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Quote of the day: What, pray, would have happened if his l
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VIII Chapter 34: Papirius and Fabius. Speech of Papirius[324 BC]
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He had on his side the support of the august and venerable senate, the sympathy of the people, the protection of the tribunes, and the remembrance of the absent army. On the other side were pleaded the unquestioned sovereign power of the Roman people and all the traditions of military discipline, the dictator's edict which had ever been regarded as possessing divine sanction, and the example of Manlius who had sacrificed his affection for his son to the interests of the State. Brutus too, urged the dictator, the founder of Roman freedom, had done this before in the case of his two children. Now fathers were indulgent, and aged men, easy-going in matters that do not touch themselves, were spoiling the young men, teaching them to despise authority and treating military discipline as of little importance. He declared his intention of adhering to his purpose, he would not abate a single jot of the punishment due to the man who had fought in defiance of his injunctions, while the auspices were doubtful and the religious sanction withheld. Whether the supreme authority of the dictator was to remain unimpaired did not depend on him; he, Lucius Papirius, would do nothing to weaken its power. He sincerely hoped that the tribunes would not use their authority, itself inviolable, to violate by their interference the sovereignty of the Roman government, and that the people to whom the appeal had been made would not extinguish in his case especially dictator and dictatorship alike. "If it did, it will not be Lucius Papirius but the tribunes, the corrupt judgment of the people that posterity will accuse and accuse in vain. When the bond of military discipline has once been broken no soldier will obey his centurion, no centurion his military tribune, no military tribune his general, no Master of the Horse the dictator. No one will have any reverence or respect for either men or gods, no observance will be shown to the orders of commanders or the auspices under which they acted. Without obtaining leave of absence soldiers will roam at will through friendly or hostile country; in total disregard of their military oath they will abandon their standards when and where they chose, they will refuse to assemble when ordered, they will fight regardless of day or night, whether the ground were favourable or unfavourable, whether their commander has given orders or not, keeping no formation, no order. Military service, instead of being the solemn and sacred thing it is, will resemble wild and disorderly brigandage. Expose yourselves, tribunes, to all future ages as the authors of these evils! Make yourselves personally responsible for the criminal recklessness of Quintus Fabius!"

Event: Papirius and Fabius

Stabat cum eo senatus maiestas, fauor populi, tribunicium auxilium, memoria absentis exercitus; ex parte altera imperium inuictum populi Romani et disciplina rei militaris et dictatoris edictum pro numine semper obseruatum et Manliana imperia et posthabita filii caritas publicae utilitati iactabantur: hoc etiam L. Brutum, conditorem Romanae libertatis, antea in duobus liberis fecisse; nunc patres comes et senes faciles de alieno imperio spreto, tamquam rei paruae, disciplinae militaris euersae iuuentuti gratiam facere. se tamen perstaturum in incepto nec ei, qui aduersus edictum suum turbatis religionibus ac dubiis auspiciis pugnasset, quicquam ex iusta poena remissurum. maiestas imperii perpetuane esset non esse in sua potestate: L. Papirium nihil eius deminuturum; optare ne potestas tribunicia, inuiolata ipsa, uiolet intercessione sua Romanum imperium neu populus in se potissimum dictatore uim et ius dictaturae exstinguat. quod si fecisset, non L. Papirium sed tribunos, sed prauum populi iudicium nequiquam posteros accusaturos, cum polluta semel militari disciplina non miles centurionis, non centurio tribuni, non tribunus legati, non legatus consulis, non magister equitum dictatoris pareat imperio, nemo hominum, nemo deorum uerecundiam habeat, non edicta imperatorum, non auspicia obseruentur, sine commeatu uagi milites in pacato, in hostico errent, immemores sacramenti licentia sua se ubi uelint exauctorent, infrequentia deserantur signa, neque conueniatur ad edictum, nec discernatur interdiu nocte, aequo iniquo loco, [iussu] iniussu imperatoris pugnent, et non signa, non ordines seruent, latrocinii modo caeca et fortuita pro sollemni et sacrata militia sit. + 'horum criminum uos reos in omnia saecula offerte, tribuni plebi; uestra obnoxia capita pro licentia Q. Fabi obicite.'