Skip to comments.Notes From The Annals and Histories
Posted on 10/16/2013 6:26:07 PM PDT by Jacquerie
On the evening the Senate of the United States voted to effectively assign its power of the purse to President Obama, I thought it appropriate to call up an earlier age.
Throughout the imperial period, the Roman emperors kept up the façade of republicanism. They pretended to consult the Senate and be guided by its votes. The Senate in turn, pretended it had a will of its own.
Tiberius, in the meantime, while securing to himself the substance of imperial power, allowed the Senate some shadow of its old constitution.
So corrupted indeed and debased was that age by sycophancy that not only the foremost citizens who were forced to save their grandeur by servility, but every exconsul, most of the ex-praetors and a host of inferior senators would rise in eager rivalry to propose shameful and preposterous motions. Tradition says that Tiberius as often as he left the Senate-House used to exclaim in Greek, How ready these men are to be slaves. Clearly, even he, with his dislike of public freedom, was disgusted at the abject abasement of his creatures.
The higher a mans rank, the more eager his hypocrisy.
Laws were most numerous when the commonwealth was most corrupt.
How few were left who had seen the republic.
Do not go gentle into that good night;
rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
I read Tacitus quite a few years ago. I found there was no difference between politicians back then and today.
Difference is back then they could bully a Senator into going home and killing himself.
I agree with Slyfox. Good post. Too bad FR doesn’t have a “like” button.
Instead of handing out latifundia, our senators vote themselves honors, i.e. earmarks.
Human nature is certainly constant. Our Framers understood that very well.
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”