|

40

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 40: NO SIGHT-SEEING OR SOUVENIRS FOR THE PERFECT GENERAL

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Cicero now argues that Pompey’s outstanding character not only ensures compliance with ethical standards in military operations set by the ancestors; it also has significant strategic advantages. The very speed of movement Cicero has singled out earlier as a hallmark of Pompey’s approach to warfare is ultimately grounded in his personal qualities. This is an interesting argument, not least since it runs counter to his earlier assertion that the most important manifestation of virtus is martial prowess, whereas the ‘soft’ qualities are mere handmaidens. Consider: in § 29, Cicero identified celeritas in conficiendo as one of the virtutes imperatoriae, which everybody recognizes as such; in contrast, temperantia is one of those seemingly ‘secondary’ qualities that Cicero introduces as administrae comitesque to virtus bellandi in § 36. Now it emerges that temperantia is in fact the enabling condition of celeritas in conficiendo – far from being secondary, it is foundational for Pompey’s success (and hence an essential element of Cicero’s conception of the summus imperator). Cicero does not spell any of this out explicitly. But those able to read between the lines will realize that his initial endorsement of virtus bellandi as the most important manifestation of aristocratic excellence is little more than a concession to Roman common sense that he himself does not share. Through the unorthodox validation of other, ethical qualities, and the (frankly astonishing) argument that they are of fundamental importance not just for winning over the hearts and minds of locals but for successful warfare, Cicero’s discussion of virtus in the pro lege Manilia offers at least a partial critique and subversion of this common sense – and a redefinition of virtus in a distinctly Ciceronian key.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 As in the previous paragraph, Cicero makes his case by means of comparison (cf. § 36: ea magis ex aliorum contentione quam ipsa per sese cognosci atque intellegi possunt). Unlike other generals, Pompey is immune to temptations and desires that routinely slow down members of Rome’s ruling elite when on campaign in the Greek East, with its manifold attractions and opportunities for enrichment and pleasure. Whereas his peers get sidetracked, Pompey’s moderation enables single-minded dedication to the task at hand. Cicero here concedes that many Roman aristocrats considered the Eastern Mediterranean as one large museum from which they could help themselves to statues, paintings, and other artworks for display back in Rome. But greed and plunder, as he has already argued in earlier sections of the speech, slow down military progress and incite hostility among the indigenous people. It is one of the main reasons why

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Lucullus had not been able to finish off Mithridates after defeating him in battle (§ 22):

Primum ex suo regno sic Mithridates profugit, ut ex eodem Ponto Medea illa quondam profugisse dicitur, quam praedicant in fuga fratris sui membra in eis locis, qua se parens persequeretur, dissipavisse, ut eorum collectio dispersa, maerorque patrius, celeritatem persequendi retardaret. Sic Mithridates fugiens maximam vim auri atque argenti pulcherrimarumque rerum omnium, quas et a maioribus acceperat et ipse bello superiore ex tota Asia direptas in suum regnum congesserat, in Ponto omnem reliquit. Haec dum nostri colligunt omnia diligentius, rex ipse e manibus effugit. Ita illum in persequendi studio maeror, hos laetitia tardavit.

[At first Mithridates fled from his kingdom, as Medea is formerly said to have fled from the same region of Pontus; for they say that she, in her flight, strewed about the limbs of her brother in those places along which her father was likely to pursue her, in order that the collection of them, dispersed as they were, and the grief which would afflict his father, might delay the speed of his pursuit. Mithridates, flying in the same manner, left in Pontus the whole of the vast quantity of gold and silver, and of beautiful things which he had inherited from his ancestors, and which he himself had collected and brought into his own kingdom, having obtained them by plunder in the former war from all Asia. While our men were diligently occupied in collecting all this, the king himself escaped out of their hands. And so grief retarded the father of Medea in his pursuit, but delight delayed our men.]

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 And, as Cicero goes on to say, the reputation of L. Lucullus’ army that it would despoil even the most sacred shrines struck fear into the hearts and minds of the local population, so that they rose up in arms against the Romans and afforded protection to Mithridates (§ 23).

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Age vero ceteris in rebus qua ille sit temperantia, considerate: the singular imperative of ago, i.e. age, could be used idiomatically as a transitional particle, irrespective of the how many people were in the audience – hence the seemingly weird situation that the sentence begins with a singular imperative and ends with one in the plural (considerate). considerate governs an indirect question (hence the subjunctive sit) introduced by the interrogative adjective qua, which agrees with temperantia. qua … temperantia is an ablative of quality. ceteris in rebus belongs into the qua-clause, put is pulled up-front for emphasis. Translate in the following order: Age vero, considerate qua temperantia ille sit in ceteris rebus.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 ceteris in rebus: the preposition that governs the ablative phrase comes second; the normal word order would be in ceteris rebus. The phenomenon is called ‘anastrophe’.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 Unde illam tantam celeritatem et tam incredibilem cursum inventum putatis?: The main verb of the question is putatis, which introduces an indirect statement, with illam tantam celeritatem and tam incredibilem cursum as subject accusatives and inventum (sc. esse) as (passive) infinitive. inventum agrees in case, number, and gender with the closest of the two subject accusatives, i.e. cursum. It may seem curious that Cicero here opts for a passive construction and, further, that he doesn’t even specify an agent by means of an ablative of agency (e.g. ab illo). The reason could be that the question is designed as a ‘red herring’: as Cicero goes on to suggest counterintuitively, Pompey’s speed wasn’t extraordinary at all – all he did was not to get sidetracked because of character flaws, like all the other generals. ((Caesar, too, built up a reputation for celeritas: veni, vidi, vici, and all that! Cf. Goldsworthy (1998), who argues that Caesar portrays himself as distilled essence of a Roman general, i.e. that celeritas is actually a desirable trait in a Roman general. The noteworthy point about the celeritas of both Pompey and Caesar then is not so much that they show celeritas as the superlative nature of their celeritas.))

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Non enim illum eximia vis remigum aut ars inaudita quaedam gubernandi aut venti aliqui novi tam celeriter in ultimas terras pertulerunt, sed eae res, quae ceteros [sc. imperatores] remorari solent, non retardarunt: the sentence has two (negated) main verbs, linked by sed: non … pertulerunt; non retardarunt. illum is the accusative object of both. pertulerunt goes with three subjects, presented as excluded alternatives coordinated by aut – aut: (i) eximia vis remigum; (ii) ars inaudita quaedam gubernandi; (iii) venti aliqui novi.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 retardarunt: the syncopated form of the 3rd person plural perfect indicative active of retarda-ve-runt.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 non avaritia ab instituto cursu ad praedam aliquam devocavit, non libido [ab instituto cursu] ad voluptatem [devocavit], non amoenitas [ab instituto cursu] ad delectationem [devocavit], non nobilitas urbis [ab instituto cursu] ad cognitionem [devocavit], non denique labor ipse [ab instituto cursu] ad quietem [devocavit]; a long, paratactic string of main clauses in asyndeton, each starting with the negation non. The ablative phrase ab instituto cursu and the main verb devocavit are systematically elided after the first one.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 1 non…, non…, non…, non…, non…: a powerful anaphora, reinforced by the asyndeton, the elisions, and Cicero’s economy in the use of attributes: none of the accusative phrases except the first (ad praedam aliquam) has a modifier.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 (i) avaritia … ad praedam, (ii) libido ad voluptatem, (iii) amoenitas ad delectationem, (iv) nobilitas urbis ad cognitionem: the first four clauses yield an intricate chiastic design: (i) avaritia and (ii) libido designate personal characteristics; (iii) amoenitas and (iv) nobilitas urbis refer to the characteristics of specific locations. Yet (i) correlates with (iv) and (ii) with (iii): greed for plunder entails the inspection of famous cities; and lust for pleasure motivates ‘wellness stops’.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 non denique labor ipse ad quietem: the climactic fifth item in the list is different in nature: it refers to a positive quality of Pompey, i.e. his seemingly superhuman ability to do without rest. ipse, which agrees with labor, is here used to emphasize something regarded as exceptional or extreme: see OLD s.v. ipse 9.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 postremo signa et tabulas ceteraque ornamenta Graecorum oppidorum, quae ceteri tollenda esse arbitrantur, ea sibi ille ne visenda quidem existimavit: the subject of the sentence is ille (referring to Pompey), the main verb existimavit. It introduces an indirect statement, with the polysyndetic tricolon signa et tabulas ceteraque ornamenta as subject accusative and visenda (sc. esse) as infinitive. ea sums up signa et tabulas ceteraque ornamenta for additional emphasis. The pronoun sibi is a dative of agency with the gerundive (‘by him’). Cicero construes the relative clause and the second half of the main clause in parallel:

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0  

quae ~ ea
ceteri ~ (sibi) ille
tollenda esse ~ ne visenda [sc. esse] quidem
arbitrantur ~ existimavit

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0  

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 The parallel design heightens the contrast between Pompey and all the others (ceteri). It also underscores how widespread and prolific the practice of taking sculpture from Greece to Rome was and hence how admirable Pompey was to resist it. (A significant proportion of original Greek bronzes survive because the ships carrying them from Greece capsized en route to Italy.)

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 signa et tabulas ceteraque ornamenta: signa are statues, tabulae are paintings, and ornamenta refers to any other kind of civic artwork on display in the public spaces of cities that could be removed and taken to Rome.

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 quae ceteri tollenda esse arbitrantur: the relative pronoun quae has a double function: it is the accusative object of arbitrantur and it is the subject accusative of the indirect statement introduces by arbitrantur (with the gerundive tollenda esse as infinitive).

Page 27

Source: https://deimperio.theclassicslibrary.com/commentary/40-2/