1Come now, turn your attention from things divine to the affairs of men; you will see that whole tribes and nations have changed their abodes. Why do we find Greek cities in the very heart of barbarian countries? why the Macedonian tongue among the Indians and the Persians? Scythia and all that great stretch which is peopled with fierce and unconquered tribes show Achaean towns planted on the shores of the Pontic Sea; not by the fierceness of eternal winter, not by the temper of the inhabitants, as savage as their climate, were men deterred from seeking there new homes. A host of Athenians dwell in Asia; 2Miletus has poured forth in divers directions enough people to fill seventy-five cities; the whole coast of Italy which is washed by the Lower Sea became a greater Greece; Asia claims the Tuscans as her own; Tyrians live in Africa, Carthaginians in Spain; the Greeks thrust themselves into Gaul, the Gauls into Greece; the Pyreness did not stay the passage of the Germans - 3through pathless, through unknown regions restless man has made his way. Wives and children and elders burdened with age trailed along. Some have not settled upon a place from choice, but, tossed about in long wandering, from very weariness have seized upon the nearest; others have established their right in a foreign land by the sword; some tribes, seeking unknown regions, were swallowed up by the sea; some settled in the spot in which a lack of supplies had stranded them. 4And not all have had the same reason for leaving their country and seeking a new one. Some, having escaped the destruction of their cities by the forces of the enemy, have been thrust into strange lands when stripped of their own; some have been cast out by civil discord; 5some have gone forth in order to relieve the pressure from overcrowding caused by an excess of population; some have been driven out by pestilence or repeated earthquakes or certain unbearable defects of an unproductive soil; some have been beguiled by the fame of a fertile shore that was too highly praised. Different peoples have been impelled by different reasons to leave their homes. But at least this is clear - none has stayed in the place where it was born. The human race is constantly rushing to and fro; in this vast world some change takes place every day. The foundations of new cities are laid, the names of new nations arise, while former ones are blotted out or lost by annexation with a stronger. But all these transmigrations of peoples - what are they but wholesale banishments? Why should I drag you through the whole long circle? 6What need to cite Antenor, founder of Patavium, and Evander, who planted the authority of the Arcadians on the banks of the Tiber? Why mention Diomedes and the others, victors and vanquished alike, who were scattered throughout strange lands by the Trojan War? 7The Roman Empire itself, in fact, looks back to an exile as its founder - a refugee from his captured city, who, taking along a small remnant of his people and driven by fear of the victor to seek a distant land, was brought by destiny into Italy. This people, in turn - how many colonies has it sent to every province! Wherever the Roman conquers, there he dwells. With a view to this change of country, volunteers would gladly give in their names, and the old man, leaving his altars, would follow the colonists overseas. 8The matter does not require a listing of more instances; yet I shall add one which thrusts itself before the eyes. This very island has ofttimes changed its dwellers. To say nothing of older matters, which antiquity has veiled, the Greeks who now inhabit Marseilles, after leaving Phocis, first settled on this island, and it is doubtful what drove them from it - whether the harshness of the climate, or the near sight of all-powerful Italy, or the harbourless character of the sea; for that the fierceness of the natives was not the cause is clear from the fact that they established themselves in the midst of what were then the most savage and uncivilized peoples of Gaul. 9Later the Ligurians crossed into the island, and the Spaniards also came, as the similarity of customs shows; for the islanders wear the same head-coverings and the same kind of foot-gear as the Cantabrians, and certain of their words are the same; but only a few, for from intercourse with the Greeks and Ligurians their language as a whole has lost its native character. Still later two colonies of Roman citizens were transported to the island, one by Marius, the other by Sulla; so many times has the population of this barren and thorny rock been changed! 10In short, you will scarcely find any land in which there dwells to this day a native population; everywhere the inhabitants are of mongrel and ingrafted stock. One people has followed upon another; what one scorned, the other coveted; one that drove another from its land, has been in turn expelled. Thus Fate has decreed that nothing should stand always upon the same plane of fortune.
1 The Iberians, who crossed from Gaul into Spain at an early period.