August 25, 2013

Ozymandius chuckles

The various tribes of Britain possessed valor without conduct, and the love of freedom without the spirit of union.  They took up arms with savage fierceness; they laid them down, or turned them against each other, with wild inconsistency; and while they fought singly, they were successively subdued.  Neither the fortitude of Caractacus, nor the despair of Boadicea, nor the fanaticism of the Druids, could avert the slavery of their country, or resist the steady progress of the Imperial generals, who maintained the national glory, when the throne was disgraced by the weakest, or the most vicious of mankind.  At the very time when Domitian, confined to his palace, felt the terrors which he inspired, his legions, under the command of the virtuous Agricola, defeated the collected force of the Caledonians, at the foot of the Grampian Hills; and his fleets, venturing to explore an unknown and dangerous navigation, displayed the Roman arms round every part of the island.

[Footnote 7: Claudius, Nero, and Domitian.  A hope is expressed by Pomponius Mela, l. iii. c. 6, (he wrote under Claudius,) that, by the success of the Roman arms, the island and its savage inhabitants would soon be better known. It is amusing enough to peruse such passages in the midst of London.]

Gibbon, Edward. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 


Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

It's a pretty good book. I plan to spend the rest of my life reading it, on-and-off.

August 25, 2013 at 1:49 PM  

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