Cicero, Pro Lege Manilia

LCL 198: 40-41

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Cicero

debuit? qui e ludo atque pueritiae disciplinis, bello maximo atque acerrimis hostibus, ad patris exercitum atque in militiae disciplinam profectus est; qui extrema pueritia miles in exercitu fuit summi imperatoris, ineunte adulescentia maximi ipse exercitus imperator; qui saepius cum hoste conflixit, quam quisquam cum inimico concertavit, plura bella gessit quam ceteri legerunt, plures provincias confecit quam alii concupiverunt; cuius adulescentia ad scientiam rei militaris non alienis praeceptis, sed suis imperiis, non offensionibus belli, sed victoriis, non stipendiis, sed triumphis est erudita. Quod denique genus esse belli potest, in quo illum non exercuerit fortuna rei publicae? Civile, Africanum, Transalpinum, Hispaniense,1 servile, navale bellum, varia et diversa genera et bellorum et hostium non solum gesta ab hoc uno, sed etiam confecta nullam rem esse declarant in usu positam militari, quae huius viri scientiam fugere possit.

29XI. Iam vero virtuti Cn. Pompei quae potest oratio par inveniri? Quid est, quod quisquam aut illo dignum aut vobis novum aut cuiquam inauditum possit adferre? Neque enim illae sunt solae virtutes imperatoriae, quae vulgo existimantur, labor in negotiis, fortitudo in periculis, industria in agendo, celeritas in conficiendo, consilium in providendo, quae

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On The Manilian Law

more knowledge of warfare than Pompeius—a man who left school and the studies of boyhood to join his father’s army and study war in a serious campaign against formidable foesa; who when hardly more than a boy served as a soldier in an army commanded by a great general, and in early manhood was himself a general in command of a large army; who has done battle more often with his country’s enemies than any other man has quarrelled with his own, fought more campaigns than other men have read of, discharged more public offices than other men have coveted; who, in his youth, learned the lessons of warfare not from the instructions of others but from the commands he held himself, not by reverses in war but by victories, not through campaigns but through triumphs? In short, what manner of warfare can there be in which the vicissitudes of his country have not afforded him experience? The civil war, the wars in Africa, Transalpine Gaul and Spain, the Slave war and the Naval war,b wars different in type and locality and against foes as different, not only carried on by himself unaided but carried to a conclusion, make it manifest that there is no item within the sphere of military experience which can be beyond the knowledge of Pompeius.

XI Moreover, to the ability of Gnaeus Pompeius29 what words can be found to do justice? What tribute can anyone pay other than what would be unworthy of him, stale to you and familiar to everybody? For the qualities proper to a general are not only those which are commonly supposed to be so—application to duty, courage in danger, thoroughness in operation, rapidity in execution, wisdom in

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-pro_lege_manilia.1927