Tuesday, February 09, 2021


Unreliable Allies

Livy 21.19.9-10 (tr. B.O. Foster):
With what face, Romans, can you ask us to prefer your friendship to the Carthaginian, when those who did so have been more cruelly betrayed by you, their allies, than destroyed by their enemy, the Phoenician? You must seek allies, in my opinion, only where the disaster of Saguntum is unknown. To the Spanish peoples the ruins of Saguntum will constitute a warning, no less emphatic than deplorable, that none should trust to the honour or alliance of the Romans.

quae verecundia est, Romani, postulare vos uti vestram Carthaginiensium amicitiae praeponamus, cum qui id fecerunt [Saguntini] crudelius quam Poenus hostis perdidit vos socii prodideritis? ibi quaeratis socios censeo ubi Saguntina clades ignota est; Hispanis populis sicut lugubre, ita insigne documentum Sagunti ruinae erunt ne quis fidei Romanae aut societati confidat.

Saguntini del. Madvig (Emendationes Livianae, pp. 259-260)

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