Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

Not that any penalty will be too severe; it is only that we are establishing a bad precedent. Consider the disastrous consequences of such measures in the case of the Thirty Tyrants and of Sulla.

Let us not presume to be wiser than our fathers, who forbade both scourging and capital punishment.

I move, therefore, that the property of these men be confiscated; that they themselves be imprisoned for life in the municipal towns; and that any one who shall refer to them, either in the Senate or in any public assembly, shall be held guilty of high treason.

13. Omnis hominēs : cf. Sallust's introductory sentence, 1, 1. patrēs conscripti: see note to Cicero, 22, 7. 16. neque, etc. : "nor has any one ever been guided by passion and his true interest at the same time.' 18. animus : “the reason.' Māgna, etc. : "I have abundant material from which to remind you.'

21. contrā, etc. : see contrā in Vocab.

Page 41. 1. Rhodiorum cīvitās : in the war which the Ro. mans waged with Antiochus the Great, king of Syria, B.C. 192–190, Rhodes, at that time a maritime power second only to Carthage, aided the Romans, and was rewarded with the gift of Southern Caria (quae populī Romānī opibus crēverat). . Twenty years later, in the Third Macedonian War, 171–168, Rhodes made no offer of assistance, but sent an embassy to conciliate the contestants. The ambassadors, in their zeal for peace, threatened to declare war upon the nation which declined to make terms. This angered the Romans, so that they in turn were on the point of declaring war upon Rhodes. The latter made all the reparation possible and succeeded in averting war. (But it must be added that the Romans punished the Rhodians by taking back Caria and hopelessly crippling their commerce ; so that they were not nearly so magnanimous as would appear from the text.)

6. Item bellīs Pūnicis : the Roman historians were very fond of sneering at Punic faith (Pūnica fidēs). But the most superficial acquaintance with the facts-as, for example, in the manner of beginning the First Punic War, in the seizure of Corsica and Sardinia when Carthage was at Rome's mercy, and in the most unjust exactions

CICERO.

Page 40. 2. haec: accompanied by a gesture, indicating the buildings of the city, and the government represented in the Senate.

5. pro rērum māgnitūdine: 'in accordance with the greatness of the crisis.'

which led to the Third Punic War — will convince any one that the Carthaginians had far more reason to call the Romans treacherous. 9. per occāsionem : when opportunity offered.' 13. neu, etc.: • lest you should have more regard for your wrath than for your reputation.'

14. dīgna poena pro factis : “a penalty adequate to their deeds.' 15. novom consilium approbo: “I approve of deviating from precedent,' – the long established precedent that no Roman citizen should be punished with death, except by order of the people. 16. iīs, etc. : 'I am of the opinion that we should hold to the penalties provided by the laws.' 19. quae victis acciderent is explained by the following infinitive clauses. 21. mātrēs familiārum : see note to 33, 1. 25. quo, etc. ; see quo in Vocab. 26. scilicet: the sentence is ironical, as often when introduced by this particle. 28. multi, etc. : 'many men take them more seriously than is reasonable.' 29. Sed, etc.: ‘But different degrees of freedom are accorded to different persons.'

[ocr errors]

Page 42. 2. neque, etc.: "one should show neither favor nor hatred, but least of all display any anger.' 4. in imperio: in those who have power.' 8. in: 'in the case of.' 10. certo scio, etc. : 'I am sure that D. Silanus said all that he did say out of zeal for the state.' 12. eos, etc.: ‘I know that such is the character, such the self-control of the man.' 15. aliēna ā rē pūblicā nostrā : “ill-suited to the interests of our commonwealth.' 16. iniūria : "indignation at the atrocity (of these conspirators).' 20. id

habet : see habeo in Vocab.

Page 43. 2. ultrā neque cūrae neque gaudio locum esse: this was a doctrine of the Epicurean system of philosophy, which was widespread among educated Romans. The Stoic philosophy, which was gaining popularity, asserted that the souls of the good would live at least for a considerable period after death. Cicero — at any rate in his later life — identified himself with the New Academy, which affirmed a strong faith in the immortality of the soul. The common people still retained their superstitious beliefs about a spirit world.

CICERO.

Page 42. 3. mihi: agent; 'I myself have taken counsel and made provision for the adequate protection of the city.'

:

4. uti . . . animadvorterētur : 'that they should first be punished by being scourged.'

5. lēx Porcia : see Porcius in Vocab.; this law reënacted the earlier lēgēs Valeriae, prohibiting magistrates both from scourging and from executing Roman citizens. But since the lēx Sempronia capite cīvium (B.C. 123) reaffirmed the principle concerning the execution of citizens, only that part of the lēx Porcia which deals with scourginy was now valid. aliae lēgēs : the establishment, under the laws of C. Gracchus and Sulla, of a number of courts, which were not permitted to sentence a Roman citizen to death, — the extreme penalty being exile, - indirectly had the effect of abolishing the death penalty altogether. This is what Caesar refers to in aliae lēgēs.

9. quī: how.' 10. neglēgeris : an older form for the more usual neglexeris.

12. At, introducing an enim • But, you say.' 13. Tempus, diēs : 'Circumstances, time.' 14. Illīs : i.e. the prisoners. 15. in: • in regard to.' 16. ex bonis : 'out of good measures.' 17. éius : i.e. of power.

19. Lacedaemonii : after the final battle of Aegospotami (B.C. 405) in the Peloponnesian war, Lysander, the Lacedaemonian general, appointed thirty men to rule over Athens. Their government soon became so intolerable that they were called the Thirty Tyrants. 25. cēterās metū terrēre : by keeping a Spartan garrison on the Acropolis. 27. Damasippum : D. Iunius Brutus Damasippus, praetor B.c. 82, carried out an atrocious order by the younger Marius, to massacre all the adherents of Sulla that he could find in Rome. Not long afterward he was captured by Sulla before the Colline gate and put to death, in company with four thousand of the Marian party. qui, etc. : 'who had grown in power by (taking advantage of) the misfortunes of the state.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

Page 44. 3. trahēbantur: i.e. to punishment. 5. in. : 'in the case of.' 6. multa, etc. : 'many men of different dispositions.' 8. cui item exercitus in manū sit: “who has an army at his command’; a veiled allusion to the strong guard Cicero had called into service, which Nero also objected; see 40, 10. 15. ab Samnītibus : for their light infantry, the Romans adopted the Samnite verū, a missile with a sharp iron point. īnsīgnia magistrātuum : viz. the fascēs, the curule chair, and the toga praetexta.

20. Graeciae morem imitātī, etc.: before the codification of the laws was attempted at Rome, B.c. 451, a commission was sent to Greece to study the legal system of that country. When, therefore, the code was finished, two years afterward, as set forth in the Twelve Tables, much of it was supposed to have come from the Greeks. This was what probably caused the erroneous impression that punishment by both scourging and death originated with the Greeks. For there can be very little doubt that these penalties were instituted by the Romans in the earliest times, and without any influence from the Greeks.

24. aliaeque lēgēs . . . quibus lēgibus : the repetition of the antecedent in the relative clause was characteristic of Caesar's style; cf. B. G. I, vi: erant omnino itinera duo, quibus itineribus domo exire possent. 26. quo minus, etc.: "why we should not.' 29. qui, etc.: “who scarcely retain that nobly won greatness.' 32. Sed ita cēnseo: Caesar's motion was both illogical and dangerous; illogical, because if precedent, upon which he insisted so loudly, was to be followed, the prisoners ought to have been given a regular trial and not sentenced to imprisonment for life ; dangerous, because the municipal towns had no better facilities for keeping prisoners in custody than Rome had.

[ocr errors]

6

After Caesar, a number of the senators spoke in favor of one propo

sition or the other. Finally Cato made the following speech. Section 52.

Page 45. § 52. 6. cēterī verbö alius aliī variē adsentiē. bantur: i.e. they assented either to the opinion of Silanus or of Caesar. Among those who spoke was Cicero, who delivered his fourth oration against Catiline. 7. M. Porcius Cato had distinguished himself in his quaestorship by his integrity and impartiality. Now, at the age of thirty-two, he was tribune of the people. The following speech brings out clearly his self-righteousness, his unyielding fearlessness, his proneness to censure the looseness of Roman morals, and his unswerving loyalty to his country. His character is admirably sketched by Sallust in $ 54.

CICERO.

Page 45. 1. Mūnicipiis dispertiri iubet: sc. eos, the prisoners. Habēre : ‘involve.' 2. iniquitātem ... difficultātem: it was unfair to insist upon their assuming this burden, and embarrassing to ask it of them as a favor, since they might refuse to grant it. 5. cūstodiās: prison regulations.' 6. sancit, nē quis: ‘he makes it an offence for

12. in vitā: 'while on earth.' apud, etc. : 'men of old

6

any one.'

Page 46.

Outline of Cato's speech. — We ought to be discussing, not what punishment is due to the conspirators, but what would be most effective in stamping out this conspiracy at once.

My warnings have always gone unheeded in the past. But this time it is a question, not of morals, but of life and death. Mercy to such scoundrels would only bring ruin down upon all loyal citizens.

If Caesar is afraid that violence will be used to release these men at Rome, why does he advocate sending them to municipalities whose facilities for securing prisoners are not as good as ours ? But if he only does not fear them, then there is all the more reason for us to be alarmed.

Your sentence is being eagerly awaited by the rest of the conspirators. Vigorous action will crush their spirit ; indifference will encourage them.

Our ancestors built up a great nation by their industry, justice, and wisdom ; we pursue nothing but wealth and pleasure.

But enough of this. Notwithstanding the most positive evidence of the conspirators' guilt, you sit listlessly waiting for each other to act, and trusting to the immortal gods to save you as of old from danger !

Think of Torquatus sentencing his own son to death for disobedience! And will you still hesitate to punish these dastardly traitors ?

I would willingly allow you to learn a lesson from experience. But the danger is imminent. We must act — if at all- at once.

Therefore, in view of the evidence, and of the prisoners' own confession, I move that they be sentenced to death.

1. Longē, etc. : “Very different are my feelings." 5. rēs, etc. : while our situation warns us to be on our guard against them, rather than to be deliberating what sentence to pass upon them.' 9. reliqui: see note to 8, 20. 11. plūris : B. 203, 3, a; A. 252, a , H. 448, 1; G. 380, 1. 13. õtium praebēre : i.e. if you wish to enjoy yourselves in peace. 19. multosque, etc. : 'I have made many enemies on this account.' 20. qui, etc. : 'I, who could not be lenient with myself or my baser inclinations for any failure, could not easily pardon another man for the misdeeds which grew out of his

maintained that certain punishments of this kind were ordained for the wicked after death.' 16. meā: B. 211, 1, a; A. 222, a; H. 449, 1; G. 381. 17. quoniam: "since he has followed that course in politics which is considered democratic.' 25. Intellēctum est, etc.: "Then was understood the difference between.'

:

« IndietroContinua »