Monday, June 16, 2008

"Here are the questions to which I would have every reader give his close attention - what life and morals were like; through what men and by what policies, in peace and in war, empire was established and enlarged: then let him note how, with the gradual relaxation of discipline, morals first gave way, as it were, then sank lower and lower, and finally began the downward plunge which has brought us to the present time, when we can endure neither our vices nor their cure."

This is Livy's introduction to The Early History of Rome, written about 20 years before the birth of Jesus.


Delirious said...

The Book of Mormon talks about how this cycle is closely related to prosperity. When people prosper, they begin to rely on themselves, rather than God, and forget from whom that prosperity came. It is only when they sink back in to poverty or trouble that many people seek after God.

Looney said...

Yes, that pattern seems to be repeated over and over again. Rome was at its worst during its most wealthy period, which actually started when Livy died.

Of course the book of Judges tells us that our misery can go on quite awhile before we repent!