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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI

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Texte grec :

[6,52] Ἀλλ´ ἴσως ἔγωγε τετύφωμαι ταῦτα λέγων καὶ τὰ μὴ δεινὰ ἀξιῶ δεδιέναι· τῇ πόλει δ´ οὐδὲν ἕτερον ἤδη που κινδυνεύεται ἢ μεταβολή, πρᾶγμα οὐ χαλεπόν, κατὰ πολλήν τ´ ἂν ἡμῖν εὐπέτειαν ἐκ παντὸς ἔθνους καὶ τόπου θῆτά τε καὶ πελάτην ὄχλον εἰσδέξασθαι γένοιτο. τουτὶ γάρ ἐστιν, ὃ πολλοὶ θρυλοῦσι τῶν ἐναντιουμένων τῷ δημοτικῷ, καὶ μὰ Δί´ οὐχ οἱ φαυλότατοι. εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἤδη τινὲς ἥκουσιν εὐηθείας, ὥστε μὴ γνώμας εἰσηγεῖσθαι σωτηρίους, ἀλλ´ εὐχὰς λέγειν ἀδυνάτους, οὓς ἡδέως ἂν ἐροίμην, ποία μὲν ἡμῖν χρόνου δοθήσεται περιουσία περὶ ταῦτα τὰ πράγματα γινομένοις οὕτως ἐγγὺς ὄντων τῇ πόλει τῶν ἐχθρῶν; ποία δὲ συγγνώμη τῷ χρονισμῷ καὶ τῇ μελλήσει τῶν ἐλευσομένων συμμάχων, ἐν οὐ χρονίζουσιν οὐδὲ μέλλουσι δεινοῖς; τίς δ´ ὁ παρέξων τὸ ἀσφαλὲς ἀνὴρ ἢ θεὸς καὶ κατὰ πολλὴν ἡσυχίαν συνάξων ἐκ παντὸς τόπου καὶ παραπέμψων δεῦρο τὴν ἐπικουρίαν; ἔτι δὲ δή, οἱ τὰς ἑαυτῶν πατρίδας ἐκλείψοντες καὶ πρὸς ἡμᾶς μεταναστησόμενοι τίνες ἔσονται; πότερον οἱ οἰκήσεις τε καὶ ἐφέστια καὶ βίους καὶ τὸ τιμᾶσθαι παρὰ τοῖς πολίταις διὰ πατέρων ἐπιφάνειαν ἢ δόξαν οἰκείας ἀρετῆς ἔχοντες; καὶ τίς ἂν ὑπομείνειε τὰ οἰκεῖα παραλιπὼν ἀγαθὰ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων γλίσχρως μεταλαβεῖν κακῶν; οὐ γὰρ εἰρήνης καὶ τρυφῆς μεταληψόμενοι δεῦρο ἥξουσιν, ἀλλὰ κινδύνων καὶ πολέμου, ἐξ ὧν ἄδηλον, εἰ κατορθωθήσεται τὸ τέλος. ἢ τὸ δημοτικὸν καὶ ἀνέστιον ἐπαξόμεθα πλῆθος, οἷον καὶ τὸ ἐνθένδε ἀπελαθὲν ἦν, δηλονότι καὶ διὰ χρέα καὶ καταδίκας καὶ τὰς ὁμοιοτρόπους ταύταις συμφορὰς ἀγαπητῶς ὅποι ἂν τύχῃ μεθιδρυσόμενον; ὃ κἂν τἆλλα χρηστὸν ᾖ καὶ μέτριον, ἵνα καὶ τοῦτ´ αὐτοῖς χαρισώμεθα, διὰ τοῦτό γε τοι τὸ μήτε οἰκεῖον εἶναι μήτε ὁμοδίαιτον, μήτε ἐθισμῶν καὶ νόμων καὶ παιδείας ἔσεσθαι τῆς παρ´ ἡμῖν ἔμπειρον, μακρῷ δή που καὶ τῷ παντὶ κάκιον ἂν εἴη τοῦ παρ´ ἡμῖν.

Traduction française :

[6,52] "But perhaps I myself am infatuated when I speak thus, and am asking you to fear things that are not formidable. The commonwealth is very likely threatened with no other danger as yet than a change of inhabitants, a matter of no serious consequence; and it would be very easy for us to receive into the body politic a multitude of labourers and clients from every nation and place. For this is the plan which many of the opponents of the plebeians keep prating of, and these by no means the most unimportant of them; to such a pitch of folly, indeed, have some already come, that instead of expressing salutary opinions they utter wishes impossible of realization. But I should like to ask these men: What superabundance of time will be afforded us to carry out these plans when the enemy is so near the city? What allowance will be made for the tarrying and delay of our auxiliaries who are to come, though we are in the midst of perils that do not tarry or delay? What man or what god will grant us security and will without molestation get together reinforcements from every quarter and conduct them hither? Besides, who are the people who will leave their own countries and remove to us? Are they such as have habitations, families, fortunes, and the respect of their fellow-citizens because of the distinction of their ancestors or a reputation for their own merit? And yet who would consent to leave behind his own (p15) blessings in order to share ignominiously the misfortunes of others? For they will come hither to share, not in peace and luxury, but in dangers and war, the successful issue of which cannot be foreseen. Or shall we bring in a multitude of homeless plebeians, like those driven from hence, who because of debts, judgments, and other like misfortunes will gladly remove to any place that may offer? But these, even though otherwise of a good and modest disposition — to concede them this much — yet just because of their being neither native born nor of like habits with us, and because they will not be acquainted with our customs, laws, and training, would no doubt be far, nay infinitely, worse than our own plebeians.





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