Cicero, Pro Lege Manilia

LCL 198: 52-53

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et tam incredibilem cursum inventum putatis? Non enim illum eximia vis remigum aut ars inaudita quaedam gubernandi aut venti aliqui novi tam celeriter in ultimas terras pertulerunt, sed eae res, quae ceteros remorari solent, non retardarunt; non avaritia ab instituto cursu ad praedam aliquam devocavit, non libido ad voluptatem, non amoenitas ad delectationem, non nobilitas urbis ad cognitionem, non denique labor ipse ad quietem; postremo signa et tabulas ceteraque ornamenta Graecorum oppidorum, quae ceteri tollenda esse arbitrantur, ea sibi 41ille ne visenda quidem existimavit. Itaque omnes nunc in iis locis Cn. Pompeium sicut aliquem non ex hac urbe missum, sed de caelo delapsum intuentur; nunc denique incipiunt credere fuisse homines Romanos hac quondam continentia, quod iam nationibus exteris incredibile ac falso memoriae proditum videbatur; nunc imperii vestri splendor illis gentibus lucem adferre coepit: nunc intellegunt non sine causa maiores suos tum, cum ea temperantia magistratus habebamus, servire populo Romano quam imperare aliis maluisse. Iam vero ita faciles aditus ad eum privatorum, ita liberae querimoniae de aliorum iniuriis esse dicuntur, ut is, qui dignitate principibus excellit, facilitate infimis par esse videatur.42Iam quantum consilio, quantum dicendi gravitate et copia valeat, in quo ipso inest quaedam dignitas imperatoria, vos, Quirites, hoc ipso ex loco


On The Manilian Law

suppose he found the secret of that great rapidity of his, that amazing speed of movement? For it was not in his case the unusual strength of his oarsmen or any undiscovered secret of navigation or some new wind that bore him so swiftly to the ends of the earth: it was rather that those things which delay most other men did not keep him back. Avarice did not entice him from his appointed course to plunder of any kind, nor appetite to indulgence, nor pleasant prospects to enjoyment, nor the fame of any city to sight-seeing, nor, indeed, even toil to the taking of rest; and finally, the statues and pictures and other treasures of Greek towns which most men think themselves entitled to carry off, he did not think fit even to look at. Now, therefore, everyone41 in those regions regards Gnaeus Pompeius not as an emissary from this city but as an angel from heaven: now at last they begin to believe that there once existed Romans of like self-control, though foreign nations were beginning to think such a thing incredible, a mere mistaken legend: now does the brightness of your empire begin to shed the light of hope upon those races: now they begin to realize that their forefathers were not without reason in preferring, at a time when we had magistrates of like moderation, to serve Rome rather than to rule others. Moreover, it is said that he is so easy of access to ordinary people, so open to hear their complaints of wrongs done them by others, that he whose greatness surpasses that of princes appears in accessibility the equal of the lowest. His powers in42 counsel, the weight and eloquence of his oratory, which is characterized by the dignity appropriate to a commander, you have often had occasion, gentlemen,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-pro_lege_manilia.1927