Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 6.63

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מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים ד / מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים D

טקסט

[63.1] "These are the reasons why I do not think we should fear a war on the part of the fugitives. As to the dangers from foreign nations, this is not the first time those dangers will have been proved to be such in words only, but even before this, whenever they have given us the opportunity of putting them to the test, they have been found less terrible than we apprehended. And let those who believe our domestic forces to be inadequate and dread war chiefly for this reason learn that they are not sufficiently acquainted with them.

2 So far indeed as the seceders among the citizens are concerned, we shall have an adequate force to cope with them if we see fit to choose out the most vigorous of our slaves and give them their freedom. For it is better to grant these their freedom than to be deprived of our supremacy by the others. The slaves are already possessed of sufficient military skill by having attended us in many campaigns.

3 Against our foreign enemies let us not only march out ourselves with all possible alacrity, but let us take along all our clients and such plebeians as remain; and in order that they may be eager for the struggle, let us grant them an abolition of their debts, not to all collectively, but to each one individually. For if we must yield to the times and show some moderation, let not that moderation be extended toward such of the citizens as are our enemies, but towards such as are our friends, on whom we shall then seem to be bestowing favours, not under compulsion, but as the result of persuasion. And if still other assistance shall be needed, this being thought insufficient, let us send for the garrisons of the fortresses and recall the men from the colonies.

4 How large the number of these is may be easily learned from the last census, when there were assessed 130,000 Romans of military age, of which the fugitives would not make a seventh part. I say nothing of the thirty cities of the Latin nation, which would be only too glad to fight our battles by reason of their kinship, if you would but grant them equal rights of citizenship, which they have constantly sought.

הערות

אדישותו של אפיוס קלאודיוס לפרישת הפלבס בשנת 493 לפנה"ס, בטענה שתרומתם של הפלבאים לכוח הלחימה הרומי היא שולית , וניתן לפצות על חסרונה דרך גיוס הקליינטים של הפטריקים.

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