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Bill Thayer

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Book II

This webpage reproduces a Book of
Roman History

Cassius Dio

published in Vol. I
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1914

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book IV

Cassius Dio
Roman History

Thayer's Note: Before e-mailing me with questions, comments, or corrections involving the numbering of Books, chapters, and sections in this text, please read the orientation page.

Fragments of Book III

12 1 Thus Tarquin was deprived of his power, after ruling twenty-five years; and the Romans turned to Brutus and chose him ruler. In order, however, that the rule of one man might not suggest the kingly power, they elected also, as joint-ruler with him, the husband of Lucretia, Tarquinius Collatinus. He was believed to be hostile to the tyrants because of the outrage done to his wife. Now from Tarquin there came envoys to Rome to discuss his restoration; but when they found they were making no progress, . . .

Some of these conspirators put to death by Brutus were relatives of Collatinus, who was angry on their account. Accordingly, Brutus so aroused the people against Collatinus that they all but slew him with their own hands; however, they did not do this, but forced him to resign his office. In his place they elected as Brutus' colleague Publius Valerius, whose cognomen was Publicola; this appellation, translated, means Friend of the People, or Most Democratic.

 p93  12 1 All crowds judge measures by the men who direct them, and of whatever sort they perceive the men to be, they believe that the measures are of the same sort.

2 Every one prefers the untried to the well known, attaching great hope to the uncertain in comparison with what has already gained his hatred.

3a All changes are very dangerous, and especially do those in governments work the greatest and most numerous evils to both individuals and states. Sensible men, therefore, choose to remain under the same forms continually, even if they be not the best, rather than by changing, now to one, now to another, to be continually unsettled.

 p95  8 Every person comes to possess wishes and desires according to his fortunes, and whatever his circumstances be, of like nature are also the opinions he acquires.

9 The business of kingship, more than any other, demands not merely excellence of character, but also great understanding and experience, and it is not possible without these qualities for the man who takes hold of it to show moderation. Many, for example, as if raised unexpectedly to some great height, have not endured their elevation, but being overcome with giddiness, have fallen and not only brought disaster to themselves but at the same time shattered all the interests of their subjects.

11 Dio, Book III. "It is done not merely by the actual men who rule them, but also by those who share the power with those rulers."

4 Dio, Book III. "Whose father also ruled you blamelessly."

5a Dio, Book III. "Of the fact that he loves you, you could obtain no better proof than his eagerness to live among you."

 p97  5b Dio, Book III. "And he is particularly anxious to recover the property that was originally his."

6 Dio, Book III. "But how would it pay anybody to do this?"

7 Dio, Book III. "Even as Romulus also enjoined upon us."

10 And with regard to the future, base your judgment upon what they have done, but do not be deceived by the false professions they make when suppliants. For unholy deeds proceed in every case from a man's real purpose, yet any one may concoct creditable phrases. Judge, accordingly, by what a man has done, not by what he says he will do.

13 1 Dio, Book III. "The women made lamentation for a whole year."

2 Valerius, the colleague of Brutus, although he had  p99 proved himself the most democratic of men, came near being murdered by the multitude with their own hands; for they suspected him of being eager to become sole sovereign. And they would indeed have slain him, had he not quickly anticipated their action by courting their favour. For upon entering the assembly he lowered the fasces, which he had formerly carried upright, and took away the axes that were bound up with them. After he had in this way assumed an attitude of the deepest humility, he kept a sad countenance for some time, and wept bitterly; and when he at last managed to utter a sound, he spoke in a low, fearful voice, with the suggestion of a quaver.

2a For to Marcus, when he had proceeded up to the Capitol and was offering vows to the gods in view of the present state of affairs . . .

3 The temple of Jupiter was dedicated by Horatius, as determined by lot, although Valerius made the declaration that his son was dead, and arranged to have this news brought to him during the very performance of his sacred office, in order that Horatius, under the blow of the misfortune and because in general it was impious for any one in grief to fulfil the duties of priest, should yield to him the dedication of the structure. 4 Horatius, although he did not doubt the report, — for it was noised abroad by many trustworthy persons, — did not, however, surrender his ministry; on the contrary, after bidding them leave unburied the body of his son, as if it were a stranger's, in order that it might not seem to concern his sacred office, he then performed all the necessary ceremonies.

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Page updated: 16 Apr 11