Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cicero, In Defense of Pompey's Military Command

Marcus Tullius Cicero [Cicero or Tully]
106-43 BC
*executed by 2nd Triumvirate (specifically Mark Antony)
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican Era/Golden Age of Latin Literature)


[1] Quamquam mihi semper frequens conspectus vester multo iucundissimus, hic autem locus ad agendum amplissimus, ad dicendum ornatissimus est visus, Quirites,
[Although, for my part, your frequent witnessing is always most enjoyable, and any event, this place is as full as can be for acting, it is also most designed, my fellow Romans, for some one needing to speak,]

tamen hoc aditu laudis,
[even still, through this opportunity for praise,]

 qui semper optimo cuique maxime patuit,
[which always opened first and foremost to anyone who excelled above the rest,]

non mea me voluntas adhuc, sed vitae meae rationes ab ineunte aetate susceptae prohibuerunt.
[not solely does my desire prevent me from mentioning the first part of my own life, but my own conclusions I've reached.]

 Nam cum antea per aetatem nondum huius auctoritatem loci attingere auderem,
[you see, when beforehand I would not yet dare to step foot upon the authority of a place like this, on account of my age,]

statueremque nihil huc nisi perfectum ingenio,
[and I would achieve nothing here except practice to my technique,]

 elaboratum industria adferri oportere, omne meum tempus amicorum temporibus transmittendum putavi.
[I thought that my own period of time, needing to be carried forth only after it was work laboriously upon with industry, would sooner or later be passed down to the generations of my associates.]

[2] Ita neque hic locus vacuus umquam fuit ab eis
[and so there was never any open space from these men]

 qui vestram causam defenderent,
[who would defend your cause]

 et meus labor, in privatorum periculis caste integreque versatus, ex vestro iudicio fructum est amplissimum consecutus.
[and my efforts, which dutifully and purely involve the dangers of private citizens, gained the fullest possible reward from your decision.]

 Nam cum propter dilationem comitiorum ter praetor primus centuriis cunctis renuntiatus sum,
[you see, since I, on account of the assemblies being decommissioned, was thrice elected praetor, and first by the entirety of the centuries.]

facile intellexi, Quirites, et quid de me iudicaretis,
[I easily came to understand, my fellow Romans, why you would come your conclusion about me]

et quid aliis praescriberetis.
[and why exactly you preferred me over the others.]

 Nunc cum et auctoritatis in me tantum sit,
[now since there exists as much ability to rule at my disposal,]

quantum vos honoribus mandandis esse voluistis,
[as you, for you part, have decided to confer upon me in my offices,]

 et ad agendum facultatis tantum,
[and as much ability to perform one's actions,]

 quantum homini vigilanti ex forensi usu prope cotidiana dicendi exercitatio potuit adferre,
[as could the daily execution of man tasked to speek could assign to a fellow who diligently watches out from the practice of his legal business]

certe et si quid auctoritatis in me est,
[and if there truly is any modicum of authority at my disposal]

 apud eos utar qui eam mihi dederunt,
[let me use it in the presence of the men who granted it to me]

 et si quid in dicendo consequi possum,
[and if I can accomplish anything in what I able to say,]

 eis ostendam potissimum, qui ei quoque rei fructum suo iudicio tribuendum esse duxerunt.
[most especially of all let me make my presentation to men who have come to believe that a benefit can be given to distributed to the this matter through their conclusion]

[3] Atque illud in primis mihi laetandum iure esse video,
[So too do I see that thing that must first make me rejoice, according to the law]

quod in hac insolita mihi ex hoc loco ratione dicendi causa talis oblata est,
[because such a case I have taken up, in this unusual fashion of speaking from this venue,]

 in qua oratio deesse nemini possit.
[in which a speech cannot evade anyone.]

Dicendum est enim de Cn. Pompei singulari eximiaque virtute:
[you see, one must speak about the unique and incredible qualifications of Gnaeus Pompey:]

 huius autem orationis difficilius est exitum quam principium invenire.
[in any event, it is more difficult to find an end than a beginning of a speech like this.]

Ita mihi non tam copia quam modus in dicendo quaerendus est.
[And so, I must search not so great a deal of words, than a style of speaking.]

[4] Atque,—ut inde oratio mea proficiscatur, unde haec omnis causa ducitur,—
[So that, that from this point, my speech might begin from the point from which this whole cause is led;]

bellum grave et periculosum vestris vectigalibus ac sociis a duobus potentissimis regibus infertur, Mithridate et Tigrane,
[War, grave and dangerous to your territory, and allies, is being waged by two of the most powerful monarchs, Mithridates and Tigranes,]

quorum alter relictus, alter lacessitus, occasionem sibi ad occupandam Asiam oblatam esse arbitrantur.
[one of whom has been left behind, the other on the attack, think that they have the opportunity to take over and occupy Asia.]

Equitibus Romanis, honestissimis viris, adferuntur ex Asia cotidie litterae,
[It is being reported from Roman knights, the men of greatest sincerity, from daily letters from Asia,]

quorum magnae res aguntur in vestris vectigalibus exercendis occupatae:
[whose large and great property on your plots of land, waiting to be tilled,  is now being taken over]

 qui ad me, pro necessitudine quae mihi est cum illo ordine, causam rei publicae periculaque rerum suarum detulerunt:
[men who reported the situation of our commonwealth and the dangers of their own affairs, out of a necessity that affects me, alongside that aforesaid order of people.]

[5] Bithyniae, quae nunc vestra provincia est, vicos exustos esse compluris;
[Bithynia, which is now one of your provinces, is now filled completely with burnt-out cities]

 regnum Ariobarzanis, quod finitimum est vestris vectigalibus, totum esse in hostium potestate;
[the kingdom of Ariobarzanes, which is nearest to your own territory, is now completely in the power of the enemy;]

 L. Lucullum, magnis rebus gestis, ab eo bello discedere;
[Lucius Lucullus, even after his amazing military fears, is withdrawing from this theater of battle;]

huic qui successerit non satis esse paratum ad tantum bellum administrandum;
[to this man who followed, the affairs is not planned to any extent for such a difficult war that must be overseen;]

 unum ab omnibus sociis et civibus ad id bellum imperatorem deposci atque expeti, eundem hunc unum ab hostibus metui, praeterea neminem.
[he alone, among all our allies and citizens, has been requested for this war, and sought out, it is he alone <Pompey> that is feared by our foes, more than anyone else.]

[6] Causa quae sit videtis:
[You see what the reason why:]

 nunc quid agendum sit considerate.
[now consider what you must do.]

Primum mihi videtur de genere belli,
[My first reason centers on the type of war]

 deinde de magnitudine,
[my second on its magnitude]

 tum de imperatore deligendo esse dicendum.
[then, we must talk about the commander that needs to be chosen.]

 Genus est belli eius modi,
[The type of war at hand is such that]

 quod maxime vestros animos excitare atque inflammare ad persequendi studium debeat:
[it ought to disturb your minds and inflame your hearts to carry it out]

 in quo agitur populi Romani gloria,
[one in which the glory of the Roman people is involved]

 quae vobis a maioribus cum magna in omnibus rebus tum summa in re militari tradita est;
[the glory that has been passed down from our forefathers to you all, one as great in all its facets as it is supreme in warfare]

 agitur salus sociorum atque amicorum,
[The safetry of our allies, and our friends is involved]

pro qua multa maiores vestri magna et gravia bella gesserunt;
[for which your own forefathers waged many famous and trying wars']