Monday, May 19, 2008

Tacitus, regarding the reasons for a revolt in Britain due to the abuses of the Romans. (Annals XIV)

"Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, famed for his long prosperity, had made the emperor his heir along with his two daughters, under the impression that this token of submission would put his kingdom and his house out of the reach of wrong. But the reverse was the result, so much so that his kingdom was plundered by centurions, his house by slaves, as if they were the spoils of war. First, his wife Boudicea was scourged, and his daughters outraged. ... A temple also erected to the Divine Claudius was ever before their eyes, a citadel, as it seemed, of perpetual tyranny. Men chosen as priests had to squander their whole fortunes under the pretense of a religious ceremonial. ..."

Pondering the California Supreme Court's outrage against the citizens of California, this story comes to mind. We still can be thankful that we haven't experienced the degree of abuse that the Romans committed against Britain. Also keep in mind that this is written by Tacitus who was an apologist for the Romans. We usually think of only Christians who were forced to worship the current Roman emperor or accept death. In this case, the Britains were forced to use all of their wealth to worship a Roman emperor who was already dead, given that this was the time of Nero. The end of their revolt was a great slaughter of the Britains, although it seems that Rome decided it had better chose some better governors.

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