Friday, January 18, 2019
For the aristocracy twisted their 'dignity' and the people twisted 'liberty' towards their desires; every man acted on his own behalf, stealing, robbing, plundering. In this way all political life was torn apart between two parties, and the Republic, which had been our common ground, was mutilated.See D.C. Earl, The Political Thought of Sallust (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961), pp. 53-57.
namque coepere nobilitas dignitatem, populus libertatem in libidinem vertere, sibi quisque ducere, trahere, rapere. ita omnia in duas partis abstracta sunt, res publica, quae media fuerat, dilacerata.
And so, joined with power, greed without moderation or measure invaded, polluted, and devastated everything, considered nothing valuable or sacred, until it brought about its own collapse.Id. 42.4:
ita cum potentia avaritia sine modo modestiaque invadere, polluere et vastare omnia, nihil pensi neque sancti habere, quoad semet ipsa praecipitavit.
In general, this is what destroys great states: one group wants to overcome the other in any possible way and then to take a bitter vengeance on the defeated.
quae res plerumque magnas civitatis pessum dedit, dum alteri alteros vincere quovis modo et victos acerbius ulcisci volunt.