Penētōn

220px-Tiberius_Gracchus
Tiberius Gracchus

Ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲν ἐπέραινον· ὁ γὰρ Τιβέριος πρὸς καλὴν ὑπόθεσιν καὶ δικαίαν ἀγωνιζόμενος λόγῳ καὶ φαυλότερα κοσμῆσαι δυναμένῳ πράγματα δεινὸς ἦν καὶ ἄμαχος, ὁπότε τοῦ δήμου τῷ βήματι περικεχυμένου καταστὰς λέγοι περὶ τῶν πενήτων, ὡς τὰ μὲν θηρία τὰ τὴν Ἰταλίαν νεμόμενα καὶ φωλεὸν ἔχει καὶ κοιταῖόν ἐστιν αὐτῶν ἑκάστῳ καὶ καταδύσεις, τοῖς δὲ ὑπὲρ τῆς Ἰταλίας μαχομένοις καὶ ἀποθνήσκουσιν ἀέρος καὶ φωτός, ἄλλου δὲ οὐδενὸς μέτεστιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἄοικοι καὶ ἀνίδρυτοι μετὰ τέκνων πλανῶνται καὶ γυναικῶν, οἱ δὲ αὐτοκράτορες ψεύδονται τοὺς στρατιώτας ἐν ταῖς μάχαις παρακαλοῦντες ὑπὲρ τάφων καὶ ἱερῶν ἀμύνεσθαι τοὺς πολεμίους· οὐδενὶ γάρ ἐστιν οὐ βωμὸς πατρῷος, οὐκ ἠρίον προγονικὸν τῶν τοσούτων Ῥωμαίων, ἀλλ᾽ ὑπὲρ ἀλλοτρίας τρυφῆς καὶ πλούτου πολεμοῦσι καὶ ἀποθνήσκουσι, κύριοι τῆς οἰκουμένης εἶναι λεγόμενοι, μίαν δὲ βῶλον ἰδίαν οὐκ ἔχοντες.
(Plutarchus, Tiberius Gracchus 9.4-5)

But they accomplished nothing; for Tiberius, striving to support a measure which was honourable and just with an eloquence that would have adorned even a meaner cause, was formidable and invincible, whenever, with the people crowding around the rostra, he took his stand there and pleaded for the poor. “The wild beasts that roam over Italy,” he would say, “have every one of them a cave or lair to lurk in; but the men who fight and die for Italy enjoy the common air and light, indeed, but nothing else; houseless and homeless they wander about with their wives and children. And it is with lying lips that their imperators exhort the soldiers in their battles to defend sepulchres and shrines from the enemy; for not a man of them has an hereditary altar, not one of all these many Romans an ancestral tomb, but they fight and die to support others in wealth and luxury, and though they are styled masters of the world, they have not a single clod of earth that is their own.” (tr. Bernadotte Perrin)

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