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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI


Texte grec :

[6,18] Ὀλίγαις δ´ ὕστερον ἡμέραις πρέσβεις ἀπὸ τοῦ κοινοῦ τῶν Λατίνων ἧκον ὡς αὐτοὺς ἐξ ἁπασῶν τῶν πόλεων ἐπιλεχθέντες οἱ τὴν ἐναντίαν ἔχοντες περὶ τοῦ πολέμου γνώμην, ἱκετηρίας καὶ στέμματα προεχόμενοι. οὗτοι παραχθέντες ἐπὶ τὴν βουλήν, τὴν μὲν ἀρχὴν τοῦ πολέμου τοὺς δυναστεύοντας ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν ἀπέφαινον αἰτίους· τὸ δὲ πλῆθος ἓν μόνον τοῦτο ἁμαρτεῖν ἔλεγον, ὅτι πονηροῖς ἐπείσθη δημαγωγοῖς ἴδια κέρδη παρεσκευασμένοις. ταύτης δὲ τῆς ἀπάτης, ἐν ᾗ τὸ πλεῖον ἀνάγκης μέρος ἦν, οὐ μεμπτὰς τετικέναι δίκας ἑκάστην πόλιν ἔλεγον τῆς κρατίστης νεότητος ἀναιρεθείσης, ὥστε μὴ ῥᾴδιον εἶναι πένθους καθαρὰν εὑρεῖν οἰκίαν, ἠξίουν τ´ αὐτοὺς παραλαβεῖν σφᾶς ἥκοντας οὔτε περὶ τῆς ἀρχῆς ἔτι διαφερομένους οὔτε περὶ τῶν ἴσων φιλονεικοῦντας συμμάχους τε καὶ ὑπηκόους ἅπαντα τὸν λοιπὸν χρόνον ἐσομένους, καὶ πᾶν ὅσον ὁ δαίμων ἀφείλετο τοῦ Λατίνων ἀξιώματος, τοῦτο τῇ Ῥωμαίων προσθήσοντας εὐποτμίᾳ. τελευτῶντες δὲ τοῦ λόγου συγγένειαν ἐπεκαλοῦντο καὶ συμμαχιῶν ἀπροφασίστων ποτὲ γενομένων ἀνεμίμνησκον καὶ συμφορὰς ἀνέκλαιον τὰς καταληψομένας τοὺς μηδὲν ἡμαρτηκότας, οἳ μακρῷ πλείους ἦσαν τῶν ἡμαρτηκότων, ὀδυρόμενοι παρ´ ἕκαστα καὶ τῶν γονάτων ἁπτόμενοι πάσης τῆς γερουσίας καὶ τὰς ἱκετηρίας παρὰ τοῖς ποσὶ τοῦ Ποστομίου τιθέντες· ὥστε παθεῖν τι πρὸς τὰ δάκρυα καὶ τὰς δεήσεις αὐτῶν τὸ συνέδριον ἅπαν.

Traduction française :

[6,18] (p293) A few days later there came to them, as ambassadors from the Latin league, chosen out of all their cities. those who had been opposed to the war, holding out the olive branches and the fillets of suppliants. These men, upon being introduced into the senate, declared that the powerful men in every city had been responsible for beginning the war, and said that the people had been guilty of this one fault only, that they had listened to corrupt demagogues who had schemed for private gain. And for this delusion, in which necessity had had the greatest share, they said every city had already paid a penalty not to be despised, in the loss of its young men, so that it was not easy to find a single household free from mourning. They asked the Romans to receive them now that they willingly submitted and neither disputed any longer about the supremacy nor strove for equality, but were ready to be for all future time subjects as well as allies and to add the good fortune of the Romans all the prestige which Fortune had taken from the Latins. At the end of their speech they made an appeal to kinship, reminded them of their unhesitating services as allies in the past, and bewailed the misfortunes that would fall on the innocent, who were far more numerous than the guilty, accompanying everything they said with lamentations, embracing the knees of all the senators, and laying the olive branches at the feet of Postumius, so that the whole senate was more or less moved by their tears and entreaties.

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Dernière mise à jour : 9/01/2007