Saepe ex me requiris, Iuste Fabi, cur, cum priora saecula tot eminentium oratorum ingeniis gloriaque floruerint, nostra potissimum aetas deserta et laude eloquentiae orbata vix nomen ipsum oratoris retineat; neque enim ita appellamus nisi antiquos, horum autem temporum diserti causidici et advocati et patroni et quidvis potius quam oratores vocantur.
You often ask me, Justus Fabius, how it is that while the genius and the fame of so many distinguished orators have shed a lustre on the past, our age is so forlorn and so destitute of the glory of eloquence that it scarce retains the very name of orator. That title indeed we apply only to the ancients, and the clever speakers of this day we call pleaders, advocates, counsellors, anything rather than orators.
Hi tamen inter Germanos potius referuntur, quia et domos figunt et scuta gestant et pedum usu ac pernicitate gaudent; quae omnia diversa Sarmatis sunt, in plaustro equoque viventibus.
They are however to be rather referred to the German race, for they have fixed habitations, carry shields, and delight in strength and fleetness of foot, thus presenting a complete contrast to the Sarmatæ, who live in waggons and on horseback.
neque luxus in iuvene adeo displicebat: huc potius intenderet, diem aedificationibus noctem conviviis traheret, quam solus et nullis voluptatibus avocatus maestam vigilantiam et malas curas exerceret.
Better that he should incline that way, spend his days in architecture, his nights in banquets, than that he should live in solitude, cut off from every pleasure, and absorbed in a gloomy vigilance and mischievous schemes.
quod si mecum ante viri strenui, aediles, consilium habuissent, nescio an suasurus fuerim omittere potius praevalida et adulta vitia quam hoc adsequi, ut palam fieret quibus flagitiis impares essemus.
Had those energetic men, our aediles, first taken counsel with me, I do not know whether I should not have advised them to let alone vices so strong and so matured, rather than merely attain the result of publishing what are the corruptions with which we cannot cope.
Atque interim Ostorius Sabinus, Sorani accusator, ingreditur orditurque de amicitia Rubelli Plauti, quodque proconsulatum Asiae Soranus pro claritate sibi potius accommodatum quam ex utilitate communi egisset, alendo seditiones civitatium.
And meanwhile Ostorius Sabinus, the accuser of Soranus, entered, and began by speaking of his friendship with Rubellius Plautus and of his proconsulate in Asia which he had, he said, adapted to his own glory rather than to the public welfare, by fostering seditious movements in the various states.
Usu venisse hoc civi Romano et ei qui ab populo Romano honores accepisset, incolumi patria fortunisque omnibus Iubae barbaro potius oboedientem fuisse quam aut Scipionis obtemperasse nuntio aut caesis eiusdem partis civibus incolumem reverti malle! Atque etiam [et] superbius Iubae factum non in M. Aquinium hominem novum parvumque senatorem, sed in Scipionem hominem illa familia dignitate honoribus praestantem.
One can not wonder enough at this step in a Roman citizen, who had already attained to considerable honors in the commonwealth; that though neither banished his country, nor stripped of his possessions, he should pay a more ready obedience to the orders of a foreign prince than those of Scipio; and choose rather to behold the destruction of his party than return into the bosom of his country.
enimvero certamen acerrimum, amita potius an mater apud Neronem praevaleret: nam Lepida blandimentis ac largitionibus iuvenilem animum devinciebat, truci contra ac minaci Agrippina, quae filio dare imperium, tolerare imperitantem nequibat.
It was indeed a desperate contest whether the aunt or the mother should have most power over Nero. Lepida tried to win the young prince's heart by flattery and lavish liberality, while Agrippina on the other hand, who could give her son empire but could not endure that he should be emperor, was fierce and full of menace.
At Vitellius fractis apud Cremonam rebus nuntios cladis occultans stulta dissimulatione remedia potius malorum quam mala differebat.
Vitellius, after his power had been shattered at Cremona, endeavoured to suppress the tidings of the disaster, and by this foolish attempt at concealment he put off, not indeed his troubles, but only the application of the remedy.
flebunt Germanicum etiam ignoti: vindicabitis vos, si me potius quam fortunam meam fovebatis.
Tears for Germanicus even strangers will shed; vengeance must come from you, if you loved the man more than his fortune.
si patriam parentes antiqua mallent quam domi nos et colonias novas, Arminium potius gloriae ac libertatis quam Segestem flagitiosae servitutis ducem sequerentur.
"If you prefer your fatherland, your ancestors, your ancient life to tyrants and to new colonies, follow as your leader Arminius to glory and to freedom rather than Segestes to ignominious servitude."""
iam moribus artibus adfinitatibus nostris mixti aurum et opes suas inferant potius quam separati habeant.
United as they now are with us by manners, education, and intermarriage, let them bring us their gold and their wealth rather than enjoy it in isolation.
'quo usque filium imperatoris obsidebimus? quis certaminum finis? Percennione et Vibuleno sacramentum dicturi sumus? Percennius et Vibulenus stipendia militibus, agros emeritis largientur? denique pro Neronibus et Drusis imperium populi Romani capessent? quin potius, ut novissimi in culpam, ita primi ad paenitentiam sumus? tarda sunt quae in commune expostulantur: privatam gratiam statim mereare, statim recipias.' commotis per haec mentibus et inter se suspectis, tironem a veterano.
How long will you besiege the emperor's son? What is to be the end of our strifes? Will Percennius and Vibulenus give pay to the soldiers and land to those who have earned their discharge? In a word, are they, instead of the Neros and the Drusi, to control the empire of the Roman people? Why are we not rather first in our repentance as we were last in the offence? Demands made in common are granted slowly; a separate favour you may deserve and receive at the same moment. With minds affected by these words and growing mutually suspicious, they divided off the new troops from the old, and one legion from another.
et habet sectatores vel potius satellites, qui nondum contumaciam sententiarum, sed habitum vultumque eius sectantur, rigidi et tristes, quo tibi lasciviam exprobrent.
He is the only man who cares not for your safety, honours not your accomplishments.
inter quorum aspectus et minas ingressi curiam senatores, et oratio principis per quaestorem eius audita est: nemine nominatim compellato patres arguebat quod publica munia desererent eorumque exemplo equites Romani ad segnitiam verterentur: etenim quid mirum e longinquis provinciis haud veniri, cum plerique adepti consulatum et sacerdotia hortorum potius amoenitati inservirent.
A group of ordinary citizens with swords which they did not conceal, had blocked the approach to the Senate. Through the squares and colonnades were scattered bodies of soldiers, amid whose looks of menace the senators entered their house.
Hostes, ubi et de expugnando oppido et de flumine transeundo spem se fefellisse intellexerunt neque nostros in locum iniquiorum progredi pugnandi causa viderunt atque ipsos res frumentaria deficere coepit, concilio convocato constituerunt optimum esse domum suam quemque reverti, et quorum in fines primum Romani exercitum introduxissent, ad eos defendendos undique convenirent, ut potius in suis quam in alienis finibus decertarent et domesticis copiis rei frumentariae uterentur.
The enemy, when they perceived that their hopes had deceived them both with regard to their taking the town by storm and also their passing the river, and did not see our men advance to a more disadvantageous place for the purpose of fighting, and when provisions began to fail them, having called a council, determined that it was best for each to return to his country, and resolved to assemble from all quarters to defend those into whose territories the Romans should first march an army; that they might contend in their own rather than in a foreign country, and might enjoy the stores of provision which they possessed at home.
Admiratione te potius et immortalibus laudibus et, si natura suppeditet, similitudine colamus: is verus honos, ea coniunctissimi cuiusque pietas.
Let us honour thee not so much with transitory praises as with our reverence, and, if our powers permit us, with our emulation. That will be true respect, that the true affection of thy nearest kin.
Et quibus bellum volentibus erat, probare exemplum ac recentis legati animum opperiri, cum Agricola, quamquam transvecta aestas, sparsi per provinciam numeri, praesumpta apud militem illius anni quies, tarda et contraria bellum incohaturo, et plerisque custodiri suspecta potius videbatur, ire obviam discrimini statuit; contractisque legionum vexillis et modica auxiliorum manu, quia in aequum degredi Ordovices non audebant, ipse ante agmen, quo ceteris par animus simili periculo esset, erexit aciem.
Such a beginning raised the hopes of the country, and all who wished for war approved the precedent, and anxiously watched the temper of the new governor. Meanwhile Agricola, though summer was past and the detachments were scattered throughout the province, though the soldiers' confident anticipation of inaction for that year would be a source of delay and difficulty in beginning a campaign, and most advisers thought it best simply to watch all weak points, resolved to face the peril.
. Insequenti tempore duo Lusitani fratres transfugenuntiaruntque Pompeium contionem habuisse: quoniam oppido subsidio non posset venire, noctu ex adversariorum conspectu se deducerent ad mare versum; unum respondisse, ut potius ad dimicandum descenderet quam signum fugae ostenderet; eum qui ita locutus esset iugulatum.
"When we had read the inscription, those who were employed to throw the bullet returning to the city, two Lusitanian brothers deserted, and informed us that Pompey in a speech made to his soldiers, had said: ""That as he found it impossible to relieve the town, he was resolved to withdraw in the night from the sight of the enemy, and retire toward the sea;"" to which one answered ""that it was better to hazard a battle than take refuge in flight,"" but he who said so was instantly put to death."
et cum abnuerent, 'gladiisne' inquit 'et pilis perfringere ac subruere muros ullae manus possunt? si aggerem struere, si pluteis cratibusve protegi necesse fuerit, ut vulgus improvidum inriti stabimus, altitudinem turrium et aliena munimenta mirantes? quin potius mora noctis unius, advectis tormentis machinisque, vim victoriamque nobiscum ferimus?' simul lixas calonesque cum recentissimis equitum Bedriacum mittit, copias ceteraque usui adlaturos.
"Shall we set about storming the town when we have no means seeing where the ground is level, what is the height of the walls, whether the city is to be assailed by our artillery and javelins, or by siege-works and covered approaches?"" He then turned to individual soldiers, asking them whether they had brought with them their axes and spades and whatever else is used when towns are to be stormed."
detraheret potius senatui quem perornavisset infamiam tanti flagitii et relinqueret incertum quid viso Thrasea reo decreturi patres fuerint.
Not only are Cossutianus and Eprius eagerly bent on crime; there are numbers more, daring enough, perchance, to raise the hand of violence in their brutality.
Quo facto regem ut in sua potestate haberet, Caesar efficit, magnam regium nomen apud suos auctoritatem habere existimans et ut potius privato paucorum et latronum quam regio consilio susceptum bellum videretur.
Upon this, Caesar took care to secure the king's person, both supposing that the king's name would have a great influence with his subjects, and to give the war the appearance of the scheme of a few desperate men, rather than of having been begun by the king's consent.
'Si quanta nobilitas et fortuna mihi fuit, tanta rerum prosperarum moderatio fuisset, amicus potius in hanc urbem quam captus venissem, neque dedignatus esses claris maioribus ortum, plurimis gentibus imperitantem foedere [in] pacem accipere.
"When he was set before the emperor's tribunal, he spoke as follows: ""Had my moderation in prosperity been equal to my noble birth and fortune, I should have entered this city as your friend rather than as your captive; and you would not have disdained to receive, under a treaty of peace, a king descended from illustrious ancestors and ruling many nations."
remisit Caesar adroganti moderatione, populumque edicto monuit ne, ut quondam nimiis studiis funus divi Iulii turbassent, ita Augustum in foro potius quam in campo Martis, sede destinata, cremari vellent.
The emperor left the point to them with disdainful moderation, he then admonished the people by a proclamation not to indulge in that tumultuous enthusiasm which had distracted the funeral of the Divine Julius, or express a wish that Augustus should be burnt in the Forum instead of in his appointed resting-place in the Campus Martius.
quae semper odio, tum et metu atrox, ne aut vulgi acrior vis ingrueret aut Nero inclinatione populi mutaretur, provoluta genibus eius: non eo loci res suas agi, ut de matrimonio certet, quamquam id sibi vita potius, sed vitam ipsam in extremum adductam a clientelis et servitiis Octaviae, quae plebis sibi nomen indiderint, ea in pace ausi, quae vix bello evenirent.
Ever relentless in her hatred, she was now enraged by the fear that either the violence of the mob would burst on her with yet fiercer fury, or that Nero would be swayed by the popular bias, and so, flinging herself at his knees, she exclaimed that she was not in the position of a rival fighting for marriage, though that was dearer to her than life, but that her very life was brought into jeopardy by the dependants and slaves of Octavia, who had assumed the name of the people, and dared in peace what could hardly happen in war.
quis enim mediocri prudentia, nedum Tiberius tantis rebus exercitus, inaudito filio exitium offerret, idque sua manu et nullo ad pacnitendum regressu? quin potius ministrum veneni excruciaret, auctorem exquireret, insita denique etiam in extraneos cunctatione et mora adversum unicum et nullius ante flagitii compertum uteretur? sed quia Seianus facinorum omnium repertor habebatur, ex nimia caritate in eum Caesaris et ceterorum in utrumque odio quamvis fabulosa et immania credebantur, atrociore semper fama erga dominantium exitus.
Surely he would rather have had the slave who handed the poison, tortured, have sought to discover the traitor, in short, would have been as hesitating and tardy in the case of an only son hitherto unconvicted of any crime, as he was naturally even with strangers. But as Sejanus had the credit of contriving every sort of wickedness, the fact that he was the emperor's special favourite, and that both were hated by the rest of the world, procured belief for any monstrous fiction, and rumour too always has a dreadful side in regard to the deaths of men in power.
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