Latin (Republican Era/Golden Age of Latin Literature)
CORNELI NEPOTIS PELOPIDAS
PELOPIDAS Thebanus, magis historicis quam vulgo notus.
[Pelopidas was a Theban, who was more known by historians than by the common public.]
Cuius de virtutibus dubito, quemadmodum exponam,
[Of whose qualities I doubt that I could describe each and every one,]
[which is something I'm afraid of;]
si res explicare incipiam,
[if I can describe the situation,]
ne non vitam eius enarrare,
[and not only by laying out the account of his life,]
sed historiam videar scribere;
[but also if I can write a history;]
si tantummodo summas attigero,
[if I could only touch upon the key details,]
ne rudibus Graecarum litterarum minus dilucide appareat,
[that is, so that it not might appear less clear from a crude understanding of Greek literature,]
quantus fuerit ille vir.
[about how great this man was.]
Itaque utrique rei occurram,
[And so, on both accounts, let me run its course,]
[as much as I can manage,]
et medebor cum satietati tum ignorantiae lectorum.
[and since I will remedy both the satiety and ignorance of my readers.]
2 Phoebidas Lacedaemonius cum exercitum Olynthum duceret
[When Phoebidas, the Spartan, lead his forces to Olynthus,]
iterque per Thebas faceret,
[and made his way through Thebes,]
arcem oppidi, quae Cadmea nominatur, occupavit impulsu paucorum Thebanorum,
[he besieged the city's citadel, which is called the Cadmea,]
qui, adversariae factioni quo facilius resisterent, Laconum rebus studebant, idque suo privato, non publico fecit consilio.
[he did this by his own choice, not from his people's advice, thinking that people would resist their opposing faction, and start to support the actions of the Spartans.]
Quo facto eum Lacedaemonii ab exercitu removerunt
[But after this was done, the Spartans kicked him out of the army,]
[and fined him a sum of money,]
neque eo magis arcem Thebanis reddiderunt,
[nor did they restore the citadel to the Thebans anymore,]
quod susceptis inimicitiis satius ducebant eos obsideri quam liberari.
[than that they could more satisfactorily have these men reduced through siegefare, than for them to be freed, after hostilities had began.]
Nam post Peloponnesium bellum Athenasque devictas cum Thebanis sibi rem esse existimabant et eos esse solos,
[You see, after the Peloponnesian war, whereby Athens was completely beaten, they began to esteem that they shared a common affair with the Thebans, and these men were alone,]
qui adversus resistere auderent.
[even if they should dare to put up an resistence.]
Hac mente amicis suis summas potestates dederant
[And with this intention, they bestowed the greatest powers to their associates,]
alteriusque factionis principes partim interfecerant,
[and in part, had killed off the leading men of any opposing faction,]
alios in exsilium eiecerant;
[and they cast other men into exile.]
in quibus Pelopidas hic, de quo scribere exorsi sumus, pulsus patria carebat.
[and among these men, Pelopidas, at this point, after he was cast out, was deprived of his nation, and it's at this point that I've begun to write my account.]
 Hi omnes fere Athenas se contulerant,
[Almost all of these men had moved themselves to Athens,]
non quo sequerentur otium,
[for because they could live in peace there,]
sed ut, quem ex proximo locum fors obtulisset, eo patriam recuperare niterentur.
[but that they could fight to restore their nation, that is, the place that chance had previously passed over from their neighbor.]
Itaque cum tempus est visum rei gerendae,
[And so, when the time to carry this affair out appeared,]
communiter cum iis, qui Thebis idem sentiebant,
[when in alliance with those men who likewise sympathized with the Thebans,]
diem delegerunt ad inimicos opprimendos civitatemque liberandam eum,
[they assigned a day to attack their enemies, and liberate their city,]
quo maximi magistratus simul consuerant epulari.
[on which the leading officials of the government had grown accustomed to dine together.]
3 Magnae saepe res non ita magnis copiis sunt gestae;
[Often great affairs were not carried out by so great numbers of resources,]
sed profecto numquam tam ab tenui initio tantae opes sunt profligatae.
[but in every respect, never had so much of their resources been frittered away in such a scant amount of time.]
Nam duodecim adulescentuli coierunt ex iis,
[You see, 12 young youths meet from among these folks,]
qui exsilio erant multati,
[who had been previously punished with exile,]
cum omnino non essent amplius centum,
[while there was not more than a round hundred,]
qui tanto se offerrent periculo.
[who would offer to face such great danger.]
4 Qua paucitate percussa est Lacedaemoniorum potentia.
[But by this paucity of men, the power of the Spartans was thoroughly beaten.]
Hi enim non magis adversariorum factioni quam Spartanis eo tempore bellum intulerunt,
[You see, these men waged war, at that time, no more against the faction of their opponents, than against the Spartans,]
qui principes erant totius Graeciae;
[that is, whoever were the leading men of all of Greece;]
quorum imperii maiestas, neque ita multo post, Leuctrica pugna ab hoc initio perculsa concidit.
[there majesty taken from their control of the state, struck up a dust-up with Leuctra, from this very beginning, nor was it very much afterward.]
5 Illi igitur duodecim, quorum dux erat Pelopidas, cum Athenis interdiu exissent,
[Therefore, those famous twelve men, whose leader was Pelopidas, when they had left a little from Athens,]