de imperio: 37


Quem enim imperatorem possumus ullo in numero putare, cuius in exercitu centuriatus veneant atque venierint? Quid hunc hominem magnum aut amplum de re publica cogitare, qui pecuniam, ex aerario depromptam ad bellum administrandum, aut propter cupiditatem provinciae magistratibus diviserit, aut propter avaritiam Romae in quaestu reliquerit? Vestra admurmuratio facit, Quirites, ut agnoscere videamini qui haec fecerint: ego autem nomino neminem; qua re irasci mihi nemo poterit, nisi qui ante de se voluerit confiteri. Itaque propter hanc avaritiam imperatorum quantas calamitates, quocumque ventum est, nostri exercitus ferant quis ignorat?


For what general can we consider of any worth, in whose army centurionships are for sale and have been sold? What great or charitable thoughts can we consider that this man has about the state, who has either shared with the magistrates money, brought from the treasury to conduct a war, because of his desire to keep his province, or left it at Rome to make a profit, because of his greed? Citizens, your murmuring makes it seem that you recognise who has done these things: but I am naming no one; by this no one will be able to be angry at me, except he who wishes to make a confession about himself first. And so who does not know what great disasters our armies bring, wherever they come to, on account of this greed of the generals?