Aphairoumenōn

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Καταλέγοντι δ’ αὐτῷ τὸν στρατὸν ἐς τὰς ἀποικίας καὶ τὴν γῆν ἐπινέμοντι δυσεργὲς ἦν. οἵ τε γὰρ στρατιῶται τὰς πόλεις ᾔτουν, αἳ αὐτοῖς ἀριστίνδην ἦσαν ἐπειλεγμέναι πρὸ τοῦ πολέμου, καὶ αἱ πόλεις ἠξίουν τὴν Ἰταλίαν ἅπασαν ἐπινείμασθαι τὸ ἔργον ἢ ἐν ἀλλήλαις διαλαχεῖν τῆς τε γῆς τὴν τιμὴν τοὺς δωρουμένους ᾔτουν, καὶ ἀργύριον οὐκ ἦν, ἀλλὰ συνιόντες ἀνὰ μέρος ἐς τὴν Ῥώμην οἵ τε νέοι καὶ γέροντες ἢ αἱ γυναῖκες ἅμα τοῖς παιδίοις, ἐς τὴν ἀγορὰν ἢ τὰ ἱερά, ἐθρήνουν, οὐδὲν μὲν ἀδικῆσαι λέγοντες, Ἰταλιῶται δὲ ὄντες ἀνίστασθαι γῆς τε καὶ ἑστίας οἷα δορίληπτοι. ἐφ’ οἷς οἱ Ῥωμαῖοι συνήχθοντο καὶ ἐπεδάκρυον, καὶ μάλιστα, ὅτε ἐνθυμηθεῖεν οὐχ ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ σφίσιν αὐτοῖς καὶ τῇ μεταβολῇ τῆς πολιτείας τόν τε πόλεμον γεγονότα καὶ τὰ ἐπινίκια διδόμενα καὶ τὰς ἀποικίας συνισταμένας τοῦ μηδ’ αὖθις ἀνακῦψαι τὴν δημοκρατίαν, παρῳκισμένων τοῖς ἄρχουσι μισθοφόρων ἑτοίμων, ἐς ὅ τι χρῄζοιεν. ὁ δὲ Καῖσαρ ταῖς πόλεσιν ἐξελογεῖτο τὴν ἀνάγκην, καὶ ἐδόκουν οὐδ’ ὣς ἀρκέσειν. οὐδ’ ἤρκουν, ἀλλὰ ὁ στρατὸς καὶ τοῖς γείτοσιν ἐπέβαινε σὺν ὕβρει, πλέονά τε τῶν διδομένων σφίσι περισπώμενοι καὶ τὸ ἄμεινον ἐκλεγόμενοι. οὐδὲ ἐπιπλήσσοντος αὐτοῖς καὶ δωρουμένου πολλὰ ἄλλα τοῦ Καίσαρος ἐπαύοντο, ἐπεὶ καὶ τῶν ἀρχόντων, ὡς δεομένων σφῶν ἐς τὸ ἐγκρατὲς τῆς ἀρχῆς, κατεφρόνουν. καὶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἡ πενταετία παρώδευε, καὶ τὸ ἀσφαλὲς ἡ χρεία συνῆγεν ἀμφοτέροις παρ᾽ ἀλλήλων, τοῖς μὲν ἡγεμόσιν ἐς τὴν ἀρχὴν παρὰ τοῦ στρατοῦ, τῷ στρατῷ δὲ ἐς τὴν ἐπικράτησιν ὧν ἔλαβον, ἡ τῶν δεδωκότων ἀρχὴ παραμένουσα. ὡς γὰρ αὐτῶν οὐ βεβαίως ἐπικρατήσοντες, εἰ μὴ βεβαίως ἄρχοιεν οἱ δόντες, ὑπερεμάχουν ἀπ’ εὐνοίας ἀναγκαίου. πολλὰ δὲ καὶ ἄλλα τοῖς ἀπορουμένοις αὐτῶν ἐδωρεῖτο, δανειζόμενος ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν, ὁ Καῖσαρ. ὅθεν τὴν γνώμην ὁ στρατὸς ἐς αὐτὸν ἐπέστρεφε, καὶ πλείων ὑπήντα χάρις ὡς γῆν ἅμα καὶ πόλεις καὶ χρήματα καὶ οἰκήματα δωρουμένῳ καὶ καταβοωμένῳ μὲν ἐπιφθόνως ὑπὸ τῶν ἀφαιρουμένων, φέροντι δὲ τὴν ὕβριν ἐς χάριν τοῦ στρατοῦ.
(Appian, Rhōmaïka 17.12-13)

The task of assigning the soldiers to their colonies and dividing the land was one of exceeding difficulty. The soldiers demanded the cities which had been selected for them before the war as prizes for their valor. The cities demanded that the whole of Italy should share the burden, or that the cities should cast lots with the other cities, and that those who gave the land should be paid the value of it; but there was no money. They came to Rome in crowds, young and old, women and children, to the forum and the temples, uttering lamentations, saying that they had done no wrong for which they, Italians, should be driven from their fields and their hearthstones, like people conquered in war. The Romans mourned and wept with them, especially when they reflected that the war had been waged, and the rewards of victory given, not in behalf of the commonwealth, but against themselves and for a change of the form of government; that the colonies were established so that democracy should never again lift its head,— colonies composed of hirelings settled there by the rulers to be in readiness for whatever purpose they might be wanted. Octavius explained to the cities the necessity of the case, but he knew that it would not satisfy them; and it did not. The soldiers encroached upon their neighbors in an insolent manner, seizing more than had been given to them and choosing the best lands; nor did they cease when Octavius rebuked them and made them numerous other presents. They were contemptuous in the knowledge that their rulers needed them to confirm their power, for the five years’ term of the triumvirate was passing away, and army and rulers needed the services of each other for mutual security. The chiefs depended on the soldiers for the continuance of their government, while, for the control of what they had received, the soldiers depended on the permanence of the government of those who had given it. Believing that they could not keep a firm hold unless the givers had a strong government, they fought for them with good-will, necessarily. Octavius made many other gifts to the indigent soldiers, borrowing from the temples for that purpose, for which reason the affections of the army were turned toward him. The greater thanks were bestowed upon him both as the giver of the land, the cities, the money, and the houses, and as the object of denunciation on the part of the despoiled, and as one who bore this contumely for the army’s sake. (tr. Horace White)

 

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