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[43] And since authority has great weight in conducting wars, and in discharging the duties of military command, it certainly is not doubtful to any one that in that point this same general is especially preeminent. And who is ignorant that it is of great importance in the conduct of wars, what opinion the enemy, and what opinion the allies have of your generals, when we know that men are not less influenced in such serious affairs, to despise, or fear, or hate, or love a man by common opinion and common report, than by sure grounds and principles? What name, then, in the whole world has ever been more illustrious than his? whose achievements have ever been equal to his? And, what gives authority in the highest degree, concerning whom have you ever passed such numerous and such honourable resolutions? [44] Do you believe that there is anywhere in the whole world any place so desert that the renown of that day has not reached it, when the whole Roman people, the forum being crowded, and all the adjacent temples from which this place can be seen being completely filled,—the whole Roman people, I say, demanded Cnaeus Pompeius alone as their general in the war in which the common interests of all nations were at stake? Therefore, not to say more on the subject, nor to confirm what I say by instances of others as to the influence which authority has in war, all our instances of splendid exploits in war must be taken from this same Cnaeus Pompeius. The very day that he was appointed by you commander-in-chief of the maritime war, in a moment such a cheapness of provisions ensued, (though previously there had been a great scarcity of corn, and the price had been exceedingly high,) owing to the hope conceived of one single man, and his high reputation, as could scarcely have been produced by a most productive harvest after a long period of peace. [45] Now, too, after the disaster which befell us in Pontus, from the result of that battle, of which, sorely against my will, I just now reminded you, when our allies were in a state of alarm, when the power and spirits of our enemies had risen, and the province was in a very insufficient state of defence, you would have entirely lost Asia, O Romans, if the fortune of the Roman people had not, by some divine interposition, brought Cnaeus Pompeius at that particular moment into those regions. His arrival both checked Mithridates, elated with his unusual victory, and delayed Tigranes, who was threatening Asia with a formidable army. And can any one doubt what he will accomplish by his valour, when he did so much by his authority and reputation? or how easily he will preserve our allies and our revenues by his power and his army, when he defended them by the mere, terror of his name?

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1908)
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