Livy, History of Rome 29

LCL 381: 206-207

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Livy

Liber XXIX

I. Scipio postquam in Siciliam venit, voluntarios a.u.c. 5492milites ordinavit centuriavitque. Ex iis trecentos iuvenes, florentes aetate et virium robore insignes,1 inermes circa se habebat, ignorantes quem ad usum 3neque centuriati neque armati servarentur. Tum ex totius Siciliae iuniorum numero principes genere et fortuna trecentos equites qui secum in Africam traicerent legit, diemque iis qua equis armisque 4instructi atque ornati adessent edixit. Gravis ea militia procul domo, terra marique multos labores magna pericula allatura videbatur; neque ipsos modo sed parentes cognatosque eorum ea cura angebat. 5Ubi dies quae edicta2 erat advenit, arma equosque ostenderunt. Tum Scipio renuntiari sibi dixit quosdam equites Siculorum tamquam gravem et 6duram horrere eam militiam; si qui ita animati essent, malle eos sibi iam tum fateri quam postmodo querentes segnes atque inutiles milites rei publicae esse; expromerent quid sentirent; cum bona venia 7se auditurum. Ubi ex iis unus ausus est dicere se

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Book XXIX

Book XXIX

I. Scipio, now that he had reached Sicily, assigned b.c. 205his volunteers to their ranks and centuries. Three hundred of them, young men in the bloom of their youth and conspicuous for their physical strength, he kept about him unarmed and ignorant of the purpose for which they were being reserved without being organized in centuries or furnished with arms. Then he chose out of the number of the younger men of all Sicily three hundred horsemen, men of high rank and of wealth, to cross over with him into Africa. He appointed a day also on which they were to present themselves equipped and furnished with horses and arms. Such service far from home seemed to them formidable and likely to bring many hardships and great dangers on land and sea. And concern on this account troubled not merely the men themselves but also their parents and relations. When the day which had been appointed came the men displayed their arms and horses. Then Scipio said reports were coming to him that some of the Sicilian horsemen shrank from that service as formidable and difficult. If any were of that mind he preferred that they should confess it to him at once, rather than complain later and prove spiritless soldiers and useless for the state. Let them declare what was their mind; he would give them a kindly hearing. When one of them ventured to say that

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_29.1949