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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI

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Texte grec :

[6,71] Παρελθὼν δὲ Μάνιος Οὐαλέριος, ὅσπερ ἦν αὐτῶν πρεσβύτατός τε καὶ δημοτικώτατος, ἐπιμαρτυρήσαντος αὐτῷ τὴν προθυμίαν τοῦ πλήθους εὐμενεστάταις φωναῖς καὶ προσηγορίαις, ἐπειδὴ σιωπῆς ἔτυχε τοιούτοις ἐχρήσατο λόγοις· Οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς ἔτι τὸ κωλῦόν ἐστιν, ὦ δημόται, κατιέναι πάλιν ἐπὶ τὰ ὑμέτερα καὶ διηλλάχθαι πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας. ἐψήφισται γὰρ ἡ βουλὴ καλὴν καὶ συμφέρουσαν ὑμῖν κάθοδον, καὶ γνώμην πεποίηται μηδενὸς τῶν γεγονότων μνησικακεῖν· ἡμᾶς τε οὓς ἐγίγνωσκε φιλοδημοτάτους ὄντας καὶ πρὸς ὑμῶν τὰ δίκαια τιμωμένους πρεσβευτὰς ἀπέσταλκεν αὐτοκράτορας ἀποδείξασα τῶν διαλύσεων, ἵνα μὴ δόξαις μηδ´ εἰκασμοῖς χρώμενοι περὶ τῆς ὑμετέρας γνώμης, ἀλλὰ παρ´ αὐτῶν ὑμῶν ἀκούσαντες, ἐφ´ οἷς ἀξιοῦτε καταλύσασθαι τὴν διχοστασίαν, ἂν ᾖ μέτριόν τι τῶν αἰτημάτων καὶ μήτε τῷ ἀδυνάτῳ μήτε ὑπ´ ἄλλης αἰσχύνης ἀνηκέστου κωλύηται, συγχωρῶμεν ὑμῖν μηκέτι τὴν τοῦ συνεδρίου γνώμην ἐκδεχόμενοι, μηδ´ εἰς χρόνους μακροὺς καὶ φθόνους ἀντιπάλων ἀναβάλλοντες τὰ πράγματα. ταῦτα δὴ τῆς βουλῆς ἐψηφισμένης δέχεσθε ἄσμενοι τὰς χάριτας αὐτῶν, ὦ δημόται, μετὰ πάσης προθυμίας καὶ σπουδῆς, ἐν μεγάλῳ τιθέμενοι τὴν τοσαύτην εὐτυχίαν καὶ πολλὴν τοῖς θεοῖς χάριν εἰδότες αὐτῆς, εἰ πόλις ἡ Ῥωμαίων ἡ τοσούτων ἄρχουσα ἀνθρώπων, καὶ συνέδριον, ὃ τὴν ἡγεμονίαν ἔχει πάντων τῶν ἐν ταύτῃ καλῶν, οὐκ ὂν αὐτοῖς πάτριον οὐδενὶ τῶν ἀντιπάλων εἴκειν, ὑμῖν μόνοις ὑποκατακλίνονται τῆς ἀξιώσεως ἑκόντες, καὶ οὔτε ἀκριβολογεῖσθαι περὶ τῶν καθηκόντων ἑκατέροις ἠξίωσαν ὡς ὑποδεεστέροις κρείττονες, ἀλλ´ αὐτοὶ πρότεροι περὶ διαλύσεως ἐπρεσβεύσαντο, οὔτε τὰς αὐθάδεις ὑμῶν ἀποκρίσεις, ἃς ἐποιήσασθε πρὸς τοὺς προτέρους πρέσβεις, πρὸς ὀργὴν ἐδέξαντο, ἀλλ´ ὑπέμειναν ὑμῶν τὸ σοβαρὸν τοῦτο καὶ μειρακιῶδες τῆς αὐθαδείας {βάρος}, ὥσπερ ἂν παίδων ἀφρόνων χρηστοὶ πατέρες· καὶ πάλιν ἑτέραν πρεσβείαν ἀποστέλλειν ᾤοντο δεῖν καὶ τῶν δικαίων μειονεκτεῖν καὶ πάντα ὑπομένειν, ὦ πολῖται, τὰ μέτρια. ἐπὶ δὴ τοσαύτης βεβηκότες εὐτυχίας μὴ μέλλετε λέγειν, ὦ δημόται, τίνων χρήζετε μηδ´ ἐντρυφᾶτε ἡμῖν, καταλυσάμενοι δὲ τὴν στάσιν ἄπιτε χαίροντες εἰς τὴν γειναμένην τε καὶ θρεψαμένην ὑμᾶς πόλιν, ᾗ τροφεῖά τε καὶ χάριτας οὐ χρηστὰς ἀπεδίδοτε, καταλιπόντες αὐτὴν τὸ γοῦν ἐφ´ ὑμῖν εἶναι ἔρημον καὶ μηλόβοτον. εἰ δὲ παρήσετε τὸν καιρὸν τοῦτον, εὔξεσθε πολλάκις ὅμοιον εὑρεῖν ἕτερον.

Traduction française :

[6,71] Then Manius Valerius, who was the oldest of the envoys and most in sympathy with the common people, came forward, while the crowd testified their affection for him by the friendliest expressions and appellations; and when he had secured silence, he spoke as follows: (p65) "Nothing now hinders you, plebeians, from returning to your homes and being reconciled to the senators. For the senate has voted you an honourable and advantageous return, and has decreed an amnesty for all that has happened. They have also sent us as envoys, men whom they knew to be the greatest friends of the people and deservedly honoured by you, giving us full powers with respect to the accommodation, so that we may not judge of your sentiments by appearances or conjectures, but may learn from you yourselves upon what terms you think fit to put an end to the sedition, and, if there is any moderation in your demands and they are not impossible or precluded by some irreparable dishonour attached to them, we may grant them to you without waiting for the opinion of the senate or exposing the negotiations to long delays and to the jealousy of your adversaries. Since, then, the senate has passed this decree, do you receive their favours, plebeians, joyfully, with the greatest alacrity and enthusiasm, setting a high value upon so great good fortune and returning profound thanks therefor to the gods, in that the Roman commonwealth, which rules over so many people, and the senate, which has the command of all the blessings therein, though it is an established custom with them to yield to none of their adversaries, nevertheless willingly yield some of their dignity in favour of you alone. For they neither thought fit to enter into such a minute discussion of the rights of each side as might be expected from superiors when treating with their inferiors, but instead took the initiative themselves p67in sending envoys to propose an accommodation, nor did they receive with anger the haughty answers you gave to their former envoys, but endured this insolent and puerile exhibition of your arrogance as good parents would endure that of their foolish children; and they thought they ought to send another embassy and accept less than their full rights, and to submit to anything, citizens, that is reasonable. Now that you have met with so great good fortune, do not delay, plebeians, to tell us what you desire and do not mock at us. But when you have put an end to the sedition, return with joy to your country which gave you your birth and rearing, blessings for which you made her a sorry recompense and return when you left her, as far as in you lay, to be desolate and a pasture for flocks. But if you let this opportunity slip, you will wish time and again for another."





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Dernière mise à jour : 9/01/2007