Sallust (Gaius Sallustius Crispus)
The Complete Works of Sallust
The Complete Works of
(86 BC– c. 35 BC)
Delphi Classics 2014
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The centre of L’Aquila, a city in the Abruzzo region of Italy, close to Sallust’s birthplace, Amiternum. A statue commemorates the great historian in the city centre.
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Ruins at Amiternum, Sallust’s birthplace
THE WAR WITH CATILINE
Translated by J. C. Rolfe
Composed between 44 and 40 BC, Sallust’s first published work details the history of the memorable year 63 BC, adopting the accepted view of Catiline as the deliberate enemy of law, order and morality, with no comprehensive explanation of his views and intentions. Lucius Sergius Catilina, (108–62 BC) is best known for the second Catilinarian conspiracy, a supposed attempt to overthrow the Roman Republicand the power of the aristocratic Senate. Catiline had supported the party of Sulla, which Sallust had opposed.
Sallust had devoted his attention to a comparatively new branch of historiography, the historical monograph, making careful and conscientious preparations for his work. Suetonius tells us that Ateius Philologus supplied Sallust with an outline of the whole of Roman history, and his careful study of Thucydides and Cato are also apparent in the work. In writing about the conspiracy of Catiline, Sallust’s tone, style, and descriptions of aristocratic behaviour show that he was deeply troubled by the moral decline of Rome. While he inveighs against Catiline’s depraved character and nefarious actions, Sallust does not fail to state that the man had many noble traits, indeed all that a Roman man needed to succeed. In particular, Sallust portrays Catiline as deeply courageous in his final battle. This subject gave Sallust the opportunity to show off his rhetoric at the expense of the old Roman aristocracy, whose degeneracy he delighted to censure strongly. As the text reveals no traces of personal experience, it is believed Sallust was on military service during the period of its composition, using Cicero’s De Consulatu Suo as his main source.
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‘Cicero Denounces Catiline’ by Cesare Maccari, c. 1882
THE WAR WITH CATILINE
1. It behooves allmen who wish to excel the other animals to strive with might and main not to pass through life unheralded, like the beasts, which Nature has fashioned grovelling and slaves to the belly. 2 All our power, on the contrary, lies in both mind and body; we employ the mind to rule, the body rather to serve; the one we have in common with the Gods, the other with the brutes. 3 Therefore I find it becoming, in seeking renown, that we should employ the resources of the intellect rather than those of brute strength, to the end that, since the span of life which we enjoy is short, we may make the memory of our lives as long as possible. 4 For the renown which riches or beauty confer is fleeting and frail; mental excellence is a splendid and lasting possession.
5 Yet for a long time mortal men have discussed the question whether success in arms depends moreon strength of body or excellence of mind; 6 for before you begin, deliberation is necessary, when you have deliberated, prompt action.7 Thus each of these, being incomplete in itself, requires the other’s aid.
2. Accordingly in the beginning kings (for that was the first title of sovereignty among men), took different courses, some training their minds and others their bodies. Even at that time men’s lives were still free from covetousness; each was quite content with his own possessions. 2 But when Cyrus in Asia and in Greece the Athenians and Lacedaemonians began to subdue cities and nations, to make the lust for dominion a pretext for war, to consider the greatest empire the greatest glory, then at last men learned from perilous enterprises that qualities of mind availed most in war.
3 Now if the mental excellence with which kings and rulers are endowed were as potent in peace as in war, human affairs would run an evener and steadier course, and you would not see power passing from hand to hand and everything in turmoil and confusion; 4 for empire is easily retained by the qualities by which it was first won. 5But when sloth has usurped the place of industry, and lawlessnessand insolence have superseded self-restraint and justice, the fortune of princes changes with their character. 6 Thus the sway is always passing to the best man from the hands of his inferior.
7 Success in agriculture, navigation, and architecture depends invariably upon mental excellence. 8 Yet many men, being slaves to appetite and sleep, have passed through life untaught and untrained, like mere wayfarers in these men we see, contrary to Nature’s intent, the body a source of pleasure, the soul a burden. For my own part, I consider the lives and deaths of such men as about alike, sinceno record is made of either. 9 In very truth that man alone lives and makes the most of life, as it seems to me, who devotes himself to some occupation, courting the fame of a glorious deed or a noble career.But amid the wealth of opportunities Nature points out one path to one and another to another.
3. It is glorious to serve one’s country by deeds; even to serve her by words is a thing not to be despised; one may become famous in peace as well as in war. Not only those who have acted, but those also who have recorded the acts of others oftentimes receive our approbation. 2 And for myself, although I am well aware that by no means equal repute attends the narrator and the doer of deeds, yet I regard the writing of history as one of the most difficult of tasks: first, because the style and diction must be equal to the deeds recorded; and in the second place, because such criticism as you make of others’ shortcomings are thought by most men to be due to malice and envy. Furthermore, when you commemorate the distinguished merit and fame of good men, while every one is quite ready to believe you when you tell of things whichhe thinks he could easily do himself, everything beyond that he regards as fictitious, if not false.
3 When I myself wasa young man, my inclinations at first led me, like many another, into public life, and there I encountered many obstacles; for instead of modesty, incorruptibility and honesty, shamelessness, bribery and rapacity held sway. 4 And although my soul, a stranger to evil ways, recoiled from such faults, yet amid so many vices my youthful weakness was led astray and held captive my ambition; 5 for while I of took no part in the evil practices of the others, yet the desire for preferment made me the victim of the same ill-repute and jealousy as they.
4. Accordingly, when my mind found peace after many troubles and perils and I had determined that I must pass what was left of my life aloof from public affairs, it was not my intention to waste my precious leisure in indolence and sloth, nor yet by turning to farming or the chase, to lead a life devoted to slavish employments. 2 On the contrary, I resolved to return to a cherished purpose fromwhich ill-starred ambition had diverted me, and write a history of the Roman people, selecting such portions as seemed to me worthy of record; and I was confirmed in this resolution by the fact that my mind was free from hope, and fear, and partisanshi I shall therefore write briefly and as truthfully as possible of the conspiracy of Catiline; 4 for I regard that event as worthy of special notice because of the extraordinary nature of the crime and of the danger arising from it. 5 But before beginning my narrative I must say a few words about the man’s character.
5. Lucius Catiline, scion of a noble family, had great vigour both of mind and body, but an evil and depraved nature. 2 From youth up he revelled in civil wars, murder, pillage, and political dissension, and amid these he spent his early manhood. 3 His body could endure hunger, cold and want of sleep to an incredible degree; 4 his mind was reckless, cunning, treacherous, capable of any form of pretence or concealment. Covetous of others’ possessions, he was prodigal of his own; he was violent in his passions. He possessed a certain amount of eloquence, but little discretion. 5 His disordered mind ever craved the monstrous, incredible, gigantic.
6 After the domination of Lucius Sulla the man had been seized with a mighty desire of getting control of the government, recking little by what manner he should achieve it, provided he made himself supreme. 7 His haughty spirit was goaded more and more every day by poverty and a sense of guilt, both of which he had augmented by the practices of which I have already spoken.8 He wasspurred on, also, by the corruption of the public morals, which were being ruined by two great evils of an opposite character, extravagance and avarice.</p>
9 Since the occasion has arisen to speak of the morals of our country, the nature of my theme seems to suggest that I go farther back and give a brief account of the institutionsof our forefathers in peace and in war, how they governed the commonwealth, how great it was when they bequeathed it to us, and how by gradual changes it has ceased to be the noblest and best, and has become the worst and most vicious.
6. The city of Rome, according to my understanding, was at the outset founded and inhabited by Trojans, who were wandering about in exile under the leadership of Aeneas and had no fixed abode; they were joined by the Aborigines, a rustic folk, without laws or government, free and unrestrained. 2 After these two peoples, different in race, unlike in speech and mode of life, were united within the same walls, they were merged into one with incredible facility, so quickly did harmony change a heterogeneous and roving band into a commonwealth. 3 But when this new community had grown in numbers, civilization, and territory, and was beginning to seem amply rich and amply strong, then, as is usual with mortal affairs, prosperity gave birth to envy. 4 As a result, neighbouring kings and peoples made war upon them, and but few of their friends lent them aid; for the rest were smitten with fear and stood aloof from the danger. 5 But the Romans, putting forth their whole energy at home and in the field, made all haste, got ready, encouraged one another, went to meet the foe, and defended their liberty, their country, and their parents by arms. Afterwards, when their prowess had averted the danger, they lent aid to their allies and friends, and established friendly relations rather by conferring than by accepting favours.
6 They had a constitution founded upon law, which was in name a monarchy; a chosen few, whose bodies were enfeebled by age but whose minds were fortified with wisdom, took counsel for the welfare of the state. These were called Fathers, by reason either of their age or of the similarity of their duties. 7 Later,when the rule of the kings, which at first had tended to preserve freedom and advance the state, had degenerated into a lawless tyranny, they altered their form of government and appointed two rulers with annual power, thinking that this device would prevent men’s minds from growing arrogant through unlimited authority.
7. Now at that time every man began to lift his head higher and to have his talents more in readiness. 2 For kings hold the good in greater suspicion than the wicked, andto them the merit of others is always fraught with danger; 3 still the free state, once liberty was won, waxed incredibly strong and great in a remarkably short time, such was the thirst for glory that had filled men’s minds. 4 To begin with, as soon as the young men could endure the hardships of war, they were taught a soldier’s duties in camp under a vigorous discipline, and they took more pleasure in handsome arms and war horses than in harlotsand revelry. 5 To such men consequently no labour was unfamiliar, no region too rough or too steep, no armed foeman was terrible; valour was all in all. 6 Nay, their hardest struggle for glory was with one another; each man strove to be the first to strike down the foe, to scale a wall, to be seen of all while doing such a deed. This they considered riches, this fair fame and high nobility. It was praise they coveted, but they were lavish of money; their aim was unbounded renown, but only such riches as could be gained honourably. 7 I might name the battlefields on which the Romans with a mere handful of men routed great armies of their adversaries, and the cities fortified by nature which they took by assault, were it not that such a theme could carry me too far from my subject.
8. But beyond question Fortune holds sway everywhere. It is she that makes all events famous or obscure according to her caprice rather than in accordance with the truth. 2 The acts of the Athenians, in my judgment, were indeed great and glorious enough, but nevertheless somewhat less important than fame represents them. 3 But because Athens produced writers of exceptional talent, the exploits of the men of Athens are heralded throughout the world as unsurpassed. 4 Thus the merit of those who did the deeds is rated as high as brilliant minds have been able to exalt the deeds themselves by words of praise. 5 But the Roman people never had that advantage, since their ablestmen were always most engaged with affairs; their minds were never employed apart from their bodies; the best citizen preferred action to words, and thought that his own brave deeds should be lauded by others rather than that theirs should be recounted by him.
9. Accordingly, good morals were cultivated at home and in the field; there was the greatest harmony and little or no avarice; justice and probity prevailed among them, thanks not so much to laws as to nature. 2 Quarrels, discord, and strife were reserved for their enemies; citizen vied with citizen only for the prize of merit. They were lavish in their offerings to the gods, frugal in the home, loyal to their friends. 3 By practising these two qualities, boldness in warfare and justice when peace came, they watched over themselves and their country. 4 In proof of these statements I present this convincing evidence: firstly, in time of war punishment was more often inflicted for attacking the enemy contrary to orders, or for withdrawing too tardily when recalled from the field, than for venturing to abandon the standards or to give ground under stress; 5 and secondly, in time of peace they ruled by kindness rather thanfear, and when wronged preferred forgiveness to vengeance.
10. But when our country had grown great through toil and the practice of justice, when great kings had been vanquished in war, savage tribes and mighty peoples subdued by force of arms, when Carthage, the rival of Rome’s sway, had perished root and branch, and all seas and lands were open, then Fortune began to grow cruel and to bring confusion into all our affairs. 2 Those who had found it easy to bear hardship and dangers, anxiety and adversity, found leisure and wealth, desirable under other circumstances, a burden and a curse. 3 Hence the lust for money first, then for power, grew upon them; these were, I may say, the root of all evils. 4 For avarice destroyed honour, integrity, and all other noble qualities; taught in their place insolence, cruelty, to neglect the gods, to set a price on everything. 5 Ambition drove many men to become false; to have one thought locked in the breast, another ready on the tongue; to value friendships and enmities not on their merits but by the standard of self-interest, and to show a good front rather than a good heart. 6 At first these vices grew slowly, from time to time they were punished; finally, when the disease had spread like a deadly plague, the state was changed and a government second to none in equity and excellence became cruel and intolerable.
11. But at first men’s souls were actuated less by avarice than by ambition — a fault, it is true,but not so far removed from virtue; 2 for the noble and the base alike long for glory, honour, and power, but the former mount by the true path, whereas the latter, being destitute of noble qualities, rely upon craft and deception. 3 Avarice implies a desire for money, which no wise man covets; steeped as it were with noxious poisons, it renders the most manly body and soul effeminate; it is ever unbounded and insatiable, nor can either plenty or want make it less. 4 But after LuciusSulla, having gained control of the state by arms, brought everything to a bad end from a good beginning, all men began to rob and pillage. One coveted a house, another lands; the victors showed neither moderation nor restraint, but shamefully and cruelly wronged their fellow citizens. 5 Besides all this, Lucius Sulla, in order to secure the loyalty of the army which he led into Asia, had allowed it a luxury and license foreign to the manners of our forefathers; and in the intervals of leisure those charming and voluptuous lands had easily demoralized the warlike spirit of his soldiers. 6 There it was that an army of the Roman people first learned to indulge in women and drink; to admire statues, paintings, and chased vases, to steal them from private houses and public places, to pillage shrines, and to desecrate everything, both sacred and profane. 7 These soldiers, therefore, after they had won the victory, left nothing to the vanquished. In truth, prosperity tries the souls of even the wise; how then should men of depraved character like these make a moderate use of victory?
12. As soon as riches came to be held in honour, when glory, dominion, and power followed in their train, virtue began to lose its lustre, poverty to be considered a disgrace, blamelessness to be termed malevolence. 2 Therefore as theresult of riches, luxury and greed, united with insolence, took possession of our young manhood. They pillaged, squandered; set little value on their own, coveted the goods of others; they disregarded modesty, chastity, everything human and divine; in short, they were utterly thoughtless and reckless.
3 It is worth your while, when you look upon houses and villas reared to the size of cities, to pay a visit to the temples of the gods built by our forefathers, most reverent of men. 4But they adorned the shrines of the gods with piety, their own homes with glory, while from the vanquished they took naught save the power of doing harm. 5 The men of to day, on the contrary, basest of creatures, with supreme wickedness are robbing our allies of all that those heroes in the hour of victory had left them; they act as though the one and only way to rule wereto wrong.
13. Why, pray, should I speak of things which are incredible except to those who have seen them, that a host of private men have levelled mountains and built upon the seas?2 To such men their riches seem to me to have been but a plaything;for while they might have enjoyed them honourably, they made haste to squander them shamefully. 3 Nay more, the passion which arose for lewdness, gluttony, and theother attendants of luxury was equally strong; men played the woman, women offered their chastity for sale; to gratify their palates they scoured land and sea; they slept before they needed sleep; they did not await the coming of hunger or thirst, of cold or of weariness, but all these things their self-indulgence anticipated. 4 Such were the vices that incited the young men to crime, as soon as they had run through their property. 5 Their minds, habituated to evil practices, could not easily refrain from self-indulgence, and so they abandoned themselves the more recklessly to every means of gain as well as of extravagance.
14. In a city so great and so corrupt Catiline found it a very easy matter to surround himself, as by a bodyguard, with troops of criminals and reprobates of every kind. 2 For whatever wanton, glutton, or gamester had wasted his patrimony in play, feasting, or debauchery; anyone who had contracted an immense debt that he might buy immunity from disgrace or crime; 3 all, furthermore, from every side who had been convicted of murder or sacrilege,or feared prosecution for their crimes; those, too, whom hand and tongue supported by perjury or the blood of their fellow citizens; finally, all who were hounded by disgrace, poverty, or an evil conscience — all these were nearest and dearest to Catiline. 4 And if any guiltless man did chanceto become his friend, daily intercourse and the allurements of vice soon made him as bad or almost as bad as the rest. But most of all Catiline sought the intimacy of the young; 5 their minds, still pliable as they were and easily moulded, were without difficulty ensnared by his wiles. 6 For carefully noting the passion which burned in each, according to his time of life, he found harlots for some or bought dogs and horses for others; in fine, he spared neither expense nor his own decency, provided he could make them submissive and loyal to himself. 7 I am aware that some have believed that the young men who frequented Catiline’s house set but little store by their chastity; but that report became current rather for other reasons than because anyone had evidence of its truth.
15. Even in youth Catiline had many shameful intrigues — with a maiden of noble rank, with a priestessof Vesta — and other affairs equally unlawful and impious. 2 At last he was seized with a passion for Aurelia Orestilla, in whom no good man ever commended anything save her beauty; and when she hesitated to marry him because she was afraid of his stepson, then a grown man, it is generally believed that he murdered the young man in order to make an empty house for this criminal marriage. 3 In fact, I thinkthat this was his special motive for hastening his plot; 4 for his guilt-stained soul, at odds with gods and men, could find rest neither waking nor sleeping, so cruelly did conscience ravage his overwrought mind.5 Hence his pallid complexion, his bloodshot eyes, his gait now fast, now slow; in short, his face and his every glance showed the madman.
16. To the young men whom he had ensnared, as I have described, he taught many forms of wickedness. 2 From their number he supplied false witnesses and forgers; he bade them make light of honour, fortune, and dangers; then, when he had sapped their good repute and modesty, he called for still greater crimes. 3 If there was no immediate motive for wrong doing, he nevertheless waylaid and murdered innocent as well as guilty; indeed, he preferred to be needlessly vicious and cruel rather than to allow their hands and spirits to grow weak through lack of practice.
4 Relying upon suchfriends and accomplices as these, Catiline formed the plan of overthrowing the government, both because his own debt was enormous in all parts of the world and because the greater number of Sulla’s veterans, who had squandered their property and now thought with longing of their former pillage and victories, were eager for civil war. There was no army in Italy; Gnaeus Pompeius was waging war in distant parts of the world; Catiline himself had high hopes as a candidate for the consulship; the senate was anything but alert; all was peaceful and quiet; this was his golden opportunity.
17. Accordingly, towards the first of June in the consulate of Lucius Caesar and Gaius Figulus, he addressed his followers at first one by one, encouraging some and sounding others. He pointed out his own resources, the unprepared condition of the state, the great prizes of conspiracy. 2 When he had such information as he desired, he assembled all those who were most desperate and most reckless. 3 There were present from the senatorial order Publius Lentulus Sura, Publius Autronius, Lucius Cassius Longinus, Gaius Cethegus, Publius and Servius Sulla, sons of Servius, Lucius Vargunteius, Quintus Annius, Marcus Porcius Laeca, Lucius Bestia, Quintus Curius;4 also of the equestrian order, Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, Lucius Statilius, Publius Gabinius Capito, Gaius Cornelius; besides these there were many men from the colonies and free towns who were of noble rank at home. 5 There were, moreover, several nobles who had a somewhat more secret connection with the plot, men who were prompted rather by the hope of power than by want or any other exigency. 6 The greater partof the young men also, in particular those of high position, were favourable to Catiline’s project; for although in quiet times they had the means of living elegantly or luxuriously, they preferred uncertainty to certainty, war to peace.7 There were also at that time some who believed that Marcus Licinius Crassus was not wholly ignorant of the plot; that because his enemy Gaius Pompeius was in command of a large army, he was willing to see anyone’s influence grow in opposition to the power of his rival, fully believing meanwhile that if the conspirators should be successful, he would easily bethe leading man among them.
18. Now, even before that time a few men had conspired against the government, and among them was Catiline; 2 of that affair I shall give as true an account as I am able.
In the consulship of Lucius Tullus and Manius Lepidus, the consuls elect, Publius Autronius and Publius Sulla, were arraigned under the law against bribery and paid the penalties. 3 A little later Catiline was charged with extortion and prevented from standing for the consulship, because he had been unable to announce his candidacy within the prescribed number of days. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>4 There was at that same time a young noble called Gnaeus Piso, a man of the utmost recklessness, poor, and given to intrigue, who was being goaded on by need of funds and an evil character to overthrow the government. 5 He revealed his plans to Catiline and Autronius; they in concert with him began, about the fifth of December, to make preparations to murder the consuls Lucius Cotta and Lucius Torquatus in the Capitol on the first of January; they then proposed that they themselves should seize the fasces and dispatch Piso with an army to take possession of the two Spanish provinces.6 Upon the discovery of their plot they postponed their murderous design until the fifth of February. 7 At that time they plotted the destruction not merely of the consuls but of many of the senators, 8 and had Catiline not been over-hasty in giving the signal to his accomplices in front of the senate-house, on that day the most dreadful crime since the founding of the city of Rome would have been perpetrated. But because the armed conspirators had not yet assembled in sufficient numbers, the affair came to naught.
19. Piso was afterwards, through the efforts of Crassus, who knew him to be a deadly enemy of Gnaeus Pompeius, sent to Hither Spain with praetorian powers, although he was onlya quaestor. 2 The senate, however, had been quite willing to give him the province, wishing to remove the shameless fellow to a distance from the seat of government; moreover, many of the aristocracy thought they had in him a safeguard against Pompey, whose power was even then becoming formidable. 3 Now this Piso was slain, while marching through his province, by the Spanish cavalry under his command. 4 Some say that the barbarians could not endure his rule, unjust, insolent, and cruel; 5 others, that the horsemen, who were old and devoted retainers of Pompey, attacked Piso at his instigation. The latter point out that the Spaniards had never before committed such a crime, but had tolerated many cruel rulers in former days. We shall not attempt to decide this question, and enough has been said about the first conspiracy.
20. When Catiline saw before him the men whom I mentioned a short time ago, although he had oftenhad long conferences with them individually, he thought that it would be well to address and encourage the entire body. Accordingly, withdrawing to a private room of the house and excluding all witnesses, he made the following speech:
2 “If I had not already tested your courage and loyalty, in vain would a great opportunity have presented itself; high hopes and power would have been placed in my hands to no purpose, 3 nor would I with the aid of cowards or inconstant hearts grasp at uncertainty in place of certainty. But because I have learned in many and great emergencies that you are brave and faithful to me, my mind has had the courage to set on foot a mighty and glorious enterprise, and also because I perceive that you and I hold the same view of what is good and evil; 4 for agreement in likes and dislikes — this, and this only, is what constitutes true friendshi As to the designs which I have formed, they have already been explained to you all individually. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>6 But my resolution is fired more and more every day, when I consider under what conditions we shall live if we do not take steps to emancipate ourselves. 7 For ever since the state fell under the jurisdiction and sway of a few powerful men, it is always to them that kings and potentates are tributary and peoples and nations pay taxes. All the rest of us, energetic, able, nobles and commons, have made up the mob, without influence, without weight, and subservient to those to whom in a free state we should be an object of fear. 8 Because of this, all influence, power, rank, and wealth are in their hands, or wherever they wish them to be; to us they have left danger, defeat, prosecutions, and poverty. 9 How long, pray, will you endure this, brave hearts? Is it not better to die valiantly, than ignominiously to lose our wretched and dishonoured lives after being the sport of others’ insolence? 10 Assuredly (I swear it by the faithof gods and men!) victory is within our grasp. We are in the prime of life, weare stout of heart; to them, on the contrary, years and riches have brought utter dotage. We need only to strike; the rest will take care of itself. 11 <span lang3DEN>Pray, what man with the spirit of a man can endure that our tyrants should abound in riches, to squander in building upon the sea and in levelling mountains, while we lack the means to buy the bare necessities of life? That they should join their palaces by twos or even more, while we have nowhere a hearthstone? 12 They amass paintings, statuary and chased vases, tear down new structures and erect others, in short misuse and torment their wealth in every way; yet, with the utmost extravagance, they cannot get the upper hand of their riches. 13 But we have destitution at home, debt without, present misery anda still more hopeless future; in short, what have we left, save only the wretched breath of life? 14 Awake then! Lo, here, here before your eyes, is the freedom for which you have often longed, and with it riches, honour, and glory; Fortune offers all these things as prizes to the victors. 15 <span lang3DEN>The undertaking itself, the opportunity, the dangers, your need, the splendid spoils of war, speak louder than any words of mine. 16 <span lang3DEN>Use me either as your leader or as a soldier in the ranks; my soul and my body shall be at your service. 17 These very schemes I hope to help you carry out as your consul, unless haply I delude myself andyou are content to be slaves rather than to rule.”
21. When these words fell upon the ears of men who had misfortune of every kind in excess, but neither means nor any honourable hope, although disorder alone seemed to them an ample reward, yet many of them called upon him to explain the conditions under which war would be waged, what the prizes of victory would be, and what resourcesor prospects they would have and in what quarter. 2 Thereupon Catiline promised abolition of debts, the proscription of the rich, offices, priesthoods, plunder, and all the other spoils that war and the license of victors can offer. 3 He added that Piso was in Hither Spain, Publius Sittius of Nuceria in Mauretania with an army, both of whom were partners in his plot; that Gaius Antonius was a candidate for the consulship, and, he hoped, would be his colleague, a man who was an intimate friend of his and was beset by every sort of necessity; consul with him, he would launch his undertaking. 4 Thereupon he heaped maledictions upon all good citizens, lauded each of his own followers by name; he reminded one of his poverty, another of his ambition, several of their danger or disgrace, many of the victory of Sulla, which they had found a source of booty. 5 When he saw thattheir spirits were all aflame, he dismissed the meeting, urging them to have his candidacy at heart.
22. It was said atthe time that when Catiline, after finishing his address, compelled the participants in his crime to take an oath, he passed around bowls of human blood mixed with wine; 2 that when after an imprecation upon traitors all had tasted it, as is usual in solemn rites, he disclosed his project; and his end in so doing was, they say, that they might be more faithful to one another because they shared the guilty knowledge of so dreadful a deed. 3 Others thought that these and many other details were invented bymen who believed that the hostility which afterwards arose against Cicero wouldbe moderated by exaggerating the guilt of the conspirators whom he had put to death. For my own part I have too little evidence for pronouncing upon a matter of such weight.
23. Now one of themembers of the conspiracy was Quintus Curius, a man of no mean birth but guilty of many shameful crimes, whom the censors had expelled from the senate because of his immorality. 2 This man was as untrustworthy as he was reckless; he could neither keep secret what he had heard nor conceal even his own misdeeds; he was utterly regardless of what he did or said. 3 He had an intrigue of long standing with Fulvia, a woman of quality, and when he began to lose her favour because poverty compelled him to be less lavish, he suddenly fell to boasting, began to promise her seas and mountains, and sometimes to threaten his mistress with the steel if she did not bow to his will; in brief, to show much greater assurance than before. 4 But Fulvia, whenshe learned the cause of her lover’s overbearing conduct, had no thought of concealing such a peril to her country, but without mentioning the name of her informant she told a number of people what she had heard of Catiline’s conspiracy from various sources.
5 It was this discovery in particular which aroused a general desire to confer the consulate upon Marcus Tullius Cicero; 6 for before that most of the nobles were consumed with jealousy and thought the office in a way prostituted if a “new man,” however excellent, should obtain it. But when danger came, jealousy and pride fell into the background.
24. Accordingly, when the elections had been held Marcus Tullius and Gaius Antonius were proclaimed consuls, and this at first filled the conspirators with consternation. 2 And yet Catiline’s frenzy did not abate. On the contrary, he increased his activity every day, made collections of arms at strategic points in Italy, and borrowed money on his own credit or that of his friends, sending it to Faesulae to a certain Manlius, who afterwards was the first to take the field. 3 At that time Catiline is said to have gained the support of many men of all conditions and even of some women; the latter at first had met their enormous expenses by prostitution, but later, when their time of life had set a limit to their traffic but not to their extravagance, had contracted a huge debt. 4 Through their help Catiline believed that he could tempt the city slaves to his side and set fire to Rome; and then either attach the women’s husbands to his cause or make away with them.
25. Now among these women was Sempronia, who had often committed many crimes of masculine daring. 2 In birth and beauty, in her husband also and children, she was abundantly favoured by fortune; well read in the literature of Greece and Rome, able to play the lyre and dance more skilfully than an honest woman need, and having many other accomplishments which minister to voluptuousness. <span class3D0Text>3 But there was nothing which she held so cheap as modesty and chastity; you could not easily say whether she was less sparing of her money or her honour; her desires were so ardent that she sought men more often than she was sought by them. 4 Even before the time of the conspiracy she had often broken her word, repudiated her debts, been privy to murder; poverty and extravagance combined had driven her headlong. 5 Nevertheless, she was a woman of no mean endowments; she could write verses, bandy jests,and use language which was modest, or tender, or wanton; in fine, she possesseda high degree of wit and of charm.
26. After making these preparations Catiline nevertheless became a candidate for the consulship ofthe following year, hoping that if he should be elected he could easily do whatever he wished with Antonius. In the meantime he was not idle, but kept laying plots of all kinds against Cicero, 2 who, however, did not lack the craft and address to escape them. 3 For immediately after the beginning of his consulate, by dint of many promises made through Fulvia, Cicero had induced Quintus Curius, the man whom I mentioned a little while ago, to reveal Catiline’s designs to him. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>4 Furthermore, he had persuaded his colleague Antonius, by agreeing to make over his provinceto him, not to entertain schemes hostile to the public weal, and he also had surrounded himself secretly with a bodyguard of friends and dependents.
5 When the day of the elections came and neither Catiline’s suit nor the plots which he had made against the consuls in the Campus Martius were successful, he resolved to take the field and dare the uttermost, since his covert attempts had resulted in disappointment and disgrace.
27. He therefore dispatched Gaius Manlius to Faesulae and the adjacent part of Etruria, a certain Septimius of Camerinum to the Picene district, and Gaius Julius to Apulia; others too to other places, wherever he thought that each would be serviceable to his project. 2 Meanwhile he himself was busy at Rome with many attempts at once, laying traps for the consul, planning fires, posting armed men in commanding places. He went armed himself, bade others to do the same, conjured them to be always alert and ready, kept on the move night and day, took no rest yet succumbed neither to wakefulness nor fatigue. 3 Finally, when his manifold attempts met with no success, again inthe dead of night he summoned the ringleaders of the conspiracy to the house of Marcus Porcius Laeca. 4 There, after reproaching them bitterly for their inaction, he stated that had sent Manlius on ahead to the force which he had prepared for war, and also other men to other important points to commence hostilities, explaining that he himself was eager to go to the front if he could first make away with Cicero, who was a serious obstacle to his plans.
28. Upon this the rest were terrified and hesitated; but Gaius Cornelius, a Roman knight, offered his services and was joined by Lucius Vargunteius, a senator. These two men determined that very night, a little later, to get access to Cicero, accompanied by a band of armed men, as if for a ceremonial call and taking him by surprise to murder the defenceless consul in his own house. 2 When Curius learned of the great danger which threatened the consul, he hastened to report to Cicero through Fulvia the trap which was being set for him. 3Hence the would be assassins were refused admission and proved tohave undertaken this awful crime to no purpose.
4 Meanwhile Manliusin Etruria was working upon the populace, who were already ripe for revolution because of penury and resentment at their wrongs; for during Sulla’s supremacy they had lost their lands and all their property. He also approached brigands of various nationalities, who were numerous in that part of the country, and some members of Sulla’s colonies who had been stripped by prodigal and luxurious living of the last of their great booty.
29. When these events were reported to Cicero, he was greatly disturbed by the twofold peril, since he could no longer by his unaided efforts protect the city against these plots, nor gain any exact information as to the size and purpose of Manlius’s army; he therefore formally called the attention of the senate to the matter, which had already been the subject of popular gossi Thereupon, as is often done in a dangerous emergency, the senate voted “that the consuls would take heed that the commonwealth suffer no harm.” 3 The power which according to Roman usage is thus conferred upon a magistrate by the senate is supreme, allowing him to raise an army, wage war, exert any kind of compulsion upon allies and citizens, and exercise unlimited command and jurisdiction at home and in the field; otherwise the consul has none of these privileges except by the order of the people.
30. A few days later, in a meeting of the senate, Lucius Saenius, one ofº its members, read a letter which he said had been brought to him from Faesulae, stating that Gaius Manlius had taken the field with a large force on the twenty-seventh day of October. 2 At the same time, as is usual in such a crisis, omens and portents were reported by some, while others told of the holding of meetings, of the transportation of arms, and of insurrections of the slaves at Capua and in Apulia.
3 Thereupon by decree of the senate Quintus Marcius Rex was sent to Faesulae and Quintus Metellus Creticus to Apulia and its neighbourhood. 4 Both these generals were at the gates in command of their armies, being prevented from celebrating a triumph by the intrigues of a few men, whose habit it was to make everything, honourable and dishonourable, a matter of barter. 5 Of the praetors, Quintus Pompeius Rufus was sent to Capua and Quintus Metellus Celer to the district of Pisa, with permission to raise an army suited to the emergency and the danger. 6 The senate also voted that if anyone should give information as to the plot which had been made against the state, he should, if a slave, be rewarded with his freedom and a hundred thousand sesterces, 7 and if a free man, with immunity for complicity therein, and two hundred thousand sesterces; further, that the troops of gladiators should be quartered on Capua and the other free towns according to the resources of each place; that at Rome watch should be kept by night in all parts of the city under the direction of the minor magistrates.
31. These precautions struck the community with terror, and the aspect of the city was changed. In place of extreme gaiety and frivolity, the fruit of long-continued peace, there was sudden and general gloom. 2 Men were uneasy and apprehensive, put little confidence in any place of security or in any human being, were neither at war nor at peace, and measured the peril each by hisown fears.3 The women, too, whom the greatness of our country had hitherto shielded from the terrors of war, were in a pitiful state of anxiety, raised suppliant hands to heaven, bewailed the fate of their little children, asked continual questions, trembled at everything, and throwing aside haughtiness and self-indulgence, despaired of themselves and of their country.
4 But Catiline’s pitiless spirit persisted in the same attempts, although defences were preparing, and he himself had been arraigned by Lucius Paulus under the Plautian law. <span class3D0Text>5 Finally, in order to conceal his designs or to clear himself, as though he had merely been the object of some private slander, he came into the senate. 6 Then the consul Marcus Tullius, either fearing his presence or carried away by indignation, delivered a brilliant speech of great service to the state, which he later wrote out and published. 7 When he took his seat, Catiline, prepared as he was to deny everything, with downcast eyes and pleading accents began to beg the Fathers of the Senate not to believe any unfounded charge against him; he was sprung from such a family, he said, and had so ordered his life from youth up, that he had none save the best of prospects. They must not suppose that he, a patrician, who like his forefathers had rendered great service to the Roman people, would be benefited by the overthrow of the government, while its saviour was Marcus Tullius, a resident alien in the city of Rome. 8 When he would have added other insults, he was shouted down by the whole body, who called him traitor and assassin.9 Then in a transport of fury he cried: “Since I am brought to bay by my enemies and driven desperate, I will put out my fire by general devastation.”
32. With this he rushed from the senate-house and went home. There after thinking long upon the situation, since his designs upon the consul made no headway and he perceived that the city was protected against fires by watchmen, believing it best to increase the size of his army and secure many of the necessities of war before the legions were enrolled, he left for the camp of Manlius with a few followers in the dead of night. 2 However, he instructed Cethegus, Lentulus, and the others whose reckless daring he knew to be ready for anything, to add to the strength of their cabal by whatever means they could, to bring the plots against the consul to a head, to make ready murder, arson, and the other horrors of war; as for himself, he would shortly be at the gates with a large army.
3 While this was going on at Rome, Gaius Manlius sent a delegation from his army to Marcius Rex with this message:
33. “We call gods and men to witness, general, that we have taken up arms, not against our fatherlandnor to bring danger upon others, but to protect our own persons from outrage; for we are wretched and destitute, many of us have been driven from our countryby the violence and cruelty of the moneylenders, while all have lost repute and fortune. None of us has been allowed, in accordance with the usage of our forefathers, to enjoy the protection of the law and retain our personal liberty after being stripped of our patrimony, such was the inhumanity of the moneylenders and the praetor. 2 Your forefathersoften took pity on the Roman commons and relieved their necessities by senatorial decrees, and not long ago, within our own memory, because of the great amount of their debt, silver was paid in copper with the general consent of the nobles. 3 Often the commons themselves, actuated by a desire to rule or incensed at the arrogance of the magistrates, have taken up arms and seceded from the patricians. 4 But we ask neither for power nor for riches, the usual causes of wars and strife among mortals, but only for freedom, which no true man gives up except with his life. 5 We implore you and the senate to take thought for your unhappy countrymen, to restore the bulwark of the law, of which the praetor’s injustice has deprived us, and not to impose upon us the necessity of asking ourselves how we may sell our lives most dearly.”
34. To this address Quintus Marciusº made answer, that if they wished to ask anything of the senate, they must lay down their arms and come to Rome as suppliants; that the senate of the Roman people had always been so compassionate and merciful that no one had ever asked it for succour and been refused.
2 But on the way Catiline sent letters to many of the consulars and to the most prominent of the other nobles, saying that since he was beset by false accusations and unable to cope with the intrigues of his personal enemies, he bowed to fate and was on hisway to exile at Massilia; not that he confessed to the dreadful crime with which he was charged, but in order that his country might be at peace and that no dissension might arise from a struggle on his part. 3 A verydifferent letter was read in the senate by Quintus Catulus, who said that it had been sent him in Catiline’s name. The following is an exact copy of this letter:
35. “Lucius Catilina to Quintus Catulus. Your eminent loyalty, known by experience and grateful to me in my extreme peril, lends confidence to my plea. 2 I havetherefore resolved to make no defence of my unusual conduct; that I offer an explanation is due to no feeling of guilt, and I am confident that you will be able to admit its justice. 3 Maddened by wrongs and slights, since I hadbeen robbed of the fruits of my toil and energy and was unable to attain to a position of honour, I followed my usual custom and took up the general cause of the unfortunate; not that I could not pay my personal debts from my own estate (and the liberality of Orestilla sufficed with her own and her daughter’s resources to pay off even the obligations incurred through others), but because I saw the unworthy elevated to honours, and realized that I was an outcast because of baseless suspicion. 4 It is for this reason that, in order to preserve what prestige I have left, I have adopted measures which are honourable enough considering my situation. 5 When Iwould write more, word comes that I am threatened with violence. 6 Now I commend Orestilla to you and entrust her to your loyalty. Protect her from insult, I beseech you in the name of your own children. Farewell.”
36. Catiline himself, after spending a few days with Gaius Flaminius in the vicinity of Arretium, where he supplied arms to the populace, which had already been roused to revolt, hastened to join Manlius in his camp, taking with him the fasces and the other emblems of authority. 2 As soon as this became known at Rome, the senate pronounced Catiline and Manlius traitors and named a day before which the rest of the conspirators might lay down their arms and escape punishment, excepting those under sentence for capital offences. 3 It was further voted that the consuls should hold a levy and that Antonius with an army should at once pursue Catiline, while Cicero defendedthe capital.
4 At no other time has the condition of imperial Rome, as it seems to me, been more pitiable. The whole world, from the rising of the sun to its setting, subdued by her arms, rendered obedience to her; at home there was peace and an abundance of wealth, whichmortal men deem the chiefest of blessings. Yet there were citizens who from sheer perversity were bent upon their own ruin and that of their country. <span class3D0Text>5 For in spite of the two decrees of the senate not one man of all that great number was led by the promised reward to betray the conspiracy, and not a single one deserted Catiline’s camp; such was the potency of the malady which like a plague had infected the minds of many of our countrymen.
37. This insanity was not confined to those who were implicated in the plot, but the whole body of the commons through desire for change favoured the designs of Catiline. <span class3D0Text>2 In this very particular they seemed to act as the populace usually does; 3 for in every community those who have no means envy the good, exalt the base, hate what is old and established, long for something new, and from disgust with their own lot desire a general upheaval. Amid turmoil and rebellion they maintain themselves without difficulty, since poverty is easily provided for and can suffer no loss. 4 But the city populace in particular acted with desperation for many reasons. 5 To begin with, all who were especially conspicuous for their shamelessness and impudence, those too who had squandered their patrimony in riotous living, finally all whom disgrace or crime had forced to leave home, had all flowed into Rome as into a cesspool. 6 Many, too, who recalled Sulla’s victory, when they saw common soldiers risen to the rank of senator, and others become so rich that they feasted and lived like kings, hoped each for himself for like fruits of victory, if he took the field. 7 Besides this, the young men who had maintained a wretched existence by manual labour in the country, tempted by public and private doles had come to prefer idleness in the cityto their hateful toil; these, like all the others, battened on the public ills. 8 Therefore it is not surprising that men who were beggars and without character, with illimitable hopes, should respect their country as little as they did themselves. 9 Moreover, those to whom Sulla’s victory had meant the proscription of their parents, loss of property, and curtailment of their rights, looked forward in a similar spirit to the issue of a war. 10 <span lang3DEN>Finally, all who belonged to another party than that of the senate preferred to see the government overthrown rather than be out of power themselves. 11 <span lang3DEN>Such, then, was the evil which after many years had returned uponthe state.
38. For after the tribunician power had been restored in the consulship of Gnaeus Pompeius and Marcus Crassus, various young men, whose age and disposition made them aggressive, attained that high authority; they thereupon began to excite the commons by attacks upon the senate and then to inflame their passions still more by doles and promises, thus making themselves conspicuous and influential. 2 Against these men the greater part of the nobles strove with might and main, ostensibly in behalf of the senate but really for their own aggrandizement. 3 For, to tell the truth in a few words, all who after that time assailed the government used specious pretexts, some maintaining that they were defending the rights of the commons, others that they were upholding the prestige of the senate; but under pretence of the public welfare each in reality was working for his own advancement. <span class3D0Text>4 Such men showed neither self-restraint nor moderation in their strife, and both parties used their victory ruthlessly.
39. When, however,Gnaeus Pompeius had been dispatched to wage war against the pirates and against Mithridates, the power of the commons was lessened, while that of the few increased. 2 These possessed the magistracies, the provinces and everything else; being themselves rich and secure against attack, they lived without fear and by resort to the courts terrified the others, in order that while they themselves were in office they might manage the people with less friction. 3 But as soon as the political situation became doubtful, and offered hope of a revolution, then the old controversy aroused their passions anew.4 If Catiline had been victor in the first battle, or had merely held his own, beyond a doubt great bloodshed and disaster would have fallen upon the state; nor would the victors have been allowed for long to enjoy their success, but when they had been worn out and exhausted, a more powerful adversary would have wrested from them the supreme power and with it their freedom. <span class3D0Text>5 Yet even as it was, there were many outside the ranks of the conspiracy who, when hostilities began, went to join Catiline. Among them was Fulvius,a senator’s son, who was brought back and put to death by order of his father.
6 All this time at Rome Lentulus, following Catiline’s directions, was working, personally or through others, upon those whom he thought ripe for revolution by disposition or fortune — and not merely citizens, but all sorts and conditions of men, provided only that they could be of any service in war.
40. Accordingly, he instructed one Publius Umbrenus to seek out the envoys of the Allobroges, and, if possible, entice them to an offensive alliance, thinking that they could readily be persuaded to such a course, since they were burdened with publicand private debt; and besides the Gallic people is by nature prone to war. 2 Umbrenus had carried on business with the Gauls and was personally acquainted with many of the leading men of their states; therefore as soon as he caught sight of the envoys in the Forum, he at once asked them a few questions about the condition of their country, and pretending grief at its lot, began to inquire what remedy they hoped to find for such great troubles. 3 On learning that they had complaints to make of the avarice of the magistrates, that they reproached the senate because it rendered no aid, and looked for death as the only remedy for their wretchedness, he said: “Why, I myself, if only you will show yourselves men, will disclose a plan which will enable you to escape the great evils from which you are suffering.”</p>
4 When Umbrenus hadsaid this, the Allobroges were filled with the greatest hope and begged him to take pity on them. They declared that nothing was so dangerous or difficult that they would not joyfully undertake it, provided it would relieve their country of debt. 5 Thereupon he took them to the house of Decimus Brutus, which was not far from the Forum and not unsuitable for their plot because of the presence of Sempronia; Brutus, as it happened, was away from Rome at the time. 6 He also sent for Gabinius, that what he was to say might have greater weight. When he arrived, Umbrenus disclosed the plot, named the participants, and, to give the envoys greater courage, included many guiltless men of all classes; then, after promising his assistance, he sent them home.
41. The Allobrogesfor a long time were in doubt what course to pursue. 2 On theone hand was their debt, their love of war, and the hope of great booty in the eventof victory; but on the other were the senate’s greater resources, a course free from danger, and sure rewards in place of uncertain hopes. 3 All these considerations they weighed, but in the end the fortuneof the republic turned the scale. 4 They accordingly divulged the whole affair, just as it had come to their ears, to Quintus Fabius Sanga, their nation’s principal patron. 5 Cicero, on beinginformed of the plan through Sanga, instructed the envoys to feign a strong interestin the conspiracy, approach the other members of it, make liberal promises, and use every effort to show the guilt of the conspirators as clearly as possible.
42. At about this time there were disturbances in both Hither and Farther Gaul, as well as in the Picene and Bruttian districts and in Apulia; 2 for those whom Catiline had sent on ahead were doing everything at once, acting imprudently and almost insanely. By their meetings at night, by their transportation of arms and weapons, and by their bustle and general activity they caused more apprehension than actual danger. 3 The praetor Quintus Metellus Celer had brought several of their number to trial by virtue of a decree of the senate, and had thrown them into prison; and in Hither Gaul his example was followed by Gaius Murena, who was governing that province as a deputy.
43. At Rome Lentulus and the other leaders of the conspiracy, having got together a great force as it appeared to them, had arranged that when Catiline arrived in the region of Faesulae with his army, Lucius Bestia, tribune of the commons, should convoke an assembly and denounce the conduct of Cicero, throwing upon that best of consuls the odium of a dangerous war. That was to be the signal for the rest of the band of conspirators to carry out their several enterprises on the following night. 2 Now it is said that the parts assigned to them were the following: Statilius and Gabinius, with many followers, were to kindle fires at twelve important points in the city all at the same time, in order that in the ensuing confusion access might more easily be had to the consuland the others against whom their plots were directed. Cethegus was to beset Cicero’s door and assault him, while to others were assigned other victims.The eldest sons of several families, the greater number of whom belonged to the nobility, were to slay their fathers. Then, when the whole city was stunnedby the bloodshed and the fire, they were all to rush out and join Catiline.
3 During these preparations and arrangements Cethegus constantly complained of the inaction of his associates, insisting that by indecision and delay they were wasting great opportunities; that such a crisis called for action, not deliberation, and that if a few would aid him he would himself make an attack upon the senate-house, even though the rest were faint-hearted. 4 Being naturally aggressive, violent, and prompt to act, he set the highest value upon dispatch.
44. The Allobroges, as Cicero had recommended, were presented to the other conspirators by Gabinius. They demanded of Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, and also of Cassius an oath, which was to be sealed and taken to their countrymen, saying that otherwisethey could not readily be induced to embark upon so serious an enterprise. 2 The others complied without suspicion; Cassius, however, promisedto come to Gaul shortly, and then left the city just before the envoys.3 Lentulus sent with the Allobroges a certain Titus Volturcius of Crotona, so that on their way home they might confirm the alliance by exchanging pledges of fidelity with Catiline. 4 He gave Volturcius a letter for Catiline, of which the following is a copy: <span class3D0Text>5 “Who I am you will learn from my messenger. See to it that you bear in mind in what peril you are, and remember that you are a man. Consider what your plans demand; seek help from all, even from the lowest.” 6 He also sent him a verbal message, inquiring what his idea was in refusing the aid of slaves, when he had been declared a rebel by the senate. The preparations which he had ordered in the city had been made; he should not himself hesitate to come nearer the walls.
45. When arrangements had been thus perfected and the night for the departure appointed, Cicero, who had been informed of everything through the envoys, ordered the praetors Lucius Valerius Flaccus and Gaius Pomptinus to lie in wait for the Allobroges and their company at the Mulvian Bridge and arrest them. He fully explained why they were sent, but left the general course of action to their discretion. 2 The praetors, who were soldiers, quietly posted their guards, according to their orders, and secretly invested the bridge. 3 As soon as the envoys reached the spot with Volturcius and heard a shout on both sides of them at once, the Gauls quickly saw what was going on and immediately surrendered themselves to the praetors. 4 Volturcius at first urged on his companions, and sword in hand defended himself against superior numbers; but when he was deserted by the envoys, he at first earnestly besought Pomptinus, with whom he was acquainted, to save him, but finally, being in fear and despairing of his life, surrendered to the praetors as if to enemies.
46. When all was over, the details were quickly communicated to the consul by messengers; 2 but he was beset at the same time by deep anxiety as well as by great joy. For while he rejoiced in the knowledge that by the disclosure of the plot his country was saved from peril, he was also troubled, and uncertain what ought to be done, when citizens of such standing were found guilty of a heinous crime. He realized that their punishment would be a load upon his own shoulders; their impunity the ruin of the state.3 He, therefore, steeling his resolution, ordered Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, and Gabinius to be brought before him, as well as a certain Caeparius of Terracina, who was making ready to go to Apulia and stir the slaves to revolt. 4 The others came without delay; but Caeparius, who had left his home a short time before this, heard of the discovery of the plot and had made good his escape from the city. 5 The consul himself took Lentulus by the hand, because he was praetor, and led him to the temple of Concord, bidding the rest follow under guard. 6 Thither he summoned the senate, and when it had assembled in the full numbers he led in Volturcius and the envoys. He bade the praetor Flaccus to bring to the same place the portfolio, together with the letters which he had taken from the Allobroges.
47. When Volturcius was questioned about the journey and letters, and finally was asked what his design was and why he had entertained it, he at first invented another story and denied knowledge of the conspiracy. Afterwards, when invited to speak undera public pledge of pardon, he gave an exact account of the whole affair. He declared that he had been made a member of the cabal only a few days beforeby Gabinius and Caeparus, and knew no more than the envoys; except that he had often heard Gabinius mention Publius Autronius, Servius Sulla, Lucius Vargunteius, and many others as being in the plot. 2 The Gauls gave the same testimony, and when Lentulus denied his guilt they confronted him not only with his letter, but also with statements which he was in the habit of making, to the effect that in the Sibylline books the rule of Rome by three Cornelii was foretold; that there had already been Cinna and Sulla, and that he was the third who was destined to be master of the city. Furthermore, that this was the twentieth year since the burning of the Capitol, a year which because of portents the soothsayers had often declared would be stained with the blood of a civil war. Accordingly, when the letters had been read through, each man having first acknowledged his own seal, the senate voted that after Lentulus had resigned his office he and the rest should be held in free custody. 3 As a result of this, Lentulus was delivered to Publius Lentulus Spinther, who at the time was an aedile, 4 Cethegus to Quintus Cornificius, Statilius to Gaius Caesar, Gabinius to Marcus Crassus, and Caeparius (for he had just been caught and brought back) to a senator called Gnaeus Terentius.
48. Meanwhile, after the disclosure of the plot, the commons, who at first in their desire for a change of rulers had been only too eager for war, faced about and denounced the designs of Catiline, while they extolled Cicero to the skies, manifesting as much joy and exultation as if they had been rescued from slavery. 2 For although they thought that other acts of war would lead to booty rather than to loss, they regarded a general conflagration as cruel, monstrous, and especially calamitous to themselves, since their sole possessions were their daily food and clothing.
3 On the following day one Lucius Tarquinius was brought before the senate, a man who was said to have been arrested and brought back as he was making his way to Catiline.4 When he said that he would give evidence about the conspiracy if the state would promise him a pardon, and when he had been invited by the consul to tell what he knew, he gave the senate practically the same testimony as Volturcius about the intended fires, the murder of loyal men, and the marchof the rebels. He added that he had been sent by Marcus Crassus to advise Catiline not to be alarmed by the arrest of Lentulus, Cethegus, and the other conspirators, but to make the greater haste to come to the city, in order that he might thereby revive the spirits of the rest, and that they might the more easily be saved from their danger.
5 As soon, however,as Tarquinius named Crassus, a noble of great wealth and of the highest rank, some thought the charge incredible; others believed it to be true, but thought that in such a crisis so powerful a man ought to be propitiated rather than exasperated. There were many, too, who were under obligation to Crassus through private business relations. All these loudly insisted that the accusation was false, and demanded that the matter be laid before the senate. 6 Accordingly, on the motion of Cicero, the senate in full session voted that the testimony of Tarquinius appeared to be false; that he should be kept under guard and given no further hearing until he revealed the name of the man at whose instigation he had lied about a matter of such moment. 7 At the time some believed that this charge had been trumped up by Publius Autronius, in order that by naming Crassus and involving him in the danger he might shield the rest behind his influence. 8 Othersdeclared that Tarquinius had been instigated by Cicero, to prevent Crassus from taking up the cause of the wicked, after his custom, and embroiling the state. 9 I heard Crassus himself assert afterwards that this grave insult was put upon him by Cicero.
49. But at that very time Quintus Catulus and Gaius Piso tried in vain by entreaties, influence, and bribes to induce Cicero to have a false accusation brought against Gaius Caesar, either through the Allobroges or some other witness. 2 For both these men were bitter personal enemies of Caesar, Piso because when he was on trial for extortion Caesar had charged him with unjustly executing a native of Transpadine Gaul, while the hatred of Catulus arose from his candidacy for the pontificate, because after he had attained to a ripe old age and had held the highest offices, he had been defeated by Caesar, who was by comparison a mere youth. 3 Moreover, opportunity for an attack upon Caesar seemed favourable, because he was heavily in debton account of his eminent generosity in private life and lavish entertainments when in office. 4 But when they could not persuade the consulto such an outrageous step, they took the matter into their own hands, and by circulating falsehoods which they pretended to have heard from Volturcius or the Allobroges, stirred up such hostility to Caesar that some Roman knights, who were stationed as an armed guard about the temple of Concord, carried away either by the greatness of the danger or by their own excitability, drew their swords upon Caesar as he was leaving the senate, in order to make their loyalty to their country more conspicuous.
50. While all thiswas going on in the senate, and rewards were being voted to the envoys of the Allobroges and to Titus Volturcius, when their information had been verified, the freedmen of Lentulus and a few of his dependents were scouring the streets and trying to rouse the artisans and slaves to rescue him, while others were seeking out the leaders of bands who were wont to cause public disturbancesfor hire. 2 Cethegus, also, was sending messengers to his slaves and freedmen, a picked and trained body of men, entreating them to take a bold step, get their band together, and force their way to him with arms.
3 When the consul learned of these designs, stationing guards as the time and circumstances demanded and convoking the senate, he put the question what should be done with the men who had been delivered into custody, the senate having shortly before this in a full meeting resolved that they were guilty of treason to their country. 4 On the present occasion Decimus Junius Silanus, who was consul-elect, and hence the first to be called upon for his opinion regarding those who were held in custody, as well as about Lucius Cassius, Publius Furius, Publius Umbrenus, and Titus Annius in case they should be caught, had recommended that they be put to death; later, profoundly influenced by the speech of Gaius Caesar, he said that, when a division was called for, he would give his vote for the proposal of Tiberius Nero, who had advised merely that the guards be increased and the question reopened. 5 But Caesar, whenhis turn came and the consul asked him for his opinion, spoke in the following terms:
51. “Fathers of the Senate, all men who deliberate upon difficult questions ought to be free from hatred and friendship, anger and pity. 2 When these feelings stand in the way the mind cannot easily discern the truth, and no mortal man has ever served at the same time his passions and his best interests. 3 When you apply your intellect, it prevails; if passion possesses you, it holds sway, and the mind is impotent. 4 I might mention many occasions, Fathers of the Senate, when kings and peoples under the influence of wrath or pity have made errors of judgment; but I prefer to remind you of times when our forefathers, resisting the dictates of passion, have acted justly and in order. 5 In the Macedonian war, which we waged with king Perses, the greatand glorious community of the Rhodians, which owed its growth to the support ofthe Roman people, was unfaithful to us and hostile. But after the war was over and the question of the Rhodians was under discussion, our ancestors let them go unpunished for fear that some might say that the wealth of the Rhodians, rather than resentment for the wrong they had done, had led to the declaration of war. 6 So, too, in all the Punic wars, although the Carthaginians both in time of peace and in the course of truces had often done many abominable deeds, the Romans never retaliated when they had the opportunity, but they inquired rather what conduct would be consistent with their dignity than how far the law would allow them to go in taking vengeance on their enemies. 7 You likewise, Fathers of the Senate, must beware of letting the guilt of Publius Lentulusand the rest have more weight with you than your own dignity, and of taking more thought for your anger than for your good name. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>8 If a punishment commensurate with their crimes can be found, I favour a departure from precedent; but if the enormity of their guilt surpasses all men’s imagination, I should advise limiting ourselves to such penalties as the law has established.
9 “The greater number of those who have expressed their opinions before me have deplored the lot of the commonwealth in finished and noble phrases; they have dwelt upon the horrors of war, the wretched fate of the conquered, the rape of maidens and boys, children torn from their parents’ arms, matrons subjected to the will of the victors, temples and homes pillaged, bloodshed and fire; in short arms and corpses everywhere, gore and grief. 10 But, O ye immortal gods! what was the purpose of such speeches? Was it to make you detest the conspiracy? You think that a man who has not been affected by a crime so monstrous and so cruel will be fired by a speech! 11 Nay, not so; no mortal man thinks his own wrongs unimportant; many, indeed, are wont to resent them more than is right. 12 But not all men, Fathers of the Senate, are allowed the same freedom of action. If the humble, who pass their lives in obscurity, commit any offence through anger, it is known to few; their fame and fortune are alike. But the actions of those who hold great power, and pass their lives in a lofty station, are known to allthe world.13 So it comes to pass that in the highest position there is the least freedom of action. 14 There neither partiality nor dislike is in place, and anger least of all; for what in others is called wrath, this in a ruler is termed insolence and cruelty.
15 “For my own part, Fathers of the Senate, I consider no tortures sufficient for the crimes of these men; but most mortals remember only that which happens last, and in the case of godless men forget their guilt and descant upon the punishment they have received, if it is a little more severe than common. 16 <span lang3DEN>I have no doubt that Decimus Silanus, a gallant and brave man, was led by patriotism to say what he did say, and that in a matter of such moment he showed neither favour nor enmity; so well do I know the man’s character and moderation. 17 Yet his proposal seems to me, I will not say cruel (for what could be cruel in the case of such men?) but foreign to the customs of our country. 18 <span lang3DEN>For surely, Silanus, it was either fear or the gravity of the offence which impelled you, a consul elect, to favour a novel form of punishment. 19 <span lang3DEN>As regards fear it is needless to speak, especially since, thanksto the precautions of our distinguished consul, we have such strong guards under arms. 20 So far as the penalty is concerned, I can say with truth that amid grief and wretchedness death is a relief from woes, not a punishment; that it puts an end to all mortal ills and leaves no room either for sorrow or for joy.
21 “But, in the name of Heaven! why did you not, Silanus, add the recommendation that they first be scourged? 22 Was it because the Porcian law forbids? Yes, but there are other laws which provide that Roman citizens, even when found guilty, shall not lose their lives, but shall be permitted to go into exile. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>23 Was it because it is more grievous to be scourged than to be killed? But what punishment is rigorous or too grievous for men convicted of so great a crime? 24 <span lang3DEN>If, however, it was because scourging is the lighter punishment, what consistency is there in respecting the law in the lesser point when you have disregarded it in the greater? 25 But, you may say, who will complain of a decree which is passed against traitors to their country? Time, I answer, the lapse of years, and Fortune, whose caprice rules the nations. 26 Whatever befalls these prisoners will be well deserved; but you, Fathers of the Senate, are called upon to consider how your action will affect other criminals. 27 All bad precedents have originated in cases which were good; but when the control of the government falls into the hands of men who are incompetent or bad, your new precedent is transferred from those who well deserve and merit such punishment to the undeserving and blameless.
28 “The Lacedaemonians, after they had conquered the Athenians, set over them thirty men to carry on their government. 29 These men began at first by putting to death without a trial the most wicked and generally hated citizens, whereat the people rejoiced greatly and declared that it was well done. 30 <span lang3DEN>But afterwards their licence gradually increased, and the tyrantsslew good and bad alike at pleasure and intimidated the rest. 31 <span lang3DEN>Thus the nation was reduced to slavery and had to pay a heavy penalty for its foolish rejoicing. 32 Within our own memory, when the conqueror Sulla ordered the execution of Damasippus and others of that kind, who had become prominent at the expense of the state, who did not commend this action? All declared that those criminal intriguers, who had vexed the country with their civil strife, deserved their fate. 33 But that was the beginning of great bloodshed; for whenever anyone coveted a man’s housein town or country, he contrived to have him enrolled among the proscribed. 34 <span lang3DEN>Thus those who had exulted in the death of Damasippus were themselves before long hurried off to execution, and the massacre did not end until Sulla glutted all his followers with riches.
35 “For my own part, I fear nothing of that kind for Marcus Tullius or for our times, but in a great commonwealth there are many different natures. 36 It ispossible that at another time, when someone else is consul and is likewise in command of an army, some falsehood may be believed to be true. When the consul, with this precedent before him, shall draw the sword in obedience to the senate’s decree, who shall limit or restrain him?
37 “Our ancestors, Fathers of the Senate, were never lacking either in wisdom or courage, and yet pride did not keep them from adopting foreign institutions, provided they were honourable. 38 They took their offensive and defensive weapons from the Samnites, the badges of their magistrates for the most part from the Etruscans. In fine, whatever they found suitable among allies or foes, they put in practice at home with the greatest enthusiasm, preferring to imitate rather than envy the successful. 39 But in that same age, following the usage of Greece, they appliedthe scourge to citizens and inflicted the supreme penalty upon those found guilty. 40 <span lang3DEN>Afterwards, when the state reached maturity and because of its large population factions prevailed; when the blameless began to be oppressed and other wrongs of that kind were perpetrated: then they devised the Porcian law and other laws, which allowed the condemned the alternative of exile. 41 <span lang3DEN>This seems to me, Fathers of the Senate, a particularly cogent reason why we should not adopt a new policy. 42 Surely there was greater merit and wisdom in those men, who from slight resources created this mighty empire, than in us, who can barely hold what they gloriously won.
43 “Do I then recommend that the prisoners be allowed to depart and swell Catiline’s force? By no means! This, rather, is my advice: that their goods be confiscated and that they themselves be kept imprisoned in the strongest of the free towns; further, that no one hereafter shall refer their case to the senate or bring it before the people, under pain of being considered by the senate to have designs against the welfare of the state and the common safety.”
52. After Caesar had finished speaking, the rest briefly expressed their adherence to one or another of the various proposals. But Marcus Porcius Cato, when called upon for his opinion, spoke to the following purport:
2 “My feelings are very different, Fathers of the Senate, when I turn my mind to the plot and the danger we are in, and when I reflect upon the recommendations of some of our number. 3 The speakers appear to me to have dwelt upon the punishment of these men who have plotted warfare upon their country, parents, altars, and hearths; but the situation warns us rather to take precautions against them than to argue about what we are to do with them. 4 For in the case of other offences you may proceed against them after they have been committed; with this, unless you take measures to forestall it, in vain will you appeal to the laws when once it has been consummated. Once a city has been taken nothing is left to the vanquished.
5 “Nay, in the nameof the immortal gods I call upon you, who have always valued your houses, villas, statues, and paintings more highly than your country; if you wish to retainthe treasures to which you cling, of whatsoever kind they may be, if you even wish to provide peace for the enjoyment of your pleasures, wake up at last and lay hold of the reins of state. 6 Here is no question of revenues or the wrongs of our allies; our lives and liberties are at stake.7 Oftentimes, Fathers of the Senate, I have spoken at great length before this body; I have often deplored the extravagance and greed of our citizens, and in that way I have made many men my enemies.8 I, whohad never granted to myself or to my impulses indulgence for any transgression, couldnot readily condone misdeeds prompted by another’s passion. 9 But although you were wont to give little weight to my words, yetthe state was unshaken; its prosperity made good your neglect.
10 “Now, however, the question before us is not whether our morals are good or bad, nor how greator glorious the empire of the Roman people is, but whether all that we have, however we regard it, is to be ours, or with ourselves is to belong to the enemy.11 At this point (save the mark!) someone hints at gentleness and long-suffering! But in very truth we have long since lost the true names for things. It is precisely because squandering the goods of others is called generosity, and recklessness in wrong doing is called courage, that the republic is reduced to extremities. 12 Let these men by all means, since such is the fashion of the time, be liberal at the expense of our allies, let them be merciful to plunderers of the treasury; but let them not be prodigal of our blood, and in sparing a few scoundrels bring ruin upon all good men.
13 “In fine and finished phrases did Gaius Caesar a moment ago before this body speak of life and death, regarding as false, I presume, the tales which are told of the Lower World, where they say that the wicked take a different path from the good, and dwell in regions that are gloomy, desolate, unsightly, and full of fears. <span class3D0Text>14 <span lang3DEN>Therefore he recommended that the goods of the prisoners be confiscated, and that they themselves be imprisoned in the free towns, doubtless through fear that if they remained in Rome the adherents of the plot or a hired mob would rescue them by force. 15 As if, indeed, there were base and criminal men only in our city and not all over Italy, or as if audacity had not greatest strength where the power to resist it is weakest! 16 <span lang3DEN>Therefore, this advice is utterly futile if Caesar fears danger from the conspirators; but if amid such general fear he alone has none, I have the more reason to fear for you and for myself. 17 Be assured, then, that when you decide the fate of Publius Lentulus and the rest, you will at the same time be passing judgment on Catiline’s army and all the conspirators. 18 The more vigorous your action, the less will be their courage; but if they detect the slightest weakness on your part, they will all be here immediately, filled with reckless daring. 19 <span lang3DEN>Do not suppose that it was by arms that our forefathers raised our country from obscurity to greatness. 20 If that were so, we should have a much fairer state than theirs, since we have a greater numberof citizens and allies than they possessed, to say nothing of arms and horses.21 <span lang3DEN>But there were other qualities which made them great, which we donot possess at all: efficiency at home, a just rule abroad, in counsel an independent spirit free from guilt or passion. 22 In place of these we have extravagance and greed, public poverty and private opulence. We extol wealth and foster idleness. We make no distinction between good men and bad, and ambition appropriates all the prizes of merit. 23 <span lang3DEN>And no wonder! When each of you schemes for his own private interests, when you are slaves to pleasure in your homes and to money or influence here, the natural result is an attack upon the defenceless republic.
24 “But I let that pass. Citizens of the highest rank have conspired to fire their native city, they stir up to war the Gauls, bitterest enemies of the Roman people. The leaderof the enemy with his army is upon us. 25 Do you even now hesitate and doubtfully ask yourselves what is to be done with foemen taken within your walls? 26 Have compassion upon them, I conjure you (they are but young men, led astray by ambition), and even let them go, taking their army with them! 27 Of a truth, if they should resort to war, that gentleness and long-suffering of yours would result in suffering. 28 <span lang3DEN>No doubt the situation is a terrible one, you say, but you are not afraid of it. Nay, but you do fear it exceedingly, though from slothfulnessand weakness of spirit you hesitate, waiting one for the other, doubtless trusting to the immortal gods, who have often saved our country in moments of extreme danger. 29 Not by vows nor womanish entreaties is the help of the gods secured; it is always through watchfulness, vigorous action, and wisdom in counsel that success comes. When you abandon yourself to cowardice and baseness, it is vain to call upon the gods; they are offended and hostile.
30 “In the days of our forefathers Aulus Manlius Torquatus, while warring with the Gauls, ordered the execution of his own son, because he had fought against the enemy contrary to orders, 31 and the gallant young man paid the penalty for too great valour with his life. 32 Do you hesitate what punishment to inflict upon the most ruthless traitors? No doubt their past lives have been such as to palliate this crime! 33 <span lang3DEN>By all means spare Lentulus because of his rank, if he ever spared his own chastity, his good name, or anyone, god or man. Pardon the youth of Cethegus, if this is not the second time that he has made war upon his country. 34 <span lang3DEN>And what shall I say of Gabinius, Statilius, and Caeparius, who would never have formed such designs against the republic if they had ever respected anything?
35 “Finally, Fathers of the Senate, if (Heaven help us!) there were any room for error I should be quite willing to let you learn wisdom by experience, since you scorn my advice. But as it is, we are beset on every side. Catiline with his army is at our throats; other foes are within our walls, aye, in the very heart of Rome. Neither preparations nor plans can be kept secret; therefore the more need of haste. 36 <span lang3DEN>This, then, is my recommendation: whereas our country has been subjected to the greatest peril through the abominable plot of wicked citizens, and whereas they have been proven guilty by the testimony of Titus Volturcius and the envoys of the Allobroges, and have confessed that they have planned murder, arson, and other fearful and cruel crimes against their fellow citizens and their country, let those who have confessed be treated as though they had been caught red-handed in capital offences, and be punished after the manner of our forefathers.”
53. As soon as Cato had taken his seat, all the ex-consuls, as well as a great part of the other senators, praised his proposal and lauded his courage to the skies, while they taxed one another with timorousness. Cato was hailed as great and noble, and a decree of the senate was passed in accordance with his recommendation.
2 For my own part, as I read and heard of the many illustrious deeds of the Roman people at home and abroad, on land and sea, it chanced that I was seized by a strong desire of finding out what quality in particular had been the foundation of so great exploits. 3 I knew that often with a handful of men they had encountered great armies of the enemy; I was aware that with small resources they had waged wars with mighty kings; also that they had often experienced the cruelty of Fortune; that the Romans had been surpassed by the Greeks in eloquence and by the Gauls in warlike glory. 4 After long reflection I became convinced that it had all been accomplished by the eminent merit of a few citizens; that it was due to them that poverty had triumphed over riches, and a few over a multitude. 5 But after the state had become demoralized by extravagance and sloth, it was the commonwealth in its turn that was enabled by its greatness to sustain the shortcomings of its generals and magistrates, and for a long time, as when mothers are exhausted by child-bearing, no one at all was produced at Rome who was great in merit. 6 But within my own memory there have appeared two men of towering merit, though of diverse character, Marcus Cato and Gaius Caesar. As regards these men, since the occasion has presented itself, it is not my intention to pass them by in silence, or fail to give, to the best of my ability, an account of their disposition and character.
54. In birth then,in years and in eloquence, they were about equal; in greatness of soul they were evenly matched, and likewise in renown, although the renown of each was different. 2 Caesar was held great because of his benefactions and lavish generosity, Cato for the uprightness of his life. 3 The former became famous for his gentleness and compassion, the austerity of the latter had brought him prestige. Caesar gained glory by giving, helping, and forgiving; Cato by never stooping to bribery. One was a refuge for the unfortunate, the other a scourge for the wicked. The good nature of the one was applauded, the steadfastness of the other. 4 Finally, Caesar had schooled himself to work hard and sleep little, to devote himself to the welfare of his friends and neglect his own, to refuse nothing which was worth the giving. He longed for great power, an army, a new war to give scope forhis brilliant merit. 5 Cato, on the contrary, cultivated self-control, propriety, but above all austerity. 6 He did not vie with the rich in riches nor in intrigue with the intriguer, but with the active in good works, with the self-restrained in moderation, with the blameless in integrity. He preferred to be, rather than to seem, virtuous; hence the less he sought fame, the more it pursued him.
55. After the senate had adopted the recommendation of Cato, as I have said, the consul thought it best to forestall any new movement during the approaching night. He therefore ordered the triumvirs to make the necessary preparations for the execution.2 After setting guards, he personally led Lentulus to the dungeon, while the praetors performed the same office for the others.
3 In the prison, when you have gone up a little way towards the left, there is a place called the Tullianum, about twelve feet below the surface of the ground. 4 It is enclosed on all sides by walls, and above it is a chamber with a vaulted roof of stone. Neglect, darkness, and stench make it hideous and fearsome to behold. 5 Into this place Lentulus was let down, and then the executioners carried out their orders and strangled him. 6 Thus that patrician, of the illustrious stock of the Cornelii, who had held consular authority at Rome, ended his life in a manner befitting his character and his crimes. Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, and Caeparius suffered the same punishment.
56. While this wastaking place in Rome, Catiline combined the forces which he had brought with him with those which Manlius already had, and formed two legions, 2 filling up the cohorts so far as the number of his soldiers permitted. Then distributing among them equally such volunteers or conspirators as came to the camp, he soon completed the full quota of the legions, although in the beginning he had no more than two thousand men. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>3 But only about a fourth part of the entire force was provided with regular arms. The others carried whatever weapons chance had given them; namely, javelins or lances,or in some cases pointed stakes.
4 When Antonius wasdrawing near with his army, Catiline marched through the mountains, moved his camp now towards the city and now in the direction of Gaul, and gave the enemy no opportunity for battle, hoping shortly to have a large force if the conspirators at Rome succeeded in carrying out their plans. 5 Meanwhile he refused to enroll slaves, a great number of whom flocked to him at first, because he had confidence in the strength of the conspiracy and at the same time thought it inconsistent with his designs to appear to have given runaway slaves a share in a citizens’ cause.
57. But when news reached the camp that the plot had been discovered at Rome, and that Lentulus, Cethegus, and the others whom I mentioned had been done to death, very manyof those whom the hope of pillage or desire for revolution had led to take up arms began to desert. The remainder Catiline led by forced marches over rugged mountains to the neighbourhood of Pistoria, intending to escape secretly by cross-roads into Transalpine Gaul. 2 But Quintus Metellus Celer, with three legions, was on the watch in the district of Pisa, inferring from the difficulty of the enemy’s position that he would take the very course which I have mentioned. 3 Accordingly, when he learned through deserters in what direction Catiline was going, he quickly moved his camp and took up a position at the foot of the very mountains from which the conspirator would have to descend in his flight into Gaul. 4 Antonius also was not far distant, since he was following the fleeing rebels over more level ground with an army which, though large, was lightly equipped. 5 Now, when Catiline perceived that he was shut in between the mountains and the forces of his enemies, that his plans in the city had failed, and that he had hope neither of escape nor reinforcements, thinking it best in such a crisis to try the fortune of battle, he decided to engage Antonius as soon as possible. Accordingly he assembled his troops and addressed them in a speech of the following purport:
58. “I am well aware, soldiers, that words do not supply valour, and that a spiritless army is not made vigorous, or a timid one stout-hearted, by a speech from its commander. 2 Only that degree of courage which is in each man’s heart either by disposition or by habit, is wont to be revealed in battle. It is vain to exhort one who is roused neither by glory nor by dangers; the fear he feels in his heart closes ears. 3 I have, however, called you together to offer a few words of advice, and at the same time to explain the reason for my resolution.
4 “You know perfectly well, soldiers, how great is the disaster that the incapacity and cowardice of Lentulus have brought upon himself and us, and how, waiting for reinforcements from the city, I could not march into Gaul. 5 At this present time, moreover, you understand as well as I do in what condition our affairs stand.6 Two hostile armies, one towards Rome, the other towards Gaul, block our way. We cannot remain longer where we are, however much we may desire it, because of lack of grain and other necessities. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>7 Wherever we decide to go, we must hew a path with the sword.8 Therefore I counsel you to be brave and ready of spirit, and when you enter the battle to remember that you carry in your own right hands riches, honour, glory; yea, even freedom and your nature land. 9 If we win, complete security will be ours, supplies will abound, free towns and colonies will open their gates; but if we yield to fear, the very reverse will be true:10 <span lang3DEN>no place and no friend will guard the man whom arms could not protect. 11 <span lang3DEN>Moreover, soldiers, we and our opponents are not facing the same exigency. We are battling for country, for freedom, for life; theirs is a futile contest, to uphold the power of a few men. 12 March on, therefore, with the greater courage, mindful of your former valour.
13 “You might have passed your life in exile and in utter infamy, at Rome some of you might look to others for aid after losing your estates; 14 but since such conditions seemed base and intolerable to true men, you decided upon this course. 15 If you wish to forsake it, you have need of boldness; none save the victor exchanges war for peace. 16 To hope for safety in flight when you have turned away from the enemy the arms which should protect your body, is surely the height of madness. 17 In battle the greatest danger always threatens those who show the greatest fear; boldnessis a breastwork.
18 “When I think onyou, my soldiers, and weigh your deeds, I have high hopes of victory. 19 <span lang3DEN>Your spirit, youth, and valour give me heart, not to mention necessity, which makes even the timid brave. 20 In this narrow defile the superior numbers of the enemy cannot surround us. 21 But if Fortune frowns upon your bravery, take care not to die unavenged. Do not be captured and slaughtered like cattle, but, fighting like heroes, leave the enemy a bloody and tearful victory.”
59. When he had thus spoken, after a brief pause he ordered the trumpets to sound and led his army in order of battle down into the plain. Then, after sending away all the horses, in order to make the danger equal for all and thus to increase the soldiers’ courage, himself on foot like the rest he drew up the army as the situation and his numbers demanded. 2 Since, namely, the plain was shut in on the left by mountains and on the right by rough, rocky ground, he postedº eight cohorts in front and held the rest in reserve in closer order. 3 From these he took the centurions, all picked men and reservists,as well as the best armed of the ordinary soldiers, and placed them in the front rank. He gave the charge of the right wing to Gaius Manlius, and that of the left to a man of Faesulae. He himself with his freedmen and the camp-servants took his place beside the eagle, which, it was said, had been in the army of Gaius Marius during the war with the Cimbri.
4 On the other sideGaius Antonius, who was ill with the gout and unable to enter the battle, heº trusted his army to Marcus Petreius, his lieutenant. 5 Petreius placed in the van the veteran cohorts which he had enrolled because of the outbreak, and behind them the rest of his army in reserve. Riding up and down upon his horse, he addressed each his men by name, exhorted him, and begged him to remember that he was fighting against unarmed highwaymen in defence of his country, his children, his altars, and his hearth. 6 Being a man of military experience, who had served in the army with high distinction for more than thirty years as tribune, prefect, lieutenant, or commander, he personally knew the greater number of his soldiers and their valorous deeds of arms, and by mentioning these he fired the spirits of his men.
60. When Petreius,after making all his preparations, gave the signal with the trumpet, he ordered his cohorts to advance slowly; the army of the enemy followed their example. 2 After they had reached a point where battle could be joined by the skirmishers, the hostile armies rushed upon each other with loud shouts, then threw down their pikes and took to the sword. 3 The veterans, recalling their old-time prowess, advanced bravely to close quarters; the enemy, not lacking in courage, stood their ground, and there was a terrific struggle. 4 Meanwhile Catiline, with his light-armed troops, was busy in the van, aided those who were hard pressed, summoned fresh troops to replace the wounded, had an eye to everything, and at the same time fought hard himself, often striking down the foe — thus performing at once the duties of a valiant soldier and of a skilful leader.
5 When Petreius sawthat Catiline was making so much stronger a fight than he had expected, he led his praetorian cohort against the enemy’s centre, threw them into confusion, and slew those who resisted in various parts of the field; then he attacked the rest on both flanks at once. 6 Manlius and the man from Faesulae were among the first to fall, sword in hand. 7 When Catiline saw that his army was routed and that he was left with a mere handful of men, mindful of his birth and former rank he plunged into the thickest of the enemy and there fell fighting, his body pierced through and through.
61. When the battle was ended it became evident what boldness and resolution had pervaded Catiline’s army. 2 For almost every man covered with his body, when life was gone, the position which he had taken when alive at the beginning of the conflict. 3 A few, indeed, in the centre, whom the praetorian cohort had scattered, lay a little apart from the rest, but the wounds even of these were in front. 4 But Catiline was found far in advance of his men amid a heap of slain foemen, still breathing slightly, and showing in his face the indomitable spirit which had animated him when alive. 5 Finally, out of the whole army not a single citizen of free birth was taken during the battle or in flight, 6 showing that all had valued their own lives no more highly than those of their enemies.
7 But the army of the Roman people gained no joyful nor bloodless victory, for all the most valiant had either fallen in the fight or come off with severe wounds. 8 Many, too, who had gone from the camp to visit the field or to pillage, on turning over the body of the rebels found now a friend, now a guest or kinsman; some also recognized their personal enemies. 9 Thus the whole army was variously affected with sorrow and grief, rejoicing and lamentation.
THE WAR WITH JUGURTHA
Translated by J. C. Rolfe
The Jugurtha was written after the Catiline and published circa 41 BC. It concerns the war against Jugurtha (160 c.– 104 BC), the King of Numidia, from c. 112 BC to 105 BC. The text gives important information regarding the politics of Marius and Sulla and the beginning of their rivalry. Along withThe War with Catiline, this is the only other complete surviving work of Sallust, in which the author once again uses history as a vehicle for his judgement on the slow destruction of Roman morality and politics.
‘Jugurtha in chains before Sulla’, from Sallust’s La conjuracion de Catilina y la Guerra de Jugurta (Madrid, 1772)
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (c. 138 BC – 78 BC) was a Roman general and statesman, who had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as reviving the dictatorship. Sulla was awarded a grass crown, the most prestigious and rarest Roman military honour, during the Social War.
THE WAR WITH JUGURTHA
1. Without reason do mankind complain of their nature, on the ground that it is weak and of short duration and ruled rather by chance than by virtue. 2 For reflection would show on the contrary that nothing is greater or more excellent, and that nature has more often found diligence lacking in men than strength or endurance in itself. 3 But the leader and ruler of man’s life is the mind, and when this advances to glory by the path of virtue, it has power and potency in abundance, as well as fame; and it needs not fortune, since fortune can neither give to any man honesty, diligence, and other good qualities, nor can she take them away. 4 But if through the lure of base desires the mind has sunk into sloth and the pleasures of the body, when it has enjoyed ruinous indulgence for a season, when strength, time, and talents have been wasted through indolence, the weakness of human nature is accused, and the guilty shift their own blame to circumstances.
5 But if men had asgreat regard for honourable enterprises as they have ardour in pursuing what is foreign to their interests, and bound to be unprofitable and often even dangerous, they would control fate rather than be controlled by it, and would attain to that height of greatness where from mortals their glory would make them immortal.
2. For just as mankind is made up of body and soul, so all our acts and pursuits partake of the nature either of the body or of the mind. 2 Therefore notable beauty and great riches, as well as bodily strength and all other gifts of that kind, soon pass away, but the splendid achievements of the intellect, like the soul, are everlasting.
3. In short, the goods of the body and of fortune have an end as well as a beginning, and they all rise and fall, wax and wane; but the mind, incorruptible, eternal, ruler of mankind, animates and controls all things, yet is itself not controlled. 4 Therefore we can marvel the more at the perversity of those who pass their life in riotous living and idleness, given over to the pleasures of the body, but allow the mind, which is better and greater than anything else in man’s nature, to grow dull from neglect and inaction; especially when thereare so many and so varied intellectual pursuits by which the highest distinction may be won.
3 But among these pursuits, in my opinion, magistracies and military commands, in short all public offices, are least desirable in these times, since honour is not bestowed upon merit, while those who have gained it wrongfully are neither safe nor the more honourable because of it. 2 For to rule one’s country or subjects by force, although you both have the power to correct abuses, and do correct them, is nevertheless tyrannical; especially since all attempts at change foreshadow bloodshed, exile, and other horrors of war. 3 Moreover, to struggle in vain and after wearisome exertion to gain nothing but hatred, is the height of folly, unless haply one is possessed by a dishonourable and pernicious passion for sacrificing one’s personal honour and liberty to the power of a few men.
4. But among intellectual pursuits, the recording of the events of the past is especially serviceable; but of that it becomes me to say nothing, 2 both because many men have already spoken of its value, and in order that no one may suppose that I am led by vanity to eulogize my own favourite occupation. 3 I suppose, too, that since I have resolved to pass my life aloof from public affairs, some will apply to this arduous and useful employment of mine the name of idleness, certainly those who regard courting the people and currying favour by banquets as the height of industriousness. 4 But if such men will only bear in mind in what times I was elected to office, what men of merit were unable to attain the same honour and what sort of men have since come into the senate, they will surely be convinced that it is rather from justifiable motives than from indolence that I have changed my opinion, and that greater profit will accrue to our country from my inactivity than from others’ activity.
5 I have often heard that Quintus Maximus, Publius Scipio, and other eminent men of our country, werein the habit of declaring that their hearts were set mightily aflame for the pursuit of virtue whenever they gazed upon the masks of their ancestors. 6 Of course they did not mean to imply that the wax or the effigy had any such power over them, but rather that it is the memory of great deeds that kindles in the breasts of noble men this flame that cannot be quelled until they by their own prowess have equalled the fame and glory of their forefathers.
7 But in these degenerate days, on the contrary, who is there that does not vie with his ancestors in riches and extravagance rather than in uprightness and diligence? Even the “new men,” who in former times already relied upon worth to outdo the nobles, now make their way to power and distinction by intrigue and open fraud rather than by noble practices; 8 just as if a praetorship, a consulship, or anything else of the kind were distinguished and illustrious in and of itself and were not valued according to the merit of those who live up to it. 9 But in giving expression to my sorrow and indignation at the morals of our country I have spoken too freely and wandered too far from my subject. To this I now return.
5. I propose to write of the war which the people of Rome waged with Jugurtha, king of the Numidians: first, because it was long, sanguinary and of varying fortune; and secondly, because then for the first time resistance was offered to the insolence of the nobles — 2 the beginning of a struggle which threw everything, human and divine, into confusion, and rose to such a pitch of frenzy that civil discord endedin war and the devastation of Italy. 3 But before actually beginning such a narrative, let me recall a few earlier events, in order that everything may be placed in a better light for our understanding and may bethe more clearly revealed.
4 During the secondPunic war, when Hannibal, leader of the Carthaginians, had dealt Italy’s power the heaviest blow since the Roman nation attained its full stature, Masinissa, king of Numidia, had become the friend of Publius Scipio, afterwards surnamed Africanus because of his prowess, and performed many illustrious deeds of arms. In return for this, after the defeat of the Carthaginians and the capture of Syphax, whose dominion in Africa was great and extensive, the Roman people gave Masinissa as a free gift all the cities and territories that he had taken in war. 5Consequently Masinissa was ever our true and loyal friend. But his reign and his life ended together. 6 His son Micipsa then became sole ruler, since his brothers Mastanabal and Gulussa had fallen illand died. 7 Micipsa begot Adherbal and Hiempsal, and brought up in the palace, in the same manner as his own children, a son of his brother Mastanabal called Jugurtha, whom Masinissa in his will had allowed to remain a commoner because he was the offspring of a concubine.
6. As soon as Jugurtha grew up, endowed as he was with physical strength, a handsome person, but above all with a vigorous intellect, he did not allow himself to be spoiled by luxury or idleness, but following the custom of that nation, he rode, he hurled the javelin, he contended with his fellows in foot-races; and although he surpassed them all in renown, he nevertheless won the love of all. Besides this, he devoted much time to the chase, he was the first or among the first to strike down the lion and other wild beasts, he distinguished himself greatly, but spoke little of his own exploits.
2 At first Micipsa was delighted with this conduct, believing that the prowess of Jugurtha would contribute to the glory of his kingdom; but when he realized that the man was young and constantly growing in power, while he himself was advanced in years and his children were small, he was seriously troubled by the situation and gave it constant thought. 3 He dreaded the natural disposition of mankind, which is greedy for power and eager to gratify its heart’s desire, while his own years and the youthfulness of his sons offered that opportunity which through the hope of gain leads astray even men of moderate ambition. He observed too the devotion which Jugurtha had inspiredin the Numidians, and was apprehensive of some rebellion or war from that source, if by treachery he should cause the death of such a man.
7. Embarrassed by these problems, and seeing that one so dear to the people could not be put out ofway by violence or by stratagem, he resolved, inasmuch as Jugurtha was full of energy and eager for military glory, to expose him to dangers and thus put fortune to the proof. 2 Accordingly, when Micipsa sent cavalry and infantry to aid the Romans in the war with Numantia, he gave Jugurtha command of the Numidians whom he sent to Spain, hoping that he would easily fall a victim either to a desire to display his valour or to the ruthless foe.
3 But the result was not at all what he had expected; 4 for Jugurtha, who had an active and keen intellect, soon became acquainted with the character of Publius Scipio, who then commanded the Romans, and with the tactics of the enemy. Then by hard labour and attention to duty, at the same time by showing strict obedience and often courting dangers, he shortly acquired such a reputation that he became very popular with our soldiers and a great terror to the Numantians. 5 In fact, he was both valiant in war and wise in counsel, a thing most difficult to achieve, for most often wisdom through caution leads to timorousness and valour through boldness to rashness. 6 Therefore Scipio relied upon Jugurtha for almost all difficult undertakings, treated him as a friend, and grew more and more attached to him every day, since the young Numidian failed neither in judgment nor in any enterprise. 7 He had, besides, a generous nature and a ready wit, qualities by which he had bound many Romans to him in intimate friendship.
8. At that time there were a great many in our army, both new men and nobles, who cared more for riches than for virtue and self-respect; they were intriguers at home, influential with our allies, rather notorious than respected. These men fired Jugurtha’s ambitious spirit by holding out hopes that if king Micipsa should die, he might gain the sole power in Numidia, since he himself stood first in merit, while at Rome anything could be bought.
2 Now when Numantiahad been destroyed and Publius Scipio determined to disband his auxiliary troops and return to Rome himself, after giving Jugurtha gifts and commending him in the highest terms before the assembled soldiers, he took him into his tent. There he privately advised the young man to cultivate the friendship of theRoman people at large rather than that of individual Roman citizens, and not to form the habit of bribery. It was dangerous, he said, to buy from a few what belonged to the many. If Jugurtha would continue as he had begun, fame and a throne would come to him unsought; but if he acted too hastily, he would bring about his ruin by means of his own money.
9. After speaking in this way, Scipio dismissed the young man with a letter to be delivered to Micipsa, the purport of which was this: 2 “The valour of your Jugurtha in the Numantine war was most conspicuous, as I am sure you will be glad to learn. To us he is dear because of his services, and we shall use our best efforts to make him beloved also by the senate and people of Rome. As your friend I congratulate you; in him you have a hero worthy of yourself and ofhis grandfather Masinissa.”
3 Then the king, upon learning from the general’s letter that the reports which had come to his ears were true, was led both by Jugurtha’s merits and by his influential position to change his plans and attempt to win the young man by kindness. He adopted him at once and in his will named joint heir with his sons. 4 But a few years later and upon his own motion the king, then enfeebled by years and illness and realizing that the end of his life was near, is said to have talked with Jugurtha in the presence of his friends and kinsfolk, including his sons Adherbal and Hiempsal, in some such terms as the following.
10. “When you werea small boy, Jugurtha, an orphan without prospects or means, I took you into the royal household, believing that because of my kindness you would love me as if you were my own child. And I was not mistaken; 2 for, to say training of your other great and noble actions, of late on your return from Numantia you have conferred honour upon me and my realm by your glory, and by your prowess have made the Romans still more friendly to Numidia than before; while in Spain the name of our family has been given new life. Finally, by the glory you have won you have overcome envy, a most difficult feat for mortal man. 3Now, since nature is bringing my life to its close, I conjure and implore you by this right hand, by the loyalty due to the kingdom, hold dear these youths who are your kinsmen by birth and through my favour are your brothers; and do not desire to make new friends among strangers in preference to keeping the love of those who are bound to you by ties of blood. <span class3D0Text>4 Neither armies nor treasure form the bulwarks of a throne, but friends; these you can neither acquire by force of arms nor buy with gold; it is by devotion and loyalty that they are won. 5 But who is more bound by ties of friendship than brother to brother, or what stranger will you find loyal, if you become the enemy of your kindred? <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>6 I deliver to you three a realm that is strong if you prove virtuous, but weak if you do ill;for harmony makes small states great, while discord undermines the mightiest empires. 7 As for the rest, it devolves upon you, Jugurtha, rather than uponthese children, since you are older and wiser than they, to see to it that my hopes are not disappointed. For in all strife the stronger, even though he suffer wrong, is looked upon as the aggressor because of his superior power. 8 As for you, Adherbal and Hiempsal, love and respect this great man, emulate his virtues, and strive to show that I did not adopt better children than I begat.”
11. Although Jugurtha knew that the king spoke insincerely, and though he had very different designs in his own mind, yet he returned a gracious answer, suited to the occasion. 2 A few days later Micipsa died. After the princes had performed his obsequies with regal splendour, they met together for a general discussion of their affairs. 3 Then Hiempsal, the youngest of the three, whowas naturally haughty and even before this had shown his contempt for Jugurtha’s inferior birth because he was not his equal on the maternal side, sat down on the right of Adherbal, in order to prevent Jugurtha from taking his place between the two, a position which is regarded as an honour among the Numidians. <span class3D0Text>4 Afterwards, however, when his brother begged him to show respect to greater years, he was reluctantly induced to move to the other side.
5 At this meeting, in the course of a long discussion about the government of the kingdom, Jugurtha suggested, among other measures, that they ought to annul all laws and decrees passed within the past five years, on the ground that during that time Micipsa was far gone in years and hardly of sound mind. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>6 Thereupon Hiempsal again spoke up and declared that he approved the suggestion; for it was within the last three years, he said, that Jugurtha himself had been adopted and thus given a share in the kingdom. 7 This remark sankmore deeply into Jugurtha’s mind than anyone would have supposed. 8 So, from that moment he was a prey to resentment and fear, planned and schemed, and thought of nothing except some means by which he might outwit and ensnare Hiempsal. 9 But since his plans moved too slowly and his proud spirit retained its anger, he resolved to effect his design in any possible way.
12. At the first meeting of the princes, which I have already mentioned, they failed to agree and therefore determined to divide the treasures and partition the kingdom among the three. 2 Accordingly, they set a time for both events, that for the division of the money being the earlier, and meanwhile came by different routes to a place near the treasury. 3 Now it chanced that Hiempsal was occupying a house in the town of Thirmida which belonged to Jugurtha’s most confidential attendant, who had always been his master’s dear and beloved friend. This man, whom chance threw in his way as an agent, Jugurtha loaded with promises, and induced him to go to his house on the pretext of inspecting it and to have false keys made for the doors; for the true ones used to be delivered to Hiempsal. As to the rest, Jugurtha himself promised to be at hand at the proper time with a strong force. 4 The Numidian promptly carried out his instructions, and, as he had been directed, let in Jugurtha’s soldiers by night. 5 They rushed into the house, scattered in search of the king, slew some of the household in their sleep and others as they offered resistance, ransacked all hiding-places, broke down doors, and filled the whole place with noise and confusion. Meanwhile, Hiempsal was found hiding in the cell of a maid-servant, where in his first terror, unacquainted as he was with the premises, he had taken refuge. The Numidians did as they were ordered, and brought his head to Jugurtha.
13. Now, in a short time the news of this awful crime spread over all Africa. Fear seized Adherbal and all the former subjects of Micipsa. The Numidians were divided into two parties, the greater number siding with Adherbal, but the better soldiers with his rival. 2 Jugurtha then armed the largest possible number of troops, brought some cities under his sway by force and others with their consent, and prepared to make himself ruler of all Numidia. 3 Although Adherbal had at once dispatched envoys to Rome, to inform the senate of his brother’s murder and his own position, yet he prepared to take the field, relying upon the superior number of his troops. 4 But he was defeated in the very first engagement, fled to our province, and thence made his way to Rome.
5 Then Jugurtha, when he had carried out his plans and was in possession of all Numidia, having leisure to think over what he had done, began to be afraid of the Roman people and to despair of escaping their anger except through the avarice of the Roman nobles and his own wealth. 6 Accordingly, a few days later, he sent envoys to Rome with a great amount of gold and silver, directing them firstto load his old friends with presents, and then to win new ones — in short, to make haste to accomplish by largess whatever they could.
7 But when the envoys arrived at Rome, and, as the king had commanded, sent magnificent presents to his friends and to others of the senate whose influence at the time was powerful, such a change of sentiment ensued that in place of the pronounced hostility of the nobles Jugurtha gained their favour and support. 8 Induced in some cases by hope, in others by bribery, they went about to individual members of the senate and urged them not to take too severe measures against Jugurtha. 9 When, because of this, the envoys came to feel sufficient confidence, a time was appointed for the appearance of both parties before the senate. Thereupon Adherbal is said to have spoken in the following terms:
14. “Fathers of the Senate, my sire Micipsa admonished me on his death-bed to consider that I was only a steward of the kingdom of Numidia, but that the right and authority were in your hands; at the same time he bade me strive to be as helpful as possibleto the Roman people in peace and in war and to regard you as my kindred and relatives. He declared that if I did this, I should find in your friendshipan army, and wealth, and bulwarks for my kingdom. 2 As I was following these injunctions of my father, Jugurtha, wickedest of all men onthe face of the earth, in despite of your power robbed me, the grandson of Masinissa and hereditary friend and ally of the Roman people, of my throne and all my fortunes.
3 “And for myself, Fathers of the Senate, since I was doomed to such a depth of wretchedness, I could wish that I might ask your help rather because of my own services than those of my ancestors; I could wish above all that favours were due to me from the Roman people which I did not need; and failing this, that if they were needed I might accept them as my due. 4 But since virtue alone is not its own protection, and since it was not in my power to mould the character of Jugurtha, I have had recourse to you, Fathers of the Senate, to whom (and this is greatest part of my wretchedness) I am compelled to be a burden before I have been an aid. 5 All other kings have been admitted to your friendship when they were vanquished in war, or have sought your alliance in their time of peril; our family established friendly relations with Rome during the war with Carthage, at a time when the plighted word of Rome was a greater inducement to us than her fortune. 6 Therefore do notallow me, their descendant and the grandson of Masinissa, to implore your aid in vain.
7 “If I had no other reason for asking the favour than my pitiable lot — of late a king, mighty in family, fame and fortune; now broken by woes, destitute and appealing to others for help — it would nevertheless be becoming to the majesty of the Roman peopleto defend me against wrong and not to allow any man’s power to grow great through crime.8 But in fact I am driven from the lands which the people of Rome gave to my forefathers and from which my father and grandfather helped you to drive Syphax and the Carthaginians. It is your gift, Fathers of the Senate, whichhas been wrested from me, and in the wrong done to me you have been scorned. 9 Woe’s me! O my father Micipsa, has this been the effect of your kindness, that the man whom you put on an equality with your own children, whom you made a partner in your kingdom, should of all men be the destroyer of your house?
“Shall my family then never find rest? Shall we always dwell amid bloodshed, arms and exile?10 <span lang3DEN>While the Carthaginians were unconquered, we naturally suffered all kinds of hardship; the enemy were upon our flank, you, our friends, were far away; all our hope was in our arms. After Africa had been freed from that pestilence, we enjoyed the delights of peace, since we had no enemy, unless haply at your command. 11 But lo! on a sudden, Jugurtha, carried away by intolerable audacity, wickedness and arrogance, after killing my brother, who was also his kinsman, first made Hiempsal’s realm the spoil of his crime; then, when he had failed to outwit me by the same wiles, and when under your sovereignty I was looking for anything rather than violence or war, he has made me, as you see, an exile from home and country, a prey to want and wretchedness, and safer anywhere than in my own kingdom.
12 “I always used to think, Fathers of the Senate, as I had heard my father maintain, that those who diligently cultivated your friendship undertook an arduous duty, indeed, but were safe beyond all others. 13 Our family has done its best to aid you in all your wars; that we may enjoy peace and safety, Fathers of the Senate, is in your power. 14 Our father lefttwo of us brothers; a third, Jugurtha, he hoped to add to our number by his favours. One of the three has been slain; I myself have barely escaped the sacrilegious hands of the other. 15 What shall I do, or to what special protection shall I appeal in my troubles? All the defences of my house are destroyed. My father, as was inevitable, has paid the debt of nature. My brother has lost his life through the crime of a kinsman, the last man who ought to have raised a hand against him. Relatives, friends, and others who were near to me have fallen by one blow or another. Of those taken by Jugurtha some have been crucified, others thrown to wild beasts; a few, whose lives were spared, in gloomy dungeons amid sorrow and lamentation drag out an existence worse than death. 16 But if all that I have lost, or all that has turned from affection to hostility, remained untouched, even then, if any unexpected misfortune had befallen me, I should appeal to you, Fathers of the Senate, whom it befits, because of the extent of your dominion, to take under your care all matters of right and wrong everywhere. 17 As itis, however, an exile from home and country, alone, and stripped of all that becomes my station, where shall I take refuge or to whom shall I appeal? To nations or kings, all of whom are hostile to our family because of our friendship for you? To what land can I turn and not find there many a record of my ancestors’ acts of hostility? Can anyone feel compassion for us who was ever your enemy? 18 Finally, Fathers of the Senate, Masinissa instructed us to attach ourselves to none save the Roman people and to contract no new leagues and alliances; he declared that in your friendship there would be for us all an ample protection, and that, if the fortune of your empire should change, we must fall with it.
19 “Through valour and the favour of the gods you are mighty and powerful, all things are favourable and yield obedience to you; hence you may the more readily have regard to the wrongs of your allies. 20 My only fear is lest private friendship for Jugurtha, the true character of which is not evident, may lead some of your number astray; for I hear that his partisans are using every effort, and are soliciting and entreating each of you separately not to pass any judgment upon him in his absence without a hearing. They declare that I am speaking falsely and feigning the necessity for flight, when I might have remained in my own kingdom. 21 As to that, I hope that I may yet see the man through whose impious crime I have been subjected to these woes making the same pretence, and that at last either you or the immortal gods may begin to take thought for human affairs! Then of a truth that wretch, who now exults and glories in his crimes, will be tortured by ills of every kind and pay a heavy penalty for his treachery to our father, for the murder of my brother, and for my unhappiness.
22 “At last, brother dearest to my heart, although life has been taken from you untimely by the last hand that should have been raised against you, yet your fate seems to me a cause for joy rather than for sorrow. 23 For when you lost your life it was not your throne you lost, but it was flight, exile, want and all these woes which weigh me down. While I, poor wretch, hurled from my father’s throne into this sea of troubles, present a tragedy of human vicissitude, being at a loss what course to take, whether to try to avenge your wrongs when I myself am in need of aid, or to take thought for my throne when the very question of my life or death hangs upon the help of others. 24 <span lang3DEN>Would that death were an honourable means of escape for one of my estate! Would that, worn out by affliction, I could succumb to oppression without appearing justly contemptible! As it is, life has no charms for me,but death is impossible without shame.
25 “Fathers of the Senate, I beseech you in your own name, by your children and parents, and by the majesty of the Roman people, aid me in my distress, set your faces against injustice, do not permit the kingdom of Numidia, which belongs to you, to be ruined by villainy and the blood-guiltiness of our family.”
15. After the kinghad finished speaking, the envoys of Jugurtha, who relied rather upon bribery than upon the justice of their cause, replied briefly. They declared that Hiempsal had been slain by the Numidians because of his savage cruelty; the Adherbal after making war without provocation and suffering defeat, was complaining because he had been prevented from inflicting injury. Jugurtha, they said, begged the senate not to think him other than he had shown himself at Numantia, or let the words of an enemy outweigh his own actions.
2 Then both partiesleft the House and the matter was at once laid before the senate. The partisans of the envoys, and a large number of other senators who had been corrupted by their influence, derided the words of Adherbal and lauded the virtues of Jugurtha; exerting their influence, their eloquence, in short every possible means, they laboured as diligently in defence of the shameful crime of a foreigneras though they were striving to win honour. 3 A few, on the other hand, to whom right and justice were more precious than riches, recommended that aid be given to Adherbal and that the death of Hiempsal be severely punished. 4 Conspicuous among these was Aemilius Scaurus, a noble full of energy, a partisan, greedy for power, fame, and riches, but clever in concealing his faults. 5 As soon as this man saw the king’s bribery, so notorious and so brazen, fearing the usual result in such cases, namely, that such gross corruption would arouse popular resentment, he curbed his habitual cupidity.
16. In spite of all, that faction of the senate prevailed which rated money and favour higher than justice. 2 It was voted that ten commissioners should divide Micipsa’s former kingdom between Jugurtha and Adherbal. The head of this commission was Lucius Opimius, a distinguished man, who was influential in the senate at that time because in his consulship, after bringing about the death of Gaius Gracchusand Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, he had made cruel use of the victory of the nobles over the people. 3 Although at Rome Opimius had been one of Jugurtha’s opponents, the king received him with the greatest respect, and soon induced him, by many giftsand promises, to consider Jugurtha’s advantage of more consequence than his own fair fame, his honour, and in short, than all personal considerations. 4 Then adopting the same tactics with the other envoys, Jugurtha won over the greater number of them; only a few held their honour dearer than gold. 5 When the division was made, the part of Numidia adjoining Mauretania, which was the more fertile and thickly populated, was assigned to Jugurtha;the other part, preferable in appearance rather than in reality, having more harbours and being provided with more buildings, fell to Adherbal.
17. My subject seems to call for a brief account of the geography of Africa and some description ofthe nations there with which the people of Rome has had wars or alliances. 2 Of those regions and peoples, however, which are seldom visited because of the heat, the difficulty of access, or the stretches of desert, I could not easily give an account based upon certain information. The rest I shall dispatch in the fewest possible words.
3 In their divisionof the earth’s surface geographers commonly regard Africa as a third part, a few recognize only Asia and Europe, including Africa in the latter. 4 Africa is bounded on the west by the strait between our sea and the Ocean, on the east by a broad sloping tract which the natives call Catabathmos. 5 The sea is rough and without harbours, the soil fertile in grain,and favourable to flocks and herds but unproductive of trees; heaven and earth are niggardly of water. 6 The natives are healthy, swift of foot, and of great endurance. They commonly die of old age, unless they fall victims to the steel or to wild beasts; for disease seldom gets the better of any of them. Moreover the country abounds in dangerous wild animals.
7 What men inhabited Africa originally, and who came later, or how the races mingled, I shall tell as briefly as possible. Although my account varies from the prevailing tradition, I give it as it was translated to me from the Punic books said to have been written by king Hiempsal, and in accordance with what the dwellers in that land believe. But the responsibility for its truth will rest with my authorities.
18. In the beginning Africa was inhabited by the Gaetulians and Libyans, rude and uncivilized folk, who fed like beasts on the flesh of wild animals and the fruits of the earth. 2 They were governed neither by institutions nor law, nor were they subject to anyone’s rule. A restless, roving people, they had their abodes wherever night compelled a halt.
3 But when Herculesdied in Spain, as the Africans believe, the men of divers nationalities who formed his army, now that their leader was gone and since there were many on every hand who aspired to succeed him, soon dispersed. 4 Of those who made up the army, the Medes, Persians and Armenians crossed by ships into Africa5 and settled in the regions nearest to our sea, the Persians closer to the Ocean; and these used as huts the inverted hulls of their ships; for there was no timber in the land, and there was no opportunity to obtain it from the Spaniards by purchase or barter, 6 since the wide expanse of sea and ignorance of the language were a bar to intercourse. 7 The Persians intermarried with the Gaetulians and were gradually merged with them, and because they often moved from place to place trying the soil, they called themselves Nomads. 8 It is an interesting fact, that even to the present day the dwellings of the rustic Numidians, which they call mapalia, are oblong and have roofs with curved sides, like the hulls of ships.
9 But the Medes andthe Armenians had the Libyans as their nearest neighbours; for that people lived closer to the Afric sea, while the Gaetulians were farther to the south, not far from the regions of heat. These three peoples soon had towns; for being separated from the Spaniards only by the strait, they began to exchange wares with them. 10 The Libyans gradually altered the name of the Medes, calling themin their barbarian tongue Mauri (Moors).
11 Now the commonwealth of the Persians soon increased and finally the younger generation, under the name of Numidians, separated from their parents because of the excess of population and took possession of the region next to Carthage, which is called Numidia. 12 <span lang3DEN>Then both peoples, relying upon each other’s aid, brought their neighbours under their sway by arms or by fear and acquired renown and glory, especially those who had come near to our sea, because the Libyans are less warlike than the Gaetulians. Finally, the greater part of northern Africa fell into the hands of the Numidians, and all the vanquished were merged in the race and name of their rulers.
19. Later the Phoenicians, sometimes for the sake of ridding themselves of the superfluous population at home, sometimes from desire for dominion tempting away the commons and others who were desirous of a change, founded Hippo, Hadrumetum, Lepcis, and other cities on the coast. These soon became very powerful and were in some casesa defence and in others a glory to the mother city. 2 As to Carthage, I think it better to be silent rather than say too little, since time warnsme to hasten on to other topics.
3 In the neighbourhood, then, of the Catabathmos, the region which separates Egypt from Africa, the first city as you follow the coast is Cyrene, a colony of Thera, and then come the two Syrtes with Lepcis between them. Next we come to the altars of the Philaeni, the point which the Carthaginians regarded as marking the boundary between their empire and Egypt; then other Punic cities. 4 The rest of the region as far as Mauretania is held by the Numidians, while the people nearest Spain are the Moors. 5 South of Numidia, we are told, are the Gaetulians, some of whom live in huts, while others lead a less civilized nomadic life. 6 Still farther to the south are the Aethiopians, and then come the regions parched by the sun’s heat.
7 Now at the time of the war with Jugurtha the Romans were governing through their officials nearly all the Punic cities, as well as the territory which in their latter days had belonged to the Carthaginians. The greater number of the Gaetulians, and Numidia as far as the river Muluccha, were subject to Jugurtha. All the Moors were ruled by king Bocchus, who knew nothing of the Roman people save their name and was in turn unknown to us before that time either in peace or in war.
8 This account of Africa and its peoples is enough for my purpose.
20. As soon as the deputies left Africa, after dividing the kingdom, and Jugurtha found, in spite of his secret fears, that he had gained the price of his crime, he felt convinced of the truth of what he had heard from his friends at Numantia, that at Rome anything could be bought. Accordingly, he began to covet Adherbal’s kingdom, spurred on besides by the promises of those whom he had shortly before loaded with presents. 2 He himself was active and warlike, while his intended victim was quiet, peaceful, of a tranquil disposition, open to attack and rather inclined to fear than an object of fear. 3 Therefore when Jugurtha suddenly invaded Adherbal’s territory with a large force, he took many prisoners, as well as cattle and other plunder, set fire to buildings, and raided several places with his cavalry. 4 He then withdrew with his entire force into his own kingdom, supposing that Adherbal would be led by resentment to resort to force in order to avenge the wrongs which had been done him, and that this would furnish a pretext for war. 5Adherbal, however, realizing that in arms he was no match for hisrival and putting more trust in the friendship of the Roman people than in the Numidians, sent envoys to Jugurtha to protest against the outrages; and although they brought back an insulting answer, he resolved to put up with anything rather than resort to war, which he had already tried with so little success. 6 This, however, did not diminish the ardour of Jugurtha, who in his mind’s eye had already seized all Adherbal’s realm. 7 He therefore began to wage war, not as before with a predatory band, but with a great army which he had got together, and to lay claim openly to the sovereignty of all Numidia. 8 Wherever he went he laid waste cities and fields and drove off booty, thus inspiring his own followers with confidence and striking the enemy with fear.
21. When Adherbal perceived that matters had gone so far that he must either give up his kingdom or retain it by force of arms, he yielded to necessity, mustered an army, and went to meet Jugurtha. 2 At first the two armies encamped not far from the sea near the town of Cirta, but because it was late in the day they did not join battle. When the greater part of the night had passed but while it was still dark, the soldiers of Jugurtha on a given signal attacked the camp of the enemy, surprised them either half asleep or just taking up arms, and routed them. Adherbal with a few horsemen fled to Cirta, and if it had not been for the throng of Roman civilians, who held off the pursuing Numidians from the walls, the war between the two kings would have begun and ended on the selfsame day. 3Jugurtha thereupon invested the town and attempted to carry it by mantlets, towers and engines of all kinds, making all haste to anticipate the coming of the envoys, who, as he had heard, had been sent to Rome by Adherbal before the battle was fought.
4 Now after the senate heard that they were at war, three young men were despatched to Africa, with instructions to approach both kings and announce in the name of the Roman senate and people that it was their desire and command that the combatants should lay down their arms and settle their disagreement by law rather thanby war; that this was due both to the Romans and to themselves.
22. The envoys soon arrived in Africa, making the more haste because, as they were preparing to leave Rome, word came that the battle had taken place and that Cirta was besieged; but the rumour failed to do justice to the reality. 2 When Jugurtha heard their message, he rejoined that nothing had more weight and nothing was more precious to him than the will of the senate; from youth up he had striven to win the approval of all good men; it was by merit, not by baseness, that he had found favour with the great Publius Scipio, and it was for the same qualities that Micipsa had made him heir to a part of his kingdom, not because the king lacked children. 3 But, he said, the more numerous his acts of virtue and courage had been, the less his spirit was able to brook wrongs. 4 Adherbal had treacherously plotted against his life, and he had discovered and resisted the criminal attempt. The people of Rome would act neither justly nor rightly, if they denied him the privileges of the law of nations. In conclusion, he said that he would soon send envoys to Rome to explain the whole affair. <span class3D0Text>5 Thereupon both parties separated; no opportunity was allowed of addressing Adherbal.
23. Jugurtha waited until he thought that the envoys had left Africa, and then, finding himself unable to take Cirta by storm because of its natural strength, surrounded its wall with a rampart and a ditch. He built towers and filled them with armed men, attacked besides day and night either with force or craft, now offering bribes to the defenders and now threats, rousing his own men to courage by exhortations and displaying the greatest vigour in all his efforts.
2 When Adherbal sawthat all his fortunes were in jeopardy, that his enemy was implacable, that there was no hope of succour, and that because of lack of the necessities of lifehe could not endure a protracted war, he selected two of the boldest of the soldiers who had fled with him to Cirta. These he induced by many promises,and by dwelling upon his desperate plight, to make their way through the enemy’s lines by night to the nearest sea-coast, and from there to Rome.
24. Within a few days these Numidians had carried out Adherbal’s instructions, and a letter of his was read in the senate, of which the substance was as follows:
2 “It is no fault of mine, Fathers of the Senate, that I often address an appeal to you; on the contrary, I am constrained by the violence of Jugurtha, who is possessed with such a desire for my destruction that he regards neither you nor the immortal Gods, but above everything thirsts for my blood. 3 Hence it is that I, though an ally and friend of the Roman people, have now for more than four months been held in a state of siege, and that neither the services of my father Micipsa nor your decrees avail me; whether sword or famine press harder one I know not. 4 My condition would dissuade me from writingmore about Jugurtha; for I have already learned that little confidence is bestowed upon the unfortunate. 5 Except that I feel sure that he is aiming at a higher mark than myself, and that he does not hope at the same time for your friendship and my kingdom. Which of these two he values the more highly is evident to everyone; 6 for he first slew Hiempsal, my brother, and then drove me from my father’s kingdom. With my personal wrongs you have no concern, 7 but it is your realm that he now holds by force of arms, and it is I, whom you made ruler of Numidia, that he is besieging. How much regard he has for the commands of your envoys is shown by my perilous state. 8 What is there left but your might which can influence him?9 For my own part, I could wish that these words which I am now writing, and the complaints which I have already made in the senate, were false, rather than that they should be proved true by my own wretchedness. 10 <span lang3DEN>But since I was created merely to be a monument to Jugurtha’s crimes, I no longer pray to be spared death or unhappiness, but only that I may escape the tyranny of an enemy and bodily torment. As to Numidia, which is yours, take any action you choose, but save me from impious hands, I implore you by the majesty of your empire and by the loyalty of your friendship, if you retainany memory at all of my grandfather Masinissa.”
25. Upon the reading of this letter some were for sending an army to Africa and rendering aid to Adherbal as soon as possible, recommending that in the meantime the senate should take cognizance of Jugurtha’s failure to obey the envoys. 2 But those same partisans of the king to whom I have already referred used every effort to prevent the passing of such a decree. 3 Thus, as happens in many instances, the public welfare was sacrificed to private interests. 4 Nevertheless men of years and rank,who had held the highest offices of state, were sent to Africa, among them Marcus Scaurus, of whom I have already spoken, and ex-consul and at the time the leader of the senate.
5 These men, influenced by the public indignation and also by the prayers of the Numidians, embarked within three days. Landing shortly afterward at Utica, they sent a letter to Jugurtha, directing him to come as speedily as possible to the Roman province, adding that they had been sent to him by the senate. 6 When Jugurtha learned that men of distinction, whose influence at Rome was said to be powerful, had come to oppose his attempt, he was at first greatly disturbedand began to waver between fear and greed. 7 He dreaded the senate’s wrath in case he disobeyed the envoys; at the same time his spirit, blindedby cupidity, urged him to consummate his crime. 8 But inhis greedy soul the worst counsel prevailed. 9 Accordingly he surrounded Cirta with his army, and made a supreme effort to carry the town, having great hopes that by extending the enemy’s line of defence he might find an opportunity for victory either in force or in stratagem. 10 <span lang3DEN>But when he was disappointed in this and thwarted in his purpose of getting Adherbal into his power before meeting the envoys, he was unwillingby further delay to exasperate Scaurus, whom he particularly feared; he therefore came into our province with a few horsemen. 11 But although terrible threats were made in the name of the senate because he did not abandon the siege, the envoys went away unsuccessful after wasting a deal of oratory.
26. When this was reported at Cirta, the Italiotes, on whose valour the defence of the town depended, were confident that in the event of surrender they would escape injury because of the prestige of Rome. 2 They therefore advised Adherbal to deliver himself and the town to Jugurtha, stipulating merely that his life should be spared and leaving the rest to the senate. But Adherbal, though he thought that anything was better than trusting to Jugurtha, yet because the Italiotes were in a position to use compulsion if he opposed them, surrendered on the terms which they had advised. 3 Thereupon Jugurtha first tortured Adherbal to death and then made an indiscriminate massacre of all the adult Numidians and of traders whom he found with arms in their hands.
27. When this outrage became known at Rome and the matter was brought up for discussion in the senate, those same tools of the king, by interrupting the discussions and wasting time, often through their personal influence, often by wrangling, tried to disguise the atrocity of the deed. 2 And had not Gaius Memmius, tribune of the commons elect, a man of spirit who was hostile to the domination of the nobles, made it clear to the populace of Rome that the motive of these tactics was to condone Jugurtha’s crime through the influence of afew of his partisans, the deliberations would undoubtedly have been protracted until all indignation had evaporated: so great was the power of the king’s influence and money. 3 But when the senate from consciousness of guilt began to fear the people, Numidia and Italy, as the Sempronian law required, were assigned to the consuls who should next be elected. The consuls in question were Publius Scipio Nasica and Lucius Calpurnius Bestia;4 Numidia fell to Bestia, Italy to Scipio. 5 An army was then enrolled to be transported to Africa, the soldiers’ pay and other necessaries of war were voted.
28. When Jugurtha heard this unexpected news (for he had a firm conviction that at Rome anything could be bought) he sent his son, and with him two friends, as envoys to the senate, giving them the same directions that he had given those whom he sent after murdering Hiempsal, namely, to try the power of money on everybody. 2 As this deputation drew near the city, Bestia referred to the senate the question whether they would consent to receive Jugurtha’s envoys withinthe walls. The members thereupon decreed that unless the envoys had come to surrender the king and his kingdom, they must leave Italy within the next ten days. 3 The consul gave orders that the Numidians should be notified of the senate’s action; they therefore went home without fulfilling their mission.
4 Meanwhile Calpurnius, having levied his army, chose as his lieutenants men of noble rank and strong party spirit, by whose influence he hoped that any misdeeds of his would be upheld. 5 Among these was Scaurus, whose character and conduct I described a short time ago. For though our consul possessed many excellent qualities of mind and body, they were all nullified by avarice. He had great endurance, a keen intellect, no little foresight, considerable military experience, and a stout heart in the face of dangers and plots. 6 Now the legions were transported across Italy to Rhegium, from there to Sicily, from Sicilyto Africa. 7 Then Calpurnius, having provided himself with supplies, began by making a vigorous attack on the Numidians, taking many prisoners and storming several of their towns.
29. But when Jugurtha through his emissaries began to try the power of money upon Calpurnius and to point out the difficulty of the war which he was conducting, the consul’s mind, demoralized as it was by avarice, was easily turned from its purpose. 2 Moreover, he took Scaurus as an accomplice and tool in all his designs; for although at first, even after many of his own party had been seduced, Scaurus had vigorously opposed the king, a huge bribe had turned him from honour and virtue to criminality. 3 At first, however, Jugurtha merely purchased a delay in hostilities, thinking that he could meanwhile effect something at Rome by bribery or by his personal interest. But as soon as he learned that Scaurus was implicated, he conceived a strong hope of gaining peace, and decided to discuss all the conditions in person with the envoys.
4 But meanwhile, asa token of good faith, the consul sent his quaestor Sextius to Vaga, a town of Jugurtha’s, ostensibly to receive the grain which Calpurnius had publicly demanded of the envoys in return for observing an armistice until a surrender should be arranged. 5 Thereupon the king, as he had agreed, came to the camp and after he had spoken a few words in the presence of thecouncil in justification of his conduct and had asked to be received in surrender, he arranged the rest privately with Bestia and Scaurus. Then on the next day an irregular vote was taken and the surrender accepted. 6 As hadbeen ordered before the council, thirty elephants, many cattle and horses, with a small amount of silver were handed over to the quaestor. 7 Calpurnius went to Rome to preside at the elections. In Numidia and in our army peace reigned.
30. When the news was circulated at Rome of what had happened in Africa, and how it was brought about, the consul’s conduct was discussed wherever men gathered together. The commons were highly indignant, while the senators were in suspense and unable to make up their minds whether to condone such an outrage or to set aside the consul’s decree. 2 In particular the power of Scaurus, who was reported to be Bestia’s abettor and accomplice, deterred them from acting justly and honourably. 3 But while the senate delayed and hesitated, Gaius Memmius, of whose independence and hatred of the power of the nobles I have already spoken, urged the assembled people to vengeance, warned them not to prove false to their country and their own liberties, pointed out the many arrogant and cruel deeds of the nobles: in short, did his utmost in every way to inflame the minds of the commons. 4 And since the eloquence of Memmius was famous and potent in Rome at that time, I have thought it worth while to reproduce one of his numerous speeches, and I shall select the one which he delivered before the people after the return of Bestia. Itran as follows:
31. “Were not devotion to our country paramount, I should be deterred, fellow citizens, from addressing you by many considerations: the power of the dominant faction, your spirit of submission, the absence of justice, and especially because more danger than honour awaits integrity. 2 Some things, indeed, I am ashamed to speak of how during the past fifteen years you have been the sport of a few men’s insolence; how shamefully your defenders have perished unavenged; 3 how your own spirits have been so demoralized because of weakness and cowardice that you do not rise even now, when your enemies are in your power, but still fear those in whomyou ought to inspire fear. 4 But although conditions are such, yet my spirit prompts me to brave the power of this faction. 5 At least, I shall make use of the freedom of speech which is my inheritance from my father; but whether I shall do so in vain or to good purpose lies in your hands, my countrymen. 6 I do not urge you to take up arms against your oppressors, as your fathers often did; there is no need of violence, none of secession. They must go to ruin their own way. 7 After the murderof Tiberius Gracchus, whom they accused of trying to make himself king, prosecutions were instituted against the Roman commons. Again, after Gaius Gracchus and Marcus Fulvius were slain, many men of your order suffered death in the dungeon. In both cases bloodshed was ended, not by law, but by the caprice of the victors.
8 “But let us admitthat to restore their rights to the commons was the same thing as to aspire to royal power, and that whatever cannot be avenged without shedding the blood of citizens was justly done. 9 In former years you were silently indignant that the treasury was pillaged, that kings and free peoples paid tribute to a few nobles, that those nobles possessed supreme glory and vast wealth. Yet they were not satisfied with having committed with impunity these great crimes, and so at last the laws, your sovereignty, and all things human and divine have been delivered to your enemies. 10 And they who have done these things are neither ashamed nor sorry, but they walk in grandeur before your eyes, some flaunting their priesthoods and consulships, others their triumphs, just as if these were honours and not stolen goods.</p>
11 “Slaves bought with a price do not put up with unjust treatment from their masters; will you, Roman citizens born to power, endure slavery with patience? 12 But who are they who have seized upon our country? Men stained with crime, with gory hands, of monstrous greed, guilty, yet at the same time full of pride, who have made honour, reputation, loyalty, in short everything honourable and dishonourable, a source of gain. 13 Some of them are safeguarded by having slain tribunes of the commons, others by unjust prosecutions, many by having shed your blood. 14 Thus the more atrocious the conduct, the greater the safety. Theyhave shifted fear from their crimes to your cowardice, united as they are by the same desires, the same hatred, the same fears. 15 This among good men constitutes friendship; among the wicked it is faction. 16 <span lang3DEN>But if your love of freedom were as great as the thirst for tyranny which spurs them on, surely our country would not be torn asunder as it nowis, and your favours would be bestowed on the most virtuous, not on the most reckless. 17 Your forefathers, to assert their legal rights and establish their sovereignty, twice seceded and took armed possession of the Aventine; will you not exert yourself to the utmost in order to retain the liberty which they bequeathed to you? And will you not show the greater ardour, because it is more shameful to lose what has been won than never to have won it?
18 “I seem to hear someone say, ‘What then do you advise?’ I reply, ‘Let those who have betrayed their country to the enemy be punished, not by arms or by violence, which it is less becoming for you to inflict than for them to suffer, but by the courts and Jugurtha’s own testimony. 19 If he is a prisoner of war, he will surely be obedient to your commands; but if he scorns them, you may well ask yourself what kind of peace or surrender that is from which Jugurtha has gained impunity for his crimes and a few powerful men immense wealth, while our country suffers damage and disgrace. 20 Unless haply you are not even yet sated with their domination, unless these times pleaseyou less than the days when kingdoms, provinces, statutes, laws, courts, war and peace, in short all things human and divine, were in the hands of a few; and when you, that is to say the Roman people, unconquered by your enemies, rulers of all nations, were content to retain the mere breath of life. For which of you dared to refuse slavery?
21 “For my own part, although I consider it most shameful for a true man to suffer wrong without taking vengeance, yet I could willingly allow you to pardon those most criminal of men, since they are your fellow citizens, were it not that mercy would end in destruction. 22 For such is their insolence that they are not satisfied to have done evil with impunity, unless the opportunity for further wrong-doing be wrung from you; and you will be left in eternal anxiety, because of the consciousness that you must either submit to slavery or use force to maintain your freedom.
23 “Pray, what hopehave you of mutual confidence or harmony? They wish to be tyrants, you to be free; they desire to inflict injury, you to prevent it; finally, they treat our allies as enemies and our enemies as allies. 24 Are peace and friendship compatible with sentiments so unlike?25 They are not, and therefore I warn and implore you not to let such wickedness go unscathed. It is not a matter of plundering the treasury or of extorting money from our allies — serious crimes, it is true, but so common now-a days as to be disregarded. Nay, the senate’s dignity has been prostituted to a ruthless enemy, your sovereignty has been betrayed, your country has been offered for sale at home and abroad. 26 Unless cognizance is taken of these outrages, unless the guilty are punished, what will remain except to pass our lives in submission to those who are guilty of these acts? For to do with impunity whatever one fancies is to be king. 27 <span lang3DEN>I am not urging you, Romans, to rejoice rather in the guilt than in the innocence of your fellow citizens; but you should not insist upon ruining the good by pardoning the wicked. 28 Moreover, in a republic it is far better to forget a kindness than an injury. The good man merely becomes less active in well doing when you neglect him, but the bad man grows more wicked. 29 Finally, if there should be no wrongs, you would not often need help.”
32. By repeating these and similar sentiments Memmius induced the people to send Lucius Cassius, who was praetor at the time, to Jugurtha. Cassius was instructed to bring the king to Rome under pledge of public protection, in order that through his testimonythe offences of Scaurus and the rest who were accused of taking bribes might the more readily be disclosed.
2 While all this was going on at Rome, those who had been left by Bestia in command of the army in Numidia, following their general’s example, were guilty of many shameless misdeeds. 3 Some were induced by bribes to return his elephants to Jugurtha, others sold him his deserters, and a part plundered those who were at peace with us: 4 so strong was the love of money which had attacked their minds like a pestilence. 5 But when, to the consternation of all the nobility, the bill of Gaius Memmius was passed, the praetor Cassius went to Jugurtha and, in spite of the king’s fears and the distrust due to his guilty conscience, persuaded him that since he had surrendered himself to the Roman people, it would be better to experience their mercy than their force. He also gave Jugurtha his personal pledge of safety, which the king rated no less highly than that of the state; such was the repute which Cassius enjoyed at that time.
33. Accordingly Jugurtha, exchanging the pomp of a king for a garb especially designed to excite pity, came to Rome with Cassius; 2 and although personally he possessed great assurance, yet with the encouragement of all those through whose power or guilt he had committed the numerous crimes that I have mentioned he won over Gaius Baebius, a tribune of the commons, by a heavy bribe, that through this officer’s effrontery he might be protected against the strong arm of the law and against all personal violence. 3 But when Gaius Memmius had called an assembly of the people, the commons were so exasperated at the king that some demanded that he should be imprisoned, others that ifhe did not reveal the accomplices in his guilt, he should be punished as an enemy after the usage of our forefathers. But Memmius, taking counsel of propriety rather than of resentment, quieted their excitement and soothed their spirits, finally declaring that, so far as it was in his power to prevent it, the public pledge should not be broken. 4 Afterwards, when silence followed and Jugurtha was brought out, Memmius made an address, recalled the king’s actions at Rome and in Numidia, and described his crimes against his father and brothers. He said to him that although the Roman people were aware through whose encouragement and help the king had done these things, yet they wished clearer testimony from his own lips. If he would reveal the truth, he had much to hope for from the good faith and mercy of the Roman people, but if he kept silence, he could not save his accomplices and would ruin himself and his hopes.
34. When Memmius had finished and Jugurtha was bidden to reply, Gaius Baebius, the tribune of the commons who, as I just said, had been bribed, thereupon bade the king hold his peace. And although the populace, who were gathered in assembly, were greatly excited and tried to intimidate the tribune by shouting, by angry looks, often by threatening gestures and all the other means which anger prompts, yet his impudence triumphed. 2 Hence the people left the assembly after being made ridiculous, while Jugurtha, Bestia, and the others who were fearful of conviction, recovered their assurance.
35. There was in Rome at that time a Numidian named Massiva, a son of Gulussa and grandson of Masinissa, who had taken sides against Jugurtha in the quarrel of the kings and had fled from Africa after the capture of Cirta and the death of Adherbal. 2 This man was persuaded by Spurius Albinus, who was holding the consulship with Quintus Minucius Rufus the year after Bestia, to ask the senate for the throne of Numidia, since he was descended from Masinissa and since Jugurtha was feared and hated for his crimes. 3 For the consul was eager to make war, and preferred a state of general confusion to inactivity. 4 He had drawn Numidia as his province, while Minucius had Macedonia. When Massiva began to push past these designs, Jugurtha found little support in his friends, some of whom were hampered by a bad conscience, others by ill repute and fear. He therefore directed Bomilcar, his nearest and most trusted attendant, to bring about Massiva’s assassination by the use of money, through which the king had already accomplished so much. He asked him to do this secretly, if possible; but if secrecy were not possible, to slay the Numidian in any way he could.
5 Bomilcar hastenedto carry out the king’s orders and through men who were adepts in such business he kept track of Massiva’s comings and goings; in short, found out where he was at all times. Finally, when the opportunity came, he set his tra Thereupon oneof those who had been hired to do the murder attacked Massiva somewhat incautiously; he slew his victim, but was himself caught, and at the solicitation of many, in particular of Albinus the consul, he made a full confession. 7 Bomilcar was brought to trial rather from the demands of equity and justice than in accordance with the law of nations, inasmuch as he was in the company of one who had come to Rome under pledge of public protection.
8 Jugurtha, however, although he was clearly responsible for so flagrant a crime, did not cease to resist the evidence, until he realized that the indignation at the deed wastoo strong even for his influence and his money. 9 Therefore, although in the first stage of the trial he had given fifty of his friends as sureties, yet having an eye rather to his throne than to the sureties, he sent Bomilcar secretly to Numidia, fearing that if he paid the penalty, the restof his subjects would fear to obey his orders. A few days later he himself returned home, being ordered by the senate to leave Italy. 10 <span lang3DEN>After going out of the gates, it is said that he often looked back at Rome in silence and finally said, “A city for sale and doomed to speedy destruction if it finds a purchaser!”
36. Albinus meanwhile renewed hostilities and hastened to transport to Africa provisions, money for paying the soldiers, and other apparatus of war. He himself set out at once, desiring by arms, by surrender, or in any possible way to bring the war to an end before the elections, the time of which was not far off. 2 Jugurtha, on the contrary, tried in every way to gain time, inventing one pretext for delay after another. He promised a surrender and then feigned fear, gave way to the consul’s attack and then, that his followers might not lose courage, attacked in his turn; thus baffling the consul now by the delays of war and now by those of peace.
3 There were some who thought that even then Albinus was not unaware of the king’s design, and who found it impossible to believe that the ease with which the king protracteda war begun with such urgency was not due rather to guile than to incompetence. 4 Now when in the course of time the day of the elections drew near, Albinus sailed for Rome, leaving his brother Aulus in charge of the camp.
37. At that time the Roman commonwealth was cruelly racked by the dissensions of the tribunes. <span class3D0Text>2 Two of their number, Publius Lucullus and Lucius Annius, were trying to prolong their term of office, in spite of the opposition of their colleagues; and this strife blocked the elections of the whole year. 3 Because of this delay Aulus, who, as I just said, had been left in charge of the camp, was inspired with the hope of either finishing the war or forcing a bribe from the king through fear of his army. He therefore summoned his soldiers in the month of January from their winter quarters for active duty in the field, and making forced marchea in spite of the severity of the winter season, reached the town of Suthul, where the king’s treasure was kept. 4 He was unable either to take the town or lay siege to it because of the inclemency of the weather and the strength of its position; for all about the walls, which were built along the edge of a steep cliff, was a muddy plain,of which the winter rains had made a muddy pool. Yet either with the idea of making a feint, in order to frighten the king, or because he was blinded by a desire to possess the town for the sake of its treasure, he brought up the mantlets, constructed a mound, and hastily made the other preparations for an assault.
38. Jugurtha, however, well aware of the presumption and incapacity of the acting commander, craftily added to his infatuation and constantly sent him suppliant envoys, while he himself, as if trying to avoid an encounter, led his army through woody places and by-paths. 2 Finally, by holding out hope of an agreement, he induced Aulus toleave Suthul and follow him in a pretended retreat into remote regions; thus, he suggested, any misconduct of the Roman’s would be less obvious. 3 Meanwhile through clever emissaries the king was working upon theRoman army day and night, bribing the centurions and commanders of cavalry squadrons either to desert or to abandon their posts at a given signal.
4 After he had arranged these matters to his satisfaction, in the dead of night he suddenly surrounded the camp of Aulus with a throng of Numidians. 5 The Roman soldiers were alarmed by the unusual disturbance; some seized their arms, others hid themselves, a part encouraged the fearful; consternation reigned. The hostile force was large, night and clouds darkened the heavens, there was danger whichever course they took: in short, whether it was safer to stand or flee was uncertain. 6 Then from the number of those who had been bribed, as I just said, one cohort of Ligurians with two squadrons of Thracians and a few privates went over to the king, while the chief centurion of the Third legion gave the enemy an opportunity of entering the part of the fortification which he had been appointed to guard, and there all the Numidians burst in. 7 Our men in shameful flight, in most cases throwing away their arms, took refuge on a neighbouring hill. 8 Night and the pillaging of the camp delayed the enemy and prevented them from following up their victory. 9 Then on the following day, Jugurtha held a conference with Aulus.He said that he had the general and his army at the mercy of starvation or the sword; yet in view of the uncertainty of human affairs, if Aulus would makea treaty with him, he would let them all go free after passing under the yoke, provided Aulus would leave Numidia within ten days. 10 Although the conditions were hard and shameful, yet because they were offered in exchange for the fear of death, peace was accepted on the king’s terms.
39. Now, when the news of this disaster reached Rome, fear and grief seized upon the community. Some grieved for the glory of the empire, others, who were unused to matters of war, feared for their freedom. All men, especially those who had often gained renown in war, were incensed at Aulus, because with arms in his hands he had sought safety by disgrace rather than by combat. 2 Therefore the consul Albinus, fearing odium and consequent danger as the result of his brother’s misconduct, laid the question of the treaty before the senate; but in the meantime he enrolled reinforcements, summoned aid from the allies and the Latin peoples; in short, bestirred himself in every way.
3 The senate decided that no treaty could be binding without its order and that of the people; as indeed was to have been expected. 4 The consul was prevented by the tribunes of the commons from taking with him the forces which he had raised, but within a few days left for Africa; for the whole army had withdrawn from Numidia according to the agreement and was wintering in that province.5 But although Albinus on his arrival was eager to pursue Jugurtha and atone for his brother’s disgrace, yet knowing his soldiers, who were demoralized not only by their rout but by the licence and debauchery consequent upon lax discipline, he decided that he was in no condition to make any move.
40. Meanwhile, at Rome, Gaius Mamilius Limetanus, tribune of the commons, proposed to the people a bill, in which it was provided that legal proceedings should be begun against those at whose advice Jugurtha had disregarded decrees of the senate; against those who had accepted money from him while serving as envoys or commanders; against those who had handed back the elephants and deserters; and against those who had made terms of peace and war with the enemy. 2 Preparations for obstructing this bill were made both by all who were conscious of guilt and also by others who feared the dangers arising from factional hatred; but since they could not openly oppose it without admitting their approval of these and similar acts, they did so secretly through their friends, and especially through men of the Latin cities and the Italian allies. 3 But the commons passed the bill with incredible eagerness and enthusiasm, rather from hatred of the nobles, for whom it boded trouble, than from love of country: so high did party passion run.
4 Upon this the rest were panic stricken; but in the midst of the exultation of the people and the rout of his party, Marcus Scaurus, who, as I have already said, had been Bestia’s lieutenant, took advantage of the political confusion to have himself namedone of the three commissioners authorized by the bill of Mamilius. 5 Nevertheless the investigation was conducted with harshness and violence, on hearsay evidence and at the caprice of the commons; for then the commons, as so often the nobles, had been made insolent by success.</p>
41. Now the institution of parties and factions, with all their attendant evils, originated at Rome a few years before this as the result of peace and of an abundance of everything that mortals prize most highly. 2 For before the destruction of Carthage the people and senate of Rome together governed the republic peacefully and with moderation. There was no strife among the citizens either for glory or for power; fear of the enemy preserved the good morals of the state. 3 But when the minds of the people were relieved of that dread, wantonness and arrogance naturally arose, vices which are fostered by prosperity. 4 Thus the peace for which they had longed in time of adversity, after they had gained it proved to be more cruel and bitter than adversity itself. 5 For the nobles began to abuse their position and the people their liberty, and every man for himself robbed, pillaged, and plundered. Thus the community was split into two parties, and between these the state was torn to pieces.
6 But the nobles had the more powerful organization, while the strength of the commons was less effective because it was incompact and divided among many. 7 Affairs at home and in the field were managed according to the will of a few men, in whose hands were the treasury, the provinces, public offices, glory and triumphs. The people were burdened with military service and poverty. The generals divided the spoils of war with a few friends. 8 Meanwhile the parents or little children of the soldiers, if theyhad a powerful neighbour, were driven from their homes. 9 Thus, by the side of power, greed arose, unlimited and unrestrained, violated and devastated everything, respected nothing, and held nothing sacred, until it finally brought about its own downfall. 10 For as soon as nobles were found who preferred true glory to unjust power, the state began to be disturbed and civil dissension to arise like an upheaval of the earth.
42. For example, when Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, whose forefathers had added greatly to the power of the republic in the Punic and other wars, began to assert the freedom ofthe commons and expose the crimes of the oligarchs, the nobility, who were guilty, were therefore panic stricken. They accordingly opposed the acts of the Gracchi, now through the allies and the Latin cities and again through the knights, whom the hope of an alliance with the senate had estranged from the commons. And first Tiberius, then a few years later Gaius, who had followedin his brother’s footsteps, were slain with the sword, although one was a tribune and the other a commissioner for founding colonies; and with them fell Marcus Fulvius Flaccus. 2 It must be admitted that the Gracchi were so eager for victory that they had not shown a sufficiently moderate spirit; 3 but a good man would prefer to be defeated rather than to triumphover injustice by establishing a bad precedent.
4 The nobles then abused their victory to gratify their passions; they put many men out of the way by the sword or by banishment, and thus rendered themselves for the future rather dreaded than powerful. It is this spirit which has commonly ruined great nations, when one party desires to triumph over another by any and every means and to avenge itself on the vanquished with excessive cruelty. 5 But if I should attempt to speak of the strife of parties and of the general character of the state in detail or according to the importance of the theme, time would fail me sooner than material. Therefore I return to my subject.
43. After the foulpact of Aulus and the foul flight of our army the consuls elect, Metellus and Silanus, had shared the provinces between them; Numidia had fallen to Metellus, a man of spirit, and, although he was an opponent of the popular party, of a consistently unblemished reputation. 2 When he first entered upon his term of office, thinking that his colleague shared with him all the other business he devoted his attention to the war which he was going to conduct. 3 Accordingly, being distrustful of the old army, he enrolled soldiers, summoned auxiliaries from every hand, got together arms, weapons, horses, and other munitions of war, as well as an abundance of supplies; in short, he provided everything which commonly proves useful in a war of varied character and demanding large resources. 4 Furthermore, in making these preparations the senate aided him by its sanction, allies, Latin cities, and kings by the voluntary contribution of auxiliaries; in short, the whole state showed the greatest enthusiasm. 5 Therefore, after everything was prepared and arranged to his satisfaction, Metellus left for Numidia, bearing with him the high hopes the citizens, which were inspired not only by his good qualities in general, but especially because he possessed a mind superior to riches; for it had been the avarice of the magistrates that before this time had blighted our prospects in Numidia and advanced those of the enemy.
44. But when Metellus reached Africa, the proconsul Spurius Albinus handed over to him an army that was weak, cowardly, and incapable of facing either danger or hardship, readier of tongue than of hand, a plunderer of our allies and itself a prey to the enemy, subject to no discipline or restraint. 2 Hence their new commander gained more anxiety from the bad habits of his soldiers than security or hope from their numbers. 3 Although the postponement of the elections had trenched upon the summer season and Metellus knew that the citizens were eagerly anticipating his success, yet, notwithstanding this, he resolved not to take the field until he had forcedthe soldiers to undergo the old-time drill and training. 4 For Albinus, utterly overcome by the disaster to his brother Aulus and the army, had decided not to leave the province; and during that part of the summer when he retained the command he kept the soldiers for the most part in a permanent camp, except when the stench or the need of fodder had compelled him to change his position. 5 But his camps were not fortified, nor was watch kept in military fashion; men absented themselves from duty whenever they pleased. Camp followers and soldiers ranged about in company day and night, and in their forays laid waste the country, stormed farmhouses, and vied with one another in amassing booty in the form of cattle and slaves, which they bartered with the traders for foreign wine and other luxuries. They even sold the grain whichwas allotted them by the state and bought bread from day to day. In short, whatever disgraceful excesses resulting from idleness and wantonness can be mentioned or imagined were all to be found in that army and others besides.
45. But in dealingwith these difficulties, as well as in waging war, I find that Metellus showed himself a great and prudent man, so skilful a course did he steer between indulgence and severity. 2 For in the firstplace he is said to have removed the incentives to indolence by an edict that no one should sell bread or any other cooked food within the camp, that sutlers should not attend the army, and that no private soldier should have a slave or a pack animal in the camp or on the march; and he set a strict limit on other practices of the kind. Moreover he broke camp every day for cross-country marches, fortified it with a palisade and moat just as if the enemy were near, and set guards at short intervals and inspected them in person attended by his lieutenants. On the march too he was now with those in the van, now in the rear, often in the middle of the line, to see that no one left the ranks, that they advanced in a body about the standards, and that the soldiers carried food and arms. 3 In this way, rather by keeping them from doing wrong than by punishing them, he soon restored the temper of his army.
46. Jugurtha meanwhile learned through messengers what Metellus was about, and at the same time received word from Rome that his opponent was incorruptible. 2 He therefore began to lose heart in his cause and for the first time attempted to arrange a genuine surrender. Accordingly, he sent envoys to the consul with tokens of submission, merely asking that his own life and thoseof his children be spared and leaving all else to the discretion of the Roman people. 3 But Metellus had already learned from experience that the Numidians were a treacherous race, of fickle disposition, and fond of a change. He therefore separated the envoys and approached them one by one. 4 When by gradually sounding them he found that they could be used for his design, he induced them by lavish promises to deliver Jugurtha into his hand, alive if possible; or dead, if he could not be taken alive. But publicly he bade them take back a reply in accordance with the king’s wishes.
5 A few days later the consul with his army alert and ready for battle invaded Numidia, where he found nothing to indicate a state of war; the huts were full of men, and cattle and farmers were to be seen in the fields. The king’s officers came out to meethim from the towns and villages, offering to furnish grain, transport provisions — in short, to do everything that they were ordered. 6 None the less, exactly as if the enemy were close at hand, Metellus advanced with his line protected on all sides, and reconnoitred the country far and wide, believing that these indications of submission were a pretence and that the enemy were seeking an opportunity for treachery. 7 Accordingly, he himself led the van with the light-armed cohorts as well as a picked body of slingers and archers, his lieutenant Gaius Marius with the cavalry had charge of the rear, while on both flanks he had apportioned the cavalry of the auxiliaries to the tribunes of the legions and the prefects of the cohorts. With these the light-armed troops were mingled, whose duty it was to repel the attacks of the enemy’s horsemen, wherever they might be made. 8 For Jugurtha was so crafty, so well acquainted with the region and so versed in military science, that it was not certain whether he was more dangerous when absent or when present, at peace or making war.
47. Not far from the route which Metellus was taking lay a town of the Numidians called Vaga, the most frequented emporium of the entire kingdom, where many men of Italic race traded and made their homes. 2 Here the consul stationed a garrison, both to see whether the inhabitants would accept his overtures and because of the advantages of the situation. He gave orders too that grain and other necessaries of war should be brought together there, believing, as the circumstances suggested, that the large number of traders would aid his army in getting studies and serve as a protection to those which he had already prepared.
3 While this was going on, Jugurtha with even greater insistence sent suppliant envoys, begged for peace, and offered Metellus everything except his life and that of his children. These envoys too, like the former ones, the consul persuaded to turn traitors and sent home, neither refusing nor promising the king the peace for which he asked and meanwhile waiting for the envoys to fulfil their promises.
48. When Jugurtha came to compare the words of Metellus with his actions, he realized that he was being attacked with his own weapons; for ostensibly peace was offered him but in reality the bitterest warfare was on foot. His principal city had been taken from him, the country was now familiar to the enemy, the loyalty of his subjects was being undermined. 2 He was therefore compelled to try the fortune of battle. Accordingly, having reconnoitred the enemy’s march, he was led to hope for victory from the nature of the country, and after assembling the greatest possible forces of all kinds, he got in advance of Metellus’ army by obscure by-paths.
3 In that part of Numidia which the partition had given to Adherbal there was a river flowing from the south called the Muthul, and about twenty miles from it was a naturally desolate and uncultivated range of hills running parallel with the river. From about the middle of this range an elevation branched off and extended for a long distance, clothed with wild olive, myrtles, and other varieties of trees which grow in a dry and sandy soil. 4 The intervening plain was uninhabited from lack of water except the parts along the river, which were covered with shrubs and frequented by cattle and farmers.
49. On this hill then, which flanked the Romans’ line of march, as I have said, Jugurtha took his position with his line greatly extended. He gave the command of the elephants and a part of the infantry to Bomilcar and told him what his plan was. He placed his own men nearer the mountain with all the cavalry and the flower of his infantry. 2 Then going about to the various squads and companies, he admonished and besought them to be mindful of their old time valour and victories, and to defend themselves and their country from the greed of the Romans. They wereto fight, he said, with men whom they had already vanquished and sent under the yoke; their leader was changed but not their spirit. For his own part, he had provided for his men everything that a leader ought: that on higher ground and prepared for action they might fight against men taken by surprise; that they might not have to fight few against many nor untrained against better soldiers. 3 Therefore they must be ready and eager to attack the Romans when the signal was given, for that day would either crown all their toil and victories, or would be the beginning of the utmost wretchedness. 4 He also addressed them individually and recalled his favours to the mind of every soldier whom he had ever rewarded with money or honour for any deed of arms, and pointed out the recipient to his comrades. Finally, by promises, threats or entreaties he incited one man after another, each in a different way according to his disposition, when meanwhile Metellus, unaware of the enemy and coming down the mountain with his army, caught sight of them. 5 At first the Roman wondered what the unusual appearance of things meant, for the Numidians with their horses had taken their places amid the woods, and while because of the lowness of the trees they were not entirely covered, yet it was difficult to make out just what they were, since the men and their standards were concealed both by the nature of the place and by disguise. But the consul soon detected the ambuscade, halted his army for a space, and then made a changein its formation. 6 His right flank, which was nearest the enemy,he strengthened with three lines of reserves. Between the maniples he placed the slinger and archers, while on the wings he stationed all the cavalry. Then after exhorting the soldiers briefly, as the time demanded, he led his army down into the plain, just as he had drawn it up, with those who had been inthe van now forming the flank.
50. When Metellus saw that the Numidian remained quiet and did not come down from the hill, he feared that at that season of the year and because of the scarcity of water his army might be exhausted by thirst. He therefore sent his lieutenant Rutilius with the light-armed cohorts and a part of the cavalry towards the river, with instructions to occupy in advance a position for the camp; for he thought that the enemy would try to delay his progress by frequent assaults on the flank, and since they put little trust in their arms, that they would try the effect of fatigue and thirst upon his soldiers. 2 Then, as the circumstances and situation demanded, he advanced slowly in the same order in which he had come down from the mountain, keeping Marius behind what had been the front line, while he himself was with the cavalry on the left wing, which had now become the van.
3 As soon as Jugurtha saw that Metellus’ rear had passed by the first of his own men, he stationed a force about two thousand infantry on the mountain at the point from which the Romans had just come, so that if his opponents should give ground, they might not have this refuge and protection in their rear. Then he suddenly gave the signal and launched his attack. 4 Some of the Numidians cut down the hindermost Romans, while a part attacked them on the right andleft, pressing on with vigour and energy and throwing the ranks into general confusion. For even those who had withstood the charge with a stout heart were baffled by this irregular manner of fighting, in which they were only wounded from a distance, without having the opportunity of striking back or of joining in hand to hand conflict. 5 Jugurtha’s horsemen, following the instructions given them beforehand, whenever a squadron of the Roman cavalry began to attack them, gave way; not, however, in a body or inone direction, but dispersing as widely as possible.6 Thus even if they had been unable to check the enemy’s pursuit, with their superior numbers they cut off the stragglers in the rear or on the flanks. If the hill proved to be more favourable for their flight than the plains, there too the horses of the Numidians, being acquainted with the ground, easily made their escape amid the thickets, while the steep and unfamiliar ground proved a hindrance to our men.
51. Thus the aspect of the whole affair was confused, uncertain, horrible and lamentable. Separated from their comrades, some of our men gave way, others attacked. They could neither follow the standards nor keep their ranks; but wherever each man had been overtaken by danger, there he stood his ground and defended himself. Arms and weapons, men and horses, Numidians and Romans were mingled in confusion. There was no opportunity for advice nor command; chance held sway everywhere.
2 In this way a considerable part of the day had passed and the outcome of the battle was still uncertain. 3 Finally, when all the Romans were growing wearied from their exertions and the heat, Metellus noticed that the Numidians also were attacking with less vigour. He therefore gradually united his soldiers, reformed the ranks, and opposed four legionary cohorts to the enemy’s infantry, the greater part of which through fatigue had taken refuge on the higher ground. 4 At the same time he begged and implored his men not to weaken or allow a fleeing enemy to win the victory; he pointed out that the Romans had no camp or fortress as a refuge, but must rely wholly upon their arms. 5 Meanwhile Jugurtha in his turn was not quiet, went about and encouraged his men, and endeavoured to renew the battle; in person with the flower of his troops he tried every device, aided his men, charged the enemy where they wavered, and by attacks at long range held at bay those whom he had found to be unshaken.
52. Thus did thesetwo men, both great commanders, struggle with each other; personally they were on an equality but they were ill matched in their resources; 2 for Metellus had valiant soldiers but an unfavourable position, while Jugurtha had the advantage in all except his men. 3 At last the Romans, realizing that they had no place of refuge and that the foe gave them no opportunity for fighting (and it was already evening), charged up the hill as they had been ordered and broke through. 4 Losingthat position, the Numidians gave way and fled. A few were killed; the greater number were saved by their quickness and the Romans’ lack of familiarity with the country.
5 In the meantime Bomilcar, who had been put in command of the elephants and a part of the infantry by Jugurtha, as I have already said, when Rutilius had passed him, slowly led his forces down into the plain; and while the lieutenant was hastily making hisway to the river, to which he had been sent on, Bomilcar drew up his line quietly, as the circumstances demanded, continuing to keep an eye on the enemy’s movements in all parts of the field. 6 When he found that Rutilius had encamped and was now easy in mind, while the din from Jugurtha’s battle increased, he feared that the lieutenant, if he knew the critical condition of his countrymen, might go to their aid. Accordingly, wishing to intercept the enemy’s march, he extended his line, which he had drawn up in close order through distrust of his soldiers’ courage, and in that formation approached Rutilius’ camp.
53. The Romans on a sudden became aware of a great cloud of dust, for the bushes which covered the ground cut off their view. At first they thought that the wind was blowing up the dry soil; but later, as they saw that the cloud remained unchanged and came nearer and nearer as the line advanced, they realized the truth, and hastily catching up their arms, took their places before the camp, as they were ordered. 2 Then, when they were at close quarters, both sides charged with loud shouts. 3 The Numidians stood their ground only so long as they thought the elephants could protect them; but when they saw that the brutes became entangled in the branches of the trees and were thus separated and surrounded, they took to flight. The greater number, after throwing away their arms, escaped unhurt, thanks to the hill and the night, which was now close at hand. 4 Four elephants were taken, and all the rest to the number of forty were killed. 5 But although the Romans were wearied by their march, by the work on the camp, and by the battle, yet because Metellus was later than they expected, they went to meet him in order of battle on the alert; 6 for the craft of the Numidians admitted of no relaxation or carelessness. 7 It was now dark night, and at first, when the armies were not far apart, the sound, as of a hostile force approaching, caused fear and confusion on both sides; and the mistake might have led to a deplorable catastrophe, had not the horsemen who were sent out by both sides to reconnoitre discovered what the situation was. 8 Thereupon in place of fear a sudden joy arose. The exultant soldiers called out to one another, told of their exploits and heard the tales of others. Each man praised his own valiant deeds to the skies. For so it is with human affairs; in time of victory the very cowards may brag, while defeat discredits even the brave.
54. Metellus remained in the same camp for four days, giving careful attention to the wounded, rewarding good service in the battles with military prizes, praising and thanking allthe troops in a body. He urged them to have like courage for the easy tasks which remained; their fight for victory was at an end, the rest of their efforts would be for booty. 2 Meanwhile, however, he sent deserters and other available spies to find out where in the world Jugurtha was and what he was about, whether he had but few followers or an army, how he conducted himself in defeat. 3 As a matter of fact, the king had retreatedto a wooded district of natural strength and was there recruiting an army which in numbers was larger than before, but inefficient and weak, being more familiar with farming and grazing than with war. 4 The reason for this was, that except for the horsemen of his bodyguard not a single Numidian followshis king after a defeat, but all disperse whithersoever they choose, and this is not considered shameful for soldiers. Such are their customs.
5 Accordingly, when Metellus saw that the king was still full of confidence, and that a war was being renewed which could be carried on only as his opponent chose, he realized that his struggle with the enemy was an unequal one, since defeat cost them less than victory did his own men. He accordingly decided that he must conduct the campaign, not by pitched battles, but in another fashion. 6 He therefore marched into the most fertile parts of Numidia, laidwaste the country, captured and burned many strongholds and towns which had been hurriedly fortified or left without defenders, ordered the death of all the adults and gave everything else to his soldiers as booty. In this way he caused such terror that many men were given to the Romans as hostages, grain and other necessities were furnished in abundance, and garrisons were admitted wherever Metellus thought it advisable.
7 These proceedingsalarmed the king much more than the defeat which his men had suffered; 8 for while all his hopes depended upon flight, he was forced to pursue, and when he had been unable to defend favourable positions, he was obliged to fight in those which were unfavourable. 9 However, he adopted the plan which seemed best under the circumstances and ordered the greater partof the army to remain where it was, while he himself followed Metellus with a select body of cavalry. Making his way at night and through by-paths he suddenly fell upon the Roman stragglers when they least expected it;10 <span lang3DEN>the greater number of them were killed before they could arm themselves, many were taken, not one escaped unscathed. Before aid could be sent from the camp, the Numidians, as they had been ordered, scattered to the nearest hills.
55. Meanwhile, great joy had arisen at Rome from the news of Metellus’ exploits, when it was learned that he conducted himself and treated his army after the fashion of old, that he, though caught in an unfavourable position, had nevertheless won the victory by his valour, was holding possession of the enemy’s territory, and had compelled Jugurtha, who had been made insolent by Albinus’ incapacity, to rest his hopes of safety on the desert or on flight. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>2 The senate accordingly voted a thanksgiving to the immortal gods because of these successes, while the community, which before this had been in fear and anxiety as to the outcome of the war, gave itself up to rejoicing. Metellus’ fame was brilliant. 3 He therefore strove the harder for victory, hastened matters in every way, yet was careful not to give the enemy an opening anywhere, remembering that envy follows hard upon glory. 4 Hence the greater his fame, the more caution he showed; after Jugurtha’s ambuscade he no longer ravaged the country with his army in disorder; when he required grain or fodder, a number of cohorts stood on guard with all the cavalry; he led part of the army himself and Marius the rest. 5 But fire did more than plundering to devastate the land. 6 The consul and his lieutenant used to encamp in two places not far apart. 7 When necessity demanded the use of strength, they joined forces; otherwise they acted separately, in order that the enemy’s terror and flight might be more widespread.
8 Meanwhile Jugurtha would follow along the hills, watching for a suitable time or place for battle: he spoiled the fodder and contaminated the springs, which were very few, in the places to which he had heard that the enemy were coming; showed himself nowto Metellus, again to Marius; made an attempt on the hindermost in the line and at once retreated to the hills; again threatened others and afterwards others, neither gave battle nor let the enemy rest, but merely prevented them from carrying out their plans.
56. When the Romangeneral began to realize that he was being exhausted by the strategy of his opponent, who gave him no chance for battle, he decided to lay siege to a large city called Zama, the citadel of the part of the kingdom in which it was situated. He thought that as a matter of course Jugurtha would come to the aid of his subjects in distress and that a battle would be fought in that place. 2 But Jugurtha, learning from deserters what was on foot, by forced marches outstripped Metellus; he encouraged the townspeople to defend their walls, and gave them the help of a band of deserters, who formed the strongest part of the king’s forces because they dared not be treacherous. He promised too that he would come himself in due season with an army. 3 Having made these arrangements, the king withdrew to places as secluded as possible, and presently learned that Marius had been ordered to leave the line of march and go with a few cohorts to forage at Sicca, which was the very first town to revolt from the king after his defeat. 4 Thither Jugurtha hastened by night with the best of his cavalry and engaged the Romans at the gate just as they were coming out. At the same time, in a loud voice have urged the people of Sicca to surround the cohorts in the rear; fortune, he said, gave them the chance for a brilliant exploit. If they took advantage of it, he would be restored to his kingdom and they would live for the future in freedom and without fear. 5 And had not Marius hastened to advance and leave the town, surelythe greater part of the townspeople, if not all of them, would have changed their allegiance; such is the fickleness with which the Numidians act. 6 Jugurtha’s soldiers were held firm for a time by the king, but when the enemy attacked with greater force they fled in disorder after suffering slight losses.
57. Marius went onto Zama. That town, situated in an open plain and fortified rather by art thanby nature, lacked no essential, and was well supplied with arms and men. 2 Therefore Metellus, making his preparations to suit the circumstances and the locality, completely invested the walls with his army, assigning to each of his lieutenants his special point of attack. 3 Then, upon a given signal, a mighty shout arose from all sides at once, but without in the least frightening the Numidians; ready and eager for action they awaited the fray without disorder and the battle began. 4 The Romans acted each according to his own quality: some fought at long range with slings or stones, others advanced and undermined the wall or applied scaling-ladders, striving to get at grips with the foe. 5 The townsmen mettheir attacks by rolling down stones upon the foremost and hurling at them beams, pikes, burning pitch mixed with sulphur, and firebrands. 6 Not even those of our men who had remained at a distance were wholly protected by their timidity, for very many of them were wounded by javelins hurled from engines or by hand. Thus the valiant and the craven were in like danger but of unlike repute.
58. While this struggle was going on at Zama, Jugurtha unexpectedly fell upon the Roman camp with a large force, and through the carelessness of the guards, who were looking for anything rather than a battle, forced one of the gates. 2 Our men were struck with a sudden panic and sought safety each according to his temperament; some fled, others armed themselves, nearly all were killed or wounded. 3 But out of the entire number forty or less remembered that they were Romans. These gathered together and took a position a little higher than the rest, from which they could not be dislodged by the greatest efforts of the enemy, but they threw back the weapons which were thrown at them from a distance, and few against many could hardly miss. But if the Numidians came nearer, they then showed their real quality, charging them with the greatest fury, routing and scattering them.
4 Meanwhile, Metellus, who was vigorously pressing the attack on the town, heard shouts like the melley of a hostile force behind him; then, wheeling his horse about, he saw that the fugitives were coming his way, which indicated that they were his countrymen. 5 He therefore sent all the cavalry to the camp in haste and ordered Gaius Marius to follow at once with the cohorts of allies, begging him with tears in the name of their friendship and their common country not to allowany disgrace to stain their victorious army, and not to suffer the enemy to escape unpunished. Marius promptly did as he was ordered. 6 As forJugurtha, he was hampered by the fortifications of the camp, since some of his men were tumbling over the ramparts and others, endeavouring to make haste in the crowded spaces, were getting in each other’s way; he therefore, after considerable losses, withdrew to a place of safety. 7 Metellus was prevented by the coming of night from following up his victory and returnedto camp with his army.
59. Accordingly, the next day, before going out to attack the town, Metellus ordered all the cavalry to ride up and down before that part of the camp where the king was likely to attack, assigned to the several tribunes the defence of the gates and their neighbourhood, and then himself proceeded to the town and assailed the wallas on the day before. 2 Meanwhile Jugurtha suddenly rushed upon ourmen from ambush. Those who were stationed nearest the point of attack were terrified and thrown into confusion for a time, but the rest quickly came to their hel And the Numidians would not have been able to make a long resistance, had not their combination of infantry and cavalry done great execution in the melley; for the Numidian horsemen, trusting to this infantry, did not alternately advance and retreat, as is usual in a cavalry skirmish, but charged at full speed, rushing into and breaking up our line of battle; thus with their light-armed infantry they all but conquered their enemy.
60. At the same time the contest at Zama continued with great fury. Wherever each of the lieutenantsor tribunes was in charge, there was the bitterest strife and no one relied more on another than on himself. The townspeople showed equal courage; men were fighting or making preparations at all points, and both sides were more eager to wound one another than to protect themselves.2 There was a din of mingled encouragement, exultation, and groans; the clash of arms also rose to heaven, and a shower of missiles fell on both sides. 3 But whenever the besiegers relaxed their assault ever so little, the defenders of the walls became interested spectators of the cavalry battle. 4 As Jugurtha’s fortunes shifted, you might see them now joyful, now alarmed; acting as if their countrymen could see or hear them, some shouted warnings, others urged them on; they gesticulated or swayed their bodies, moving them this way and that as if dodging or hurling weapons.
5 When Marius perceived all this (for he was in charge at that point) he purposely slackened his efforts and feigned discouragement, allowing the Numidians to witness their king’s battle undisturbed. 6 When their attention was thus riveted upon their countrymen, he suddenly assaulted the wall with the utmost violence. Our soldiers, mounting on scaling-ladders, had almost reached the top of the wall, when the townsmen rushed to the spot and met them with a rain of stones, firebrands, and other missiles besides. 7 At first our men resisted; then, as ladder after ladder was shattered and those who stood upon them were dashed to the ground, the rest made off as best they could, some few unharmed but the greater number badly wounded. 8 At last night ended the combat on both sides.
61. After Metellussaw that his attempt was vain, that the town was no nearer being taken, that Jugurtha would not fight except from ambush or on his own ground, and that the summer was now at an end, he left Zama and placed garrisons in such of the towns which had gone over to him as were strongly enough fortified by their situation or by walls. 2 The rest of his army he stationed in the part of our province which lies nearest to Numidia, that they might pass the winter there. 3 But he did not devote that season, as others commonly do, to restor dissipation, but since the war was making little progress through arms, he prepared to lay snares for the king through his friends and to make their treachery his weapons.
4 Now Bomilcar had been at Rome with Jugurtha, and then, after being released on bail, had fled to escape trial for the murder of Massiva. Since this man’s special intimacy with the king gave him special opportunities for deceiving him, Metellus tried to win his co-operation by many promises. 5 First, he contrived that the Numidian should come to him secretly for a conference; then after he had pledged his honour that if Bomilcar would deliver Jugurtha into his hands alive or dead, the senate would grant him impunity and restore all his property, he persuaded him without difficulty; for he was treacherous by nature and besides feared that if peace should ever be made with the Romans, one condition would be his own surrender and execution.
62. As soon as an opportune time came, when Jugurtha was worried and lamenting his fate, Bomilcar approached him. He warned the king and begged him with tears that he shouldat last take thought for himself, his children, and the people of Numidia who had served him so faithfully. He reminded him that they had been worsted in every battle, that his country had been ravaged, many of his subjects killed or taken prisoners, and the resources of the kingdom drained. He had now made sufficient trial both of his soldiers’ courage and of the will of fortune, and must take heed, lest while he hesitated the Numidians should take measures for their own safety. 2 By these and other similar arguments he reconciled the king to the thought of a surrender. 3 Envoys were sent to the Roman general to say that Jugurtha would submit to his orders and entrusted himself and his kingdom unconditionally to his honour. 4 Metellus at oncegave orders that all men of senatorial rank should be summoned from the winter quarters; with them and with such others as he considered suitable he held a council. 5 He obeyed the decree of the council — thus conforming to the usage of our forefathers — and sent envoys to demand of Jugurtha two hundred thousand pounds’ weight of silver, all his elephants, and a considerable quantity of horses and arms. 6 When these conditions had promptly been met, he ordered all the deserters to be brought to him in fetters. 7 The greater part of them were brought as ordered, but a few had taken refuge with King Bocchus in Mauretania as soon as the negotiations for surrender began.
8 Now, when Jugurtha, after being stripped of arms, men, and money, was himself summoned to Tisidium to receive his orders, he began once more to waver in his purpose, and prompted by a guilty conscience, to dread the punishment due to his crimes. 9 At last, after spending many days in hesitation, at one time so weary of adversity as to think anything better than war, and anon reflecting how great a fall it was from a throne to slavery, after having lost to no purpose many great resources, he renewed the war. 10 Meanwhile at Rome, when the question of the provinces came up, the senate had assigned Numidia to Metellus.
63. At about that same time it chanced that when Gaius Marius was offering victims to the gods at Utica a soothsayer declared that a great and marvellous career awaited him;the seer accordingly advised him, trusting in the gods, to carry out what he had in mind and put his fortune to the test as often as possible, predicting that all his undertakings would have a happy issue. 2 Even before this Marius had been possessed with a mighty longing for the consulship, for which he had in abundance every qualification except an ancient lineage: namely, diligence, honesty, great military skill, and a spirit that was mighty in war, unambitious in peace, which rose superior to passion and the lure of riches, and was greedy only for glory. 3 Nay more, havingbeen born and reared at Arpinum, where he had spent all his boyhood, he had no sooner reached the age for military life than he had given himself the training of active service, not of Grecian eloquence or the elegance of the city. Thus engrossed in wholesome pursuits his unspoiled nature soon matured. 4 The result was that when he first sought the office of military tribune from the people, the greater number did not know him by sight; yet his deeds were familiar and he was elected by the vote of all the tribes. 5 Then, after that success, he won office after office, always so conducting himself in each of them as to be regarded worthy of a higher position than that which he was holding. 6 Nevertheless, although he had up to that time shown himself so admirable a man (for afterwards he was driven headlong by ambition), he did not venture to aspire to the consulship; for even as late as that time, although the commons could bestow the other magistracies, the nobles passed the consulate from hand to hand within their own order. 7 No “new man” was so famous or so illustrious for his deeds, that he was not considered unworthy of that honour, and the office, so to speak, sullied by such an incumbency.
64. Now when Marius perceived that the words of the soothsayer pointed to the goal towards which his heart’s desire was urging him, he asked Metellus for a furlough, in order to become a candidate. Now, although Metellus possessed in abundance valour, renown, and other qualities to be desired by good men, yet he had a disdainful and arrogant spirit, a common defect in the nobles. 2 At first then he was astonished at the unusual request, expressed his surprise at Marius’ design, and with feigned friendship advised him not to enter upon so mad a course or to entertain thoughts above his station. All men, he said, should not covet all things; Marius should be content with his own lot and finally, he must beware of making a request of the Roman people which they would be justified in denying.
3 After Metellus had made this and other similar remarks without shaking Marius’ resolution, he at last replied that as soon as the business of the state allowed he would do what he asked.4 Later, when Marius often repeated the same request, Metellus is said to have rejoined: “Don’t be in a hurry to go to Rome; it will be soon enough for you to be a candidate when my son becomes one.” That young man at the time was about twenty years old and was serving in Numidia on his father’s personal staff; hence the taunt resulted in inflaming Marius not only with greater desire for the honour to which he aspired, but also with a deep hatred of Metellus. 5 Accordingly, he allowed himself to be swayed by the worst of counsellors, ambition and resentment; he hesitated at no act or word, provided only it could win him popularity; he was less strict than before in maintaining discipline among the soldiers under his command in the winter quarters, and talked about the war to the traders, of whom there were a great number in Utica, at the same time disparagingly and boastfully. He declared that if but half the army were put in his charge, he would have Jugurtha in fetters within a few days. His commander, he said, was purposely protracting the war, because he was a man of extravagant and tyrannical pride, and enjoyed too much the exercise of power. 6 And all this talk appealed the more strongly to the traders, because they had suffered pecuniary loss from the long duration of the war, and for greedy spirits nothing moves fast enough.
65. Furthermore, there was in our army a Numidian named Gauda, a son of Mastanabal and grandson of Masinissa, whom Micipsa had made one of his heirs in the second degree; he was enfeebled by ill health and was consequently of somewhat weak mind. <span class3D0Text>2 This man had petitioned Metellus that he might be given the privilege accorded to royalty and allowed to sit beside him, and afterwards also requested a squadron of Roman knights as a bodyguard. Metellus denied both requests: the honour, because it belonged only to those on whom the Romans had formally conferred the title of king; the guard, because it would have beenan insult to Roman knights to make them the attendants of a Numidian. 3 While Gauda was brooding over this refusal, he was approached by Marius, who urged him to avenge himself on the general for his affronts and offered him his help. In flattering terms he lauded this man whose mind was weakened by illness, declaring that he was a king, a mighty hero, the grandson of Masinissa; that if Jugurtha should be taken or killed, he would without delay be made ruler of Numidia; and Marius asserted that this would very soon come to pass, if only he were made consul and sent to the war.
4 In this way Marius induced Gauda and the Roman knights, both those who were in the army and those who were doing business in the town, some by his personal influence, the most by the hope of peace, to write to their friends in Rome in criticism of Metellus’ conduct of the war and to call for Marius as a commander. <span class3D0Text>5 As a result many men supported Marius’ canvass for the consulshipin a highly flattering fashion; moreover, just at that time the nobles had been given a check by the bill of Mamilius and the commons were striving to advance “new men.” Thus everything favoured Marius.
66. Meanwhile Jugurtha, having abandoned the idea of surrender and having resumed hostilities, was making all his preparations with great care and despatch. He was levying a new army, trying either by intimidation or by offering rewards to win back the cities which had revolted from him, and fortifying advantageous positions. He was making or buying arms, weapons and other things which he had sacrificedto his hope of peace, tempting the Roman slaves to revolt, and trying to bribe even those who formed the Roman garrisons. In short, he left absolutely nothing untried or undisturbed, but kept everything in commotion. As a result of his efforts the Vagenses, in whose town Metellus had placed a garrison at first, at the time when Jugurtha was suing for peace, yielded to the entreaties of the king, towards whom they had always been well disposed, and the leading men of the town entered into a conspiracy. As to the commons, they were of a fickle disposition, as is usually the case and as is particularly true of the Numidians, prone to rebellion and disorder, fond of change and opposed to peace and quiet. Then, after arranging matters among themselves, they appointed the third day from that time, because it was observed as a holiday all over Africa and promised entertainment and festivity rather than danger. 3 ºHowever, when the appointed time arrived, they invited the centurions and military tribunes and even the prefect of the town himself, Titus Turpilius Silanus by name, to their several homes. There all except Turpilius were slain while feasting. The conspirators then fell upon the common soldiers, who were strolling about unarmed, as was natural on such a day, when they were off duty. 4 The commons joined in the massacre, some at the instigation of the nobles, others inspired by a natural fondness for such conduct; for although they knew neither what was being done nor its purpose, they found sufficient incentive in mere revolution and disorder.
67. The Roman soldiers, being bewildered by this unexpected peril and not knowing what to do first, were thrown into disorder. They were cut off from the citadel of the town, where their standards and shields were, by a hostile force, and from flightby the gates, closed beforehand. Moreover, women and boys from the roofs of the houses were busily pelting them with stones and whatever else they could lay hands on. 2 It was quite impossible to guard against the double danger and brave men were helpless before the feeblest of opponents. Side by side valiant and cowardly, strong and weak, fell without striking a blow.
3 During this merciless slaughter, although the Numidians were in a frenzy and the town was completely closed, Turpilius the commander, alone of all the Italians, escaped unscathed. Whether he owed this to the mercy of his host, to connivance, or to chance I have been unable to learn; at any rate, since in such a disaster he chose to live disgraced rather than die with an unsullied reputation, he seems to mea wretch utterly detestable.
68. When Metellus learned what had happened at Vaga, for a time his grief was such that he would see no one. Then, when anger was mingled with his sorrow, he devoted all his thoughts to prompt vengeance for the outrage. 2 No sooner had the sun set than he led out the legion with which he was wintering, and as many Numidian horse as he could muster, all lightly equipped; and on the following day at about the third hour he arrived at a plain, which was surrounded on all sides by somewhat higher ground. 3 At that point, finding that his soldiers were worn out by the long march and were on the point of mutiny, he told them that the town of Vaga was only a mile away. They ought, he said, patiently to endure what toil remained, for the sake of avenging the unhappy fate of their brave fellow-citizens. He also made generous promises about the booty. 4 When he had thus roused their spirits, he ordered the cavalry to take the lead in open order, while the infantry followed in the closest possible formation and with their standards hidden.
69. When the people of Vaga perceived that an army was coming their way, at first they closed their gates, thinking that it was Metellus, as in fact it was. Later, seeing thatthe fields were not being laid waste and that the horsemen in the van were Numidians, they changed their minds, and taking the newcomers for Jugurtha, went out full of joy to meet him. 2 Then on a suddenthe signal sounded and some of the cavalry and infantry began of cut down the crowd which was pouring from the town; others hurried to the gates, while a part took possession of the towers; anger and desire for booty triumphed over their weariness.
3 Thus it was only two days that the people of Vaga exulted in their treachery; 4 then their rich and populous city in its entirety fell a victim to vengeance and plunder. Turpilius, the commandant of the town, who, as I have already said, had been the only one to escape, was summoned by Metellus before a court martial, and being unable to justify himself was condemned to be scourged and put to death; for he was only a Latin citizen.
70. At this same time Bomilcar, who had induced Jugurtha to begin the negotiations for surrender which he later discontinued through fear, being an object of suspicion to Jugurtha and himself looking on the king with suspicion, was desirous of a change of rulers; he therefore began to cast about for a stratagem by whichto effect the ruin of Jugurtha, and racked his brains day and night. 2 Finally, while trying every device, he won the support of Nabdalsa, a man of rank, wealth and distinction, who was very popular with his countrymen. This man was in the habit of exercising a command independently of the kingand of attending to all business which Jugurtha could not transact in person when he was weary or engaged in more important duties; 3 in this way he had gained fame and power. 4 He and Bomilcar accordingly took counsel together and chose a time for their plot, decidingto arrange the details on the spot according to circumstances. Nabdalsa then went to the army, which by the royal command he kept between the winter quartersof the Romans, for the purpose of preventing the enemy from ravaging the country with impunity. 5 There, however, he took fright at the enormity of the proposed crime, and since he did not appear at the appointed hour, his fears thwarted the attempt. Therefore Bomilcar, being at once eager to carry out his design and also fearing that the timidity of his accomplice might lead him to abandon their former plan and look for a new one, sent a letter to him by trusty messengers. In this he upbraided the man for his weakness and cowardice, called to witness the gods by whom he had sworn, and warned him not to exchange ruin for the rewards offered by Metellus. Jugurtha’s end, he said, was at hand; the only question was whether he should succumb to their valour or that of Metellus. Nabdalsa must therefore consider whether he preferred rewards or torture.
71. Now when this letter arrived, it chanced that Nabdalsa, fatigued by bodily exercise, was restingon his couch. 2 On reading Bomilcar’s message, he was at first troubled, and then, as is usual with a wearied mind, sleep overcame him. 3 He hadas his secretary a Numidian whom he trusted and loved, a man whom he had made acquainted with all his designs except this last one. 4 When this man heard that a letter had arrived, he thought that as usual his services or advice would be needed. He therefore entered the tent where his master was sleeping, took the letter, which Nabdalsa had carelessly left on the pillow above his head, and read it; then perceiving the plot, he went in haste to the king.
5 When Nabdalsa woke up a little later and did not find the letter, realizing exactly what had happened, he first made an attempt to overtake the informer, and failing in that wentto Jugurtha in order to pacify him. He declared that he had been anticipated by his faithless dependant in doing what he himself had intended. Bursting into tears, he begged the king by his friendship and his own faithful service ofold not to suspect him of such a crime.
72. To these wordsthe king made a courteous reply, disguising his real feelings. After putting to death Bomilcar and many others whom he knew to be implicated in the plot, he restrained his anger, for fear that the affair might cause a rebellion. 2 But from that time forward Jugurtha never passed a quiet day or night; he put little trust in any place, person, or time; feared his countrymen and the enemy alike; was always on the watch; started at every sound; and spenthis nights in different places, many of which were ill suited to the dignity ofa king. Sometimes on being roused from sleep he would utter outcries and seize his arms; he was hounded by a fear that was all but madness.
73. Now when Metellus learned from deserters of the fate of Bomilcar and the discovery of the plot, he again hastened to make all his preparations, as if for a new war.2 Since Marius constantly asked for a furlough, he sent him home, thinking that a man who was at once both discontented and at odds with his commander, would be of little service. 3 At Rome, too, the commons, on hearing the letters which had been written about Metellus and Marius, had readily accepted what was said in them about both men. 4 The general’s noble rank, which before this had been an honour tohim, became a source of unpopularity, while to Marius his humble origin lent increased favour; but in the case of both men their own good or bad qualities had less influence than party spirit. 5 More than this, seditious magistrates were working upon the feelings of the populace, in every assembly charging Metellus with treason and exaggerating the merits of Marius. 6 At length the commons were so excited that all the artisans and farmers, whose prosperity and credit depended upon the labour of their own hands, left their work and attended Marius, regarding their own necessitiesas less important than his success. 7 The result was that the nobles were worsted and after the lapse of many years the consulship was given to a “new man.” Afterwards, when the tribune Titus Manlius Mancinus asked the people whom they wished to have as leader of the war with Jugurtha, they chose Marius by a large majority. It is true that the senate had shortly before this voted Numidia to Metellus, but their action was to no purpose.
74. By this time Jugurtha had lost all his friends, having himself slain the greater part of them, while others through fear had taken refuge either with the Romans or with King Bocchus. Therefore, since he could not carry on the war without officers, and at the same time considered it dangerous to trust to the fidelity of new friends when old friends had proved so treacherous, he lived in doubt and uncertainty. There was no measure, there was neither plan nor man that he could fully approve. He changed his routes and his officials from day to day, now went forth to meet the enemy, now took to the desert; often placed hope in flight and shortly afterwards in arms; was in doubt whether to trust less to the courage or to the good faith of his countrymen: thus, wherever he turned, he faced adversity.
2 While the king was thus procrastinating, Metellus unexpectedly appeared with his army; whereupon Jugurtha made ready and drew up his Numidians as well as time allowed. Thenthe battle began. 3 Wherever the king was present in person, there was some show of resistance; everywhere else his soldiers broke and fled at the first charge. The Romans captured a considerable number of standards and arms, but few prisoners; for in almost all their battles the Numidians depend more upon speed of foot than on arms.
75. Reduced to even deeper despair by this defeat, Jugurtha took refuge with the fugitives and a part of the cavalry in the desert, and then made his way to Thala, a large and wealthy town in which the greater part of his treasure was kept, and his children were being brought up in grand style. 2 As soon as Metellus learned of this, although he knew that between Thala and the nearest river lay fifty miles of dry and desolate country, yet in hope of ending the war by getting possession of so important a town he undertook to surmount all the difficulties and even to defeat Nature herself. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>3 Accordingly, he gave orders that every pack animal should be relieved of all burdens exceptten days’ allowance of grain, and that in addition to this only skins and other vessels for carrying water should be taken. 4 Moreover, he scoured the fields to find as many domestic animals as possible and upon them he loaded utensils of every kind, but especially wooden ones, which he obtained from the huts of the Numidians. 5 Besides this, heordered all the people who dwelt near by (they had surrendered to Metellus after the flight of the king), to bring each as much water as he could, naming the day and the place where they were to appear. 6 He himself loaded his animals from the river which, as I have already said, was the nearest waterto the town, and with this supply began his march for Thala. 7 When Metellus had reached the place which he had appointed with the Numidians and had pitched and fortified his camp, suddenly such an abundance of rain is said to have fallen from heaven that this alone furnished the army with water enough and to spare. 8 The amount also which was brought to him was greater than he anticipated, since the Numidians, asis common just after a surrender, had more than done their duty. 9 But religious motives led the soldiers to prefer the rain water and its fall added greatly to their spirits; for they thought that they enjoyed the favour of the immortal gods.
The nextday, contrary to Jugurtha’s expectation, the Romans arrived at Thala. 10 <span lang3DEN>The townspeople had supposed themselves protected by their inaccessible situation; but although they were amazed at this great and unexpected feat, they none the less made diligent preparations for battle. Our men did the same.
76. But the king now believed that there was nothing which Metellus could not accomplish, since his energy had triumphed over all obstacles: arms, weapons, places, seasons, even Nature herself, to whom all others bowed. He therefore fled from the town by night with his children and the greater part of his treasure. And after that he never lingered in any place for more than one day or one night, pretending that his haste was due to important affairs; but as a matter of fact he feared treachery and thought that he could escape it by rapid movements, since such designs require leisure and opportunity.
2 But when Metellussaw that the inhabitants were eager for battle and also that the town was fortified both by its position and by defensive works, he encompassed the walls with a stockade and a moat. 3 Then in the two most suitable places that he could find he brought up the mantlets, built a mound, and upon it placed turrets to protect the besiegers and their work.4 The townsmen for their part hastened their preparations; indeed, nothing was left undone by either side. 5 At last, after much exacting toil and many battles, the Romans, forty days after their arrival, got possession of the town only, all the booty having been destroyed by the deserters. 6 For when these men saw the wall battered by the rams and realized that all was lost, they carried the gold, silver, and other valuables to the palace. There, gorged with food and wine, they burned the treasure, the palace and themselves, thus voluntarily paying the penalty which they feared they would suffer at the hands of a victorious enemy.
77. Now simultaneously with the capture of Thala envoys had come to Metellus from the town of Lepcis, begging him to send them a garrison and a commandant. They declared that one Hamilcar, a man of rank and given to intrigue, was plotting a revolution and could be restrained neither by the commands of the magistrates nor by the laws: unless Metellus acted promptly, they would be in extreme peril of their lives; the Romans, of losing their allies. 2 And in fact the citizens of Lepcis at the very beginning of the war with Jugurtha had sent messengers to Bestia the consul and later to Rome, asking for friendship and an alliance.3 After their request was granted, they had always remained true and loyal, and had diligently executed all the commands of Bestia, Albinus and Metellus. 4 Therefore Metellus willingly granted their petition, and four cohorts of Ligurians were sent to their aid under the command of Gaius Annius.
78. The town of Lepcis was founded by Sidonians, who are reported to have left their homes because of civil discord and come to that region in ships. It lies between the two Syrtes, which derive their name from their nature; 2 for they are two bays situated almost at the extreme end of Africa, of unequal size but alike in character. 3 Near the shore the water is very deep, elsewhere it is sometimes deep and sometimes shoal, just as it happens; for when the breeze causes the seato swell and rage, the waves sweep along mud, sand, and great rocks, so that the aspect of the place changes with the winds. From this “sweeping” the Syrtesget their name.
4 Only the speech of this city has been affected by intermarriage with the Numidians; its laws and customs are for the most part Sidonian, and these the inhabitants retained the more easily because they passed their life at a distance from the Numidian capital. 5 For between them and the thickly settled part of Numidia lay an extensive desert.
79. Since the affairs of the people of Lepcis have brought us to this region, it seems fitting to relate the noble and memorable act of two Carthaginians; the place calls the eventto mind. 2 At the time when the Carthaginians ruled in the greater part of Africa, the people of Cyrene were also strong and prosperous. 3 Between that city and Carthage lay a sandy plain of monotonous aspect. There was neither river nor hill to mark the frontiers, a circumstance which involved the two peoples in bitter and lasting strife.
4 After many armiesand fleets had been beaten and put to flight on both sides, and the long struggle had somewhat wearied them both, they began to fear that presently a third party might attack victors and vanquished in their weak state. They therefore called a truce and agreed that on a given day envoys should set out from each cityand that the place where they met should be regarded as the common frontier of the two peoples. 5 Accordingly, two brothers were sent from Carthage, called Philaeni, and these made haste to complete their journey. Those from Cyrene went more deliberately. Whether this was due to sloth or chance I cannot say, <span class3D0Text>6 but in those lands a storm often causes no less delay than on thesea; for when the wind rises on those level and barren plains, it sweeps up the sand from the ground and drives it with such violence as to fill the mouth and eyes. Thus one is halted because one cannot see. 7 Now when the men of Cyrene realized that they were somewhat belated and feared punishment for their failure when they returned, they accused the Carthaginians of having left home ahead of time and refused to abide by the agreement; in fact they were willing to do anything rather than go home defeated. 8 But when the Carthaginians demanded other terms, provided they were fair, the Greeks gave them the choice, either of being buried alive in the place which they claimed as the boundary of their country, or of allowing the Greeks on the same condition to advance as far as they wished. 9 The Philaeni accepted the terms and gave up their lives for their country; so they were buried alive. 10 The Carthaginians consecrated altars on that spot to the Philaeni brothers, and other honours were established for them at home. I now return to my subject.
80. Since Jugurthaafter the loss of Thala was convinced that nothing could resist Metellus, he journeyed through vast deserts with a few followers until he came to the Gaetulians, a wild and uncivilized race of men, who at that time had never heard the name of Rome. 2 He mustered their population in oneplace and gradually trained them to keep ranks, follow the standards, obey orders, and perform the other duties of soldiers. 3 He also won the favour of the nearest friends of King Bocchus by lavish gifts and still more lavish promises, and through their aid approached the king and induced him to make war upon the Romans. 4 This was an easier and simpler matter, because at the beginning of this very war Bocchus had sent envoys to Rome, to ask for a treaty of alliance;5 but this arrangement, so advantageous for the war which was already under way, had been thwarted by a few men, blinded by greed, whose habit it was to traffic in everything, honourable and dishonourable. 6 Even before that Bocchus had married a daughter of Jugurtha, but such a tie is not considered very binding among the Numidians and Moors, since each of them has as many wives as his means permit — some ten, others more, and kings a still greater number. 7 Thus their affection is distributed among a large number; none ofthe wives is regarded as a consort, but all are equally misprised.
81. Now the armiesmet in a place mutually agreed upon. There, after an exchange of pledges, Jugurtha strove to inflame the heart of Bocchus by a speech. The Romans, he said, were unjust, of boundless greed, and the common foes of all mankind. They had the same motive for a war with Bocchus as for one with himself and other nations, namely, the lust for dominion, and their hatred of all monarchies. Just now Jugurtha was their enemy, a short time before it had been the Carthaginiansand King Perses; in the future it would be whoever seemed to them most powerful. 2 After he had spoken these and similar words, the kings directed their march towards the town of Cirta, because there Metellus had placed his booty, his prisoners and his baggage. 3 Hence Jugurtha thought that if the city could be taken, it would be worth the effort, while if the Roman leader came to the help of his countrymen, there would be a battle. 4 And as a matter of fact, there was nothing about which the wily king was in such haste as to involve Bocchus in war, for fear that delay might lead him to choose another course.
82. When the Romangeneral heard of the league of the kings, he did not offer battle heedlessly and inall places alike, as had been his custom with Jugurtha after he had so often defeated him; but he waited for them in a fortified camp not far from Cirta, thinking it better to learn to know the Moors, since this new enemy had appeared, and so to fight to better advantage. 2 Meanwhile he was informed by letters from Rome that the province of Numidia had been given to Marius; for he had already heard of his election to the consulship. He was more affected by this news than was right or becoming, neither refraining from tears nor bridling his tongue; although he had the other qualities of a great man, he showed little fortitude in bearing mortification. 3 Some attributed his conduct on this occasion to arrogance; others declared that a noble spirit had been exasperated by insult; many thought that it was due to the fact that the victory which he had already won was snatched from his grasp. Personally, I feel confident that he was tormented more by the honour done to Marius thanby the affront to himself, and that he would have felt less annoyance if the province had been taken from him to be given to any other man than Marius.
83. Checked therefore as he was by this grievance and thinking it folly to promote another’s interests at his own peril, Metellus sent envoys to Bocchus, to demand that he shouldnot unprovoked become an enemy to the Roman people; he declared that in the crisis before them the king had a golden opportunity to form a friendly alliance, which was preferable to war, and that however much confidence he might feelin his strength, he ought not to exchange certainty for uncertainty. It was always easy to begin a war, but very difficult to stop one, since its beginning and end were not under the control of the same man. Anyone, even a coward, could commence a war, but it could be brought to an end only with the consent of the victors. Therefore the Moor ought to have regard to his own interests and those of his kingdom and ought not to unite his own prosperity with the desperate plight of Jugurtha.
2 To these words the king made a sufficiently conciliatory reply, saying that he desired peace, but pitied the misfortunes of Jugurtha; that if the same opportunity were offered his ally, agreement would be easy. 3 Upon this, Metellus again sent envoys to object to the demands of Bocchus, who partly heeded and partly rejected his remonstrances. In this way, while messengers were continually being sent to and fro, time passed and, as Metellus wished, thewar remained at a standstill.
84. Now Marius, aswe have already said, was chosen consul with the ardent support of the commons. While even before his election he had been hostile to the nobles, as soon as the people voted him the province of Numidia he attacked the aristocracy persistently and boldly, assailing now individuals and now the entire city.He boasted that he had wrested the consulship from them as the spoils of victory, and made other remarks calculated to glorify himself and exasperate them. 2 All the while he gave his first attention to preparation for the war. He asked that the legions should be reinforced, summoned auxiliaries from foreign nations and kings, besides calling out the bravest men from Latium and from our allies, the greater number of whom he knew from actual service buta few only by reputation. By special inducements, too, he persuaded veterans who had served their time to join his expedition.
3 The senate, although it was hostile to him, did not venture to oppose any of his measures; the addition to the legions it was particularly glad to vote, because it was thought that the commons were disinclined to military service and that Marius would thus lose either resources for the war or the devotion of the people. But such a desire of following Marius had seized almost everyone, that the hopes of the senate were disappointed. 4 Each man imagined himself enriched by booty or returning home a victor, along with other visions of the same kind. Marius too had aroused them in no slight degree by a speech of his; 5 for when all the decrees for which he had asked had been passed and he wished to enrol soldiers, in order to encourage men to enlist and at the same time, according to his custom, to bait the nobles, he called an assembly ofthe people. Then he spoke in the following manner:
85. “I know, fellow citizens, that it is by very different methods that most men ask for power at your hands and exercise it after it has been secured; that at first they are industrious, humble and modest, but afterwards they lead lives of indolenceand arrogance. 2 But the right course, in my opinion, is just the opposite; for byas much as the whole commonwealth is of more value than a consulate or a praetorship, so much greater ought to be the care with which it is governed than that which is shown in seeking those offices. 3 Nor amI unaware how great a task I am taking upon myself in accepting this signal favour of yours. To prepare for war and at the same time to spare the treasury; to force into military service those whom one would not wish to offend; to have a care for everything at home and abroad — to do all this amid envy, enmity and intrigue, is a ruder task, fellow citizens, than you might suppose. <span class3D0Text>4 Furthermore, if others make mistakes, their ancient nobility, thebrave deeds of their ancestors, the power of their kindred and relatives, their throng of clients, are all a very present help. My hopes are all vested in myself and must be maintained by my own worth and integrity; for all other supports are weak.
5 “This too I understand, fellow citizens, that the eyes of all are turned towards me, that the just and upright favour me because my services are a benefit to our country, while the nobles are looking for a chance to attack me. 6 Wherefore I must strive the more earnestly that you may not be deceived and that they may be disappointed. 7 From childhood to my present time of life I have so lived that I am familiar with every kind of hardship and danger.8 As to the efforts, fellow citizens, which before your favours were conferred upon me I made without recompense, it is not my intention to relax them now that they have brought me their reward. 9 To make a moderate use of power is difficult for those who from interested motives have pretended to be virtuous; for me, who have spent my entire life in exemplary conduct, habit has made right living a second nature. 10 You have biddenme conduct the war against Jugurtha, a commission which has sorely vexed the nobles. I pray you, ponder well whether it would be better to change your minds and send on this or any similar errand one of that ring of nobles, a man of ancient lineage and many ancestral portraits — but no campaigns; in order, no doubt, that being wholly in ignorance of the duties of such an office, he might hurry and bustle about and select some one of the common people to act as his adviser. 11 In fact, it very often happens that the man whom you have selected as a commander looks about for someone else to command him. 12 I personally know of men, citizens, who after being elected consuls began for the first time to read the history of our forefathers and the military treatises of the Greeks, preposterous creatures! for though in order of time administration follows election, yet in actual practice it comes first.
13 “Compare me now,fellow citizens, a ‘new man,’ with those haughty nobles. What they know from hearsay and reading, I have either seen with my own eyes or done with my own hands. What they have learned from books I have learned by service in the field; 14 <span lang3DEN>Think now for yourself whether words or deeds are worth more. They scorn my humble birth, I their worthlessness; I am taunted with my lot in life, they with their infamies. 15 For my part, I believe that all men have one and the same nature, but that the bravest is the best born; 16 and if the fathers of Albinus and Bestia could now be asked whether they would prefer to have me or those men for their descendants, what do you suppose they would reply, if not that they desired to have the best possible children?
17 “But if they rightly look down on me, let them also look down on their own forefathers, whose nobility began, as did my own, in manly deeds. 18 They begrudge me my office; then let them begrudge my toil, my honesty, even my dangers, since it was through those that I won the office. 19 In fact, these men, spoiled by pride, live as if they scorned your honours, but seek them as if their own lives were honourable. 20 Surely they are deceived when they look forward with equal confidence to things which are worlds apart, the joys of idleness and the rewards of merit. 21 <span lang3DEN>Even when they speak to you or address the senate, their theme is commonly a eulogy of their ancestors; by recounting the exploits of their forefathers they imagine themselves more glory.<span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>22 The very reverse is true. The more glorious was the life of their ancestors, the more shameful is their own baseness. 23 Assuredly the matter stands thus: the glory of ancestors is, as it were, a light shining upon their posterity, suffering neither their virtues nor their faults to be hidden. 24 <span lang3DEN>Of such glory I acknowledge my poverty, fellow citizens; but — and that is far more glorious — I have done deeds of which I have a right to speak. 25 <span lang3DEN>Now see how unfair those men are; what they demand for themselves because of others’ merit they do not allow me as the result of my own, no doubt because I have no family portraits and because mine is a new nobility. And yet surely to be its creator is better than to have inherited and disgraced it.
26 “I am of course well aware that if they should deign to reply to me, their language would be abundantly eloquent and elaborate. But since after the great honour which you have done me they take every opportunity to rend us both with their invectives, I thought it best not to be silent, for fear that someone might interpret my reticence as due to a guilty conscience. 27 In point of fact, I am confident that I can be injured by no speech; for if they tell the truth, they cannot but speak well of me, and falsehood my life and character refutes. 28 <span lang3DEN>But since it is your judgment in giving me your highest office and a most important commission which they criticize, consider again and yet again whether you ought to regret those acts. 29 I cannot, to justify your confidence, display family portraits or the triumphs and consulships of my forefathers; but if occasion requires, I can show spears, a banner, trappings and other military prizes, as well as scars on my breast. 30 <span lang3DEN>These are my portraits, these my patent of nobility, not left me by inheritance as theirs were, but won by my own innumerable efforts and perils.
31 “My words are not well chosen; I care little for that. Merit shows well enough in itself. It is they who have need of art, to gloss over their shameful acts with specious words. 32 <span lang3DEN>Nor have I studied Grecian letters. I did not greatly care to become acquainted with them, since they had not taught their teachers virtue. 33 <span lang3DEN>But I have learned by far the most important lesson for my country’s good — to strike down the foe, to keep watch and ward, to fear nothing saveill repute, to endure heat and cold alike, to sleep on the ground, to bear privation and fatigue at the same time. 34 It is with these lessons that I shall encourage my soldiers; I shall not treat them stingilyand myself lavishly, nor win my own glory at the price of their toil. 35 <span lang3DEN>Such leadership is helpful, such leadership is democratic; for tolive in luxury oneself but control one’s army by punishments is to be a master of slaves, not a commander. 36 It was by conduct like this that your forefathers made themselves and their country famous;37 <span lang3DEN>but the nobles, relying upon such ancestors though themselves of very different character, despise us who emulate the men of old, and claim from you all honours, not from desert, but as a debt.
38 “But those most arrogant of men are greatly in error. Their ancestors have left them all that they could — riches, portrait busts, their own illustrious memory; virtue they have not left them, nor could they have done so; that alone is neither bestowed nor received as a gift. 39 They say that I am common and of rude manners, because I cannot give an elegant dinner and because I pay no actoror cook higher wages than I do my overseer. This I gladly admit, fellow citizens; 40 <span lang3DEN>for I learned from my father and other righteous men that elegance is proper to women but toil to men, that all the virtuous ought to have more fame than riches, and that arms and not furniture confer honour.
41 “Well then, let them continue to do what pleases them and what they hold dear; let them make love and drink; let them pass their old age where they have spent their youth, in banquets, slaves to their belly and the most shameful parts of their body. Sweat, dust, and all such things let them leave to us, to whom they are sweeter than feasts. 42 But they will not; for when those most shameless of men have disgraced themselves by their crimes, they come to rob the virtuous of their rewards.23 <span lang3DEN>Thus, most unjustly, their luxury and sloth, the most abominable of faults, in no wise injure those who practise them, but are the ruin of their blameless country.
44 “Now that I havereplied to them to the extent that my character — but not their crimes — demanded I shall say a few words about our country. 45 First of all, be of good cheer as to Numidia, citizens; for you have put away everything which up to this time has protected Jugurtha — avarice, incompetence, and arrogance. Furthermore, there is an army in Africa familiar with the country, but by heaven! more valiant than fortunate; 46 for a great part of it has perished through the greed or rashness of its leaders. 47 <span lang3DEN>Therefore do you, who are of military age, join your efforts withmine and serve your country, and let no one feel fear because of disasters to others or the arrogance of generals. I, Marius, shall be with you on the march andin battle, at once your counsellor and the companion of your dangers, and I shall treat myself and you alike in all respects. 48 And surely with the help of the gods everything is ripe for us — victory, spoils, glory; but even though these were uncertain or remote, yet all good men ought to fly to the aid of their fatherland. 49 Truly, no one ever became immortal through cowardice, and no parent would wish for his children that they might live forever, but rather that their lives might be noble and honoured. 50 I would say more, citizens, if words could make cowards brave. For the resolute I think I have spoken abundantly.”
86. After Marius had made a speech in these terms and saw that it had fired the spirit of the commons, he made haste to load his ships with provisions, money, arms, and other necessities, with which he bade his lieutenant Aulus Manlius set sail. 2 He himself in the meantime enrolled soldiers, not according to the classes in the manner of our forefathers, but allowing anyone to volunteer,for the most part the proletariat. 3 Some say that hedid this through lack of good men, others because of a desire to curry favour, since that class had given him honour and rank. As a matter of fact, to onewho aspires to power the poorest man is the most helpful, since he has no regard for his property, having none, and considers anything honourable for which he receives pay. 4 The result was that Marius set sail for Africa with a considerably greater contingent than had been authorized. A few days later he arrived at Utica, where the army was handed over to him by the second in command, Publius Rutilius. 5 For Metellus had avoided meeting Marius, that he might not see what he had been unable even to hear of with composure.
87. The consul, after having filled up the ranks of the legions and the cohorts of auxiliaries, marched into a district which was fertile and rich in booty. There he gave to the soldiers everything that was taken, and then attacked some fortresses and towns not well defended by nature or by garrisons, fighting many battles, but slight ones and in various places. 2 Meanwhile the raw soldiers learned to enter battle fearlessly and saw that those who ran away were either taken or slain, while the bravest were the safest; they realized that it was by arms that liberty, country, parents, and all else were protected, and glory and riches won. 3 Thus in a short time the old and the new soldiers were assimilated and all became equally courageous.
4 But the two kings, on hearing of the arrival of Marius, withdrew each to a different place, difficult of access. This was a device of Jugurtha’s, who hoped that the enemy could presently be divided and attacked, and that the Romans, like most soldiers, would have less restraint and discipline when they feared no danger.
88. Metellus meanwhile returned to Rome, where, contrary to his expectation, he was received with great rejoicing; for the feeling against him had died out and he found himself popular with people and senators alike. 2 But Marius watched the conduct of his own men and of the enemy alike untiringly and sagaciously, learned what was to the advantage or disadvantage of both sides, observed the movements of the kings and anticipated their plans and plots, allowing his soldiers no relaxation and the enemy no security. 3 He made frequent attacks on Jugurtha and the Gaetulians while they were plundering our allies, routing them and compelling the king himself to throw away his arms not far from the town of Cirta. 4 But when he found that such exploits merely brought him glory, but did not tend to finish the war, he decided to invest one after the other the cities which by reason of their garrison or their situation were most serviceable to the enemy and most detrimental to his own success. In that way he thought that Jugurtha would either be deprived of his defences, if he made no opposition, or would be forced to fight.5 As for Bocchus, he had sent Marius frequent messengers, saying that he desired the friendship of the Roman people and bidding Marius to fear no hostile act on his part. 6 Whether he feigned this, in order that he might strike an unexpected, and therefore a heavier blow, or from natural instability of character was in the habit of wavering between peace and war, is not altogether clear.
89. But the consul, as he had planned, appeared before the fortified towns and strongholds, and in some cases by force, in others by intimidation or bribery, took them from the enemy. 2 At first his attempts were modest, since he thought that Jugurthawould fight in defence of his subjects. 3 But when he learned that the king was far off and intent upon other matters, he thought the time ripe for undertaking greater and harder tasks.
4 There was in the midst of a great desert a large and strong town called Capsa, whose reputed founder was the Libyan Hercules. Under Jugurtha’s rule its citizens were free from tribute and mildly treated, and were therefore counted upon as most loyal. They were protected from their enemies not only by walls and armed men, but still more by their inaccessible position; 5 for except in the neighbourhood of the town the whole country was desolate, wild, without water, and infested by serpents, whose fierceness, like that of all wild animals, was made greater by scarcity of food. Moreover, the venom of serpents, which is always deadly, is especially aggravated by thirst. 6 Mariuswas inspired with a great desire of taking this town, not only from its military importance, but also because the undertaking seemed hazardous and because Metellus had gained great renown by the capture of Thala. For Thala was similar in its situation and defences, except that there were some springs not far from the town, whereas the people of Capsa had but one flowing spring, which was within the walls, otherwise depending upon rain water. 7 This condition was the more readily endured there and in all the less civilized part of Africa remote from the sea, since the Numidians lived for the most part on milk and game, making no use of salt and other whets to the appetite; for in their opinion the purpose of food was to relieve hunger and thirst, not to minister to caprice and luxury.
90. The consul then, after reconnoitring everywhere, must have put his trust in the gods; for against such great difficulties he could not make sufficient provision by his own wisdom. Indeed, he was even threatened with scarcity of grain, both because the Numidians give more attention to grazing than to agriculture, and because such grain as there was had been transported by the king’s command to fortified places. Moreover, the fields were dry and stripped of their crops at that season, for it was the end of summer. In spite of these difficulties, Marius made the best possible provision under the circumstances. 2 He gave all the cattle which had been captured on previous days to the auxiliary cavalry to drive, and directed his lieutenant Aulus Manlius to go with the light-armed cohorts to the town of Laris, where he had deposited his money and supplies, telling him that a few days later he would himself cometo the same place to forage. 3 Having thus concealed his real purpose, he proceeded to the river Tanaïs.
91. Now every day during the march Marius had distributed cattle equally among the centuries and the divisions of cavalry, taking care that bottles for water should be made from the hides; thus at the same time he made good the lack of grain and without revealing his purpose provided something which was soon to be useful. When they finally reached the river on the sixth day, a great quantity of bottles had been prepared. 2 Having pitched his camp by the river and fortified it slightly, he ordered the soldiers to eat their dinners and be ready to march at sunset, throwing aside all their baggage and loading themselves and the pack-animals with water only. 3 Then, when he thought the proper time had come, he left the camp and marched all night before halting. He did the same thing the next night, and on the third night long before daybreak he came to a hilly tract, distant not more than two miles from Capsa. There he waited with all his forces, keeping as much in concealment as possible. 4 When day dawned and the Numidians, who had no fear of an attack, sallied forth in large numbers from the town, he suddenly ordered all the cavalry and with them the swiftest of the foot-soldiers to hasten at the double-quick to Capsa and beset the gates. Then he himself quickly followed, keeping on the alert and not allowing his soldiers to plunder. 5 When the townspeople perceived what was going on, their disorder,their great panic, their unexpected plight and the fact that a part of their fellow citizens were outside the walls and in the power of the enemy, compelled them to surrender. 6 But nevertheless the town was burned and the adult Numidians put to the sword; all the rest were sold and the proceeds divided among the soldiers. 7 The consul was guilty of this violation of the laws of war, not because of avarice or cruelty, but because the place was of advantage to Jugurtha and difficult of access for us, while the people were fickle and untrustworthy and had previously shown themselves amenable neither to kindness nor to fear.
92. Marius was already great and famous, but after he had won this important success without loss to his own men he began to be regarded as still greater and more famous. 2 All his rash acts, even when ill-advised, were regarded as proofsof his ability. The soldiers, who were kept under mild discipline and at the same time enriched, extolled him to the skies, the Numidians feared him as if he were more than mortal; all, in short, friends and enemies alike, believed that he either possessed divine insight or that everything was revealed to him by the favour of the gods.
3 After his successat Capsa the consul proceeded to other towns. A few he took in spite of the resistance of the Numidians, but the greater number were abandoned through dread of the wretched fate of Capsa, and burned; all Numidia was filled with bloodshed and lamentation. 4 Finally, after capturing many places, for the most part without loss of life, he essayed another feat, not involving the same danger as the taking of Capsa, but no less difficult.
5 Not far from the river Muluccha, which separated the realms of Jugurtha and Bocchus, there was in the midst of a plain a rocky hill which was broad enough for a fortress of moderate size and very high, and accessible only by one narrow path; for the whole place was naturally steep, as if it had been made so by art and design. 6 This place Marius aimed to take by a supreme effort, because it held the king’s treasures, but in this case his success was the result of chance rather than of skill; 7 for the fortress was well supplied with arms and men, besides having an abundance of grain and a spring of water. The situation was impracticable for mounds, towers, and other siege works, while the path to the fortifications was extremely narrow and had precipices on either side. 8 Mantlets were pushed forward with extreme danger and to no purpose; for when they had gone but a short distance they were ruined by fire or by stones. 9 The soldiers could not keep their footing before the works because of the steepness of the hill nor operate within the mantlets without peril; the bravest of them were killed or wounded, and the rest gradually lost courage.
93. After Marius had spent many days in great labour, he was anxiously considering whether he should abandon the attempt as fruitless or await the favour of fortune, which he had so often enjoyed. 2 For many days and nights he had been a preyto indecision, when it chanced that a Ligurian, a common soldier of the auxiliary cohorts, who had left the camp to fetch water, noticed near the side of the fortress which was farthest from the besiegers some snails creeping about among the rocks. Picking up one or two of these and then looking for more, in his eagerness to gather them he gradually made his way almost to the top of the mountain. 3 When he found that he was alone there, the love of overcoming difficulties which is natural to mankind seized him. 4 It happened that a great oak tree had grown up there among the rocks; it bent downward for a little way, then turned and grew upward, as is the nature of all plants. With the help, now of the branches of this tree and now of projecting rocks, the Ligurian mounted to the plateau about the fortress, while all the Numidians were intent upon the combatants. 5 After examining everything that he thought would be useful later, he returned by the same way, not heedlessly, as he had gone up, but testing and observing everything. 6 Then he hastened to Marius, told him what he had done, and urged him to make an attempt on the fortress at the point where he himself had mounted, offering himself as a guide for the ascent and leader in the dangerous undertaking.
7 Marius thereupon ordered some of his staff to go with the Ligurian and look into his proposal, and each of them, according to his temperament, pronounced the attempt difficult or easy; on the whole, however, the consul was somewhat encouraged. 8 Accordingly, out of all his horn-blowers and trumpeters he chose the five who were most agile, and with them four centurions as a protection. Heput them all under command of the Ligurian and set the next day for the attempt.
94. Now, when the Ligurian thought the appointed time had come, he made all his preparations and went to the spot. Those who were going to make the ascent, following the previous instructions of their guide had changed their arms and accoutrements, baring their heads and feet so as to be able to see better and climb among the rocks more easily. They carried their swords and shields on their backs, but took Numidian shields of hide, because they were lighter and would make less noise when struck. 2 Then the Ligurian led the way, fastening ropes to the rocks or toold projecting roots, in order that with such help the soldiers might more easily make the ascent. Sometimes he lent a hand to those whom the unusual nature of the route alarmed, and where the ascent was unusually difficult, he would send men ahead one by one unarmed and then follow himself, bringing the arms. Hewas first to try the places which it seemed dangerous to attempt, and by often climbing up and returning the same way, and then at once stepping aside, he lent courage to the rest. 3 In this way, after a long time and great exertion, they at last reached the fortress, which was deserted at that point because all the men, as on other days, were face to face with the enemy.
Marius had devoted the whole day to keeping the Numidians intent upon the battle; but as soon as he heard that the Ligurian had accomplished his purpose, he began to urge on his soldiers. He himself went outside the mantlets, formed the tortoise-shed, and advanced to the wall, at the same time trying to terrify the enemy at long range with artillery, archers and slingers. 4 But the Numidians, since they had often before overturned the mantlets of the enemyand set fire to them, no longer protected themselves within the walls of the fortress, but spent day and night outside, reviling the Romans and taunting Marius with madness. Emboldened by their successes, they threatened our soldiers with slavery at the hands of Jugurtha.
5 In the meantime, while all the Romans and all the enemy were intent upon the conflict, and both sides were exerting themselves to the utmost, the one for glory and dominion and the other for safety, suddenly the trumpets sounded in the rear of the foe. Then the women and children, who had come out to look on, were the first to flee, followed by those who were nearest the wall, and finally by all, armed and unarmed alike. 6 Upon this the Romans pressed on with greater vigour, routing the enemy, but for the most part only wounding them. Then they rushed on over the bodies of the slain, eager for glory and each striving to be first to reach the wall; not one stayed to plunder. Thus Marius’s rashness was made good by fortune and he gained glory through an error in judgment.
95. During the attack on the fortress the quaestor Lucius Sulla arrived in camp with a large force of horsemen which he had mustered from Latium and the allies, having been leftin Rome for that purpose. 2 And since the event has brought that great man to our attention, it seems fitting to say a few words about his life and character; for we shall not speak elsewhere of Sulla’s affairs, and Lucius Sisenna, whose account of him is altogether the best and most careful, has not, in my opinion, spoken with sufficient frankness.
3 Sulla, then, was a noble of patrician descent, of a family almost reduced to obscurity through the degeneracy of his ancestors. He was well versed alike in Grecian and Roman letters, of remarkable mental power, devoted to pleasure but more devoted to glory. In his leisure hours he lived extravagantly, yet pleasure never interfered with his duties, except that his conduct as a husband might have been more honourable. He was eloquent, clever, and quick to make friends. He had a mind deep beyond belief in its power of disguising its purposes, and was generous with many things, especially with money. 4 Beforehis victory in the civil war he was the most fortunate of all men, but his fortune was never greater than his deserts, and many have hesitated to say whether his bravery or his good luck was the greater. As to what he did later, I know not if one should speak of it rather with shame or with sorrow.
96. Now Sulla, as I have already said, after he came with his cavalry to Africa and the camp of Marius, although he was without previous experience and untrained in war, soon became the best soldier in the whole army. 2 Moreover, he was courteous in his language to the soldiers, granted favours to many at their request and to others of his own accord, unwilling himself to accept favours and paying them more promptly than a debt of money. He himself never asked for payment, but rather strove to have as many men as possible in his debt. 3 He talked in jest or earnest with the humblest, was often with them at their work, on the march, and on guard duty, but in the meantime did not, like those who are actuated by depraved ambition, try to undermine the reputation of the consul or of any good man. His only effort was not to suffer anyone to outdo him in counsel or in action, and as a matter of fact he surpassed almost all. Such being his character and conduct, he was soon greatly beloved by both Marius and the soldiers.
97. Now, Jugurtha,having lost Capsa and other fortified places which were helpful to his cause, as well as a great sum of money, sent messengers to Bocchus, urging him to lead his troops into Numidia as soon as possible, since the time for a battle was at hand. 2 But when he learned that Bocchus was hesitating and doubtfully weighing the advantages of peace and war, he once more bribed the king’s intimates with gifts and promised the Moor himself a third part of Numidia, if the Romans should be driven from Africa or the war brought to a close without any lossof his own territory. 3 Tempted by this prize, Bocchus joined Jugurtha with a great throng. Then the kings united their forces and attacked Marius just as he was going into winter quarters, when scarcely a tenth part of the day was left; for they thought that the approaching night would be a protection to them if they were unsuccessful and would be no hindrance if they conquered, because of their familiarity with the region; while to the Romans darkness would be more dangerous in either victory or defeat. 4 Then, at the very moment that the consul learned from many of his scouts of the coming of the enemy, the foe themselves appeared, and before the army could be drawn up or the baggage piled, in fact before any signal or order could be given, the Moorish and Gaetulian cavalry fell upon the Romans, not in order or with any plan of battle but in swarms, just as chance had brought them together.
5 Our men were all bewildered by the unlooked-for danger, but nevertheless did not forget their valour. Some took arms, while others kept off the enemy from their comradeswho were arming; a part mounted their horses and charged the foe. The combat was more like an attack of brigands than a battle. Without standards and in disorder horse and foot massed together, some gave ground, others slew their opponents; many who were bravely fighting against their adversaries were surrounded from the rear. Valour and arms were no sufficient protection against a foe who were superior in numbers and attacked on every side. At last the Romans, both the raw recruits and the veterans (who as such were skilled in warfare), if the nature of the ground or chance brought any of them together, formed a circle, thus at once protecting themselves on every side and presenting an orderly front to the attacks of the enemy.
98. In so dangerous a crisis Marius was neither frightened nor less confident than before, but with his bodyguard of cavalry, which he had formed of the bravest soldiers rather than of his most intimate friends, he went from place to place, now succouring those of his men who were in difficulty, now charging the enemy where they were pressing on in greatest numbers. He directed the soldiers by gestures, since in the general confusion his orders could not be heard. 2 And now the day was spent, yet the barbarians did not at all relax their efforts, but thinking that darkness would favour them, as the kings had declared, they attacked with greater vigour. 3 Then Marius, adapting his tactics to the situation and wishing to provide a place of refuge for his men, took possession of two neighbouring hills, one of which was too small for a camp but had a large spring of water, while the other was adapted to his purpose because it was for the most part high and steep and required little fortification. 4 But he ordered Sulla to pass the night with the cavalry beside the spring, while he himself gradually rallied his scattered forces and the enemy were in no less disorder, and then led them all at the double quick to the hill. 5 Thus the kings were compelled by the strength of his position to cease from battle. However, they did not allow their men to go far away, but encompassing both hills with their huge army, they bivouacked in loose order.
6 Then, after building many fires, the barbarians, as is their usual habit, spent the greater part of the night in rejoicing, in exultation and in noisy demonstrations, while even their leaders, who were filled with confidence because they had not been put to flight, acted as if they were victorious. 7 Now, all this was clearly visible to the Romans from their higher position in the darkness and encouraged them greatly.
99. Marius, who was particularly heartened by the enemy’s lack of discipline, ordered the utmost possible silence to be kept and not even the customary signals to be sounded to mark the night watches. Then, as daylight was drawing near and the enemy having at length become exhausted had just yielded to sleep, on a sudden he ordered the watch and at the same time the horn-blowers of the cohorts, of the divisions of cavalry and of the legions to sound the signal together, and the soldiers to raise a shout and burst forth from the gates of their cam The Moors and Gaetulians, being suddenly awakened by the strange and terrible sound, could not flee, arm themselves, or do or provide for anything at all; 3 into such a panic, all but frenzy, were they thrown by the clash of arms, the shouting, the lack of help, the charge of our men, the confusion and terror. To make a long story short, they were all routed and put to flight,the greater number of their arms and military standards were taken, and in thatone battle more of the enemy fell than in all those that had gone before; for sleep and the unlooked-for danger hampered flight.
100. Then Marius proceeded, as he had been about to do, to his winter quarters, for he had decided to winter in the coast towns for the sake of supplies. His victory, however, did not make him careless or over-confident, but he advanced in square formation, as though he were under the eyes of the enemy. 2 Sulla had charge of the right, together with the cavalry, on the left was Aulus Manlius with the slingers, the archers and the cohorts of Ligurians, while in front and in the rear Marius had stationed the tribunes with the light-armed companies. 3 The deserters, who were least esteemed and best acquainted with the region, reconnoitred the enemy’s line of march. At the same time the consul was as careful as if he had no officers, looking out for everything, being everywhere present, and distributing praise or blame where each was deserved. 4 He himself was armed and alert, and he compelled the soldiers to follow his example. With the same care that he showed in making his march he fortified his camp, sent cohorts fromthe legions to keep ward at the gate and the auxiliary cavalry to perform the like duty before the camp, and in addition stationed others on the ramparts above the palisade. He personally inspected the guards, not so much because he feared that his orders would not be executed, as to make the soldiers willing to endure labour of which their commander did his full share. 5 Obviously Marius at that time, and at other times during the war with Jugurtha controlled his army rather by appealing to their sense of shame than by punishment. Many said that he did this through a desire for popularity; that he himself took pleasure in hardship, to which he had been accustomed from childhood, and in other things which the rest of mankind call afflictions. But at all events, its service to our country was as great and as glorious as it could have been with the severest discipline.
101. Finally on the fourth day, when they were not far from the town of Cirta, the scouts quickly appeared from all sides at once, showing that the enemy were at hand. 2 But since the different parties, though returning from various quarters, all made the same report, the consul was in doubt what order of battle to take; he therefore waited where he was, without changing his formation, but prepared for any emergency. 3 In this way he disappointed Jugurtha, who had made four divisions of his troops, in the expectation that if they attacked from all quarters alike, some of them at least would take the Romans in the rear. 4 Meanwhile Sulla,whom the enemy had reached first, after encouraging his men attacked the Moors with a part of his force, charging by squadrons and in as close order as possible; the rest of his troops held their ground, protecting themselves from the javelins which were hurled at long range, and slaying all who succeeded in reaching them. 5 While the cavalry were fighting thus, Bocchuswith the infantry brought by his son Volux, which had been delayed on the way and had not taken part in the former battle, charged the Roman rear. 6 Marius at the time was busy with the van, since Jugurtha was there with the greater part of his forces. Then the Numidian, on learning of the arrival of Bocchus, made his way secretly with a few followers to the king’s infantry. When he reached them, he cried out in Latin (for he had learned to speak the language at Numantia) that our men were fighting in vain, since he had a short time before slain Marius with his own hand. And with these words he displayed a sword smeared with blood, which he had made gory during the battle by valiantly slaying one of our foot-soldiers. 7 When our men heard this, they were shocked rather by the horror of the deed than because they believed the report, while at the same time the barbarians were encouraged and charged upon the appalled Romans with greater vigour. 8 And our men were just on the point of flight, when Sulla, who had routed his opponents, returned and fell upon the flank of the Moors. Bocchus at once gave way. 9 As for Jugurtha, while he was trying to hold his men and grasp the victory which he had all but won, he was surrounded by the cavalry; but though all on his right and left were slain, he broke through alone, escaping amida shower of hostile weapons. 10 Marius in the meantime, after putting the cavalry to flight, was hastening to the aid of his men, of whose imminent defeat he had now heard. Finally the enemy were everywhere routed. 11 Then there was a fearful sight in the open plains — pursuing, fleeing, killing, capturing, horses and men dashed to the ground, many of the wounded unable either to flee or to remain quiet, now making an effort to rise and at once collapsing; in short, wherever the eye could reach, the ground was soaked in blood and strewn with weapons, arms, and corpses.
102. After this the consul, now beyond all question victor, came to the town of Cirta, which had been his destination from the first. 2 Thither came envoys from Bocchus five days after the second defeat of the barbarians, to ask of Marius in the king’s name that he should send him two of his most trusty officers; they said that Bocchus wished to confer with them about his own interests and those of the Roman people. 3 Marius immediately selected Lucius Sulla and Aulus Manlius, and they, although they had been sent for by the king, decided to address him, with the view of changing his purpose, if unfavourable, or of making him more eager for peace if he already desired it. 4 Therefore Sulla, to whom Manlius gave place, not because of his years, but because of his eloquence, spoke briefly to the following purport:
5 “King Bocchus, itgives us much joy that the gods have led you, so great a man, at last to prefer peace to war; to refuse to contaminate yourself, one of the best of men, by association with Jugurtha, the very worst; and at the same time to relieve us of the bitter necessity of meting out the same treatment to your error and to his crimes. 6 I may add that the Roman people from the beginning of their rule have preferred to seek friends rather than slaves, and have thought it safer to govern by consent than by compulsion. 7 For you, indeed,no friendship is more desirable than ours: first, because we are at a distance from you, a condition which offers less friction than if we were near at hand, with no less power; and secondly, because we already have more than enough subjects, while neither we nor anyone else ever had friends enough. <span class3D0Text>8 I only wish that you had felt thus disposed from the first! In that event, the favours which by this time you would have received from the Roman people would far outnumber the misfortunes which you have suffered. <span class3D0Text>9 But since Fortune has the chief control of human destiny, and since it seems to have been her pleasure that you should experience both our power and our kindness, make haste now that she allows it and follow the course whichyou have begun. 10 You have many good opportunities easily to atone for your mistakes by good offices. 11 Finally, let this thought sink into your heart, that the Roman people has never been outdone in kindness; its prowess in war you know by experience.”
12 To these words Bocchus made a conciliatory and courteous reply, at the same time offering a brief defence of his conduct, declaring that he had taken arms, not in a spirit of hostility, but to protect his kingdom; 13 for the part ofNumidia from which he had driven Jugurtha, he said, was his by right of conquest and he could not allow it to be laid waste by Marius. 14 Furthermore, he had previously sent envoys to Rome, but his friendship had been rejected. 15 <span lang3DEN>He waived the past, however, and if Marius would allow him, he would again send ambassadors to the senate. But after the consul had granted his request, the barbarian’s purpose was changed by some of his friends, whom Jugurtha had bribed; for he knew of the embassy of Sulla and Manlius and feared its effects.
103. Meanwhile Marius, having settled his army in winter quarters, went with the light-armed cohorts and a part of the cavalry into the desert, in order to besiege a strongholdof the king, which Jugurtha had garrisoned with deserters only. 2 Then Bocchus again, led either by the recollection of what had happened to him in two battles or by the warnings of other friends of his whom Jugurtha had failed to bribe, chose out of the whole body of his relatives five of those whom he knew to be faithful and of pre-eminent ability. 3 These he ordered to go as envoys to Marius and then, if it seemedadvisable, to Rome, giving them complete freedom of action and permission to make peace on any terms. 4 These envoys left betimes for the Roman winter quarters, but on the way they were set upon and robbed by Gaetulian brigands and fled in terror and disgrace to Sulla, whom the consul had left in command when beginning his expedition. 5 Sulla did not treat them as liars and enemies, as he might well have done, but received them with a sympathy and generosity which led the barbarians to think that the Romans’ reputation for avarice was unmerited and that Sulla because of his liberality towards them was really their friend. 6 For even then many men did not know the significance of largess; no one who was generous was suspected of insincerity, and all gifts were regarded as indications of kind feeling. 7 Therefore they confided to the quaestor what Bocchus had ordered and at the same time begged him to help them with his favour and advice. They exaggerated the wealth, integrity and might of their sovereign and everything else which they thought would help them or ensure kind treatment. Then, after Sulla had promised to do all that they asked and had instructed them how to address Marius and the senate, they tarried with him about forty days.
104. After finishing the task which he had set himself, Marius returned to Cirta. There being informed of the arrival of the envoys, he ordered them to come from Utica with Sulla; he also summoned Lucius Bellienus the praetor from Utica, as well as every member of the senatorial order to be found in all parts of the province. In consultation with these men he considered the proposals of Bocchus. <span class3D0Text>2 Among these proposals the consul was asked to give the envoys permission to go to Rome, and in the meantime a truce was requested. This met the approval of the majority, including Sulla; a few hot-heads were for rejecting them, doubtless unaware that human affairs, which are shifting and unstable, are always changing for better or worse.
3 Now when the Moors had obtained everything that they desired, three of them departed for Rome with Gnaeus Octavius Ruso, the quaestor who had brought the soldiers’ pay to Africa, while two returned to the king. Bocchus heard the report of the latter with joy, especially the friendly interest of Sulla. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>4 And atRome his envoys, after urging in excuse that their king had made a mistake and been led astray by the wickedness of Jugurtha, asked for a treaty of friendship and received this reply: 5 “The Senate and People of Rome are wont to remember both a benefit and an injury. But since Bocchus repents, they forgive his offence; he shall have a treaty of friendship when he has earned it.”
105. Upon receiving news of this, Bocchus wrote to Marius to send Sulla to him with power to adjust their common interests. 2 He was accordingly sent with a guard of horsemen and Balearic slingers, also taking with him the archers and a cohort of Paelignians, who wore light armour for the sake of speed and because they were as well protected by this as by any other armour against the weapons of the enemy, which are also light.
3 On the fifth day of their march Volux, the son of Bocchus, suddenly appeared in the open plains with not more than a thousand horsemen; but since they were riding in disorder and widely scattered, they seemed to Sulla and all the rest much more numerous and excited fear of an attack. 4 Therefore each man prepared himself, tried his arms and weapons, and was on the alert; there was some anxiety, but greater confidence, as was natural to victors in the presence of those whom they had often vanquished. 5 Meanwhile the horsemen who had been sent to reconnoitre announced that the intentions of the newcomers were peaceful, as in fact they were.
106. When he came up, Volux addressed the quaestor, saying that he had been sent by his father Bocchus to meet them and act as their escort. Then they went on in company that day and the next without any cause for alarm. 2 Later in the day, when the camp was pitched and evening came on, the Moor on a sudden with a troubled countenance ran in terror to Sulla and said that he had learned from his scouts that Jugurtha was not far off; at the same time he begged and implored Sulla to make his escape with him secretly during the night. 3 But the Roman boldly declared that he did not fear the Numidian whom he had so often routed and that he had absolute trust in the valour of his men; he added that even if inevitable destruction threatened, he would rather standhis ground than betray the men under his command, and by cowardly flight save a life that he might perhaps be fated soon to lose from natural causes. 4 When, however, Volux recommended that they continue their march during the night, he approved the plan, ordered the soldiers to have their dinnersat once, to build as many fires in the camp as possible, and at the first watch to withdraw in silence.
5 And now, when allwere wearied from the night march, Sulla was measuring off his camp at sunrise, when suddenly the Moorish horsemen reported that Jugurtha was encamped about two miles in advance of them. 6 Upon hearing this, the Romans were at last seized with great fear; they believed that they had been betrayed by Volux and led into a trap. Some said that he ought to be put to death and not allowed to escape the penalty of such a crime.
107. Although Sulla shared this opinion, he forbade them to harm the Moor. He urged his men to keep a stout heart, saying that often before a handful of valiant soldiers had worsted a multitude. The less they spared themselves in the fight the safer they would be. It was not seemly for any man who had weapons in his hands to resort tothe help of his unarmed feet and in time of great fear to turn towards the enemy the defenceless and blind part of his body. 2 Then calling upon great Jupiter to witness the crime and perfidy of Bocchus, he ordered Volux to quit the camp, since he was playing a hostile part. 3 The young man begged Sulla with tears not to believe such a thing; he insisted that the situation was due to no treachery on his part, but to the cunning of Jugurtha, who had evidently learned from spies of their expedition. 4 But since the Numidian had no great force and all his hopes and resources depended upon Bocchus, Volux was sure, he said, that he would venture upon no open attempt when the king’s son was present as a witness. 5 He therefore advised that they should march fearlessly through the midst of Jugurtha’s camp; he said that he himself would accompany Sulla alone, whether his Moors were sent ahead or left behind.
6 This plan seemed the best possible one under the circumstances. They set out at once, and because their action was unexpected, Jugurtha wavered and hesitated and they passed through unscathed. 7 A few days later they reached their destination.
108. There was in that place a Numidian called Aspar, who was on very familiar terms with Bocchus.He had been sent on by Jugurtha, after he heard of the summoning of Sulla, to plead for the Numidian and craftily spy upon Bocchus’ designs. There was also a certain Dabar, son of Massugrada, of the family of Masinissa, a man of inferior birth on his mother’s side (for her father was the son of a concubine), but dearly beloved by the Moor because of many good qualities. 2 Having found Dabar faithful to the Romans on many previous occasions, Bocchus at once sent him to Sulla, to report that he was ready to do what the Roman people wished. He suggested that Sulla should select the day, place and hour for a conference and told him to have no fear of Jugurtha’s envoy, declaring that he was purposely maintaining friendly relations with the Numidian, in order that they might discuss their common interests more freely; in no other way could he have guarded against his plots.
3 But I believe that it was rather with Punic faith than for the reasons which he made public that Bocchus beguiled both the Roman and the Numidian with the hope of peace, and that he pondered for a long time whether to betray Jugurtha to the Romans or Sulla to Jugurtha; that his inclination counselled against us, but his fears in our favour.
109. Now Sulla replied to the king’s proposal, that he would speak briefly in the presence of Aspar, but would discuss other matters privately with Bocchus either with no one else present or before as few as possible; at the same time he instructed the envoys what reply was to be made to him. 2 When the meetinghad been arranged according to his wishes, Sulla said that he had been sent by the consul to ask of Bocchus whether he desired peace or war. 3 Then the king, as had been arranged, directed him to return ten days later, saying that even yet he had made no decision, but would give his answer at that time. 4 Then they both withdrew to their camps. But when a good part of the night had passed, Sulla was secretly summoned by Bocchus; both were attended only by trustworthy interpreters in addition to Dabar as mediator, an upright man who was trusted by both of them. Then the king immediately began as follows:
110. “I never believed it possible that I, the greatest monarch in these lands and of all kings whom I know, should owe gratitude to a man of private station. 2 And by Heaven! Sulla, before I knew you many have prayed for my help, which I gave often to their prayers, often unasked, needing no man’s help myself. 3 At such a curtailment of independence others are wont to grieve, but I rejoice in it; let the need which I at last feel be the price that I pay for your friendship; for in my heart I hold nothing dearer. 4 As a proof of this, take arms, men, money, in short whatever you like; use them, and as long as you live never think that you are repaid; for I shall always feel a fresh sense of obligation towards you. In short, there will be nothing for which you can wish in vain, provided your desires are known to employ. 5 For in my opinion it is less disgraceful for a king to be vanquished in war than to be outdone in gratitude.
6 “Now hear a few words with regard to your country, as whose representative you have been sent hither. I did not make war on the Roman people and I never wished to do so; but I defended my realm with arms against armed invaders. 7 Even that I now cease to do, since it is your wish. Carry on the war with Jugurtha as you think best. 8 I shall not pass the river Muluccha, which was the boundary between Micipsa and myself, nor will I allow Jugurtha to do so. If you have anything further to ask which is honourable for us both, you shall not go away disappointed.”
111. To these words Sulla replied on his own account briefly and modestly; he spoke at length about peace and their common interests. Finally, he made it clear to the king that the senate and people of Rome would feel no gratitude for his promises, since they had shown themselves his superior in arms. He must do something which would clearly be for their interests rather his own. This would be easy, since he could get control of Jugurtha; if he would deliver the king into the hands of the Romans, they would be greatly indebted to him. Then friendship, alliance, and the part of Numidia which he now desired would freely be given him.
2 At first the king refused, saying that relationship and kinship forbade, as well as a treaty; moreover, he feared that if he showed treachery he would alienate his subjects to whom Jugurtha was dear and the Romans hateful. 3 At last, after many importunities, he gave way and promised to do all that Sulla desired. 4 They also took the necessary steps for pretending to make the peace which was most desired by the Numidian, who was weary of war. Having thus perfected their plot, they parted.
112. Now, on the following army the king summoned Aspar, Jugurtha’s envoy, and said that he had learned from Sulla through Dabar that terms of peace could be arranged; he therefore desired him to find out the intentions of his king. 2 The envoy joyfully departed to Jugurtha’s camp; then after eight days he returned in haste to Bocchus with full instructions from the king and reported to him that Jugurtha was willing to do anything that he desired, but put little trust in Marius. He said that peace had often before been agreed upon with Roman generals to no purpose; 3 but that Bocchus, if he wished to consult for the interests of both and to have a lasting peace, ought to arrange fora general interview under pretext of agreeing upon conditions and there deliver Sulla to him. When he had so important a man in his power, a treaty would surely be made by order of the senate or of the people; for a man of rank would not be left in the power of the enemy when he had fallen into it, not through his own cowardice, but in the service of the country.
113. After long consideration, the Moor at last promised this. Whether his hesitation was feigned or genuine I cannot say; but as a rule the desires of kings, although strong, are changeable and often contradictory. <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>2 Afterwards, when time and place were agreed upon for holding the peace conference, Bocchus addressed now Sulla and now the envoy of Jugurtha, received both courteously and made them the same promises. Both alike were joyful and full of human hope.
3 That night, however, which was the one preceding the day appointed for the conference, the Moor summoned his friends and at once changed his purpose and dismissed all others; then he is said to have had a long struggle with himself, during which the conflict in his mind was reflected in his expression and eyes, which, though he was silent, revealed the secrets of his heart. 4 At last, however, he ordered Sulla to be summoned and yielding to his wish, set a trap for the Numidian.
5 When day came andhe was told that Jugurtha was not far off, he proceeded with a few friends and the Roman quaestor to a mound in full sight of those who were in ambush, as if he were honouring Jugurtha by going to meet him. 6 Jugurtha came to the same place unarmed and with only a few followers, as had been agreed, and immediately on a given signal those who were in concealment rushed upon him from all sides at once. His companions were killed; the king himself was bound and delivered to Sulla, who took him to Marius.
114. At this same time our generals Quintus Caepio and Gnaeus Manlius were defeated by the Gauls and terror at this had made all Italy tremble. 2 The Romans of that time and even down to our own day believed that all else was easy for their valour, but that with the Gauls they fought for life and not for glory. 3 But when it was announced that the war in Numidia was ended and that Jugurtha was being brought captive to Rome, Marius was made consul in his absence and Gaul was assigned him as his province. On the Kalends of January he entered upon his office and celebrated a triumph of great magnificence. 4 At that time the hopes and welfare of our country were in his hands.
ORATIONS AND LETTERS FROM THE HISTORIES
Sallust’s mostextensive work was the Historiae, composed in five books, which recounted the events of twelve years, from 78 to 67 B.C. The work formed a continuation of Sisenna’s History, which ended with the death of Sulla. According to Suetonius, Lucius Ateius Praetextatus (Philologus) helped Sallust to collect his sources for the work. It was principally written in order to discredit the party of the nobles and to demonstrate Pompey’s unfitness to be entrusted with the rule of the state. The majority of the Historiae has been lost, being only represented now in fragmentary form. Four complete speeches and two lettersare preserved in a collection made apparently in the second century for use in the schools of rhetoric. The work was frequently cited by grammarians and other ancient writers, from which numerous small fragments have been recovered. Other brief extracts from the Histories have been recovered from the account of the First Civil War written by Julius Exsuperantius in the latter part of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth centuries, and based upon Sallust.
The extant fragments of the Histories support Sallust’s status as a political partisan, who took great pleasure in describing the reaction against Sulla’s policy and legislation after the dictator’s death. Historians regret the loss of the work, as it would provide much valuable insight on a very eventful period, including the war against Sertorius (72 BC), the campaigns of Lucullus against Mithridates VI of Pontus (75-66 BC) and the victories of Pompey in the East (66-62 BC).
The style Sallust’s writing differed from the writings of his famous contemporaries Caesar and Cicero. Admiring Thucydides’ brevity of expression, Sallust was an advocate for conciseness, which is reflected in his historical accounts, where he favours brief descriptions and a more direct approach to narration. Sallust is also distinguishable for his use of rare words and turns of phrase. As a result, his works are very far from the conversational Latin of his time.
Mithridates VI( 134–63 BC) was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey) from c. 120–63 BC. He is remembered as one of the Roman Republic’s most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the prominent generals from the late Roman Republic in the Mithridatic Wars.
SPEECH OF THE CONSUL LEPIDUS TO THE ROMAN PEOPLE.
1. Your mercy and your honesty, fellow citizens, which make you supreme and renowned throughout all nations, cause me the greatest apprehension in the face of the tyranny of Lucius Sulla. On the one hand, I fear that you may be outwitted through not believing others capable of acts which you yourselves regard as abominable; especially since all Sulla’s hopes depend upon crime and treachery, and since he thinks that he cannot be safe, unless he has shown himself even worse and more detestable than you fear, so that when you are enslaved to him, you may cease because of your wretchedness to think of freedom. On the other hand, if you are on your guard, I fear that you may be more occupied in avoiding danger than in taking vengeance.
2. As to his satellites, I cannot sufficiently wonder that men bearing great names, made great by the deeds of distinguished ancestors, are willing to purchase dominion over you with their own slavery, and prefer these two things joined with injustice to living free with the best of right. 3. Glorious scions of the Bruti, Aemilii, and Lutatii, born to overthrow what their ancestors won by their prowess! 4. For what did their forefathers defend against Pyrrhus, Hannibal, Philip and Antiochus, if not our liberty and our own hearthstones, and our privilege of submitting to nothing but the laws? 5. All these things that caricature of Romulus holds in his possession, as if they had been wrested from foreigners; and not content with the destruction of so many armies, consuls, and other leading men, whom the fortune of war had swept away, he grows more cruel at a time when success turns most men from wrath to pity. 6. Nay, he alone of all within the memory ofman has devised punishment for those yet unborn, who are thus assured of outrage before they are of life. Worst of all, he has hitherto been protected by the enormity of his crimes, while you are deterred from trying to recover your liberty by the fear of a still more cruel slavery.
7. You must rouse yourselves, fellow citizens, and resist the tyrant, in order that he may not possess your spoils. You must not delay or look for help from prayers to the gods; unless haply you hope that Sulla is now weary or ashamed of his tyranny and that what he has criminally seized he will with still greater peril resign. 8. On the contrary, he has sunk so low that he thinks nothing glorious which is not safe, and regards every means of retaining his supremacy as honourable. 9. Hence that state of repose and tranquillity combined with freedom, which many good men prized more highly than honours attended with toil, is a thing of the past; 10. in these times one must either be slave or master, one must feel fear, citizens, or inspire it. 11. Forwhat else is left us? What human laws survive? The Roman people, lately ruler of the nations, now stripped of power, repute and rights, without the means to live and an object of contempt, does not even retain the rations of slaves. 12. A great part of our allies and of the people of Latium to whom you gave citizenship in return for many distinguished services are robbed of it by one man, while a few of his minions, as a recompense for their crimes, have seized upon the ancestral homes of the guiltless commons. 13. Thelaws, the courts, the treasury, the provinces, the kings, in fact, the power of life and death over our citizens are in the hands of one man. 14. Youhave even beheld human sacrifices and tombs stained with the blood of citizens. 15. If you are men, is anything left to you except to put an end to oppression or to die valiantly? For of a truth Nature has appointed one andthe same end for all, even for those encased in steel, and no one awaits the last necessity, daring nothing, unless he has the heart of a woman.
16. But Sulla saysthat I am a sower of sedition, because I protest against the rewards paid to civil commotion; a lover of war, because I would reclaim the rights of peace. 17. Of course! since you cannot be safe and fully protected under Sulla’s dominion, unless Vettius of Picenum and the clerk Cornelius may squander the goods which others have honestly acquired; unless you all approve the proscription of innocent men because of their wealth, the tortures of distinguished citizens, a city depopulated by exile and murder, the goods of wretched citizens sold or given away as if they were the spoils of the Cimbri. 18. Sulla blames me for having possessions which are derived from thegoods of the proscribed. But in fact it is the very greatest of his crimes that neither I nor anyone else would have been safe if we did what was right. Moreover, the property which at that time I bought through fear and paid for I nevertheless restore now to its rightful owners, and it is not my purpose to allow any booty to be taken from the citizens. 19. Letit be enough to have endured what our frenzy has brought about — Roman armies pitted against each other, our arms turned away from the enemy and against ourselves. Let there be an end to crimes and all outrages; of which, however, Sulla isso far from repenting that he counts them among his titles to glory, and, if he were allowed, would more eagerly do them again.
20. But now I careno longer what you think of him, but what you dare; for while you are all waiting for someone else to assume the lead, I fear lest you may be caught, not by his forces, which are insignificant and degenerate, but through your own indifference, which allows him to continue his course of rapine and to seemfortunate in proportion to his audacity. 21. For with the exception of his crime-stained minions, who is on his side or who does not desire a complete change, retaining only the victory? Think you it is the soldiers, at the price of whose blood riches are won for vile slaves such as Tarula and Scirtus? 22. Or is it those who in suing for office were thought less worthy than Fufidius, a vile wench, the dishonour of all honours? It is because of acts like these that I rest my greatest confidence in the victorious army, which has gained nothing by so many wounds and hardships save a tyrant. 23. Unless haply they took the field to overthrow the power of the tribunes, which their forefathers had established, and to rob themselves with their own hands of their rights and their jurisdiction; richly rewarded, no doubt, when, banished to swamps and woods, they find that insult and hatred are their portion, that a handful of men gain the prizes!
24. Why then does the tyrant walk abroad with so great a following and with such assurance? Because success is a wonderful screen for vices; but let a reverse come, and he will be despised as much as he is now feared. Or perhaps he does it to make a pretence of peace and harmony, which are the names which he has applied to his guiltand treason. Furthermore, he declares that the republic cannot be established, and war ended, unless the commons are for ever driven from their lands, the citizens cruelly plundered, and all rights and jurisdiction, once belongingto the Roman people, placed in his own hands. 25. If this seems to you to be peace and order, show your approval of the utter demoralization and overthrow of the republic, bow to the laws which have been imposed upon you, accept a peace combined with servitude and teach future generations how to ruin their country at the price of their own blood.
26. For my own part, although by attaining this the highest of offices I had done enough to liveup to the fame of my ancestors as well as to secure my own dignity, and even my safety, yet it was not my intention to pursue my private interests, but I looked upon freedom united with danger as preferable to peace with slavery.27. If you are of the same mind, citizens of Rome, rouse yourselves and with the kindly aid of the gods follow Marcus Aemilius, your consul, who will be your leader and champion in recovering your freedom!
THE SPEECH OF PHILIPPUS IN THE SENATE.
1. I could wish above everything, Fathers of the Senate, that our country might be at peace, or that amidst dangers, it might be defended by its ablest citizens; or at any rate that evil designs should prove the ruin of their contrivers. But on the contrary, everything is in disorder as the result of civil dissensions, which are aroused by those whose duty it rather was to suppress them; and finally, the wise and good are forced to do what the worst and most foolish of men have resolved. 2. For even though you may detest war and arms, yet you must take them up because it is the will of Lepidus, unless haply anyone is disposed to granthim peace and at the same time to suffer war.
3. O ye gods, who still watch over this city, for which we take no thought, Marcus Aemilius, the lowest of all criminals — and it is not easy to say whether he is more vicious or more cowardly — has an army for the purpose of overthrowing our liberties, from contemptible has made himself terrible! You, meanwhile, muttering and shrinking, trusting to the predictions and incantations of soothsayers, pray rather than fight for peace, and you do not realise that by your irresolute decrees you are losing your prestige, he his fear. 4. And naturally enough, for since his robberies have made his consul, his acts of sedition have given him a province and an army, what might he not have gained by good conduct, when you have rewarded this crimes so generously?
5. But perhaps it is those who up to the very last have voted for embassies, for peace, for harmony, and the like, that have won his favour. Nay, despised, held unworthy of a sharein the state, they are regarded as plunder, since fear makes them sue for peace, which fear had made them lose. 6. For my own part, at the very outset, when I saw Etruria conspiring, the proscribed recalled, and the state rent asunder by bribery, I thought that there was no time to be lost and with a few others I followed the standard of Catulus. But those who lauded the great deeds of the Aemilian family, and the clemency which had made the Roman people great, said that even then Lepidus had taken no decisive step, although he had taken up arms on his own responsibility to crush out liberty; and thus while seeking power or protection for themselves each of them perverted the public counsels.
7. At that time, however, Lepidus was a mere brigand at the head of a few camp-followers and cut-throats, any one of whom would have sold his life for a day’s wages; now he is a proconsul with military power which he did not buy, but which you gave him, with subordinates who are still bound by law to obey him; the most vicious characters of every class flock to his standard, inflamed by poverty and greed, driven on by the consciousness of their crimes, men who find repose in discord, disquiet in time of peace. These are the men who rouse rebellion after rebellion, war after war, followers now of Saturninus, then of Sulpicius, next of Marius and Damasippus, and now of Lepidus. 8. Moreover, Etruria is aroused, as well as all the other smouldering fires of war; the Spanish provinces are stirred to revolt, Mithridates, who is close beside those of our tributaries from whom we still receive support, is watching for an opportunity for war; in short, for the overthrow of our empire nothing is lacking save a competent leader.
9. Therefore, Fathers of the Senate, take heed, I beg and implore you, and do not allow the licence of crime, like a madness, to infect those who are as yet sound. For when the wicked are rewarded, it is not easy for anyone to be virtuous without price. 10. Or are you waiting for Lepidus to come again with an army and enter our city with fire and sword? Verily, such an act is much nearer the condition in which he now finds himself than are peace and concord to civil arms.11. And these arms he took up in defiance of all human and divine law, not in order to avenge his own wrongs or the wrongs of those whom he pretends to represent, but to overthrow our laws and our liberty. For he is hounded and tormented in mind by ambition and terror because of his crimes, uneasy and at his wits’ end, resorting now to this plan, now to that. He fears peace, hates war; he sees that he must sacrifice luxury and licence, and meanwhile he takes advantage of your indolence.
12. As to your conduct, I lack sufficient wisdom to know whether to call it cowardice, weakness or madness, when each one of you seems to pray that the evils which threaten you like a thunderbolt may not touch him, and yet makes not the slightest effort to prevent them.
13. I pray you consider how the order of things is inverted; formerly public mischief was planned secretly, public defence openly; and hence the good easily forestalled the wicked. Nowadays peace and harmony are disturbed openly, defended secretly; those who desire disorder are in arms; you are in fear. What are you waiting for, unless perchance you are ashamed or weary of well doing? 14. Are you influenced by the demands of Lepidus? He says that he wishes to render unto each his own, and keeps the property of others; to annul laws established in time of war, while he uses armed compulsion; to establish the citizenship of those from whom he denies that it has been taken, and in the interests of peace to restore the power of the tribunes, from which all our discords were kindled.
15. O vilest and most shameless of men, do you take to heart the poverty and grief of the citizens, when you have nothing in your possession which was not seized by arms or by injustice! You ask for a second consulship, as if you had ever given up your first. You seek harmony through war, by which the harmony which we had attained is broken, a traitor to us, unfaithful to your party, the enemy of all good citizens. Are you not ashamed either before men or before the gods, whom you have insulted by your perfidy or perjury?
16. Since such is your character, I urge you to be true to your purpose and to retain your arms, lest by deferring your rebellious plans you may be uneasy yourself and keep us in a ferment. Neither the provinces, nor the laws, nor your country’s gods tolerate you as a citizen. Continue as you have begun, in order that as soon as possible you may meet with your deserts.
17. But you, Fathers of the Senate, how long will your hesitation leave your country undefended, and how long will you meet arms with words? Forces have been levied against you, money extorted from individuals and from the treasury, garrisons removed from one place and stationed in another, the laws interpreted in accordance with caprice, and in the meantime you are preparing to send envoys and make decrees. But, by Heaven! the more eagerly you seek peace, the more cruel will the war be, when he finds that he can more safely rely upon your fears than upon the justice and righteousness of his cause. 18. In truth, whoever says that he hates disturbance and the death of citizens, and therefore keeps you unarmed while Lepidus is in arms, is in reality advising you to suffer what the conquered must endure, when you might yourselves visit it upon others. Such counsellors advise you to keep peace with him and encourage him to make war upon you. 19. If this is your intention, if such torpor has stolen upon your spirits that forgetting the crimes of Cinna, upon whose return to our city the flower of this order perished, you will nevertheless entrust yourselves, your wives, and your children to Lepidus, what need is there of decrees? What need of Catulus’ help? Surely it is in vain that he and other good citizens are taking thought for the republic.
20. But have your way! Gain the protection of Cethegus and the other traitors, who are eager to renew the reign of pillage and fire and once more to arm their hands against our country’s gods. Or if you prefer liberty and justice, pass decrees worthy of your reputation, and thus increase the courage of your brave defenders. 21. A new army is ready, besides the colonies of veterans, all the nobles, and the best leaders; fortune attends the stronger; soon the forces which our negligence has assembled will melt away.
22. Therefore thisis my recommendation: whereas Marcus Lepidus, in defiance of the authority of this body and in concert with the worst enemies of their country, is leading against this city an army raised on his own authority, therefore be it resolved that Appius Claudius the interrex, with Quintus Catulus, the proconsul and others who have military power, shall defend the city and see to it that no harm come to our country.
SPEECH OF GAIUS COTTA TO THE ROMAN PEOPLE.
1. I HAVE encountered many dangers, fellow citizens, at home and abroad, and many adversities, some of which I have endured, some averted by the gods’ help and my own courage; inall these I never lacked resolution to decide or energy to act. Adversity and prosperity changed my resources, not my character. But in these present troubles it is different, and along with Fortune everything else has deserted me. Furthermore, old age, which is in itself an affliction, redoubles my anxiety, since it is my wretched lot, when near the end of life, not even to be able to hope for an honourable death. For if I am a traitor to you, and although twice born into this state, hold cheap by country’s gods, my fatherland, and its highest magistracy, what torture is enough for me whileI live, and what punishment after death? Surely I have committed a crime too great to be expiated by all the torments related of the Nether World.
From early youth I have passed my life before your eyes both as a private citizen and in office; those who needed my voice, my counsel, my purse, have had them. I have not practised a calculating eloquence or used my talents for evil-doing. Most covetous of private friendships, I have incurred the bitterest public enmities for my country. When these had overcome me along with my country, when in need of others’ help, I looked for still greater calamities, you, fellow citizens, gave me back my country and my fathers’ gods, and added to them your highest mark of distinction. For such favours I should seem hardly grateful enough if I could give my life for each one of you. That I cannot do, since life and death are subject to natural laws; but to live unashamed among one’s fellow citizens, and with unblemished reputation and fortune, is something that may be given and received.
You haveelected us to the consulship, Romans, at a time when our country, is in dire straits at home and abroad; for our generals in Spain are calling for money, men, arms, and supplies — and they are forced to do so by circumstances, since the defection of our allies and the retreat of Sertorius over the mountains prevent them from either contending in battle or providing for their necessities. Armies are maintained in Asia and in Cilicia because of the excessive powerof Mithridates, Macedonia is full of foes, as is also the sea-coast of Italy and of the provinces. In the meantime our revenues, made scanty and uncertain by war, barely suffice for a part of our expenditures; hence the fleet which we keep upon the sea is much smaller than the one which formerly safeguarded our supplies.
If such a state of affairs has been brought about by treason or negligence on our part, followthe promptings of your anger and inflict punishment upon us; but if fortune, which is common to all, frowns upon us, why do you resort to acts unworthy of you, of us, and of our country? I, to whom death is nearer because of my years, am ready to meet it, if that will lessen any of your ills; nor could I end my life (as in the course of nature I soon must) with more honour than in securing your safety. Behold, here I stand, Gaius Cotta, your consul! I do what our ancestors often did in adverse wars; I consecrate myself and offer my life for my country. It is your task to find someone to whom you may entrust the state;for no good man will desire such an honour, when one must render an account forthe vagaries of fortune, for the uncertainties of the sea, and for war brought on by others, or else must die a shameful death. Only bear in mind that it wasnot for crime or avarice that I was put to death, but that I willingly gave my life as a gift in return for your great favours. In your own name, fellow-citizens, and by the glory of your ancestors, I conjure you to endure adversity and take thought for your country. The price of supreme power is great anxiety, many heavy burdens. It is vain for you to attempt to avoid them and to look for peace and prosperity, when all the provinces and realms, all lands and seas, are devastated or exhausted by wars.
LETTER OF GNAEUS POMPEIUS TO THE SENATE.
1. IF I had been warring against you, against my country, and against my fathers’ gods, when I endured such hardship and dangers as those amid which from my early youth the armies under my command have routed the most criminal of your enemies and insured your safety; even then, Fathers of the Senate, you could have done no more against me in my absence than you are now doing. For after having exposed me, in spite of my youth, 2. to a most cruel war, you have, so far as in you lay, destroyed me and a faithful army by starvation, the most wretched of all deaths. Was it with such expectations that the Roman people sent its sons to war? Are these the rewards for wounds and for so often shedding our blood for our country? Wearied with writing letters and sending envoys, I have exhausted my personal resources and even my expectations, and in the meantime for three years you have barely given me the means of meeting a year’s expenses. By the immortal gods! do you think that I can play the part of a treasury or maintain an army without food or pay?
I admit that I entered upon this war with more zeal than discretion; for within forty daysof the time when I received from you the empty title of commander I had raisedand equipped an army and driven the enemy, who were already at the throat of Italy, from the Alps into Spain; and over those mountains I had opened for you another and more convenient route than Hannibal had taken. I recovered Gaul, the Pyrenees, Lacetania, and the Indigetes; with raw soldiers and far inferior numbers I withstood the first onslaught of triumphant Sertorius; and I spent the winter in camp amid the most savage of foes, not in the towns or in adding to my own popularity.
Why needI enumerate our battles or our winter campaigns, the towns which we destroyedor captured? Actions speak louder than words. The taking of the enemy’s camp at Sucro, the battle at the river Turia, and the destruction of Gaius Herennius, leader of the enemy, together with his army and the city of Valentia, are well enough known to you. In return for these, grateful fathers, you give me want and hunger. Thus the condition of my army and of that of the enemy is the same; for neither is paid and either can march Victorious into Italy. Of this situation I warn you and I beg you to give it your attention; do not force me to provide for my necessities on my own responsibility. Hither Spain, so far as it is not in the possession of the enemy, either we or Sertorius have devastated to the point of ruin, except for the coast towns,so that it is actually an expense and a burden to us. Gaul last year supplied the army of Metellus with pay and provisions and can now scarcely keep alive itself because of a failure of the crops; I myself have exhausted not only my means, but even my credit. You are our only resource; unless you come to our rescue, against my will, but not without warning from me, our army will pass over into Italy, bringing with it all the war in Spain.
This letter was read in the senate at the beginning of the following year. But the consuls distributed the provinces which had been decreed by the senate, Cotta taking Hither Gaul and Octavius taking Cilicia. Then the next consuls, Lucius Lucullus and Marcus Cotta, who were greatly agitated by Pompey’s letters and messages, both because of the interests of the state and because they feared that, if he led his army into Italy, they would have neither glory nor position, used every means to provide him with money and reinforcements. And they were aided especially by the nobles, the greater number of whom were already giving expression to their confidence and adapting their conduct to their words.
THE SPEECH OF MACER, TRIBUNE OF THE COMMONS TO THE COMMONS.
1. IF you did not realize, fellow citizens, what a difference there is between the rights left you by your forefathers and this slavery imposed upon you by Sulla, I should be obligedto make a long speech and to inform you because of what wrongs, and how often,the plebeians took up arms and seceded from the patricians; and how they won the tribunes of the commons as the defenders of their rights. But as it is, I have only to encourage you and to precede you on the road which, in my opinion, leads to the recovery of your liberties. I am not unaware how great is the power of the nobles, whom I alone, powerless, am trying to drive from their tyranny by the empty semblance of a magistracy2; and I know how much more secure a faction of wicked men is than any upright man alone. But in addition to the fair hopes which you have inspired and which have dispelled my fear,I have decided that defeat in a struggle for liberty is for a brave man better than never to have struggled at all.
And yet all the others who were elected to maintain your rights have been led by personal interest, by hope, or by bribery to turn all their power and authority against you; and they consider it better to do wrong for hire than to do right without recompense. Therefore they have now, one and all, submitted to the mastery of a few men, who, under the pretext of carrying on a war, have taken possessionof the treasury, the armies, the kingdoms and the provinces. These men have made themselves a stronghold from your spoils. whilein the meantime you, like so may cattle, yield yourselves, a multitude, to single owners for use and enjoyment; and that, too, after being stripped of every privilege which your forefathers left you, save that by your ballots you may yourselves choose, as once your defenders, so now your masters.
Therefore all men have now gone over to their side, but presently, if you regain what is yours, the most will return to you, since few have courage to defend their independence, the rest belong to the stronger. Can you fear that anything will be able to resist you, if you advance with a united purpose, when they have feared you even in your weakness and indifference? Unless haply it was from another motive than fear that Gaius Cotta, a consul chosen from the heart of the aristocratic party, restored some of their rights to the people’s tribunes. In fact, although Lucius Sicinius, who was the first to dare to speak aboutthe tribunician power, was cut off while you only murmured, yet his slayers feared your displeasure even before you resented your wrongs. At that patience of yours, citizens, I cannot sufficiently marvel; for you knew that your hopeshad often been disappointed. On the death of Sulla, who had imposed this infamous slavery upon you, you believed that your troubles were ended; up rose Catalus, a tyrant far crueller than Sulla. There was an outbreak in the consulship of Brutus and Mamercus, and after it Gaius Curio was long enough your master to cause the death of a guiltless tribune.
You saw with what passion Lucullus last year assailed Lucius Quintius; what tempests are now roused against me! But these acts they certainly committedin vain, if it was their intention to put an end to their mastery before you did to your slavery; especially since in these civil dissensions, although other motives were alleged, the real object of the contest on both sides was to determine who should be your masters. Therefore the other struggles, inspired as they were by licence, by hatred, or by avarice, blazed up for a time only; one issue only has persisted, which has been the aim of both sides and has been taken away from you for the future: the tribunician power, a weapon given you by your ancestors, with which to defend your liberties. Of this fact I warnyou and I beg you to bear it in mind; do not change the names of things to suit your own cowardice and give to slavery the title of peace. Even peace you will not be allowed to enjoy, if wickedness triumph over right and honour; you might have done so, if you had never roused yourselves. As it is, they are on their guard, and if you do not gain the victory, they will hold you in tighter bonds, since the greater the injustice the greater its safety.
What then do you advise? some one of you will say. First of all, you must give up this habit which you have, ye men of active tongues but of weak spirit, notto retain the thought of liberty outside of the place of assembly. Then (not to attempt to urge you to those manly deeds6 by which your ancestors gained their tribunes of the commons, a magistracy previously patrician, and a suffrage independent of the sanction of the patricians) since all the power is in your hands, citizens, and since you undoubtedly can execute or fail to execute on your own account the orders to which you now submit for the profit of others, I would ask you whether you are waiting for the advice of Jupiter or some other one of the gods. That supreme power of the consuls, and those potent decrees of the senate, you yourselves ratify, citizens, by executing them; and you hasten voluntarily to increase and strengthen their despotism over you. I do not urge you to avenge your wrongs, but rather to seek quiet; and it is not because I desire discord, as they charge, but because I wish to put an end to it, that I demand restitution according to the law of nations. If they persist in refusing this, I do not advise war or secession, but merely that you should refuse longer to shed your blood for them. Let them hold their offices and administer them in their own way, let them seek triumphs, let them lead their ancestral portraits, against Mithridates, Sertorius, and what is left of the exiles, but let those who have no share in the profits be free also from dangers and toil.
But perhaps your services have been paid for by that hastily enacted law for the distribution of grain, a law by which they have valued all your liberties at five pecks per man, an allowance actually not much greater than the rationsof a prison. For just as in the case of prisoners that scanty supply keeps off death, but yet their strength wanes, so this small amount relieves you of no financial care and disappoints the slenderest hopes of the idle. But even though the allowance were a great one, what lethargy it would show, since it was offered as the price of your slavery, to be deceived by it and actuallyto owe gratitude to your oppressors for your own property. You must guard against craft; for by no other means can they prevail against the people as a whole, and in that way only will they attempt to do so. It is for this reason that they are making plans to soothe you and at the same time to put you off until the coming of Gnaeus Pompeius, the very man whom they bore upon their necks9 when they feared him, but presently, their fear dispelled, they tear to pieces. Nor are these self-styled defenders of liberty, many as they are, ashamed to need one man before they dare to right a wrong or to defend a right. For myown part I am fully convinced that Pompey, a young man of such renown, prefers to be the leading man of the state with your consent, rather than to share in their mastery, and that he will join you and lead you in restoring the power of the tribunes.
There was once a time, fellow countrymen, when each of you citizens found protection in the many10and not the community in one man, and when no single mortal was able to give orto take away such things from you. I have therefore said enough; for it is not through ignorance that the matter halts, but a kind of lethargy has laid hold upon you, because of which neither glory nor disgrace moves you. You have given up everything in exchange for your present slothfulness, thinking that you have ample freedom because your backs are spared, and because you are allowed togo hither and thither by the grace of your rich masters. Yet even these privileges are denied to the country people, who are cut down in the quarrels of the great, and sent to the provinces as gifts to the magistrates. Thus they fight and conquer for the benefit of a few, but whatever happens, the commons are treated as vanquished; and this will be more so every day, so long as your oppressors make greater efforts to retain their mastery than you do to regain your freedom.
LETTER OF MITHRIDATES.
1. KING, MITHRIDATES, to King Arsaces, Greeting. All those who in the time of their prosperity are asked to form an offensive alliance ought to consider, first, whether it is possible for them to keep peace at that time; and secondly, whether what is asked of them is wholly right and safe, honourable or dishonourable. If it were possible for you to enjoy lasting peace, if no treacherous foes were near your borders, if to crush the Roman power would not bring you glorious fame, I should not venture to sue for your alliance, and it would be vain for me to hope to unite my misfortunes with your prosperity. But the considerations which might seem to give you pause, such as the anger against Tigranes inspired in you by the recent war, and my lack of success, if you but consent to regard them in the right light, will be special incentives. For Tigranes is at your mercy and will accept an alliance on any terms which you may desire, while so far as I am concerned, although Fortune has deprived me of much, she has bestowed upon me the experience necessary for giving good advice; and since I am no longer at the height of my power,2. I shall serve as an example of how you may conduct your own affairs with more prudence, a lesson highly advantageous to the prosperous.
In fact,the Romans have one inveterate motive for making war upon all nations, peoples and kings; namely, a deep-seated desire for dominion and for riches. Therefore they first began a war with Philip, king of Macedonia, having pretended to be his friends as long as they were hard pressed by the Carthaginians. When Antiochus came to his aid, they craftily diverted him from his purpose by the surrender of Asia, and then, after Philip’s power had been broken, Antiochus was robbed of all the territory this side Taurus, and of ten thousand talents. Next Perses, the son of Philip, after many battles with varying results, was formally taken under their protection before the gods of Samothrace; and then those masters of craft and artists in treachery caused his death from want of sleep, since they had made a compact not to kill him. Eumenes, whose friendship they boastfully parade, they first betrayed to Antiochus as the price of peace; later, having made him the guardian of a captured territory, they transformed him by means of imposts and insults from a kinginto the most wretched of slaves. Then, having forged an unnatural will,<span class3D0Text> they led his son Aristonicus in triumph like an enemy, because he had tried to recover his father’s realm. They took, possession of Asia, and finally, on the death of Nicomedes, they seized upon all Bithynia, although Nysa, whom Nicomedes had called queen, unquestionably had a son.
Why should I mention my own case? Although I was separated from their empire on every side by kingdoms and tetrarchies, yet because it was reported that I was rich and that I would not be a slave, they provoked me to war through Nicomedes. And I was not unaware of their design, but I had previously given warning of what afterwards happened, both to the Cretans, who alone retained their freedom at that time, and to king Ptolemy. But I took vengeance for the wrongs inflicted upon me; I drove Nicomedes from Bithynia, recovered Asia, the spoil taken from king Antiochus, and delivered Greece from cruel servitude. Further progress was frustrated by Archelaus, basest of slaves, who betrayed my army; and those whom cowardice or misplaced cunning kept from taking up arms, since they hoped to find safety in my misfortunes, are suffering most cruel punishment. For Ptolemy is averting hostilities from day to day by the payment of money, while the Cretans have already been attacked once and will find no respite from war until they are destroyed. As for me, I soon learned that the peace afforded by civil dissensions at Rome was really only a postponement of the struggle, and although Tigranes refused to join with me (he now admits the truth of my prediction when it is too late), though you were far away, and all the rest had submitted, I nevertheless renewed the war and routed Marcus Cotta, the Roman general, on land at Chalcedon, while on the sea I stripped him ofa fine fleet. During the delay caused by my siege of Cyzicus with a great army provisions failed me, since no one in the neighbourhood rendered me aid andat the same time winter kept me off the sea. When I, therefore, without compulsion from the enemy, attempted to return into my kingdom, I lost the best of my soldiers and my fleets by shipwrecks at Parium and at Heraclea. Then when Ihad raised a new army at Cabira and engaged with Lucullus with varying success, scarcity once more attacked us both. He had at his command the kingdom of Ariobarzanes, unravaged by war, while I, since all the country about me had been devastated, withdrew into Armenia. Thereupon the Romans followed me, or rather followed their custom of overthrowing all monarchies, and because they were able to keep from action a huge force hemmed in by narrow defiles, boasted of the results of Tigranes’ imprudence as if they had won a victory.
I pray you, then, to consider whether you believe that when we have been crushed you will be better able to resist the Romans, or that there will be an end to the war. I know well that you have great numbers of men and large amounts of arms and gold, and it is for that reason that I seek your alliance and the Romans your spoils. Yet my advice is, while the kingdom of Tigranes is entire, and while I still have soldiers who have been trained in warfare with the Romans, to finish far from your homes and with little labour, at the expense of our bodies, awar in which we cannot conquer or be conquered without danger to you. Do you not know that the Romans turned their arms in this direction only after Ocean had blocked their westward progress? That they have possessed nothing since the beginning of their existence except what they have stolen: their home, their wives, their lands, their empire? Once vagabonds without fatherland, without parents, created to be the scourge of the whole world, no laws, human or divine, prevent them from seizing and destroying allies and friends, those near them and those afar off, weak or powerful, and from considering every government which does not serve them, especially monarchies, as their enemies.
Of a truth, few men desire freedom, the greater part are content with just masters; we are suspected of being rivals of the Romans and future avengers.<span class3D0Text> But you, who possess Seleucea, greatest of cities, and the realmof Perses famed for its riches, what can you expect from them other than guilein the present and war in the future? The Romans have weapons against all men,the sharpest where victory yields the greatest spoils; it is by audacity, by deceit, and by joining war to war that they have grown great. Following their usual custom, they will destroy everything or perish in the attempt . . . and this is not difficult if you on the side of Mesopotamia and we on that of Armenia surround their army, which is without supplies and without allies, and has been saved so far only by its good fortune or by our own errors. You will gain the glory of having rendered aid to great kings and of having crushed the plunderers of all the nations. This is my advice and this course I urge you to follow; do not prefer by our ruin to put off your own for a time rather than by our alliance to conquer.
THE PSEUDO-SALLUSTIAN WORKS
The two letters of political counsel and advice addressed to Caesar and an attack upon Cicero (Invectiva or Declamatio in Ciceronem), which are frequently attributed to Sallust, are now believed by modern scholars to have come from the pen of a rhetorician of the first century AD, along with a counter-invective attributed to Cicero. At one time Marcus Porcius Latro was considered a candidate for the authorship of the pseudo-Sallustian works, but this is no longer commonly supported.
Marcus TulliusCicero (106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, politician and leading orator, as well as a chief political opponent of Sallust.
3D"#Top_of_part0024_xhtml"][SPEECH ON THE STATE, ADDRESSED TO CAESAR IN HIS LATER YEARS (ATTRIBUTED TO SALLUST)
3D"#Top_of_part0025_xhtml"][LETTER TO CAESARON THE STATE (ATTRIBUTED TO SALLUST)
3D"#Top_of_part0026_xhtml"][AN INVECTIVE AGAINST MARCUS TULLIUS (ATTRIBUTED TO SALLUST)
3D"#Top_of_part0027_xhtml"][AN INVECTIVE AGAINST SALLUSTIUS CRISPUS (ATTRIBUTED TO CICERO)
SPEECH ON THE STATE, ADDRESSED TO CAESAR IN HIS LATER YEARS
(ATTRIBUTED TO SALLUST)
1. It was accounted true formerly that Fortune gave as gifts kingdoms and empires, as well as the other possessions which are eagerly coveted among mortal men; for they were often found in the hands of the undeserving, as if given capriciously, and they did not remain unspoiled in anyone’s hands. 2 But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune; and this proverb is especially true of you, who have excelled others to such a degree that men are sooner wearied in singing the praises of your deeds than you in doing deeds worthy of praise. <span class3D0Text>3 But as the work of an architect, so the achievements of virtue ought to be guarded with all possible care, in order that they may not be injured by neglect or fall in ruins through weakness. 4 For noone willingly yields empire to another; and however virtuous and merciful one may be, one who has more power is nevertheless feared, since it is lawful for him to be wicked. 5 The reason for this is, that potentates for the most part have perverted ideas and think themselves the more strongly entrenched the greater the wickedness of their subjects. 6 But on the contrary, this should be one’s endeavour, to be virtuous and valiant oneself and rule over subjects the best possible; for the worst men most bitterly resent a ruler.
7 But for you it isharder than for all before you to administer your conquests, 8 because your war was more merciful than their peace. Moreover, the victors demand booty, the vanquished are fellow citizens. Amidst these difficulties you have to make your way, and strengthen the state for the future, not in arms only and against the enemy, but also in the kindly arts of peace, a task far, far thornier. 9 Therefore the situation calls upon all men, whether of great or of moderate wisdom, to offer you the best advice of which each is capable. 10 <span lang3DEN>And this is my opinion: even as you use your victory, so will thewhole future be.
2. But now, to enable you the better and more easily to arrange matters, let me give you in a few words what my mind prompts.
2 You waged war, Caesar, with a distinguished antagonist, of great prowess, greedy for power, but not wise so much as favoured by fortune. He was followed by a small party, those who were your enemies because of the wrongs they had done you and those whom relationship or some other tie had attached to him. 3 For noone of them had any share in his power, and if he had been able to brook a rival, the world would not have been convulsed by war. 4 The rest took his side rather after the usual custom of the multitude than from deliberate choice, each man following his neighbour, as if he were wiser than himself.5 At the same time, the slanders of unfair critics inspired men whose whole lives were stained with infamy and debauchery with the hope of getting control of the state. They accordingly flocked into your camp and openly threatened peaceable citizens with death, robbery, in short, with everything that a perverted mind could imagine. 6 The greater number of these, however, when they saw that there was no repudiation of debts and that you did not treat your fellow citizens as enemies, gradually dispersed; a few remained, expecting to find more repose in your camp than in Rome, so greatwas the throng of creditors that there awaited them.7 But anenormous number of prominent men afterwards went over to Pompey from those same motives, and debtors during the whole course of the war found in him a sacred and inviolable asylum.
3. Therefore, since you must deal as victor with both war and peace, in order that you may end the one in the spirit of a good citizen, and make the other as just and as lasting as possible, first consider what your own conduct should be, since the settlement of the state is your task. 2 For my own part,I believe that a cruel rule is always more bitter than lasting, and that no one is fearful to the many but fear from the many recoils upon his own head; that such a life is engaged in an eternal and dangerous warfare, in which there is no safety in front, in the rear, or on the flanks, but always peril or fear. 3 On the contrary, those who have tempered their rule with kindnessand mercy have found everything happy and prosperous; even their enemies are more friendly than their countrymen to others.
4 Probably some will declare that with these words I am the ruiner of your victory, and that I am too well disposed towards the vanquished. Doubtless because I believe that the same privileges which we and our forefathers have often granted to foreign nations, our natural enemies, ought to be allowed to our fellow citizens, and that murder should not, after the manner of barbarians, be atoned for by murder, and blood by blood.
4. Or has oblivion destroyed the murmurs which, a short time before this war, were directed against Gnaeus Pompeius and the victory of Sulla; when it was said that Domitius, Carbo, Brutus and others were slain, not in arms nor in battle according to the laws of war, but afterwards with the utmost barbarity, while they were begging for mercy; and that the Roman commons were slaughtered like so many cattle in the Villa Publica? 2 Alas! before your victory was won, how savage and cruel were the secret deaths of citizens and their sudden murder, the flight of women or boys to the bosom of their parents or children, and the devastation of homes! 3 It is to such atrocities that these same men are urging you, declaring indeed that the purpose of the contest was to determine which of you two should have the right to commit outrages, and maintaining that you did not restore the state, but took it captive. It was for this reason, these men say, that after finishing their term of service the best and oldest soldiers of our armies contended in battle against their brothers and parents; namely, that through others’ woes the worst of men might acquire the means to gratify their belly and their fathomless lust, and be a disgrace to your victory by staining with their crimes the patriot’s glory. 4 For I think you did not fail to observe with what manners and discipline each one of them conducted himself while the victory was even then uncertain; and while directing the war how some of them gave themselves up to harlots or gluttony, whose age couldnot touch upon such pleasures without disgrace even in time of peace.
5. Of war enough has been said. Since it is peace that you and all your followers are planning to establish, first, I pray you, consider what the aim is which you have in view; in that way, after separating the good from the evil, you will open a broad highway to the truth. 2 My own opinion is this: since everything which has a beginning must also have an end, when the day destined for the destruction of Rome shall come, citizen will battle with citizen; that thus worn out and enfeebled, they will fall a prey to some king or nation. Otherwise not the whole world, nor all the nations banded together, can move or crush this empire. 3 You must establish therefore even harmony with all its blessings,and cast out the evils of discord. 4 And this can be done, if you will check the frenzied indulgence in extravagance and pillage, not by calling men back to the old standards, which from the corruption of our morals have long since become a farce, but by fixing the amount of each man’s income as the limit of his expenditure. 5 For it has become the custom for mere youths to think it a fine thing to waste their own substance and that of others, to refuse nothing to their own lust and the demands of their fellows, to regard such conduct as evidence of manliness and high spirit, but to consider modesty and self-restraint as cowardice. 6 Therefore the headstrong spirit, entering upon the wrong course, when he finds his habits no longer supplied hurls himself madly now upon our allies and now upon the citizens, subverts the established order of things, and is eager for a revolution. 7 We must therefore for the future rid ourselves of the moneylender, to the end that each one of us may take care of his own property. 8 This is the only right way to administer a magistracy for the people and not for the creditor, and to show greatness of soul by enriching the state, not by pillaging it.
6. I am well awarehow objectionable this step will be at first, especially to those who expected to find in the hour of victory or licence and freedom than restraint. But if you have regard to the welfare of such men rather than to their desires, you will establish both them and us, along with our allies, upon a solid foundation of peace. But if our youth continue to have the same desires and habits as at present, beyond doubt that eminent renown of yours will come to a speedy end, along with the city of Rome.
2 Finally, wise menwage war only for the sake of peace and endure toil in the hope of quiet; unlessyou bring about a lasting peace, what mattered victory or defeat? 3 Therefore, I conjure you by the gods, take the commonwealth in hand and surmount all difficulties, as you always do. 4 For either you can cure our ills, or else all must give up the attempt. No one, however, urges you to cruel punishments or harsh sentences, by which our country is rather ravaged than corrected, but rather to keep depraved practices and evil passions far from our youth. 5 True mercy will consist in taking care that citizens may not deserve to be banished from their country, in keeping them from folly and deceptive pleasures, in establishing peace and harmony;not in being indulgent to crime and tolerant of offences, and in allowing them a temporary gratification at the expense of inevitable evil in the near future.
7. And for my own part, the things which cause fear to others give me a special confidence; I mean the greatness of the task and the fact that you have the whole world to set in order by land and sea. For a mind as great as yours could not touch small matters, and great responsibilities have great rewards. 2 Therefore you ought to provide that the commons, who are demoralized by largess and by the free distribution of grain, shall have their occupations, by which they may be kept from public mischief; and that our young men may cultivate honesty and industry, not extravagance and the pursuit of wealth.3 This will come to pass, if you deprive money, which is the root of all evil, of its advantage and honour. 4 For when I have meditated, as I often do, on the means by which various eminent men acquired greatness, and have asked myself what it is that has greatly advanced peoples and nations, and then have inquired what causes have brought about the downfall of kingdoms and empires, I invariably found the same virtues and the same vices: that the victors always despised riches, the vanquished coveted them. 5 In fact, a mortal cannot exalt himself and draw near to the gods unless he cast away the delights of wealth and bodily pleasure, and invite his soul, not by flattery, by indulging its desires, by allowing it a perverse gratification, but by exercising it in labour, in patience, in virtuous precepts and in meritorious deeds.
8. In fact, to build a mansion or a country house, to adorn it with statues, tapestries, and other works of art, to make everything in it better worth seeing than its owner, is not to make one’s riches an honour, but to be a disgrace to one’s own riches. 2 Moreover, when those whose habit it is to overload their stomachstwice a day, and to pass no night without a harlot, have enslaved the mind, which ought to have ruled, it is vain for them to hope to find it ready for action after they have dulled and crippled it. 3 For folly ruins most things, and even itself. But these and all other evils will come to an end with the worship of money, when neither magistracies nor any of the other things which the vulgar desire are for sale.
4 Besides this, youmust prove that Italy and the provinces may be safer, which it is not difficult to accomplish; 5 for it is these same men who commit devastation everywhere, by abandoning their own homes and wrongfully appropriating those of others. 6 You must also provide that military service may not be unjust and unequal, as it has been hitherto, when some serve thirty campaigns and some none at all. It will be right too that the grain which was once made the reward of idleness be taken to the free towns and colonies and distributed to those soldiers who have returned to their homes after having served their time.
7 I have set forth in the fewest possible words the conduct which I think will benefit our country and bring glory to you. 8 It now seems in place to say a wordor two about my act. 9 Most men have, or pretend to have, sufficient ability to sit in judgment; indeed, all are so eager to censure the doings or sayings of other men that hardly any mouth is sufficiently open, or any tongue sufficiently ready, to give utterance to the thoughts of their hearts. I donot regret having subjected myself to the criticism of such men; I should feel more regret for having kept silence. 10 For whether youtake this course or some better one, I shall have the consciousness of having advised and aided you to the best of my ability. It only remains to pray that the immortal gods may approve your decision and grant it a happy issue.
LETTER TO CAESAR ON THE STATE (ATTRIBUTED TO SALLUST)
1. I fully realizehow difficult and dangerous a task it is to give counsel to a king or to a ruler, indeed, to anyone who possesses supreme authority; for such men have an abundance of counsellors, and besides, no one can be sufficiently clever and sufficiently wise with regard to the future. 2 Nay, more, bad counsel often has a better result than good, since Fortune commonly directsthe course of events according to her own caprice.
3 In my early youthI had a desire to embark upon a political career and in preparing for it I spent long and diligent labour, hoping not merely to be elected to office, which many had attained through dishonourable means, but also to make myself familiar withthe administration of public business at home and abroad and with the resourcesof our country in arms, men, and money. 4 In consequence of this I have determined, after much counsel with myself, to subordinate my own reputation and modesty to your honour, and to venture upon anything whatever, provided only that it will contribute something to your glory. 5 And I have come to this decision, not lightly or from regard for your fortune, but because in you I found, in addition to other qualities, one unusually admirable, that your spirit was always greater in adversity than in prosperity. 6 But that is made more manifest by the rest of the world, because men are sooner wearied in praising and admiring your munificence than you are in doing deeds worthy of praise.
2. For my own part, I am convinced that nothing so deep can be found that your thoughts cannot easily grasp it; 2 and I have written you my views upon public affairs, not because I thought more highly than is proper of my own counsel and my own ability, but because it seemed to me that during the toil of war, amid battles, victories and the duties of a commander, you ought to be reminded of the interests ofour city. 3 For if you have in your heart this consideration only, how you may protect yourself against the assaults of your enemies and retain the favours of the people in opposition to a hostile consul, your thoughts are unworthy of your manhood. 4 But if you have in you the spirit which has from the very beginning dismayed the faction of the nobles, which restored the Roman commons to freedom after a grievous slavery, which in your praetorship routed your armed enemies without resort to arms, which has achieved so many and such glorious deeds at home and abroad that not even your enemies dare to make any complaint except of your greatness: if you have that spirit, pray give ear to what I shall say about our country’s welfare. You will assuredly find it either true or at all events not far from the truth.
3. Now, since Gnaeus Pompeius, either from perversity of spirit or because he desired above all things to injure you, has fallen so low as to put arms into the hands of the enemy, you must restore the government by the same means by which he has overthrown it. 2 To begin with, he gave a few senators the absolute power of regulating the revenues, the expenditures and the courts, leaving the commons of Rome, who once held the supreme power, in slavery, under laws which are not even alike for all. 3 For even though the courts, as before, have been entrusted to the three orders, yet that same faction controls them, gives and takes away whatever it pleases, defrauds the innocent, elevates its members to high positions. 4 Neither crime nor shame nor disgrace bars them from holding office. They rob and pillage where it suits them; finally, just as if they had taken the city captive, they regard their own will and caprice as law. 5 And sofar as I am concerned, I should feel but moderate resentment, if they had won by valour that victory which, according to their custom, they are making an instrument of slavery. 6 But these most cowardly men, whose whole power and courage lies in the tongue, are insolently exercising a tyranny which they have acquired by chance and through the incapacity of another. 7 For what rebellion or civil dissension has utterly destroyed so many illustrious families? Or who ever had in victory a spirit so frenzied and so unbridled?
4. Lucius Sulla, to whom the laws of war allowed unrestrained power in his victory, although he knew that by the execution of his foes he could strengthen his party, yet put but few to death, preferring to hold the rest by kindness rather than by intimidation. 2 But, by Heaven! Marcus Cato, Lucius Domitius, and the others of that faction, have butchered forty senators and many young men of excellent promise like so many sacrificial victims; and yet meanwhile the blood of so many wretched citizens has not been enough to sate those most ruthless of men. Not orphans and aged parents, not the gift and lamentation of men and women, could turn them from their inhuman purpose; nay, harsher in deed and word day by day, they have deprived some of their rank, others of their citizenshi What shall I say of you, whose humiliation, if it were possible, those basest of creatures would buy at the cost of their own lives? And they do not feel so much pleasure in their supremacy, although it is more than they had hoped for, as they do chagrin at your glory. 4 Nay, they would prefer to endanger liberty by your downfall, rather than that through you the empire of the Roman people from being merely great should become the greatest. Therefore it behooves you again and again to consider by what means you may strengthen and fortify your country. 5 For myself, I shall not hesitate toutter what my mind prompts, but it will be for your judgment to determine which of my suggestions you think wise and helpful.
5. I believe, as Ihave learned from our forefathers, that our commonwealth is divided into two bodies, the patricians and the plebeians. In days of old the patricians had the chief authority, but the commons by far the greatest numerical strength. 2 Therefore secessions occurred on several occasions and the power of the nobles was constantly curtailed, while the privileges of the commons were extended. 3 But in those days the reason why the commons enjoyed freedom was because no man’s power was superior to the laws, and because the noble surpassed the commoner, not in riches or ostentation, but in good repute and valiant deeds; while the humblest citizen lacked nothing for which he could honourably wish either in the fields or in military service, but was sufficient for himself and for his country.
4 When, however, idleness and poverty gradually drove the commons from the fields and forced them to live without a fixed abode, they began to covet the riches of other men and to regard their liberty and their country as objects of traffic. 5 Thus little by little the people, which had been sovereign and had exercised authority over all nations, became degenerate, and each man bartered his share of the common sovereignty for slavery to one man. 6 Hence this population of ours, at first acquiring evil habits andthen divided by different employments and modes of life, since it has no bond of union, seems to me quite unfitted to govern the state. 7 But ifnew citizens should be added to their number, I have high hopes that all would be aroused to a sense of freedom; for the new citizens will feel a desire to retain their liberty, those who are already citizens will long to throw offthe yoke of slavery. 8 I therefore advise you to settle these newcomers, along with the earlier citizens, in colonies; for in this way our military power will be the greater, and the commons, being occupied with useful occupations, will cease to work public mischief.
6. I am not, however, ignorant or unaware what rage and what tempests the execution of this project will rouse among the nobles, who will cry out that the very foundations of society are being undermined, that this is the same thing as enslaving the original citizens; in short, that a free state will be transformed into a monarchy, if citizenship is conferred upon a great multitude through the bounty of one man. 2 But while it is my firm conviction that he commits a crime who tries to win popular favour at the cost of his country’s welfare, yet when a public service is at the same time to the advantage of one man, to hesitate on that account to undertake it I consider a mark of folly and cowardice.
3 Marcus Drusus always intended to exert his every power during his tribunate for the nobles, and at first he took no step without their sanction. 4 But a faction to whom treachery and dishonesty were dearer than honour perceived that the greatest of benefits was being conferred upon many by one man; and just because all of them were conscious of having evil and disloyal minds, they judged Marcus Drusus to be like themselves. 5 Fearing therefore that by conferring such a favour he might acquire supreme power, they strove to prevent it and thus ruined his plans and their own as well. 6 With this example before you, my general, it behooves you the more carefully to surround yourself with loyal friends and with many defences.
7. An enemy in front can be overthrown without difficulty by a stout-hearted man, but hidden snares are not commonly laid or readily avoided by the honourable. 2 Since therefore by the introduction of new citizens into the commonwealth the commons will be regenerated, you should devote particular attention to the problem of fostering good morals and establishing harmony between the old and the new burgesses. 3 But by far the greatest blessing which you can confer upon your country and fellow citizens, upon yourself and your children, in short, upon all mankind, will be either to do away with the pursuit of wealth or to reduce it so far as circumstances permit. Otherwise, neither public nor private affairs can be regulated at home or abroad. 4 For wherever the desire for riches has penetrated, neither education, nor good qualities, nor talents, can prevent the mind from at last yieldingto it sooner or later. 5 Often before this I have heard how kings, how cities and nations have lost mighty empires through opulence, which they had won through valour when in poverty; and such a loss is not at all surprising. 6 For when the good sees the baser by riches made more renowned andmore beloved, at first he boils with anger and feels much perplexed; but when more and more each day vainglory prevails over honour, opulence over merit, his mind turns to pleasure and forsakes the truth. 7 In fact, endeavour feeds upon glory; take that away, and virtue by itself is bitter and harsh.8 Finally, wherever riches are regarded as a distinction, there honour, uprightness, moderation, chastity and all the virtues are lightly rated. 9 For the only path to virtue is steep; to riches one may mount whenever one chooses, and they may be won by means either honourable or dishonourable.
10 First of all then, deprive money of its importance. Let no one be given greater or less opportunity according to his wealth to serve as a juror in cases involving life or honour; just as no consul or praetor should be chosen because of his riches, but because of his worth. 11 In the case of a magistrate, however, the people can easily decide; but for jurors to be selected by a faction is tyranny, for them to be chosen on the basis of money is shameful. It therefore seems to me fitting that all citizens of the first class should be eligible as jurors, but that they should serve in somewhat greater numbers than at present. 12 Neither the Rhodians nor the citizens of any other state have ever had occasion to be ashamed of their courts, where rich and poor alike, according to the fortune of the lot, decide indiscriminately matters of greatest or of slight importance.
8. As regards the election of magistrates, I for my part very naturally approve of the law which Gaius Gracchus proposed in his tribunate, that the centuries should be called up by lot from the five classes without distinction. 2 In this way money and worth are put on an equality and each man will strive to outdo his fellow in merit. 3 These are the great safeguards which I haveto propose against the power of riches; for everything is valued and sought for according to the advantages which it offers. Wickedness is practised for gain; take that away, and no one at all is wicked for nothing. 4 But avarice is a wild beast, monstrous and irresistible; whereverit goes, it devastates town and country, shrines and homes, and lays low everything human and divine; no army and no walls can withstand it; it robsall men of their repute, their chastity, their children, country and parents. 5 Yet if you take away the honour paid to money, the power of avarice, great as it is, will readily yield to good morals. 6 But although all men, just and unjust alike, admit the truth of this, yet your struggle withthe nobles will be no light one. If, however, you avoid their snares, all else will be easy; 7 for if merit made them strong enough, they would emulate the virtuous instead of envying them. It is because sloth and indolence, dullness and torpor, have taken possession of their minds, that they resort to abuse and slander and consider the glory of others a disgrace to themselves.
9. But why should I say more of the nobles, as if you did not know them well. It was Marcus Bibulus’ courage and force of character that landed him in the consulship: dull of speech, rather wicked than clever by nature. 2 What would a man dare to do who found in the consulship, the supreme power, his supreme disgrace? Has Lucius Domitius great strength? A man whose every member is stained with disgrace or crime, of lying tongue, blood-stained hands, fleeing feet, most dishonourable in those parts which cannot honourably be named.
3 There is one of them, however, Marcus Cato, whose versatile, eloquent and clever talents I do not despise. Training such as his comes from the Greeks; but among that people manliness, vigilance and industry are wholly lacking. Pray do you think that a government can be upheld by the precepts of those who through incapacity have lost their freedom at home?
4 In addition to those whom I have mentioned the party consists of nobles of utter incapacity, who, like an inscription, contribute nothing but a famous name. Men like Lucius Postumius and Marcus Favonius seem to me like the superfluous deckload of a great ship. When they arrive safely, some use can be made of them; if any disaster occurs, they are the first to be jettisoned because they are of least value.
10. Having now, asit seems to me, said enough about the regeneration and reformation of the commons, let me tell you what I think you ought to do about the senate. 2 Ever since years have matured my mind, I have seldom exercised mybody with arms and horses, but I have busied my mind with reading, 3 thus employing the part of my being which was by nature the stronger. Spending my life in that way, I have learned by abundant reading and instruction that all kingdoms, as well as states and nations, have enjoyed prosperity and power for so long a time as wise counsel has reigned among them; but just so soon as this was vitiated by favour, fear or pleasure, their strength rapidly waned, then their supremacy was wrested from them, and finally they were reduced to slavery.
4 Personally, I have made up my mind that whenever a man has in his own state a higher and more conspicuous position than his fellows, he takes a great interest in the welfare of his country. 5 For to other citizens the safety of the state merely assures their personal liberty; but those who by their talents have won riches, respect and renown are filled with manifold anxiety and trouble if the state begins to decline and totter ever so little. He flies to the defence of his repute, or his freedom, or his property; he is to be seen everywhere and makes haste; the more prosperous he was in prosperity, the more cruelly is he harried and worried in adversity.
6 Therefore, since the commons submit to the senate as the body does to the soul, and carry out its decrees, the fathers ought to be strong in counsel, but for the people cleverness is superfluous. 7 Accordingly our forefathers, when they were harassed by the most difficult wars, although they suffered loss of horses, men and money, never wearied in their efforts to maintain their supremacy by arms. Not a depleted treasury, no strength of their enemies, no disaster could daunt their great souls or prevent them, while they had breath, from defending what they had won by their valour. 8 And their success was due rather to firmness in the council-chamber than to victories in the field; for in their day the commonwealth was united, for its welfare all citizens had regard; leagues were formed only against the enemy, each man exerted body and mind for his country, not for his own power. 9 To day, on the contrary, certain of the nobles, whose minds are possessed by indolence and cowardice, although they are ignorant of hardship, of the enemy, and of military life, have formed a faction within the state and arrogantly claim sovereignty over all nations.
11. Thus the Fathers, by whose wisdom the wavering state was formerly steadied, are overpowered and tossed to and fro according to the caprice of others; they decree now one measure and now another, determining what is helpful or harmful to the public from the enmity or favour of their masters.
2 But if all the senators had equal freedom of action, or if their voting were done less openly, the state would have greater strength and the nobles less power. 3 Now, since it is not easy to make the influence of all equal (for the prowess of their ancestors has left the nobles a heritage of glory, prestige and patronage, while the rest are for the most part grafted upon the state), at least free the votes of the latter from the effects of fear; thus each man, if assured of secrecy, will value his own judgment more highly than the authority of another. 4 Independence is desirable alike to good and bad, to hero and coward; but many men, most foolish of mortals, sacrifice independence to fear, and are led by cowardice to accept defeat, when a struggle would make the issue doubtful.
5 There are then, in my judgment, two ways by which the senate may be given greater strength: by an increase in its numbers and by permission to vote by ballot. The ballot will serve as a screen, giving courage to act with more independence, while the increase in numbers will furnish greater protection and an opportunity for larger usefulness. 6 As a matter of fact, in these days some of the senators are habitually occupied with the public courts and others with their own business and thatof their friends, and hence they do not attend deliberations on matters of public moment; although in reality it is the insolence of power which has kept them away, rather than outside interests. Hence certain of the nobles, in conjunction with a few men of senatorial rank who support their faction, approve, censure, or decree whatever their caprice suggests. 7 But when the number of the senators is increased and the voting is done by ballot, these men will surely lay aside their insolence when they shall be forced to obey those over whom they formerly exercised a merciless sway.
12. Perhaps, my general, after reading this letter you may wish to know what number of senators I would recommend and in what way their many varied duties should be distributed; also, since I believe that jury duty should be entrusted to all the members of the first class, how I would apportion them and what number there should be in each division. 2 It would not be at all difficult for me to go into all these details, but it has seemed to me that I ought first to work out the general plan and convince you that it is a reasonable one. If you decide to follow the course which I have suggested, the rest will be easy. 3 For myown part, I desire my plans to be wise and above all practicable; for wherever you carry them out successfully, I shall gain fame. 4 But the strongest desire which actuates me is that somehow or other, and as soon as possible, our country may be helped. 5 I hold freedom dearer than glory, and I beg and implore you, illustrious general that you are, after subduing the Gallic nation not to allow the great and unconquered dominion of the Roman people to waste away through decay and fall asunder through excess of negligence. 6 If that should happen, you surely could not escape remorse eitherby day or by night, but tormented with sleeplessness, mad and beside yourself,you would fall a victim to frenzy. 7 As for me, I am firmly convinced that a divine power watches over the life of all mortals; that no one’s good or evil action is overlooked, but that by a law of nature their different rewards await the good and the bad. 8 Meanwhile, retribution and reward, if they are slow in coming, are held up to each man’s mind by his own conscience.
13. If your country and your forefathers could address you, this would assuredly be their language: “We, bravest of men, have begotten you, O Caesar, in the most excellent of cities, to be our glory and defence and a terror to our enemies. 2 What we had won at the cost of great hardship and peril we transmitted to you at your birth along with the breath of life: a fatherland the mightiest in the world, a house and family the most distinguished in that fatherland,and in addition, eminent talents, honourable riches, in short, all the rewards of peace and all the prizes of war. 3 In return for these splendid gifts we ask of you, not disgrace or crime, but the restoration ofour prostrate freedom. 4 This accomplished, the fame of your prowesswill surely wing its way to all nations. 5 At present, although your exploits are brilliant at home and abroad, yet your glory is but on a par with that of many a hero. But if you rescue almost from the brink of ruin the most famous and powerful of cities, who upon the face of this earth will be more famous than you, who will be greater? 6 For ifthis empire should succumb to decay or to fate, can anyone doubt but that all over the world devastation, wars, and bloodshed would ensue? But if you are inspired by the noble passion of showing gratitude to your forefathers and your fatherland, in days to come you will tower above all men in glory as the saviour of your country, and you alone of all mortals will enjoy greater fame after death than was yours during your lifetime.7 For the living are sometimes harried by fortune, often by envy; but when the debt of nature has been paid, detraction is silent and merit lifts its head higher and higher.”
8 I have written inthe fewest possible words what I thought it helpful for you to do, and what I believed would be to your advantage. It remains to implore the immortal gods that whatever you decide, the result may be propitious to you and to your country.
AN INVECTIVE AGAINST MARCUS TULLIUS (ATTRIBUTED TO SALLUST)
1. I should be troubled and angered by your abuse, Marcus Tullius, if I were sure that your impudence was the result of intention rather than of a disordered mind. But since I perceive in you neither moderation nor any modesty, I shall answer you; so that if you have derived any pleasure from reviling, you may lose it by listening to censure.
Where shall I make complaint, Fathers of the Senate, that our country is being rent asunder and is the victim of all the most reckless of men; to whom shall I appeal? Shall I turn to the Roman people, who are so corrupted by largess that they offer themselves and all their fortunes for sale? Shall I appeal to you, Fathers of the Senate, whose authority is the plaything of all the basest and most criminal of men? Wherever Marcus Tullius is, is he the defender of the laws, the courts and the state, and does he lord it in this assembly as if he were the sole survivor of the family of the illustrious Scipio Africanus and nota parvenu citizen but recently grafted upon this city? 2 Or pray, Marcus Tullius, are your deeds and words unknown to us? Have you not lived such a life from childhood, that you thought nothing a disgrace to your body which any other’s desire prompted? Did you not in fact learn all your unchecked torrent of language under Marcus Piso at the expense of your chastity? It is, therefore, not at all surprising that you trade upon it shamefully, when you acquired it most shamefully.
2. But, I suppose,your spirits are raised by the brilliance of your home, by a wife guilty of sacrilege and dishonoured by perjury, by a daughter who is her mother’s rival and is more compliant and submissive to you than a daughter should be to a parent. Even your house, fatal to yourself and your family, you obtained by violence and robbery; 3 doubtless in order to remind us howour country has changed, when you, vilest of men that you are, live in the house which was once the property of that most distinguished man Publius Crassus.And in spite of all this, Cicero declares that he was present at the council ofthe immortal gods, from which he, a man who makes disaster to his country the means of his own glorification, was sent as a protector to this city and its citizens, and not as its executioner. As if, forsooth, your consulship was not the cause of that conspiracy, and as if the reason why the commonwealth wasnot rent asunder at that time was because it had you for a protector.
But, I suppose, you are raised to a higher pinnacle by what you planned for the state after your consulship, in company with your wife Terentia, when you were holding trials under the Plautian law at your own home and condemning some of the conspirators to pay fines; when one built your country house at Tusculum, another that at Pompeii, and still another bought your house for you. But the man who could do nothing for you was the most liable to false accusation; he it was who had come to attack your house, or who had plotted against the senate; in short, you were quite convinced of his guilt.4 If my charges are false, render an account of the amount of the patrimony which you inherited, and of what has come to you from lawsuits, and tell us where you got the money to buy your house and build your villas at Tusculum and Pompeii regardless of expense. If you are silent, who can doubt but that you amassed that wealth from the blood and wretchedness of the citizens?
3. But, I suppose,a parvenu Arpinate of the breed of Marcus Crassus imitates that great man’s merits, scorns the enmity of the nobles, holds the state dear, 5 and is deflected from the truth neither by fear nor by favour, such are his loyalty and virtuous spirit. On the contrary, he is the most unstable of men, a suppliant to his enemies, insulting to his friends, an adherent now of this party and now of that, loyal to no one, an unstable senator, a mercenary counsel, free from disgrace in no member of his body, with a false tongue, thievish hands, a bottomless gullet, fleeing feet; most dishonoured in that part of his body which cannot honourably be named. And although such is his character, he yet has the assurance to say, “Fortunate Rome, born in my consulate.” “Fortunate in having you for her consul,” Cicero? Nay, ill-starred and wretched in having endured that most ruthless proscription, when after embroiling your country and filling all virtuous citizens with fear, you forced them to obey your cruel mandates; when all the courts and all the laws were subservient to your will; when after annulling the Porcian law and robbing us all of our freedom, you alone took the power of life and death over all of us into your own hands. 6 And not content with having done all this with impunity, you even insult us by recalling it, and you do not allow these men to forget their slavery. Do, Cicero, I beseech you, have done, have accomplished, what you wish: it is enough for us to have endured it; will you also burden our ears with your hatred, and even pursue us with the tiresome refrain, “Let arms yield to the toga, the laurel to the tongue”? Just as ifit were in the toga and not in arms that you did what you boast of, and as if there were any difference between you and a dictator like Sulla except the mere title of your office.
4. But why should I enlarge upon your presumption, when you declare <span lang3DEN style3D'font-size:6.5pt'>7 that Minerva taught you all the arts, that Jupiter, greatest and kindest of the gods, admitted you to their council, and that Italy brought you back from exile upon its shoulders? I beseech you, O Romulus of Arpinum, who by your transcendent merit surpass every Paulus, Fabius and Scipio, what place, pray you, do you hold in this state? What part in public life do you desire? Who is your friend and who your enemy? You play maidservant to the man against whom you plotted in the state. You follow the one through whose influence you returned from your exile at Dyrrachium. You truckle to the power of those whom you formerly called tyrants. Those who once seemed to you the best of citizens you now call madand frenzied. You plead the cause of Vatinius, you think ill of Sestius, you assail Bibulus with impudent language, you praise Caesar, you are most obsequious to him whom you most hated; you think one thing about the state when you standup, another when you sit; you revile some, hate others, vile turncoat that you are, showing loyalty neither to one side nor to the other.
AN INVECTIVE AGAINST SALLUSTIUS CRISPUS (ATTRIBUTED TO CICERO)
1. It surely must be a great satisfaction to you, Gaius Sallustius, that you lead a life similar in all respects to your words, and that you say nothing so foul that your conduct from earliest childhood does not match it with every species of vice; so that your language is wholly consistent with your character. For neither can onewho lives as you do speak otherwise than as you speak, nor can one who uses such filthy language be any more respectable in his life.
Whither shall I turn first, Fathers of the Senate, where shall I begin? For the more thoroughly you know each of us, the greater difficulty I find in addressing you; for if I defend my life and conduct against this slanderer, envy will result from boasting; or if I lay bare his conduct, character, and entire life, I shallbe liable to the same charge of shamelessness that I bring against him. But in this if haply I should offend you, you ought more justly to be angry with him than with me, since he set the example. 2 I shall do my best to justify myself with the least possible vainglory, and to say nothing about him that is not true.
I realize, Fathers of the Senate, that my reply to his attack awakens no great expectations, since you are conscious that you can hear no new accusation against Sallust, but that you will merely pass in review all the old ones, with which your ears and mine, as well as his own, are burning. But you ought to hate the man all the more bitterly, because he did not begin with slight offences even at the outset of his career of crime, but at once set such a standard, that he could neitherbe outdone by anyone else no even outdo himself during the remainder of his life. 3 Hence his only aim is to wallow in the mire with anyone and everyone. But he is very much mistaken. For no wanton words can remove the stains upon a life, but there are accusations which each one of us makes according to the testimony of his own mind. But if this man’s life defies recollection, you ought to examine it, Fathers of the Senate, not from a speech, but from hisown character. I shall take care to be as brief as I possibly can, and this ourwar of words, Fathers of the Senate, will not be without profit to you; for as a rule the state is advanced by the quarrels of individuals, which allow the character of no citizen to be hidden.
2. Well then, to begin with, since Gaius Sallustius weights and measures the ancestors of all men according to the same standard and rule, I should like him to tell me whether those Scipios and Metelluses whom he cites had any renown or glory, before their own exploits and blameless lives commended them to notice. But if this was for them the beginning of repute and rank, why should the case not be similar with me, whose deeds are noble and whose life is well spent? As if you too, Sallust, were sprung from those heroes of old! If you were, some of them would now be sick at heart at your baseness. 5 I haveoutshone my ancestors in merit, so that if they were not known before, I would give them fame for the first time; but you by the base life which you have led have enveloped yours in thick darkness, so that even if they were once eminent citizens, they assuredly have fallen into oblivion. Do not then taunt me with the men of bygone days; for rather than depend upon the reputation of my forefathers, I prefer to win success by my own efforts, and to live in such fashion as to be for my posterity the beginning of their rank and an incentive to virtue.
It is not just, Fathers of the Senate, to compare me with those who have already passed away, and who are free from all hatred or envy; I should rather be matched against those who have been associated with me in public life. 6 If I have been too ambitious in seeking preferment (I do not refer to the ambition which aims at the good of the people, in which I admit that I have always been among the foremost, but to that ruinous and lawless kind in which Sallust is a leader), or if I have been so strict in administering the offices which I have held or in punishing evil-doing, or so vigorous in the defence of our country, that you, Sallust, call it a proscription (I suppose because not all who are like you were allowed to live in our city), yet in how much better condition would the state be if you, who are like those wicked citizens and on a par with them, had been numbered with them? 7 Did I speak falsely when I wrote, “Let arms give place to the toga,” I who, clad in the toga, laid low armed men and put a peaceful end to war? Did I lie when I said, “Rome fortunate in my consulship,” when I ended such a civil war and extinguished the fire of rebellion raging within our city?
3. 1 Are you not ashamed, most inconsistent of men, to censure conduct for which you glorify me in your own histories? Is it more shameful, senators, to lie in writing or in open speech before this body? As to the charges which you have made against my life, I believe that I am as far from unchastity as you are from chastity.
8 But why should I make further complaint of your calumnies? For what falsehood would you consider shameful, when you have dared to make my eloquence an accusation against me, that eloquence whose protection you have always required because of your guilt? Or do you think that anyone can become an eminent citizen who has not been trained in these arts and studies? Do you think that there are any other elements and nursery of virtue in which the mind is trained to desire glory? But it is not to be marvelled at, Fathers of the Senate, if a man who is full of extravagance and sloth should express surprise at these pursuits as if they were new and unusual.
9 As for the unheard of virulence of your attacks upon my wife and daughter (who, women though they are, have more successfully avoided the attentions of men than you have those of your own sex) in assailing them you showed both cleverness and cunning. For you could not expect me to retaliate by attacking your family in turn, since you alone furnish enough material and have in your home nothing more shameful than yourself.
You are greatly mistaken, I think, if you hoped to rouse enmity against me because of the amount of my property, which in reality is much less than I deserve to have. Yet I could wish that it were not as great as it is, that my friends might still be alive, rather than that I should be the richer through their wills.
10 Am I arunaway, Gaius Sallustius? I bowed to the madness of a tribune of the commons; I considered it more expedient to endure any lot as an individual, rather than be the cause of civil strife among the entire Roman people. And after that tribune had rioted out his year in public life, and all the disturbance which he had stirred up had subsided into peace and quiet, I returned at the summons of this assembly, my country herself leading me by the hand. To my mind, that day is the crowning glory of my whole life, when all my colleagues in the senate, and the Roman people in throngs, congratulated me on my return; so highly did these men rate me, the runaway and mercenary counsel.
4. 1 11 And by Heaven! it is small wonder if I have always thought that I merited the friendship of all mankind; for I have not waited upon one person privately or made myself his slave, but every man was my friend or my foe according to the degree of his devotion to the commonwealth. My highest desire was peace; many men have fostered the reckless designs of individuals. I have feared nothing save the laws; many have wished their arms to be feared. I never coveted power except for your sakes; many even of your own number, relying upon their personal influence, have misused their power to do you harm. And so it is not surprising if I have enjoyed the friendship of no one who was not for all time the friend of our country. 12 Nor have I regret for having promised Vatinius my services when he was accused and appealed to me, for having checked the insolence of Sestius, censured the indifference of Bibulus, or applauded the valour of Caesar. For this last is the praise of an eminent citizen and is unique. If you charge it against me as a fault, it is your audacity that will be censured rather than my fault.
I would speak on, if I had to address others, Fathers of the Senate, and not you, whom I have always regarded as the prompters of all my acts. Moreover, whenwe have evidence of facts, what need is there for words?
5. 13 I shall now return to you, Sallust, saying nothing of your father; for even if he never committed a sin in all his life, he could not have inflicted a greater injury upon his country than in begetting such a son. Nor shall I inquire into any sins of your boyhood, lest I may seem to criticize your father, who had full control of you at that time, but how you spent your youth. For if this be shown, it will readily be understood how vicious was the childhood which led up to a manhood so shameless and lawless. When the profit derived from your vile body could no longer suffice for your bottomless gullet, and when you were too old to endure what another’s passion prompted, you were incited by an unbounded desire of trying upon others what you had not considered disgraceful to your own person. 14 Therefore, Fathers of the Senate, it is not easy to determine whether he acquired his property or squandered it with more dishonourable members.
He offered his father’s house for sale while his father still lived. And can anyone doubt that he drove his sire to his death, when he made himself heirto all his property even before the decease of his parent? And yet he is not ashamed to ask me who lives in the house of Publius Crassus, when he himself is unable to answer the question who it is that lives in the house of his very father. Perhaps you may say (save the mark!) that he fell through the inexperience of youth and afterwards reformed. Not so! On the contrary, he became an associate in the sacrilege of Nigidius, he was twice haled before the tribunal of a judge, he was all but condemned, and such was his escape, that he was not thought to be innocent, but the jurors to have committed perjury.
15 When he obtained the quaestorship as his first office, he brought contempt upon this place and upon this assembly, by showing that it was open even to him, the meanest of mankind. As a matter of fact, through fear that his crimes should not be known to you, although he was a reproach to the husbands of all our matrons, he pleaded guilty to adultery in your hearing and did not blush in your presence.
6. 1 Be content, Sallust, with having lived as you pleased, and with having acted as you wished; be it enough that you alone are conscious of your guilt, and do not charge us with indifference and with too sound sleep. We are vigorous in defending the chastity of our wives, but were not sufficiently wide awake to guard against you. 16 Your audacity defeats our diligence. Can any reproach in word or deed, Fathers of the Senate, affect this man, who was not ashamed to confess adultery openly in your hearing? If I should decide to make no reply to you on my own account, but, to show what the law is, should read to this whole body the famous pronouncement of those most irreproachable of men, Appius Claudius and Lucius Piso, in which they both concurred, should I not seem to brand you with ineffaceable stains, of which you could not rid yourself for the rest of your life? And after that revision of the senate we saw you no more, unless haply you threw yourself into that camp into which all the dregs of the commonwealth had flowed. 17 But that same Sallust, who in time of peace could not even remaina senator, that same man after the republic was conquered by arms was returned to the senate, through the medium of a quaestorship, by the same victor who recalled the exiles. That office he administered in such a manner that there was nothing connected with it which he did not offer for sale, provided any purchaser could be found for it; and he conducted himself as if he considered everything just and proper which he himself had desired of the do, abusing his authority as completely as anyone might have done who had received the office by way of booty. 18 Having finished his quaestorship and having given heavy pledges to those with whom, because of their similar manner of life, he had joined himself, he now appeared to be one of that faction. Forall belonged to a party into which, as into a common sewer, a flood of all the vices had flowed; what wantons, catamites, traitors, committers of sacrilege, and debtors were to be found in the city or in the free towns, in the colonies or in all Italy, were engulfed there as in a sea, abandoned and infamous characters, in no wise fit for a camp except in the licence of their vices and their love of disorder.
7. 19 “But perhapshe conducted himself with moderation and integrity after he became a praetor.”Not so; he so pillaged his province that our allies never suffered or looked for anything worse in time of war than they experienced during peace while he was governor of lower Africa. He drained from that province as much as could be carried off on credit or crammed into ships; he drained, I say, Fathers of the Senate, as much as he wished. He bargained with Caesar for twelve hundred thousand sesterces that he should not be brought to trial. If any of these statements is false, refute it by telling us how it was that a man who a short time be could not even buy back his father’s house, suddenly became rich beyond the dreams of avarice and acquired those precious gardens, and the Tiburtine residence of Gaius Caesar, and the rest of your possessions. 20 <span lang3DEN>And were you not ashamed to ask why I had bought the house of Publius Crassus, when you were the old established master of the villa in which the master had once been Caesar? Tell me, I repeat, when you had, not devoured,but gorged your patrimony, by what means you suddenly became so prosperous and wealthy. Who, pray, made an heir of you, a man whom no one considered it respectable to have even for a friend, except of those who are like and similar to yourself?
8. 21 But, good heavens! I suppose the great deeds of your ancestors exalt you, when it is true that if you resemble them or they resemble you, nothing can be added to the wickedness and baseness of all of them.
Perhaps it is your own political offices which make you insolent. Do you imagine, Gaius Sallustius, that to be twice a senator and twice a quaestor is the same thing as to be twice a consular and twice a triumphator? One ought oneself to be wholly free from fault who is making ready to speak against another. He only has a right to utter reproaches who cannot hear a just reproach from another’s lips. But you, the parasite of all tables, the harlot of all chambers in your youth and in later years their adulterer, are the disgrace of our whole order and a memory of the civil war. 22 For what worse affliction could we endure as a result of that strife than to see you reinstated in this assembly? Cease, then, to assail good men with your most wanton tongue, cease to make use of that disease of calumny from which you suffer, cease to measure all men by the standard of your own character. By such conduct you cannot gain a single friend; but you appear to wish to add to the number of your enemies.
I shall cease speaking, Fathers of the Senate, for I have often seen men more grievously offend the minds of their hearers by descanting openly on others’ crimes than by committing crimes themselves. I must therefore consider, not what Sallust ought by rights to hear, but how I may say what I have to say,if it is at all possible, in an honourable manner.
Ruins at Thapsus, an ancient city in modern-day Tunisia. In 46 BC, Sallust served as a praetor and accompanied Caesar on his African campaign, which ended in the decisive defeat of the remains of the Pompeian war party at Thapsus. Though Sallust did not participate in military operations directly, he commanded several ships and organised the supply through Kerkennah islands. As a reward for his services, Sallust gained appointment as governor of the province of Africa Nova.
Scheme of the Battle of Thapsus
THE LIFE AND WORKS OF SALLUST by J. C. Rolfe
Gaius Sallustius Crispus was born in 86 B.C. at Amiternum, a town in the Sabine territory about fifty-five miles north-east of Rome at the foot of the Gran Sasso d’ Italia. It was not far from Reate, the native place of Varro and of the Emperor Vespasian. The family does not make its appearance in history before the end of the seventh century of the city, and it was evidently of plebeian origin, since Sallust held the office of tribune of the commons. The author of the Invective against Sallust declares that the historian was wild and dissipated in his youth and that his conduct hastened his father’s end; Sallust’s own words, however, in Cat. III.35, imply that his only fault was ambition, and he certainly applied himself tohis studies sufficiently to acquire a good education. One of his teachers was the celebrated Ateius Philologus (Suet. Gramm. x).
Accusations of the most outrageous kind were so freely bandied about in Roman political circles that one might naturally attribute many of those made against Sallust to malicious gossip, especially since we are informed that one Lenaeus, a freedman of Pompey the Great, assailed the historian in a bitter satire because of his criticisms of Pompey. The best authenticated charge against him is that of an intrigue with the wife of Milo, made by Gellius on the authority of Varro. Varro, however, was a Pompeian and was probably not over-critical in examining the authenticity of a bit of scandal about a prominent Caesarian.
According to his own statement, Sallust must have entered upon a political career at Rome at an early age. He attained the quaestorship and thus gained admission to the senate, but in what year this happened is uncertain. In 52 B.C. he was tribune of the commons and took sides with his two colleagues, Quintus Pompeius and Titus Munatius Plancus, against Cicero and Milo after the murder of Clodius. In 50 B.C. he fell a victim to the partisan activity of the censor Appius Claudius Pulcher, and was expelled from the senate; the charges made against him on that occasion need not be taken too seriously. Mommsen thought that Cicero addressed Ad Fam. .to C. Sallustius, and that therefore the historian was legatus pro praetore to Bibulus in Syria during the year 50 51.
In 49 B.C. Caesar reappointed Sallust to a quaestorship, and thus made him once more a member of the senate. In 48 he commanded one of Caesar’s legions in Illyricum, but did not distinguish himself, being defeated by Octavius and Libo. The following year he was sent to quiet the mutinous legions in Campania and was again unsuccessful, narrowly escaping death at the hands of the troops. In 46, now a praetor, he sailed to the island of Circina, to seize the enemy’s stores; this time he succeeded in accomplishing his mission, which contributed in no small degree to Caesar’s ultimate success. As a reward for his services he was appointed proconsular governor of the province of Numidia and Africa, and there ended his political career.
On his return to Rome Sallust was tried for extortion, but was acquitted, doubtless through Caesar’s influence, although the charge that he gave Caesar a bribe of two million sesterces rests only on the doubtful authority of the Invective. Whether the accusation of extortion was well founded or not, it is certain that Sallust became very wealthy and that he was the owner of the magnificent horti Sallustiani, which were afterwards the property of Nero, Vespasian, Nerva, and Aurelian.
After the assassination of Caesar, Sallust went into retirement and devoted himself to the writing of history. He is reported to have married Cicero’s divorced wife Terentia, and he adopted his sister’s grandson, the Sallustius Crispusto whom Horace addressed one of his Odes, afterwards a trusted friend of the Emperor Augustus. It is therefore probable that he had no son of his own. He died in 35 34 B.C.
Sallust devoted his attention to a comparatively new branch of historiography, the historical monograph. He seems to have made careful and conscientious preparation for his work. Suetonius tells us that Ateius Philologus supplied him with an outline of the whole of Roman history, and his careful study of Thucydides and Cato is apparent; Lenaeus, indeed, called him “an ignorant pilferer of the language of the ancients and of Cato in particular.” Sallust professes complete impartiality, and while his leaning towards the popular party is obvious, his fairness is shown by his treatment of Metellus and Marius in the Jugurtha. His first work was an account of the conspiracy of Catiline, which has come down to us under three titles, Catilina, Bellum Catilinae,Bellum Catilinarium. The reason which he himself givesfor the choice of the theme is “the novelty of the crime and the danger to which the state was exposed,” but it has been suspected that he had the underlying motive of clearing Caesar, as well as Gaius Antonius, the uncle of Mark Antony, from the suspicion of complicity in the plot; some have even regarded this as his main purpose. The exact time when the Catiline was written is uncertain, but the language of the eulogy of Caesar indicates that it was not published until after the death of the dictator. Some scholars maintain that it was issued immediately after the assassination, while others assign it to the year 40 B.C.
Sallust had an abundance of written records on which to base his account, such as decrees of the senate, Cicero’s published speeches, and the histories of Cicero’s consulship. He could also draw upon his personal recollection of the eventsand on the testimony of his contemporaries. Yet the monograph is inaccurate in many of its details, in particular in assigning the beginning of the conspiracy to the year 64, instead of to 63, thus prolonging the events of a few months to the duration of more than a year, with inevitable distortion of the facts. The principal aim seems to have been to make the account interesting and vivid,and in that Sallust unquestionably succeeded; from the literary point of view the Catiline must always take a high rank. The character sketches of Sempronia, Cato, and Caesar, with the speeches of the last two, are especially fine. In fact, the orations in all of Sallust’s works were greatly admired in antiquity, and collections of them were made for use in the schools of rhetoric; yet he is not mentioned by Cicero among the great speakers of the day, and Quintilian expressly warns orators against taking him as a model. It was probably Sallust’s own speeches, and not those which he put into the mouths of his characters, to which Cassius Severus referred when he said “orationes Sallustii in honorem historiarum leguntur.” The addresses in Sallust’s works are introduced by such phrases as “hoc modo disseruit,” “huiuscemodi orationem habuit,” and the like, and hence do not purport to give the exact words of the speakers. They are carefully composed and their sentiments are adapted to those who are represented as delivering them, but the language is that of Sallust himself.
Sallust’s second work was an account of the war with Jugurtha, entitled Bellum Jugurthinum. The contest with the Numidian prince doubtless attracted Sallust’s attention because of his acquaintance with the scene of the conflict. He himself says that he selected it “because of its perilous nature and shifting fortunes, and because it marked the beginning of successful resistance to the dominant power of the nobles.” Besides the information which he himself had gathered in Numidia, Sallust had the benefit of a number of literary sources, such as the History of Sisenna, and theMemoirs of Sulla, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, and Publius Rutilius Rufus. He also made use of Punic sources, which he had caused to be translated for his benefit. Nevertheless, judged by modern standards, the <span class3D1Text>Jugurtha is rather like an historical novel of the better class than like sober history. Chronology is to a great extent disregarded,and in place of exact dates we have such vague expressions as “interea,” “iisdem temporibus,” “paucos post annos,” and the like. Sallust even ventures upon shifts in the sequence of events, in order to make a better rounded tale. As a literary masterpiece the work takes high rank.
The Jugurtha was written after the Catiline and published in 41 B.C., if the earlier date assigned to the Catiline is the correct one; in any event, not far from that time. It was followed by Sallust’s most extensive work, the Historiae, which in five books recounted the events of about twelve years, from 78 to 67 B.C. The work formed a continuation of Sisenna’s History, which ended with the death of Sulla. If, like Sallust’s other works, the Historiae had a secondary motive, it was still furtherto discredit the party of the nobles and to show Pompey’s unfitness to be entrusted with the rule of the state.
The greater part of the Historiae has perished. Four complete speeches and two letters are preserved in a collection made apparently in the second century for use in the schools of rhetoric. The work was frequently cited by grammarians and other ancient writers, and from this source numerous small fragments have been recovered. Three longer passages are transmitted in a more or less mutilated form in manuscript. These are the fragmentum Vaticanum, of two leaves containing eight columns and belonging to the Third Book; the fragmentum Berolinense, of one leaf containing a bit of the Second Book; and the fragmentum Aurelianense, two pieces of a palimpsest, one consisting of two leaves and the other of eight complete and two mutilated columns, discovered by Hauler in Codex Orleanensis, 169. The former of these supplements the frag. Berolinense, and with it gives an account of the consulship of Lucius Octavius and Gaius Aurelius Cotta, while the latter is of varied contents. Still other brief extracts from the Histories have been recovered from the account of the First Civil War written by Julius Exsuperantius in the latter part of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth centuries, and based upon Sallust.
The proper arrangement of the fragments and their interpretation are matters of considerable uncertainty and difference of opinion, but the labours of De Brosses,º Kritz, Dietsch, and Maurenbrecher have gone far towards solving the problem.
The style of Sallust is quite unlike that of Caesar and Cicero. His model in the writing of history was Thucydides, whose brevity of expression he also imitated and, according to Seneca Rhetor, even surpassed. He is also highly rhetorical and his language is decidedly archaistic, so much so that he was accused of pilfering from the works of Cato the Censor. His reputation in antiquity was very high, although it was based for the most part on his last and greatest work, the Histories. Quintilian’s opinion, “nec opponere Thucydidi verear,” does more credit to his patriotism than to his critical acumen, but Martial’s less extravagant verdict, “primus Romana Crispus in historia,” was true at the time when it was written. Sallust was criticized by Asinius Pollio and Livy, but his admirers and imitators far outnumbered his detractors. Tacitus, who deprived him of the first rank assigned him by Martial, speaks of him as “rerum Romanarum florentissimus auctor,” and paidhim the still higher compliment of imitation. In Hadrian’s time Sallust was even translated into Greek by a certain Zenobius, and his archaic diction made him a favourite writer with Fronto and his school. Towards the end of the second century Aemilius Asper wrote a commentary on the works of Sallust, and in the fourth century St. Augustine calls him “nobilitatae veritatis historicus.” The influence of his style is seen in Ammianus Marcellinus, Dictys Cretensis, Hegesippus, Sulpicius Severus, Lactantius, Hilarius, Julius Exsuperantius and others, and it continued into the Middle Ages.
The Doubtful Works
In codex Vaticanus 3864 (V) the excerpts from the Historiae are followedin the same handwriting by two anonymous suasoriae,or pleas, addressed to Julius Caesar, in both of which advice is given to the dictator as to the proper conduct of the government. We also find in our manuscripts, sometimes in company with genuine works of Cicero and sometimes with the Bella of Sallust, an Invective against Cicero ascribed to Sallust and a reply purporting to be thatof Cicero.
The first suasoria has generally been called an “oration” and therefore precedes the second, which was termed a letter. But the dramatic date of the former is 46 B.C., and that of the latter, 49 or 50 B.C. The former date is the one generally accepted, but Post maintains that the letter was written before Caesar crossed the Rubicon. The question of their authorship is reviewed and discussed, with a full bibliography, by H. Last, who is inclined to admit the genuineness of the first suasoria, but denies that of the second, which he believes to contain proof that it was not written by Sallust or by a contemporary of his. The genuineness of both is upheld by L. Post, Kurfess, and others.
The Invective against Cicero has generally been regarded as spurious, and as a specimen of the pamphleteer literature of the period following the death of Caesar. But Kurfess, who once argued against its genuineness, now believes that it was written by Sallust as a political pamphlet and published and circulated anonymously. It is generally agreed that its dramatic date is 54 B.C. Quintilian, who quotes from it, regarded it asa genuine work of Sallust. The suasoria, however, are not referred to by the ancient writers, unless Gellius XVII.be an exception; not even by the grammarians, who so frequently quoted Sallust.
The Invective against Sallust, although it purports to be a reply to the attack upon Cicero, does not observe the same time limits but covers the entire life of Sallust. It is probably an exercise from the schools of rhetoric, composed by a writer of small ability and inferior Latinity ata late period which cannot be determined with certainty.
The number of manuscripts of the Catiline and Jugurtha is very great. Roth was the first to submit them to a critical examination,on the basis of which he divided them into two classes. These are:
(1) The codices mutili, marked by an extensive lacuna in the <span class3D1Text>Jugurtha (ciii.2, “quinque” . . . cxii.3, “et ratam”).In some instances the lacuna has been filled by a later hand.
(2) The codices integri, in which the lacuna is filled by the first hand, either in the proper place or at the end. Some of these manuscripts have a phrase (“neque muniebantur ea,” Jug. XLIV.) which is not found in any other codices, and of these Dietsch made a third class. The usual division, however, is a twofold one, although Wirz is right in not recognizing the mutili and integri as classes, except for convenience. As a whole the mutili are older and better than the integri. A careful examination of the manuscripts has recently been made by Ahlberg (see Preface), and his classification, while probably not definitive, will doubtless be the standard for some years to come. He makes use of the following codices mutili:
Codex Parisinus, 16024 (P), formerly Sorbonnensis, 500, of the Tenth century.
Codex Parisinus, 16025 (A), formerly Sorbonnensis, 1576, of the Tenth century (P1 of former editions).
Codex Parisinus, 6085 (C), of the latter part of the Tenth or the early Eleventh century. After the end of the Jugurtha the speech of Bocchus (ch. 110) is added by the first hand, and the entire lacuna is supplied by a later hand (P2 of former editions).
Codex Basileensis, A.N. IV.11 (B), of the Eleventh century. Jug. 110 is added at the end by the first hand, as in C (B of former editions).</p>
Codex Palatinus, 889 (N), formerly Nazarianus, of the early part of the Eleventh century.
Codex Palatinus, 887 (K), formerly owned by the humanist Kemnatus; of the Eleventh century. It ends with Jug. 102.11, but the rest is supplied a little later by a second hand.
Codex Berolinensis, 205 (H), formerly Philippicus, 1902, of the Eleventh century.The lacuna is supplied a little later by a second hand.
Codex Monacensis, 4559 (M), of the Eleventh or Twelfth century. Besides the lacuna, Jug. 28.1, pecunia . . . 31.12, sunt ii qui (3D folia23b and 24a) is supplied by a later hand (M2 of former editions).
Codex Turicensis, bibl. reip. c. 143, a (T), of the latter part of the Eleventh century. The lacuna is supplied by a later hand.
Codex Parisinus, 10195 (D), formerly Echternacensis, of about the same date as T. The lacunais supplied by a later hand.
Codex Hauniensis, 25 (F), formerly Fabricianus, of the same time as T and D. The latter part of the Jugurtha (103.2 to the end) is supplied by a later hand.
All these manuscripts contain corrections, of which P2 and A2 are of the greatest value, since they are but little later than the first hand.
The following codices mutili are also used in connection with the lacuna, which was supplied by a hand not much later than the first:
Codex Parisinus, 5748 (Q), of the Eleventh century (P4 of earlier editions).
Codex Vaticanus, 3325 (R) of the latter part of the Twelfth century. (Formerly V1 or v.)
The following codices integri are used:
Codex Leidensis Vossianus Lat. 73 (l), of the Eleventh century. The latter part is badly damaged and ends with praeterea, Jug. 109.4.
Codex Lipsiensis, bibl. sen. rep. I, fol. 4 (s), of the Eleventh century.</p>
Codex Parisinus, 6086 (n), of the Eleventh century.
Codex Monacensis, 14777 (m), of the Eleventh century. Ends with Volux adveniens, Jug. 106.1.
And in connection with the lacuna:
Codex Palatinus, 883 (À), of the Twelfth century.
Of the codices mutili P, A, C, B are descended froma common archetype (X); M, T, D, F from another (“); and N, K, H, “ from a third (Y). Of the codices integri l and s are most closely related to X; m and n to Y.
Codex Vaticanus, 3864 (V) is useful for a part of the Catiline and the Jugurtha, since it contains a collection of Speeches and Letters from all the works of Sallust. This manuscript, of the Tenth century, is highly esteemed by Hauler51 and Ahlberg,52 who regard it as an earlier recension than the archetype of the codices mutili. It also contains the two suasoriae.
Sallust is quoted for various reasons by many ancient writers, and these testimonia are sometimes of value in the criticism of his text, especially those of Fronto and St. Augustine, and of the grammarians Arusianus and Priscian.
For the manuscripts of the Invectives see p492, note 1.
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The site of the Gardens of Sallust. On his return to Rome in later years, Sallust purchased and began laying out in great splendour the famous gardens on the Quirinal known as the Horti Sallustiani or Gardens of Sallust. These gardens would later belong to the emperors. Sallust then retired from public life and devoted himself to historical writing, while developing his gardens, spending much of his widely accumulated wealth on them.
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Rome, believed to be the location of Sallust’s death