( 43 BC

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 105-107, n. 119


      Appian translates so far as possible, he asserts, from Latin into Greek the public pronouncement of the proscription instituted by the members of the so-called second triumvirate, who adopted this means of both eliminating their enemies and enriching the treasury soon after they had formed their coalition near Bologna in November 43 B.C. About 2,300 senators and knights, Appian asserts, were victims of this legalized slaughter.


      1) Marcus Lepidus, Marcus Antonius, Octavius Caesar, elected to regulate and to restore the Commonwealth, proclaim thus :
      2) If wicked men had not received mercy, when dishonestly seeking it, and if, when they obtained it, they had not become enemies of their benefactors and then conspirators against them, neither would they have slain Gaius Caesar, who, after having captured them in war, preserved them by his clemency and, after having accepted them as friends, promoted them collectively to offices and honors and privileges nor should we be compelled to treat collectively those men who have insulted us and have inscribed us public enemies.
But now, seeing that kindliness cannot mitigate the wickedness of those men by whom we have been made the object of plotting and by whom Gaius Caesar has suffered, we choose to anticipate our enemies rather than to suffer. Let no person, observing what both Gaius and we have suffered, consider our action unjust or savage or immoderate. Gaius—who was both dictator and pontifex maximus and who both reduced and acquired for our dominion nations most formidable to the Romans and who was the first of men to make trial of the unnavigated sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules and who discovered a land unknown to the Romans, in the midst of the Senate, which is called sacred, under the gods' eyes—they killed, insulting him with twenty-three wounds, —men who had been captured by him in war and had been saved from death and had been written—some of them—as heirs of his property. After this defilement the rest of them, instead of punishments, dispatched the accursed men into magistracies and provincial governorships, by means of which these men both have seized the public monies and collect an army against us and seek another army from the barbarians ever hostile to our rule ; and failing to persuade some cities subject to the Romans, they have burned or have razed or have overthrown them, but having terrorized other cities, they direct them against the fatherland and against us.
      3) We already have punished some of them ; with a god assisting, you presently will see the rest suffer punishment. Although the chiefest matters have been finished by us and are under control, namely those of Spain and of Gaul and those at home, there still is one task remaining : to wage war on the murderers of Gaius beyond the sea. To us, about to fight a foreign war for you, it seems not safe either for our interests or for your interests to leave behind us other enemies, who will take advantage of our absence and will watch for the contingencies of the war, nor again to delay on their account in such an emergency rather than to remove them entirely out of the way, since indeed they began the war against us when they voted both us and the armies under us to be public enemies.
      4) And how many myriads of citizens these men would destroy with us, when they respect neither gods' vengeance nor men's reproach ! But we shall not be severe with the multitude nor shall we pronounce all as enemies, as many as have differed from us or have conspired against us or because of riches at any rate or resources or rank or as many as another dictator before us killed, when in internal discords that man also was regulating the State, whom you addressed as Fortunate because of his success, although of necessity three men have more enemies than one. But only the worst and the guiltiest of all shall we requite. And this on account of you no less than for us. For, while we are at variance, it is necessary for all of you who fall between the lines to suffer terrible afflictions and it is necessary that there should be some assuagement for the army, which has been insulted and irritated and inscribed as a public enemy by our common foes. While we could have arrested immediately whomever we have determined, we prefer to proscribe rather than to arrest them unawares ; and this also on your account, that it may not be possible for very angry soldiers to go beyond bounds against innocent persons, but that the soldiers, having these persons numbered and determined by name, may refrain from the others according to order.
      5) With Good Fortune !
      Therefore, no one shall receive or shall hide or shall send away to any place anyone of the persons whose names are appended to this edict, or shall be persuaded by their monies. Whoever is discovered in saving or in assisting or in conniving, this person we put among the proscribed, making allowance for no plea or excuse. Those persons who have killed any of them shall bring to us the heads : a freeman shall receive 25,000 Attic drachmas for each ; a slave, freedom of his person and 10,000 Attic drachmas and his master's right of citizenship. The same rewards shall be for informers. And of those persons receiving rewards none shall be recorded in our records, that he may not become known.