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Libanius

XLIX

ΠΡΟΣ ΤΟΝ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΑ ΥΠΕΡ ΤΩΝ ΒΟΥΛΩΝ

R ii. 5701. Τὸ μὲν σόν, ὦ βασιλεῦ, μέρος καὶ τοῦ μετὰ σὲF iii. 452 τοῖς ἄλλοις ἄρχουσιν ἐφεστηκότος, ἐπανήκουσιν εἰς τὰ πρόσθεν αἱ βουλαὶ καὶ τὸν αὑτῶν ἀριθμὸν ἔχουσι, παρὰ δὲ τῶν ἐν αὐτῷ βουλεύειν κεκώλυται τοῦτο πρὸς ἔργον ἐλθεῖν, ὥστε σὲ μὲν δικαίως ἂν ἅπαντες ἐπαινοῖμεν καὶ τὸν ὕπαρχον, ἐκείνους δὲ καὶ μισοῖμεν καὶ κακοὺς ἡγοίμεθα καὶ διδόντας δίκην ἡδέως ἂν ἴδοιμεν. εἰ γὰρ δὴ τοῦτο γένοιτο, τάχ᾿ ἂν ἡ τιμωρία παύσειε τὰ νῦν ἐναντιούμενα τῇ παρὰ σοῦ ταῖς βου|λαῖς βοηθείᾳ. τούτων οὖν εἵνεκα καὶF 453 τοῦ μαθεῖν ἅπαντας ὡς τοῖς σοὶ δοκοῦσιν εὐθὺς ἀκολουθεῖν ἄξιον, ὀργῇ τῇ προσηκούσῃ φαίνου χρώμενος κατὰ τῶν οὐκ ἀξιούντων ἄρχεσθαι. ὡς δ᾿ ἂν γένοιτό σοι σαφὲς τὸ ’κείνων κακούργημα, μικρὸν ἄνωθεν ἀρξάμενος διηγήσομαι.

2. Ἤνθουν αἱ βουλαὶ πάλαι ταῖς πόλεσιν ἁπάσαις, καὶ ἦν ἥ τε γῆ τῶν βουλευόντων καὶ τῶν γε οἰκιῶν αἱ βελτίους καὶ χρήματα ἦν ἑκάστῳ καὶ παρ᾿ ἀλλήλων ἐγάμουν καὶ ἦν εὔδαιμον τὸ βουλῆς

460

Oration XLIX

Oration 49a

To the Emperor, for the City Councils

1. As far as concerns you, Sire, and the official who, subordinate to yourself, is in charge of all other governors,b the city councils have returned to their pristine state and possess their full complement of members; but this has been prevented from being put into practice by those who actually hold the position of councillor. Thus, while rightly commending the prefect and yourself, we should loathe them, regard them as rascals and gladly see them punished. If this were to happen, the punishment perhaps would put an end to the opposition that your efforts to assist the city councils encounter. So for their sake and so that all may know that your decrees must be followed without delay, use, for all to see, your well-merited anger against those who refuse to be subjects. And that their misconduct may be made clear to you, I will begin my account with a brief recapitulation of recent history.

2. In times past the councils used to flourish in every city. The land and better-class houses used to belong to the councillors, and every one of them had money: they would intermarry, and to be a member of the council was to be well-to-do.c That

461
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.libanius-oration_49_emperor_city_councils.1977