They spoke honeyed words and vowed that it was passionate love which had prompted their offence. No plea can better touch a woman’s heart. I - 9

These lessons [law and religious observances] could never be learned while his people were constantly fighting; war, he well knew, was no civilizing influence, and the proud spirit of his people could be tamed only if they learned to lay aside their swords. I – 18

Rome was now at peace; there was no immediate prospect of attack from outside and the tight rein of constant military discipline was relaxed. In these novel circumstances there was an obvious danger of a general relaxation of the nation’s moral fibre, so to prevent its occurrence Numa decided upon a step which he felt would prove more effective than anything else with a mob as rough and ignorant as the Romans were in those days. This was to inspire them with the fear of the gods…and he was in the habit of meeting the goddess Egeria at night, and that it was her authority that guided him in the establishment of such rites. I - 19

[Tullus Hostilius twisting the situation to use as a pretext for war and make the Roman’s appear innocent of it] I – 22

[The way the town of Gabii was duped by Sextus Tarquinius and treated by him] I – 54

The confiscations enriched the more fortunate – those, namely, to whom Sextus chose to be generous – with the result that in the sweetness of personal gain public calamity was forgotten, until at long last the whole community, such as it now remained, with none to advise or help it, passed without a struggle into Tarquin’s hands. I – 55

[Lucretia’s character] I – 58

That sense [sense of community] – the only true patriotism – comes slowly and springs from the heart: it is founded upon respect for the family and love of the soil. Premature “liberty” of this kind would have been a disaster: we should have been torn to pieces by petty squabbles before we had ever reached political maturity, which, as things were, was made possible by the long quiet years under monarchical government; for it was that government which, as it were, nursed our strength and enabled us ultimately to produce sound fruit from liberty, as only a politically adult nation can. II – 1

The passions of the mob are notoriously fickle, and Valerius, the surviving consul soon lost his popularity and came not only to be disliked but suspected on the gravest possible grounds. II – 7

[Brutus] had died fighting for his country at the very peak of his fame, before the breathe of envy could tarnish its brightness. II – 7

[The way the patricians treated the masses once Tarquinius was dead] it soon proved, however, a mixed blessing, for the patricians welcomed it far too much as an opportunity for self indulgence at the expense of the masses, who had hitherto, as a matter of policy, been treated with every consideration. II – 21

Servilius was not unaware of the strength of their case, but he was unable wholeheartedly to support them because of the violence of the opposition both of his colleague Appius and of the governing class as a whole. Consequently he temporized, and by trying to make the best of both worlds succeeded in neither: the commons disliked him and thought him dishonest; the nobles distrusted him as a weak consul trying to curry popular favor. II – 26

The House replied that the mob having got out of hand through sheer lack of employment. II – 28

Political decisions, however, always have been, and always will be, influenced for ill by party spirit and concern for property. II – 30

Happily both consuls, supported by the elder members of the Senate, took care that an office, in itself of such formidable power, should be entrusted to a man of moderate temper. II – 30

[Money lenders] II – 31

[Tullius’s trick] II – 38

[Marcius’s strategy and the shared dagger] II – 39

But the Senate, feeling that quite enough had been ceded already to the mob, shrank from offering further gifts which might well prove a stimulus to still further unreasonable demands. II – 42

Fabius was unable to find any remedy for this disastrous piece of work, which was proof, if proof were needed, that men of outstanding ability are more likely to lack the power of controlling their own people than of defeating an enemy in battle. II – 44

An honor wisely refused may well return with greater luster to him who refuses it. II – 47

Peace and plenty were accompanied, however, by a return of popular discontent, and, troubles abroad having ceased, fresh causes for them were sought at home. II – 51

Faced by this storm the consuls quickly realized the insecurity of high position unsupported by force. II – 56

Human nature, however, does not change: the mere fact that there was plenty for everyone blunted the edge of appetite. III – 1

Rights and duties were forgotten; force, and what it might achieve was the only arbiter of conduct. III – 11

[What the tribunes accused the patricians of doing] III – 14

Fortunately, however, in those days authority, both religious and secular, was still a guide to conduct, and there was as yet no sign of our modern skepticism which interprets solemn compacts, such as embodied in an oath or law, to suit its own convenience. III – 20

[Decimvirs abusing power, and their toadies support] The decimvirs young toadies were easily corrupted by such pay, and, far from making any attempt to check their master’s brutal conduct, openly rejoiced in it; for them personal immunity in crime was a more agreeable thing than national liberty. III – 37

And this would lead to an attempt to get rid of the decimvirate, unless they offered a united resistance and forestalled any concerted move against them by savage repression of the few bold spirits who seemed likely to take the initiative. III – 38

But now that they have tasted the sweetness of the power it confers, they will never willingly give it up, especially when we make no attempt whatever in the exercise of our own powers to lessen their need of protection. III – 53

All the decimvirs except Appius, when the demands of the commons were presented to them, were so much relieved to find no mention made of their own punishment that they agreed unconditionally. Appius, on the contrary, the most savage and the worst hated of them all, measured the revengefulness and brutality of others by what he found in his own breast. III – 54

Oratory is all very well when there are no facts to go on: it was invented to conceal our doubts. [Appius’s ironic appeal] III – 56

[The commons seeking retribution once they got power] III – 58

[The Senate's resentment against their saviors Valerius and Horatius]

…maintaining that political tranquility at home went hand in hand with good relations abroad, just as domestic discord was always the cue for potential enemies to start fire eating. Their peace policy also lead to a diminution of tension within the state. Nevertheless, the fundamental hostility between the two orders remained; either was always quick to take advantage when the other showed moderation, and if the commons were apparently content, it was only a signal for the young nobles to start fresh prosecutions. III – 66

True moderation in the defense of political liberties is indeed a difficult thing: pretending to want fair shares for all, every man raises himself by depressing his neighbor; our anxiety to avoid oppression leads us to practice it ourselves; the injustice we repel, we visit in turn upon others, as if there were no choice except either to do it or to suffer it. III – 66

It seems to be a law of nature that a speaker who speaks only for himself is more popular with a crowd than one who has nothing in his mind but the public welfare – unless perhaps if you believe in the distinterestedness of those flattering demagogues, those yes-men and self-styled friends of the people, and suppose that it is for your sakes that they rouse your wrath and urge you to action. Your passions are their profit – to fill their pockets or get them promotion. In an ordered and harmonious society they know they are nothing, and they would rather lead a bad cause than none at all. III – 69

In all communities the qualities or tendencies which carry the highest reward are bound to be most in evidence and to be most industriously cultivated – indeed it is precisely that which produces good statesmen and good soldiers. IV – 2

Men fighting for their own liberty and prestige are very different creatures from men who are called upon to use their judgment, unclouded by passion, when the fight is over. The result of the election was a signal proof of this, for the three candidates returned by the people’s votes were all patricians: the fact that plebeians had been allowed to stand was enough to satisfy them. IV – 6

So rarely are the fair promises of human fortune enough to satisfy the human heart – he was soon nursing a loftier – and a criminal – ambition. IV – 13

They became possessed by all sorts of superstitions, mostly of foreign original, and the sort of men who can turn other men’s superstitious terrors to their own advantage set up as seers and introduced strange rights and ceremonies into private houses, until the debased state of the national conscience came to the notice of the leaders of society, who could not but be aware in every street and chapel of the weird and outlandish forms of prayer by which their hag-ridden compatriots sough to appease the wrath of heaven. Then the government stepped in, and the aediles were instructed to see that only Roman gods were worshipped and only in the traditional way. IV – 30

‘Do not be surprised,” they went on to say, “if nobody bothers to consult your interests; a man will work hard and face risks when he can hope for profit and place as a result, and he will shrink from nothing if only he knows that the reward is likely to be worthy of the attempt; but you can neither ask nor expect a tribune to shut his eyes and go charging, with great peril and no profit, into a struggle which will inevitably subject him to the remorseless persecution of the senatorial party, while you yourselves, for whom he risks all, do not lift a finger to add to his honors. No, no: ambition cannot live upon air - aspiration must have something to aspire to.” IV – 35

Evidently, there are occasions, as this story shows, when favor and promotion fall most readily into the lap of the man who does not seek them. IV – 57

But the tribunes failed to realize that there are limits to human strength and that no valor, however great, can go beyond them. IV – 58

But better even then that was the fact that the offer was spontaneous and owed nothing to anything that had ever been said either by their tribunes or by themselves – it was that which added so much both to their satisfaction and to their gratitude. IV – 60

Moreover, however the rest might feel, veteran soldiers who had earned their discharge would never endure to see younger men enjoying better conditions of service then they themselves had been forced to accept, or submit to the injustice of contributing to other men’s expenses when they had also, of necessity, defrayed their own. IV – 60

There is, to speak generally, no such thing as work without gain or gain without work: toil and pleasure, though apparent opposites, are indissolubly linked. V – 4

Pg 374 [top of page] V – 6

For it was only human nature that the quicker a man was to seek the lion’s share of danger and hard work, the slower he would be to snatch what he could find for his own enrichment. Licinius countered by arguing that this money would be a constant cause of suspicion and hatred and would inevitably give rise to public prosecutions. V – 20

After all, there was more pleasure and satisfaction in what a man took with his own hand and carried home than in ten times the value of it doled out to him at the whim of another. V – 20

For more often then not the masses will take their cue from their leader. V – 28

With the result that the three guilty men, whose punishment was supposed to be under discussion, were elected as military tribunes with consular powers for the following year; such was the influence on the mind of the populace of wealth and position. V – 37

How true it is that destiny blinds men’s eyes, when she is determined that her gathering might shall meet no check! The military tribunes whose reckless conduct had been responsible for the war, were in supreme command. V – 37

Thus day after day the tale of disaster went on, until sheer familiarity with suffering dulled the sense of what they had lost. V – 43

As usually happens, wisdom was forced to yield to numbers. XXI – 4

Power to command and readiness to obey are rare associates. XXI – 4

The early stages of convalescence are often worse than the disease. XXI – 39

Success usually makes people careless. XXI – 61

Many queer things happened in Rome and the countryside around it – or at least they were said to have happened, and believed on small evidence, to have happened, as is the way when man’s minds are shaken by superstitious fears. XXI – 62

[Luring into the trap at Lake Trasimene]

A sick body is more sensitive to the least pain than a healthy one. XXII – 8

[Fabius’s strategy with Hannibal, his subordinates lack of understanding of it and their resulting conduct towards him, and Hannibal’s attempts at encouraging his opponents’ rashness]

He tried to exalt himself by denigrating his superior – an iniquitous practice which has become only more common by its frequent success. XXII – 12

They were subject to a just and moderate rule, and were willing to obey their betters. That, surely, is the one true bond of loyalty. XXII – 13

[Abelux’s need for an important gift in being a deserter]

[Hannibal’s use of the oxen]

Change of fortune, as it usually does where foreigners are concerned, had changed his principles. XXII – 22

[Hannibal not destroying Fabius’s estate] XXII – 23

If you can steel yourself to ignore the tongues of men who will defame you – if you remain unmoved by the empty glory your colleague seeks and the false infamy he tries to bring upon yourself. Truth, they say, too often comes near to extinction, but is never quite put out. True glory will belong to the man who despises it. Never mind if they call your caution timidity, your wisdom sloth, your generalship weakness; it is better that a wise enemy should fear you than that foolish friends should praise. Hannibal will despise a reckless antagonist, but he will fear a cautious one… go slowly and all will be clear and sure. Haste is always improvident and blind. XXII – 39

Few were affected by Hanno’s speech, partly because his feud with the Barcine faction rendered his views less influential, and partly because it is only human nature to refuse, in a time of rejoicing, to listen to arguments that would turn the substance of it to a shadow. XXIII – 13

These measures, as often happens when things are going well, were carried out in a slow and dilatory manner – very different from that of the Romans who, even apart from their characteristically active temperament, were forced to move quickly by the serious position of their affairs. XXIII – 14

[The senate’s trick to buy time at Nola] XXIII – 14

[The weakening of Hannibal’s men’s constitution when they wintered at Capua, and their repeated disertion to visit their prostitutes in Capua] XXIII – 18

Nothing could control their reckless behavior, which sprang, as it often does, from success. XXIII – 27

Indeed, that is the nature of crowds: the mob is either a humble slave or a cruel master. As for the middle way of liberty, the mob can neither take it nor keep it with any respect for moderation or law. Moreover, there is seldom a lack of men to minister to its savage passions and drive to bloodshed those who already are all to eager to inflict torture and death. XXIV – 25

In war the slightest thing may often have important results. XXV – 18

[The ingratitude of Badius the Campanian with Claudius] XXV – 19

Men are always least safe against the danger which their situation happens to conceal; one takes no precautions against a chance that one feels is negligible. XXV – 38

Lack of occupation, as it usually does, started people talking. XXVI – 26

Superstition sees the finger of God even in trivialities. XXVII – 23

Fear, in short, looks always on the darker side, and everyone believed the enemy’s strength to be greater, and their own less, then in fact they were. XXVII – 44

The natural human passion for exaggerating rumors made out his complaint to be even worse than it actually was. XXVIII – 24

Was the result of the general deterioration of discipline, which commonly follows a period of inactivity. XXVIII – 24

How all too ready is the human mind to extenuate its own guilt. XXVIII – 25

Prolonged inactivity was destroying the morale of the troopers. XXIII – 35

Sheer fright drove them to exaggerate everything they heard. XXIX – 3

Talks of peace and hopes of its conclusion led – as they often do – both Syphax and the Carthiginians into neglect of proper precautions against possible hostile action in the meantime. XXX – 4

[Sophoniba’s trade up] XXX – 12

His reason had left him and he had put from his mind the ties which bound him to Scipio together with the pact which bound their respective countries, at the moment when he received a woman of Carthage into his house. It was those nuptial torches which had set his palace aflame; she was the poison in his blood, the avenging fury, who with her soft words and caresses had alienated his wits and sent him astray, not content until with her own hands she had nefariously armed him against one who was his guest and friend. XXX – 13

The man who has tamed and bridled the wild horses of lust has won himself more honor and a greater victory than is ours by the defeat of Syphax. XXX - 14

It was now that certain older members of the Senate remarked that people in general are slower to feel blessings than misfortunes… Well the gods at long last had granted that prayer but was there a single man to propose that thanks be rendered them for their goodness? Alas men were too little grateful even for a present blessing; still less did they remember the blessing that was past. XXX – 21

It rarely happened that men were blessed with good fortune and good judgment at the same moment; but the Roman people was invincible for the very reason that in its hour of success it could remember to take counsel and be wise…men for whom good fortune was some strange new thing were carried away beyond all control in their rejoicing, but the Roman people had such long experiences of the joys of victory that familiarity might almost breed contempt. XXX – 42

For peace can never stay for long in a great country. It will find an enemy at home if it lacks one abroad, just as a powerful body appears immune to any external infection but is strained by its own strength. How true it is that we feel public misfortune only in so far as it affects our private interests! And it takes a money loss to make us feel the pinch. XXX - 44

Livy? [The Senate’s resentment against their saviors Valerius and Horatius] III – 68

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