Cicero, pro Balbo (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Balb.].
<<Cic. Balb. 43 Cic. Balb. 48 (Latin) >>Cic. Balb. 52

46 May I not therefore, mention, with your approbation, Caius Marius, the original author of that conduct and of that precedent which is found so much fault with by you? Do you require any more weighty example? any one of more consistent wisdom? any one more eminent for virtue and prudence, and conscientiousness and equity? Did he, then, confer the freedom of the city on Marcus Annius Appius, a most gallant man, and one endued with the most admirable virtue, when he knew that the treaty made with Camertum had been most solemnly ratified, and was in all respects a most equitable one? Is it possible, then, O judges, that Lucius Cornelius should be condemned, without condemning also the conduct of Caius Marius?


Let then, that great man be present for a while to your thoughts, as he cannot appear before you in reality, so that you may behold him with your minds whom you cannot behold with your eyes. Let him state to you that he has not been altogether unversed in treaties, nor wholly inexperienced in the nature of precedents, nor entirely ignorant of war; that he was the pupil and soldier of Publius Africanus; that he was trained in campaigns and in many warlike lieutenancies; that if he had read of as many wars as he has served in and conducted, and brought to a termination,—that if he had served under consuls as often as he himself was consul, he might have learnt and become thoroughly acquainted with all the laws of war; that he never doubted for a moment that no treaty could hinder him from doing anything which was for the advantage of the republic; that he carefully selected all the bravest men out of every city which was closely connected with and friendly to us; that none of the people of Iguvium or of Camertum were excepted by treaty, so that their citizens were incapable of receiving from the Roman people the rewards of their virtue.

ch. 21


Therefore, when, a few years after this present of the freedom of the city, a very important and strenuously-contested question arose concerning the rights of citizenship according to the previsions of the Licinian and Mucian law,

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was any prosecution instituted against any one of those men of the federate states who had had the freedom of the city conferred on him? For Titus Matrinius, of Spoletum, one of those men whom Caius Marius had presented with the freedom of the city, was indeed prosecuted, being a man of a Latin colony, which was among the first for vigour and high character. And when Lucius Antistius, a very eloquent man, prosecuted him, he never said that the people of Spoletum had not ratified the deed of Marius; for he saw that states were accustomed to ratify laws which concerned their own rights, not those which affected ours. But as colonies had not been established by the law of Appuleius, by which law Saturninus had carried, in favour of Marius, a proposition that he should have authority to make three Roman citizens in every colony, he said that this power which was so granted could have no validity, since the case for which it had been intended to provide did not exist.

49 There is no resemblance to this case in the present prosecution. But still so great was the authority of Caius Marius, that he did not employ true oratory of Lucius Crassus his own relation, a man of extraordinary eloquence, but himself in a few words defended his conduct with the weight and wisdom which belonged to him, and proved his case to everybody's satisfaction. For who could there be, O judges who would wish that the power of selecting men for distinction on account of their valour in war, in the line of battle, and in the army, should be taken from our generals; or that all hope of rewards for the energy shown in defending the republic should be taken from our allies, and from the federate states? But if the countenance of Caius Marius, and his voice,—if that quickness of eye so advantageous to a general,—if his recent triumphs, and the authority of his presence, had such influence, then let his authority, and his exploits, and his memory, and the undying name of that most illustrious man, prevail still. Let there be this difference between agreeable citizens and brave ones,—that the former, while living, may have all the enjoyment of their influence, but that the authority of the latter may flourish without decay even after they are dead themselves, (if indeed any defender of this empire can be properly said to die at all.)

ch. 22


What? Did not Cnaeus Pompeius, the father of

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this man, after he had performed mighty achievements in the Italian war, present Publius Caesius, a Roman knight and a virtuous man, who is still alive, a native of Ravenna, a city of a federate state, with the freedom of the city of Rome? What? did he not give the same gift also to two entire troops of the Camertines? What? Did not Publius Crassus, that most distinguished man, give the same gift to Alexas, the Heraclean, a man of that city with which there was a treaty, such as I may almost say there is no other instance of, made in the time of Pyrrhus, by Caius Fabricius, the consul? What? did not Sulla do the same to Aristo of Massilia? What? Since we are speaking of the people of Gades, did not that same man [Note] make nine men of the citizens of Gades, citizens of Rome at the same time? What? Did not that most scrupulously correct man, that most conscientious and modest man, Quintus Metellus Pius, give the freedom of the city to Quintus Fabius, of Saguntum? What? Did not this very man who is here in court, by whom all these cases, which I am now lightly running over, were all most carefully wrought up and set before you; did not Marcus Crassus give the freedom of the city to a man of Aletrium, which is a federate town,—Marcus Crassus, I say, a man not only eminent for wisdom and sobriety of conduct but also one who is usually even too sparing in admitting men as citizens of Rome?

Cicero, pro Balbo (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Balb.].
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