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Chapter 5.—Cæsar’s Statement Regarding the Universal Custom of an Enemy When Sacking a City.

Even Cæsar himself gives us positive testimony regarding this custom; for, in his deliverance in the senate about the conspirators, he says (as Sallust, a historian of distinguished veracity, writes4545    De Conj. Cat. c. 51.) “that virgins and boys are violated, children torn from the embrace of their parents, matrons subjected to whatever should be the pleasure of the conquerors, temples and houses plundered, slaughter and burning rife; in fine, all things filled with arms, corpses, blood, and wailing.”  If he had not mentioned temples here, we might suppose that enemies were in the habit of sparing the dwellings of the gods.  And the Roman temples were in danger of these disasters, not from foreign foes, but from Catiline and his associates, the most noble senators and citizens of Rome.  But these, it may be said, were abandoned men, and the parricides of their fatherland.


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