CLEMENTIA CAESARIS TAKTIK ODER STRATEGIE?
Haec nova sit ratio vincendi, ut misericordia et liberalitate nos muniamus «diese sei die neue siegbringende Strategie: daß wir uns mit Barmherzigkeit und Freisinn wappnen»: So definiert Caesar in einem Brief an Cicero (Cic. ad Att. 9,7 c) Sinn und Tragweite seiner unerhörten clementia. Ethelbert Stauffer, (Jerusalem und Rom im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, Bern 1957, p. 20) übersetzt: «Das muß die neue Siegestaktik und Sicherheitspolitik sein, daß wir Vergebung üben und eine freie und festliche Welt schaffen».
Gemeint war, daß während Pompeius am Anfang des Bürgerkriegs alle zu Staatsfeinde erklärt hatte, die nicht auf seiner Seite standen, Caesar bekundete, daß er umgekehrt alle Neutralen als Freunde behandeln würde. Das brachte ihm natürlich enormen Zulauf, denn den Bürgerkrieg wollten die meisten nicht. Und nach dem Sieg, statt sie wie einst Sulla mit Proskriptionslisten zu verfolgen und ermorden zu lassen, verzieh er seinen Feinden, ja er setzte sie in Amt und Würde wieder ein. Mehr noch, er ließ die Akten des Pompeius, die ihm in die Hände gafallen waren, verbrennen, damit er nicht einmal selbst weiß, wem er allen verziehen hatte. Schließlich verabschiedete er seine Leibgarde und vertraute dem Wort der Senatoren, die sich feierlich zum Schutz seiner Person verpflichtet hatten, wie er sich ihrer. Freilich nutzten die Verschwörer das aus, um ihn zu ermorden. Unter ihnen waren auch welche, die er zu seinen Erben ernannt hatte. Dieser Umstand machte das Volk so verbittert, als das Testament verlesen wurde. So wurde die mißbrauchte clementia Caesaris den Caesarmördern zum Verhängnis. Das Volk hatte entschieden: Ihm war die Freiheit, die Caesars liberalitas begründete, wichtiger als die Freiheiten, die die liberatores heraufbeschworen.
Die clementia Caesaris wurde von niemandem je geleugnet, nicht einmal von Brutus selbst: Er ermordete Caesar nicht etwa, weil er dessen clementia verlogen fand, sondern weil eine Freiheit von Caesars Gnaden ihm als keine erschien. Das ist etwas anderes. Auch die Kirchenväter attestierten Caesar echte Gesinnung und Opferbereitschaft. Orosius zum Beispiel (Hist. 6.17.1) schrieb: «Julius Caesar ging unter bei dem Versuch, die politische Welt entgegen dem Beispiel seiner Vorgänger im Geiste der Clementia neu aufzubauen».
Die Historiker aber, die heutzutage die Geschichtsbücher unserer Kinder schreiben, sehen es anders. So schreibt zum Beispiel H.J. Gehrke in seiner im letzten Herbst erchienenen (also zeitgleich mit unserem War Jesus Caesar?) Kleine Geschichte der Antike, München 1999: «Schließlich triumphierte Caesar auf der ganzen Linie, nicht zuletzt auch wegen seiner berühmten clementia, einer taktisch motivierten Milde im Umgang mit den besiegten Gegnern.»
Diese Position steht auf schwachen Füßen «taktisch motiviert»: Da hätte Caesar also, der große Stratege und unvergleichliche Taktiker, völlig daneben gelegen, gerade im Wesentlichsten, denn er ging ja daran zugrunde . Sie wird aber, seitdem wir Republiken haben und verstärkt in der Nachkriegszeit, erfolgreich, ja fast unangefochten, vertreten, weil sie politisch korrekt ist: Wir sind ja alle républicains und natürlich Anticaesarianer, mehr noch: Brutianer. So werden in allen betreffenden historiographischen Publikationen gesinnungsverratende Texte und Bilder zum Lobe des Brutus gebracht, denen als Gegenaltar die Lobgesänge auf den Judas in der theologischen Literatur beantworten. Nur, politische Korrektheit bedeutet immer Geschichtsfälschung. Die Fahne der gerade gültigen politischen Korrektheit wechselt, politisch korrekt bleibt man. Und das haben sie, unsere Nachkriegsintellektuellen, mit ihren Vorkriegsvätern gemeinsam: Sie sind beide politisch korrekt, die jetzigen sogar pflichtbewußter und verbissener, denn die damaligen haben sich ja geirrt und waren feige: Unsere sind mutig im Bekämpfen bereits besiegter Ideologien!
Und so wird das Kind mit dem Badewasser weggeschüttet
Um den Ton einer anderen Glocke vernehmen zu lassen, wollen wir hier zwei Texte vom o.g. Ethelbert Stauffer dokumentieren, der einige unter den antiken Quellen zitiert und magistral verarbeitet: Anbei zuerst ein Kapitel über die Clementia Caesaris (aus Christus und die Caesaren), ein zweites, über Caesars Beisetzung (aus Jerusalem und Rom im Zeitalter Jesu Christi), findet man an anderer Stelle.
JULIUS CAESARS POLICY OF RECONCILIATION
[from: Christus und die Caesaren Historische Skizzen, Hamburg 1952, p. 4052
© Friedrich Wittig Verlag by courtesy of the publishing house]
The book is dedicated to the
under the motto:
SALUTAMUS VOS IN NOMINE VENTURI SECULI,
UNDE PAX ADVENTAT A CONSTITUTIONE MUNDI
In the year 133 B.C. the Roman tribune of the plebs, Tiberius Gracchus, started an extensive scheme of land reform, which was to provide a healthy basis for the social life of the masses. In the same year he was assassinated by his conservative opponents, and along with him there were slain three hundred of the popular party. That was the beginning of a hundred years civil war.
Ten years later Caius Gracchus took up his murdered brothers proposals, but he too was murdered, and with him three thousand of his friends. For some years the reactionaries possessed absolute power, by means of which they carried out a policy of hatred and destruction. «The consul made the most unscrupulous use of the senates victory against the party of the plebs», writes the contemporary historian Sallust, and he goes on: «So the senate made ruthless use of its victory, removing many by execution or exile, but increasing rather public fears than their own power. In this way great State structures have always been destroyed, for one party wishes to conquer the other completely and then to take an the more ruthless revenge on the conquered section.» Sallust spoke from a full experience.
In the year 87 the opposition party came to power with the consul Cinna and the great soldier Marius as its leaders. The conservative senate was so naive as to ask the new rulers to treat the citizens mildly. But of course the request was in vain. There was a reign of terror directed against all who belonged, or were accounted as belonging, to the opposition party, and it raged without bounds until the senates commander, the experienced soldier Sulla, destroyed the legions of the popular party in a desperate campaign.
In the year 82 Sulla was appointed dictator by the senate. He rescinded every social law of the past fifty years, and launched a war of extirpation on the popular party which put all previous efforts of the kind into the shade. Thousands had fallen in battle. Many thousands more were put by the dictator on the so-called proscription lists. He proclaimed a state of emergency, and issued endless lists of the proscribed. Everyone whose name appeared on this black list was outlawed and condemned to death without trial or appeal. This was the new form which Sulla gave to the war of extirpation. After three years of this bloodthirsty rule Sulla resigned the office of dictator and withdrew to the country. But his proscription lists remained in the memory of the survivors like a sinister image of terror, and Sullas ambiguous fame was proclaimed on his tomb with the words: «He did good to his friends and evil to his foes like none before him.»
The Age of Festivity
In the year 65 B.C. Julius Caesar began his official career, as aedile, in charge of the games for the Roman people. He sprang from one of the oldest noble families of Rome, which counted kings in its ancestry and traced its origin to the goddess Venus. His nature was royal, both in thought and in life there was greatness, and with the extravagant splendour of a king he organized for the people the games which were the most popular part of his duties. The year 65 was a great and splendid year like a ceremonial overture to a new and better time after seventy years of violence and bloodshed. The Roman people never forgot that year, and ever afterwards the phrase munificenia Caesaris was used by them to mean a time of festival and rejoicing.
This royal figure became the leader of the popular party. What led him to that position? He despised the narrow and reactionary spirit of the senate clique, and he was convinced that their historical role was at an end. He loved the idea of the sovereign great kingdom in the sense of Alexander the Great, and believed that the problems alike of domestic and of foreign politics could only be solved by the establishment of a universal monarchy of a new kind. But above all he had a passion for having splendid men around him. Julius Caesar had the most royal passion of all: the passion to make men happy. That is why he lavished enormous sums from his own estate upon the great public games, and made the people's cause his own. That is why he wanted power. There are other interpretations of Julius Caesar, but none great enough to fit this truly great man.
The General Amnesty
Plato once said that «the law is just, but the king is good». Julius Caesar was a royal nature in this deepest sense of the word. He wanted power in order to practise goodness, in order to heal the world by clementia. Julius Caesar believed in a policy of clemency.
But he was no romantic enthusiast; on the contrary, he was an accomplished expert, even a virtuoso, in Realpolitik. He knew how to instil into the best men in his party his own belief in clemency. With his summons to clemency he showed his party new ways of work. And with this word clementia as propaganda he enormously strengthened the attraction of his party. From this time onwards a man of the popular party and a man of clementia were interchangeable ideas. What did Caesar desire? He desired appeasement, mercy. And what did the popular party desire? It desired a general amnesty. These strains had not been heard in Rome before. It was a new age.
Julius Caesar was in earnest about the new principle. In the domestic policy of the sixties and fifties a whole series of individual cases could be recounted in which the leader of the popular party showed that he was indeed the man of clemency. We take a single example. In the year 60 Caesar formed along with Pompey and Crassus the first triumvirate. In 59 Caesar became consul for the first time. That same year the ultra-conservative Marcus Junius Brutus struck his first coins of freedom, which are simply the defiant protest of the reactionary senate against the monarchist trend in the popular party. But Caesar did not touch a hair of the young Brutuss head. In the same year Brutus was suspected of a conspiracy against Pompey; but Caesar saved him.
In 58 Caesar assumed the command in Gaul, and in the eight years of the Gallic War he had continual opportunities to work out the principle of clemency in the sphere of military and foreign policy. We know how passionately devoted the legions were to this Roman Napoleon. But we know too in what a masterly fashion he succeeded, in virtue of his clemency, in making a political conquest and friend out of the enemy who had been defeated in the field. He himself, at any rate, makes frequent reference in his war memoirs to this policy of conciliation in enemy country. Again and again he relates how the emissaries of the subjugated tribes appeal to his clemency: «Deal with us in accordance with the mildness and magnanimity which are peculiar to you». «If you will treat us in accordance with the mildness and generosity which we have heard from reports of other tribes is peculiar to you, then leave us with our weapons.» We can see how Caesars clemency has already become an international idea, a fixed formula in diplomatic language. Caesar himself replied to such pleas in these words: «I will spare the town, less for its merits than for the sake of my custom.» And on another occasion he reported how in the name of the Roman people he extended pardon to the conquered tribe, instead of annexing its land.
Caesars Bellum Gallicum is not the memoirs of an old man, willing to live the remainder of his life on proud memories of war, but it is a highly political work, written in the tumult of events and published just when Caesar was moving towards the decisive stroke of his political life, on the eve of the civil war. The Roman people were to be left in no doubt about the spirit in which Julius Caesar planned to conduct the struggle for power and that was the spirit of clemency. But the public could also see, and were meant to see from many an example of ruthless campaigning, that Caesar was no mere romantic weakling. The treatment of the Usipetes and the Tencteri, or the case of Vercingetorix, were sufficient illustration of this. So there were many people in Rome to whom the leader of the popular party and the conqueror of Gaul was still a profoundly ambiguous or sinister figure. The historian Sallust, for instance, sent a letter in the year 50 to Caesar in which he besought him not to follow in the tracks of the bloodthirsty Sulla.
The new Tactic of Victory
In the last days of December of the same year the Roman consul handed to the conservative Pompey the sword for the defence of Rome against Caesar. And now the whole world awaited with bated breath the unrolling of events.
In January of the year 49 the die was cast. Caesar matched into Italy. One town after the other capitulated, one legion after the other went over to him. Pompey fled from the capital. By February Caesar was outside the town of Corfinium, east of Rome. He forced its capitulation, but let Pompey's occupying forces go free. The news of this signal act of clemency ran like wildfire through the Roman world. The Caesarians seized on it for their propaganda, and in speeches and letters praised the humanity and conciliatory spirit of the conqueror and his abhorrence of every kind of cruelty. His enemies, too, were given food for thought. Corfinium was the beginning of a moral victory for Caesar which was no less successful than his military campaigns.
Meanwhile Caesar continued his march southwards, driving Pompey before him. At the beginning of March, 49, he was in Apulia, where he wrote an open letter to his friends, in which he said: «I heartily rejoice over your words of approval of what I did in Corfinium. I will gladly avail myself of your counsel, and will the more gladly do what I had already decided to do of my own accord, to be as mild as possible and to make every effort for a reconciliation with Pompey. In this way, if it is possible, we want to try to regain everyones trust and enjoy a lasting peace. For our predecessors, in virtue of their cruelty, were not able to escape hatred, and could maintain their victory for but a short time with the exception of Lucius Sulla, whose model 1 do not intend to follow. Haec nova sit ratio vincendi, ut misericordia et liberalitate nos muniamus let this be the new way of conquering, that our strength and our security lie in pity and generosity. How to realize this in very deed is a subject about which I have many thoughts, and there are many ways still to be discovered for its accomplishment.»
The conciliation of Corfinium, and these words about the new way of conquering, together exhibit the same spirit and the same man, and they did not fail of their effect. Even the sceptical Cicero succeeded in uttering a few appreciative words. Caesar took him up at once, and wrote: «You have interpreted me aright, for you know how nothing is further from my nature than cruelty. Nothing is dearer to me than to remain true to my character and the Pompeians to theirs.» But Ciceros mind was too small to grasp properly the greatness and newness of what Caesars actions proclaimed. He was too pleased with his clever scepticism, and as late as May 49 he was having witty conversations with his friends about Pompeys Sullan cruelty and the insidiosa clementia, the insidious clemency, of Caesar conversations devoid of understanding, and stuffed with mistrust and fear. When a decision had to be taken one way or the other, Cicero decided for Pompey.
Meantime Caesar and Pompey armed themselves, both morally and militarily, for the final struggle. A classical historian gives the following account: «Caesar showed marvellous moderation and clemency in the conduct of the civil war. Pompey declared that he would treat everyone as an enemy who was disloyal to the cause of the republic. Caesar proclaimed that he would account mediating statesmen and neutrals as his friends. Every officer whom he had appointed on the recommendation of Pompey was freely permitted to cross over to Pompeys camp. When the conditions for capitulation were being negotiated in Spain (at Ilerda), and in consequence a lively traffic arose between the two camps, the enemy leaders Afranius and Petreius suddenly turned round and had every soldier of Caesars who was in the Pompeian camp seized and slain. But Caesar could not bring himself to repay this perfidy in kind» (Suetonius).
The Destruction of the Files
In the autumn of 48 Caesar gained the decisive victory over Pompey at Pharsalus. After the battle countless prisoners fell at the victors feet and besought him with tears for their life. Caesar replied with a few words about his lenience (de lenitate sua) and pardoned them all without exception. So Caesar himself relates. A Roman historian of the time of Christ calls this act of mercy a munus misericordiae, a work of mercy. And the sober Pliny writes: «Caesars special and most profound characteristic was his royal clemency, with which he conquered and converted all men. So he showed the example of a great spirit, such as cannot be seen again
But the genuine and incomparable height of his all conquering heart is seen most clearly at Pharsalus. For when the coffers with the Pompeian papers fell into his hands, he caused them to be burnt, optima fide, without so much as casting a glance at them.»
In the same spirit Caesar declared in 47 in the Alexandrine War, «I do nothing more gladly than grant an amnesty to those who plead for mercy.» In the same style he conducted the moral and military campaign in 46 against Cato and the last of the resistance in Africa. We hear how the defeated general encouraged his anxious troops with the words, «I have great confidence in Caesars clemency.» His confidence was not misplaced. «Caesars clemency towards the defeated was the same as in earlier instances», so sagt ein antiker Berichterstatter, says a classical report. And Pliny recounts how Caesar had all the enemy papers destroyed unseen, precisely as at Pharsalus. Similarly the defeated Pompeians in Spain appealed to Caesars clemency, from which they hoped for every security, and in fact experienced it. At the same time Caesar won the heart of the pusillanimous Cicero, granting him unmolested return to Rome and complete freedom of action.
In March 45 Caesar defeated the last of the Pompeian party in Spain. Now he was master of the Roman world. Now the twelve last and most royal months of this royal life began, exactly twenty years after he had launched his political career with the unforgettable games and the programme of conciliation of the popular party.
The first and fundamental action of the conqueror was the establishment of a total amnesty which far surpassed even the most unlikely promises of the years of war. It is not possible to give in detail the contemporary witnesses to this unique work of amnesty. We quote only three summary reports from classical historians. Velleius Paterculus says: «Caesar returned to the capital city as conqueror over all his opponents and incredible though it may seem to us proclaimed a general amnesty for all who had taken up arms against him. Such was the clemency exercised by the great man in all his victories.» Suetonius reports: «Finally, in the last year of his life, he permitted everyone, without exception, who had not yet received an amnesty, to return to Italy and enter on the highest government offices and military posts. He even had the statues of Lucius Sulla and Gnaeus Pompeitis, which had been torn down by the populace, made new and set up again. And he preferred to hinder than to punish hostile plans and utterances which were later directed against his own person. Thus he prosecuted conspiracies and secret meetings which were unmasked, simply by delivering edicts that he knew all about them. When men spoke spitefully about him he was content to warn them in parliament not to do it any more. Even the hurt done to his name by the lies of Aulus Caecina and the libellous verses of Pitholaos he bore with urbanity (civili animo).» And Dio Cassius writes: «By releasing from any punishment those of his opponents who had survived, and pardoning them all on the same conditions, even advancing them to government offices; by returning their marriage-portions to the widows of the fallen, and giving the children a part of their father's inheritance in these ways he showed up the infamous practices of Sulla, and earned the greatest praise not only for courage but also for mildness, difficult though it generally is for a man to behave the same in peace as in war.»
We mention only one example of Caesar's liberal policies, again the example of Marcus Junius Brutus. In the year 46, at the close of the African war, Cato, the fanatical enemy of Caesar, committed suicide in order that he might not survive the downfall of the conservative cause. In 45 Brutus (his nephew and adopted son) married his daughter Porcia and composed an address of homage to the memory of the great fighter for freedom. Caesar left him alone, and appointed him praetor urbanus for the year 44, that is, president of the Roman senate and supreme court of justice, and deputy chief of police.
Cicero was overwhelmed. That was more than he could understand. He felt himself all the more dearly called to play in his own way the philosophical accompaniment to Caesars historical deeds. «We do not find with you what we have found with every victor in civil war. You are the only one, Gaius Caesar, at whose victory no one has lost his life, except in battle.» So he addresses the dictator. In dithyrambic speeches he praises the clementissimus dux, the most-merciful leader, his «unique and unheard-of», his «wonderful and praiseworthy clementia». With wise insight he speaks in letters to friends of Caesars «unique humanity» and «incredible generosity», of his «mild and good nature». And again he turns to Caesar himself, this time with upraised finger: «Do not weary of saving the good nobles, who have suffered a fall through no selfishness or evil in themselves, but in fulfilment of a supposed duty, fools perhaps, but not criminals». One can imagine how thankful Caesar was for these political lessons. «It is astonishing what Caesar let people say to him», writes the modern historian L Wickert. Probably the dictator was content with an ironical smile. But Cleopatra, his peer in greatness of spirit, let the wordy Cicero know in her own way what the general opinion of him was. When the wise politician made his entry into her Roman salon with much bowing and scraping, she stepped up to him and greeted him with the ambiguous words, «How happy I am to get to know personally the greatest virtuoso in words in Rome.» Cicero blinked for a moment, a little uncertainly, but soon recovered and continued his hymn of praise without any sign of embarrassment.
The senate too was carried away by the general attitude, and made a unique decision in honour of the unique historical' moment. It appointed Caesar as father of his country and decreed that a special temple should be built for the clementia Caesaris. There Caesar and his divine clementia were to be set up and worshipped, and on the pediment of the temple a globe of the world would proclaim that the clemency of Caesar spanned the whole world.
Caesar himself celebrated festivals as never before, and with him the whole people. Seventy, a hundred, years later tales were told of the fantastic October festival in the Year 45. «He filled the city with the most magnificent gladiatorial games, with sea-battles, cavalcades, elephant-fights and other spectacles, and celebrated a mass banquet which lasted for days.»
It was not only the capital which was to know of these things, the whole Roman world was to unite in celebrations around the festal figure of the man who was setting mankind free from need and hatred and fear. So coins were struck with the type of Caesar with the inscription pater patriae, or the temple of mercy with the words CLEMENTIA CAESARIS, and reverse in both instances a riding-scene from the October festival. These coins were intended as good tidings, messengers of the man who was filled with the royal passion to have joyful men and a joyful world around him.
It is well known that Beethoven dedicated his Eroica Symphony to the consul Napoleon Bonaparte? and then later tore up and trampled on the dedicatory page. He could have dedicated his Ninth Symphony to the memory of Caesar, and would not have had to withdraw it. For Caesar strode and stormed and danced his way through life like Beethovens symphony. The last twelve years of his life are like a single song to joy:
Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum.
Joy, thou lovely spark divine, daughter of Elysium,
Drunk with fire we near thy holy presence, O thou heavenly one.
Gram und Armut soll sich melden, mit den Frohen sich erfreun.
Groll und Rache sei vergessen, unserm Todfeind sei verziehn.
Unser Schuldbuch sei vernichtet, ausgesöhnt die ganze Welt!
Freude sprudelt in Pokalen, in der Traube goldnem Blut
Grief and poverty must come, and joyous with the joyful be,
Revenge and grudges all forgotten, enemies forgiven be.
Annihilate your book of debts, be with the whole world reconciled!
Joy is sparkling in the beakers, in the ripe grape's golden blood...
And once more:
Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium!
Joy, thou lovely spark divine, daughter of Elysium.
That breathes the very spirit of Julius Caesar, the spirit of reconciliation, the spirit of free and festal life.
The Destiny of Clementia
On March 15, 44, Caesar was assassinated by a band of reactionary senators. The moving spirit in the conspiracy was Marcus Junius Brutus, the Roman Judas. When Caesar saw him push forward with naked dagger, he uttered only the three Greek words, kai su teknon? You too child? Then he covered his face, and collapsed beneath twenty-three wounds. So relates the old tradition in Suetonius and Dio Cassius. It is not possible to present the historical tragedy of this moment in more simple human fashion. Throughout his life Caesar believed in the political evidence of his clemency, in the persuasive and winning power of his policy of forgiveness. «I will rather be slain than feared, and build upon the clemency which I practise», he was in the habit of saying when pressed to adopt a policy of armed security. Marcus Brutus betrayed the confidence and mocked the faith of Caesars life. That was the serpents sting which destroyed Caesar.
Cicero put it in this way: «Clementia became the dictators fate, his generosity became his destruction.» The classical historians agreed with him, and the Christian historian Orosius wrote: «He was destroyed in the effort to build the political world anew, contrary to the example of his predecessors, in the spirit of clemency».
The Roman people glorified the dead Caesar in a unique passion-liturgy, which echoes the ancient eastern laments for the death of the great gods of blessing, and many of whose motifs show an astonishing connexion with the Good Friday liturgy of the Roman mass. «Those whom I saved have slain me», they sang in the name of the murdered man. And Antony declared before the temple of Venus, where the son of the goddess lay in state: «Truly the man cannot be of this world whose only work was to save where anyone needed to be saved».
The assassins of the Ides of March were wrong to suppose they could destroy Caesar's work, or mock the will of history. They had to pay dearly for the dagger-blow at Caesars Clementia. Caesar dead caused more trouble to his enemies than Caesar living, wrote a contemporary historian. Once more the bloodthirsty ghost of the proscriptions went through the land, and three hundred senators and two thousand knights were to die before the young Augustus resumed his fathers policy of conciliation.
We have related nothing but facts, and only the most important of these. We have had to leave aside a great deal, and we have not entered into the passionate controversy which swings to and fro in judgment of Caesar and his clementia. We have thought it more useful to let Caesar and his contemporaries speak as far as possible in their own words.
From the history of Caesars clemency three things may be learned.
First, this clemency of Caesar is embedded like a metaphysical postulate in the stormy history of that advent century before the turning-point of all time. The Christian knows how God Himself, and God alone, fulfilled that postulate. Caesars work of conciliation fell to pieces. Christs work of reconciliation was accomplished.
Second, Caesars use of amnesty in Realpolitik is a legacy for all later political history. And mankind has had to atone bitterly for every neglect of Caesars clementia.
Third, a Church which takes all these facts seriously must remind the peoples of the world, their politicians and their lawyers, with fresh courage and a fresh sense of responsibility, of the words which Caesar spoke two thousand years ago: «Let this be the new way of conquering, that our strength and our security lie in pity and generosity».