aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Tacitus, Annals 14.44

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In a Senate speech on the punishment of rebellious slaves, Gaius Cassius discusses the Roman practice of decimation, pour encourager les autres.

nam et ex fuso exercitu cum decimus quisque fusti feritur, etiam strenui sortiuntur. habet aliquid ex iniquo omne magnum exemplum, quod contra singulos utilitate publica rependitur.

For when every tenth man from a defeated army is killed with a club, the lot falls on even the brave men. Every great precedent has some injustice about it: the public good balances out the individual men.

Written by aleatorclassicus

April 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Tacitus

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