Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: Our ancestors wanted Janus Quirinus to b
Do not display Latin text
Agricola by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 32: Agricola in Britain. Speech of Galcagus (cont.)[AD 84]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
"Do you suppose that the Romans will be as brave in war as they are licentious in peace? To our strifes and discords they owe their fame, and they turn the errors of an enemy to the renown of their own army, an army which, composed as it is of every variety of nations, is held together by success and will be broken up by disaster. These Gauls and Germans, and, I [Note 1] blush to say, these Britons, who, though they lend their lives to support a stranger's rule, have been its enemies longer than its subjects, you cannot imagine to be bound by fidelity and affection. Fear and terror there certainly are, feeble bonds of attachment; remove them, and those who have ceased to fear will begin to hate. All the incentives to victory are on our side. The Romans have no wives to kindle their courage; no parents to taunt them with flight, man have either no country or one far away. Few in number, dismayed by their ignorance, looking around upon a sky, a sea, and forests which are all unfamiliar to them; hemmed in, as it were, and enmeshed, the Gods have delivered them into our hands. Be not frightened by the idle display, by the glitter of gold and of silver, which can neither protect nor wound. In the very ranks of the enemy we shall find our own forces. Britons will acknowledge their own cause; Gauls will remember past freedom; the other Germans will abandon them, as but lately did the Usipii. Behind them there is nothing to dread. The forts are ungarrisoned; the colonies in the hands of aged men; what with disloyal subjects and oppressive rulers, the towns are ill-affected and rife with discord. On the one side you have a general and an army; on the other, tribute, the mines, and all the other penalties of an enslaved people. Whether you endure these for ever, or instantly avenge them, this field is to decide. Think, therefore, as you advance to battle, at once of your ancestors and of your posterity."

Note 1: I = Galgacus

Event: Agricola in Britain: 84 AD

"An eandem Romanis in bello virtutem quam in pace lasciviam adesse creditis? Nostris illi dissensionibus ac discordiis clari vitia hostium in gloriam exercitus sui vertunt; quem contractum ex diversissimis gentibus ut secundae res tenent, ita adversae dissolvent: nisi si Gallos et Germanos et (pudet dictu) Britannorum plerosque, licet dominationi alienae sanguinem commodent, diutius tamen hostis quam servos, fide et adfectu teneri putatis. Metus ac terror sunt infirma vincla caritatis; quae ubi removeris, qui timere desierint, odisse incipient. Omnia victoriae incitamenta pro nobis sunt: nullae Romanos coniuges accendunt, nulli parentes fugam exprobraturi sunt; aut nulla plerisque patria aut alia est. Paucos numero, trepidos ignorantia, caelum ipsum ac mare et silvas, ignota omnia circumspectantis, clausos quodam modo ac vinctos di nobis tradiderunt. Ne terreat vanus aspectus et auri fulgor atque argenti, quod neque tegit neque vulnerat. In ipsa hostium acie inveniemus nostras manus: adgnoscent Britanni suam causam, recordabuntur Galli priorem libertatem, tam deserent illos ceteri Germani quam nuper Usipi reliquerunt. Nec quicquam ultra formidinis: vacua castella, senum coloniae, inter male parentis et iniuste imperantis aegra municipia et discordantia. Hic dux, hic exercitus: ibi tributa et metalla et ceterae servientium poenae, quas in aeternum perferre aut statim ulcisci in hoc campo est. Proinde ituri in aciem et maiores vestros et posteros cogitate.'