„I am mindful of human weakness, and I reflect upon the might of Fortune and know that everything that we do is exposed to a thousand chances.“
— Scipio Africanus
Context: I am mindful of human weakness, and I reflect upon the might of Fortune and know that everything that we do is exposed to a thousand chances. But, just as I should admit that I were acting with arrogance and violence if, before I had crossed over to Africa, I were to reject you when you were voluntarily withdrawing from Italy and, while your army was already on shipboard, you were coming in person to sue for peace, so now, when I have dragged you to Africa, resisting and shifting ground as we almost came to blows, I am under no obligation to respect you. Therefore, if to the terms upon which peace was formerly about to be made, as it seemed, you are adding some kind of compensation for the ships loaded with supplies that were taken by force during the armistice, and for violence done to my envoys, I have reason to bring it before the council. But if that addition also seems too severe, prepare for war, since you have been unable to endure a peace [bellum parate, quoniam pacem pati non potuistis]. Reply to Hannibal's attempt to set terms for peace, prior to the Battle of Zama, as quoted in Livy. Books XXVIII-XXX With An English Translation (1949), Book 30, Ch. 31 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0159%3Abook%3D30%3Achapter%3D31 Variant translation: I am aware of the frailty of man, I think about the power of fortune, and I know that all our actions are at the mercy of a thousand vicissitudes. Now I admit that it would have been arrogant and headstrong reaction on my part if you had come to sue for peace before I crossed to Africa, and I had rejected your petition when you were yourself voluntarily quitting Italy, and had your troops embarked on your ships. But, as it is, I have forced you back to Africa, and you are reluctant and resisting almost to the point of fighting, so that I feel no need to show you any consideration. Accordingly, if something is actually added to the terms on which it seems probable that a peace could be concluded — some sort of indemnity for the forceful appropriation of our ships, along with their cargoes, during truce and for the violation of our envoys — then I have something to take to my council. But if you consider even that to be excessive, prepare for war, for you have found peace intolerable. Hannibal's War : Books Twenty-one to Thirty by Livy, as translated by John Yardley (2006), p. 600 Prepare to fight — for, evidently, you have found peace intolerable. Let us make war, since evidently, you have found peace intolerable.