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Quote of the day: Those who are nearest to the Gauls are a
Notes
Do not display Latin text
Agricola by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 15: Further problems in Britain (cont.)[AD 61]
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Relieved from apprehension by the legate's absence, the Britons dwelt much among themselves on the miseries of subjection, compared their wrongs, and exaggerated them in the discussion. "All we get by patience," they said, "is that heavier demands are exacted from us, as from men who will readily submit. A single king once ruled us; now two are set over us; a legate to tyrannise over our lives, a procurator to tyrannise over our property. Their quarrels and their harmony are alike ruinous to their subjects. The centurions of the one, the slaves of the other, combine violence with insult. Nothing is now safe from their avarice, nothing from their lust. In war it is the strong who plunders; now, it is for the most part by cowards and poltroons that our homes are rifled, our children torn from us, the conscription enforced, as though it were for our country alone that we could not die. For, after all, what a mere handful of soldiers has crossed over, if we Britons look at our own numbers. Germany did thus shake off the yoke, and yet its defence was a river, not the ocean. With us, fatherland, wives, parents, are the motives to war; with them, only greed and profligacy. They will surely fly, as did the now deified Julius, if once we emulate the valour of our sires. Let us not be panic-stricken at the result of one or two engagements. The miserable have more fury and greater resolution. Now even the gods are beginning to pity us, for they are keeping away the Roman general, and detaining his army far from us in another island. We have already taken the hardest step; we are deliberating. And indeed, in all such designs, to dare is less perilous than to be detected."

Note 1: legate = Suetonius Paullinus

Event: Further problems in Britain

Namque absentia legati remoto metu Britanni agitare inter se mala servitutis, conferre iniurias et interpretando accendere: nihil profici patientia nisi ut graviora tamquam ex facili tolerantibus imperentur. Singulos sibi olim reges fuisse, nunc binos imponi, e quibus legatus in sanguinem, procurator in bona saeviret. Aeque discordiam praepositorum, aeque concordiam subiectis exitiosam. Alterius manus centuriones, alterius servos vim et contumelias miscere. Nihil iam cupiditati, nihil libidini exceptum. In proelio fortiorem esse qui spoliet: nunc ab ignavis plerumque et imbellibus eripi domos, abstrahi liberos, iniungi dilectus, tamquam mori tantum pro patria nescientibus. Quantulum enim transisse militum, si sese Britanni numerent? Sic Germanias excussisse iugum: et flumine, non Oceano defendi. Sibi patriam coniuges parentes, illis avaritiam et luxuriam causas belli esse. Recessuros, ut divus Iulius recessisset, modo virtutem maiorum suorum aemularentur. Neve proelii unius aut alterius eventu pavescerent: plus impetus felicibus, maiorem constantiam penes miseros esse. Iam Britannorum etiam deos misereri, qui Romanum ducem absentem, qui relegatum in alia insula exercitum detinerent; iam ipsos, quod difficillimum fuerit, deliberare. Porro in eius modi consiliis periculosius esse deprehendi quam audere.