Be assured, my most excellent, and, as far as the age re-quires, most eloquent friends, that had you been born in the past, and the men we admire in our own day, had some god in fact suddenly changed your lives and your age, the highest fame and glory of eloquence would have been yours, and they too would not have lacked moderation and self-control. As it is, seeing that no one can at the same time enjoy great renown and great tranquillity, let everybody make the best of the blessings of his own age without disparaging other periods.
"Quid enim opus est longis in senatu sententiis, cum optimi cito consentiant? Quid multis apud populum contionibus, cum de re publica non imperiti et multi deliberent, sed sapientissimus et unus? Quid voluntariis accusationibus, cum tam raro et tam parce peccetur? Quid invidiosis et excedentibus modum defensionibus, cum clementia cognoscentis obviam periclitantibus eat? credite, optimi et in quantum opus est disertissimi viri, si aut vos prioribus saeculis aut illi, quos miramur, his nati essent, ac deus aliquis vitas ac [vestra] tempora repente mutasset, nec vobis summa illa laus et gloria in eloquentia neque illis modus et temperamentum defuisset: nunc, quoniam nemo eodem tempore adsequi potest magnam famam et magnam quietem, bono saeculi sui quisque citra obtrectationem alterius utatur."""
"The beginning of the emperor's letter seemed very striking. It opened thus: ""May all the gods and goddesses destroy me more miserably than I feel myself to be daily perishing, if I know at know at this moment what to write to you, Senators, how to write it, or what, in short, not to write."" So completely had his crimes and infamies recoiled, as a penalty, on himself."
Insigne visum est earum Caesaris litterarum initium; nam his verbis exorsus est: 'quid scribam vobis, patres conscripti, aut quo modo scribam aut quid omnino non scribam hoc tempore, di me deaeque peius perdant quam perire me cotidie sentio, si scio.' adeo facinora atque flagitia sua ipsi quoque in supplicium verterant.
"Receiving answers which were mostly judicious, though in part somewhat incautious, he read out a note written by Piso, nearly to the following effect:- ""Crushed by a conspiracy of my foes and the odium excited by a lying charge, since my truth and innocence find no place here, I call the immortal gods to witness that towards you Caesar, I have lived loyally, and with like dutiful respect towards your mother."
atque illo pleraque sapienter quaedam inconsultius respondente, recitat codicillos a Pisone in hunc ferme modum compositos: 'conspiratione inimicorum et invidia falsi criminis oppressus, quatenus veritati et innocentiae meae nusquam locus est, deos inmortalis testor vixisse me, Caesar, cum fide adversum te neque alia in matrem tuam pietate; vosque oro liberis meis consulatis, ex quibus Cn.
"Upon this the Tencteri, a tribe separated by the Rhine from the Colony, sent envoys with orders to make known their instructions to the Senate of the Agrippinenses. These orders the boldest spirit among the ambassadors thus expounded: ""For your return into the unity of the German nation and name we give thanks to the Gods whom we worship in common and to Mars, the chief of our divinities, and we congratulate you that at length you will live as free men among the free."
Igitur Tencteri, Rheno discreta gens, missis legatis mandata apud concilium Agrippinensium edi iubent, quae ferocissimus e legatis in hunc modum protulit: 'redisse vos in corpus nomenque Germaniae communibus deis et praecipuo deorum Marti grates agimus, vobisque gratulamur quod tandem liberi inter liberos eritis; nam ad hunc diem flumina ac terram et caelum quodam modo ipsum clauserant Romani ut conloquia congressusque nostros arcerent, vel, quod contumeliosius est viris ad arma natis, inermes ac prope nudi sub custode et pretio coiremus.
You witnessed, comrades, how by a remarkable storm even the Gods discountenanced that ill-starred adoption; and the feeling of the Senate, of the people of Rome, is the same.
vidistis, commilitones, notabili tempestate etiam deos infaustam adoptionem aversantis.
None enjoyed greater glory, or honours more august, first with the gods, whose answers they published, and at whose feasts they were present, as was commonly said, and then with the offspring of the gods and with sacred kings, among whom, so we have understood, was not a single pleader of causes, but an Orpheus, a Linus, and, if you care to dive into a remoter age, an Apollo himself.
Nec ullis aut gloria maior aut augustior honor, primum apud deos, quorum proferre responsa et interesse epulis ferebantur, deinde apud illos dis genitos sacrosque reges, inter quos neminem causidicum, sed Orphea ac Linum ac, si introspicere altius velis, ipsum Apollinem accepimus.
May God help you!
Deus te iuvet!
"Assuredly your strength and renown are at their height, and you have in addition the repute of obedience, which the greatest of mortals must not despise, and which the gods highly esteem."" As he spoke, he encircled Tiridates' brow with a diadem, and to Moneses, a noble, he entrusted a highly efficient body of cavalry, which was the king's customary escort, giving him also some auxiliaries from the Adiabeni, and orders that Tigranes was to be driven out of Armenia."
"vestra quidem vis et gloria [in] integro est, addita modestiae fama, quae neque summis mortalium spernenda est et a dis aestimatur."" simul diademate caput Tiridatis evinxit, promptam equitum manum, quae regem ex more sectatur, Monaesi nobili viro tradidit, adiectis Adiabenorum auxiliis, mandavitque Tigranen Armenia exturba[re], dum ipse positis adversus Hyrcanos discordiis vires intimas molemque belli ciet, provinciis Romanis minitans."
Tomorrow morning, I'll be with you, God willing.
Cras mane ero apud te, volente Deo.
"And while our men were hesitating [whether they should advance to the shore], chiefly on account of the depth of the sea, he who carried the eagle of the tenth legion, after supplicating the gods that the matter might turn out favorably to the legion, exclaimed, ""Leap, fellow soldiers, unless you wish to betray your eagle to the enemy."
Nam et navium figura et remorum motu et inusitato genere tormentorum permoti barbari constiterunt ac paulum modo pedem rettulerunt.
Just as, if you had been born in Greece, where it is an honour to practise even the arts of the arena, and if the gods had given you the vigour and strength of Nicostratus, I should not suffer those giant arms meant by nature for combat to waste themselves on the light javelin or the throwing of the quoit, so now I summon you from the lecture-room and the theatre to the law court with its pleadings and its real battles.
ut si in Graecia natus esses, ubi ludicras quoque artis exercere honestum est, ac tibi Nicostrati robur ac vires di dedissent, non paterer inmanis illos et ad pugnam natos lacertos levitate iaculi aut iactu disci vanescere, sic nunc te ab auditoriis et theatris in forum et ad causas et ad vera proelia voco, cum praesertim ne ad illud quidem confugere possis, quod plerisque patrocinatur, tamquam minus obnoxium sit offendere poetarum quam oratorum studium.
Those true blessings, indeed, which consist in virtue, he had fully attained; and on one who had reached the honours of a consulate and a triumph, what more had fortune to bestow? Immense wealth had no attractions for him, and wealth he had, even to splendour.
Quippe et vera bona, quae in virtutibus sita sunt, impleverat, et consulari ac triumphalibus ornamentis praedito quid aliud adstruere fortuna poterat? Opibus nimiis non gaudebat, speciosae [non] contigerant.
One Musonius Rufus, a man of equestrian rank, strongly attached to the pursuit of philosophy and to the tenets of the Stoics, had joined the envoys. He mingled with the troops, and, enlarging on the blessings of peace and the perils of war, began to admonish the armed crowd.
Miscuerat se legatis Musonius Rufus equestris ordinis, studium philosophiae et placita Stoicorum aemulatus; coeptabatque permixtus manipulis, bona pacis ac belli discrimina disserens, armatos monere.
Corn is the only produce required from the earth; hence even the year itself is not divided by them into as many seasons as with us. Winter, spring, and summer have both a meaning and a name; the name and blessings of autumn are alike unknown.
Unde annum quoque ipsum non in totidem digerunt species hiems et ver et aestas intellectum ac vocabula habent autumni perinde nomen ac bona ignorantur.
When in advanced old age, he was worn out by a sickly frame, and the end was near and new prospects opened, a few spoke in vain of the blessings of freedom, but most people dreaded and some longed for war.
postquam provecta iam senectus aegro et corpore fatigabatur, aderatque finis et spes novae, pauci bona libertatis in cassum disserere, plures bellum pavescere, alii cupere.
The centurion despatched by Mucianus, on landing in the port of Carthage, raised his voice, and invoked in succession all blessings on the head of Piso, as if he were Emperor, and bade the bystanders, who were astonished by this sudden and strange proceeding, take up the same cry.
nihil ad ea moto Pisone, centurio a Muciano missus, ut portum Carthaginis attigit, magna voce laeta Pisoni omnia tamquam principi continuare, obvios et subitae rei miraculo attonitos ut eadem adstreperent hortari.
And God said: Let there be light. And there was light.
Dixitque Deus: Fiat lux. Et facta est lux.
I record the fact with a special object. Whoever would study the calamities of that period in my pages or those of other authors, is to take it for granted that as often as the emperor directed banishments or executions, so often was there a thanksgiving to the gods, and what formerly commemorated some prosperous event, was then a token of public disaster.
dona ob haec templis decreta que[m] ad finem memorabimus? quicumque casus temporum illorum nobis vel aliis auctoribus noscent, praesumptum habeant, quotiens fugas et caedes iussit princeps, totiens grates deis actas, quaeque rerum secundarum olim, tum publicae cladis insignia fuisse.
In the sight of God, all men are equal.
In oculis Dei, omnes homines aequales sunt.
I killed God.
Subsequently no one has made the attempt, and it has been thought more pious and reverential to believe in the actions of the gods than to inquire.
Mox nemo tentavit; sanctiusque ac reverentius visum, de actis deorum credere, quam scire.
In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth.
In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram.
"Meanwhile, in the beginning of spring, Parthian envoys brought a message from king Vologeses, with a letter to the same effect. ""He did not,"" it was said, ""repeat his former and frequent claims to the holding of Armenia, since the gods who ruled the destinies of the most powerful nations, had handed over its possession to the Parthians, not without disgrace to Rome."
Inter quae veris principio legati Parthorum mandata regis Vologaesis litterasque in eandem formam attulere: se priora et totiens iactata super obtineneda Armenia nunc omittere, quoniam dii, quamvis potentium populorum arbitri, possessionem Parthis non sine ignominia Romana tradidissent.
They have no image of the god nor any temple; the tradition of antiquity recognises only an altar and its sacred association.
nec simulacrum deo aut templum--sic tradidere maiores--: ara tantum et reverentia.
Heedless of men, heedless of gods, they have attained that hardest of results, the not needing so much as a wish.
Sed beatius arbitrantur, quam ingemere agris, illaborare domibus, suas alienasque fortunas spe metuque versare.
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