Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: Even the sons of Mithridates were butche
Notes
Do not display Latin text
Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 35: Prosecutions for Majestas. Cordus (cont.)[AD 25]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
"Of the Greeks I [Note 1] say nothing; with them not only liberty, but even license went unpunished, or if a person aimed at chastising, he retaliated on satire by satire. It has, however, always been perfectly open to us without any one to censure, to speak freely of those whom death has withdrawn alike from the partialities of hatred or esteem. Are Cassius and Brutus now in arms on the fields of Philippi, and am I with them rousing the people by harangues to stir up civil war? Did they not fall more than seventy years ago, and as they are known to us by statues which even the conqueror did not destroy, so too is not some portion of their memory preserved for us by historians? To every man posterity gives his due honour, and, if a fatal sentence hangs over me, there will be those who will remember me as well as Cassius and Brutus." He then left the Senate and ended his life by starvation. His books, so the senators decreed, were to be burnt by the aediles; but some copies were left which were concealed and afterwards published. And so one is all the more inclined to laugh at the stupidity of men who suppose that the despotism of the present can actually efface the remembrances of the next generation. On the contrary, the persecution of genius fosters its influence; foreign tyrants, and all who have imitated their oppression, have merely procured infamy for themselves and glory for their victims.

Note 1: I = Cordus

Event: Majestas prosecution: Cremutius Cordus

Non attingo Graecos, quorum non modo libertas, etiam libido impunita; aut si quis advertit, dictis dicta ultus est. sed maxime solutum et sine obtrectatore fuit prodere de iis quos mors odio aut gratiae exemisset. num enim armatis Cassio et Bruto ac Philippensis campos optinentibus belli civilis causa populum per contiones incendo? an illi quidem septuagesimum ante annum perempti, quo modo imaginibus suis noscuntur, quas ne victor quidem abolevit, sic partem memoriae apud scriptores retinent? suum cuique decus posteritas rependit; nec deerunt, si damnatio ingruit, qui non modo Cassii et Bruti set etiam mei meminerint.' egressus dein senatu vitam abstinentia finivit. libros per aedilis cremandos censuere patres: set manserunt, occultati et editi. quo magis socordiam eorum inridere libet qui praesenti potentia credunt extingui posse etiam sequentis aevi memoriam. nam contra punitis ingeniis gliscit auctoritas, neque aliud externi reges aut qui eadem saevitia usi sunt nisi