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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI

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Texte grec :

[6,63] Ὧν μὲν δὴ χάριν τὸν ἐκ τῶν φυγάδων πόλεμον οὐκ ἀξιῶ δεδιέναι ταῦτ´ ἐστι· τὰ δ´ ἐκ τῶν ἀλλοεθνῶν φοβερὰ οὐ νῦν πρῶτον ἐξετασθήσεται μέχρι λόγου τοιαῦτα ὄντα, ἀλλὰ καὶ πρότερον, ὁσάκις ἡμῖν πεῖραν ἑαυτῶν ἔδωκαν, ἐλάττω τῆς δόξης διεφάνη. ὅσοι δ´ οὐχ ἱκανὴν οἴονται τὴν οἰκείαν δύναμιν τῆς πόλεως καὶ τῇδε μάλιστα ὀρρωδοῦσι τὸν πόλεμον, μαθέτωσαν οὐχ ἱκανῶς αὐτῆς ᾐσθημένοι. πρὸς μέν γε τοὺς ἀφεστηκότας τῶν πολιτῶν ἀντίπαλον χεῖρα ἕξομεν, εἰ βουλοίμεθα τῶν θεραπόντων ἐπιλεξάμενοι τοὺς ἀκμαιοτάτους ἐλευθερῶσαι. κρεῖττον γὰρ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν χαρίσασθαι τούτοις ἢ τὴν ἡγεμονίαν ὑπ´ ἐκείνων ἀφαιρεθῆναι. ἔχουσι δὲ τῶν πολεμικῶν ἐμπειρίαν ἱκανὴν πολλάκις ἡμῖν παραγενόμενοι κατὰ τὰς στρατείας. πρὸς δὲ τοὺς ἔξωθεν πολεμίους αὐτοί τε χωρῶμεν ἁπάσῃ προθυμίᾳ καὶ τοὺς πελάτας ἅπαντας ἐπαγώμεθα καὶ τοῦ δημοτικοῦ τὸ περιόν. ἵνα δὲ πρόθυμον ᾖ πρὸς τοὺς ἀγῶνας, ἄφεσιν αὐτῷ χαρισώμεθα τῶν χρεῶν, μὴ κοινήν, ἀλλὰ κατ´ ἄνδρα. εἰ γάρ τι δεῖ τοῖς καιροῖς εἴξαντας μετριάσαι, μὴ πρὸς τοὺς πολεμίους τῶν πολιτῶν τοῦτ´ ἔστω τὸ μέτριον, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τοὺς φίλους, οἷς οὐκ ἀναγκαζόμενοι τὰς χάριτας διδόναι δόξομεν, ἀλλὰ πειθόμενοι. ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἄλλης ἐπιδέῃ βοηθείας, ὡς ταύτης οὐκ οὔσης ἱκανῆς, τούς τ´ ἐκ τῶν φρουρίων μεταπεμπώμεθα, καὶ τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀποικίαις ἀνακαλῶμεν. τοῦτο δ´ ὅσον ἐστὶ πλῆθος ἐκ τῆς ἔγγιστα γενομένης τιμήσεως μαθεῖν ῥᾴδιον ἂν εἴη. τρισκαίδεκα μυριάδες εἰσὶ Ῥωμαίων τῶν ἐν ἥβῃ τετιμημένων, ὧν οὐκ ἂν εἴη μέρος ἕβδομον τὸ φυγαδικόν. οὐ λέγω δὲ τὰς Λατίνων τριάκοντα πόλεις, αἳ μετὰ πολλῆς εὐχῆς δέξαιντ´ ἂν τοὺς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀγῶνας διὰ τὸ συγγενές, ἐὰν ψηφίσησθε αὐταῖς ἰσοπολιτείαν μόνον, ἧς αἰεὶ διατελοῦσι δεόμεναι.

Traduction française :

[6,63] "These are the reasons why I do not think we should fear a war on the part of the fugitives. As to the dangers from foreign nations, this is not the first time those dangers will have been proved to be such in words only, but even before this, whenever they have given us the opportunity of putting them to the test, they have been found less terrible than we apprehended. And let those who believe our domestic forces to be inadequate and dread war chiefly for this reason learn that they are not sufficiently acquainted with them. So far indeed as the seceders among the citizens are concerned, we shall have an adequate force to cope with them if we see fit to choose out the most vigorous of our slaves and give them their freedom. For it is better to grant these their freedom than to be deprived of our supremacy by the others. The slaves are already possessed of sufficient military skill by having attended us in many campaigns. Against our foreign enemies let us not only march out ourselves with all possible alacrity, but let us take along all our clients and such plebeians as remain; and in order that they may be eager for the struggle, let us grant them an abolition of their debts, not to all collectively, but to each one individually. For if we must yield to the times and show some moderation, (p47) let not that moderation be extended toward such of the citizens as are our enemies, but towards such as are our friends, on whom we shall then seem to be bestowing favours, not under compulsion, but as the result of persuasion. And if still other assistance shall be needed, this being thought insufficient, let us send for the garrisons of the fortresses and recall the men from the colonies. How large the number of these is may be easily learned from the last census, when there were assessed 130,000 Romans of military age, of which the fugitives would not make a seventh part. I say nothing of the thirty cities of the Latin nation, which would be only too glad to fight our battles by reason of their kinship, if you would but grant them equal rights of citizenship, which they have constantly sought.





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