1. Had the praise of History been passed over by former chroniclers, it would perhaps have been incumbent upon me to urge the choice and special study of records of this sort as the readiest means men can have of correcting their knowledge of the past. But my predecessors have not been sparing in this respect. They have all begun and ended, so to speak, by enlarging on this theme: asserting again and again that the study of History is in the truest sense an education and a training for political life, and that the most instructive, or rather the only, method of learning to bear with dignity the vicissitudes of fortune is to recall the catastrophes of others. It is evident, therefore, that no one need think it his duty to repeat what has been said by many, and said well. Least of all myself, for the surprising nature of the events which I have undertaken to relate is in itself sufficient to challenge and stimulate the attention of everyone, old or young, to the study of my work. Can anyone be so indifferent or idle as not to care to know by what means, and under what kind of polity, almost the whole inhabited world was conquered and brought under the dominion of the single city of Rome, and that, too, within a period of not quite fifty-three years (219-167 BCE)? Or who again can be so completely absorbed in other subjects of contemplation or study, as to think any of them superior in importance to the accurate understanding of an event for which the past affords no precedent?
2. We shall best show how marvellous and vast our subject is by comparing the most famous empires which preceded and which have been the favourite themes of historians, and measuring them with the superior greatness of Rome. There are but three that deserve even to be so compared and measured, and they are these: The Persians for a certain length of time were possessed of a great empire and dominion. But every time they ventured beyond the limits of Asia, they found not only their empire, but their own existence also in danger. The Lacedaemonians, after contending for supremacy in Greece for many generations, when they did get it, held it without dispute for barely twelve years (405-394 BCE). The Macedonians obtained dominion in Europe from the lands bordering on the Adriatic to the Danube which, after all, is but a small fraction of this continent and, by the destruction of the Persian Empire, they afterwards added to that the dominion of Asia. And yet, though they had the credit of having made themselves masters of a larger number of countries and states than any people had ever done, they still left the greater half of the inhabited world in the hands of others. They never so much as thought of attempting Sicily, Sardinia, or Libya. And as to Europe, to speak the plain truth, they never even knew of the most warlike tribes of the West. The Roman conquest, on the other hand, was not partial. Nearly the whole inhabited world was reduced by them to obedience, and they left behind them an empire not to be paralleled in the past or rivalled in the future. Students will gain from my narrative a clearer view of the whole story and of the numerous and important advantages which such an exact record of events offers.
3. My History begins in the 140th Olympiad (220-217 BCE). The events from which it starts are these: In Greece, what is called the Social War the first waged by Philip, son of Demetrius and father of Perseus, in league with the Achaeans against the Aetolians. In Asia, the war for the possession of Coele-Syria, which Antiochus and Ptolemy Philopator carried on against each other. In Italy, Libya, and their neighbourhood, the conflict between Rome and Carthage, generally called the Hannibalian War. My work thus begins where that of Aratus of Sicyon leaves off. Now up to this time the world's history had been, so to speak, a series of disconnected transactions, as widely separated in their origin and results as in their localities. But from this time forth, History becomes a connected whole: the affairs of Italy and Libya are involved with those of Asia and Greece, and the tendency of all is to unity. This is why I have fixed upon this era as the starting point of my work. For it was their victory over the Carthaginians in this war and their conviction that thereby the most difficult and most essential step towards universal empire had been taken, which encouraged the Romans for the first time to stretch out their hands upon the rest and to cross with an army into Greece and Asia.
Now, had the states that were rivals for universal empire been familiarly known to us, no reference perhaps to their previous history would have been necessary to show the purpose and the forces with which they approached an undertaking of this nature and magnitude. But the fact is that the majority of the Greeks have no knowledge of the previous constitution, power, or achievements either of Rome or of Carthage. I therefore concluded that it was necessary to prefix this and the next book to my History. I was anxious that no one, when fairly embarked upon my actual narrative, should feel at a loss and have to ask what were the designs entertained by the Romans or the forces and means at their disposal, that they entered upon those undertakings, which did in fact lead to their becoming masters of land and sea everywhere in our part of the world. I wished, on the contrary, that these books of mine and the prefatory sketch which they contained might make it clear that the resources they started with justified their original idea, and sufficiently explained their final success in grasping universal empire and dominion
4. There is this analogy between the plan of my History and the marvelous spirit of the age with which I have to deal. Just as Fortune made almost all the affairs of the world incline in one direction and forced them to converge upon one and the same point, so it is my task as an historian to put before my readers a compendious view of the part played by Fortune in bringing about the general catastrophe. It was this peculiarity which originally challenged my attention and determined me on undertaking this work. And combined with this was the fact that no writer of our time has undertaken a general history. Had anyone done so, my ambition in this direction would have been much diminished. But, in point of fact, I notice that by far the greater number of historians concern themselves with isolated wars and the incidents that accompany them, while as to a general and comprehensive scheme of events, their date, origin, and catastrophe, no one as far as I know has undertaken to examine it. I thought it, therefore distinctly my duty neither to pass by myself nor allow anyone else to pass by, without full study, a characteristic specimen of the dealings of Fortune at once brilliant and instructive in the highest degree. For fruitful as Fortune is in change, and constantly as she is producing dramas in the life of men, yet never assuredly before this did she work such a marvel or act such a drama as that which we have witnessed. And of this we cannot obtain a comprehensive view from writers of mere episodes. It would be as absurd to expect to do so as for a man to imagine that he has learnt the shape of the whole world, its entire arrangement and order, because he has visited, one after the other, the most famous cities in it or perhaps merely examined them in separate pictures. That would be indeed absurd, and it has always seemed to me that men who are persuaded that they get a competent view of universal from episodical history are very like persons who should see the limbs of some body which had once been living and beautiful, scattered and remote, and should imagine that to be quite as good as actually beholding the activity and beauty of the living creature itself. But if someone could there and then reconstruct the animal once more in the perfection of its beauty and the charm of its vitality, and could display it to the same people, they would beyond doubt confess that they had been far from conceiving the truth and had been little better than dreamers. For indeed some idea of a whole may be got from a part, but an accurate knowledge and clear comprehension cannot. Wherefore we must conclude that episodical history contributes exceedingly little to the familiar knowledge and secure grasp of universal history, while it is only by the combination and comparison of the separate parts of the whole by observing their likeness and their difference that a man can attain his object: can obtain a view at once clear and complete and thus secure both the profit and the delight of History.
5. I shall adopt as the starting-point of this book the first occasion on which the Romans crossed the sea from Italy. This is just where the History of Timaeus left off, and it falls in the 129th Olympiad (264-261 BCE). I shall accordingly have to describe what the state of their affairs in Italy was, how long that settlement had lasted, and on what resources they reckoned, when they resolved to invade Sicily. For this was the first place outside Italy in which they set foot. The precise cause of their thus crossing I must state without comment, for if I let one cause lead me back to another, my point of departure will always elude my grasp, and I shall never arrive at the view of my subject which I wish to present. As to dates, then, I must fix on some era agreed upon and recognized by all. And as to events, one that admits of distinctly separate treatment, even though I may be obliged to go back some short way in point of time and take a summary review of the intermediate transactions. For if the facts with which one starts are unknown, or even open to controversy, all that comes after will fail of approval and belief. But opinion being once formed on that point, and a general assent obtained, all the succeeding narrative becomes intelligible.
6. It was in the nineteenth year after the sea fight at Aegospotami and the sixteenth before the battle at Leuctra; the year in which the Lacedaemonians made what is called the Peace of Antalcidas with the king of Persia; the year in which the elder Dionysius was besieging Rhegium after beating the Italian Greeks on the River Elleporus; and in which the Gauls took Rome itself by storm and were occupying the whole of it except the Capitol (387-386 BCE). With these Gauls the Romans made a treaty and settlement which they were content to accept. And having thus become beyond all expectation once more masters of their own country, they made a start in their career of expansion and in the succeeding period engaged in various wars with their neighbours. First, by dint of valour and the good fortune which attended them in the field, they mastered all the Latini; then they went to war with the Etruscans; then with the Celts; and next with the Samnites who lived on the eastern and northern frontiers of Latium. Some time after this the Tarentines insulted the ambassadors of Rome, and, in fear of the consequences, invited and obtained the assistance of Pyrrhus. This happened in the year before the Gauls invaded Greece, some of whom perished near Delphi, while others crossed into Asia (280 BCE). Then it was that the Romans having reduced the Etruscans and Samnites to obedience, and conquered the Italian Celts in many battles attempted for the first time the reduction of the rest of Italy. The nations for whose possessions they were about to fight they affected to regard, not in the light of foreigners, but as already for the most part belonging and pertaining to themselves. The experience gained from their contests with the Samnites and the Celts had served as a genuine training in the art of war. Accordingly, they entered upon the war with spirit, drove Pyrrhus from Italy (274 BCE), and then undertook to fight with and subdue those who had taken part with him. They succeeded everywhere to a marvel and reduced to obedience all the tribes inhabiting Italy except the Celts, after which they undertook to besiege some of their own citizens, who at that time were occupying Rhegium.
But it was not these considerations only which induced me to undertake the history of this war. I was influenced quite as much by the fact that Philinus and Fabius, who have the reputation of writing with the most complete knowledge about it, have given us an inadequate representation of the truth. Now, judging from their lives and principles, I do not suppose that these writers have intentionally stated what was false, but I think that they are much in the same state of mind as men in love. Partisanship and complete prepossession made Philinus think that all the actions of the Carthaginians were characterised by wisdom, honour, and courage: those of the Romans by the reverse. Fabius thought the exact opposite. Now in other relations of life one would hesitate to exclude such warmth of sentiment, for a good man ought to be loyal to his friends and patriotic to his country; ought to be at one with his friends in their hatreds and likings. But directly a man assumes the moral attitude of an historian he ought to forget all considerations of that kind. There will be many occasions on which he will be bound to speak well of his enemies and even to praise them in the highest terms if the facts demand it, and, on the other hand, many occasions on which it will be his duty to criticize and denounce his own side, however dear to him, if their errors of conduct suggest that course. For as a living creature is rendered wholly useless if deprived of its eyes, so if you take truth from History, what is left is but an idle, unprofitable tale. Therefore, one must not shrink either from blaming one's friends or praising one's enemies nor be afraid of finding fault with and commending the sarne persons at different times. For it is impossible that men engaged in public affairs should always be right, and unlikely that they should always be wrong. Holding ourselves, therefore, entirely aloof from the actors, we must as historians make statements and pronounce judgment in accordance with the actions themselves.
The consuls who made the treaty with Hiero had gone home, and their successors, Lucius Postumius and Quintus Mamilius (262 BCE), were come to Sicily with their legions. Observing the measure which the Carthaginians were taking and the forces they were concentrating at Agrigentum, they made up their minds to take that matter in hand and strike a bold blow. Accordingly, they suspended every other department of the war and, bearing down upon Agrigentum itself with their whole army, attacked it in force, pitched their camp within a distance of eight stades from the city, and confined the Carthaginians within the walls. Now it was just harvest time, and the siege was evidently destined to be a long one. The soldiers, therefore, went out to collect the grain with greater hardihood than they ought to have done. Accordingly the Carthaginians, seeing the enemy scattered about the fields, sallied out and attacked the harvesting parties. They easily routed these, and then one portion of them made a rush to destroy the Roman entrenchment, the other to attack the pickets. But the peculiarity of their institutions saved the Roman fortunes, as it had often done before. Among them it is death for a man to desert his post or to fly from his station on any pretext whatever. Accordingly, on this, as on other occasions, they gallantly held their ground against opponents many times their own number and though they lost many of their own men, they killed still more of the enemy and at last outflanked the foes just as they were on the point of demolishing the palisade of the camp. Some they put to the sword, and the rest they pursued with slaughter into the city. 18. The result was that thenceforth the Carthaginians were somewhat less forward in making such attacks, and the Romans more cautious in foraging.
So it was with the Romans and Carthaginians. They were worn out by the labours of the war. The perpetual succession of hard-fought struggles was at last driving them to despair. Their strength had become paralyzed, and their resources, reduced almost to extinction by war taxes and expenses extending over so many years. And yet the Romans did not give in. For the last five years indeed they had entirely abandoned the sea, partly because they felt confident of deciding the war by means of their land forces. But they now determined for the third time to make trial of their fortune in naval warfare. They saw that their operations were not succeeding according to their calculations, mainly owing to the obstinate gallantry of the Carthaginian general. They therefore adopted this resolution from a conviction that by this means alone, if their design were but well directed, would they be able to bring the war to a successful conclusion. In their first attempt they had been compelled to abandon the sea by disasters arising from sheer bad luck; in their second by the loss of the naval battle off Drepana. This third attempt was successful: they shut off the Carthaginian forces at Eryx from getting their supplies by sea and eventually put a period to the whole war. Nevertheless, it was essentially an effort of despair. The treasury was empty and would not supply the funds necessary for the undertaking, which were, however, obtained by the patriotism and generosity of the leading citizens. They undertook singly, or by two or three combining, according to their means, to supply a quinquereme fully fitted out, on the understanding that they were to be repaid if the expedition was successful.
By these means a fleet of two hundred quinqueremes was quickly prepared, built on the model of the ship of the Rhodian. Gaius Lutatius was then appointed to the command and despatched at the beginning of the summer (242 BCE). His appearance on the coasts of Sicily was a surprise: the whole of the Carthaginian fleet had gone home, and he took possession both of the harbour near Drepana and the roadsteads near Lilybaeum. He then threw up works round the city of Drepana and made other preparations for besieging it. And while he pushed on these operations with all his might, he did not at the same time lose sight of the approach of the Carthaginian fleet. He kept in mind the original idea of this expedition, that it was by a victory at sea alone that the result of the whole war could be decided. He did not, therefore allow the time to be wasted or unemployed. He practised and drilled his crews every day in the manoeuvres which they would be called upon to perform, and by his attention to discipline generally brought his sailors in a very short time to the condition of trained athletes for the contest before them.
60. That the Romans should have a fleet afloat once more and again bidding for the mastery at sea, was a contingency wholly unexpected by the Carthaginians.
63. When this treaty was sent to Rome the people refused to accept it, but sent ten commissioners to examine into the business. Upon their arrival they made no change in the general terms of the treaty, but they introduced some slight alterations in the direction of increased severity towards Carthage. Thus they reduced the time allowed for the payment of the indemnity by one half. They added a thousand talents to the sum demanded and extended the evacuation of Sicily to all islands lying between Sicily and Italy.
Such were the conditions on which the war was ended, after lasting twenty-four years continuously. It was at once the longest, most continuous, and most severely contested war known to us in history. Apart from the other battles fought and the preparations made, which I described in my previous chapters, there were two sea fights, in one of which the combined numbers of the two fleets exceeded five hundred quinqueremes, in the other, nearly seven hundred. In the course of the war, counting what were destroyed by shipwreck, the Romans lost seven hundred quinqueremes, the Carthaginians, five hundred. Those, therefore, who have spoken with wonder of the sea battles of an Antigonus, a Ptolemy, or a Demetrius, and of the greatness of their fleets, would, we may well believe, have been overwhelmed with astonishment at the hugeness of these proportions if they had had to tell the story of this war. If, further, we take into consideration the superior size of the quinqueremes, compared with the triremes employed by the Persians against the Greeks, and again by the Athenians and Lacedaemonians in their wars with each other, we shall find that never in the whole history of the world have such enormous forces contended for mastery at sea.
These considerations will establish my original observation, and show the falseness of the opinion entertained by certain Greeks. It was not by mere chance or without knowing what they were doing that the Romans struck their bold stroke for universal supremacy and dominion and justified their boldness by its success. No! It was the natural result of discipline gained in the stern school of difficulty and danger.
64. And no doubt the question does naturally arise here as to why they find it impossible in our days to man so many ships or take the sea with such large fleets, though masters of the world and possessing a superiority over others many times as great as before. The explanation of this difficulty will be clearly understood when we come to the description of their civil constitution. I look upon this description as a most important part of my work, one demanding close attention on the part of my readers. For the subject is calculated to afford pleasure in the contemplation and is up to this time, so to speak, absolutely unknown, thanks to historians, some of whom have been ignorant, while others have given so confused an account of it as to be practically useless. For the present it suffices to say that, as far as the late war was concerned, the two nations were closely matched in the character of the designs they entertained, as well as in the lofty courage they showed in prosecuting them. And this is especially true if the eager ambition displayed on either side to secure the supremacy. But in the individual gallantry of their men, the Romans had decidedly the advantage while we must credit the Carthaginians with the best general of the day both for genius and daring. I mean Hamilcar Barca, own father of Rome's future enemy, Hannibal.
1. I am aware that some will be at a loss to account for my interrupting the course of my narrative for the sake of entering upon the following disquisition on the Roman constitution. But I think that I have already in many passages made it fully evident that this particular branch of my work was one of the necessities imposed on me by the nature of my original design; and I pointed this out with special clearness in the preface which explained the scope of my history. I there stated that the feature of my work which was at once the best in itself, and the most instructive to the students of it, was that it would enable them to know and fully realize in what manner, and under what kind of constitution, it came about that nearly the whole world fell under the power of Rome in somewhat less then fifty- three years an event certainly without precedent. This being my settled purpose, I could see no more fitting period than the present for making a pause and examining the truth of the remarks about to be made on this constitution. In private life if you wish to satisfy yourself as to the badness or goodness of particular persons, you would not, if you wish to get a genuine test, examine their conduct at a time of uneventful repose, but in the hour of brilliant success or conspicuous reverse. For the true test of a perfect man is the power of bearing with spirit and dignity violent changes of Fortune. An examination of a constitution should be conducted in the same way. And therefore being unable to find in our day a more rapid or more signal change than that which has happened to Rome, I reserved my disquisition on its constitution for this place....
What is really educational and beneficial to students of history is the clear view of the causes of events and the consequent power of choosing the better policy in a particular case. Now in every practical undertaking by a state we must regard as the most powerful agent for success or failure the form of its constitution; for from this as from a fountainhead all conceptions and plans of action not only proceed but attain their consummation....
3. Of the Greek republics, which have again and again risen to greatness and fallen into insignificance, it is not difficult to speak whether we recount their past history or venture an opinion on their future. For to report what is already known is an easy task, nor is it hard to guess what is to come from our knowledge of what has been. But in regard to the Romans it is neither an easy matter to describe their present state, owing to the complexity of their constitution; nor to speak with confidence of their future, from our inadequate acquaintance with their peculiar institutions in the past whether affecting their public or their private life. It will require then no ordinary attention and study to get a clear and comprehensive conception of the distinctive features of this constitution.
Now, it is undoubtedly the case that most of those who profess to give us authoritative instruction on this subject distinguish three kinds of constitutions, which they designate kingship, aristocracy, and democracy. But in my opinion the question might fairly be put to them, whether they name these as being the only ones, or as the best. In either case I think they are wrong. For it is plain that we must regard as the best constitution that which partakes of all these three elements. And this is no mere assertion, but has been proved by the example of Lycurgus, who was the first to construct a constitution that of Sparta on this principle. Nor can we admit that these are the only forms, for we have had before now examples of absolute and tyrannical forms of government, which, while differing as widely as possible from kingship, appear to have some points of resemblance to it: on which account all absolute rulers falsely assume and use, as far as they can, the title of king. Again there have been many instances of oligarchical governments having in appearance some analogy to aristocracies, which are, if I may say so, as different from them as it is possible to be. The same also holds good about democracy
4. I will illustrate the truth of what I say. We cannot hold every absolute government to be a kingship, but only that which is accepted voluntarily and is directed by an appeal to reason rather than to fear and force. Nor again is every oligarchy to be regarded as an aristocracy. The latter exists only where the power is wielded by the justest and wisest men selected on their merits. Similarly, it is not enough to constitute a democracy that the whole crowd of citizens should have the right to do whatever they wish or propose. But where reverence to the gods, succour of parents, respect to elders, and obedience to laws are traditional and habitual, in such communities, if the will of the majority prevail, we may speak of the form of government as a democracy. So then we enumerate six forms of government the three commonly spoken of which I have just mentioned and three more allied forms: I mean despotism, oligarchy and mob rule. The first of these arises without artifical aid and in the natural order of events next to this, and produced from it by the aid of art and adjustments comes kingship; which degenerating into the evil form allied to it, by which I mean tyranny, both are once more destroyed and aristocracy produced. Again the latter being in the course of nature perverted to oligarchy, and the people passionately avenging the unjust acts of their rulers, democracy comes into existence; which again by its violence and contempt of law becomes sheer mob rule. No clearer proof of the truth of what I say could be obtained than by a careful observation of the natural origin, genesis, and decadence of these several forms of government. For it is only by seeing distinctly how each of them is produced that a distinct view can also be obtained of its growth, zenith, and decadence, and the time, circumstance, and place in which each of these may be expected to recur. This method I have assumed to be especially applicable to the Roman constitution, because its origin and growth have from the first followed natural causes.
5. Now the natural laws which regulate the merging of one form of government into another are perhaps discussed with greater accuracy by Plato and some other philosophers. But their treatment, from its intricacy and exhaustiveness, is only within the capacity of a few. I will therefore endeavour to give a summary of the subject, just so far as I suppose it to fall within the scope of a practical history and the intelligence of ordinary people. For if my exposition appear in any way inadequate, owing to the general terms in which it is expressed, the details contained in what is immediately to follow will amply atone for what is left for the present unsolved.
What is the origin then of a constitution, and whence is it produced? Suppose that from floods, pestilences, failure of crops, or some such causes the race of man is reduced almost to extinction. Such things we are told have happened, and it is reasonable to think will happen again. Suppose, accordingly, all knowledge of social habits and arts to have been lost. Suppose that from the survivors, as from seeds, the race of man to have again multiplied. In that case, I presume they would like the animals, herd together; for it is but reasonable to suppose that bodily weakness would induce them to seek those of their own kind to herd with. And in that case too, as with the animals, he who was superior to the rest in strength of body or courage of soul would lead and rule them. For what we see happen in the case of animals that are without the faculty of reason, such as bulls, goats, and cocks among whom there can be no dispute that the strongest take the lead that we must regard as in the truest sense the teaching of nature. Originally then, it is probable that the condition of life among men was this herding together like animals and following the strongest and bravest as leaders. The limit of this authority would be physical strength, and the name we should give it would be despotism. But as soon as the idea of family ties and social relation has arisen amongst such agglomerations of men, then is born also the idea of kingship, and then for the first time mankind conceives the notion of goodness and justice and their reverse.
5. The way in which such conceptions originate and come into existence is this. The intercourse of the sexes is an instinct of nature, and the result is the birth of children. Now, if any one of these children who have been brought up, when arrived at maturity, is ungrateful and makes no return to those by whom he was nurtured, but on the contrary presumes to injure them by word and deed, it is plain that he will probably offend and annoy such as are present and have seen the care and trouble bestowed by the parents on the nurture and bringing up of their children. For seeing that men differ from the other animals in being the only creatures possessed of reasoning powers, it is clear that such a difference of conduct is not likely to escape their observation: but that they will remark it when it occurs and express their displeasure on the spot, because they will have an eye to the future and will reason on the likelihood of the same occurring to each of themselves. Again if a man has been rescued or helped in an hour of danger and, instead of showing gratitude to his preserver, seeks to do him harm, it is clearly probable that the rest will be displeased and offended with him when they know it, sympathizing with their neighbour and imagining themselves in his case. Hence arises a notion in every breast of the meaning and theory of duty, which is in fact the beginning and end of justice. Similarly, again, when any one man stands out as the champion of all in a time of danger, and braves with firm courage the onslaught of the most powerful wild beasts, it is probable that such a man would meet with marks of favour and preeminence from the common people, while he who acted in a contrary way would fall under their contempt and dislike. From this, once more, it is reasonable to suppose that there would arise in the minds of the multitude a theory of the disgraceful and honourable, and of the difference between them; and that one should be sought and imitated for its advantages, the other shunned. When, therefore, the leading and most powerful man among his people ever encourages such persons in accordance with the popular sentiment, and thereby assumes in the eyes of his subject the appearance of being the distributor to each man according to his deserts, they no longer obey him and support his rule from fear of violence, but rather from conviction of its utility, however old he may be, rallying round him with one heart and soul, and fighting against all who form designs against his government. In this way he becomes a king instead of a despot by imperceptible degrees, reason having ousted brute courage and bodily strength from their supremacy.
7. This then is the natural process of formation among mankind of the notion of goodness and justice and their opposites; and this is the origin and genesis of genuine kingship. For people do not only keep up the government of such men personally, but for their descendants also for many generations, from the conviction that those who are born from and educated by men of this kind will have principles also like theirs. But if they subsequently become displeased with their descendants, they do not any longer decide their choice of rulers and kings by their physical strength or brute courage, but by the differences of their intellectual and reasoning faculties, from practical experience of the decisive importance of such a distinction.
In old times, then, those who were once thus selected and obtained this office grew old in their royal functions, making magnificent strongholds and surrounding them with walls and extending their frontiers, partly for the security of their subjects, and partly to provide them with an abundance of the necessaries of life. And while engaged in these works they were exempt from all vituperation or jealousy, because they did not make their distinctive dress, food, or drink at all conspicuous, but lived very much like the rest and joined in the everyday employments of the common people. But when their royal power became hereditary in their family, and they found every necessary for security ready to their hands, as well as more than was necessary for their personal support, then they gave the rein to their appetites; imagined that rulers must needs wear different clothes from those of subjects; have different and elaborate luxuries of the table; and must even seek sensual indulgence, however unlawful the source without tear of denial. These things having given rise in the one case to jealousy and offence, in the other to outbursts of hatred and passionate resentment, the kingship became a tyranny. The first step in disintegration was taken, and plots began to be formed against the government which did not now proceed from the worst men but from the noblest, most high-minded, and most courageous, because these are the men who can least submit to the tyrannical acts of their rulers.
8. But as soon as the people got leaders, they cooperated with them against the dynasty for the reasons I have mentioned. Then kingship and despotism were alike entirely abolished, and aristocracy once more began to revive and start afresh. For in their immediate gratitude to those who had deposed the despots, the people employed them as leaders and entrusted their interests to them. The leaders, looking upon this charge at first as a great privilege, made the public advantage their chief concern and conducted all kinds of business, public or private, with diligence and caution. But when the sons of these men received the same position of authority from their fathers having had no experience of misfortunes, and none at all of civil equality and freedom of speech, but having been bred up from the first under the shadow of their fathers' authority and lofty position some of them gave themselves up with passion to avarice and unscrupulous love of money, others to drinking and the boundless debaucheries which accompany it, and others to the violation of women or the forcible appropriation of boys; and so they turned an aristocracy into an oligarchy. But it was not long before they roused in the minds of the people the same feelings as before; and their fall therefore was very like the disaster which befell the tyrants.
9. For no sooner had the knowledge of the jealousy and hatred existing in the citizens against them emboldened someone to oppose the government by word or deed, than he was sure to find the whole people ready and prepared to take his side. Having rid themselves of these rulers by assassination or exile, they do not venture to set up a king again, being still in terror of the injustice to which this led before; nor dare they intrust the common interests again to more than one considering the recent example of their misconduct. Therefore, as the only sound hope left them is that which depends upon themselves, they are driven to take refuge in that, and so change the constitution from an oligarchy to a democracy and take upon themselves the superintendence and charge of the state. And as long as any survive who have had experience of oligarchical supremacy and domination, they regard their present constitution as a blessing and hold equality and freedom as of the utmost value. But as soon as a new generation has arisen, and the democracy has descended to their children's children, long association weakens their value for equality and freedom, and some seek to become more powerful than the ordinary citizens; and the most liable to this temptation are the rich. So when they begin to be fond of office and find themselves unable to obtain it by their own unassisted efforts and their own merits, they ruin their estates, while enticing and corrupting the common people in every possible way. By this means, when in their senseless mania for reputation they have made the populace ready and greedy to receive bribes, the virtue of democracy is destroyed, and it is transformed into a government of violence and the strong hand. For the mob, habituated to feed at the expense of others and to have its hopes of a livelihood in the property of its neighbours, as soon as it has got a leader sufficiently ambitious and daring, being excluded by poverty from the sweets of civil honours, produces a reign of mere violence. Then come tumultuous assemblies, massacres, banishments, and redivisions of land until, after losing all trace of civilization, it has once more found a master and a despot.
This is the regular cycle of constitutional revolutions, and the natural order in which constitutions change, are transformed, and return again to their original stage. If a man have a clear grasp of these principles, he may perhaps make a mistake as to the dates at which this or that will happen to a particular constitution; but he will rarely be entirely mistaken as to the stage of growth or decay at which it has arrived, or as to the point at which it will undergo some revolutionary change. However, it is in the case of the Roman constitution that this method of inquiry will most fully teach us its formation, its growth, and zenith, as well as the changes awaiting it in the future; for this, if any constitution ever did, owed, as I said just now, its original foundation and growth to natural causes, and to natural causes will owe its decay. My subsequent narrative will be the best illustration of what I say.
10. For the present I will make a brief reference to the legislation of Lycurgus, for such a discussion is not at all alien to my subject. That statesman was fully aware that all those changes which I have enumerated come about by an undeviating law of nature. He reflected that every form of government that was unmixed and rested on one species of power was unstable because it was swiftly perverted into that particular form of evil peculiar to it and inherent in its nature. For just as rust is the natural dissolvent of iron, wood worms and grubs to timber (by which they are destroyed without any external injury but by that which is engendered in themselves) so in each constitution there is naturally engendered a particular vice inseparable from it: in kingship it is absolutism; in aristocracy it is oligarchy; in democracy lawless ferocity and violence; and to these vicious states all these forms of government are, as I have lately shown, inevitably transformed. Lycurgus, I say, saw all this and accordingly combined together all the excellences and distinctive features of the best constitutions, that no part should become unduly predominant and be perverted into its kindred vice; and that, each power being checked by the others, no one part should turn the scale or decisively out-balance the others; but that, by being accurately adjusted and in exact equilibrium, the whole might remain long steady like a ship sailing close to the wind. The royal power was prevented from growing insolent by fear of the people, which had also assigned to it an adequate share in the constitution. The people in their turn were restrained from a bold contempt of the kings by fear of the Gerusia, the members of which, being selected on grounds of merit, were certain to throw their influence on the side of justice in every question that arose; and thus the party placed at a disadvantage by its conservative tendency was always strengthened and supported by the weight and influence of the Gerusia. The result of this combination has been that the Lacedaemonians retained their freedom for the longest period of any people with which we are acquainted.
Lycurgus, however, established his constitution without the discipline of adversity, because he was able to foresee by the light of reason the course which events naturally take and the source from which they come. But though the Romans have arrived at the same result in framing their commonwealth, they have not done so by means of abstract reasoning, but through many struggles and difficulties, and by continually adopting reforms from knowledge gained in disaster. The result has been a constitution like that of Lycurgus, and the best of any existing in my time....
11. I have given an account of the constitution of Lycurgus. I will now endeavour to describe that of Rome at the period of their disastrous defeat at Cannae (216 BCE).
I am fully conscious that to those who actually live under this constitution I shall appear to give an inadequate account of it by the omission of certain details. Knowing accurately every portion of it from personal experience and from having been bred up in its customs and laws from childhood, they will not be struck so much by the accuracy of the description, as annoyed by its omissions; nor will they believe that the historian has purposely omitted unimportant distinctions, but will attribute his silence upon the origin of existing institutions or other important facts to ignorance. What is told they depreciate as insignificant or beside the purpose. What is omitted they demand as vital to the question, their object being to appear to know more than the writers. But a good critic should not judge a writer by what he leaves unsaid, but from what he says. If he detects misstatement in the latter, he may then feel certain that ignorance accounts for the former; but if what he says is accurate, his omissions ought to be attributed to deliberated judgment and not to ignorance. So much for those whose criticisms are prompted by personal ambition rather than by justice....
Another requisite for obtaining a judicious approval for an historical disquisition is that it should be germane to the matter in hand. If this is not observed, though its style may be excellent and its matter irreproachable, it will seem out of place, and disgust rather than please....
As for the Roman constitution, it had three elements, each of them possessing sovereign powers; and their respective share of power in the whole state had been regulated with such a scrupulous regard to equality and equilibrium that no one could say for certain, not even a native, whether the constitution as a whole were an aristocracy or democracy or despotism. And no wonder, for if we confine our observation to the power of the consuls, we should be inclined to regard it as despotic; if on that of the Senate, as aristocratic; and if finally one looks at the power possessed by the people, it would seem a clear case of a democracy. What the exact powers of these several parts were and still, with slight modifications, are, I will now state.
12. The consuls, before leading out the legions, remain in Rome and are supreme masters of the administration. All other magistrates except the tribunes are under them and take their orders. They introduce foreign ambassadors to the Senate; bring matters requiring deliberation before it; and see to the execution of its decrees. If, again, there are any matters of state which require the authorization of the people it is their business to see to them, to summon the popular meetings, to bring the proposals before them, and to carry out the decrees of the majority. In the preparations for war also, and in a word in the entire administration of a campaign, they have all but absolute power. It is competent to them to impose on the allies such levies as they think good, to appoint the military tribunes, to make up the roll for soldiers and select those that are suitable. Besides, they have absolute power of inflicting punishment on all who are under their command while on active service. They have authority to expend as much of the public money as they choose, being accompanied by a quaestor who is entirely at their orders. A survey of these powers would in fact justify our describing the constitution as despotic a clear case of royal government. Nor will it affect the truth of my description, if any of the institutions I have described are changed in our time or in that of our posterity. The same remarks apply to what follows.
13. The Senate has first of all the control of the treasury and regulates the receipts and disbursements alike. For the quaestors cannot issue any public money for the various departments of the state without a decree of the Senate, except for the service of the consuls. The Senate controls also what is by far the largest and most important expenditure, that, namely, which is made by the censors every lustrum for the repair or construction of public buildings. This money cannot be obtained by the censors except by the grant of the Senate. Similarly all crimes committed in Italy requiring a public investigation, such as treason, conspiracy, poisoning, or wilful murder, are in the hands of the Senate. Besides, if any individual or state among the Italian allies requires a controversy to be settled, a penalty to be assessed, help or protection to be afforded all this is the province of the Senate. Or again. outside Italy, if it is necessary to send an embassy to reconcile warring communities or to remind them of their duty or sometimes to impose requisitions upon them or to receive their submission or, finally, to proclaim war against them this, too, is the business of the Senate. In like manner the reception to be given to foreign ambassadors in Rome and the answers to be returned to them are decided by the Senate. With such business the people have nothing to do. Consequently, if one were staying at Rome when the consuls were not in town, one would imagine the constitution to be complete aristocracy. This has been the idea entertained by many Greeks and by many kings as well, from the fact that nearly all the business they had with Rome was settled by the Senate.
14. After this, one would naturally be inclined to ask, What part is left for the people in the constitution, when the Senate has these various functions, especially the control of the receipts and expenditure of the exchequer; and when the consuls, again, have absolute power over the details of military preparation and an absolute authority in the field? There is, however, a part left the people, and it is a most irnportant one. For the people are the sole fountain of honour and of punishment; and it is by these two things and these alone that dynasties and constitutions and, in a word, human society are held together. For where the distinction between them is not sharply drawn both in theory and practice, there no undertaking can be properly administered as indeed we might expect when good and bad are held in exactly the same honour. The people, then, are the only court to decide matters of life and death; and even in cases where the penalty is money, if the sum to be assessed is sufficiently serious, and especially when the accused have held the higher magistracies. And in regard to this arrangement there is one point deserving especial commendation and record. Men who are on trial for their lives at Rome, while sentence is in process of being voted if even only one of the tribes whose votes are needed to ratify the sentence has not voted have the privilege at Rome of openly departing and condemning themselves to a voluntary exile. Such men are safe at Naples or Praeneste or at Tibur, and at other towns with which this arrangement has been duly ratified on oath.
Again, it is the people who bestow offices, which are the most honourable rewards of virtue, on the deserving. They have also the absolute power of passing or repealing laws; and, most important of all, it is the people who deliberate on the question of peace or war. And when provisional terms are made for alliance, suspension of hostilities, or treaties, it is the people who ratify them or the reverse.
These considerations again would lead one to say that the chief power in the state was the people's and that the constitution was a democracy.
15. Such, then, is the distribution of power between the several parts of the state. I must now show how each of these several parts can, when they choose, oppose or support each other. The consul, then, when he has started on an expedition with the powers I have described, is to all appearance absolute in the administration of the business in hand. Still he has need of the support both of people and Senate and, without them, is quite unable to bring the matter to a successful conclusion. For it is plain that he must have supplies sent to his legions from time to time; but without a decree of the Senate they can be supplied neither with grain, nor clothes, nor pay, so that all the plans of a commander must be futile if the Senate is resolved either to shrink from danger or hamper his plans. And again, whether a consul shall bring any undertaking to a conclusion or no depends entirely upon the Senate, for it has absolute authority at the end of a year to send another consul to supersede him or to continue the existing one in his command. Again, even to the successes of the generals the Senate has the power to add distinction and glory and, on the other hand, to obscure their merits and lower their credit. For these high achievements are brought in tangible form before the eyes of the citizens by what are called "triumphs." But these triumphs the commanders cannot celebrate with proper pomp or in some cases celebrate at all, unless the Senate concurs and grants the necessary money. As for the people, the consuls are preeminently obliged to court their
favour, however distant from home may be the field of their operations; for it is the people, as I have said before, that ratify, or refuse to ratify, terms of peace and treaties; but most of all because when laying down their office they have to give an account of their administration before them. Therefore in no case is it safe for the consuls to neglect either the Senate or the good will of the people.
16. As for the Senate, which possesses the immense power I have described, in the first place it is obliged in public affairs to take the multitude into account and respect the wishes of the people; and it cannot put into execution the penalty for offences against the republic, which are punishable with death, unless the people first ratify its decrees. Similarly, even in matters which directly affect the senators for instance, in the case of a law diminishing the Senate's traditional authority or depriving senators of certain dignities and offices or even actually cutting down their property even in such cases the people have the sole power of passing or rejecting the law. But most important of all is the fact that, if the tribunes interpose their veto, the Senate not only is unable to pass a decree, but cannot even hold a meeting at all, whether formal or informal. Now, the tribunes are always bound to carry out the decree of the people and above all things to have regard to their wishes. Therefore, for all these reasons the Senate stands in awe of the multitude and cannot neglect the feelings of the people.
17. In like manner the people, on their part, are far from being independent of the Senate and are bound to take its wishes into account both collectively and individually. For contracts, too numerous to count, are given out by the censors in all parts of Italy for the repairs or construction of public buildings. There is also the collection of revenue from many rivers, harbours, gardens, mines, and land everything, in a word, that comes under the control of the Roman government. And in all these the people at large are engaged; so that there is scarcely a man, so to speak, who is not interested either as a contractor or as being employed in the works. For some purchase the contracts from the censors for themselves; and others go partners with them; while others again go security for these contractors or actually pledge their property to the treasury for them. Now over all these transactions the Senate has absolute control. It can grant an extension of time and, in case of unforeseen accidents, can relieve the contractors from a portion of their obligation or release them from it altogether, if they are absolutely unable to fulfil it. And there are many details in which the Senate can inflict great hardships or, on the other hand, grant great indulgences to the contractors. For in every case the appeal is to it. But the most important point of all is that the judges are taken from its members in the majority of trials, whether public or private, in which the charges are heavy. Consequently, all citizens are much at its mercy and, being alarmed at the uncertainty as to when they may need its aid, are cautious about resisting or actively opposing its will. And for a similar reason men do not rashly resist the wishes of the consuls, because one and all may become subject to their absolute authority on campaign .
18. The result of this power of the several estates for mutual help or harm is a union sufficiently firm for all emergencies, and a constitution than which it is impossible to find a better. For whenever any danger from without compels them to unite and work together, the strength which is developed by the State is so extraordinary that everything required is unfailingly carried out by the eager rivalry shown by all classes to devote their whole minds to the need of the hour and to secure that any determination come to should not fail for want of promptitude; while each individual works, privately and publicly alike, for the accomplishment of the business in hand. Accordingly, the peculiar constitution of the State makes it irresistible and certain of obtaining whatever it determines to attempt. Nay, even when these external alarms are past, and the people are enjoying the good fortune and the fruits of their victories and, as usually happens growing corrupted by flattery and idleness, show a tendency to violence and arrogance it is in these circumstances, more than ever, that the constitution is seen to possess within itself the power of correcting abuses. For when any one of the three classes becomes puffed up and manifests an inclination to be contentious and unduly encroaching, the mutual interdependency of all the three and the possibility of the pretensions of anyone being checked and thwarted by the others, must plainly check this tendency. And so the proper equilibrium is maintained by the impulsiveness of the one part being checked by its fear of the other....
19. After electing the consuls they proceed to elect military tribunes fourteen from those who had five years', and ten from those who had ten years', service. All citizens must serve ten years in the cavalry or twenty years in the infantry before the forty-sixth year of their age, except those rated below four hundred asses. The latter are employed in the navy; but if any great public necessity arises they are obliged to serve as infantry also for twenty campaigns. And no one can hold an office in the state until he has completed ten years of military service....
When the consuls are about to enroll the army, they give public notice of the day on which all Roman citizens of military age must appear. This is done every year. When the day has arrived and the citizens fit for service are come to Rome and have assembled on the Capitoline, the fourteen junior tribunes divide themselves, in the order in which they were appointed by the people or by the imperators, into four divisions, because the primary division of the forces thus raised is into four legions. The four tribunes first appointed are assigned to the legion called the first; the next three to the second; the next four to the third; and the three last to the fourth. Of the ten senior tribunes, the two first are assigned to the first legion; the next three to the second; the two next to the third; and the three last to the fourth.
20. This division and assignment of the tribunes having been settled in such a way that all four legions have an equal number of officers, the tribunes of the several legions take up a separate position and draw lots for the tribes one by one and summon the tribe on whom it from time to time falls. From this tribe they select four young men as nearly like each other in age and physical strength as possible. These four are brought forward, and the tribunes of the first legion pick out one of them, those of the second another, those of the third another, and the fourth has to take the last. When the next four are selected, the tribunes of the second legion have the first choice and those of the first the last. With the next four the tribunes of the third legion have the first choice, those of the second the last, and so on in regular rotation. The result is that each legion gets men of much the same standard. But when they have selected the number prescribed which is four thousand two hundred infantry for each legion, or at times of special danger five thousand they next used to pass men for the cavalry, in old times after the four thousand two hundred infantry; but now they do it before them, the selection having been made by the censor on the basis of wealth; and they enroll three hundred for each legion.
21. The roll having been completed in this manner, the tribunes belonging to the several legions muster their men. Selecting one of the whole body that they think most suitable for the purpose, they cause him to take an oath that he will obey his officers and do their orders to the best of his ability. And all the others come up and take the oath separately, merely affirming that they will do the same as the first man.
At the same time the consuls send orders to the magistrates of the allied cities in Italy, from which they determine that allied troops are to serve, declaring the number required and the day and place at which the men selected must appear. The cities then enroll their troops with much the same ceremonies as to selection and administration of the oath, and appoint a commander and a paymaster.
The military tribunes at Rome, after the administering of the oath to their men and giving out the day and place at which they are to appear without arms, for the present dismiss them. When they arrive on the appointed day, they first select the youngest and poorest to form the Velites, the next to them the Hastati, while those who are in the prime of life they select as Principes, and the oldest of all as Triarii. For in the Roman army these divisions, distinct not only as to their ages and nomenclature, but also as to the manner in which they are armed, exist in each legion. The division is made in such proportions that the senior men, called Triarii, should number six hundred, the Principes twelve hundred, the Hastati twelve hundred, and all the rest as the youngest should be reckoned among the Velites. And if the whole number of the legion is more than four thousand, they vary the number of these divisions proportionally. except those of the Triarii, which is always the same.
22. The youngest soldiers or Velites are ordered to carry a sword spears, and target (parma). The target is strongly made and large enough to protect the man, being round, with a diameter of three feet. Each man also wears a headpiece without a crest (galea), which he sometimes covers with a piece of wolf's skin or something of that kind, for the sake both of protection and identification, that the officers of his company may be able to observe whether he shows courage or the reverse on confronting dangers. The spear of the Velites has a wooden haft of about two cubits, and about a finger's breadth in thickness. Its head is a span long, hammered fine, and sharpened to such an extent that it becomes bent the first time it strikes and cannot be used by the enemy to hurl back; otherwise the weapon would be available for both sides alike.
23. The second rank, the Hastati, are ordered to have the complete panoply. This to a Roman means, first, a large shield (scutum), the surface of which is curved outwards, its breadth two and a half feet, its length four feet though there is also an extra-sized shield in which these measures are increased by a palm's breadth. It consists of two layers of wood fastened together with bull's hide glue, the outer surface of which is first covered with canvas, then with calf's skin. On the upper and lower edges it is bound with iron to resist the downward strokes of the sword and the wear of resting upon the ground. Upon it also is fixed an iron boss (umbo), to resist the more formidable blows of stones and pikes and of heavy missiles generally. With the shield they also carry a sword (gladius) hanging down by their right thigh, which is called a Spanish sword. It has an excellent point and can deal a formidable blow with either edge, because its blade is stout and unbending. In addition to these they have two pila, a brass helmet, and greaves (ocreae). Some of the pila are thick, some fine. Of the thicker, some are round with the diameter of a palm's length, others are a palm square. The fine pila are like moderate-sized hunting spears, and they are carried along with the former sort. The wooden haft of them all is about three cubits long, and the iron head fixed to each half is barbed and of the same length as the haft. They take extraordinary pains to attach the head to the haft firmly. They make the fastening of the one to the other so secure for use by binding it halfway up the wood and riveting it with a series of clasps, that the iron breaks sooner than this fastening comes loose, although its thickness at the socket and where it is fastened to the wood is a finger and a half's breadth. Besides these each man is decorated with a plume of feathers, with three purple or black feathers standing upright, about a cubit long. The effect of these being placed on the helmet, combined with the rest of the armour, is to give the man the appearance of being twice his real height and to give him a noble aspect calculated to strike terror into the enemy. The common soldiers also receive a brass plate, a span square, which they put upon their breast and call a breastpiece (pectorale) and so complete their panoply. Those who are rated above a hundred thousand asses, instead of these breastpieces wear, with the rest of their armour, coats of mail (loricae). The Principes and Triarii are armed in the same way as the Hastati, except that instead of pila they carry long spears (hastae).
24. The Principes, Hastati, and Triarii each elect ten centurions according to merit, and then a second ten each. All these sixty have the title of centurion alike, of whom the first man chosen is a member of the council of war. And they in their turn select a rear-rank officer each, who is called optio. Next, in conjunction with the centurions, they divide the several orders (omitting the Velites) into ten companies each, and appoint to each company two centurions and two optiones; the Velites are divided equally among all the companies; these companies are called orders (ordines) or maniples (manipuli), or vexilla, and their officers are called centurions or ordinum ductores. Each maniple selects two of their strongest and best-born men as standard-bearers (vexillarii). And that each maniple should have two commanding officers is only reasonable; for it being impossible to know what a commander may be doing or what may happen to him, and necessities of war admitting of no parleying, they are anxious that the maniple may never be without a leader and commander. When the two centurions are both on the field, the first elected commands the right of the maniple, the second the left. If one is not there, the one who is commands the whole. And they wish the centurions not to be so much bold and adventurous, as men with a faculty for command, steady, and of a profound rather than a showy spirit; not prone to engage wantonly or be unnecessarily forward in giving battle; but such as in the face of superior numbers and overwhelming pressure will die in defence of their post.
25. Similarly they divide the cavalry into ten squadrons (turmae) and from each they select three officers (decuriones), who each select a subaltern (optio). The decurio first-elected commands the squadron, the other two have the rank of decuriones: a name indeed which applies to all alike. If the first decurio is not on the field, the second takes command of the squadron. The armour of the cavalry is very like that in Greece. In old times they did not wear the lorica, but fought in their tunics (campestria); the result of which was that they were prompt and nimble at dismounting and mounting again with despatch, but were in great danger at close quarters from the unprotected state of their bodies. And their lances, too, were useless in two ways: first because they were thin and prevented their taking a good aim; and before they could get the head fixed in the enemy, the lances were so shaken by the mere motion of the horse that they generally broke. Secondly, because, having no spike at the butt end of their lance, they only had one stroke, namely that with the spear head; and if the lance broke, what was left in their hands was entirely useless. Again they used to have shields of bull's hide with a knob in the middle, just like those round cakes which are used at sacrifices, which were useless at close quarters because they were flexible rather than firm. And when their leather shrunk and rotted from the rain, unserviceable as they were before, they then became entirely so. Wherefore, as experience showed them the uselessness of these, they lost no time in changing to the Greek fashion of arms. The advantages of these were, first, that men were able to deliver the first stroke of their lance head with a good aim and effect, because the shaft from the nature of its construction was steady and not quivering; and, secondly, that they were able, by reversing the lance, to use the spike at the butt end for a steady and effective blow. And the same may be said about the Greek shields, for whether used to ward off a blow or to thrust against the enemy, they neither give nor bend. When the Romans learnt these facts about the Greek arms, they were not long in copying them; for no nation has ever surpassed them in readiness to adopt new fashions from other people and to imitate what they see is better in others than themselves.
26. Having made this distribution of their men and given orders for their being armed, as I have described, the military tribunes dismiss them to their homes. But when the day has arrived on which they were all bound by their oath to appear at the place named by the consuls (for each consul generally appoints a separate place for his own legions, each having assigned to him two legions and a share of the allies), all whose names were placed on the roll appear without fail. No excuse is accepted in the case of those who have taken the oath, except a prohibitory omen or absolute impossibility. The allies muster along with the citizens and are distributed and managed by the officers appointed by the consuls, who have the title of praefecti sociis (prefects of the allies) and are twelve in number. These officers select for the consuls from the whole infantry and cavalry of the allies such as are most fitted for actual service, and these are called extraordinarii. The whole number of the infantry of the allies generally equals that of the legions, but the cavalry is treble that of the citizens. Of these they select a third of the cavalry, and a fifth of the infantry to serve as extraordinarii. The rest they divide into two parts, one of which is called the right, the other the left wing (alae).
These arrangements made, the military tribunes take over the citizens and allies and proceed to form a camp. Now the principle on which they construct their camps, no matter when or where, is the same. I think, therefore, that it will be in place here to try and make my readers understand, as far as words can do so, the Roman tactics in regard to the march (agmen), the camp (castrorum metatio), and the line of battle (acies). I cannot imagine anyone so indifferent to things noble and great, as to refuse to take some little extra trouble to understand things like these; for if he has once heard them, he will be acquainted with one of those things genuinely worth observation and knowledge.
27. Their method of laying out a camp is as follows. The place for the camp having been selected, the spot in it best calculated to give a view of the whole, and most convenient for issuing orders, is appropriated for the general's tent (praetorium).
Having placed a standard on the spot on which they intend to put the praetorium, they measure off a square round this standard, in such a way that each of its sides is a hundred feet from the standard, and the area of the square is four plethra (40,000 square feet). Along one side of this square whichever aspect appears most convenient for watering and foraging the legions are stationed as follows. I have said that there were six Tribuni in each legion, and that each consul had two legions. It follows that there are twelve Tribuni in a consular army. Well, they pitch the tents of these Tribuni all in one straight line, parallel to the side of the square selected, at a distance of fifty feet from it (there is a place too, selected for the horses, beasts of burden, and other baggage of the Tribuni). These tents face the outer side of the camp and away from the square described above a direction which will hence forth be called the front by me. The tents of the Tribuni stand at equal distances from each other, so that they extend along the whole breadth of the space occupied by the legions.
28. From the line described by the front of these tents they measure another distance of a hundred feet towards the front. At that distance another parallel straight line is drawn, and it is from this last that they begin arranging the quarters of the legions, which they do as follows: They bisect the last-mentioned straight line, and from that point draw another straight line at right angles to it. Along this line, on either side of it facing each other, the cavalry of the two legions are quartered with a space of fifty feet between them. This space is exactly bisected by the line last mentioned. The manner of encamping the infantry is similar to that of the cavalry. The whole area of each space occupied by the maniples and squadrons is a square and faces the via (road). The length facing the via is one hundred feet, and they generally try to make the depth the same, except in the case of the allies. When they are employing legions of an extra number, they increase the length and depth of these squares proportionally.
29. The spaces assigned to the cavalry are opposite the space between the two groups of tents belonging to the Tribuni of the two legions, at right angles to the line along which they stand, like a crossroad. Indeed, the whole arrangement of the viae is like a system of crossroads, running on either side of the blocks of tents, those of the cavalry on one side and those of the infantry on the other. The spaces assigned to the cavalry and the Triarii in each legion are back to back, with no via between them, but touching each other, looking opposite ways; and the depth of the spaces assigned to the Triarii is only half that assigned to other maniples, because their numbers are generally only half. But though the number of the men is different, the length of the space is always the same owing to the lesser depth.
Next, parallel with these spaces, at a distance of fifty feet, they place the Principes facing the Triarii; and as they face the space between themselves and the Triarii, we have two more roads formed at right angles to the hundred-foot area in front of the tents of the tribunes and running down from it to the outer agger of the camp on the side opposite to that of the principia, which we agreed to call the front of the camp. Behind the spaces for the Triarii and looking in the opposite direction and touching each other are the spaces for the Hastati. These several branches of the service (Triarii, Principes, Hastati), being each divided into ten maniples, the crossroads between the blocks are all the same length and terminate in the front agger of the camp, towards which they cause the last maniples in the rows to face.
30. Beyond the Hastati they again leave a space of fifty feet, and there, beginning from the same base (the principia), and going in a parallel direction, and to the same distance as the other blocks, they place the cavalry of the allies facing the Hastati. Now the number of the allies, as I have stated above, is equal to that of the legions in regard to the infantry, though it falls below that if we omit the extraordinarii; but that of the cavalry is double, when the third part is deducted for service among the extraordinarii. Therefore, in marking out the camp the spaces assigned to the latter are made proportionally deeper, so that their length remains the same as those occupied by the legions. Thus five viae are formed, and back to back with these cavalry are the spaces for the infantry of the allies, the depth being proportionally increased according to their numbers, and these maniples face the outer sides of the camp and the agger. In each maniple the first tent at either end is occupied by the centurions. Between the fifth and sixth squadrons of cavalry, and the fifth and sixth maniple of infantry, there is a space of fifty left, so that another road is made across the camp at right angles to the others and parallel to the tents of the Tribuni, and this they call the Via Quintana, as it runs along the fifth squadrons and maniples.
31. The space behind the tents of the Tribuni is thus used. On one side of the square of the praetorium is the market, on the other the office of the quaestor and the supplies which he has charge of. Then behind the last tent of the Tribuni on either side, arranged at right angles to those tents, are the quarters of the cavalry picked out of the extraordinarii, as well as some of those who are serving as volunteers from personal friendship to the consuls. All these are arranged parallel to the side aggers, facing on the one side the quaestorium, on the other the marketplace. And, generally speaking, it falls to the lot of these men not only to be near the consul in the camp, but to be wholly employed about the persons of the consul and the quaestor on the march and all other occasions. Back to back with these again, facing the agger, are placed the infantry who serve in the same way as these cavalry. Beyond these there is another empty space or road left, one hundred feet broad, parallel to the tents of the Tribuni, skirting the marketplace, praetorium, and quaestorium, from agger to agger. On the further side of this road the rest of the equites extraordinarii are placed facing the marketplace and quaestorium: and between the quarters of these cavalry of the two legions a passage is left of fifty feet, exactly opposite and at right angles to the square of the praetorium, leading to the rearward agger.
Back to back with the equites extraordinarii are the infantry of the same, facing the agger at the rear of the whole camp. And the space left empty on either side of these, facing the agger on each side of the camp, is given up to foreigners and such allies as chance to come to the camp.
The result of these arrangements is that the whole camp is a square, with streets and other constructions regularly planned like a town. Between the line of the tents and the agger there is an empty space of two hundred feet on every side of the square, which is turned to a great variety of uses. To begin with, it is exceedingly convenient for the marching in and out of the legions. For each division descends into this space by the via which passes its own quarters, and so avoids crowding and hustling each other, as they would if they were all collected on one road. Again, all cattle brought into the camp, as well as booty of all sorts taken from the enemy, are deposited in this space and securely guarded during the night watches. But the most important use of this space is that, in night assaults, it secures the tents from the danger of being set on fire, and keeps the soldiers out of the range of the enemy's missiles; or, if a few of them do carry so far, they are spent and cannot penetrate the tents.
32. The number, then, of foot soldiers and cavalry being given (at the rate, that is to say, of four thousand or of five thousand for each legion), and the length, depth, and number of the maniples being likewise known, as well as the breadth of the passages and roads, it becomes possible to calculate the area occupied by the camp and the length of the aggers. If on any occasion the number of allies, either those originally enrolled or those who joined subsequently, exceeds their due proportion, the difficulty is provided for in this way. To the surplus of allies who joined subsequent to the enrolment of the army, are assigned the spaces on either side of the praetorium, the marketplace and quaestorium being proportionally contracted. For the extra numbers of allies who joined originally an extra line of tents (forming thus another via) is put up parallel with the other tents of the allies, facing the agger on either side of the camp. But if all four legions and both consuls are in the same camp, all we have to do is to imagine a second army, arranged back to back to the one already placed, in exactly the same spaces as the former, but side by side with it at the part where the picked men from the extraordinarii are stationed facing the rearward agger. In this case the shape of the camp becomes an oblong, the area double, and the length of the entire agger half as much again. This is the arrangement when both consuls are within the same agger; but if they occupy two separate camps, the above arrangements hold good, except that the marketplace is placed half way between the two camps.
33. The camp having thus been laid out, the Tribuni next administer an oath to all in it separately, whether free or slave, that they will steal nothing within the agger, and in case they find anything will bring it to the Tribuni. They next select for their several duties the maniples of the Principes and Hastati in each legion. Two are told off to guard the space in front of the quarters of the Tribuni. For in this space, which is called the principia, most of the Romans in the camp transact all the business of the day and are therefore very particular about its being kept well-watered and properly swept. Of the other eighteen maniples, three are assigned to each of the six Tribuni, those being the respective numbers in each legion; and of these three maniples each takes its turn of duty in waiting upon the tribune. The services they render him are such as these: they pitch his tent for him when a place is selected for encampment and level the ground all round it; and if any extra precaution is required for the protection of his baggage, it is their duty to see to it. They also supply him with two relays of guards. A guard consists of four men, two of whom act as sentries in front of his tent, and two on the rear of it near the horses. Seeing that each tribune has three maniples, and each maniple has a hundred men without counting Triarii and Velites, who are not liable for this service, the duty is a light one, coming round to each maniple only once in three days. By this arrangement ample provision is made for the convenience as well as the dignity of the Tribuni. The maniples of Triarii are exempted from this personal service to the Tribuni, but they each supply a watch of four men to the squadron of cavalry nearest them. These watches have to keep a general lookout. But their chief duty is to keep an eye upon the horses to prevent their hurting themselves by getting entangled in their tethers, thus becoming unfit for use, or from getting loose and making a confusion and disturbance in the camp by running against other horses. Finally, all the maniples take turns to mount guard for a day each at the consul's tent, to protect him from plots and maintain the dignity of his office.
34. As to the construction of the foss (ditch) and vallum (wall), two sides fall to the lot of the allies, each division taking that side along which it is quartered. The other two are left to the Romans, one to each legion. Each side is divided into portions according to the number of maniples, and the centurions stand by and superintend the work of each maniple, while two of the tribunes superintend the construction of the whole side and see that it is adequate. In the same way the tribunes superintend all other operations in the camp. They divide themselves in twos, and each pair is on duty for two months out of six. They draw lots for their turns, and the pair on whom the lot falls takes the superintendence of all active operations. The prefects of the allies divide their duty in the same way. At daybreak the officers of the cavalry and the centurions muster at the tents of the tribunes, while the tribunes go to that of the consul. He gives the necessary orders to the tribunes, they to the cavalry officers and centurions, and these last pass them on to the rank and file as occasion may demand.
To secure the passing round of the watchword for the night, the following course is followed. One man is selected from the tenth maniple, which, in the case both of cavalry and infantry, is quartered at the ends of the road between the tents. This man is relieved from guard-duty and appears each day about sunset at the tent of the tribune on duty, takes the tessera or wooden tablet on which the watchword is inscribed, and returns to his own maniple and delivers the wooden tablet and watchword in the presence of witnesses to the chief officer of the maniple next his own; he in the same way to the officer of the next, and so on, until it arrives at the first maniple stationed next the tribunes. These men are obliged to deliver the tablet (tessera) to the tribunes before dark. If they are all handed in, the tribune knows that the watchword has been delivered to all, and has passed through all the ranks back to his hands. But if any one is missing, he at once investigates the matter, for he knows by the marks on the tablets from which division of the army the tablet has not appeared; and the man who is discovered to he responsible for its nonappearance is visited with condign punishment.
35. Next as to the keeping guard at night. The consul's tent is guarded by the maniple on duty; those of the Tribuni and praefects of the cavalry by the pickets formed as described above from the several maniples. And in the same way each maniple and squadron posts guards of their own men. The other pickets are posted by the consul. Generally speaking there are three pickets at the quaestorium and two at the tent of each of the legati or members of council. The vallum is lined by the Velites, who are on guard all along it from day to day. That is their special duty. They also guard all the entrances to the camp, telling off ten sentinels to take their turn at each of them. Of the men told off for duty at the several stationes, the man who in each maniple is to take the first watch is brought by the rear-rank man of his company to the tribune at eventide. The latter hands over to them severally small wooden tablets (tesserae), one for each watch, inscribed with small marks. On receiving these they go off to the places indicated.
The duty of going the rounds is intrusted to the cavalry. The first praefect of cavalry in each legion, early in the morning, orders one of his rear-rank men to give notice before breakfast to four young men of his squadron who are to go the rounds. At evening this same man's duty is to give notice to the praefect of the next squadron that it is his turn to provide for going the rounds until next morning. This officer thereupon takes measures similar to the preceding one until the next day; and so on throughout the cavalry squadrons. The four men thus selected by the rear-rank men from the first squadron, after drawing lots for the watch they are to take, proceed to the tent of the tribune on duty and receive from him a writing stating the orders and the number of the watches they are to visit. The four then take up their quarters for the night alongside of the first maniple of Triarii, for it is the duty of the centurion of this maniple to see that a bugle is blown at the beginning of every watch.
36. When the time has arrived, the man to whose lot the first watch has fallen goes his rounds, taking some of his friends as witnesses. He walks through the posts assigned, which are not only those along the vallum and gates, but also the pickets set by the several maniples and squadrons. If he finds the men of the first watch awake he takes from them their tessera; but if he find any one of them asleep or absent from his post, he calls those with him to witness the fact and passes on. The same process is repeated by those who go the rounds during the other watches. The charge of seeing that the bugle is blown at the beginning of each watch, so that the right man might visit the right pickets, is as I have said, laid upon the centurions of the first maniple of Triarii, each one taking the duty for the day.
Each of these men who have gone the rounds (tessarii) at daybreak conveys the tesserae to the tribune on duty. If the whole number are given in, they are dismissed without question; but if any of them brings a number less than that of the pickets, an investigation is made by means of the mark on the tessera, as to which picket he has omitted. Upon this being ascertained the centurion is summoned. He brings the men who were on duty, and they are confronted with the patrol. If the fault is with the men on guard, the patrol clears himself by producing the witnesses whom he took with him, for he cannot do so without. If nothing of that sort happened, the blame recoils upon the patrol.
37. Then the tribunes at once hold a court-martial, and the man who is found guilty is punished by the fustuarium, the nature of which is this. The tribune takes a cudgel and merely touches the condemned man; whereupon all the soldiers fall upon him with cudgels and stones. Generally speaking, men thus punished are killed on the spot: but if by any chance, after running the gauntlet, they manage to escape from the camp, they have no hope of ultimately surviving even so. They may not return to their own country, nor would anyone venture to receive such an one into his house. Therefore those who have once fallen into this misfortune are utterly and finally ruined. The same fate awaits the praefect of the squadron, as well as his rear-rank man, if they fail to give the necessary order at the proper time, the latter to the patrols, and the former to the praefect of the next squadron. The result of the severity and inevitableness of this punishment is that in the Roman army the night watches are faultlessly kept. The common soldiers are amenable to the tribunes; the tribunes to the consuls. The tribune is competent to punish a soldier by inflicting a fine, distraining his goods, or ordering him to be flogged; so, too, the praefects in the case of the allies. The punishment of the fustuarium is assigned also to anyone committing theft in the camp, or bearing false witness; also to anyone who in full manhood is detected in shameful immorality, or to anyone who has been thrice punished for the same offence. All these things are punished as crimes. But such as the following are reckoned as cowardly and dishonourable in a soldier: for a man to make a false report to the tribunes of his valour in order to get reward; or for men who have been told off to an ambuscade to quit the place assigned them from fear; and also for a man to throw away any of his arms from fear, on the actual field of battle. Consequently, it sometimes happens that men confront certain death at their stations, because from their fear of the punishment awaiting them at home, they refuse to quit their post. Others, who have lost shield or spear or any other arm on the field, throw themselves upon the foe in hopes of recovering what they have lost or of escaping by death from certain disgrace and the insults of their relations.
38. But if it ever happens that a number of men are involved in these same acts if, for instance, some entire maniples have quitted their ground in the presence of the enemy it is deemed impossible to subject all to the fustuarium or to military execution. But a solution of the difficulty has been found at once adequate to the maintenance of discipline and calculated to strike terror. The tribune assembles the legion, calls the defaulters to the front, and after administering a sharp rebuke, selects five or eight or twenty out of them by lot, so that those selected should be about a tenth of those who have been guilty of the act of cowardice. These selected are punished with the fustuarium without mercy. The rest are put on rations of barley instead of wheat and are ordered to take up their quarters outside the vallum and the protection of the camp. As all are equally in danger of having the lot fall on them, and as all alike who escape that are made a conspicuous example of by having their rations of barley, the best possible means are thus taken to inspire fear for the future and to correct the mischief which has actually occurred.
39. A very excellent plan also is adopted for inducing young soldiers to brave danger. When an engagement has taken place and any of them have showed conspicuous gallantry, the consul summons an assembly of the legion, puts forward those whom he considers to have distinguished themselves in any way, and first compliments each of them individually on his gallantry, and mentions any other distinction he may have earned in the course of his life, and then presents them with gifts: to the man who has wounded an enemy, a spear; to the man who has killed one and stripped his armour, a cup, if he be in the infantry, horse-trappings if in the cavalry: though originally the only present made was a spear. This does not take place in the event of their having wounded or stripped any of the enemy in a set engagement or the storming of a town; but in skirmishes or other occasions of that sort, in which, without there being any positive necessity for them to expose themselves singly to danger, they have done so voluntarily and deliberately. In the capture of a town those who are first to mount the walls are presented with a gold crown. So, too, those who have covered and saved any citizens or allies are distinguished by the consul with certain presents; and those whom they have preserved present them voluntarily with a crown, or if not, they are compelled to do so by the tribunes. The man thus preserved, too, reverences his preserver throughout his life as a father, and is bound to act towards him as a father in every respect. By such incentives those who stay at home are stirred up to the noble rivalry and emulation in confronting danger. no less than those who actually hear and see what takes place. For the recipients of such rewards not only enjoy great glory among their comrades in the army, and an immediate reputation at home, but after their return they are marked men in all solemn festivals; for they alone, who have been thus distinguished by the consuls for bravery, are allowed to wear robes of honour on those occasions. Moreover, they place the spoils they have taken in the most conspicuous places in their houses, as visible tokens and proof of their valour. No wonder that a people, whose rewards and punishments are allotted with such care and received with such feelings, should be brilliantly successful in war.
The pay of the foot soldier is 5 1/3 asses a day; of the centurion 10 2/3; of the cavalry 16. The infantry receive a ration of wheat equal to about 2/3 of an Attic medimnus a month, and the cavalry 7 medimni of barley, and 2 of wheat; of the allies the infantry receive the same, the cavalry 1 l/3 medimnus of wheat, and 5 of barley. This is a free gift to the allies; but in the cases of the Romans, the quaestor stops out of their pay the price of their corn and clothes, or any additional arms they may require at a fixed rate.
40. The following is their manner of moving camp. At the first bugle the men all strike their tents and collect their baggage; but no soldier may strike his tent, or set it up either, till the same is done to that of the Tribuni and the consul. At the second bugle they load the beasts of burden with their baggage. At the third the first maniples must advance and set the whole camp in motion. Generally speaking the men appointed to make this start are the extraordinarii. Next comes the right wing of the allies; and behind them their beasts of burden. These are followed by the first legion with its own baggage immediately on its rear. Then comes the second legion, followed by its own beasts of burden and the baggage of those allies who have to bring up the rear of the march, that is to say, the left wing of the allies. The cavalry sometimes ride on the rear of their respective divisions, sometimes on either side of the beasts of burden, to keep them together and secure them. If an attack is expected on the rear, the extraordinarii themselves occupy the rear instead of the van. Of the two legions and wings, each takes the lead in the march on alternate days, that by this interchange of position all may have an equal share in the advantage of being first at the water and forage. The order of march, however, is different at times of unusual danger, if they have open ground enough. For in that case they advance in three parallel columns, consisting of the Hastati, Principes, and Triarii. The beasts of burden belonging to the maniples in the van are placed in front of all, those belonging to the second behind the leading maniples, thus having the baggage and the maniples in alternate lines. With this order of march, on an alarm being given, the columns face to the right or left according to the quarter on which the enemy appears, and get clear of the baggage. So that in a short space of time, and by one movement, the whole of the hoplites are in line of battle except that sometimes it is necessary to half-wheel the Hastati also and the baggage and the rest of the army are in their proper place for safety, namely, in the rear of the line of combatants.
41. When the army on the march is approaching the place of encampment, a tribune and those of the centurions who have been from time to time selected for that duty are sent forward to survey a place of encampment. Having done this, they proceed first of all to fix upon the place for the consul's tent (as I have described above) and to determine on which side of the praetorium to quarter the legions. Having decided these points they measure out the praetorium, then they draw the straight line along which the tents of the tribunes are to be pitched, and then the line parallel to this, beyond which the quarters of the legions are to begin. In the same way they draw the lines on the other sides of the praetorium in accordance with the plan which I have already detailed at length. This does not take long, nor is the marking out of the camp a matter of difficulty, because the dimensions are all regularly laid down, and are in accordance with precedent. Then they fix one flag in the ground where the consul's tent is to stand and another on the base of the square containing it, and a third on the line of the tribunes' tents. The two latter are scarlet. That which marks the consul's tent is white. The lines on the other sides of the praetorium are marked sometimes with plain spears and sometimes by flags of other colours. After this they lay out the viae between the quarters, fixing spears at each via. Consequently, when the legions in the course of their march have come near enough to get a clear view of the place of encampment, they can all make out exactly the whole plan of it, taking as their base the consul's flag and calculating from that. Moreover, as each soldier knows precisely on which via and at what point of it his quarters are to be, because all occupy the same position in the camp wherever it may be, it is exactly like a legion entering its own city. When breaking off at the gates, each man makes straight for his own residence without hesitation, because he knows the direction and the quarter of the town in which home lies. It is precisely the same in a Roman camp.
42. It is because the first object of the Romans in the matter of encampment is facility, that they seem to me to differ diametrically from Greek military men in this respect. Greeks, in choosing a place for a camp, think primarily of security from the natural strength of the position, first, because they are averse from the toil of digging a foss, and, secondly, because they think that no artificial defences are comparable to those afforded by the nature of the ground. Accordingly, they not only have to vary the whole configuration of the camp to suit the nature of the ground, but to change the arrangement of details in all kinds of irregular ways. Thus neither soldier nor company has a fixed place in it. The Romans, on the other hand, prefer to undergo the fatigue of digging and of the labours of circumvallation, for the sake of the facility in arrangement and to secure a plan of encampment which shall be one and the same and familiar to all.
Such are the most important facts in regard to the legions and the method of encamping them....
53. Whenever one of their illustrious men dies, in the course of his funeral, the body with all its paraphernalia is carried into the forum to the Rostra, as a raised platform there is called, and sometimes is propped upright upon it so as to be conspicuous, or, more rarely, is laid upon it. Then with all the people standing round, his son, if he has left one of full age and he is there, or, failing him, one of his relations, mounts the Rostra and delivers a speech concerning the virtues of the deceased and the successful exploits performed by him in his lifetime. By these means the people are reminded of what has been done and are made to see it with their own eyes not only such as were engaged in the actual transactions but those also who were not and their sympathies are so deeply moved that the loss appears not to be confined to the actual mourners, but to be a public one affecting the whole people. After the burial and all the usual ceremonies have been performed, they place the likeness of the deceased in the most conspicuous spot in his house, surmounted by a wooden canopy or shrine. This likeness consists of a mask made to represent the deceased with extraordinary fidelity both in shape and colour. These likenesses they display at public sacrifices adorned with much care. And when any illustrious member of the family dies, they carry these masks to the funeral, putting them on men whom they thought as like the originals as possible in height and other personal peculiarities. And these substitutes assume clothes according to the rank of the person represented. If he was a consul or praetor, a toga with purple stripes; if a censor, whole purple; if he had also celebrated a triumph or performed any exploit of that kind, a toga embroidered with gold. These representatives also ride themselves in chariots, while the fasces and axes and all the other customary insignia of the particular offices, lead the way, according to the dignity of the rank in the state enjoyed by the deceased in his lifetime. On arriving at the Rostra, they all take their seats on ivory chairs in their order. There could not easily be a more inspiring spectacle than this for a young man of noble ambitions and virtuous aspirations. For can we conceive anyone to be unmoved at the sight of all the likenesses collected together of the men who have earned glory, all as it were living and breathing? Or what could be a more glorious spectacle?
54. Besides, the speaker over the body about to be buried, after having finished the panegyric of this particular person, starts upon the others whose representatives are present, beginning with the most ancient, and recounts the successes and achievements of each. By this means the glorious memory of brave men is continually renewed: the fame of those who have performed any noble deed is never allowed to die; and the renown of those who have done good service to their country becomes a matter of common knowledge to the multitude, and part of the heritage of posterity. But the chief benefit of the ceremony is that it inspires young men to shrink from no exertion for the general welfare, in the hope of obtaining the glory which awaits the brave. And what I say is confirmed by this fact. Many Romans have volunteered to decide a whole battle by single combat. Not a few have deliberately accepted certain death, some in time of war to secure the safety of the rest, some in time of peace to preserve the safety of the commonwealth. There have also been instances of men in office putting their own sons to death, in defiance of every custom and law, because they rated the interests of their country higher than those of natural ties even with their nearest and dearest. There are many stories of this kind, related of many men in Roman history; but one will be enough for our present purpose; and I will give the name as an instance to prove the truth of my words.
55. The story goes that Horatius Cocles, while fighting with two enemies at the head of the bridge over the Tiber, which is the entrance to the city on the north, seeing a large body of men advancing to support his enemies, and fearing that they would force their way into the city, turned round and shouted to those behind him to hasten back to the other side and break down the bridge. They obeyed him, and whilst they were breaking the bridge, he remained at his post receiving numerous wounds and checked the progress of the enemy. His opponents were panic-stricken, not so much by his strength as by the audacity with which he held his ground. When the bridge had been broken down, the attack of the enemy was stopped; and Cocles then threw himself into the river with his armour on and deliberately sacrificed his life, because he valued the safety of his country and his own future reputation more highly than his present life and the years of existence that remained to him . Such is the enthusiasm and emulation for noble deeds that are engendered among the Romans by their customs.
56. Again the Roman customs and principles regarding money transactions are better than those of the Carthaginians. In the view of the latter nothing is disgraceful that makes for gain. With the former nothing is more disgraceful than to receive bribes and to make profit by improper means. For they regard wealth obtained from unlawful transactions to be as much a subject of reproach as a fair profit from the most unquestioned source is of commendation. A proof of the fact is this. The Carthaginians obtain office by open bribery, but among the Romans the penalty for it is death. With such a radical difference, therefore, between the rewards offered to virtue among the two peoples, it is natural that the ways adopted for obtaining them should be different also.
But the most important difference for the better which the Roman commonwealth appears to me to display is in their religious beliefs. For I conceive that what in other nations is looked upon as a reproach, I mean a scrupulous fear of the gods, is the very thing which keeps the Roman commonwealth together. To such an extraordinary height is this carried among them, both in private and public business, that nothing could exceed it. Many people might think this unaccountable, but in my opinion their object is to use it as a check upon the common people. If it were possible to form a state wholly of philosophers, such a custom would perhaps be unnecessary. But seeing that every multitude is fickle and full of lawless desires, unreasoning anger, and violent passion, the only resource is to keep them in check by mysterious terrors and scenic effects of this sort. Wherefore, to my mind, the ancients were not acting without purpose or at random when they brought in among the vulgar those opinions about the gods and the belief in the punishments in Hades. Much rather do I think that men nowadays are acting rashly and foolishly in rejecting them. This is the reason why, apart from anything else, Greek statesmen, if entrusted with a single talent, though protected by ten checking clerks, as many seals, and twice as many witnesses, cannot be induced to keep faith, whereas among the Romans, in their magistracies and embassies, men have the handling of a great amount of money, and yet from pure respect to their oath keep their faith intact. And again, in other nations it is a rare thing to find a man who keeps his hands out of the public purse and is entirely pure in such matters. But among the Romans it is a rare thing to detect a man in the act of committing such a crime.
57. That to all things, then, which exist there is ordained decay and change I think requires no further arguments to show, for the inexorable course of nature is sufficient to convince us of it.
But in all polities we observe two sources of decay existing from natural causes, the one external, the other internal and self-produced. The external admits of no certain or fixed definition, but the internal follows a definite order. What kind of polity, then, comes naturally first, and what second, I have already stated in such a way that those who are capable of taking in the whole drift of my argument can henceforth draw their own conclusions as to the future of the Roman polity. For it is quite clear in my opinion. When a commonwealth, after warding off many great dangers, has arrived at a high pitch of prosperity and undisputed power, it is evident that by the lengthened continuance of great wealth within it, the manner of life of its citizens will become more extravagant and that the rivalry for office and in other spheres of activity will become fiercer than it ought to be. And as this state of things goes on more and more, the desire of office and the shame of losing reputation, as well as the ostentation and extravagance of living, will prove the beginning of a deterioration. And of this change the people will be credited with being the authors, when they become convinced that they are being cheated by some from avarice, and are puffed up with flattery by others from love of office. For when that comes about, in their passionate resentment and acting under the dictates of anger, they will refuse to obey any longer, or to be content with having equal powers with their leaders, but will demand to have all or far the greatest themselves. And when that comes to pass, the constitution will receive a new name which sounds better than any other in the world, liberty or democracy; but, in fact, it will become that worst of all governments, mob rule.
With this description of the formation, growth, zenith, and present state of the Roman polity, and having discussed also its difference, for better and worse, from other polities, I will now at length bring my essay on it to an end.
58. Resuming my history from the point at which I started on this digression, I will briefly refer to one transaction, that I may give a practical illustration of the perfection and power of the Roman polity at that period, as though I were producing one of his works as a specimen of the skill of a good artist.
When Hannibal, after conquering the Romans in the battle at Cannae (216 BCE), got possession of the eight thousand who were guarding the Roman camp, he made them all prisoners of war and granted them permission to send messages to their relations that they might be ransomed and return home. They accordingly selected ten of their chief men, whom Hannibal allowed to depart after binding them with an oath to return. But one of them, just as he had got outside the palisade of the camp, saying that he had forgotten something, went back and, having got what he had left behind, once more set out, under the belief that by means of this return he had kept his promise and discharged his oath. Upon their arrival at Rome, the envoys implored and beseeched the Senate not to grudge the captured troops their return home, but to allow them to rejoin their friends by paying three minae each for them, for these were the terms, they said, granted by Hannibal. They declared that the men deserved redemption, for they had neither played the coward in the field, nor done anything unworthy of Rome, but had been left behind to guard the camp; and that, when all the rest had perished, they had yielded to absolute necessity in surrendering to Hannibal. Though the Romans had been severely defeated in the battles, and though they were at the time deprived of, roughly speaking, all their allies, they neither yielded so far to misfortune as to disregard what was becoming to themselves, nor omitted to take into account any necessary consideration. They
saw through Hannibal's purpose in thus acting which was at once to get a large supply of money, and at the same time to take away all enthusiasm from the troops opposed to him, by showing that even the conquered had a hope of getting safe home again. Therefore the Senate, far from acceding to the request, refused all pity even to their own relations, and disregarded the services to be expected from these men in the future. Thus the Senate frustrated Hannibal's calculations and the hopes which he had founded on these prisoners, by refusing to ransom them. At the same time the Senate established the rule for their own men, that they must either conquer or die on the field, as there was no other hope of safety for them if they were beaten. With this answer they dismissed the nine envoys who returned of their own accord; but the tenth who had put the cunning trick in practice for discharging himself of his oath they put in chains and delivered to the enemy. So that Hannibal was not so much rejoiced at his victory in the battle, as struck with astonishment at the unshaken firmness and lofty spirit displayed in the resolutions of these senators.
2. Being about to narrate the exploits of Publius Scipio [Scipio Africanus, or Scipio the Elder] in Iberia and in fact all the achievements in his life, I think it necessary to direct my readers' attention, to begin with, to his moral and mental qualities. For as he is perhaps the most illustrious man of any born before the present generation, everybody seeks to know what kind of man he was and what advantages from natural ability or experience he enjoyed, to account for a career so crowded with brilliant achievement; and yet is compelled to remain in the dark, or to entertain false opinions, because those who write about him have not kept to the truth. The soundness of this assertion will be rendered evident in the course of my narrative to all who are capable of estimating the noblest and most gallant of his exploits. Now all other writers represent him as a man favoured by Fortune, who succeeded in his undertakings contrary to rational expectation, and by the mere force of circumstances. These consider, apparently, such men to be, so to speak, more godlike and worthy of admiration than those who act in every case by calculation. They do not seem to be aware of the distinction between credit for good fortune and credit for good conduct in the case of such men, and that the former may be assigned to anyone however commonplace. while the latter belongs to those alone who act from prudent calculation and clear intelligence. It is these last whom we should look upon as the most godlike and god-beloved.
Now it seems to me that in his character and views Publius was very like Lycurgus, the legislator of the Lacedaemonians. For we must not suppose that it was from superstition that Lycurgus continually consulted the Pythian priestess in the establishment of the Lacedaemonian constitution; nor that Publius depended on dreams and ominous words for his success in securing empire for his country. But as both saw that the majority of mankind cannot be got to accept contentedly what is new and strange, nor to face dangers with courage, without some hope of divine favour, Lycurgus, by always supporting his own schemes by an oracular response from the Pythia, secured better acceptation and credit for his ideas. And Publius, by always in like manner instilling into the minds of the vulgar an opinion of his acting on some divine suggestion in the formation of his designs, caused those under his command to confront dangerous services with greater courage and cheerfulness. But that he invariably acted on calculation and with foresight, and that the successful issue of his plans was always in harmony with rational expectation, will be evident by what I am about to relate.
3. For that he was beneficent and high-minded is acknowledged; but that he was acute, sober-minded, and earnest in pursuit of his aim, no one will admit, except those who have lived with him, and contemplated his character, so to speak, in broad daylight. Of such Gaius Laelius was one. He took part in everything he did or said from boyhood to the day of his death; and he it was who convinced me of this truth, because what he said appeared to me to be likely in itself, and in harmony with the achievements of that great man. He told me that the first brilliant exploit of Publius was when his father fought the cavalry engagement with Hannibal near the Padus (218 BCE). He was then, as it seems, seventeen years old and on his first campaign. His father had given him a squadron of picked cavalry for his protection; but when in the course of the battle he saw his father surrounded by the enemy, with only two or three horsemen near him, and dangerously wounded, he first tried to cheer on his own squadron to go to his father's assistance, but when he found them considerably cowed by the numbers of the enemy surrounding them, he appears to have plunged by himself with reckless courage into the midst of the enemy. Whereupon, his comrades being forced to charge also, the enemy were overawed and divided their ranks to let them pass. Publius the elder, being thus unexpectedly saved, was the first to address his son as his preserver in the hearing of the whole army. Having gained an acknowledged reputation for bravery by this exploit, he ever afterwards freely exposed himself to every sort of personal danger, whenever his country rested its hope of safety on him. And this is not the conduct of a general who trusts to luck, but of one who has a clear head.
4. Subsequently, when his elder brother Lucius was a candidate for the aedileship, which is about the most honourable office open to a young man at Rome, it being the custom for two patricians to be appointed, and there being many candidates, for some time he did not venture to stand for the same office as his brother. But as the day of election drew near, judging from the demeanour of the people that his brother would not easily obtain the office, and observing that his own popularity with the multitude was very great, he made up his mind that the only hope of his brother's success was that they should combine their candidatures. He therefore resolved to act as follows: his mother was going around to the temples and sacrificing to the gods in behalf of his brother, and was altogether in a state of eager expectation as to the result. She was the only parent whose wishes he had to consult, for his father was then on his voyage to Iberia, having been appointed to the command in the war there. He therefore said to her that he had seen the same dream twice: he thought that he was coming home from the forum after being elected aedile with his brother, and that she met them at the door and threw her arms around them and kissed them. His mother with true womanly feeling exclaimed, Oh, that I might see that day! He replied, Do you wish us to try? Upon her assenting under the idea that he would not venture, but was only jesting on the spur of the moment (for of course he was quite a young man), he begged her to prepare him at once a white toga, such as it is the custom for candidates for office to wear.
5. His mother thought no more about it, but Publius, having obtained a white toga, went to the forum before his mother was awake. His boldness, as well as his previous popularity, secured him a brilliant reception from the people; and when he advanced to the spot assigned for candidates, and took his place by the side of his brother, the people not only invested him with the office, but his brother also for his sake; and both brothers returned home aediles designate. The news having been suddenly brought to their mother, she rushed in the utmost delight to meet them at the door, and kissed the young men in an ecstasy of joy. Accordingly, Publius was believed by all who had previously heard about his dream to have held commune with the gods, not merely in his sleep, but rather in a waking vision, and by day. But in point of fact there was no dream at all: Scipio was kind, openhanded, and courteous, and by these means had conciliated the favour of the multitude. But by a dexterous use of the occasion, both with the people and his mother, he obtained his purpose, and, moreover, got the reputation of acting under divine inspiration. For those persons, who, from dullness or want of experience, or idleness, can never take a clear view of the occasions or causes or connection of events, are apt to give the gods and chance credit for what is really effected by sagacity and farseeing calculation. I have thought it worth while to say thus much, that my readers may not be misled by unfounded gossip to pass over this great man's finest and most splendid qualities I mean his wealth of resource and untiring diligence which will become apparent when we com to recount his actual achievements.
22. The strongest and most honourable proof of the integrity of Lucius Aemilius Paulus was made public after his death. For the character which he enjoyed while alive was found to be justified at his death, than which there can be no clearer proof of virtue. No one of his contemporaries brought home more gold from Iberia than he. No one captured such enormous treasures as he did in Macedonia. And yet, though in both these countries he had the most unlimited authority, he left so small a private fortune that his sons could not pay his wife's jointure wholly from the sale of his personalty, and were obliged to sell some of his real estate also to do so, a fact of which I have already spoken in some detail. This forces us to acknowledge that the fame of the men who have been admired in Greece in this respect suffers by a comparison. For if to abstain from appropriating money entrusted to a man for the benefit of the depositor deserves our admiration as is said to have happened in the case of the Athenian Aristeides and the Theban Epaminondas how much more admirable is it for a man to have been master of a whole kingdom, with absolute authority to do with it as he chose, and yet to have coveted nothing in it! And if what I say appears incredible to any of my readers, let them consider that the present writer was fully aware that Romans, more than any other peoples would take his books into their hands because the most splendid and numerous achievements recorded therein belong to them; and that with them the truth about the facts could not possibly be unknowns nor the author of a falsehood expect any indulgence. No one then would voluntarily expose himself to certain disbelief and contempt. And let this be kept in mind throughout the whole course of my work, when I seem to be making a startling assertion about the Romans.
23. As the course of my narrative and the events of the time have drawn our attention to this family, I wish to carry out fully, for the sake of students, what was left as a mere promise in my previous book. I promised then that I would relate the origin and manner of the rise and unusually early glory of Scipio's [Scipio Aemilianus, or Scipio the Younger] reputation in Rome; and also how it came about that Polybius became so attached to and intimate with him that the fame of their friendship and constant companionship was not merely confined to Italy and Greece, but became known to more remote nations also. We have already shown that the acquaintance began in a loan of some books and the conversation about them. But as the intimacy went on, and the Achaean hostages were being distributed among the various cities, Fabius and Scipio, the sons of Lucius Aemilius Paulus, exerted all their influence with the praetor that Polybius might be allowed to remain in Rome. This was granted, and the intimacy was becoming more and more close, when the following incident occurred. One day, when they were all three coming out of the house of Fabius, it happened that Fabius left them to go to the Forum, and that Polybius went in another direction with Scipio. As they were walking along, in a quiet and subdued voice, and with the blood mounting to his cheeks, Scipio said, "Why is it, Polybius, that though I and my brother eat at the same table, you address all your conversation and all your questions and explanations to him, and pass me over altogether? Of course you, too, have the same opinion of me as I hear the rest of the city has. For I am considered by everybody, I hear, to be a mild effete person, and far removed from the true Roman character and ways, because I don't care for pleading in the lawcourts. And they say that the family I come of requires a different kind of representative, and not the sort that I am. That is what annoys me most."
24. Polybius was taken aback by the opening words of the young man's speech (for he was only just eighteen), and said, In heaven's name, Scipio, don't say such things or take into your head such an idea. It is not from any want of appreciation of you or any intention of slighting you, that I have acted as I have done. Far from it! It is merely that, your brother being the elder, I begin and end my remarks with him and address my explanations and counsels to him in the belief that you share the same opinions. However, I am delighted to hear you say now that you appear to yourself to be somewhat less spirited than is becoming to members of your family, for you show bn this that you have a really high spirit, and I should gladly devote myself to helping you to speak or act in any way worthy of your ancestors. As for learning, to which I see you and your brother devoting yourselves at present with so much earnestness and zeal, you will find plenty of people to help you both; for I see that a large number of such learned men from Greece are finding their way into Rome at the present time. But as to the points which you say are just now vexing you, I think you will not find anyone more fitted to support and assist you than myself."
While Polybius was still speaking, the young man seized his right hand with both of his, and pressing it warmly, said, Oh that I might see the day on which you would devote your first attention to me, and join your life with mine. From that moment I shall think myself worthy both of my family and my ancestors. Polybius was partly delighted at the sight of the young man's enthusiasm and affection, and partly embarrassed by the thought of the high position of his family and the wealth of its members. However, from the hour of this mutual confidence the young man never left the side of Polybius, but regarded his society as his first and dearest object.
25. From that time forward they continually gave each other practical proof of an affection which recalled the relationship of father and son, or of kinsmen of the same blood. The first impulse and ambition of a noble kind with which he was inspired was the desire to maintain a character for chastity and to be superior to the standard observed in that respect among his contemporaries. This was a glory which, great and difficult as it generally is, was not hard to gain at that period in Rome, owing to the general deterioration of morals. Some had wasted their energies on favourite youths; others on mistresses; and a great many on banquets enlivened with poetry and wine and all the extravagant expenditure which they entailed, having quickly caught during the war with Perseus the dissoluteness of Greek manners in this respect. And to such monstrous lengths had this debauchery gone among the young men, that many of them had given a talent for a young favourite. This dissoluteness had, as it were, burst into flame at this period: in the first place, from the prevalent idea that, owing to the destruction of the Macedonian monarchy, universal dominion was now secured to them beyond dispute; and in the second place, from the immense difference made both in public and private wealth and splendour, by the importation of the riches of Macedonia into Rome. Scipio, however, set his heart on a different path in life. By a steady resistance to his appetites, and by conforming his whole conduct to a consistent and undeviating standard, in about the first five years after this he secured a general recognition of his character for goodness and purity.
26. His next object was to cultivate lofty sentiments in regard to money, and to maintain a higher standard of disinterestedness than other people. In this respect he had an excellent start in his association with his natural father (L. Aemilius). But he also had good natural impulses towards the right; and chance contributed much to his success in this particular aim. For he first lost the mother of his adoptive father, who was the sister of his natural father Lucius, and wife of his adoptive grandfather, Scipio the Great. She left a large fortune, to which he was heir, and which gave him the first opportunity of giving a proof of his principles. Aemilia, for that was this lady' s name, was accustomed to attend the women's processions in great state, as sharing the life and high fortune of Scipio. For besides the magnificence of her dress and carriage, the baskets, cups, and such implements for the sacrifice, which were carried in her train, were all of silver or gold on great occasions; and the number of maidservants and other domestics that made up her train was in proportion to this splendour. All this establishment, immediately after Aemilia's funeral, Scipio presented to his own mother, who had long before been divorced by his father Lucius, and was badly off considering the splendour of her birth. She had therefore in previous years refrained from taking part in grand public processions; but now, as there chanced to be an important state sacrifice, she appeared surrounded with all the splendour and wealth which had once been Aemilia's, using among other things the same muleteers, pair of mules, and carriage. The ladies, therefore, who saw it were much impressed by the kindness and liberality of Scipio, and all raised their hands to heaven and prayed for blessings upon him. This act, indeed, would thought honourable anywhere, but at Rome it was quite astonishing for there no one ever thinks of giving any of his private property to anyone If he can help it. This was the beginning of Scipio's reputation for nobility of character, and it spread very widely for women are talkative and prone to exaggeration whenever they feel warmly.
27. The next instance was his conduct to the daughters of the Great Scipio, sisters to his adoptive father. When he took the inheritance, he was bound to pay them their portion. For their father covenanted to give each of his two daughters a marriage portion of fifty talents. Half of this their mother paid down at once to their husbands, but left the other half undischarged when she died. Now, the Roman law enjoins the payment of money due to women as dowry in three annual instalments, the personal outfit having been first paid within ten months according to custom. But Scipio instructed his banker at once to pay the twenty-five talents to each within the ten months. When therefore, Tiberius Gracchus and Scipio Nasica, for they were the husbands of these ladies, called on the banker at the expiration of the ten months and asked whether Scipio had given him any instructions as to the money, he told them they might have it at once, and proceeded to enter the transfer of twenty-five talents to each. They then said that he had made a mistake; for they had no claim for the whole as yet, but only took a third according to the law. Upon the banker answering that such were his instructions from Scipio, they could not believe him, and went to call on the young man, supposing him to have made a mistake. And, indeed, their feelings were natural, for at Rome, far from paying fifty talents three years in advance, no one will pay a single talent before the appointed day; so excessively particular are they about money, and so profitable do they consider time. However, when they reached Scipio and asked him what instructions he had given his banker, on his replying, To pay both sisters the whole sum due to them, they told him he had made a mistake; and with a show of friendly regard pointed out to him that according to the laws, he had the use of the money for a considerable time longer. But Scipio replied that he was quite aware of all that; but that close reckoning and legal exactness were for strangers, with relations and friends he would do his best to behave straightforwardly and liberally. He therefore bade them draw on the banker for the whole sum. When Tiberius and Nasica heard this, they returned home in silence, quite confounded at the magnanimity of Scipio and condemning themselves for meanness, though they were men of as high a character as any at Rome.
28. Two years afterwards (160 BCE), when his natural father, Lucius Aemilius, died, and left him and his brother Fabius joint heirs to his property, he did an act honourable to himself and worthy to be recorded. Lucius died without children in the eyes of the law, for the two elder had been adopted into other families, and the other sons, whom he was bringing up to be the successors to himself and to continue his family, all died. He therefore left his property to these two. But Scipio, perceiving that his brother was worse off than himself, renounced the whole of his share of the inheritance, though the property was valued altogether at over sixty talents, with a view of thus putting Fabius on an equality with himself in point of wealth. This was much talked about; but he afterwards gave a still clearer proof of his liberality. For when his brother wished to give some gladiatorial games in honour of his father, but was unable to support the expense because of the enormous costliness of such things, Scipio contributed half of this also from his own pocket. Now the cost of such an exhibition, if it is done on a large scale, does not amount in all to less than thirty talents. While the fame of his liberality to his mother was still fresh, she died. Far from taking back any part of the wealth he had recently bestowed on her, of which I have just spoken, Scipio gave it and the entire residue of his mother's property to his sisters, though they had no legal claim at all upon it. Accordingly, his sisters again adopted the splendour and retinue which Aemilia had employed in the public processions; and once more the liberality and family affection of Scipio were recalled to the minds of the people.
With such recommendations dating from his earliest years, Publius Scipio sustained the reputation for high morality and good principles, which he had won by the expenditure of perhaps sixty talents, for that was the sum which he bestowed from his own property. And this reputation for goodness did not depend so much on the amount of the money, as on the seasonableness of the gift and the graciousness with which it was bestowed. By his strict chastity, also, he not only saved his purse, but by refraining from many irregular pleasures, he gained sound bodily health and a vigorous constitution, which accompanied him through the whole of his life and repaid him with many pleasures and noble compensations for the immediate pleasures from which he had formerly abstained.
29. Courage, however, is the most important element of character for public life in every country, but especially in Rome. He therefore was bound to give all his most serious attention to it. In this he was well seconded by Fortune also. For as the Macedonian kings were especially eager about hunting, and the Macedonians devoted the most suitable districts to the preservation of game, these places were carefully guarded during all the war time, as they had been before, and yet had not been hunted the whole of the four years owing to the public disturbances. The consequence was that they were full of every kind of animal. But when the war was decided, Lucius Aemilius, thinking that hunting was the best training for body and courage his young soldiers could have, put the royal huntsmen under the charge of Scipio and gave him entire authority over all matters connected with the hunting. Scipio accepted the duty and, looking upon himself as in a quasiroyal position, devoted his whole time to this business, as long as the army remained in Macedonia after the battle of Pydna. Having then ample opportunity for following this kind of pursuit, and being in the very prime of his youth and naturally disposed to it, he acquired a permanent taste for hunting. Accordingly, when he returned to Rome and found his taste supported by a corresponding enthusiasm on the part of Polybius, the time that other young men spent in law courts and formal visits, haunting the Forum and endeavouring thereby to ingratiate themselves with the people, Scipio devoted to hunting and. by continually displaying brilliant and memorable acts of prowess, won a greater reputation than others, whose only chance of gaining credit was by inflicting some damage on one of their fellow-citizens for that was the usual result of these law proceedings. Scipio, on the other hand, without inflicting annoyance on anyone, gained a popular reputation for manly courage, rivalling eloquence by action. The result was that in a short time he obtained a more decided superiority of position over his contemporaries than any Roman is remembered to have done, although he struck out a path for his ambition which, with a view to Roman customs and ideas, was quite different from that of others.
30. I have spoken somewhat at length on the character of Scipio, because I thought that such a story would be agreeable to the older, and useful to the younger among my readers. But especially because I wished to make what I have to tell in my following books appear credible, that no one may feel any difficulty because of the apparent strangeness of what happened to this man, nor deprive him of the credit of achievements which were the natural consequences of his prudence and attribute them to Fortune and chance. I must now return from this digression to the regular course of my history....
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