Trying to Deter the Criminals Among Us

Cicero, Letters to Brutus 23.10-11

“That’s plenty said about honors. Now we need to talk a bit about punishments. I have truly understood from your letters that you want to be praised for the clemency you have shown to those you have conquered. Well, I think that everything you do is done wisely! But, speaking for myself, I consider forgiving the punishment of crimes–which is what pardoning really is–is tolerable in other matters, but insidious in this war. There has been no civil war in our state to my knowledge that did not present some kind of future constitution regardless of which side won.

But in this conflict, I can’t be sure about what order the state will have if we win, but there surely won’t be any at all if we lose. This is why I advocated for harsh punishments for Antony and Lepidus too, not in as much for the sake of vengeance as to deter the other criminals among us from attacking the state right now and to offer a clear example for the future so that no one will be inspired to imitate such madness.”

Satis multa de honoribus. nunc de poena pauca dicenda sunt. intellexi enim ex tuis saepe litteris te in iis quos bello devicisti clementiam tuam velle laudari. existimo equidem nihil a te nisi sapienter. sed sceleris poenam praetermittere (id enim est quod vocatur ignoscere), etiam si in ceteris rebus tolerabile est, in hoc bello perniciosum puto. nullum enim bellum civile fuit in nostra re publica omnium quae memoria mea fuerunt, in quo bello non, utracumque pars vicisset, tamen aliqua forma esset futura rei publicae: hoc bello victores quam rem publicam simus habituri non facile adfirmarim, victis certe nulla umquam erit. dixi igitur sententias in Antonium, dixi in Lepidum severas, neque tam ulciscendi causa quam ut et in praesens sceleratos civis timore ab impugnanda patria deterrerem et in posterum documentum statuerem ne quis talem amentiam vellet imitari. 

Relief with the punishment of Ixion (2nd century) in the Side Archaeological Museum (Side, Turkey).

Roman Dalmatia: Where Generals Go to Play

In honor of the World Cup Semi-final Match today between the former Roman Provinces of Britannia and Dalmatia, we wrote a slightly farcical post for the SCS blog. Here are some passages that did not make it into the post.

Vatinius to Cicero, Letters 5.10c c. November 45 CE

Caesar is hurting my feelings right now. He has not yet introduced anything about my Supplications and my Dalmatian victories, as if I had not actually accomplished deeds worthy of the best Triumph! Must this not be expected until I complete the whole campaign? Dalmatia has twenty ancient towns and in addition there are more tan sixty admitted at a later time. If no Supplications are allotted to  me unless the fighting is over, then I am in a very different state that the rest of the generals.

Caesar adhuc mi iniuriam facit. de meis supplicationibus et rebus gestis Dalmaticis adhuc non refert, quasi vero non iustissimi triumphi in Dalmatia res gesserim. nam si hoc exspectandum est, dum totum bellum conficiam, viginti oppida sunt Dalmatiae antiqua, quae ipsi sibi adsciverunt amplius sexaginta. haec nisi omnia expugno si mihi supplicationes non decernuntur, longe alia condicione ego sum ac ceteri imperatores.

Suetonius, Divus Augustus 22

“[Augustus] closed the temple of Janus Quirinius which since the founding of the city had been close only twice, and he did it three times in a shorter period of time once he made peace on the sea and land. He he entered the city in an Ovation twice after the war at Phillippi and again after the Sicilian War. He also held Triumphs for his conquests in Dalmatia, Actium, and Alexandria on three days in a row!”

XXII. Ianum Quirinum semel atque iterum a condita urbe ante memoriam suam clausum in multo breviore temporis spatio terra marique pace parta ter clusit. Bis ovans ingressus est urbem, post Philippense et rursus post Siculum bellum. Curulis triumphos tris egit, Delmaticum, Actiacum, Alexandrinum continuo triduo omnes.

Velleius Paterculus, History of Rome 2.78

“During this Period, [Tiberius] Caesar, in order that the great foe of discipline—leisure—not ruin his army, was trying to keep his army hard through facing danger and experience of war by leading frequent expeditions into Illyricum and Dalmatia.”

Caesar per haec tempora, ne res disciplinae inimicissima, otium, corrumperet militem, crebris in Illyrico Delmatiaque expeditionibus patientia periculorum bellique experientia durabat exercitum


Related image


Some words:

ποδαλγής: “foot-pain”

ποδαρκής: “swift-footed”

ποδοκάκη: “foot plague”

ποδόκοιλον: “hollow of the foot”

ποδοκρουστία: “stomping of feet”

ποδοστράβη: “a snare to catch feet”

ποδοσφαλέω: “to stumble”

ποδόψηστρον: “foot-wiper”

ποδώκης: “swift-footed”