Peace, Freedom…& Responsibility

“Down to the destruction of Carthage, the people and Senate shared the government peaceably and with due restraint, and the citizens did not compete for glory or power; fear of its enemies preserved the good morals of the state. But when the people were relieved of this fear, the favourite vices of prosperity – licence and pride – appeared as a natural consequence. Thus the peace and quiet which they had longed for in time of adversity proved, when they obtained it, to be even more grievous and bitter than the adversity. For the nobles started to use their position, and the people their liberty, to gratify their selfish passions, every man snatching and seizing what he could for himself. So the whole community was split into parties, and the Republic, which hitherto had been the common interest of all, was torn asunder….The people were burdened with military service and poverty, while the spoils of war were snatched by the generals and shared with a handful of friends.” — Sallust, The Jugurthine War/The Conspiracy of Catiline, pp. 77-78 (Tr. S.A.Handford), Penguin Books, 1963.

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