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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI


Texte grec :

[6,38] Ἀεὶ μέν, ὦ βουλή, ὁσάκις ὑπὲρ τούτων προὐτέθη λόγος, ἐπὶ τῆς αὐτῆς εἰμὶ γνώμης, μὴ ἐπιτρέπειν τῷ δήμῳ μηδὲν τῶν ἀξιουμένων, ὅ τι μὴ νόμιμον μηδὲ καλόν, μήτε τὸ φρόνημα τῆς πόλεως ἐλαττοῦν, καὶ οὐδὲ νῦν μεταγινώσκω τῶν ἐξ ἀρχῆς μοι φανέντων οὐδέν· ἢ πάντων ἂν εἴην ἀνθρώπων ἀφρονέστατος, εἰ πέρυσι μὲν ὕπατος ὢν ἀντιπράττοντός μοι τοῦ συνυπάτου καὶ τὸν δῆμον ἐπισείοντος ἀντέσχον καὶ διέμεινα ἐπὶ τῶν ἐγνωσμένων οὔτε φόβῳ ἀποτραπεὶς οὔτε δεήσει οὔτε χάρισιν εἴξας, νῦν δ´ ἰδιώτης ὢν ῥίψαιμι ἐμαυτὸν καὶ τὴν παρρησίαν καταπροδοίην· εἴτε μου τὸ ἐλεύθερον τῆς ψυχῆς ὑμῶν ἕκαστος βούλεται ἀποκαλεῖν εὐγενὲς εἴτε αὔθαδες, ὅσον ἂν ζῶ χρόνον οὐκ ἀποστήσομαι τοῦ ἤδη καλῶς δεδογμένου, καὶ οὐδέποτε εἰσάξω χαριζόμενος τοῖς κακοῖς χρεῶν ἀποκοπάς, ἀλλὰ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς εἰσάγοντας αὐτὰς ἁπάσῃ προθυμίᾳ χρώμενος ὁμόσε χωρήσω, λογιζόμενος, ὅτι πᾶσα κακία καὶ διαφθορὰ καὶ συλλήβδην ἀνατροπὴ πόλεως ἀπὸ χρεοκοπίας ἄρχεται. καὶ εἴτε τις ἀπὸ τοῦ φρονίμου εἴτε διὰ μανίας τινός, ἐπειδὴ οὐ τὸ ἴδιον ἀσφαλές, ἀλλὰ τὸ τῆς πόλεως ἀξιῶ σκοπεῖν, εἴτε ὁπωσδήποτε οἰήσεται τάδε λέγεσθαι, συγχωρῶ αὐτῷ νομίζειν, ὅπως βούλεται, μέχρι δὲ παντὸς ἐναντιώσομαι τοῖς μὴ τὰ πάτρια πολιτεύματα εἰσηγησομένοις. ἐπειδὴ δ´ οὐ τὰ χρέα ἀπαιτοῦσιν οἱ καιροί, μεγάλην δὲ βοήθειαν, ὃ μόνον ἔσται τῆς διχοστασίας φάρμακον ἐν τῷ παρόντι φράσω· δικτάτορα ἕλεσθε κατὰ τάχος, ὃς ἀνευθύνῳ χρώμενος ἐξουσίᾳ καὶ βουλὴν καὶ δῆμον ἀναγκάσει τὰ κράτιστα τῷ κοινῷ φρονεῖν· ἄλλη γὰρ οὐκ ἔσται τηλικούτου κακοῦ λύσις.

Traduction française :

[6,38] "Every time these matters have been up for debate, senators, I have always been of the same opinion, never to yield to the people any one of their demands that is not lawful and honourable, nor to lower the dignity of the commonwealth; nor do I even now change the opinion which I entertained from the beginning. For I should be the most foolish of all men, if last year, when I was consul and my colleague opposed me and stirred up the people against me, I resisted and adhered to my (p353) resolutions, undeterred by fear and yielding neither to entreaties nor to favour, only to demean myself now, when I am a private citizen, and to prove utterly false to the principle of free speech. You may cal this independence of mind on my part nobility or arrogance, as each of you prefers; but, as long as I live, I will never propose an abolition of debts as a favour to wicked men, but will go so far as to resist with all the earnestness of which I am capable those who do propose it, reasoning as I do that every evil and corruption and, in a word, the overthrow of the state, begins with the abolition of debts. And whether anyone shall think that what I say proceeds from prudence, or from a kind of madness (since I see fit to consider, not my own security, but that of the commonwealth), or from any other motive, I give him leave to think as he pleases; but to the very last I will oppose those who shall introduce measures that are not in accord with our ancestral traditions. And since the times require, not an abolition of debts, but relief on a large scale, I will state the only remedy for the sedition at the present time: choose speedily a dictator, who, subject to no accounting for the use he shall make of his authority, will force both the senate and the people to entertain such sentiments as are most advantageous to the commonwealth. For there will be of other deliverance from so great an evil."

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Dernière mise à jour : 9/01/2007