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Livy 29.19

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Renaissance etching with a fantasy portrait of Livy.
Renaissance etching with a
fantasy portrait of Livy
Titus Livius or Livy (59 BCE - 17 CE): Roman historian, author of the authorized version of the history of the Roman republic.

A medieval manuscript with the text of Livy 29.19.

The picture(©!!!) above shows a medieval manuscript of Livy's History of Rome from its foundation, book 29, chapter 19, lines 5-13. The text, which is full of common abbreviations, can be read as follows:

dicere ac, si uera forent qu[a]e Locrenses quererentur,
in carcere necari bonaq[ue] eius publicari: P. Scipionem
q[uo]d de prouincia decessisset iniussu senatus reuocari,
agiq[ue] cum tr[ibunis] pl[ebis] ut de imp[er]io eius abrogando ferrent
ad p[o]p[u]l[u]m: Locrensib[us] coram senatum respondere quas
sibi iniurias factas quererentur eas neq[ue] senatum
neque p[o]p[u]l[u]m uelle factas; uiros bonos sociosq[ue] et amicos
eos appellari; liberos coniuges quaeq[ue] alia erepta e[ss]ent
restitui: pecuniam q[uan]ta ex thesauris P[ro]serpinae subla-
ta e[ss]et conq[ui]ri duplamq[ue] pecuniam in thesauros repo-
ni, et sacrum piaculare fieri ita ut prius ad collegi
-um pontificum referretur, q[uo]d sacri thesauri moti a-
perti uiolati e[ss]ent, quae piacula, q[ui]b[u]s dis, q[ui]b[u]s hostiis
fieri placeret: milites q[ui] Locris e[ss]ent omnes in Sici-
liam transportari: quattuor cohortes socio[rum] Latini
no[min]is in praesidium Locros adduci.
                                                                 Perrogari eo die sen-
tentiae accensis studiis p[ro] Scipione et aduersus Scipione[m]
non potuere. p[raeter] Plemini facinus Locrensiumq[ue] cladem
ipsius et[iam] imperatoris non Rom[anus] m[odo] s[ed] ne
militaris q[ui]dem cultus
iactabatur: cum pallio crepidisq[ue] inambulare in gym-
nasio; libellis eum palaestraeq[ue] op[er]am dare; [a]eque segni-
ter molliter cohortem totam Syracusa[rum] amoenitate 
frui; Carthaginem atq[ue] Ha[nnibalem] excidisse de memoria; exer-
citum omnem licentia corruptum, qualis
 
  This text can be translated as follows:
If the Locrians' complaints turned out to be justified, he [Pleminius] should be put to death in prison and his property confiscated. Scipio should be recalled for leaving his province without orders of the Senate, and arrangements should be made with the people's tribunes to bring forward a bill to deprive him of his command. The Senate, furthermore, should tell the Locrians openly that neither they nor the Roman people countenanced the injuries they complained of having received: on the contrary, the Locrians should be called good men, and friends and allies; their children, wives, and everything else they had been robbed of should be restored; all the money removed from the treasury of Proserpina should be carefully recovered, and double the amount deposited in the temple; further, that rites of expiation should be performed, after consultation with the College of Pontiffs, who, in view of the fact that the sacred treasure had been disturbed, opened, and violated, would advise on the form of expiation, on the nature of the sacrificial victims, and to what deities they should be offered. Finally, all the troops at present holding Locri should be moved to Sicily and should be replaced by four cohorts of Latin allies.

So strong was party feeling for and against Scipio that there was not time that day for every senator to be given the chance to speak. Apart from attacks on Pleminius' criminal conduct and the miseries of Locri, much was said also against the commander-in-chief himself - his dress and bearing were unRoman, and not even soldierly; he strolled about the gymnasiums in a Greek mantle and sandals, and wasted his time over books and physical exercise; his staff and friends were enjoying the amenities of Syracuse no less luxuriously, while Carthage and Hannibal seemed completely forgotten. The discipline of the whole army had gone to the dogs.

[tr. Betty Radice]
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