But we ask neither for power nor for riches, the usual causes of wars and strife among mortals, but only for freedom, which no true man gives up except with his life.

[At nos non imperium neque divitias petimus, quarum rerum causa bella atque certamina omnia inter mortales sunt, sed libertatem, quam nemo bonus nisi cum anima simul amittit.]

Sallust (c. 86-35 BC) Roman historian and politician [Gaius Sallustius Crispus]
Bellum Catilinae [The War of Catiline; The Conspiracy of Catiline], ch. 33, sent. 5 [tr. Rolfe (1931)]

Plea from Catiline's army to the Roman general Quintus Marcius. Original Latin. Alt. trans.:

"Our enterprise has no such object in view; we have neither ambition nor avarice, the two grand springs of human actions, the constant cause of all the strife, and all the wars that disturb the world. We demand a reform of the laws; we stand for the rights of man, and equal liberty; that liberty, which no good man will resign but with life itself." [tr. Murphy (1807)]

"As for us, we neither desire power nor riches, which are the sources of all the wars and contests among men: liberty is our aim; that liberty which no brave man will lose but with his life." [tr. Rose (1831); ch. 34]

"But we neither seek power nor riches, for the sake of which things wars and contests arise among men, but liberty, which no brave man loses but with his life." [Source (1841); ch. 34]

"But at power or wealth, for the sake of which wars, and all kinds of strife, arise among mankind, we do not aim; we desire only our liberty, which no honorable man relinquishes but with life." [tr. Watson (1867)]

"We, however, ask for neither rule nor riches, though these are the cause of every war and struggle among men; we ask only for that freedom which no brave man ever abandoned while life remained." [tr. Pollard (1882)]

Added on 8-May-14 | Last updated 23-Oct-20
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