Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 7 of 35)
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frdv iwl Tovrtp rb Kparovv ci9 ifk^qdet ylyverai),

2 rov Bi €K€Lvov Tt9 TpoTTOv Kavova Tov fiiov
iroirja-dfievof;, S ri iroT &v ekiriar} Bi airrov
irXeoveKTrjaa^ aKivBvva)<; KepBavelv, fieripx^Tai,
Kal Bict Tovff ol irXeiov^ <T<f>&v to t€ Kaff" iavrov^^
fiovov (TTrevBovai Kal Trdvra^ rov^ aXXov^ /u-
aovai, Ta9 t€ €V7rpayia<; air&v olKcia^ ^rj/iiia^
Kol T^9 a-vfJL^opa^ iBia K€pBr} rroiovfievoi.

3 " Toiovrayv Be Bt) rovrcov Svrcov ovx op& rC rror
&v etKOTQ)^ iirdpeie ae fwvapxv^cii' iTnOvfirjaai,
TTpo^ ycLp r& T0t9 Bf]/j,oi<; j^aXeTrov elvac ro rroXi-
revfia, ttoXv Bvax^pifrrepov avr^ (tol yivoiro av.

^ At this point a quaternion (containing the chapters
down to 20, 4) is missing from M. U, the copy of M, here
becomes of importance, since the scribe filled the lacuna in
M from L, which was then complete. See vol. i. p. xxv.


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opposite as belonging to all alike^ they not only wish b.c. 29
no harm to befall any one of the citizens^ but devoutly
hope that nothing but prosperity will fall to the lot
of each and all. And if one of them possesses any
excellence himself^ he readily makes it known^
practises it enthusiastically^ and exhibits it most
joyfully ; or if he sees it in another, he readily brings
it to the light, eagerly takes part in increasing it,
and bestows the most splendid honours upon it. On
the other hand, if any one shows himself base, every-
body hates him, and if any one meets with misfortune,
everybody pities him ; for each person regards the
loss and the disgrace that arise therefrom as shared
in by the whole state.

''This is the character of democracies. Under
tyrannies exactly the opposite conditions are found.
But why go into all the details at length.'^ The
chief thing is that no one is willing to be thought to
have any superior knowledge or possession, because
the dominant power generally becomes wholly hostile
to him on account of such superiority ; on the con-
trary, every one makes the tyrant's character his
own standard of life and pursues whatever objects he
may hope to gain through him by overreaching
others without personal risk. Consequently, the
majority of the people are devoted only to their own
interests and hate all their neighbours, regarding the
others' successes as their own losses and the others*
misfortunes as their own gains.

" Such being the state of the case, I do not see what
motive could reasonably induce you to desire to"
become sole ruler. For that system, besides being
difficult to apply to democracies, would be vastly
more difficult still for you yourself to put into effect.


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Ihia fjhk(OS r) Kal eKovre^ iiriBcSoaaL ri, ovt€ Tct^

1 T€ R. Steph., yt VL'.

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Or do you not see how the city and its affairs are b.c.
even now in a state of turmoil ? It is difficulty also^
to overthrow our populace^ which has lived for so
many years in freedom, and difficult, when so many
enemies beset us round about, to reduce again to
slavery the allies and subject nations, some of which
have had a democratic government from of old,
while others of them have been set free by us our-

" To begin first with the least important consider-
ation, it will be necessary that you procure a large
supply of money from all sides ; for it is impossible
that our present revenues should suffice for the
support of the troops, not to speak of the other
expenses. Now this need of Amds, to be sure,
exists in democracies also, since it is not possible for
any government to continue without expense. But
in democracies many citizens make large con-
tributions, preferably of their own free will, in
addition to what is required of them, making it a
matter of patriotic emulation and securing appro-
priate honours in return for their liberality; or, if
perchance compulsory levies are also made upon the
whole body of citizens, they submit to it both because
it is done with their own consent and because the
contributions they make are in their own interests.
In monarchical governments, on the other hand, the
citizens all think that the ruling power alone, to
which they credit boundless wealth, should bear the
iexpense ; for they are very ready to search out the
ruler's sources of income, but do not reckon his
expenses so careftilly; and so they make no con-
tributions from their private means gladly or of their
own fr^e will^ nor ^re the public levies they make


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* aKlffKiavrai R, Steph., qt,\iiTKOvrai VL'.


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voted of their own free choice. As for the voluntary b.c. 29
contributions^ no citizen would feel free to make one,
any more than he would readily admit that he was
rich, and it is not to the advantage of the ruler that
he should, for immediately he would acquire a re-
putation for patriotism among the masses, become
conceited, and incite a rebellion. On the other
hand, a general levy weighs heavily upon the masses,
the more so because they suffer the loss while the
others reap the gain. Now in democracies those
who contribute the money as a general rule also
serve in the army, so that in a way they get their
money back again ; but in monarchies one set of
people usually engages in agriculture, manufacturing,
commerce, and politics, — and these are the classes
from which the state's receipts are chiefly derived, —
and a different set is under arms and draws pay.

" This single circumstance, then, which is as I have
described it, will cause you trouble. But here is
another. It is by all means essential that whoever
from time to time commits a crime should pay some
penalty. For the majority of men are not brought
to reason by admonition or by example, but it is
absolutely necessary to punish them by disfranchise- '
ment, by exile, or by death ; and such punishments
are often administered in an empire as large as this
is and in a population as great as ours, especially
during a change of government. Now if you
appointed other men to judge these wrongdoers,
they would vie with each other in acquitting the
accused, and particularly all whom you might be
thought to hate ; for judges, you know, gain an
appearance of authority when they act in any way
contrary to the wish of the ruler. And if an


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* ots Av Xyl., odaav VL'.

• iyjry/cao-Tj L', iiyayKaffBri V.


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occasional criminal is in fact convicted, it will be
thought that he has been condemned deliberately,
in order to please you. But if, on the other hand,
you sit in judgment yourself, you will be obliged to
punish many also of your peers — an unfortunate
situation — and you will certainly be thought to be
calling some of them to account through resentment
rather than through a sense of justice. For no one
believes that those who have the power to use com-
pulsion are acting honestly when they give judgment,
but all men think they are led by a sense of shame to
spread out before the truth a mere semblance and
illusive picture of a constitutional government, and
under the legal name of a court of justice are but
satisfying their own desires. This, then, is what
happens in monarchies. In democracies, on the
other hand, when any one is accused of committing
a private wrong, he is made defendant in a private
suit before a jury of his equals ; or, if he is accused of
a public crime, in his case also a jury of his peers,
men whom the lot shall designate, sits in judgment.
It is therefore easier for men to bear the decisions
which proceed from such juries, since they think that
any penalty dealt out to them has been inflicted
neither by a judge's power nor as a favour which a
judge has been forced to grant.

" Then again, apart from those who are guilty of
wrongdoing, there are many men who pride them-
selves, some on their birth, others on their wealth,
and still others on something else, who, though in
general not bad men, are yet by nature opposed to
the principle of monarchy. If a ruler allows these
men to become strong, he cannot live in safety,
and if, on the other hand, he undertakes to impose a


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^ rh supplied by Bs. ^ ^^©i/to LeuncL, &pxoi''''^s VL'.
' iiyevv^s V, iyty^s L'.


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check on them^ he cannot do so justly. What, then, b.c. 20
will you do with them? How will you deal with
them ? If you root out their families, diminish their
wealth, and humble their pride, you will not have
the good-will of your subjects. How could you
have it, if no one is permitted to be bom to noble
rank, or to grow rich honestly, or to become strong or
brave or intelligent } Yet if you allow these various
classes to grow strong, you will not be able to deal
with them easily. True, if you alone were equal to
carrying on the business of the state and the business
of warfare successfully and in a manner to meet the
demands of each situation, and needed no assistant for
any of these matters, it would be a different matter.
As the case stands, however, since you would be
governing this vast world, it would be quite essential
for you to have many helpers ; and of course they
ought all to be both brave and high-spirited. Now
if you hand over the legions and the offices to men
of such parts, there will be danger that both you and
your government will be overthrown. For it is not
possible either for a man of any real worth to be
naturally lacking in spirit, or on the other hand for a
man sprung from a servile sphere of life to acquire a
proud spirit ; nor, again, if he proves himself a man
of spirit, can he fail to desire liberty and to hate all
mastery. If, on the other hand, you entrust nothing
to these men, but put affairs in charge of common
men of indifferent origin, you will very soon incur
the resentment of the first class, who will think
themselves distrusted, and you will very soon fail
in the greatest enterprises. For what good thing
could an ignorant or low-bom person accomplish?
Who of our enemies would not hold him in con-


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* ^Kflvus L', 4K€7yos V.

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tempt ? Who of our allies would obey him ? Who
even of the soldiers themselves would not disdain to
be ruled by such a man? And yet I need not
explain to you all tlie evils that naturally result
from such a condition, for you know them thor-
oughly ; but this one thing I shall say, as I am con-
strained to do — that if a minister of this kind failed
in every duty, he would injure you far more than the
enemy, while if he met with any success in the
conduct of his office, his lack of education would
cause him to lose his head and he as well would
prove formidable to you.

" Such a situation, however, does not arise in demo-
cracies, but the more men there are who are wealthy
and brave, so much the more do they vie with each
other and upbuild the state, and the state, on its part,
rejoices in them, unless one of them conceives a
desire for tyrannical power ; for the citizens severely
punish such an one. , That this is so, now, and that
democracies are far superior to monarchies, is shown ^
by the experience of Greece. For as long as the
people had the monarchical form of government, they
accomplished nothing of importance ; but when they
began to live under the democratic system they
became most renowned. It is shown also by the
experience of the other races of mankind. For those
which still live under tyrannies are always in slavery
and are always plotting against their rulers, whereas
those which have governors chosen for a year or a
longer period continue to be both free and in-
dependent. But why should we resort to examples
furnished by other peoples when we have examples
here at home } We Romans ourselves at first had a
different form of government, then later, after we


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VTjcreta^; rivt S' hv UKpi^o^^ riaOeiri^, irore 8' ovk

2 av lax^pco^ XviTr)6eirjf;; iraaa yap dvdyKr] top
TrjXiKavTfjv dpxvv e^ovra koX (f>povTi^€iv ttoWcL
/cal SeSiivat TroWd, /cal rSyv /lev '^Slarayv ikd-
X^o-Ta drrroXaveiv, rd Sk Svax€pi<TTaTa del xal
iravTaxov fcal dKovecv xal opdv xal Troielv koI
Trdax^tv. 606V, olfiai, Kal ^KXXrjve^ /cal ^dp-
^apoi Tive<; ovSe SuSopAva^ a<f>i<TL ^atrCXeia^ iSe-

3 "TavT oiv TTpolSofievo^^ irpo^ovXevaat irplv
iv avroU yeviaOar alaxpov ydp, fidXXov Sk xal
dSvvarov iari irapaKin^avrd riva aira^ 69 aird

1 ^ T€ L', li T6 ^ V.

' irpo'iB6iJ.€vos Bk., TTpotiZSfifVos VL'.


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had gone through many bitter experiences, conceived rc. ^
a desire for liberty ; and when we had secured it, we
advanced to our present proud eminence, strong in
no advantages save those that come from democracy.
It was on the strength of these that the senate
deliberated, the people ratified, the soldiers in the
ranks were filled with zeal and their commanders
with ambition. None of these things could happen
under a tjrranny. At any rate the ancient Romans
came to feel so great a hatred of tyranny for these
reasons that they even laid that form of government
under a curse.

" And apart from these considerations, if one is to
speak about matters which touch your personal in-
terests, how could you endure to administer affairs
so manifold, not only by day but also by night?
How could you hold out if your health should fail ?
What human blessings could you enjoy, and how
could you be happy if deprived of them ? In what
could you take genuine pleasure, and when would
you be free from the keenest pain ? For it is
quite inevitable that a. man who holds an office of
this kind should have many anxieties^ be subject to
many fears, and have very little enjoyment of what
is most pleasant, but should always and everywhere
both see and hear, do and suffer, only that which is
disagreeable. That, I imagine, is the reason why, in
certain instances, among both Greeks and barbarians,
men have refused to accept the office of king when it
was offered to them.

" Therefore I would have you foresee all these
disadvantages and take counsel before you become
involved in them. For it is disgraceful, or rather
it is quite impossible, for a man to withdraw when


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ava^vpai. ixTjhe ae i^airaTTjarj firjTe to /niyedo^
T^9 i^ovaia^ fjurfii* 7} irepiovaLa r&v KTr^fidrcov,
fJLT} TO <Tll<f>0^ T&v <r(oiuuiTO(f>vXdKa)v, fiif o^ o)(Xo^

4 T&v 0€pa7r€v6vTCt)V, 01 T€ JCtp TTOXlf Bvvdfl€VOL

TToWib TTparffiaTa l;^oi;crt, koX oi avxv^ K€/CTrf-
fjiivoi av^y^ dva\i<TKevv dvayxd^ovTai, Td t€
TrXrjdrj t&v Bopv^opcov Bia Tct irXtjOrj t&v im-
^ovXevovTOiv d0poi^€T{u, seal oi /co\aK€vovT€<: im-
Tpiyjreiav av Ttva fidWov fj awaeiav*^ &a0*
?v€Ka fiev TOVTcov ovS^ &v €U etf (f>pov&v ainap-
1 1 %^o"at iiriOvfjuTja-eiev' el S' oti koI rrrXovTv^ecv real
ad^eiv Tivci^ aWa re rrroXXd xai dyaOh Spav oi
ToiovToi BvvavTac, koX vrj Aia xal v/3pL^€iv a^lai
Kol Kaic&^ iroielv ov av ideXijawatv e^ea-Tiv, d^ia^f
T49 Bed TavTa a-wovBrj^ ttjv Tvpavviha elvai vofii-

2 fei, Tov iravTo^ dfutpTavei. to /jlcv yap daeK-
yaiveiv /cal /caxov tl Troiecv ovO^ w alaxp^ ov0* &<;
<T<f>aXepd /cal fi€fiL<Tr)fieva koX irpo^ de&v Kal irpo^
dvOpmrfov ia-Tv, ieofiai aoi 'iJyeiv ovtc yap aXXto^
ToiovTO^ el, ovT &v Bed TavTa fjLOvapxv^at. ?Xoio.
Trporfprjfial t€ iyoD vvv ov irdvO* &aa av Tt9 Ka/c&^
TO TTpdyfia fieTax^ipt^ofjievo^ i^epydaaiTo eiirelv,
aW' oaa Kal oi irdvv dpeaTa avT^ xpdnfievoi Kal

3 TTOietv Kal irdaxciv dvayKd^ovTac. to S' erepov,
TO Tiva d(f>06va}^ evepycTetv ex^iv, d^ioairovBa-

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 7 of 35)