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By Plutarch

Spesso un breve episodio, una parola, un motto di spirito mette in luce il carattere molto meglio che non battaglie con migliaia di morti, grandissimi schieramenti di eserciti, assedi di città. Di vite e non di storia s'impegna a scrivere Plutarco, autore di lingua greca tra i più importanti e fecondi del mondo classico. Nato a Cheronea intorno al 50 d.C., durante il regno dell'imperatore Claudio, egli fu cittadino dell'Impero romano e condusse una lunga vita: morì ottantenne, dopo essere stato studioso, politico, filosofo, scrittore e sacerdote del dio Apollo a Delfi. Consapevole di vivere in una fase della storia caratterizzata dalla necessità di riunire sotto un unico cielo due mondi distinti, quello greco e quello latino, Plutarco reinterpretò in modo originale l. a. tradizione romana della biografia aneddotica, modificandone los angeles forma e los angeles struttura in keeping with venire incontro alle nuove esigenze di un impero che aveva sempre meno frontiere tra Oriente e Occidente. Le Vite Parallele raccolgono così, a coppie, le biografie di un uomo illustre greco e di un suo corrispettivo latino, scelti secondo criteri di somiglianza nel carattere o nel destino, allo scopo, di natura morale, di mettere in luce l'uomo.

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Three] Έγὼ μὲν οὖν ὁμολογῶ μιϰρὰ μεμφομενoς τὴν τύχην περὶ μειζόνων έπαινεῖν. "Α γὰρ οὐϰ ἠσϑόμην χρόνον τοσοῦτον, ἡμέρας μέρει μιϰρῷ πεπαίδευμαι, γνοὺς ἐμαυτὸν οὐϰ ἄρχειν ἑτέρων δυνάμενον, ἀλλ’ ἄρχοντος ἑτέρου δεóμένον, ϰαὶ μὴ φιλοτιμούμενον νιϰᾶν ὑφ’ ὧν ἡττᾶσϑαι ϰάλλιον. [4] Ύμῖν δὲ τῶν μὲν ἄλλων ἐστìν ἄρχων ὁ διϰτάτωρ, τῆς δὲ πρὸς ἐϰεῖνον εὐχαριστίας αὐτὸς ἡγεμὼν ἔσομαι, πρῶτον ἐμαυτὸν εὐπειϑῆ ϰαὶ ποιοῦντα τὸ ϰελευόμενον ὑπ’ ἐϰείνου παρεχόμενος". [5] Ταῦτ’ εἰπὼν ϰαὶ τοὺς ἀετοὺς ἄρασϑαι ϰελεύσας ϰαὶ πάντας ἀϰολουϑεῖν, ἦγε πρὸς τὸν χάραϰα τοῦ Φαβίου, ϰαὶ παρελϑών έντος έβάδιζεν ἐπi τὴν στρατηγιϰήν σϰηνήν, ώστε ϑαυμάζειν ϰαὶ διαπορεῖν πάντας. [6] Προελϑóντος δὲ τοῦ Φαβίου, ϑέμενoς ἔμπροσϑεν τὰς σημαίας, αὐτὸς μὲν ἐϰείνον πατέρα μεγάλη φωνή, οἱ δὲ στρατιῶται τοὺς στρατιώτας πάτρωνας ἠσπάζοντο· τοῦτο δ’ ἔστι τοῖς ἀπελευϑέροις προσφώνημα πρὸς τοὺς ἀπελευϑερώσαντας. [7] Ἡσυχίας δὲ γενομένης ὁ Μινούϰιος εἶπε " δύο νίϰας ὦ δίϰτατορ τῇ σήμερον ἡμέρᾳ νενίϰηϰας, ἀνδρείᾳ μὲν Ἀννίβαν, εὐβουλίᾳ δὲ ϰαὶ χρηστοτητι τὸν συνάρχοντα, ϰαὶ δἰ ής μὲν σέσωϰας ἡ μας, δἰ ής δὲ πἐπαίδευϰας, ήττωμένους αίσχραν μὲν ἧτταν ὑπ ἐϰείνου, ϰαλήν δὲ ϰαὶ σωτήριον ὑπò σοῦ. [8] Πατέρα δή σε χρηστὸν προσαγορεύω, τιμιωτέραν οὐϰ ἔχων προσηγορίαν, ἐπεì τῆς γε τοῦ τεϰόντος χάριτος μείζων ἡ παρά σοῦ χάρις αὕτη ἐγεννήϑην μὲν γὰρ ὑπ’ ἐϰείνου μόνος, σῴζομαι δ’ ὑπὸ σοῦ μετά τοσούτων". [9] Ταῦτ’ εὶπὼν ϰαὶ περιβαλὼν τὸν Φάβιον ἠσπάζετο, τὸ δ’ αὐτὸ ϰαὶ τοὺς στρατιώτας ἦν ὁρᾶν πράττοντας ἐνεϕύοντο γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ϰαὶ ϰατεϕίλουν, ὥστε μεστὸν εἶναι χαρᾶς ϰαὶ δαϰρύων ήδίστων τὸ στρατόπεδον. [ 14,1] Έϰ τούτου Φάβιος μὲν ἀπέϑετο τὴν ἀρχήν, ὕπατοἱ δ’ αὖϑις ἀπεδείϰνυντο25. Καὶ τούτων οἳ μὲν πρῶτοι διεϕύλαξαν ἥν έϰεῖνoς ἰδέαν τοῦ πολέμου ϰατέστησε, μάχεσϑαι μὲν ἐϰ παρατάξεως ϕεύγοντες πρὸς Ἀννίβαν, τοῖς δὲ συμμάχοις ἐπιβοηϑοῦντες ϰαὶ τὰς άποστάσεις ϰωλύοντες [2] Τερέντιος δὲ Βάρρων εἰς τὴν ὑπατείαν προαχϑείς ἀπὸ γένους ἀσήμου26, βίου δὲ διὰ δημοϰοπίαν ϰαὶ προπέτειαν ἐπισήμου, δῆλος ἦν εὐϑύς ἀπειρία ϰαὶ ϑρασύτητι τὸν περὶ τῶν ὅλων ἀναρρίψων ϰύβον. Έβοα γὰρ ἐν ταῖς εϰϰλησίαις μενεῖν τòν πόλεμον, ἅχρι οὗ Φαβίοις χρήται στρατηγοῖς ἡ πόλις, αὑτὸς δὲ τῆς αὑτῆς ἡμέρας ὅψεσϑαί τε ϰαὶ νιϰήσειν τοὺς πολεμίους. [3] "Αμα δὲ τούτοις τοῖς λόγοις συνῆγε ϰαὶ ϰατέγραϕε δύναμιν τηλιϰαύτην, ἡλίϰη πρὸς ουδένα πώποτε τῶν πολεμίων ἐχρήσαντο ’Ρωμαίοι’ μυριάδες γὰρ ἐννέα δισχιλίων ἀνδρῶν δέουσαι συνετάχϑησαν εἰς τὴν μάχην, μέγα δέος Φαβίω ϰαὶ τοῖς νοῦν ἕχουσι ’Ρωμαίων· οὐ γὰρ ἤλπιζον ἔξειν ἀναϕορἀν τὴν πόλιν ἐν τὅσαύτη σϕαλεῖσαν ήλιϰία. [4] Διὸ ϰαὶ τὸν συνάρχοντα τοῦ Τερεντίου Παῦλον Αὶμίλιον, ἄνδρα πολέμων ἕμπειρον, οὐϰ ἀρεστον δὲ τῷ δὴμῳ ϰαὶ ϰαταπλήγα πολλών ἐϰ τίνoς ϰαταδίϰης πρὸς τὸ δημόσιον αυτῷ γεγενημένης27, ἀνίστη ϰαὶ παρεϑάρρυνεν έπιλαμβάνεσϑαι τῆς ἐϰείνου μανίας, [5] διδάσϰων ὡς οὐ πρὸς Ἀννίβαν αὐτῷ μᾶλλον ἥ πρὸς Τερέντιον υπέρ τῆς πατρίδος ὁ ἀγών ἕσοιτο’ σπεύδειν γὰρ μάχην γενέσϑαι τὸν μὲν οὐϰ αίσϑανόμενον τῆς ( έϰείνου ) δυνάμεως, τὸν δ’ αίσϑανόμενον τῆς περὶ αὐτὸν àσϑενείας. [6] "Εγὼ δέ" εἶπεν "ὧ Παῦλε Τερεντίου πιστεύεσϑαι διϰαιότερός εὶμί περὶ τῶν Ἀννίβου πραγμάτων διαβεβαιoύμενος, ὡς εἰ μηδείς αὐτῷ μαχεῖται τοῦτον τὸν ἐνιαὐτóν, άπολεῖται μένων ὁ ἀνήρ ἢ φεύγων ἄπεισιν, ᾧ γε ϰαὶ νῦν νιϰᾶν ϰαὶ ϰρατεῖν δοϰοῦντι τῶν μὲν πολεμίων οὐδεὶς προσϰεχὡρηϰε, τῆς δ’ οίϰοϑεν δυνάμεως οὐδ’ ἡ τρίτη μοῖρα πάνυ περὶεστι".

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