Tools

SALLUST

BELLUM CATILINAE

1. Omnis homines qui sese student praestare ceteris animalibus summa ope niti decet ne vitam silentio transeant veluti pecora, quae natura prona atque ventri oboedientia finxit. 2Sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est; animi imperio, corporis servitio magis utimur; alterum nobis cum dis, alterum cum beluis commune est. 3Quo mihi rectius [esse]1 videtur ingeni quam virium opibus gloriam quaerere, et, quoniam vita ipsa qua fruimur brevis est, memoriam nostri quam maxume longam efficere; 4nam divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur.

5Sed diu magnum inter mortalis certamen fuit vine corporis an virtute animi res militaris magis procederet. 6Nam et prius quam incipias, consulto, et ubi consulueris, mature facto opus est. 7Ita utrumque per se indigens alterum alterius auxilio eget.

2. Igitur initio regesnam in terris nomen imperi id primum fuitdivorsi pars ingenium, alii corpus exercebant; etiam tum vita hominum sine cupiditate agitabatur; sua quoique satis placebant. 2Postea vero

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THE WAR WITH CATILINE

THE WAR WITH CATILINE

1. All humans who are keen to surpass other animals had best strive with all their might not to pass through life without notice, like cattle, which nature has fashioned bent over and subservient to their stomachs. All our power, however, is situated in mind and body; we employ the mind to rule, the body rather to serve; the one we have in common with the gods, the other with beasts. Accordingly, it seems to me more proper to seek renown with the resources of intellect than of physical strength, and since the life we enjoy is itself brief, to make the memory of ourselves as lasting as possible. For the renown of riches and beauty is fleeting and fragile; excellence is a shining and lasting possession.

Yet for a long time there was a big dispute among mortals whether success in war depends more on bodily strength or mental excellence. (For, before you begin, there is need for deliberation, and for prompt action after you have deliberated. Thus each component,1 inadequate on its own, requires the help of the other.)

2. And so, in the beginning kings—for that was the first title of sovereignty on earth—adopted different courses, some employing their intellect, others their body; men were still living their lives at that time without greed; each person was quite content with his own possessions. But after Cyrus in Asia,

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sallust-war_catiline.2013