Q – Tacitus

Publius Cornelius Tacitus circa 56 - 120 was a senator of Rome and one of the greatest historians of the Roman Empire.

Much of his work is based around the political period of the early Roman Emperors following the reign of Augustus.

 

‘Reason and judgement are the qualities of a leader’

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‘Even the bravest men are frightened by sudden terrors’

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‘To plunder, to slaughter, to steal these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace’

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‘In all things, there is a law of cycles’

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‘Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity’

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‘Those in supreme power always suspect and hate their next heir’

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‘Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavour’

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‘Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable’

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‘A bad peace is even worse than war’

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‘Men are more-ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure’

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‘It is less difficult to bear misfortunes than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure’

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‘Things forbidden have a secret charm’

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‘Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so’

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‘The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws’

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‘If we must fall, we should boldly meet the danger’

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‘Seek to make a person blush for their guilt rather than shed their blood’

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‘Greater things are believed of those who are absent’

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‘All bodies are slow in growth, but rapid in decay’

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‘He that fights and runs away, May turn and fight another day; But he that is in battle slain, Will never rise to fight again’

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‘It is the rare fortune of these days that a man may think what he likes and say what he thinks’

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‘When perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed’

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‘Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty. Take your time to decide don't rush’

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‘What is today supported by precedents will hereafter become a precedent’

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‘In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous’

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‘The brave and bold persist even against fortune; the timid and cowardly rush to despair through fear alone’

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‘This is an unfair thing about war: victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone’

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‘The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise’

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‘They make a wilderness and call it peace’

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‘Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it’

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'The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion'

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