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Quote of the Day: December 5, 2011

Those "Noble" Roman Republicans: Gangsters, Thieves, Slavers on a Continent-Wide Scale

When you hold up the Roman Republicans as exempts of civic virtue and as models of "Western civilization", you are saying that one of the principal aspects of "Western civilization" is that of being gangsters, thieves, and slavers on a worldwide--or at least a continent-wide--scale.

Don't take these people as your virtuous ancestors, exemplars, and models unless that is really what you want to do.

Just saying:

Marcus Tullius Cicero to Titus Pomponius Atticus: 89 (iv. 16): Rome, about 1 July 54 BC:

…The Paccius letter having been answered, let me tell you the rest of my news. A letter from my brother contains some quite extraordinary things about Caesar's warm feelings towards me, and is corroborated by a very copious letter from Caesar himself. The result of the war against Britain is eagerly awaited, for the approaches to the island are known to be 'warded with wondrous massy walls'. It is also now ascertained that there isn't a grain of silver on the island nor any prospect of booty apart from captives, and I fancy you won't expect any of them to be highly qualified in literature or music!

(…Paccianae epistulae respondi; cognosce cetera. ex fratris litteris incredibilia quaedam de Caesaris in me amore cognovi, eaque snt ipsius Caesaris uberimis litteris confirmata. Britannici belli exitus exspectatur; contat enim aditus insulae esse muratos mirificis molibus. etiam illud iam cognitum est, neque argenti scrupulum esse ullum in illa insula neque ullam spem praedae nisi ex mancipiis; ex quibu nullo puto te litteris aut musicai eruditos exspectare.)