Friday, February 14, 2014

"City of God" III.26-28

Chapter 26-28:
Not that the Romans learned anything from their wars--the list keeps growing as we go through Spartacus' rebellion, the wars with the Pirates (which both Caesar and Pompey got caught up in), and the major civil war between Marius and Sulla, when even the "best" men in the Republic turned on each other and revealed themselves to be little more than savages.

In this litany of Rome's internal and external warfare, we see that every level of society from the slaves to the aristocrats was marked by violence, lust for power, and cruelty. Even when these wars came to an end, violence marred the peace as the victors (Sulla, in this case) exterminated their enemies as a warning to others: "Peace vied with war in cruelty, and surpassed it: for while war overthrew armed hosts, peace slew the defenceless. War gave liberty to him who was attacked, to strike if he could; peace granted to the survivors not life, but an unresisting death." In every instance sin is the defining characteristic of the city of man.

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