Cicero, Letters to Atticus
7.11.3 (Formiae (?), 21 January (?) 49; tr. D.R. Shackleton Bailey, with his commentary):
I suppose you would have done the same if the Gauls were
coming? 'House walls' he might answer 'don't make the
Republic.' But altars and hearthstones do. 'Themistocles did
it.' Yes, because one city could not stand against the tide
of the whole barbarian world. But Pericles did not half a
century later, though he held nothing except the town walls.
Our own forebears still held the citadel after the rest of Rome
was in enemy hands. 'Such the brave tales we've heard of
men of old.'
urbem tu relinquas? ergo
idem, si Galli venirent. 'non est' inquit 'in parietibus res
publica.' at in aris et focis. 'fecit Themistocles.' fluctum s
enim totius barbariae ferre urbs una non poterat. at idem
Pericles non fecit anno fere post quinquagesimo, cum praeter
moenia nihil teneret; nostri olim urbe reliqua capta arcem
tamen retinuerunt. nostri olim urbe reliqua capta arcem
tamen retinuerunt. 'οὔτως που τῶν πρόσθεν ἐπευθόμεθα κλέα ἀνδρῶν'.
ergo ... venirent
Perhaps a question, as some editors make it. The
argument is a reductio ad absurdum: if Pompey is willing to abandon Rome
to Caesar, he would do the same in case of a foreign, Gallic invasion. and that
in the eyes of all patriots would be an unthinkable disgrace. Not 'you would
have done the same (i.e. no more) if the Gauls were coming upon us'.
parietibus C. may have had in mind Thuc. VII.77.7 ἄνδρες γὰρ πόλις, καὶ οὐ τείχη οὐδὲ νῆες ἀνδρῶν κεναί. (cf. I.143.5; Herod.
VIII.61.2). So Pompey to the Senate in Appian's speech (B.C. II.37) οὐ γὰρ τὰ χωρία καὶ τὰ οἰκήματα τὴν δύναμιν ἢ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν εἶναι τοῖς ἀνδράσιν.
aris et focis Cf. 136 (VII.13).1 illa templa et tecta.
Themistocles ... Pericles Cf. Plut. Pomp. 63 αἰτιᾶται καὶ Κικέρων ὅτι τὴν Θεμιστοκλέους ἐμιμήσατο στρατηγίαν μᾶλλον ἢ τὴν Περικλέους, τῶν πραγμάτων τούτοις ὁμοίων ὄντων, οὐκ ἐκείνοις; 199 (X.8).4 Pompeium
... cuius omne consilium Themistocleum est. K. von Fritz (Trans. Am. Phil. Ass. 73 (1942), p. 151; cf. p. 152) was not entitled to
quote C. as saying 'that Pompey had quoted Themistocles as his model' in
support of his contention that Pompey's decision to evacuate Italy in case
of an open conflict with Caesar was taken half a year before its outbreak.
fluctum sqq. C.'s (if C. is to be identified with Pompey's critic)
answer to Pompey's appeal to precedent. After his buoyant language in
December (cf. 131 (VII.8). 4) Pompey was in no position to make the obvious
rejoinder that in terms of comparative force available Caesar was as irresistible as Xerxes.
anno ... quinquagesimo Cf. K.-S. I, p. 404.
οὔτως κ.τ.λ. Il. IX.524 (οὔτω καὶ τῶν).
On "non est in parietibus res publica" cf. the famous words of Alcaeus (fragment 426, tr. David A. Campbell):
Cities are not stones or timbers or the craft of builders; but wherever there are men who know how to defend themselves, there are walls and cities.
οὐ λίθοι οὐδὲ ξύλα οὐδὲ τέχνη τεκτόνων αἱ πόλεις εἶεν, ἀλλ᾿ ὅπου ποτ᾿ ἂν ὦσιν ἄνδρες αὑτοὺς σῴζειν εἰδότες.