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Quote of the day: He, incited by lust of sovereignty, form
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VIII Chapter 31: Papirius and Fabius. Fabius speaks to the army.[324 BC]
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Fabius immediately summoned his troops to assembly, and appealed to them to show the same courage with which they had defended the republic from a brave and determined foe in protecting from the unrestrained ferocity of the dictator the man under whose auspices and generalship they had been victorious. He was coming, maddened by jealousy, exasperated at another man's merits and good fortune, furious because the republic had triumphed in his absence. If it were in his power to change the fortune of the day, he would rather that victory rested with the Samnites than with the Romans. He kept talking about the contempt of orders as though the reason why he forbade all fighting were not precisely the same as that which makes him vexed now that we have fought. Then, prompted by jealousy, he wanted to suppress the merits of others and deprive of their arms men who were most eager to use them, so as to prevent their being employed in his absence; now he is exasperated and furious because the soldiers were not crippled or defenceless though Lucius Papirius was not with them, and because Quintus Fabius considered himself Master of the Horse and not the lacquey of the dictator. What would he have done if, as often happens amid the chances of war, the battle had gone against us, seeing that now, after the enemy has been thoroughly defeated and a victory won for the republic which even under his unrivalled generalship could not have been more complete, he is actually menacing the Master of the Horse with punishment! He would, were it in his power, treat all with equal severity, not only the Master of Horse but the military tribunes, the centurions, the men of the rank and file. Jealousy, like lightning, strikes the summits, and because he cannot reach all he has selected one man as his victim whom he regards as the chief conspirator -- your general. If he should succeed in crushing him and quenching the splendour of his success, he will treat this army as a victor treats the vanquished, and with the same ruthlessness which he has been allowed to practise on the Master of the Horse. In defending his cause they will be defending the liberty of all. If the dictator sees that the army is as united in guarding its victory as it was in fighting for it, and that one man's safety is the common concern of all, he will bring himself to a calmer frame of mind. His closing words were: "I entrust my fortunes and my life to your fidelity and courage."

His words were greeted with universal shouts of approval. They told him not to be dismayed or depressed, no man should harm him while the legions of Rome were alive.

Event: Papirius and Fabius

Fabius contione extemplo aduocata obtestatus milites est ut, qua uirtute rem publicam ab infestissimis hostibus defendissent, eadem se cuius ductu auspicioque uicissent ab impotenti crudelitate dictatoris tutarentur: uenire amentem inuidia, iratum uirtuti alienae felicitatique; furere quod se absente res publica egregie gesta esset; malle, si mutare fortunam posset, apud Samnites quam Romanos uictoriam esse; imperium dictitare spretum, tamquam non eadem mente pugnari uetuerit qua pugnatum doleat. et tunc inuidia impedire uirtutem alienam uoluisse cupidissimisque arma ablaturum fuisse militibus, ne se absente moueri possent; et nunc id furere, id aegre pati, quod sine L. Papirio non inermes, non manci milites fuerint, quod se Q. Fabius magistrum equitum duxerit ac non accensum dictatoris. quid illum facturum fuisse, si, quod belli casus ferunt Marsque communis, aduersa pugna euenisset, qui sibi deuictis hostibus, re publica bene gesta ita ut non ab illo unico duce melius geri potuerit, supplicium magistro equitum tunc uictori minetur? neque illum magistro equitum infestiorem quam tribunis militum, quam centurionibus, quam militibus esse. si posset, in omnes saeuiturum fuisse: quia id nequeat, in unum saeuire. etenim inuidiam tamquam ignem summa petere; in caput consilii, in ducem incurrere; si se simul cum gloria rei gestae exstinxisset, [tunc uictorem] uelut in capto exercitu dominantem quidquid licuerit in magistro equitum in militibus ausurum. proinde adessent in sua causa omnium libertati. si consensum exercitus eundem qui in proelio fuerit in tuenda uictoria uideat et salutem unius omnibus curae esse, inclinaturum ad clementiorem sententiam animum. postremo se uitam fortunasque suas illorum fidei uirtutique permittere.