Main Text

42.

  • Link 1  I say this because of Ti. and C. Gracchus.* They had ancestors* who had done much for the Republic during the Punic and other wars. But after they began to assert the freedom of the plebs and expose the crimes of the oligarchy, the aristocracy, which was guilty and therefore frightened, opposed their actions, now using the allies and the Latins, occasionally using the Roman equites, whom they seduced away from supporting the plebs with the hope of a coalition.* First it was Tiberius they murdered, then Gaius, as he was pursuing the same policies a few years later, the one a tribune, the other a member of the triumvirate for founding colonies; they killed Link 2M. Fulvius Flaccus along with him. Admittedly, the Gracchi were 3not sufficiently moderate in their passion for victory; but it is better for the good to be conquered than to overcome injury in a vicious manner.* The aristocracy enjoyed their victory and gratified their passions; they eradicated many men either by killing them or sending 4them into exile. And in this way, for the future they increased their fears more than their power. In general, this is what destroys great states: one group wants to overcome the other in any possible way 5and then to take a bitter vengeance on the defeated. But if I were to discuss in detail partisan passions and the general character of the state or treat this subject in accordance with its importance, I would pg 81sooner run out of time than material. Therefore, I am returning to my initial topic.*

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
42.1 Ti. and C. Gracchus: see Introduction. pp. viii–x.
Editor’s Note
42.1 ancestors: these ancestors would include the consuls of 238, 215, 213, 177, and 163, and Scipio Africanus, who defeated Hannibal at Zama in 202 and was their maternal grandfather.
Editor’s Note
coalition: the Senate and the equites opposed Ti. Gracchus in 133–132. C. Gracchus proposed legislation regarding the provinces and public farmlands that gained equestrian support, but Opimius could still count on the equestrians in his prosecution of C. Gracchus in 121. What was the 'coalition'? Perhaps it was senatorial support for equestrian juries or the promise to include some equestrians in the Senate.
Editor’s Note
42.3 but it is betterin a vicious manner: the Latin has a typical Sallustian obscurity and subject to many interpretations.
Editor’s Note
42.5 I am returning to my initial topic: this ends the first phase of the war and the first major division of Sallust's monograph. Phase II may be divided as follows: 43–5, Metellus and the army; 46–62, the first campaign; 63–5, Marius and Metellus; 66–82, the second (and third) campaign.
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