The Jugurthine War

I. Mankind unreasonably complain of their nature, that, being weak and short-lived, it is governed by chance rather than intellectual power;[1] for, on the contrary, you will find, upon reflection, that there is nothing more noble or excellent, and that to nature is wanting rather human industry than ability or time. The ruler and director of the life of man is the mind, which, when it pursues glory in the path of true merit, is sufficiently powerful, efficient, and worthy of honor,[2] and needs no assistance from fortune, who can neither bestow integrity, industry, or other good qualities, nor can take them away. But if the mind, ensnared by corrupt passions, abandons itself[3] to indolence and sensuality, when it has indulged for a season in pernicious gratifications, and when bodily strength, time, and mental vigor, have been wasted in sloth, the infirmity of nature is accused, and those who are themselves in fault impute their delinquency to circumstances.[4] If man, however, had as much regard for worthy objects, as he has spirit in the pursuit of what is useless,[5] unprofitable, and even perilous, he would not be governed by circumstances more than he would govern them, and would attain to a point of greatness, at which, instead of being mortal,[6] he would be immortalized by glory. II. As man is composed of mind and body, so, of all our concerns and pursuits, some partake the nature of the body, and some that of the mind. Thus beauty of person, eminent wealth, corporeal strength, and all other things of this kind, speedily pass away; but the illustrious achievements of the mind are, like the mind itself, immortal. Of the advantages of person and fortune, as there is a beginning, there is also an end; they all rise and fall,[7] increase and decay. But the mind, incorruptible and eternal, the ruler of the human race, actuates and has power over all things,[8] yet is itself free from control. The depravity of those, therefore, is the more surprising, who, devoted to corporeal gratifications, spend their lives in luxury and indolence, but suffer the mind, than which nothing is better or greater in man, to languish in neglect and inactivity; especially when there are so many and various mental employments by which the highest renown may be attained. III. Of these occupations, however, civil and military offices,[9] and all administration of public affairs, seem to me at the present time, by no means to be desired; for neither is honor conferred on merit, nor are those, who have gained power by unlawful means, the more secure or respected for it. To rule our country or subjects[10] by force, though we may have the ability, and may correct what is wrong, is yet an ungrateful undertaking; especially as all changes in the state lead to[11] bloodshed, exile, and other evils of discord; while to struggle in ineffectual attempts, and to gain nothing, by wearisome exertions, but public hatred, is the extreme of madness; unless when a base and pernicious spirit, perchance, may prompt a man to sacrifice his honor and liberty to the power of a party. IV. Among other employments which are pursued by the intellect, the recording of past events is of pre-eminent utility; but of its merits I may, I think, be silent, since many have spoken of them, and since, if I were to praise my own occupation, I might be considered as presumptuously[12] praising myself. I believe, too, that there will be some, who, because I have resolved to live unconnected with political affairs, will apply to my arduous and useful labors the name of idleness; especially those who think it an important pursuit to court the people, and gain popularity by entertainments. But if such persons will consider at what periods I obtained office, what sort of men[13] were then unable to obtain it, and what description of persons have subsequently entered the senate,[14] they will think, assuredly, that I have altered my sentiments rather from prudence than from indolence, and that more good will arise to the state from my retirement, than from the busy efforts of others. I have often heard that Quintus Maximus,[15] Publius Scipio,[16] and many other illustrious men of our country, were accustomed to observe, that, when they looked on the images of their ancestors, they felt their minds irresistibly excited to the pursuit of honor.[17] Not, certainly, that the wax,[18] or the shape, had any such influence; but, as they called to mind their forefathers' achievements, such a flame was kindled in the breasts of those eminent persons, as could not be extinguished till their own merit had equaled the fame and glory of their ancestors. But, in the present state of manners, who is there, on the contrary, that does not rather emulate his forefathers in riches and extravagance, than in virtue and labor? Even men of humble birth,[19] who formerly used to surpass the nobility in merit, pursue power and honor rather by intrigue and dishonesty, than by honorable qualifications; as if the praetorship, consulate, and all other offices of the kind, were noble and dignified in themselves, and not to be estimated according to the worth of those who fill them. But, in expressing my concern and regret at the manners of the state, I have proceeded with too great freedom, and at too great length. I now return to my subject. V. I am about to relate the war which the Roman people carried on with Jugurtha, King of the Numidians; first, because it was great, sanguinary, and of varied fortune; and secondly, because then, for the first time, opposition was offered to the power of the nobility; a contest which threw every thing, religious and civil, into confusion,[20] and was carried to such a height of madness, that nothing but war, and the devastation of Italy, could put an end to civil dissensions.[21] But before I fairly commence my narrative, I will take a review of a few preceding particulars, in order that the whole subject may be more clearly and distinctly understood.

Men, he reflected, are naturally greedy for power and impatient to satisfy their desires; his own age and that of his children might make it easy to seize a prize worth having – and such opportunities tempt even the unambitious to swerve from the path of rectitude. Pg 40

He was in fact both a tough fighter and a wise counselor – qualities extremely hard to combine: for generally speaking, a man who looks ahead is timid, while a bold man tends to be rash. Pg 41

Furthermore, you have done a most difficult thing: by your brilliant success you have silenced the voice of envy. Pg. 43

Neither armies nor hoards of treasure can protect a throne, but only friends – and friends one cannot make by force of arms or buy with money: they must be won by devoted service and loyalty. Pg 43

For concord turns weakness into strength, whereas by discord the greatest resources are dissipated. Pg. 44

Whenever conflict arises, the more powerful disputant, even if he be the victim of injustice, is regarded as the aggressor just because he is more powerful. Pg. 44

This repartee sank deeper into Jugurtha’s mind than anyone realized. It made him both angry and afraid, and from that moment he began to scheme and plot. Pg. 44

When they reached Rome, and in compliance with his wishes sent valuable gifts to the king’s former hosts and to others whose influence in the Senate was powerful at that time, such a change of sentiment took place among the noblemen that their bitter resentment against Jugurtha was converted into favor and good will. Pg. 47

[Adherbal as an object lesson in the mutability of human fortunes] Pg. 51

Only a few were above being bought. Pg. 53

Jurgurtha was energetic and warlike, while his intended victim was quiet and peace-loving, of a meek disposition that seemed to invite attack, and too timid to inspire fear. Pg. 57

He determined to put up with anything rather than resort to war, after the failure of his first attempt. This forbearance, however, did nothing to restrain the ambition of Jugurtha, who already imagined himself as the master of the whole of Adherbal’s kingdom. Pg. 57

I will not say more about Jugurtha. The sorry plight to which I have been brought is proof that it would be useless: I have found by experience that the complaints of the unfortunate are not taken seriously. Pg. 60

But the group of senators that were always on the king’s side, by making extraordinary efforts, prevented the passing of a decree to this effect, so that the public good, as so often happens, was sacrificed to private interests. Pg. 61

Jugurtha’s cat-paws kept interrupting the debate and spinning it out by making appeals to friends and wrangling with opponents, seeking by every means to minimize the enormity of his deed. And had not Gaius Memmius, an energetic man who always opposed the power of the nobility and was at the time tribune elect, made the people understand that the object of this small group of intriguers was to enable the guilty king to go scot-free, the discussions would have undoubtedly dragged on until all public resentment had evaporated; such was the power of the king’s influence and money. Pg. 63

For although the consul had many good qualities of mind and body, they were all rendered useless by his avarice. He had great powers of endurance and a keen and far-seeing intellect; no novice in the art of war, he showed admirable courage in facing perils and the attacks of personal enemies. Pg. 64

Then, however, Jugurtha sent agents who tempted him by offers of money and warned him that he had a difficult war on hand. Demoralized as he was by covetousness, he quickly succumbed, and took Scaurus as his accomplice to help him in his designs. Scaurus had vigorously opposed Jugurtha at first, when most of the other members of his party had been corrupted; but an enormous bribe had now seduced him from the path of virtue. Pg. 64

Thereupon Jugurtha, in pursuance of his plan, went to the Roman camp. In a short statement before the counsel of war he complained of the unfair construction put upon his actions and asked to be allowed to surrender; but all the details he arranged privately with Bestia and Scaurus. Pg. 65

For in their outrageous insolence they will not be content with impunity for past offences, you must wrest from them the power of offending in future. Otherwise, you will live in everlasting anxiety: for you will find that you must either accept slavery or fight to preserve your freedom. What hope can there be of mutual trust or union between you and them? They want to rule, you want to be free; they, to do you wrong, you, to prevent them. Moreover, they treat our allies as enemies and our enemies as allies. Where there is such divergence of purposes, can peace or friendship exist? Pg. 69

This is not a matter of defrauding the public treasury or extorting money from provincials – offences to which, serious though they are, we have become so accustomed that we count them as nothing. Pg. 69

But do not, by pardoning wrongdoers, go the way to ruin innocent men. In politics it is much better to leave a service unrecompensed than to let an injury go unpunished. For a good man merely becomes less active in well-doing when no notice is taken of him; a bad man becomes worse than he was before. And the prevention of wrongdoing is the important thing: for then people will not often stand in need of protection. Pg. 69

[Note the degradation of the Roman morals due to greed]

Albinus was eager to conduct a war, and therefore wanted to keep everything in a state of turmoil and not allow public interest to subside. Pg. 72

But when he found what a state the troops were in – demoralized not only by their route but by the licence and indulgence resulting from relaxation of discipline. Pg. 76

The nobles had played the tyrant often enough in the past; but now the proletariat was on top and showed itself as arrogant as they had been. Pg. 77

XLI. The prevalence of parties among the people, and of factions in the senate, and of all evil practices attendant on them, had its origin at Rome, a few years before, during a period of tranquillity, and amid the abundance of all that mankind regarded as desirable. For, before the destruction of Carthage, the senate and people managed the affairs of the republic with mutual moderation and forbearance; there were no contests among the citizens for honor or ascendency; but the dread of an enemy kept the state in order. When that fear, however, was removed from their minds, licentiousness and pride, evils which prosperity loves to foster, immediately began to prevail; and thus peace, which they had so eagerly desired in adversity, proved, when they had obtained it, more grievous and fatal than adversity itself. The patricians carried their authority, and the people their liberty, to excess; every man took, snatched, and seized[142] what he could. There was a complete division into two factions, and the republic was torn in pieces between them. Yet the nobility still maintained an ascendency by conspiring together; for the strength of the people, being disunited and dispersed among a multitude, was less able to exert itself. Things were accordingly directed, both at home and in the field, by the will of a small number of men, at whose disposal were the treasury, the provinces, offices, honors, and triumphs; while the people were oppressed with military service and with poverty, and the generals divided the spoils of war with a few of their friends. The parents and children of the soldiers,[143] meantime, if they chanced to dwell near a powerful neighbor, were driven from their homes. Thus avarice, leagued with power, disturbed, violated, and wasted every thing, without moderation or restraint; disregarding alike reason and religion, and rushing headlong, as it were, to its own destruction. For whenever any arose among the nobility[144], who preferred true glory to unjust power, the state was immediately in a tumult, and civil discord spread with as much disturbance as attends a convulsion of the earth. Pg. 77

The guilty nobles took fright and opposed their proceedings by every means at their disposal, using now the Italian allies and ‘Latin’ communities, now the Equestrian order, whom they had seduced from the people’s cause by holding out to them the hope of being allowed to share their own privileges. Pg. 78

But good men should be prepared to submit even to injustice rather than do wrong in order to defeat it. As it was, the nobles took advantage of their victory to indulge their desire for revenge: they killed or banished numbers of people – conduct which did little to increase their power, but rather caused them to live the rest of their lives in fear. This is what generally ruins great states – when each party will stick at nothing to overcome their opponents, and having done so, takes vengeance on them without mercy. Pg. 79

In handling this difficult situation Metellus seems to have shown his greatness and prudence no less than in the actual conduct of the war, steering a judicious course between popularity seeking and undue severity. He started, it is said, by putting a stop to practices which encouraged idleness. Pg. 82

The men hailed one another with gladness, exchanging accounts of their experiences and boasting of their valiant deeds. Such is the way of the world: after victory, the veriest coward is allowed to brag; defeat brings discredit even on heroes. Pg. 90

He remembered that success always invites envy, and the higher his fame stood the more cautious he became. Pg. 92

Pitch mixed with sulfer and resin and ignited. Pg. 94

Indomitable on the battlefield, he was frugal in his private life, proof against the temptations of passions and riches, and covetous only of glory. Pg. 99

Directly he reached military age, he had gone on active service and set himself to learn the art of warfare; for he was not interested in Greek rhetoric or the elegant accomplishments of a man about town. It was a sound training for a young man: protected from demoralizing influences, his character had quickly matured. Pg. 99

At a later stage of his career his hankering after popularity proved his downfall. Pg. 99

Now Metellus, though richly endowed with many of the qualities that a good citizen should wish to possess, such as courage and the love of honor, had the usual failing of the aristocrat – a haughty and disdainful spirit. Pg. 100

Desire and anger are very bad counselors. Pg. 100

These complaints impressed his hearers all the more because the long continuance of the war had ruined them, and for impatient men everything moves too slowly. Pg. 101

As for the proletariat, they were as fickle as most proletariats are – especially in Numidia, always ready for a rebellion or a fight, they loved change and had no liking for peace and quiet. Pg. 102

The mob followed their example, some because the noblemen had told them to do so, others just because they enjoyed that kind of thing; no matter what they had no idea of what had been done or what was afoot: some fresh excuse for a riot was all they wanted. Pg. 103

It was party spirit, rather than their real merits or defects, that influenced people’s minds. Pg. 107

Furthermore, the supply brought by the Numidians proved to be larger than he expected, because, like most people who have lately submitted to a conqueror, they had exerted themselves to do more than was required of them. Pg. 109

His proposal, in spite of the advantage it offered for the conduct of the war just commenced, had been rejected, thanks to the intrigues of a few men who, blinded by avarice, expected to be paid for everything they did, honorable or dishonorable. Pg. 113

The crafty Numidian’s one concern was to involve Bocchus in hostilities as quickly as possible; for if he was allowed to procrastinate he might change his mind and give up the idea of war. Pg. 114

In spite of your confidence in your strength you should not throw away a certainty for an uncertainty. It is always easy to begin fighting, but the man who starts may find it exceedingly hard to stop; for while anyone – even a coward – can open hostilities, only the victor can decide when they shall cease. Pg. 115

I know, fellow citizens, how election to a post of authority seems to change most men’s characters. As candidates, they are full of energy, humbly entreat your support, and behave with moderation. Once elected they become arrogant and slothful. Pg. 117

Restraint in the use of authority is not to be expected from men who have merely assumed a mask of virtue in order to procure advancement. Pg. 117

LXXXV. "I am aware, my fellow-citizens, that most men do not appear as candidates before you for an office, and conduct themselves in it when they have obtained it, under the same character; that they are at first industrious, humble, and modest, but afterward lead a life of indolence and arrogance. But to me it appears that the contrary should be the case; for as the whole state is of greater consequence than the single office of consulate or praetorship, so its interests ought to be managed[227] with greater solicitude than these magistracies are sought. Nor am I insensible how great a weight of business I am, through your kindness, called upon to sustain. To make preparations for war, and yet to be sparing of the treasury; to press those into the service whom I am unwilling to offend; to direct every thing at home and abroad; and to discharge these duties when surrounded by the envious, the hostile,[228] and the factious, is more difficult, my fellow-citizens, than is generally imagined. In addition to this, if others fail in their undertakings, their ancient rank, the heroic actions of their ancestors, the power of their relatives and connections, their numerous dependents, are all at hand to support them; but as for me, my whole hopes rest upon myself, which I must sustain by good conduct and integrity; for all other means are unavailing. I am sensible, too, my fellow-citizens, that the eyes of all men are turned upon me; that the just and good favor me, as my services are beneficial to the state, but that the nobility seek occasion to attack me. I must therefore use the greater exertion, that you may not be deceived in me,[229] and that their views may be rendered abortive. I have led such a life, indeed, from my boyhood to the present hour, that I am familiar with every kind of toil and danger; and that exertion, which, before your kindness to me, I practiced gratuitously, it is not my intention to relax after having received my reward. For those who have pretended to be men of worth only to secure their election,[230] it may be difficult to conduct themselves properly in office: but to me, who have passed my whole life in the most honorable occupations, to act well has from habit become nature. You have commanded me to carry on the war against Jugurtha; a commission at which the nobility are highly offended. Consider with yourselves, I pray you, whether it would be a change for the better, if you were to send to this, or to any other such appointment, one of yonder crowd of nobles[231], a man of ancient family, of innumerable statues, and of no military experience; in order, forsooth, that in so important an office, and being ignorant of every thing connected with it, he may exhibit hurry and trepidation, and select one of the people to instruct him in his duty. For so it generally happens, that he whom you have chosen to direct, seeks another to direct him. I know some, my fellow-citizens, who, after they have been elected[232] consuls, have begun to read the acts of their ancestors, and the military precepts of the Greeks; persons who invert the order of things;[233] for though to discharge the duties of the office[234] is posterior, in point of time, to election, it is, in reality and practical importance, prior to it. Compare now, my fellow-citizens, me, who am _a new man,_ with those haughty nobles.[235] What they have but heard or read, I have witnessed or performed. What they have learned from books, I have acquired in the field; and whether deeds or words are of greater estimation, it is for you to consider. They despise my humbleness of birth; I contemn their imbecility. My condition[236] is made an objection to me; their misconduct is a reproach to them. The circumstance of birth,[237] indeed, I consider as one and the same to all; but think that he who best exerts himself is the noblest. And could it be inquired of the fathers,[238] of Albinus and Bestia, whether they would rather be the parents of them or of me, what do you suppose that they would answer, but that they would wish the most deserving to be their offspring! If the patricians justly despise me, let them also despise their own ancestors, whose nobility, like mine, had its origin in merit. They envy me the honor that I have received; let them also envy me the toils, the abstinence,[239] and the perils, by which I obtained that honor. But they, men eaten up with pride, live as if they disdained all the distinctions that you can bestow, and yet sue for those distinctions as if they had lived so as to merit them. Yet those are assuredly deceived, who expect to enjoy, at the same time, things so incompatible as the pleasures of indolence and the rewards of honorable exertion.[240] When they speak before you, or in the senate, they occupy the greatest part of their orations in extolling their ancestors;[241] for, they suppose that, by recounting the heroic deeds of their forefathers, they render themselves more illustrious. But the reverse of this is the case; for the more glorious were the lives of their ancestors, the more scandalous is their own inaction. The truth, indeed, is plainly this, that the glory of ancestors sheds a light on their posterity,[242] which suffers neither their virtues nor their vices to be concealed. Of this light, my fellow-citizens, I have no share; but I have, what confers much more distinction, the power of relating my own actions. Consider, then, how unreasonable they are; what they claim to themselves for the merit of others, they will not grant to me for my own; alleging, forsooth, that I have no statues, and that my distinction is newly-acquired; but it is surely better to have acquired such distinction myself than to bring disgrace on that received from others. I am not ignorant, that, if they were inclined to reply to me, they would make an abundant display of eloquent and artful language. Yet, since they attack both you and myself on occasion of the great favor which you have conferred upon me, I did not think proper to be silent before them, lest any one should construe my forbearance into a consciousness of demerit. As for myself, indeed, nothing that is said of me, I feel assured,[243] can do me injury; for what is true, must of necessity speak in my favor; what is false, my life and character will refute. But since your judgment, in bestowing on me so distinguished an honor and so important a trust, is called in question, consider, I beseech you, again and again, whether you are likely to repent of what you have done. I can not, to raise your confidence in me, boast of the statues, or triumphs, or consulships of my ancestors; but, if it be thought necessary, I can show you spears,[244] a banner,[245] caparisons[246] for horses, and other military rewards; besides the scars of wounds on my breast. These are my statues; this is my nobility; honors, not left, like theirs, by inheritance, but acquired amid innumerable toils and dangers. My speech, they say, is inelegant; but that I have ever thought of little importance. Worth sufficiently displays itself; it is for my detractors to use studied language, that they may palliate base conduct by plausible words. Nor have I learned Greek; for I had no wish to acquire a tongue that adds nothing to the valor[247] of those who teach it. But I have gained other accomplishments, such as are of the utmost benefit to a state; I have learned to strike down an enemy; to be vigilant at my post;[248] to fear nothing but dishonor; to bear cold and heat with equal endurance; to sleep on the ground; and to sustain at the same time hunger and fatigue. And with such rules of conduct I shall stimulate my soldiers, not treating them with rigor and myself with indulgence, nor making their toils my glory. Such a mode of commanding is at once useful to the state, and becoming to a citizen. For to coerce your troops with severity, while you yourself live at ease, is to be a tyrant, not a general. It was by conduct such as this, my fellow-citizens, that your ancestors made themselves and the republic renowned. Our nobility, relying on their forefathers' merits, though totally different from them in conduct, disparage us who emulate their virtues; and demand of you every public honor, as due, not to their personal merit, but to their high rank. Arrogant pretenders, and utterly unreasonable! For though their ancestors left them all that was at their disposal, their riches, their statues, and their glorious names, they left them not, nor could leave them, their virtue; which alone, of all their possessions, could neither be communicated nor received. They reproach me as being mean, and of unpolished manners, because, forsooth, I have but little skill in arranging an entertainment, and keep no actor,[249] nor give my cook[250] higher wages than my steward; all which charges I must, indeed, acknowledge to be just; for I learned from my father, and other venerable characters, that vain indulgences belong to women, and labor to men; that glory, rather than wealth, should be the object of the virtuous; and that arms and armor, not household furniture, are marks of honor. But let the nobility, if they please, pursue what is delightful and dear to them; let them devote themselves to licentiousness and luxury; let them pass their age as they have passed their youth, in revelry and feasting, the slaves of gluttony and debauchery; but let them leave the toil and dust of the field, and other such matters, to us, to whom they are more grateful than banquets. This, however, they will not do; for when these most infamous of men have disgraced themselves by every species of turpitude, they proceed to claim the distinctions due to the most honorable. Thus it most unjustly happens that luxury and indolence, the most disgraceful of vices, are harmless to those who indulge in them, and fatal only to the innocent commonwealth. As I have now replied to my calumniators, as far as my own character required, though not so fully as their flagitiousness deserved, I shall add a few words on the state of public affairs. In the first place, my fellow-citizens, be of good courage with regard to Numidia; for all that hitherto protected Jugurtha, avarice, inexperience, and arrogance[251], you have entirely removed. There is an army in it, too, which is well acquainted with the country, though, assuredly, more brave than fortunate; for a great part of it has been destroyed by the avarice or rashness of its commanders. Such of you, then, as are of military age, co-operate with me, and support the cause of your country; and let no discouragement, from the ill-fortune of others, or the arrogance of the late commanders, affect any one of you. I myself shall be with you, both on the march and in the battle, both to direct your movements and to share your dangers. I shall treat you and myself on every occasion alike; and, doubtless, with the aid of the gods, all good things, victory, spoil, and glory, are ready to our hands; though, even if they were doubtful or distant, it would still become every able citizen to act in defense of his country. For no man, by slothful timidity, has escaped the lot of mortals[252]; nor has any parent wished for his children[253] that they might live forever, but rather that they might act in life with virtue and honor. I would add more, my fellow-citizens, if words could give courage to the faint-hearted; to the brave I think that I have said enough." Pg. 118

And indeed, if a man is ambitious for power, he can have no better supporters than the poor: they are not concerned about their own possessions, since they have none, and whatver will put something into their pockets is right and proper in their eyes. Pg. 122

For most armies are tempted by the removal of immediate danger to relax their standards of care and discipline. Pg. 123

There, as he found himself quite alone, the natural human inclination to attempt something difficult turned his thoughts in a new direction. Pg. 129

For success had emboldened them. Pg. 130

Thus fortune made amends for Marius’s rashness, and an act for which he deserved blame won him renown. Pg. 131

Sylla, then, was of patrician descent, but of a family almost sunk in obscurity by the degeneracy of his forefathers. He was skilled, equally and profoundly, in Greek and Roman literature. He was a man of large mind, fond of pleasure, but fonder of glory. His leisure was spent in luxurious gratifications, but pleasure never kept him from his duties, except that he might have acted more for his honor with regard to his wife[283]. He was eloquent and subtle, and lived on the easiest terms with his friends.[284] His depth of thought in disguising his intentions, was incredible; he was liberal of most things, but especially of money. And though he was the most fortunate [285] of all men before his victory in the civil war, yet his fortune was never beyond his desert;[286] and many have expressed a doubt whether his success or his merit were the greater. As to his subsequent acts, I know not whether more of shame, or of regret must be felt at the recital of them. Pg. 131

He was besides affable to the soldiers; he conferred favors on many at their request, and on others of his own accord, and was reluctant to receive any in return. But he repaid other obligations more readily than those of a pecuniary nature; he himself demanded repayment from no one; but rather made it his object that as many as possible should be indebted to him. He conversed, jocosely as well as seriously, with the humblest of the soldiers; he was their frequent companion at their works, on the march, and on guard. Nor did he ever, as is usual with depraved ambition, attempt to injure the character of the consul, or of any deserving person. His sole aim, whether in the council or the field, was to suffer none to excel him; to most he was superior. By such conduct he soon became a favorite both with Marius and with the army. Pg. 132

His victory did not make him careless or arrogant. Pg. 135

He went round the posts in person, not from suspicion that his orders would not be observed, but that the labor of the soldiers, shared equally by their general, might be endured by them with cheerfulness. [297] Indeed, Marius, as well at this as at other periods of the war, kept his men to their duty rather by the dread of shame[298] than of severity; a course which many said was adopted from desire of popularity, but some thought it was because he took pleasure in toils to which he had been accustomed from his youth, and in exertions which other men call perfect miseries. The public interest, however, was served with as much efficiency and honor as it could have been under the most rigorous command. Pg. 135

Since human destinies are controlled for the most part by Fortune. Pg. 139

For in those days there were still many people who did not know that liberality might have ulterior motives, and imagined that anyone who was openhanded acted from sincere goodwill and that a present was a sure token of kindly feeling. Pg. 140

This [armistice] was approved by Sulla and most of the others; a few voted for adopting a haughtier attitude – ignorant, one may presume, of the instability of human fortunes and the constant vicissitudes to which they are subject. Pg. 141

If it comes to a fight, the less you strive to avoid danger the safer you will be. Pg. 143

After prolonged deliberation the Moor at last undertook to do what Jugurtha asked. Whether his hestitation was real or assumed, it is impossible to say; as a rule the headstrong impulses of kings are short lived, and often they want today the opposite of what they wanted yesterday. Pg. 147

The Conspiracy of Catiline

I. It becomes all men, who desire to excel other animals,[1] to strive, to the utmost of their power,[2] not to pass through life in obscurity, [3] like the beasts of the field,[4] which nature has formed groveling[5] and subservient to appetite. All our power is situate in the mind and in the body.[6] Of the mind we rather employ the government;[7] of the body the service.[8] The one is common to us with the gods; the other with the brutes. It appears to me, therefore, more reasonable[9]to pursue glory by means of the intellect than of bodily strength, and, since the life which we enjoy is short, to make the remembrance of us as lasting as possible. For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and perishable; that of intellectual power is illustrious and immortal.[10] Yet it was long a subject of dispute among mankind, whether military efforts were more advanced by strength of body, or by force of intellect. For, in affairs of war, it is necessary to plan before beginning to act,[11] and, after planning, to act with promptitude and vigor.[12] Thus, each[13] being insufficient of itself, the one requires the assistance of the other.[14] II. In early times, accordingly, kings (for that was the first title of sovereignty in the world) applied themselves in different ways;[15] some exercised the mind, others the body. At that period, however,[16] the life of man was passed without covetousness;[17] every one was satisfied with his own. But after Cyrus in Asia[18] and the Lacedaemonians and Athenians in Greece, began to subjugate cities and nations, to deem the lust of dominion a reason for war, and to imagine the greatest glory to be in the most extensive empire, it was then at length discovered, by proof and experience,[19] that mental power has the greatest effect in military operations. And, indeed,[20] if the intellectual ability[21] of kings and magistrates[22] were exerted to the same degree in peace as in war, human affairs would be more orderly and settled, and you would not see governments shifted from hand to hand,[23] and things universally changed and confused. For dominion is easily secured by those qualities by which it was at first obtained. But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the fortune of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving.[24] Even in agriculture,[25] in navigation, and in architecture, whatever man performs owns the dominion of intellect. Yet many human beings, resigned to sensuality and indolence, un-instructed and unimproved, have passed through life like travellers in a strange country[26]; to whom, certainly, contrary to the intention of nature, the body was a gratification, and the mind a burden. Of these I hold the life and death in equal estimation[27]; for silence is maintained concerning both. But he only, indeed, seems to me to live, and to enjoy life, who, intent upon some employment, seeks reputation from some ennobling enterprise, or honorable pursuit. But in the great abundance of occupations, nature points out different paths to different individuals. III. To act well for the Commonwealth is noble, and even to speak well for it is not without merit[28]. Both in peace and in war it is possible to obtain celebrity; many who have acted, and many who have recorded the actions of others, receive their tribute of praise. And to me, assuredly, though by no means equal glory attends the narrator and the performer of illustrious deeds, it yet seems in the highest degree difficult to write the history of great transactions; first, because deeds must be adequately represented[29] by words; and next, because most readers consider that whatever errors you mention with censure, are mentioned through malevolence and envy; while, when you speak of the great virtue and glory of eminent men, every one hears with acquiescence[30] only that which he himself thinks easy to be performed; all beyond his own conception he regards as fictitious and incredible[31]. I myself, however, when a young man[32], was at first led by inclination, like most others, to engage in political affairs[33]; but in that pursuit many circumstances were unfavorable to me; for, instead of modesty, temperance, and integrity[34], there prevailed shamelessness, corruption, and rapacity. And although my mind, inexperienced in dishonest practices, detested these vices, yet, in the midst of so great corruption, my tender age was insnared and infected[35] by ambition; and, though I shrunk from the vicious principles of those around me, yet the same eagerness for honors, the same obloquy and jealousy[36], which disquieted others, disquieted myself. IV. When, therefore, my mind had rest from its numerous troubles and trials, and I had determined to pass the remainder of my days unconnected with public life, it was not my intention to waste my valuable leisure in indolence and inactivity, or, engaging in servile occupations, to spend my time in agriculture or hunting[37]; but, returning to those studies[38] from which, at their commencement, a corrupt ambition had allured me, I determined to write, in detached portions[39], the transactions of the Roman people, as any occurrence should seem worthy of mention; an undertaking to which I was the rather inclined, as my mind was uninfluenced by hope, fear, or political partisanship. I shall accordingly give a brief account, with as much truth as I can, of the Conspiracy of Catiline; for I think it an enterprise eminently deserving of record, from the unusual nature both of its guilt and of its perils. But before I enter upon my narrative, I must give a short description of the character of the man. V. Lucius Catiline was a man of noble birth[40], and of eminent mental and personal endowments; but of a vicious and depraved disposition. His delight, from his youth, had been civil commotions, bloodshed, robbery, and sedition[41]; and in such scenes he had spent his early years.[42] His constitution could endure hunger, want of sleep, and cold, to a degree surpassing belief. His mind was daring, subtle, and versatile, capable of pretending or dissembling whatever he wished.[43] He was covetous of other men's property, and prodigal of his own. He had abundance of eloquence,[44] though but little wisdom. His insatiable ambition was always pursuing objects extravagant, romantic, and unattainable. Since the time of Sylla's dictatorship,[45] a strong desire of seizing the government possessed him, nor did he at all care, provided that he secured power[46] for himself, by what means he might arrive at it. His violent spirit was daily more and more hurried on by the diminution of his patrimony, and by his consciousness of guilt; both which evils he had increased by those practices which I have mentioned above. The corrupt morals of the state, too, which extravagance and selfishness, pernicious and contending vices, rendered thoroughly depraved,[47] furnished him with additional incentives to action. Since the occasion has thus brought public morals under my notice, the subject itself seems to call upon me to look back, and briefly to describe the conduct of our ancestors[48] in peace and war; how they managed the state, and how powerful they left it; and how, by gradual alteration, it became, from being the most virtuous, the most vicious and depraved. VI. Of the city of Rome, as I understand,[49] the founders and earliest inhabitants were the Trojans, who, under the conduct of Aeneas, were wandering about as exiles from their country, without any settled abode; and with these were joined the Aborigines,[50] a savage race of men, without laws or government, free, and owning no control. How easily these two tribes, though of different origin, dissimilar language, and opposite habits of life, formed a union when they met within the same walls, is almost incredible.[51] But when their state, from an accession of population and territory, and an improved condition of morals, showed itself tolerably flourishing and powerful, envy, as is generally the case in human affairs, was the consequence of its prosperity. The neighboring kings and people, accordingly, began to assail them in war, while a few only of their friends came to their support; for the rest, struck with alarm, shrunk from sharing their dangers. But the Romans, active at home and in the field, prepared with alacrity for their defense.[52] They encouraged one another, and hurried to meet the enemy. They protected, with their arms, their liberty, their country, and their homes. And when they had at length repelled danger by valor, they lent assistance to their allies and supporters, and procured friendships rather by bestowing[53] favors than by receiving them. They had a government regulated by laws. The denomination of their government was monarchy. Chosen men, whose bodies might be enfeebled by years, but whose minds were vigorous in understanding, formed the council of the state; and these, whether from their age, or from the similarity of their duty, were called FATHERS.[54] But afterward, when the monarchical power, which had been originally established for the protection of liberty, and for the promotion of the public interest, had degenerated into tyranny and oppression, they changed their plan, and appointed two magistrates,[55] with power only annual; for they conceived that, by this method, the human mind would be least likely to grow overbearing for want of control. VII. At this period every citizen began to seek distinction, and to display his talents with greater freedom; for, with princes, the meritorious are greater objects of suspicion than the undeserving, and to them the worth of others is a source of alarm. But when liberty was secured, it is almost incredible[56] how much the state strengthened itself in a short space of time, so strong a passion for distinction had pervaded it. Now, for the first time, the youth, as soon as they were able to bear the toil of war,[57] acquired military skill by actual service in the camp, and took pleasure rather in splendid arms and military steeds than in the society of mistresses and convivial indulgence. To such men no toil was unusual, no place was difficult or inaccessible, no armed enemy was formidable; their valor had overcome every thing. But among themselves the grand rivalry was for glory; each sought to be first to wound an enemy, to scale a wall, and to be noticed while performing such an exploit. Distinction such as this they regarded as wealth, honor, and true nobility.[58] They were covetous of praise, but liberal of money; they desired competent riches but boundless glory. I could mention, but that the account would draw me too far from my subject, places in which the Roman people, with a small body of men, routed vast armies of the enemy; and cities, which, though fortified by nature, they carried by assault. VIII. But, assuredly, Fortune rules in all things. She makes every thing famous or obscure rather from caprice than in conformity with truth. The exploits of the Athenians, as far as I can judge, were very great and glorious,[59] something inferior to what fame has represented them. But because writers of great talent flourished there, the actions of the Athenians are celebrated over the world as the most splendid achievements. Thus, the merit of those who have acted is estimated at the highest point to which illustrious intellects could exalt it in their writings. But among the Romans there was never any such abundance of writers;[60] for, with them, the most able men were the most actively employed. No one exercised the mind independently of the body: every man of ability chose to act rather than narrate,[61] and was more desirous that his own merits should be celebrated by others, than that he himself should record theirs. IX. Good morals, accordingly, were cultivated in the city and in the camp. There was the greatest possible concord, and the least possible avarice. Justice and probity prevailed among the citizens, not more from the influence of the laws than from natural inclination. They displayed animosity, enmity, and resentment only against the enemy. Citizens contended with citizens in nothing but honor. They were magnificent in their religious services, frugal in their families, and steady in their friendships. By these two virtues, intrepidity in war, and equity in peace, they maintained themselves and their state. Of their exercise of which virtues, I consider these as the greatest proofs; that, in war, punishment was oftener inflicted on those who attacked an enemy contrary to orders, and who, when commanded to retreat, retired too slowly from the contest, than on those who had dared to desert their standards, or, when pressed by the enemy,[62] to abandon their posts; and that, in peace, they governed more by conferring benefits than by exciting terror, and, when they received an injury, chose rather to pardon than to revenge it. X. But when, by perseverance and integrity, the republic had increased its power; when mighty princes had been vanquished in war;[63] when barbarous tribes and populous states had been reduced to subjection; when Carthage, the rival of Rome's dominion, had been utterly destroyed, and sea and land lay every where open to her sway, Fortune then began to exercise her tyranny, and to introduce universal innovation. To those who had easily endured toils, dangers, and doubtful and difficult circumstances, ease and wealth, the objects of desire to others, became a burden and a trouble. At first the love of money, and then that of power, began to prevail, and these became, as it were, the sources of every evil. For avarice subverted honesty, integrity, and other honorable principles, and, in their stead, inculcated pride, inhumanity, contempt of religion, and general venality. Ambition prompted many to become deceitful; to keep one thing concealed in the breast, and another ready on the tongue;[64] to estimate friendships and enmities, not by their worth, but according to interest; and to carry rather a specious countenance than an honest heart. These vices at first advanced but slowly, and were sometimes restrained by correction; but afterward, when their infection had spread like a pestilence, the state was entirely changed, and the government, from being the most equitable and praiseworthy, became rapacious and insupportable. XI. At first, however, it was ambition, rather than avarice,[65] that influenced the minds of men; a vice which approaches nearer to virtue than the other. For of glory, honor, and power, the worthy is as desirous as the worthless; but the one pursues them by just methods; the other, being destitute of honorable qualities, works with fraud and deceit. But avarice has merely money for its object, which no wise man has ever immoderately desired. It is a vice which, as if imbued with deadly poison, enervates whatever is manly in body or mind.[66] It is always unbounded and insatiable, and is abated neither by abundance nor by want. But after Lucius Sylla, having recovered the government[67] by force of arms, proceeded, after a fair commencement, to a pernicious termination, all became robbers and plunderers;[68] some set their affections on houses, others on lands; his victorious troops knew neither restraint nor moderation, but inflicted on the citizens disgraceful and inhuman outrages. Their rapacity was increased by the circumstance that Sylla, in order to secure the attachment of the forces which he had commanded in Asia,[69] had treated them, contrary to the practice of our ancestors, with extraordinary indulgence, and exemption from discipline; and pleasant and luxurious quarters had easily, during seasons of idleness, enervated the minds of the soldiery. Then the armies of the Roman people first became habituated to licentiousness and intemperance, and began to admire statues, pictures, and sculptured vases; to seize such objects alike in public edifices and private dwellings;[70] to spoil temples; and to cast off respect for every thing, sacred and profane. Such troops, accordingly, when once they obtained the mastery, left nothing to be vanquished. Success unsettles the principles even of the wise, and scarcely would those of debauched habits use victory with moderation. XII. When wealth was once considered an honor, and glory, authority, and power attended on it, virtue lost her influence, poverty was thought a disgrace, and a life of innocence was regarded as a life of ill-nature.[71] From the influence of riches, accordingly, luxury, avarice, and pride prevailed among the youth; they grew at once rapacious and prodigal; they undervalued what was their own, and coveted what was another's; they set at naught modesty and continence; they lost all distinction between sacred and profane, and threw off all consideration and self-restraint. It furnishes much matter for reflection,[72] after viewing our modern mansions and villas extended to the size of cities, to contemplate the temples which our ancestors, a most devout race of men, erected to the gods. But our forefathers adorned the fanes of the deities with devotion, and their homes with their own glory, and took nothing from those whom they conquered but the power of doing harm; their descendants, on the contrary, the basest of mankind,[73] have even wrested from their allies, with the most flagrant injustice, whatever their brave and victorious ancestors had left to their vanquished enemies; as if the only use of power were to inflict injury. XIII. For why should I mention those displays of extravagance, which can be believed by none but those who have seen them; as that mountains have been leveled, and seas covered with edifices,[74] by many private citizens; men whom I consider to have made a sport of their wealth,[75] since they were impatient to squander disreputably what they might have enjoyed with honor. But the love of irregular gratification, open debauchery, and all kinds of luxury,[76] had spread abroad with no less force. Men forgot their sex; women threw off all the restraints of modesty. To gratify appetite, they sought for every kind of production by land and by sea; they slept before there was any inclination for sleep; they no longer waited to feel hunger, thirst, cold,[77] or fatigue, but anticipated them all by luxurious indulgence. Such propensities drove the youth, when their patrimonies were exhausted, to criminal practices; for their minds, impregnated with evil habits, could not easily abstain from gratifying their passions, and were thus the more inordinately devoted in every way to rapacity and extravagance.

Since I have...

The following are parts of what is above

When however... envy. pg. 179

They lent aid... others. pg. 179

It was in this period ... merit. pg. 179

To win honor ... open handedly. pg. 180

there can be ... worth. pg. 180

for the merit ... did. pg. 180

pg. 179-183 [Is Sallust's beliefs why Rome became great?]

In time of war ... increased. pg. 181

And if anyone as yet innocent happened to become friendly with him, the temptations to which daily intercourse with Catiline exposed him soon made him as evil a ruffian as the rest. Pg. 184

Although they had the means, without stirring a finger, to live in splendor, or, if they so desired, in luxurious ease, they preferred a chance to a certainty and war instead of peace. Pg. 186

And Crassus, it was thought, would have been glad to see Pompey’s supremacy threatened by the rise of another powerful man, whoever he might be. Pg. 187

For identity of likes and dislikes is the one solid foundation of friendship. Pg. 189

This speech was addressed to men who were afflicted with manifold misfortunes and had nothing to enjoy or to hope for; and to them the disturbance of the peace was in itself a highly attractive proposition. Pg. 190

But when danger threatened, jealousy and pride had to take a backseat. Pg. 192

Manlius was agitating among a populace whose poverty, added to the resentment which they felt at their wrongs, made them eager for revolution. Pg. 196

There were also the usual conflicting rumors. Pg. 196

These events had made a profound impression on the people, and had changed the face of the city. In place of the reckless gaiety and pleasure seeking, which a long period of tranquility had fostered, there was sudden and universal gloom. Pg. 197

Pride and frivolity were forgotten in the despair with which they anticipated their own and their country’s fate. Pg. 198

In every country paupers envy respectable citizens and make heroes of unprincipled characters, hating the established order of things and hankering after innovation; discontented with their own lot, they are bent on general upheaval. Turmoil and rebellion bring them carefree profit, since poverty has nothing to lose. Pg. 203

These tribunes began to rouse the mob by inveighing against the Senate, and then inflamed popular passion still further by handing out bribes and promises, whereby they won renown and influence for themselves. They were strenuously opposed by most of the nobility, who posed as defenders of the Senate but were really concerned to maintain their own privileged position. The whole truth – to put it in a word – is that although all disturbers of the peace in this period put forth specious pretexts, claiming either to be protecting the rights of the people or to be strengthening the authority of the Senate, this was mere pretense: in reality, every one of them was fighting for his personal aggrandizement. Pg. 204

‘Whoever, gentlemen, is deliberating upon a difficult question ought to clear his mind of hatred and affection and of anger and compassion. It is not easy to discern the truth when one’s view is obstructed by such emotions, and all experience proves that those who yield to passion never make politic decisions. If you concentrate your mind on a problem, it can exert its full powers; once let passion come in, it will take control of you and reduce your mind to impotence. There are plenty of examples that I could cite of kings and people who have allowed anger or pity to lead them into error. But I would rather mention some cases in which our own ancestors, by controlling their emotions, have acted wisely and properly. Pg. 216

You also, gentlemen, must take care that the guilt of Publius Lentulus and the others does not outweigh your sense of what is fitting, and that you do not indulge your resentment at the expense of your reputation. Pg. 216

As if a man whom the grisly reality has failed to move could be roused by an eloquent speech! That can never be: no mortal man minimizes his own wrongs; many, indeed, resent them more than they ought. But not everyone, gentlemen, is equally free to show his resentment. If humble men, who pass their lives in obscurity, are provoked by anger to do wrong, few know of it, because few know anything about such unimportant people. But men in positions of great power live, as it were, on an eminence, and their actions are known to all the world. The higher our station, the less is our freedom of action. We must avoid partiality and hatred, and above all anger; for what in others would be called merely an outburst of temper, in those who bear rule is called arrogance and cruelty. Pg. 217

But most people remember only what happens last: when criminals are brought to justice, they forget their guilt and talk only of their punishment, if it is of unusual severity. Pg. 217

As regards the penalty you proposed, it would be relevant to observe that to men in grief and wretchedness death comes as a release from suffering, not as a punishment to be endured, because it puts an end to all the ills that flesh is heir to, and beyond it there is no place for either tears or rejoicing. Pg. 218

The lapse of time and the caprice of fortune, which controls the destinies of all men, will one day produce a change of feeling. These particular men will have richly deserved whatever happens to them. But you, gentlemen, must consider the precedent that you establish for others. All bad precedents originate from measures good in themselves. When power passes into the hands of ignorant or unworthy men, the precedent you establish by inflicting an extraordinary penalty on guilty men who deserve it will be used against innocent men who do not deserve it. Pg. 218

For a long time now we have ceased to call things by their proper names. To give away other people’s property is called generosity; criminal daring goes by the name of courage. That is why our affairs have come to such a pass. Pg. 222

The more energetically you act, the more will their courage be shaken. Show the slightest weakness, and you will soon have the whole pack of them here barking defiance at you. Pg. 223

It was something quite different that made them great – something that we are entirely lacking in. They were hard workers at home, just rulers abroad; and to the council chamber they brought untrammeled minds, neither racked by consciousness of guilt nor enslaved by passion. We have lost these virtues. We pile up riches for ourselves while the state is bankrupt. We sing the praises of prosperity – and idle away our lives. Good men or bad – it is all one: all the prizes that merit ought to win are carried off by ambitious intriguers. And no wonder, when each one of you schemes only for himself, when in your private lives you are slaves to pleasure, and here in the Senate House the tools of money or influence. The result is that when an assault is made upon the Republic, there is no one there to defend it. Pg. 223

But you are so indolent and weak that you stand irresolute, each waiting for someone else to act – trusting, doubtless, to the gods, who have often preserved our Republic in times of deadly peril. I tell you that vows and womanish supplications will not secure divine aid; it is by vigilance, action, and wise counsel, that all success is achieved. If you give way to sloth and cowardice, the gods turn a deaf ear to your entreaties: their wrath makes them your enemies. Pg. 224

Within my recollection, however, there arose two men of remarkable powers, though of very different character, Marcus Cato and Caius Caesar, whom, since the subject has brought them before me, it is not my intention to pass in silence, but to describe, to the best of my ability, the disposition and manners of each.

LIV. Their birth, age, and eloquence, were nearly on an equality; their greatness of mind similar, as was also their reputation, though attained by different means.[271] Caesar grew eminent by generosity and munificence; Cato by the integrity of his life. Caesar was esteemed for his humanity and benevolence; austereness had given dignity to Cato. Caesar acquired renown by giving, relieving, and pardoning; Cato by bestowing nothing. In Caesar, there was a refuge for the unfortunate; in Cato, destruction for the bad. In Caesar, his easiness of temper was admired; in Cato, his firmness. Caesar, in fine, had applied himself to a life of energy and activity; intent upon the interest of his friends, he was neglectful of his own; he refused nothing to others that was worthy of acceptance, while for himself he desired great power, the command of an army, and a new war in which his talents might be displayed. But Cato's ambition was that of temperance, discretion, and, above all, of austerity; he did not contend in splendor with the rich, or in faction with the seditious, but with the brave in fortitude, with the modest in simplicity,[272] with the temperate[273] in abstinence; he was more desirous to be, than to appear, virtuous; and thus, the less he courted popularity, the more it pursued him.

Every man has a certain degree of boldness, either natural or acquired by training; so much, and no more, does he generally show in battle. If a man is stirred neither by the prospect of glory nor by danger, it is a waste of time to exhort him: the fear that is in his heart makes him deaf. Pg. 229

If you wish to escape from it you must act boldly: no one but a victor can survive war to enjoy the fruits of peace. To hope for safety in flight, after turning away from the enemy those arms which are your sole protection, is indeed folly. In battle it is always the greatest cowards who are in the greatest danger; courage is like a wall of defense. Pg. 230

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