Monday, May 04, 2020


Two Countries

Cicero, On the Laws 2.2.5 (tr. Niall Rudd):
Yes, I maintain that he and all people from small towns have two countries, one by nature and the other by citizenship. By being born in Tusculum Cato was admitted to Roman citizenship. So he was a Tusculan by birth and a Roman by citizenship. One of his countries was local, the other legal. Your Attic friends, before Theseus ordered them all to leave the countryside and move into the city (or the astu, as it is called) belonged both to their own towns and to Attica. In the same way we think of our country both as our place of birth and as the one which admitted us to citizenship. But the one which takes its name from the state as a whole should have first place in our affections. That is the country for which we should be willing to die, to which we should devote ourselves heart and soul, and on whose altar we should dedicate and consecrate all that is ours. Yet the one which gave us birth is dear to us in a way not very different from that which took us in. And so I shall always insist that this is my country, even though the other is greater and includes this within it.
The Latin text with an image of the critical apparatus from J.G.F. Powell, ed., M. Tullius Ciceronis De Re Publica, De Legibus, Cato Maior De Senectute, Laelius De Amicitia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 194-195:
Ego mehercule et illi et omnibus municipibus duas esse censeo patrias, unam naturae, alteram civitatis; ut ille Cato, cum esset Tusculi natus, in populi Romani civitatem susceptus est. Ita cum ortu Tusculanus esset, civitate Romanus, habuit alteram loci patriam, alteram iuris. Ut vestri Attici, priusquam Theseus eos demigrare ex agris et in astu, quod appellatur, omnes se conferre iussit, et sui erant idem et Attici, sic nos et eam patriam dicimus ubi nati, et illam qua excepti sumus. Sed necesse est caritate eam praestare <e> qua rei publicae nomen <et> universae civitatis est, pro qua mori et cui nos totos dedere et in qua nostra omnia ponere et quasi consecrare debemus; dulcis autem non multo secus est ea quae genuit quam illa quae excepit. Itaque ego hanc meam esse patriam prorsus numquam negabo, dum illa sit maior, haec in ea contineatur.

Andrew R. Dyck in his commentary (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004), p. 258, compares IG II² 11169, here translated by Marco Fantuzzi in Manuel Baumbach et al., edd., Archaic and Classical Greek Epigram (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 299, n. 53:
Your body, Dionysios, is covered here by the earth, but your immortal soul is held by the power that controls all that is. To your friends, your mother and your sisters you have left behind grief that will always remember your love, though you are dead, while two countries — one where you were born, the other yours by law — loved you for your great goodness.

σῶμα μὲν ἐνθάδε σόν, Διονύσιε, γαῖα καλύπτει,
    ψυχὴν δε ἀθάνατον κοινὸς ἔχει ταμίας·
σοῖς δὲ φίλοις καὶ μητρὶ κασιγνήταις τε λέλοιπας
    πένθος ἀείμνηστον σῆς φιλίας φθίμενος·
δισσαὶ δ’ αὖ πατρίδες σ’ ἣ μὲν φύσει, ἣ δὲ νόμοισιν
    ἔστερξαν πολλῆς εἵνεκα σωφροσύνης.

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