligurians, being mountaineers, are a hardy and rustic tribe. The land itself taught them to be so by producing nothing which was not extracted from it by skillful cultivation, and by great labour. The Campanians were always proud from the excellence of their soil, and the magnitude of their crops, and the healthiness, and position, and beauty of their city. From that abundance, and from this affluence in all things, in the first place, originated those qualities; arrogance, which demanded of our ancestors that one of the consuls should be chosen from Capua: and in the second place, that luxury which conquered Hannibal himself by pleasure, who up to that time had proved invincible in arms. [96] When those decemvirs shall, in accordance with the law of Rullus, have led six hundred colonists to that place; when they shall have established there a hundred decurions, ten augurs, and six priests, what do you suppose their courage, and violence, and ferocity will be then? They will laugh at and despise Rome, situated among mountains and valleys, stuck up, as it were, and raised aloft, amid garrets, with not very good roads, and with very narrow streets, in comparison with their own Capua, stretched out along a most open plain, and in comparison of their own beautiful thoroughfares. And as for the lands, they will not think the Vatican or Pupinian district fit to be compared at all to their fertile and luxuriant plains. And all the abundance of neigbouring towns which surround us they will compare in laughter and scorn with their neighbours. They will compare Labici, Fidenae, Collatia,—even Lanuvium itself, and Aricia, and Tusculum, with Cales, and Teanum, and Naples, and Puteoli, and Cumae, and Pompeii, and Nuceria. [97] By all these things they will be elated and puffed up, perhaps not at once, but certainly when they have got a little more age and vigour they will not be able to restrain themselves; they will go on further and further. A single individual, unless he be a man of great wisdom, can scarcely, when placed in situations of great wealth or power, contain himself within the limits of propriety; much less will those colonists, sought out and selected by Rullus, and others like Rullus, when established at Capua, in that abode of pride, and in the very home of luxury, refrain from immediately contracting some wickedness and iniquity. Yes, and it will be much more the case with them, than with the old genuine Campanians, because they were born and trained up in a fortune which was theirs of old, but were depraved by a too great abundance of everything; but these men, being transferred from the most extreme indigence to a corresponding affluence, will be affected, not only by the extent of their riches, but also by the strangeness of them.

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.
Capua (Italy) (3)
Vatican City (Holy See) (1)
Tusculum (Italy) (1)
Rome (Italy) (1)
Puteoli (Italy) (1)
Pompeii (Italy) (1)
Naples (Italy) (1)
Lanuvium (Italy) (1)
Labici (Italy) (1)
Cumae (Italy) (1)
Cales (1)
Aricia (Italy) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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