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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI

ἀξιοῦσιν



Texte grec :

[6,19] Ὡς δὲ μετέστησαν ἐκ τοῦ βουλευτηρίου καὶ λόγος ἀπεδόθη τοῖς εἰωθόσιν ἀποφαίνεσθαι γνώμας, Τῖτος μὲν Λάρκιος ὁ πρῶτος ἀποδειχθεὶς δικτάτωρ ἐν τῷ παρελθόντι ἐνιαυτῷ ταμιεύεσθαι τὴν τύχην αὐτοῖς συνεβούλευε μέγιστον εἶναι λέγων ἐγκώμιον ὥσπερ ἑνὸς ἀνδρὸς οὕτω καὶ πόλεως ὅλης, εἰ μὴ διαφθαρήσεται ταῖς εὐπραγίαις, ἀλλ´ εὐμενῶς καὶ μετρίως φέροι τἀγαθά. πάσας μὲν γὰρ τὰς εὐτυχίας φθονεῖσθαι, μάλιστα δ´ ὅσαις πρόσεστιν εἰς τοὺς ταπεινωθέντας καὶ ὑπὸ χεῖρα γενομένους ὕβρις καὶ βαρύτης· τῇ τύχῃ δ´ οὐκ ἐῶν τι πιστεύειν πολλάκις αὐτῆς πεῖραν εἰληφότας ἐπ´ οἰκείοις κακοῖς τε καὶ ἀγαθοῖς, ὡς ἀβέβαιός ἐστι καὶ ἀγχίστροφος· οὐδ´ ἀνάγκην προσάγειν τοῖς διαφόροις τὴν περὶ τῶν ἐσχάτων κινδύνων, δι´ ἣν καὶ παρὰ γνώμην τολμηταὶ γίνονταί τινες καὶ ὑπὲρ δύναμιν μαχηταί· δέος δὲ σφίσιν εἶναι λέγων, μὴ κοινὸν μῖσος ἐπισπάσωνται παρὰ πάντων ὅσων ἀξιοῦσιν ἄρχειν, ἐὰν πικρὰς καὶ ἀπαραιτήτους ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτόντων ἀναπράττωνται δίκας, ὡς ἐκβεβηκότες ἐκ τῶν συνήθων ἐπιτηδευμάτων, ἀφ´ ὧν εἰς ἐπιφάνειαν προῆλθον ἐπιλαθόμενοι, καὶ πεποιηκότες τυραννίδα τὴν ἀρχήν, ἀλλ´ οὐχ ἡγεμονίαν ὡς πρότερον ἦν καὶ προστασίαν· τά τε ἁμαρτήματα μέτρια καὶ οὐ νεμεσητὰ εἶναι λέγων, εἴ τινες ἐλευθερίας περιεχόμεναι πόλεις καὶ ἄρχειν ποτὲ μαθοῦσαι τῆς παλαιᾶς ἀξιώσεως οὐ μεθίενται. εἰ δ´ ἀνιάτως οἱ τῶν κρατίστων ὀρεχθέντες, ἐὰν διαμάρτωσι τῆς ἐλπίδος, ζημιώσονται, οὐδὲν ἔσεσθαι τὸ κωλῦον ἅπαντας ἀνθρώπους ὑπ´ ἀλλήλων ἀπολωλέναι· πᾶσι γὰρ εἶναι τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας πόθον ἔμφυτον. πολλῷ τε κρείττονα καὶ βεβαιοτέραν ἀποφαίνων ἀρχήν, ἥτις εὐεργεσίαις, ἀλλὰ μὴ τιμωρίαις κρατεῖν βούλεται τῶν ὑπηκόων· τῇ μὲν γὰρ εὔνοιαν ἀκολουθεῖν, τῇ δὲ φόβον, ἀνάγκην δ´ εἶναι φύσεως πάντα μάλιστα μισεῖσθαι τὰ φοβερά· τελευτῶν δὲ τοῦ λόγου παραδείγμασιν αὐτοὺς ἠξίου χρῆσθαι τοῖς κρατίστοις τῶν προγόνων ἔργοις, ἐφ´ οἷς ἐπαίνων ἐτύγχανον ἐκεῖνοι, ἐπιλεγόμενος ὅσας ἁλούσας κατὰ κράτος πόλεις οὐ κατασκάπτοντες οὐδὲ ἡβηδὸν ἀναιροῦντες οὐδ´ ἐξανδραποδιζόμενοι, ἀλλ´ ἀποικίας τῆς Ῥώμης ποιοῦντες, καὶ τοῖς βουλομένοις τῶν κρατηθέντων παρὰ σφίσι κατοικεῖν πολιτείας μεταδιδόντες, μεγάλην ἐκ μικρᾶς ἐποιοῦντο τὴν πόλιν. κεφάλαιον δ´ αὐτοῦ τῆς γνώμης ἦν ἀνανεώσεσθαι τὰς σπονδὰς πρὸς τὸ κοινὸν τῶν Λατίνων, ἃς ἦσαν πεποιημένοι πρότερον, καὶ μηδενὸς τῶν ἁμαρτημάτων μηδεμιᾷ πόλει μνησικακεῖν.

Traduction française :

[6,19] (p295) When the ambassadors had left the senate and permission to speak was given to the members who were wont to deliver their opinions first, Titus Larcius, who had been appointed the first dictator the year before, advised them to use their good fortune with moderation, saying that the greatest praise that could be given a whole state as well as to an individual was not to be corrupted by prosperity, but to bear good fortune with decorum and moderation; for all prosperity is envied, particularly that which is attended with arrogance and rigour toward those who had been humbled and subdued. And he advised them not to put any reliance on Fortune, since they had learned from their own experience in both adversity and prosperity how inconstant and quick to change she is. Nor ought they to reduce their adversaries to the necessity of running the supreme hazard, since such necessity renders some men daring beyond all expectation and warlike beyond their strength. He said they had reason to be afraid of drawing upon themselves the common hatred of all those they proposed to rule, if they should exact harsh and relentless penalties from such as had erred; for they would seem to have abandoned their traditional principles, forgetting to what they owed their present splendour, and to have made their dominion a tyranny rather than a leadership and protectorship, as it had been aforetime. he said that the error is a moderate and venial one when states that cling to liberty and have once learned to rule (p297) are unwilling to give up their ancient prestige; and if men who aim at the noblest ends are to be punished beyond possibility of recovery when they fail of their hope, there will be nothing to prevent the whole race of mankind from being destroyed by one another, since all men have an innate craving for liberty. He declared that a government is far better and more firmly established which seeks to rule its subjects by its benefits rather than by punishments; for the former course leads to goodwill and the latter to terror, and it is a fixed law of Nature that everything that causes terror should be particularly detested. And finally he asked them to take as examples the best actions of their ancestors for which they head won praise, recounting the many instances in which, after capturing cities by storm, they had not razed them nor put all the male population to the sword or enslaved them, but by making them Roman colonies and by giving citizenship to such of the conquered as desired to live at Rome, they had made their city great from a small beginning. The sum and substance of his opinion was this: to renew the treaty they had previously made with the Latin league and to retain no resentment against any of the cities for the errors they had been guilty of.





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