12. But why do I speak of distant events? It was—it was, indeed, formerly—a characteristic of the Roman people to carry on its wars at a distance from home, and to defend by the bulwarks of its power not its own homes, but the fortunes of its allies. Need I say, that the sea has during all these latter years been closed against your allies, when even our own armies never ventured to cross over from Brundusium, except in the depth of winter? Need I complain that men who were coming to you from foreign nations were taken prisoners, when even the ambassadors of the Roman people were forced to be ransomed? Need I say, that the sea was not safe for merchants, when twelve axes 1 came into the power of the pirates?  Need I mention, how Cnidus, and Colophon, and Samos, most noble cities, and others too in countless numbers, were taken by them, when you know that your own harbours, and those harbours too from which you derive, as it were, your very life and breath, were in the power of the pirates? Are you ignorant that the harbour of Caieta, that illustrious harbour, when full of ships, was plundered by the pirates under the very eyes of the praetor? and that from Misenum, the children of the very man who had before that waged war against the pirates in that place, were carried off by the pirates? For why should I complain of the disaster of Ostia, and of that stain and blot on the republic, when almost under your very eyes, that fleet which was under the command of a Roman consul was taken and destroyed by the pirates? O ye immortal gods! could the incredible and godlike virtue of one man in so short a time bring so much light to the republic, that you who had lately been used to see a fleet of the enemy before the mouth of the Tiber, should now hear that there is not one ship belonging to the pirates on this side of the Atlantic?  And although you have seen with what rapidity these things were done, still that rapidity ought not to be passed over by me in speaking of them.—For who ever, even if he were only going for the purpose of transacting business or making profit, contrived in so short a time to visit so many places, and to perform such long journeys, with as great celerity as Cnaeus Pompeius has performed his voyage, bearing with him the terrors of war as our general? He, when the weather could hardly be called open for sailing, went to Sicily, explored the coasts of Africa; from thence he came with his fleet to Sardinia, and these three great granaries of the republic he fortified with powerful garrisons and fleets;  when, leaving Sardinia, he came to Italy, having secured the two Spains and Cisalpine Gaul with garrisons and ships. Having sent vessels also to the coast of Illyricum, and to every part of Achaia and Greece, he also adorned the two seas of Italy with very large fleets, and very sufficient garrisons; and he himself going in person, added all Cilicia to the dominions of the Roman people, on the forty-ninth day after he set out from Brundusium. Will the pirates who were anywhere to be found, were either taken prisoners and put to death, or else had surrendered themselves voluntarily to the power and authority of this one man. Also, when the Cretans had sent ambassadors to implore his mercy even into Pamphylia to him, he did not deny them hopes of being allowed to surrender, and he exacted hostages from them. And thus Cnaeus Pompeius at the end of winter prepared, at the beginning of spring undertook, and by the middle of summer terminated, this most important war, which had lasted so long, which was scattered in such distant and such various places, and by which every nation and country was incessantly distressed.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF THE PROPOSED MANILIAN LAW.
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