Tacitus, fully Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus

Tacitus, fully Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus

Roman Senator and Historian

Author Quotes

More colloquially: They rob, kill and plunder all under the deceiving name of Roman Rule. They make a desert and call it peace.

Posterity will pay everyone their due.

The most detestable race of enemies are flatterers.

This is in the sense that the matrimonial bond was strictly observed by the Germanic peoples, this being compared favorably against licentiousness in Rome. Tacitus appears to hold the fairly strict monogamy (with some exceptions among nobles who marry again) between Germanic husbands and wives, and the chastity among the unmarried to be worthy of the highest praise.

Zealous in the commencement, careless in the end.

Nature gives liberty even to dumb animals.

Power acquired by guilt has seldom been directed to any good end or useful purpose.

The most seditious is the most cowardly.

Thou wast indeed fortunate, Agricola, not only in the splendor of thy life, but in the opportune moment of thy death.

Necessity reforms the poor, and satiety reforms the rich.

Power is more safely retained by cautious than by severe councils.

The powerful hold in deep remembrance an ill-timed pleasantry.

To prefer victory to peace.

Neglected calumny soon expires; show that you are hurt, and you give it the appearance of truth.

Power won by crime no one ever yet turned to a good purpose.

The principal office of history I take to be this: to prevent virtuous actions from being forgotten, and that evil words and deeds should fear an infamous reputation with posterity.

To resist violence is implanted in the nature of man.

Neither above nor below his business.

Rulers always hate and suspect the next in succession.

The proper qualities of a general are judgment and deliberation.

To rob, to ravage, to murder, in their imposing language, are the arts of civil policy. When they have made the world a solitude, they call it peace.

No one in Germany laughs at vice, nor do they call it the fashion to corrupt and to be corrupted.

So, as you go into battle, remember your ancestors and remember your descendants.

The repose of nations cannot be secure without arms, armies cannot be maintained without pay, nor can the pay be produced except by taxes.

Traitors are hated even by those whom they prefer.

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Tacitus, fully Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus
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Roman Senator and Historian