Monday, September 14, 2020



Agathias, Histories 4.8.5 (tr. Joseph D. Frendo):
Now all barbarian peoples are by nature so constituted that even when they are subjects of the Romans they are far removed in spirit from them and, chafing at the imposition of the rule of law, they incline instinctively to turbulent and seditious behaviour. There is nothing they would like better than to continue living as their own masters, subject to no outside jurisdiction and a law unto themselves.

ἅπαν μὲν οὖν ἀεὶ βάρβαρον φῦλον, εἰ καὶ κατήκοον ᾖ τοῖς Ῥωμαιοις, ἀλλὰ τῷ τῆς γνώμης ἀλλοτριωτάτῳ διεστηκὸς καὶ τῇ τάξει τῶν νόμων ἀχθόμενον, ἐπὶ τὸ νεωτεροποιὸν καὶ ταραχῶδες φέρεσθαι πέφυχεν· καὶ ἥδιστα μὲν ἂν ἐφ' ἑαυτοῦ βιοῦν διατελοίη μηδαμῶς ὑφ' ἑτέροις ταττόμενον, ὡς μηδὲ τῶν ἀδικημάτων εὐθύνας ὑπέχειν.

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