This paper was read August 2005 at a political theory conference on terrorism, democracy and empire - with a slant on the rhetoric around citizenship. Ironing out the bugs here, in advance, was very instructive, rather than before a large delegation of tenured folk. Many thanks to Noung for already having a first look.

She – prouder boast than other conquerors knew-
Gently her captives to her bosom drew;
Mother not mistress, the thrall her kin
And ‘neath her wing called all the nations in.
Who owns, and owes not to her parent sway,
His civick rights in utmost lands to-day.1
- Claudian of Alexandria, De Consulatu Stilichonis (400 A.D.)
This essay examines the specific depiction of citizenship set out by the Annals of Tacitus, written circa AD 117, describing conditions in the early Roman imperium. Suppose for a moment the metaphor of "the Ship of State" is accurate, or at least as acute as any other. We can, after all, liken a political system to any number of other things. Polities have been rendered as temples or markets, as factories or forests – each reflecting one aspect or other of social order. If the Ship of State were to describe the contemporary nation-state of our time, it is the notion of citizenship that sees it manned by sailors and stewards, as opposed to slaves and soldiers. Citizenship ensures the effort is collaborative, as opposed to coerced.

Ancients did not share our notions of freedom or liberty. It is both obvious and necessary to point out their institution of citizenship also differed. In ancient Rome, for example, birth, religion, language, wealth, profession and the largess of State were all determinants of citizenship. There are elements common to many states, however, visible even now.

Modern immigration policies, for example, disregard the matter of religion in citizenship process, although it was once a primary determinant. Imperial Rome, by contrast, at many points enforced a state religion for most citizens. Similarly, aptitude in an official language is given only middling priority. This is quite the reverse of the policy of one Roman emperor, Claudius, infamous for travelling his provinces and revoking the citizenship of any he met unable to answer his questions. Any man, who cannot understand the language of the Romans has no right to be one, was his rejoinder. 2

Other components of citizenship, however, remain familiar. Profession was pivotal then, as today. In the Augustan era, twenty-five years of service in the Roman legions earned a man and his family full citizenship. 3 Today, doctors and computer programmers are in great demand. Finally, given a demonstrable level of certain wealth and property, citizenship has always been negotiable for the persevering.

The Drivers of Empire and Tacitus’ Rome
Frugality used to prevail because people had self-control – and because we were citizens of one city. Even our domination of Italy did not bring the same temptations. But victories abroad taught us to spend other peoples’ money … Rome’s existence is ever at the mercy of sea and storm – these are problems about which there are no speeches, yet without our provinces' resources to support master and slave…our woods and villas would not feed us. 4
This is Tacitus’ record of Tiberius, as he formulates “emperor’s anxiety.” Fear was the unspoken reality underpinning Rome’s expansion. Not want, but fear of want. Not power, but fear of losing power. Many of the great city-cultures of AntiquityBabylon, Tyre, Greece – had to grapple with their own growth. Their leaders were lauded as great, or awful, in what they could provide their people.5 None developed a population (or appetite) matching the imperial capitol Tacitus describes.

Reading the Annals, the source of Rome’s reputation for decadence is apparent. Their slippage from serveritate to luxuria, frugality to excess, is made starkly clear. Conquests’ gain fuelled conquest’s cost. Every age has had those who bemoan the habits of their times and countrymen; few match the remedial tenor and exhaustive detail of Tacitus. Even at his most critical, Livy endowed Romans with an assumed nobility, while in his most pious moment, Augustine bemoaned the empire and its leaders, not its peoples.

The Annals strives to be neither lyric nor litany. Tacitus uses little patriotic gloss or moral tenor; he seems to take one of Horace’s maxims to heart. Nil admirari, marvel at nothing. He clearly and simply renders events in 1st century Rome as that city took up an imperial mantle; along with the resultant triumphs, conflicts and catastrophes. Tacitus had no illusions about the power Rome wielded, writing, “the impressiveness of the Republican façade only meant that the slave-state, which was to grow…would be all the more loathsome.” 6 If anything, in the balance between state authority and legal rights, the Annals maps out a harrowing devolution.

Rome’s political order was in truth imperially-minded even as a republic. “O Roman, to rule the nations in thine empire; this shall be thine art, to lay down the law of peace, to be merciful to the conquered and beat the haughty down” was Virgil’s formulation. 7 In 27 BC, the emperor Augustus established an monarchical Principate to administer Rome’s expanding realm. Sicily, Sardinia and Spain had been occupied by Rome for nearly two centuries. Gaul and Egypt followed. By 6 AD, Rome dropped any claim to republicanism, officially annexing Moesia, Greece and Judea. In 43 AD, the conquest of Britannia began, followed twenty years later by the suppression of the Jewish Rebellion and the razing of the Temple in Jerusalem. As Tacitus attributes to the Armenian Tiridates, “passivity does not preserve great empires…a private individual can satisfy his prestige by holding his own – but a monarch can only do so by claiming other people’s property.” 8

”Even as a thing is being born, some part of it has died

Tacitus began his Annals in 14 AD, as the Roman army serving in Pannonia, Germania and Gaul mutinied. 9 Chapter after chapter, he sets truth to the lie of Pax Romana. The elite of Rome, privy to news of distant events, sensed those entrusted to safeguard order had themselves slipped beyond control. It fell to emperor Octavian to assert discipline, though Tacitus imputes security comes at a cost:
He seduced the army with bonuses, and his cheap food policy was successful bait for civilians…then he gradually pushed ahead and absorbed the functions of the senate, the officials, and even the law. Opposition did not exist. War or judicial murder had disposed all men of spirit. Upper class survivors found that slavish obedience was the way to succeed, both politically and financially. They had profited from the revolution, and so now they liked the security of the existing arrangement better than the dangerous uncertainties of the old regime. 10
It was evident to Tacitus, among a certain strata of Roman society following the Republic’s collapse, that many were relieved by the new order that accompanied an imperial, absolutist ruler. It is in this political atmosphere, overhanging a populace both fearful and pliant, that his characterization of the citizen seems most oppressive and ominous. For the erosion of liberty Octavian began, his successors only deepened. The core of the “Roman right”, namely the measures of protection and obligation due to individuals holding citizen status, suffers gravely under the consolidated power of a divine imperator. By Claudius’ time, iura privata or private rights have become so eroded that Dio remarks while citizenship was at first born to, and later bought dear, it is ultimately said one can become a citizen by paying in shards of glass. 11

Tacitus is unequivocal in his judgment of the empire’s tyrannical bent. He picks up this theme from the very outset, in his first work, The Agricola, writing
We have indeed set up a record of subservience. Rome of old explored the limits of freedom; we have plumbed the depths of slavery, robbed even of the interchange of ideas by the secret police. We should have lost our memories as well as our tongues had it been as easy to forget as to be silent. 12
It is important to note the concern expressed by Tacitus for meaningful liberty, that his fellow citizens have some measure of protection against the expansive power of the imperial state, is quite unrelated to any modern notion of individual rights or human dignity. The closest the Romans came to these Enlightenment ideals were humanitas and dignitas, which were more practical notions of decency and respect for social position. Tacitus’ primary concern was for the communal health of Roman society, and for its hard-won freedom as a whole. As Ibn Khaldun would later stress, when citizens of a state feel insecure, violence and persecution spread to ill effect for all.
Primitive man had no evil desires. Being blameless and innocent, his life was free of compulsions or penalties … where no wrong desires existed, fear imposed no prohibitions. But when men ceased to be equal, egotism replaces fellow-feeling and decency succumbs to violence. Despotism results. 13
In imperial Rome, an eroded ideal of citizenship and concentration of judicial powers at the emperor’s whim soon developed into politically expedient persecution. Tacitus notes early on Augustus’ use of accused treason to exile writers when “he had become annoyed by anonymous verses.” 14 A whole string of Roman poets, dramatists and politicians were accused under Augustus; and no less a figure than Ovid was exiled to a life and death on the empire’s furthest fringe – relegatio ad terminus.

Nor was such a case extraordinary. In Tacitus’ time, imperial agents deployed a whole range of severe sanctions – ranging from crucifixion to blood sport, torture to permanent exile, forced labour to coerced suicide - as social punishment. The legal principle, exemplary justice, was founded on the effect of citizens recognizing dissent, criminality or heresy, and bearing collective witness to the punitive outcome. Tacitus argued repression had little long-term effect – that tyrants achieve only brutal repute and sympathetic renown for their victims. 15 However, legates and senators of the early empire did not seem overly mindful of the judgment of posterity; political fealty, religious orthodoxy and social cohesion were their concerns. Again, Tacitus draws a line from these sweeping legal powers and the growing vulnerability of Rome’s citizens:
…the emperor’s absorption of all judicial and magisterial functions had opened up extensive opportunities for illicit gain. The most readily purchasable commodity on the market was an advocate’s treachery. 16
The year under discussion by Tacitus is 47 AD, under the reign of Claudius. The ‘diseased legal system’ began to have unintended consequences; initially a source of order and stability, Roman courts were increasing manipulated for political or economic ends. 17 One key explanation were the stakes involved. With the conclusion of the Punic Wars, Rome became the centre of Mediterranean commerce and enterprise. By Claudius’ reign, the Roman marketplace imported tin and timber from Britannia, cattle from Macedonia, wine from Gaul and grain from Egypt into an extended chain of exchange. Fines and contestations, lawsuits and counter-suits, charges of bribery and slander multiplied; though disregard of law may not have been the only reason. With a market expanding in size and souls, business and social interactions would have expanded in kind. The greater frequency, complexity and distances involved, the more tangled the legalities if things went wrong.

The Republic’s Ruin and a Citizen’s Rights

Whatever the explanation, recorders like Livy, Tacitus and Dio noted increasing alarm, particularly among the more established houses. Some argued the spirit of Rome itself was waning; citizens cared only for what was theirs. Others questioned the sanity of further enfranchising former enemies. However, no controversy could yet diminish the attractiveness of citizenship itself. Whatever chaos was evident in court or brutality spilled in the Circus, the Latin right was still dearly coveted; provincials yet struggled for acceptance and opportunity. Nowhere was this more evident than in the province of Gaul, fully annexed in 48 BC by the campaigns of Julius Caesar. Nearly a century later, pressing Claudius in 48 AD for the right to elect representatives, the people of Gaul were jeered in the Senate:
Italy is not so decayed that she cannot provide her own capital with a senate. In former times even people akin to us were content with a Roman senate of native Romans only; and the government of those days is a glorious memory … Do we have to import foreigners in hordes, like gangs of prisoners, and leave no careers for our own surviving aristocracy? … every post will be absorbed by the rich men whose grandfathers and great grandfathers commanded hostile tribes … let them, by all means have the title of Roman citizens. But the Senate insignia, the glory of office, they must not cheapen. 18
If the core ideals around the meaning of citizenship seem to change little from age to age, so too do feelings toward the foreigner seem to alter little. The oration recorded by Tacitus threads together concern for national honour, traditionalism, self-sufficiency, diminished clout and influence, obligations of lineage and the need to maintain the sanctity of office. Xenophobia and suspect loyalty are expressed just as clearly. Given that a great many later emperors would themselves be provincials - to say nothing of generals, historians, traders and civil servants – these objections would not seem long sustainable. Equally strained is the notion an individual could be deemed worthy of citizenship, yet ineligible for political office. Political representation is by nature civil service; ideally, no different in end than military service, where provincial troops were employed in droves.

To his credit, Claudius resists the political pressure of the Roman Senate. The imperial leadership by that time were no doubt aware the provinces – Gaul, Spain and Africa in particular – would make critical contributions. To maintain her privileges and position, he argued, the empire must attract “excellence to Rome from whatever source … uniting not merely individuals but whole territories and peoples under the name of Rome.” 19He points out that talented provincials and ex-soldiers formed the basis of Rome’s successful settlements and colonies throughout the world, thus renewing “the exhausted empire.” While the ideal of a Roman commonweal would have to await the ascension of the provincial Hadrian, Tacitus finally has Claudius give the Roman Senate something of a history lesson on citizenship.
What proved fatal to Sparta and Athens, for all their military strength, was their segregation of conquered subjects as aliens. Our founder Romulus, on the other hand, had the wisdom – more than once – to transform in a single day whole enemy peoples into Roman citizens … Senators, however ancient any institution seems, it was once new. First, plebeians joined patricians in office. Next, the Latins were added. Then came men from other Italian peoples. The innovation now proposed will, in its turn, one day be old: what we seek to justify by precedents today will itself become a precedent. 20
The wisdom of Claudius prevailed. In 48 AD, the Aedui tribe of Gaul were named “Brothers of the Roman People” and senatorial representation extended to them. A census undertaken that same year found the Roman Imperium to embrace nearly six million individuals with citizen status. 21 As more tribes migrated into the empire in the decades to follow, a whole hierarchy of rights and status would evolve demarking foederati (treaty-bound tribes), laeti (settlers who furnish troops for land), dediticii (surrendered foreigners) and colonii. Each carried with it some of the perquisites and duties of Roman citizenship – but to varying extents and combinations.

If the Gauls’ new political heft reveals how Roman rights could be granted, Claudius’ reign also illustrates how politically-charged such benefice was to mete out. After nine years, legions continued to war upon and pacify the nations of Britannia. In 50 AD, the man leading their resistance against Rome was captured. Known across the empire, Carataus and his family were shackled in their ancestral forest-home and dragged to Rome. Neither violence nor awe in the distant capital diminished his resolve. The chieftain is defiant, even to the emperor himself, asking “if you want to rule the world, does it follow everyone else welcomes slavery?22 Claudius pardons Caratacus, not out of mercy, but what Tacitus interprets as a pragmatic display of uncontested power.

Insecurity and its Effects

In the era of Republican Rome, the historian Polybius had written, “only the people have the right to confer office or to inflict punishment, the two bonds that hold society together.” 23 By Tacitus’ time, the consistency with which Roman emperors and consuls applied or waived their own laws speaks to the difficulties of such a far-flung dominion. 24 Nowhere in the Annals is there stronger indictment of injustice than the enumeration of Nero’s rule, an ancient benchmark for all murderous and corrupt leaders since, thanks largely to Tacitus’ damning reflections. Nero’s own tutor and advisor Seneca wrote of his pupil, nil sapientiae odiosius acumine nimis. Nothing is more hateful to wisdom than too much cunning. However negative, it was in reviewing Nero’s reign that Tacitus proclaimed himself duty-bound 25 to make an example for posterity:
When there was democracy, it was necessary to understand the character of the masses and how to control them … now that Rome has virtually been transformed into an autocracy, the investigation and record of those details concerning the autocrat may prove useful …it is from such studies – from the experience of others – that most men learn to distinguish right from wrong… 26
Positioned and raised since childhood to rule by his mother Agrippina, Nero fits all the criterion of a tyrannical despot. He had friend, foe and family alike assassinated. He deceived or manipulated whichever institutions sought to limit his decrees. He openly maligned the very laws of state he inherited and was to protect. Tacitus remarks by 56 AD, Nero and his compatriots had taken to masquerading as slaves while running amok through Rome, mugging the citizenry and stealing from their shops. The anarchy of these officials even inspires a wave of lower class copycats who form their own gangs, and “Rome by night came to resemble a conquered city.” 27

If ever Romans had reason to doubt the tenuous protections of citizenship, it was under emperor Nero. First dissenters, then rivals, finally even relatives and allies found themselves helpless and without recourse before his capricious wrath. As a leader he exacted complete dedication, as Seneca found in 62 AD when he attempted to distance himself from Nero by resigning. Tacitus recorded an emperor both immovable and immoral, as Nero rebukes Seneca, “If you return my gifts and desert your emperor, it is not your unpretentiousness, your retirement, that will be on everyone’s lips, but my meanness, you dread of my brutality.” 28 The protection, security and sovereignty of free citizens came to mean very little under Nero, even among the most illustrious Romans.

Nonconformity and dissent became an increasingly dire offence in this period; insecurity was felt by all, from senators to slaves. Tacitus found the common citizenry, once again powerless, renewed a pre-republican resentment for their leaders: “people’s veneration of power, when that power depends on someone else, is the most precarious and transient thing in the world.” 29 Given Nero’s well-documented paranoia, advisors and spies soon reported this sour public mood; most dire was the growing alienation of newly minted citizens, mainly ex-slaves. To lose the loyalty and faith of that constituency - the majority of the electorate, civil service, attendants, priests, police and firemen – would invite chaos or outright revolt. It is important to note manumission was the principle means by which new citizens were created in Tacitus’ day, Rome being the only ancient culture to confer citizenship on ex-slaves. 30

Regardless of that threat, the elite of Rome wanted to curtail rights of ex-slaves – to be able to reverse manumission and citizenship for disloyalty - so deep was their distrust. Such illegitimate policy, towards so large slice of the citizenry, seemed to court civil war. Tacitus condensed the more liberal view by noting that most noblemen outside the Senate, and many senators themselves, were ex-slaves: “Segregate the freed – and you will only show how few freeborn there are.” 31 Fellow-feeling and commonweal, can fuse a people against adversity; grossly stratified and left insecure, however, that same community will splinter.

Still, many prominent Romans vilified the lower classes. Not satiated with subjecting foreign lands and peoples, senators and prefects demanded sweeping retribution against subordinates they suspected disloyal. In one sensational case, Gaius Cassius Longinus, addressed his fellow senators and exemplified this antipathy:
Nowadays our huge households are international. They include every alien religion – or none at all. They only way to keep down this scum is by intimidation. Innocent people will die you say … exemplary punishment always contains an element of injustice. But individual wrongs are outweighed by the advantage of the community. 32
This last formulation is telling; the senator argued forcefully that individual rights pale against considerations of utilitas publica, or communal interest. Commonwealth can be narrowly defined – he refers mainly to the security, far-flung estates and holdings of his fellow senators. In this case, he convinces the Senate to order the execution of four hundred slaves – men, women and children - assumed guilty by association. Their crime: serving in the same house as one servant who killed his master in a quarrel, after he had reneged on a promise of freedom.

The State of Fear

Two final examples in the Annals echo the hollowness of Roman citizenship in this period. The first is the arrest, torture and massacre of Christians ordered by Nero after the catastrophic fire of Rome in 64 AD. The second is the practice of coerced suicide, liberum mortis arbitrium, a dozen examples of which appear in the fifty years covered by the Annals. Both demonstrate a disregard for due process; where the protections of citizenship are concerned, political crisis and corrupt leadership rarely bode well.

The burning of Rome during Nero’s reign was a disaster on a scale unknown in all her long history. Ten of the city’s fourteen districts were either badly damaged or completely gutted. 33 Thousands were left homeless, and many more were outraged as reports circulated of gangs either blocking the attempts of those trying to douse the flames, or worse, men lighting fires themselves claiming to be acting on orders. It was not long before it was whispered, “Nero was ambitious to found a new city called after himself.” 34 Even as temporary shelter appeared, food relief was organized and reconstruction began in earnest, Nero found Rome’s citizens dour, for “neither human resources, nor imperial munificence, nor appeasement of the gods, eliminated the sinister suspicions that the fire had been instigated. To suppress this rumour, Nero fabricated scapegoats.” 35 Rome’s newest religious minority were the ones to suffer.

In Tacitus’ estimation, Christians perfectly fit Nero’s need to deflect criticism, a “sacrifice to one man’s brutality rather than to the national interest.” 36 As a community, the Annals notes Christians were already aggrieved, given Christ’s execution in Judea. They also avowed aspects of imperial life, avoiding military service or sacrifice to the gods, and preaching a host of virtues not in keeping with Roman order. 37 Few in power, particularly in Rome itself, were sympathetic. As a result, Nero ordered practicing Christians arrested and questioned, under torture if necessary. The jailed soon implicated many more. Finally, in another instance of Rome’s exemplary justice, Nero made public spectacle of their punishment. Some were thrown ad bestas, others were crucified, and still more put to the stake, vivicomburium, lighting the emperor’s palace gardens. Amid calamity and war, not peace and prosperity, justice is truly weighed against expediency. Only then do citizens know the rigor of their rights. Rome did not fare well in this; Nero channelled the ire and grief of his citizens into a singular desire for punishment.

As our last example will show, few were immune of this tempestuous anger. Even Nero’s own long-held tutor and advisor, Seneca, is made an arbitrary target. His coerced suicide is but the most famous of a dozen such instances scattered throughout the Annals. A rate of self-destruction at that level would seem indicative of deeper woe. Seneca manages to evade poisoning by the emperor at one moment, only to be forced into self-annihilation along with Lucan and several other Roman elite. All are accused, with no trial and scanty evidence, of complicity in a plot to kill the emperor. To Tacitus, this seemed a total subversion of what it is to be Roman,
Even if I were describing foreign wars and patriotic deaths, this monotony of incident would have become tedious … but this slavish passivity, this torrent of wasted bloodshed far from active service, wearies, depresses and paralyses the mind. The only indulgence I would ask the reader for the inglorious victims is that he should forbear to censure them. For it was not their fault; the cause was heaven’s anger with Rome… 38
The eradication of whole families at the whim of a tyrant may be read as supernatural disapproval, however blood remains on temporal hands. More grievous to Tacitus seemed the waste. These are deaths “far from active service”, he says. Above all a pragmatist, he notes the simple loss of potential, notable citizens who have long stood at the service of Rome cut down. Suicide here is more symptomatic of persons aware they have no hope or recourse within the order they helped to build. Suicide, in this case, is complete disengagement; it indicates a deep disorder within the state which allows, even approves, of the fastest expedient for quelling dissent. It had a notable effect, as Tacitus sets out, as new citizens took up roles that senators now preferred to avoid and ever larger portions of the Roman army had to be recruited from the fringes. 39

What is clear in Tacitus is the regret that public affairs had so badly degenerated under the Principate. The legal rights of citizens under the Republic had all but dissolved; trial by a jury of peers, even public trials, had been curtailed. Citizenship had become a function of social standing, credit, property and marriage rights. Livy and Seneca echo this concern – that the imperial order had become harsh and unbending. Savage public punishment, compelled suicide in private, exiles and secret trials – all had reinforced state potestas to the detriment of the peoples’ pride. Livy considered this a poor bargain,
True moderation in the defence of political liberties is indeed a difficult thing: pretending to want fair shares for all, every man raises himself by oppressing his neighbour. Our anxiety to avoid tyranny leads us to practice it ourselves and the injustice we reject, we visit in turn upon others, as if there were no choice either to do it or to suffer it. 40
When prominent citizens suspect the very system that delivered their rights, what can we infer? How loyal would new citizens have felt in an atmosphere of caste and cruelty, the honestiores and humiliores, the rulers and the ruled? Did bread and circuses defuse that odium? It was very difficult for a civil order propagated on expropriation and dominance to treat the wider world as conquest while providing meaningful citizenship to its own. For four centuries, however, this is precisely the contradiction citizens of the Western Empire lived with, worked under and swore fealty to.

1C. Fletcher, The Making of Western Europe, trans. R. A. Knox, cited in A. Toynbee, Study of History (London: Oxford, 1942), 423.
2Cassius Dio, Roman History, 60, 17, 3.
3 Tacitus, IV, 4.
4 Tacitus, Annals, III, 53.
5Juvenal (X, 79) in same era lamented the collective fixation of the Roman people on their maw – all panem et circenses – to the exclusion of all else. Hence the reciprocal attention to granaries, wheat shipments and public spectacles exhibited by the more urbane emperors. Political power is always subject to certain citizen expectations. McCormick, The Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce, AD 300 – 900 (Cambridge, 2001), 87.
6Ibid, I, 78.
7Aeneid, VI, 850-853.
8Ibid, XV, 1.
9Ibid, I, 17, 29.
10Ibid, I, 2.
11Cassius Dio, Roman History, LX, 17.
12Agricola, II, 52.
13 Tacitus, Annals, III, 24.
14Ibid, I, 72.
15Ibid, IV, 34. Seneca came to a similar conclusion in his Ad Ire: “the trappings of anger are the rack, the cord, the dungeon, the cross, bodies planted in the ground and set afire, men dragged on the hook, the stake driven through a man, the limbs torn apart by chariots.” Exile for life seems humane in comparison to some of Rome’s earlier capital punishments.
16Ibid, XI, 5. Similar dysfunction existed in the imperial civil service, as officials awarded positions as patronage rather than appointment by merit, legality or experience. See Levick, The Government of the Roman Empire (1985), 150.
17Ibid, XIV, 15.
18Ibid, XI, 23.
19Ibid, XI, 23.
20Ibid, XI, 24.
21Similar Latin rights were extended to the tribes of the Maritime Alps in 63 AD (XV, 31).
22Ibid, XII, 35. In the Agricola (30: 80), one rebel chief, Calgacus, admonishes the Romans as “Raptores Orbis,” or globe-gobblers. “They pilfer and slaughter and call it empire. They create a wasteland and call it peace. “ In Dio (62, 5, 5) another chieftain brought to Rome, astonished by its splendour, asks “You who have so much – why to you covet our poor huts?” These quotes, accurate or invented, at the least show a contemporary grasp of the aversion to imperialism.
23Polybius, VI, 14, 4.
24 Levick, 18.
25 “A historian’s foremost duty is to ensure that merit is recorded, and to confront evil deeds and words with the fear of posterity’s denunciation.” Annals, III, 62.
26Ibid, IV, 34.
27Ibid, XIII, 23.
28 Ibid, XIV, 54.
29 Ibid, XIII, 21.
30Gaius, Institutes, I, 9-11: “The principal distinction in the law is this, that all men are either free or slaves. Next, of free men, some are ingenui (freeborn), other libertini (freed). The freeborn are those born free; the freed are those manumitted from lawful slavery.” An important exception, however, were any ‘damaged’ slaves. Those chained, branded, tortured, incarcerated or forced to fight in the Circus were deemed unsuitable for citizenship. They could be freed, but were then banned from coming within 100 miles of Rome. See J. Gardner, Being A Roman Citizen (NY: Routledge, 1993), 40.
31 Ibid, XIII, 25.
32Ibid, XIV, 43.
33 Ibid, XV, 38.
34Ibid, XV, 39.
35 Ibid, XV, 43.
36 Ibid, XV, 45.
37 Acts 16: 16-39.
38Ibid, XVI, 14. See also Histories (I, 3), “Never was it more fully proved by the awful disasters befalling the Roman people or by indubitable signs that the gods care not for out safety, but for our punishment.”
39 Ibid, XIII, 53.
40Livy, III, 66.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.