The Histories Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Histories The Histories by Tacitus
3,234 ratings, 4.14 average rating, 86 reviews
Open Preview
The Histories Quotes Showing 1-4 of 4
“It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks.”
Tacitus, Histories of Tacitus
“There was more courage in bearing trouble than in escaping from it; the brave and the energetic cling to hope, even in spite of fortune; the cowardly and the indolent are hurried by their fears,' said Plotius Firmus, Roman Praetorian Guard.”
Tacitus, The Histories
“When [Servius Galba] was a commoner he seemed too big for his station, and had he never been emperor, no one would have doubted his ability to reign.”
Tacitus, The Histories
“The old ingrained human passion for power matured and burst into prominence with the growth of the empire. With straiter resources equality was easily preserved. But when once we had brought the world to our feet and exterminated every rival state or king, we were left free to covet power without fear of interruption. It was then that strife first broke out between patricians and plebeians: at one time arose seditious tribunes,295 at another tyrannous consuls: 296 in the Forum at Rome were sown the first seeds of civil war. Before long, Marius, rising from the lowest ranks of the people, and Sulla, the most cruel of all the nobles, crushed our liberty by force of arms and substituted a despotism. Then came Pompey, whose aims, though less patent, were no better than theirs. From that time onwards the one end sought was supreme power in the state. Even at Pharsalia and Philippi the citizen armies did not lay down their arms. How then can we suppose that the troops of Otho and Vitellius would have willingly stopped the war? The same anger of heaven, the same human passions, the same criminal motives drove them into discord. True these wars were each settled by a single battle, but that was due to the generals' cowardice. However, my reflections on the ancient and the modern character have carried me too far: I must now resume the thread of our narrative.”
Tacitus, Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II