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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI


Texte grec :

[6,73] Ἡμᾶς, ὦ Οὐαλέριε, πολλὰ μὲν καὶ ἄλλα τὰ κωλύοντά ἐστιν ἀποθεμένους τὰ ὅπλα ἐφ´ ὑμῖν γενέσθαι, τρία δὲ τὰ μέγιστα καὶ τὰ φανερώτατα. πρῶτον μέν, ὅτι ἐγκαλοῦντες ἡμῖν ὡς ἡμαρτηκόσιν ἥκετε καὶ ἐν εὐεργεσίας οἴεσθε μέρει διδόναι τὴν κάθοδον· ἔπειθ´, ὅτι οὐδὲν ὑποδηλοῦτε παρακαλοῦντες ἐπὶ τὰς διαλλαγάς, ἐφ´ οἷς αὐτὰς δικαίοις καὶ φιλανθρώποις ποιησόμεθα· τὸ δὲ τελευταῖον, ὅτι βέβαιον ἡμῖν, ὧν ἂν ὑπόσχησθε, οὐδέν ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ πολλάκις ἐξαπατῶντες τε καὶ φενακίζοντες ἡμᾶς διατετελέκατε. ἐρῶ δ´ ὑπὲρ ἑκάστου χωρὶς ἀπὸ τοῦ δικαίου ἀρξάμενος· καὶ γὰρ ἰδίᾳ τε καὶ ἐν κοινῷ λέγοντας ἀπὸ τοῦ δικαίου χρὴ ἄρχεσθαι. ἡμεῖς τοίνυν εἰ μέν τι ἀδικοῦμεν ὑμᾶς, οὐδὲν δεόμεθα οὔτ´ ἀδείας οὔτ´ ἀμνηστίας· καίτοι γε οὐκ ἀξιοῦμεν οὐδὲ κοινωνεῖν ἔτι τῆς πόλεως, ἀλλ´ ἐπιμενοῦμεν, ὅποι ποτ´ ἂν ἡμᾶς ἄγῃ τὸ χρεών, τῇ τύχῃ καὶ δαίμοσιν ἐπιτρέψαντες ἡγεμόσιν. εἰ δ´ ἀδικούμενοι πρὸς ὑμῶν ταύτης ἠναγκάσμεθα τῆς τύχης πειραθῆναι, ἐν ᾗ ἔσμεν, τί οὐχ ὁμολογεῖτε κακοὶ περὶ ἡμᾶς αὐτοὶ γενόμενοι συγγνώμης δεῖσθαι καὶ ἀμνηστίας; νῦν δ´, ἣν αἰτεῖσθε, ταύτην διδόναι λέγετε, καὶ ἧς ἀφεῖσθαι ζητεῖτε ὀργῆς, ταύτης ὡς ἀφιέντες μεγαληγορεῖτε, συγχέοντες τὴν τῆς ἀληθείας φύσιν καὶ τὴν τῶν δικαίων ἀξίωσιν ἀναστρέφοντες. ὅτι δ´ οὐκ ἀδικεῖσθε, ἀλλ´ ἀδικεῖτε, καὶ πολλὰ καὶ μεγάλα εὐεργετηθέντες ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου, τὰ μὲν εἰς τὴν ἐλευθερίαν, τὰ δ´ εἰς τὴν ἡγεμονίαν, οὐ καλὰς ἀποδεδώκατε αὐτῷ τὰς ἀμοιβάς, μάθετε· ποιήσομαι δ´ ἀφ´ ὧν ἴστε καὶ αὐτοὶ πραγμάτων τοὺς λόγους, καὶ πρὸς θεῶν, ἐάν τι ψεῦδος εἴπω, μὴ ἀνάσχησθε, ἀλλ´ εὐθὺς ἐλέγχετε.

Traduction française :

[6,73] "As for us, Valerius, there are many other reasons that hinder us from laying down our arms and putting ourselves in your power, but these three are the most important and the most obvious: First, because you have come to accuse us as if we had offended, and when you give us leave to return you count it as a favor to us; next, because when you invite us to an accommodation you do not give any hint upon what terms of justice and humanity we are to enter into it; and lastly, because there is no certainty of your fulfilling your promises to us, since time and again you have consistently deceived and deluded us. I shall speak to each of these points separately, beginning with the matter of justice; for it is the duty of all who speak either in private or in public to begin with justice. Well then, if we are doing you any injustice, we do not ask for either impunity or an amnesty; though we do not choose even to share the same city with you any longer, but will live wherever Fate shall lead us, leaving it to Fortune and to the gods to direct our course. But if, suffering injustice at your hands, we have been compelled to experience this condition in which we now are, why do you not acknowledge that, having yourselves wronged us, you stand in need of pardon and an amnesty? But as it is, you profess to be giving the pardon for which you ought to be asking, (p73) and prate boastfully of acquitting us of the resentment of which you yourselves seek to be acquitted, thereby confusing the very essence of truth and reversing the very meaning of justice. That you are not the victims, but the doers of injustice, and that you have not made handsome returns for the many great services you have received from the people in respect both to your liberty and to your sovereignty, learn from me now. I shall begin my argument with the matters you yourselves are acquainted with, and I beg of you in the name of the gods, if I make any false statement, that you will not tolerate it, but will promptly refute me.

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Dernière mise à jour : 9/01/2007