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Quote of the day: 24 much learning doth make thee mad.
Notes
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIV Chapter 44: Murder of Pedanius Secundus. Speech of Gaius Cassius (cont.)[AD 61]
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"Is it your pleasure to search for arguments in a matter already weighed in the deliberations of wiser men than ourselves? Even if we had now for the first time to come to a decision, do you believe that a slave took courage to murder his master [Note 1] without letting fall a threatening word or uttering a rash syllable? Granted that he concealed his purpose, that he procured his weapon without his fellows' knowledge. Could he pass the night-guard, could he open the doors of the chamber, carry in a light, and accomplish the murder, while all were in ignorance? There are many preliminaries to guilt; if these are divulged by slaves, we may live singly amid numbers, safe among a trembling throng; lastly, if we must perish, it will be with vengeance on the guilty. Our ancestors always suspected the temper of their slaves, even when they were born on the same estates, or in the same houses with themselves and thus inherited from their birth an affection for their masters. But now that we have in our households nations with different customs to our own, with a foreign worship or none at all, it is only by terror you can hold in such a motley rabble. But, it will be said, the innocent will perish. Well, even in a beaten army when every tenth man is felled by the club, the lot falls also on the brave. There is some injustice in every great precedent, which, though injurious to individuals, has its compensation in the public advantage.

Note 1: master = Pedanius Secundus

Event: Murder of Pedanius Secundus

Libet argumenta conquirere in eo, quod sapientioribus deliberatum est? sed et si nunc primum statuendum haberemus, creditisne servum interficiendi domini animum sumpsisse, ut non vox minax excideret, nihil per temeritatem proloqueretur? sane consilium occul[ta]vit, telum inter ignaros paravit: num excubias transire, cubiculi fores recludere, lumen inferre, caedem patrare [poterat] omnibus nesciis? multa sceleri indicia praeveniunt: servi si prodant, possumus singuli inter plures, tuti inter anxios, postremo, si pereundum sit, non inulti inter nocentes agere. suspecta maioribus nostris fuerunt ingenia servorum, etiam cum in agris aut domibus i[s]dem nascerentur caritatemque dominorum statim acciperent. postquam vero nationes in familiis habemus, quibus diversi ritus, externa sacra aut nulla sunt, conluviem istam non nisi metu coercueris. at quidam insontes peribunt. nam et ex fuso exercitu cum decimus quisque fusti feritur, etiam strenui sortiuntur. habet aliquid ex iniquo