Arpinas

Cicero-009

Quid, Catilina, tuis natalibus atque Cethegi
inveniet quisquam sublimius? arma tamen vos
nocturna et flammas domibus templisque paratis,
ut bracatorum pueri Senonumque minores,
ausi quod liceat tunica punire molesta.
sed vigilat consul vexillaque vestra coërcet.
hic novus Arpinas, ignobilis et modo Romae
municipalis eques, galeatum ponit ubique
praesidium attonitis et in omni monte laborat.
tantum igitur muros intra toga contulit illi
nominis ac tituli, quantum sibi Leucade, quantum
Thessaliae campis Octavius abstulit udo
caedibus assiduis gladio; sed Roma parentem,
Roma patrem patriae Ciceronem libera dixit.
(Juvenal, Sat. 8.231-244)

What ancestry more exalted than yours, Catiline, or that of Cethegus can be found? Yet you plotted to attack homes and temples at night and set them on fire, like the sons of trousered Gauls and descendants of the Senones, committing an outrage which could lawfully be punished by the “uncomfortable shirt”. But the consul is alert: he halts your banners. He—a “new man” from Arpinum, of humble origin, a municipal knight new to Rome—posts helmeted troops all around to protect the terrified people and is busy on every hill. So without stepping outside the walls, his peacetime toga brought him as much titled distinction as Octavius grabbed for himself at Leucas and on the fields of Thessaly with his sword wet from nonstop slaughter. The difference is that Rome was still free when she called Cicero the Parent and Father of his Native Land. (tr. Susanna Morton Braund)

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