Cicero, Pro Lege Manilia

LCL 198: 56-57

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dicam neque aliorum exemplis confirmem, quantum auctoritas1 valeat in bello, ab eodem Cn. Pompeio omnium rerum egregiarum exempla sumantur; qui quo die a vobis maritimo bello praepositus est imperator, tanta repente vilitas annonae ex summa inopia et caritate rei frumentariae consecuta est unius hominis spe ac nomine, quantum vix ex summa ubertate agrorum diuturna pax efficere potuisset. 45Iam accepta in Ponto calamitate ex eo proelio, de quo vos paulo ante invitus admonui, cum socii pertimuissent, hostium opes animique crevissent, satis firmum praesidium provincia non haberet, amisissetis Asiam, Quirites, nisi ad ipsum discrimen eius temporis divinitus Cn. Pompeium ad eas regiones fortuna populi Romani attulisset. Huius adventus et Mithridatem insolita inflammatum victoria continuit et Tigranem magnis copiis minitantem Asiae retardavit. Et quisquam dubitabit, quid virtute perfecturus sit, qui tantum auctoritate perfecerit, aut quam facile imperio atque exercitu socios et vectigalia conservaturus sit, qui ipso nomine ac rumore defenderit?

46XVI. Age vero illa res quantam declarat eiusdem hominis apud hostes populi Romani auctoritatem, quod ex locis tam longinquis tamque diversis tam brevi tempore omnes huic se uni dediderunt! quod Cretensium legati, cum in eorum insula noster imperator exercitusque esset, ad Cn. Pompeium in


On The Manilian Law

without going on to prove by the examples of other men how great is the influence of prestige in war, let me quote Pompeius once again as an example of every form of distinction: on the day on which you appointed him to take command in the Naval war, his name alone and the hopes which it inspired caused a sudden fall in the price of wheat, after a time of extreme dearth and scarcity in the corn supply, to as low a level as could possibly have been reached after a long period of peace and agricultural prosperity. And now, after the disaster in Pontus45 resulting from the battle to which I reluctantly referred a short time ago, since our allies were panic-stricken, the enemy fortified in resource and resolution, and the province possessed of no adequate garrison, you would have lost Asia, gentlemen, unless, at the critical moment, the good fortune of Rome had providentially directed Gnaeus Pompeius to the spot. His arrival restrained Mithridates, who was elated by the unusual experience of victory, and checked Tigranes, who was threatening Asia with great forces. Who, then, will be found to doubt what his valour will accomplish when his prestige has accomplished so much, or how easily he will secure the safety of our allies and our revenues by the armies under his command when he has secured their defence merely by the reputation of his name?

XVI. Again, how great is the prestige of Pompeius46 among the enemies of Rome is shown by the fact that within so short a space of time, he alone received the surrender of them all, coming as they did from regions so distant and so far apart; moreover, although there was a Roman general with his army in Crete,a to find Pompeius the Cretan envoys went

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-pro_lege_manilia.1927