Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino 6

 

154

Homines sapientes et ista auctoritate et potestate praeditos, qua vos estis, ex quibus rebus maxime res publica laborat, iis maxime mederi convenit. Vestrum nemo est, quin intellegat populum Romanum, qui quondam in hostes lenissimus existimabatur, hoc tempore domestica crudelitate laborare. Hanc tollite ex civitate, iudices, hanc pati nolite diutius in hac re publica versari; quae non modo id habet in se mali, quod tot cives atrocissime sustulit, verum etiam hominibus lenissimis ademit misericordiam consuetudine incommodorum. Nam cum omnibus horis aliquid atrociter fieri videmus aut audimus, etiam qui natura mitissimi sumus, assiduitate molestiarum sensum omnem humanitatis ex animis amittimus.

154

. It behooves wise men, and men endowed with the authority and power with which you are endowed, to remedy especially those evils by which the republic is especially injured. There is not one of you who does not understand that the Roman people, who used formerly to be thought extremely merciful towards its enemies, is at present suffering from cruelty exercised towards its fellow-citizens. Remove this disease out of the state, O judges. Do not allow it to remain any longer in the republic; having not only this evil in itself, that it has destroyed so many citizens in a most atrocious manner, but that through habituating them to sights of distress, it has even taken away clemency from the hearts of most merciful men. For when every hour we see or hear of something very cruel being done, even we who are by nature most merciful, through the constant repetition of miseries, lose from our minds every feeling of humanity.

 

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