Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 8 of 35)
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aTov fiev, dX>C iv fjukv IBkottj yiyvofievov Kal
KaXov Kal <T€fivov Kal evKXeh Kal d(T<f>aXh iaTiv,
iv Bk Brj TaU fwvapxidi^ irp&TOV fiev ovk dvr-

* 6 supplied by Bk.

^ itrirpi^tiav . . . a^<r€iav Dind., lntrpl}pai€y . . . a^ffatev VL'.

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once he has entered upon the position. And do b.c. 29
not be deceived, either, by the greatness of its
authority or the abundance of its possessions, or by
its array of bodyguards, or by its throng of courtiers.
For men who have much power have many troubles ; .
those who have large possessions are obliged to
spend largely ; the multitude of bodyguards is '.
gathered merely because of the multitude of con- ,
spirators; and as for the flatterers, they would be.
more likely to destroy you than to save you. Con- "
sequently, in view of these considerations, no sensible
man would desire to become supreme ruler. But~it
the thought that men in such a station are able to
enrich others, to save their lives, and to confer many
other benefits upon them — yes, by heaven, and even
to insult them and to do harm to whomsoever they
please — ^leads anyone to think that tyranny is worth
striving for, he is utterly mistaken. I need not,
indeed, tell you that the life of wantonness and evil-
doing is disgraceful or that it is fraught with peril
and is hated of both gods and men ; for in any event
you are not inclined to such things, and you would
not be led by these considerations to choose to be
sole ruler. And, besides, I have chosen to speak
now, not of all the mischief one might work who
managed the task badly, but only of what even those
who make the very best use of the position are
obliged both to do and to suffer. But as to the
other consideration, — that thus one is in a position
to bestow favours in profusion, — ^this is indeed a
privilege worth striving for; yet however noble,
august, glorious, and safe it is when enjoyed by a
private citizen, in a king's position it does not, in the
first place, counterbalance the other considerations


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av Traai Tot9 Seofievoi^ Tti/09 iirapKeceie Tt9. oi
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wavre^ ft)9 elirelv elaiv avOptoiroc, k&p fJLtfSefiia

2 €v0if^ evepyeaia avrot^ o<^eiK'qTai' ird^ yap ri^
^vaei Kal avro^ eavr^ dpicKei, KayaOov ri
eiravpiaOai irapa rov Sovvac Svvafievov fiov-
Xerar & 8k ivSix^rai ainoU BiSoa-Oai (T$fid<; re
fcal dpxd^ Xeyo), xai eariv ore fcal )(pi]fjuna)
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evpeOeir), rovrov re ovrcD^ I%oi/to9 e^^o^ &v
airr^ irapa r&v htajMapravovroav &v XPV?^^^^
fidWov ff (f}t\ia irapa r&v rvyxcivovroiv inrdp-

3 ^€C€P. oi fiev ydp, (W9 /cal o^eCkofievov re Xafi-
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^ovaip drvxpvpre^; \virovprai Kar dfi<l)6repa,
rovro fi€p (09 oixeiov ripb<; arepia-xofiepoi (irdpre^
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rovro Be c»9 /cal avrol * eavr&p dBcKiap ripd

^ 5(^ rovro Koi ixeTya Bk. , J«* iKuva xal rovro YU

* avrh L', auTM V.

^ kwotfyiiVMffiv St., kiroipavovaiv VL'. * avroi L', kavro\ V.


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of a less agreeable nature, so that a man should be b.c. 29
induced for the sake of gaining this advantage to
accept those disadvantages also, especially when the
sovereign is bound to bestow upon others the benefit
to be derived from this advantage and to have for
himself alone the unpleasantness that results from
the disadvantages. In the second place, this advan-
tage is not without complications, as people think ;
for a ruler cannot possibly satisfy all who ask for
favours. Those, namely, who think they ought to
receive some gift from the sovereign are practically
all mankind, even though no favour is due to them
at the moment ; for every one naturally thinks well
of himself and wishes to enjoy some benefit at the
hands of him who is able to bestow it. But the
benefits which can be given them, — I mean titles
and offices and sometimes money, — will be found
very easy to count when compared with the vast
number of the applicants. This being so, greater
hostility will inevitably be felt toward the monarch
by those who fail to get what they want, than friend-
liness by those who obtain their desires. For the
latter take what they receive as due them and think
there is no particular reason for being grateful to
the giver, since they are getting no more than they
expected ; besides, they actually shrink from showing
gratitude for fear they may thereby give evidence of
their being unworthy of the kindness done them.
The others, when they are disappointed in their
hopes, are aggrieved for two reasons : in the first
place, they feel that thev are being robbed of what
belongs to them, for invariably men think they
already possess whatever they set their hearts upon ;
and, in the second place, they feel that, if they are


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(f)p6pr)fia Toh S' a/yapaKTrja-cp vir^ avrov tov a-vpei-
S6to9 a'<f>&p irpoayLypeaOai, &<; ap yi Tt9 tovt
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^ ry supplied by Pflugk.

2 Xalpoity R. Steph., yo^^P^^^ VL'.

8 ichp V, Kal V,


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not indignant at their failure to obtain whatever they b.c. 29
expect to get^ they are actually acknowledging some
shortcoming on their own part. The reason for all
this is, of course, that the ruler who bestows such
gifts in the right way obviously makes it his first
business to weigh well the merits of each person, and
thus he honours some and passes others by, with the
result that, in consequence of his decision, those who
are honoured have a further reason for elation, while
those who are passed by feel a new resentment, each
class being moved by their own consciousness of
their respective merits. If, however, a ruler tries to
avoid this result and decides to award these honours
capriciously, he will fail utterly. For the base, finding
themselves honoured contrary to their deserts, would
become worse, concluding that they were either
being actually commended as good or at any rate
were being courted as formidable ; and the upright,
seeing that they were securing no greater consider-
ation than the base but were being regarded as being
merely on an equality with them, would be more
vexed at being reduced to the level of the others
than pleased at being thought worthy of some honour
themselves, and consequently would abandon their
cultivation of the higher principles of conduct and
become zealous in the pursuit of the baser. And
thus the result even of the distribution of honours
would be this : those who bestowed them would reap
no benefit from them and those who received them
would become demoralized. Hence this advantage,
which some would find the most attractive in mon-
archies, proves in your case a most difficult problem
to deal with.

"Reflecting upon these considerations and the


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dvOpayTTcov Icrjy kuI aa<f>aXearaTO<;' av S* ava-
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2 ieivov fierd fcatcoBo^ia<: irdOoi^;, rcKfiijpiov Be,
MdpLo^ fikv Kal SvXXa? Ka\ M€T6Wo9> /cat IIo/x.-
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i<rrc Tr)v noKiv ravrrjv, roaovroi^ re ereai BeBtf-
fjLOKparrjfiivrjv Kal roaovrtov dvdpmrfov apxovaav,
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others which I mentioned a little while ago, be b.c. 29
prudent while you may and duly place in the hands
of the people the army, the provinces, the offices,
and the public funds. If you do it at once and
voluntarily, you will be the most famous of men
and the most secure ; but if you wait for some
compulsion to be brought to bear upon you, you
will very likely suffer some disaster and gain in-
famy besides. Consider the testimony of history :
Marius and Sulla and Metellus, and Pompey at first,
when they got control of affairs, not only refused to
assume sovereign power but also escaped disaster
thereby ; whereas Cinna and Strabo,^ the younger
Marius and Sertorius, and Pompey himself at a later
time, conceived a desire for sovereign power and
perished miserably. For it is a difficult matter to
induce this city, which has enjoyed a democratic
government for so many years and holds empire
over so many people, to consent to become a slave to
any one. You have heard how the people banished
Camillus just because he used white horses for his
triumph ; you have heard how they deposed Scipio
from power, first condemning him for some act of
arrogance ; and you remember how they proceeded
against your father just because they conceived a
suspicion that he desired to be sole ruler. Yet there
have never been any better men than these.

'^ Nevertheless, I do not advise you merely to
relinquish the sovereignty, but first to take all the
measures which the public interest demands and by
decrees and laws to settle definitively all important
business, just as Sulla did, you recall ; for even if
some of his ordinances were subsequently overthrown,

I Cf. xliv. 28, 1.


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dveTpdwrj, dWci rd y€ ifKeio) Kal fiei^ay iiafievei,

6 KoX fifj etirrj^ on xal ft)9 (TTCuridcovai rive^, iva
fit) Kal iyo) aiOi^ etiTa) on ttoWcS fiaXKov ovk
av dvd<T')(pvvTo fiovap'XpvfievoL, (w^ etye irdvff*
oaa ivBexcrai tv<ti, <Tvv€V€')(drivai Trpoa-Koiroifieda,
akoydrara av rd^ Sixoaraaia^ rd^ ix Tip;
trjfWKparia^ avfi^aivowa^ (fyo^rjOeirjfiev dv fiaX-
\ov rj tA? TvpavviSa^ t^9 i/c t^9 p^vapj(La^

7 iK<l>vofi€va^, irepl &v rrj^ Beivorrfro^ oifBe cttc-
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dWd Bei^aC <rot tov0* otl tolovtov iari, t§ <f>va'€t
&(n€ firjBk T0V9 XPV^^'^oif^ dvBpa^ ^ . . ."

14 " (. . . ovre irelaai ri paBico^ viro irappTjaia^ tou9
ovx 6fioiov<; Bvvavrat,) Kdv rai^ irpd^eaiv are fJLtj
ofioyvoDixovovvTOiv (T<f>&v Karopdovaiv. &ar€ el ri
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iiriBoirjf:, fierappvOfiiaov avrrjv Kal KaTaKoafirjaov
2 7r/oo9 TO (r<t)(f>pov€(TT€pov, TO ydp i^elvai riai

1 8^) R. Steph., 5€i VL'.

* L' indicates a lacuna at this point, V does not. In their
common archetype L one folio was lost, containing some
sixty lines. Zonaras' epitome at this point is as follows :
b 5e Motic^vos rovvavriov <rvv€$ov\€V€y, &irav fliriiy ff8ij r^r
fioyttpx^av M iro\b ^loiKrjaai ahrhy koI hvayKoiov ttvai hvolw
0dr€poVf fj fi€ivai M rStv avrHy ^ &To\4(r$at ravra icpoifievov^


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yet the majority of them and the more important b.c.
still remain. And do not say that even then some
men will indulge in factional quarrels^ and thus
require me, on my part, to say once more that the
Romans would be much more apt to refuse to sub-
mit to the rule of a monarch. For if we should
undertake to provide against all possible con-
tingencies, it would be utterly absurd for us to be
more afraid of the dissensions which are but
incidental to democracy than of the t3nrannies which
are the natural outgrowth of monarchy. Regarding
the terrible nature of such tjnrannies I have not so
much as attempted to say anything ; for it has not
been my wish idly to inveigh against a thing that so
readily admits of condemnation, but rather to show
you that monarchy is so constituted by nature that
not even the men of high character. . .** ^

"(. . . nor can they easily convince by frank
argument those who are not in a like situation) and
they succeed in their enterprises, because their
subjects are not in accord with one another. Hence,
if you feel any concern at all for your country, for
which you have fought so many wars and would so
gladly give even your life, reorganize it and regulate
it in the direction of greater moderation. For while

* The conclusion of Agrippa's speech is missing in our
MSS., as is also the earlier portion of that of Maecenas
together with the introduction to it. Zonaras' brief r^aunU
(down through chap. 17) is as follows: ''But Maecenas .
advised the contrary course, declaring that he (Caesar) had
already for a long time been directing the monarchy, and
that he must inevitably do one of two things — either remain
in the same position or abandon his present course and


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irdvff* ttTrXw? oaa^ /SovKovrat KaX iroielv koX
Xeyeiv, &v fiev iirl r&v eJf (fypovovvTODV i^erd^rjf;,
evBaifiovia^ airaaiv alriov yiyverai, &v Bk iirl
T&v avoTjrmv, av^opa^' Kol St€t rovro o fj^v T0t9
ToiovToi^ rrjv i^ovaiav StSoif^ 7rat,Sl St] rtvi xal
/lacvo/iiv^ ft^09 opiyei, 6 S' iKelvov^ rd re aWa
/cat aifToif^ tovtoim; koI fiff ^ovXofievov^ o-eife*.

3 Sioirep Kal ah d^i& firj tt/oo? tA9 einrpeireia^ r&v
ovofidrtov aTTo/SXiy^vTa diraTffdrjvat, a\\h ret
yiyv6fi€va i^ avr&v TrpoaKOTrrjaavTa Trjv t€ dpa-
avrrjra tou ojjllKov iravaai koX rrfv Scoixtjo'ip t&v
Koiv&v eavr^ re koX toI^ aWoi<; rot^ dpiaroi^
irpoadeivai, Xva ^ovKewnan ^ fikv oi (fypovifuoTaroi,
apX'^^i' Se oi (TTpaTrjyi/ecoTaroi, a-rparevtovrai S^
KCbi /jna-0o<f>op&a-iv oX t€ ia-'xyporaroi xal oi irevi-

4 araroi. ovtcj yhp rd re eTri^dWovrd a'<f>icriv
Ifcaaroi irpoOvfjico^; iroiovvTe^, xal tA? axfyeXia^
d\\i]\oi^ kroifua^ dvTiBMvre^;, ovre r&v eKarrm-
pAroDV, iv oh KaraBiovai rivmv, iirai^adriaovrah
KoX Tffv SrjfioKpariav rrjv dXrjffrj rrjv re ikevdepiav

6 rr)V d(r<f}a\r} Krrjaovrai' ixeivr) fiev yap fj rov
o^Kov ikevdepia rov re ^eXriarov Sovkeia rrtfcpo-
rdrt) yiyverat Ka\ koivov d^oiv oXeOpov ^epei,
aurrj Sk ro re aixfypov iravraxov rrporifi&o'a kuI to
taov diraai Kara rtfv d^iav drrovifiova'a irdvra^
ofiOLco^ evBaifjLovaf; rov^ ^/oa>yxei/ot;9 avrfj irotel.

* airXwt tiff a Pflugk, Zffa awkws VL'.
■ fiovXtvvfft R. Steph., fiov\(6ovfft VL'.


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the privilege of doing and saying precisely what one
pleases becomes, in the case of sensible persons, if you
examine the matter, a cause of the highest happiness
to them all, yet in the case of the foolish it becomes
a cause of disaster. For this reason he who offers
this privilege tp the foolish is virtually putting a sword
in the hands of a child or a madman ; but he who
offers it to the prudent is not only preserving all their
other privileges but is also saving these men them-
selves even in spite of themselves. Therefore I ask
you not to fix your gaze upon the specious terms
applied to these things and thus be deceived, but to
weigh carefully the results which come from the
things themselves and then put an end to the
insolence of the populace and place the management
of public affairs in the hands of yourself and the
other best citizens, to the end that the business of
deliberation may be performed by the most prudent
and that of ruling by those best fitted for command,
while the work of serving in the army for pay is left to
those who are strongest physically and most needy. In
this way each class of citizens will zealously discharge
the duties which devolve upon them and will readily
render to one another such services as are due, and
will thus be unaware of their inferiority when one
class is at a disadvantage as compared with another,
and all will gain the true democracy and the freedom
which docs not fail. For the boasted freedom of the
mob proves in experience to be the bitterest servitude
of the best element to the other and brings upon both
a common destruction ; whereas this freedom of which
I speak everywhere prefers for honour the men of
prudence, awarding at the same time equality to all
according to their deserts, and thus gives happiness
impartially to all who enjoy this liberty.

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1 5 " M^ ^dp Toi olr)0fj^ OTC Tvpavvfja-ai aoi, tov
T€ hrjfiov KoX TTjp ^ovKrjv SouXeocrafiivq), irapaivA.
rovTO /lev yap ovt av iyco irore elirelv ovr av av
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firjT dvrikeyovTO^ avToi<; firjr ^ ivavriovfiivov,

2 /cal TO Toif^ iro\efiov<; irpo^ rh vfiArepa ffovXi]-
fiara ScoiKel<rdat, irdvTtav avrixa r&v aXKcov to
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6 Ti &v ^ovXevo'afiivtp aoi fiera r&v ofiorifuov

3 dpearj, /cat oi iroXefiioc fcpv<f)a teal fcarh fcaipbv
TToXefjL&vrac, oi re ri iy^eipt^op^evoi air dperrjf;
dXXh firj xXijpq) xal aTTOvSapy^ia diroSeiKvvcovTaL,
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4 /caKol dvev a-va-rdaeco*; KoXd^covrat. ovTto yhp
&v fidXiara rd re irparTopsva 6pd&<; Sioi/crjOeirf,
fiTfre 69 to Koivov dva^epofxeva fii^re iv r^
(fyavep^ ^ovXevopsva firjre toI<; ^ irapaKeXevarol^
iirtTpeTTOfieva fJLrjTe ex (fyiXoTi/ua^ KcvBvvevofJbeva,
Kal T&v vTrap^ovTcov fipZv dyaO&v 178^0)9 diro-
Xavaaifiev, fi^re noXefiov^ hriKLvhivov^ firfre

1 M^T* Bk., fi-nU VU.

■ rots Xyl., ^y rots VL'.

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''For I would not have you think that I am advising b.c.
you to enslave the people and the senate and then
set up a tyranny. This is a thing I should never
dare suggest to you nor would you bring yourself to
do it. The other course, however, would be honour-
able and expedient both for you and for the city —
that you should yourself, in consultation with the
best men, enact all the appropriate laws, without
the possibility of any opposition or remonstrance
to these laws on the part of any one from the
masses ^ ; that you and your counsellors should con-
duct the wars according to your own wishes, all other
citizens rendering instant obedience to your com-
mands ; that the choice of the officials should rest
with you and your advisers ; and that you and they
should also determine the honours and the punish-
ments. The advantage of all this would be that what-
ever pleased you in consultation with your peers would
immediately become law ; that our wars against our
enemies would be waged with secrecy and at the
opportune time ; that those to whom any task was
entrusted would be appointed because of their merit
and not as the result of the lot or rivalry for office ;
that the good would be honoured without arousing
jealousy and the bad punished without causing re-
bellion. Thus whatever business was done would be
most likely to be managed in the right way, instead
of being referred to the popular assembly, or de-
liberated upon openly, or entrusted to partisan dele-
gates, or exposed to the danger of ambitious rivalry ;
and we should be happy in the enjoyment of the
blessings which are vouchsafed to us, instead of
being embroiled in hazardous wars abroad or in
* Probably a reference to the tribunes.


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Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 8 of 35)