Cicero, Philippics 3.35-36:
“The ultimate fate has now befallen the republic. Let us – chief citizens of all lands and peoples – make like the noble gladiators, who submit to death with honor, so that we can die with dignity rather than live as slaves with ignominy.
Nothing is more detestable than disgrace, nothing more shameful than slavery. We have been born for glory and freedom – let us either hold on to these things or die with dignity. We have disguised too long what we think, but now it is out in the open. Everyone now reveals what they think and what they wish on either side. There are a few impious citizens opposed to the multitude of the right minded, but in light of the dearness of the republic, they are too many. The immortal gods have given to the republic the incredible power and fortune of repressing them.”
fatum extremum rei publicae venit, quod gladiatores nobiles faciunt, ut honeste decumbant, faciamus nos principes orbis terrarum gentiumque omnium, ut cum dignitate potius cadamus quam cum ignominia serviamus.
Nihil est detestabilius dedecore, nihil foedius servitute. Ad decus et ad libertatem nati sumus; aut haec teneamus aut cum dignitate moriamur. Nimium diu teximus, quid sentiremus; nunc iam apertum est; omnes patefaciunt, in utramque partem quid sentiant, quid velint. Sunt impii cives, sed pro caritate rei publicae nimium multi, contra multitudinem bene sentientium admodum pauci; quorum opprimendorum di immortales incredibilem rei publicae potestatem et fortunam dederunt.