In a section of the De officiis, Book i, Cicero deals with the justice of warfare. He asserts that the enemies defeated who were not cruel and savage should be spared, so the maiores utterly destroyed Carthage and Numantia (i 35). In i 38 Cicero refers to the wars undertaken by Romans, distinguishing the ones waged de imperio (as the Punic wars) from the others fighted uter esset (as the wars against Celtiberi and Cimbri): the first must be fought less cruelly, but Cicero justifies the destruction of Carthage with the sentence Poeni foedifragi, crudelis Hannibal, reliqui iustiores, probably containing a quotation from Ennius’s Annales. These passages, examined in comparison with historical exempla from other works of Cicero, highlight the differences from Greek historiographical attitude about Roman imperialism. In Cicero’s opinion the change of the Roman foreign policy must be identified not with the destruction of enemy cities but with Sulla’s age. The quotation of Ennius, with his archaic aura, strengthens Cicero’s lecture of Roman history according to the traditionalist view of the maiores.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|