Gaius Sallustius Crispus [Sallust] *Pseudo-Sallust
86-35 BC Rome
Latin (Republican Era/Golden Age of Latin Literature)
EPISTVLA CN. POMPEI AD SENATVM
1 Si advorsus vos patriamque et deos penatis tot labores et pericula suscepissem,
[If I had, for your sake and for our nation and guardian spirits, undergone some many labors and dangers,]
quotiens a prima adulescentia ductu meo scelestissumi hostes fusi
et vobis salus quaesita est,
[as many times as, since the very start of my young adulthood, our most dangerous enemies have been put to flight when I've been put in command, and and as many times your salvation has been sought,]
nihil amplius in absentem me statuissetis
[you would have made any more progress in deliberating about me in my absence,]
quam adhuc agitis, patres conscripti,
[as you yet still do, my fellow senators]
quem contra aetatem proiectum ad bellum saevis sumum cum excercitu optume merito, quantum est in vobis, fame, miserruma omnium morte, confecistis.
[and I'm the one whom you've assigned, despite my age, commander over uniquely savage wars, and deservedly over our most prestigious military forces, whenever you've put endangered by the starvation and death of all our people.]
2 Hacine spe populus Romanus liberos suos ad bellum misit?
[And with this very same hopeful spirit, didn't the Roman people send their own sons to war?]
Haec sunt praemia pro volneribus et totiens ob rem publicam fuso sanguine?
[Are these the rewards we get as a price for our wounds, and the bloods we've spilled for our commonwealth?]
Fessus scribundo mittundoque legatos omnis opes et spes privatas meas consumpsi,
[I, worn out from writing and sending delegates, consumed all my resources and my own personal hopes,]
cum interim a vobis per triennium vix annuus sumptus datus est.
[while, meanwhile, scarcely a single finished year of work has been given by you all, for the last three years.]
Per deos immortalis, utrum censetis me vicem aerari praestare
[By the immortal gods, do you think I can take charge of the treasury]
an exercitum sine frumento et stipendio habere posse?
[or manage to run my army with, without resources of food and pay?]
4 Equidem fateor me ad hoc bellum maiore studio quam consilio profectum,
[I mean really, I do admit that I was driven out to this current war more by my zeal than by good counsel,]
quippe qui nomine modo imperi a vobis accepto,
[since, actually, it was I whose name was recently approved by you all to head the power of our government,]
diebus quadraginta exercitum paravi
[whence I drafted an army in forty days]
hostisque in cervicibus iam Italiae agentis ab Alpibus in Hispaniam submovi;
[and set it unto Spain upon the necks of our foe, who was already setting out for Italy from the Alps;]
per eas iter aliud atque Hannibal, nobis opportunius, pate feci.
[through these mountains, there was yet another Hannibal, but I exposed it, all the more fortunate for us.]
Recepi Galliam, Pyrenaeum, Lacetaniam, Indigetis
[I captured Gaul, and the lands of the Pyrenees, and Lacetania, and Indigetis]
et primum impetum Sertori victoris novis militibus et multo paucioribus sustinui
[and, from the very onset, I withstood the attack of the conqueror, Sertorius, even with freshly-recruited soldiers and in lesser supplies by far]
hiememque castris inter saevissumos hostis, non per oppida neque ex ambitione mea egi.
[and I camped the winter out among the most savage of foes, no, I did not spend it among civilized towns for my own interests.]
6 Quid deinde proelia aut expeditiones hibernas, oppida excisa aut recepta enumerem?
[So why then should I even recount the battles and winter campaigns, and the towns I felled or captured?]
Quando res plus valet quam verba:
[...especially when success fairs more worthily than words:]
castra hostium apud Sucronem capta et proelium apud flumen Turiam et dux
hostium C. Herennius cum urbe Valentia et exercitu deleti satis clara
[I captured the camps of our enemies in Sucro, and fought a pitched battle at the River Turia, and the general of our foes, Gaius Herennius, along with the city of Valentia, all now felled by my army, are more than distinguished enough for your sake;]
pro quis, o grati patres, egestatem et famem redditis.
[o gracious senators, for all this, you reward me with poverty and hunger.]
Itaque meo et hostium exercitui par condicio est;
[so now, the condition of my own army is exactly the same as our foes;]
7 namque stipendium neutri datur,
[what's more is that payment has been given to neither side,]
victor uterque in Italiam venire potest.
[and either side can come to Italy as the winner.]
Quod ego vos moneo quaesoque
[I, for my part, warn, and ask you this one thing:]
ut animadvortatis neu cogatis necessitatibus privatim mihi consulere
[that you pay heed and not force me to give my counsel in private, out of necessity,]
Hispaniam citeriorem, quae non ab hostibus tenetur, nos aut Sertorius ad
internecionem vastavimus praeter maritumas civitates, ultro nobis
[I <or Sertorius?> laid waste to the nearer province of Spain, which is held by none of our enemies, with exception to its cities on the coast on account of its insurrection, which was by far an expense and burden to us;]
Gallia superiore anno Metelli exercitum stipendio frumentoque aluit
[the previous year before that, Gaul provided Metellus' army with payment and food for the troops]
et nunc malis fructibus ipsa vix agitat;
[and now the same province scarcely stirs from low harvests;]
ego non rem familiarem modo, verum etiam fidem consumpsi.
[I, for my part, not only spent up the my family's resources but also, to speak frankly, its trust in me.]
Reliqui vos estis:
[All of you are what's left over:]
qui nisi subvenitis,
[except that it is you who creep behind,]
invito et praedicente me exercitus hinc et cum eo omne bellum Hispaniae in Italiam transgredientur.
[and at my side, me unwilling to accept this and giving you fair warning, the armies and entire war of Spain will venture out to unto Italy.]
Hae litterae principio sequentis anni recitatae in senatu.
[In the beginning of the following year, these words were recited in the Senate.]
Sed consules decretas a patribus provincias inter se paravere;
[But the consuls settled the matter of the provinces among themselves, once it was decreed by the senators;]
Cotta Galliam citeriorem habuit, Ciliciam Octavius.
[Cotta held Gallia Citerior, and Octavius, the province of Cilicia.]
Dein proxumi consules, L. Lucullus et M. Cotta, litteris nuntiisque Pompei graviter perculsi,
[Then, the next consuls, Lucius Lucullus and Marcus Cotta, seriously alarmed by Pompey's letters and declarations,]
cum summae rei gratia tum ne exercitu in Italiam deducto neque laus sua neque dignitas esset,
[since there would be the grace of the most pertinent success as well as no praise and honored status for an army to be led down against Italy,]
omni modo stipendium et supplementum paravere,
[settled payment and extra recompense, in all respects,]
adnitente maxime nobilitate,
[with the noble class stepping forth to the greatest extent,]
cuius plerique iam tum lingua ferociam suam et dicta factis sequebantur.
[of which quite a deal of men were already beginning, even at that time, to follow his fierce passion and words with deeds.]