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But the whole of this topic of my speech, and the whole of this discussion, O judges, has reference to the common right of changing one's city; it has nothing in it which is peculiar to the religious observance of treaties. For I am defending the universal principle, that there is no nation on the whole face of the earth,—whether at variance with the Roman people through some quarrel and hatred, or, on the other hand, united with us by the closest loyalty and mutual good-will,—as to which we are forbidden to adopt any one of its citizens as our own, or to present any one of them with the freedom of our city. [31] Oh how admirable are our laws, and with what god-like wisdom were they established by our ancestors from the very first beginning of the Roman name, especially the law that no one of our people can be a citizen of more than one city, (for it is inevitable that dissimilar states must have a great variety in their laws,) and that no one can be compelled against his will to change his city, nor against his will to remain a citizen of any city. For these are the firmest foundations of our liberty, that every individual should have it in his own power to retain or abandon his privileges.

And without any dispute, that has been the most solid foundation of our empire, and the thing which has above all others increased the renown of the Roman name, that that first man, the creator of this city, Romulus, taught by the treaty which he made with the Sabines, that it was expedient to increase the population of this city by the adoption of even enemies as citizens. And in compliance with his authority and with the precedent which he established, the presentation of the freedom of our city to others has never been interrupted by our ancestors. Therefore, many tribes from Latium, the people of Tusculum, the people of Lanuvium, and all other peoples of all other races, have been received into the privileges of our city;—as, for instance, the Sabines, the Hernici, and the Volsci; the citizens of which cities were not compelled to change the city to which they belonged, if they were unwilling to do so; nor if any of them had acquired the privileges of our citizens by the kindness of the Roman people, would the treaty made with them appear to have been violated.

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