Sunday, 16 December 2018

Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny
       The decline was caused less by gaping wounds than gaping inequality, and by leaders unable or unwilling to remedy it....
On one side was a class of “superwealthy Romans”, enriched by military conquest and growing financial sophistication. They dined off silver plate, ate imported fish, drank vintage wine and holidayed in extravagant Mediterranean villas. One of the most powerful was Crassus, a man who made his fortune in unscrupulous property deals, then used that money to buy political influence.
       Yet while some Romans swilled from ornate goblets, the majority drank a more bitter draught. They endured a life of backbreaking work and the knowledge that they would almost certainly end up poorer than their parents. Such a situation could hardly last—and didn’t.
“the emergence of a personality-driven, populist politicking.”'
“they came to believe that freedom from oppression could only exist in a polity controlled by one man.” 

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