Some Important Statements

Cicero de natura deorum II. 29 [45 B.C.]

principatum autem id dico quod Graeci hegemonikon vocant. Quo nihil in quoque genere nec potest nec debet esse praestantius. Ita necesse est illud etiam in quo sit totius naturae principatus esse omnium optimum omniumque rerum potestate dominatusque dignissimum.

I use the term principatum as the equivalent of the Greek hegemonikon, meaning that part of anything which must and ought to have supremacy in whatever context. Thus it follows that the element which contains the ruling principle of the whole of nature must also be the most excellent of all things and the most deserving of authority and sovereignty . . . .

Cicero de re publica I. 60 [51 B.C.]

et illud vides, si in animis hominum regale imperium sit, unius fore dominatum, consilii scilicet (ea est enim animi pars optima), consilio autem dominante nullum esse libidinibus, nullum irae, nullum temeritati locum . . . .
Cur igitur dubitas, quid de re publica sentias? in qua, si in plures translata res sit, intellegi iam licet nullum fore, quod praesit, imperium, quid quidem, nisi unum sit, esse nullum potest.

You see, if there is any kingly power in the minds of men, it must be under the domination of a single element, and thus (for that is the best part of the mind) there is no room for the passions, for anger, for rash action, as long as reason is in control . . . .
How then can you be doubtful as to your position about the State? For in the matter of the State, if its management is committed to more than one person, you can see that there will be no authority which can take command, since indeed, unless authority is one, it cannot exist at all.

Cicero de legibus III. 3 [ca. 52-44 B.C.]

nihil porro tam aptum est ad ius condicionemque naturae (quod cum dico, legem a me dici intellegi volo) quam imperium; sine quo nec domus ulla nec civitas nec gens nec hominum universum genus stare nec rerum natura omnis nec ipse mundus potest; nam et hic deo paret, et huic oboediunt maria terraequae, et hominum vita iussis supremae legis obtemperat.

Nothing moreover is so completely in accordance with the principles of justice and the demands of nature (and when I use these terms, I wish it to be understood that I mean law) as is government, without which existence is impossible for a household, a city, a nation, the human race, physical nature, and the universe itself. For the Universe obeys the divine principle; seas and lands obey the Universe, and human life is subject to the decrees of supreme law. . . .


Tacitus Annales I. 1.1 [ca. A.D. 110]

Urbem Roman a principio reges habuere. Libertatem et consulatum L. Brutus instituti . . . non Cinnae, non Sullae longa dominatio . . . Lepidi atque Antonii arma in Augustum cessere, qui cuncta discordiis civilibus fessa, nomine Principis sub imperium accepit . . . .

The City of Rome from its very beginning had Kings. Lucius Brutus brought into existence liberty and the consulship . . . the domination of Cinna and of Sulla were not of long duration . . . the military might of Lepidus and of Antony gave way to Augustus, who, when the whole world was exhausted by civil wars, received it into his control, and was given the title of Princeps.


Cassius Dio Roman History LII. 1.1 [early III cent. A. D.]

Such were the achievements of the Romans and such their sufferings under the Kingship, under the Republic, and under the Dominion of a few, during a period of seven hundred and twenty-five years [753-29 B.C.]. After this they reverted to what was, strictly speaking, a Monarchy, although Caesar [Augustus] planned to lay down his arms and to entrust the management of the state to the Senate and the People. He made his decision, however, in consultation with Agrippa and Maecenas, to whom he was accustomed to communicate all his private plans . . . .

Imperator Caesar Divi f. Augustus Res Gestae Divi Augusti : [A. D. 13]

[3] bella terra et mari civilia externaque toto in orbe terrarum suscepi victorque omnibus veniam petentibus civibus peperci. externas gentes quibus tuto ignosci potuit, conservare quam excidere malui.

Wars, both civil and foreign, I undertook throughout the world, on land and sea, and when victorious I spared all citizens who asked for pardon. The foreign nations which could with safety be pardoned I preferred to save rather than destroy.

[25] iuravit in mea verba tota Italia sponte sua et me belli, quo vici ad Actium, ducem depoposcit. iuravit in eadem verba provinciae Galliae Hispaniae Africa Sicilia Sardinia.

All Italy, of its own free will, took an oath in my name, and demanded me as its leader in the war which I won at Actium. The provinces of The Gauls, the Spains, Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia swore according to the same formula.

omnium provinciarum Populi Romani, qui finitimae fuerunt gentes quae non parerent imperio nostro, fines auxi.

I extended the boundaries of all the provinces which were bordered by peoples which were not subject to our empire.

  Aegyptum imperio Populi Romani adieci. I added Egypt to the Empire of the Roman People.

Vergil Aeneid VI. 847-853 [published posthumously, after 19 B. C.]

excudunt alii spirantia mollius aera,
(credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore voltus;
orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus
describunt radio et surgentia sidera dicent:
tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
(hae tibi erunt artes) pacique imponere morem,
parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.

Others, I have no doubt, shall beat out the breathing bronze with softer lines, shall reproduce in marble the living features of personality; shall plead legal cases better, shall describe with the rod the movements of the heavens, and shall predict the risings of the constellations: Remember, Roman, you rule the nations with your sway (these will be your talents) and to impose law and order in peace, to spare the conquered, and to war down the arrogant.

Cicero in Verrem: Actio Secunda III. 12-14 [70 B. C.]

Let me remind this Court of the differences in the system of land taxation between Sicily and our other provinces. In the others, either a fixed tax [vectigal certum] which is called a 'tribute' [stipendium], as for example that imposed on the Spaniards and most of the Carthaginians, which may be considered as the reward of victory and penalty of defeat; or else the tax system is regulated by censors' contracts as in Asia under the Lex Sempronia. But to the Sicilian city-states we granted conditions of trust and friendship (amicitiam fidemque), by which their former rights were maintained, and their positions as subjects of Rome remained the same as it had been under their own rulers. A very few of them our ancestors subdued by force of arms; though the territory of these few thus became the property of the Roman state, it was restored to their possession, and this land is regularly subject to the censors' contracts. Two cities, that of the Mamertines and Tauromenium, have special treaties of alliance (foederatae civitates) and no contracts are made for collecting the tithe (decuma) from them. Five others, though not allies by treaty, are free states exempt from taxation (sine foedere immunes civitates ac liberae): Centurpia, Halaesus, Segesta, Halicyae, Panhormus. With these exceptions, all the lands of the Sicilian cities are subject to the payment of the tithe (ager decumanus), and were so, under regulations voluntarily made by their own inhabitants, before the days of Roman sovereignty. I would draw your attention to the wise action of our forefathers in this matter. Having secured to our country, by the acquisition of Sicily, a valuable source of strength in peace in war, they were so earnestly resolute to secure and maintain the loyalty of its people, that they refrained from imposing any new tax (vectigal) upon Sicilian land, but even from altering either the conditions of sale of the right to collect the tithe or the time and place of such sale, so that the Sicilians should continue to sell these rights at a fixed time of the year, locally in Sicily, and, finally, as provided by the laws of Hiero . . . .

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© 09/3/2002


May 25, 2009 4:57 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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