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新浪首页 > 教育天地 > 《英语学习》2002年5期 > 罗马的和平

The Roman Peace
http://www.sina.com.cn 2002/06/19 09:55  《英语学习》

  By Aelius Aristides


   孙有中 选译

  If one considers the vast extent of your empire he must be amazed that so small a fraction of it rules the world, but when he beholds the city and its spaciousness it is not astonishing that all the habitable world is ruled by such a capital … Your possessions equal the sun's course … You do not rule within fixed boundaries, nor can anyone dictate the limits of your sway … Whatever any people produces can be found here, at all times and in abundance … Egypt, Sicily, and the civilized part of Africa are your farms; ships are continually coming and going …

  Vast as it is, your empire is more remarkable for its thoroughness than its scope: there are no dissident or rebellious enclaves … The whole world prays in unison that your empire may endure forever.

  Governors sent out to cities and peoples each rule their charges, but in their relations to each other they are equally subjects. The principal difference between governors and their charges is this—they demonstrate the proper way to be a subject. So great is their reverence for the great Ruler [the emperor], who administers all things. Him they believe to know their business better than they themselves do, and hence they respect and heed him more than one would a master overseeing a task and giving orders. No one is so self-assured that he can remain unmoved upon hearing the emperor's name; he rises in prayer and adoration and utters a twofold prayer—to the gods for the Ruler, and to the Ruler for himself. And if the governors are in the least doubt concerning the justice of claims or suits of the governed, public or private, they send to the Ruler for instructions at once and await his reply, as a chorus awaits its trainer's directions. Hence the Ruler need not exhaust himself by traveling to various parts to settle matters in person. It is easy for him to abide in his place and manage the world through letters; these arrive almost as soon as written, as if borne on wings.

  But the most notable and praiseworthy feature of all, a thing unparalleled, is your magnanimous conception of citizenship. All of your subjects (and this implies the whole world) you have divided into two parts: the better endowed and more virile, wherever they may be, you have granted citizenship and even kinship; the rest you govern as obedient subjects. Neither the seas nor expanse of land bars citizenship; Asia and Europe are not differentiated. Careers are open to talent … Rich and poor find contentment and profit in your system; there is no other way of life. Your polity is a single and all-embracing harmony …

  You alone are, so to speak, natural rulers. Your predecessors were masters and slaves in turn; as rulers they were counterfeits, and reversed their positions like players in a ball game… You have measured out the world, bridged rivers, cut roads through mountains, filled the wastes with posting stations, introduced orderly and refined modes of life …

  Be all gods and their offspring invoked to grant that this empire and this city flourish forever and never cease until stones float upon the sea and trees forbear to sprout in the springtide. May the great Ruler and his sons be preserved to administer all things well.-








附注: 从公元前27年到公元180年大约200年的时间,史称“罗马的和平”(Pax Romana,即Roman Peace)。在这一时期,罗马帝国的统治达到辉煌的顶峰,其疆域横跨欧、亚、非大陆,地中海一时成为其内湖。帝国境内,政治开明、社会安宁、经济繁荣、文化兴旺,一派“和平”景象。罗马帝国的文人墨客们于是纷纷写诗赋词,讴歌太平盛世、皇上英明。本文作者是公元2世纪的一位希腊文人,在这篇献给罗马城的演说词中,他使用了大量华丽的辞藻和夸张的手法。从中,读者不难感受到罗马帝国当年恢弘博大的气象。

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