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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI


Texte grec :

[6,53] Τῷ μέν τ´ ἐπιχωρίῳ καὶ τέκνων καὶ γυναικῶν καὶ γονέων καὶ πολλῶν ἄλλων σωμάτων οἰκείων ὅμηρά ἐστιν ἐνθάδε, καὶ αὐτοῦ νὴ Δία τοῦ θρέψαντος αὐτοὺς ἐδάφους ὁ πόθος, ἀναγκαῖος ὢν ἅπασι καὶ οὐκ ἐξαιρετός· ὁ δ´ ἐπίκλητός γε οὑτοσὶ καὶ ἐπίσκηνος ὄχλος, εἰ γένοιτο ἡμῖν σύνοικος, οὐδενὸς αὐτῷ τούτων ἐνθάδε ὄντος, ὑπὲρ τίνος ἂν ἀξιώσειε κινδυνεύειν ἀγαθοῦ, εἰ μή τις αὐτῷ γῆς τε ὑπόσχοιτο μέρη δώσειν καὶ πόλεως μοῖραν ὅσην δή τινα τοὺς νῦν κυρίους αὐτῶν ἀφελόμενος, ὧν οὐκ ἀξιοῦμεν τοῖς πολλάκις ἀγωνισαμένοις ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν πολίταις μεταδιδόναι; καὶ ἴσως ἂν οὐδὲ τούτοις ἀρκεσθείη δοθεῖσι μόνοις, ἀλλὰ καὶ τιμῶν καὶ ἀρχῶν καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἀγαθῶν ἐξ ἴσου τοῖς πατρικίοις ἀξιώσειε μεταλαμβάνειν. οὐκοῦν εἰ μὲν οὐκ ἐπιτρέψομεν ἕκαστα τῶν αἰτουμένων, ἐχθροῖς τοῖς μὴ τυγχάνουσι χρησόμεθα; εἰ δὲ συγχωρήσαιμεν, ἡ πατρὶς ἡμῖν οἰχήσεται καὶ ἡ πολιτεία πρὸς ἡμῶν αὐτῶν καταλυομένη. καὶ οὐ προστίθημι ἐνταῦθα, ὅτι πολεμεῖν ἐπιτηδείων σωμάτων ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ παρόντι δεῖ, οὐ γεωργῶν οὐδὲ θητῶν οὐδὲ ἐμπόρων οὐδὲ τῶν περὶ τὰς βαναύσους τέχνας ἀσχολουμένων, οὓς ἅμα δεήσει μανθάνειν τὰ πολεμικὰ καὶ πεῖραν αὐτῶν διδόναι· χαλεπὴ δὲ πεῖρα τῶν μὴ ἐν ἔθει· ἀνάγκη δὲ τοιούτους εἶναι τοὺς σύγκλυδας καὶ ἐκ παντὸς ἔθνους μετανισταμένους. στρατιωτικὴν γὰρ οὔτε ὁρῶ συμμαχίαν ἡμῖν οὐδεμίαν συνεστῶσαν οὔτ´, εἰ φανείη τις ἐκ τοῦ ἀδοκήτου, παραινέσαιμ´ ἂν ὑμῖν παραδέξασθαι αὐτὴν τοῖς τείχεσι προχείρως, πολλὰς ἄλλας ἐπιστάμενος πόλεις ταῖς εἰσαχθείσαις ἐπὶ φυλακῇ στρατιαῖς δεδουλωμένας.

Traduction française :

[6,53] "The natives have here their wives, children, parents, and many others that are dear to them, to serve as pledges; yes, and there is their fondness for the soil that reared them, a passion that is implanted in all men and not to be eradicated; but as for this multitude which we propose to invite here, this people without roof or home, if they should take up their abode with us having none of these pledges here, in defence of what blessing would they care to face dangers, unless one were to promise to give them portions land and some part or other of the city, after first dispossessing the present owners — things we refuse to grant to our own citizens who have often fought in their defence? And possibly they might not be content with even these grants alone, but would also insist upon an equal share of honours, of magistracies, and of all the (p17) other advantages with the patricians. If, therefore, we do not grant them every one of their demands, shall we not have them as our enemies when they fail to obtain what they ask? And if we grant their demands, our country and our constitution will be lost, destroyed by our own hands. I do not add here that what we need at the present time is men trained to war, men of disciplined bodies; not husbandmen, labourers, merchants, or followers of menial trades, who will be obliged to learn military discipline and to give proof of their skill at one and the same time (and skill in any unwonted activity is difficult), such as a promiscuous collection of men resorting hither from every nation is bound to be. As for a military alliance, I neither see any formed to assist us, nor, if any allies unexpectedly appeared, should I advise you to admit them inconsiderately within your walls, since I know that many a city has been enslaved by troops introduced to garrison it.

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Dernière mise à jour : 9/01/2007