HODOI ELEKTRONIKAI
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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI

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Texte grec :

[6,9] Καὶ τόδε, ὦ πολῖται, τοῦ μήτ´ ὀρρωδεῖν μήτ´ ἐκτρέπεσθαι τὰ δεινὰ μέγιστον παρακέλευσμα, ὅτι πάντες οἱ πρωτεύοντες τοῦ βουλευτικοῦ συνεδρίου πάρεισιν, ὥσπερ ὁρᾶτε, κοινὰς ὑμῖν ποιησόμενοι τὰς τοῦ πολέμου τύχας, οἷς ἀφεῖσθαι στρατείας ὅ τε χρόνος ὁ τῆς ἡλικίας ἀποδέδωκε καὶ ὁ νόμος. οὐκοῦν αἰσχρὸν μὲν ὑμᾶς τοὺς ἐν ἀκμῇ φεύγειν τὰ δεινά, τούτους δὲ τοὺς ὑπὲρ ἡλικίαν διώκειν, καὶ τὸ μὲν τῶν γερόντων πρόθυμον, ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἀποκτεῖναί τινα δύναται τῶν πολεμίων, ἀποθνήσκειν γε ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρίδος ἐθέλειν, τὸ δ´ ὑμέτερον ἀκμάζον, οἷς ἔξεστιν εὐτυχήσασι μὲν ἀμφότερα σῶσαι καὶ νικᾶν ἀσφαλῶς, εἰ δὲ καὶ μὴ μετὰ τοῦ δρᾶσαί τι γενναῖον καὶ παθεῖν, μήτε τῆς τύχης πεῖραν λαβεῖν, μήτε τὴν τῆς ἀρετῆς δόξαν καταλιπεῖν; οὐ πρὸς ὑμῶν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ῥωμαῖοι, τὰ μὲν πολλὰ ὑπάρχειν καὶ θαυμαστὰ ἔργα παρ´ ἑτέροις, οὓς οὐδεὶς ὑμνήσει λόγος ἀξίως; πολλὰς δὲ καὶ περιβοήτους πράξεις οἰκείας τὸ ἐξ ὑμῶν καρπώσεται γένος, ἢν τοῦτον ἔτι κατορθώσητε τὸν πόλεμον. ἵνα δὲ καὶ τοῖς τὰ κράτιστα ὑμῶν ἐγνωκόσι τὸ γενναῖον μὴ ἀκερδὲς γένηται καὶ τοῖς πέρα τοῦ δέοντος τὰ δεινὰ πεφοβημένοις μὴ ἀζήμιον ᾖ, πρὶν εἰς ταῦτα ἐλθεῖν, οἵων ἑκατέροις συμβήσεται τυχεῖν, ἀκούσατέ μου. ᾧ μὲν ἄν τι καλὸν ἢ γενναῖον ἐν τῇ μάχῃ διαπραξαμένῳ μαρτυρήσωσιν οἱ τὰ ἔργα συνειδότες τάς τ´ ἄλλας ἀποδώσω παραχρῆμα τιμάς, ἃς ἐκ τῶν πατρίων ἑκάστοις ἐθισμῶν ὑπάρχει φέρεσθαι, καὶ γῆς ἔτι προσθήσω κλῆρον, {ἐξ} ἧς κέκτηται τὸ δημόσιον, ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι ὡς μηδενὸς τῶν ἀναγκαίων δεηθῆναι· ᾧ δ´ ἂν ἡ κακὴ καὶ θεοβλαβὴς διάνοια φυγῆς ἀσχήμονος ἐπιθυμίαν ἐμβάλῃ, τούτῳ τὸν φευγόμενον ἀγχοῦ παραστήσω θάνατον· κρείττων γὰρ ἂν ἑαυτῷ τε καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις γένοιτο {ὁ} τοιοῦτος πολίτης ἀποθανών· καὶ περιέσται τοῖς οὕτως ἀποθανοῦσι μήτε ταφῆς μήτε τῶν ἄλλων νομίμων μεταλαβεῖν, ἀλλ´ ἀζήλοις ἀκλαύστοις ὑπ´ οἰωνῶν τε καὶ θηρίων διαφορηθῆναι. ταῦτα δὴ προεγνωκότες ἴτε προθύμως ἅπαντες ἐπὶ τὸν ἀγῶνα, λαβόντες καλὰς ἐλπίδας ἔργων καλῶν ἡγεμόνας, ὡς ἐν ἑνὶ τῷδε κινδύνῳ τὸ κράτιστον καὶ κατ´ εὐχὴν ἅπασι τέλος λαβόντι τὰ μέγιστα ἕξοντες ἀγαθά, φόβου τυράννων ὑμᾶς αὐτοὺς ἐλευθερώσοντες, πόλει τῇ γειναμένῃ τροφείων δικαίας ἀπαιτούσῃ χάριτας ἀποδώσοντες, παῖδας, ὅσοις εἰσὶν ὑμῶν ἔτι νήπιοι, καὶ γαμετὰς γυναῖκας οὐ περιοψόμενοι παθεῖν πρὸς ἐχθρῶν ἀνήκεστα, γηραιούς τε πατέρας τὸν ὀλίγον ἔτι χρόνον ἥδιστον βιῶναι παρασκευάσοντες. ὦ μακάριοι μέν, οἷς ἂν ἐκγένηται τὸν ἐκ τοῦδε τοῦ πολέμου θρίαμβον καταγαγεῖν, ὑποδεχομένων ὑμᾶς τέκνων καὶ γυναικῶν καὶ πατέρων· εὐκλεεῖς δὲ καὶ ζηλωτοὶ τῆς ἀρετῆς οἱ τὰ σώματα χαριούμενοι τῇ πατρίδι. ἀποθανεῖν μὲν γὰρ ἅπασιν ἀνθρώποις ὀφείλεται, κακοῖς τε καὶ ἀγαθοῖς· καλῶς δὲ καὶ ἐνδόξως μόνοις τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς.

Traduction française :

[6,9] "There is also this very great encouragement to you, citizens, neither to dread nor to shirk what is formidable, that the principal members of the senate are all present as you see, ready to share the fortunes of the war in common with you, though they are permitted by both their age and the law to be exempt from military service. Would it not, then, be shameful if you who are in the vigour of life should flee from what is formidable, while these who are past the military age, pursue it, and if the zeal of the old men, since it lacks the strength to slay any of the enemy, should at least be willing to die for the fatherland, while the vigour of you young men, who have it in your power, if successful, to save both yourselves and them to be victorious, or, in case of failure, to suffer nobly while acting nobly, should neither make trial of Fortune nor leave behind you the renown that valour wins. (p265) Is it not an incentive to you, Romans, that just as you have before your eyes the record of the many wonderful deeds performed by your fathers, whom no words can adequately praise, so your posterity while reap the fruits of many illustrious feats of your own, if you achieve success in this war also? To the end, therefore, that neither the bravery of those among you who have chosen the best course may go unrewarded, nor the fears of such as dread what is formidable more than is fitting go unpunished, learn from me, before we enter this engagement, what it will be the fate of each of them to receive. To anyone who performs any great or brave deed in this battle, as proved by the testimony of those acquainted with his actions, I will not only give at once all the usual honours which it is in the power of every man to win in accordance with our ancestral customs, but will also add a portion of the land owned by the state, sufficient to secure him from any lack of the necessities of life. But if a cowardly and infatuate mind shall suggest to anyone an inclination to shameful flight, to him I will bring home the very death he endeavoured to avoid; for such a citizen were better dead, both for his own sake and for that of others. And it will be the fate of those put to death in such a manner to be honoured neither with burial nor with any of the other customary rites, but unenvied and unlamented, to be torn to pieces by birds and beasts of prey. (p267) Knowing these things beforehand, then, do you all cheerfully enter the engagement, taking fair hopes as your guides to fair deeds, assured that by the hazard of this one battle, if it be attended by the best outcome and the one we all wish for, you will obtain the greatest of all advantages: you will free yourselves from the fear of tyrants, will repay to your country that gave you birth the gratitude she justly requires of you for your rearing, will save your children who are still infants and your wedded wives from suffering irreparable outrages at the hands of the enemy, and will render the short time your aged fathers have yet to live most agreeable to them. Oh, happy those among you to whom it shall be given to celebrate the triumph for this war, while your children, your wives and your parents welcome you back! But glorious and envied for their bravery will those be who shall sacrifice their lives for their country. Death, indeed, is decreed to all men, both the cowardly and the brave; but an honourable and a glorious death comes to the brave alone."





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Dernière mise à jour : 9/01/2007