Finished Reading Tacitus’ “The Annals”

I’m still working my way through the reading list of the Great Books of the Western World and this morning I finished “The Annals”. I didn’t realize how fascinating the Roman Empire was. I love that it all sounds so familiar. Politics has always been the same. It’s a bit scary as well. Interesting to read about battles between kings and the personal intrigue between the leaders. Violent.

Here are a couple quotes I underlined because they were so relevant.

“Money was given to you, Hortalus, by Augustus, but without solicitation, and not on the condition of its being always given. Otherwise industry will languish and idleness be encouraged, if a man has nothing to fear, nothing to hope from himself, and everyone, in utter recklessness, will expect relief from others, thus becoming useless to himself and a burden to me.”

“No authority was strong enough to check the turbulence of a people which protected the crimes of men as much as the worship of the gods.”

“For benefits received are a delight to us as long as we think we can requite them; when that possibility is far exceeded, they are repaid with hatred instead of gratitude.”

“Soon afterwards it was clearly seen what a narrow margin there is between such science and delusion and in what obscurity truth is veiled.”

Do you write in your books? I do! I know that bugs some people. Probably more in my case because most of my books are old. But I find some great notes in these old books and I feel it brings me closer to the people that read it before me even though I didn’t know them. I hope someday my notes will do that for someone else.