Livy, History of Rome 9

LCL 191: 164-165

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Livy

a.u.c. 433irarum, quem meorum suppliciorum iudicem feram? Neminem neque populum neque privatum fugio. 8Quod si nihil cum potentiore iuris humani relinquitur inopi, at ego ad deos vindices intolerandae superbiae 9confugiam et precabor ut iras suas vertant in eos quibus non suae redditae res, non alienae accumulatae satis sint; quorum saevitiam non mors noxiorum, non deditio exanimatorum corporum, non bona sequentia domini deditionem exsatient,1 nisi hauriendum sanguinem laniandaque viscera nostra praebuerimus. 10Iustum est bellum, Samnites, quibus necessarium, et pia arma quibus nulla nisi in armis 11relinquitur spes. Proinde, cum rerum humanarum maximum momentum sit, quam propitiis rem, quam adversis agant dis, pro certo habete priora bella adversus deos magis quam homines gessisse, hoc quod instat ducibus ipsis dis gesturos.”

II. Haec non laeta magis quam vera vaticinatus exercitu educto circa Caudium castra quam potest 2occultissime locat. Inde ad Calatiam, ubi iam consules Romanos castraque esse audiebat, milites decem pastorum habitu mittit pecoraque diversos, alium alibi, haud procul Romanis pascere iubet praesidiis; 3ubi inciderint in praedatores, ut idem omnibus sermo constet, legiones Samnitium in Apulia esse, Luceriam omnibus copiis circumsedere nec procul abesse quin

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Book IX

your anger and my punishment? I refuse no nation, b.c. 321no private citizen. But if, in dealing with the mighty, the weak are left no human rights, yet will I seek protection of the gods, who visit retribution on intolerable pride, and will beseech them that they turn their anger against those who are not content with the restitution of their own possessions, nor the heaping up in addition of other men’s; whose rage is not sated with the death of the guilty, nor with the surrender of their lifeless bodies, nor with the master’s goods going with that surrender—unless we yield them our blood to drink and our flesh to rend. Samnites, that war is just which is necessary, and righteous are their arms to whom, save only in arms, no hope is left. Since, therefore, it is of the utmost moment in the affairs of men whether what they undertake be pleasing in the sight of Heaven or whether it be offensive, be well assured that you waged your former war rather against gods than men, but that you will wage this war now threatening with the gods themselves for your leaders.”

II. Having pronounced these words, as prophetic as they were encouraging, he led his army out and encamped with all possible secrecy in the vicinity of Caudium. Thence he dispatched in the direction of Calatia, where he heard that the Roman consuls were already in camp, ten soldiers in the guise of shepherds, with orders to graze their flocks—dispersed one here another there—at no great distance from the Romans. On encountering pillagers, they were all to tell one story; namely, that the Samnite levies were in Apulia, where they were laying siege with all their forces to Luceria, and were on the

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_9.1926