Tacitus Quotes

The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise.

They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger… they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor… They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.

The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion.

Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure

Formerly we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws.

Augustus gradually increased his powers, taking over those of the senate, the executives and the laws. The aristocracy received wealth and position in proportion to their willingness to accept slavery. The state had been transformed, and the old Roman character gone for ever. Equality among citizens was completely abandoned. All now waited on the imperial command.

Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth.

Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.

Viewed from a distance, everything is beautiful.

Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.

The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all.

Power won by crime no one ever yet turned to a good purpose.

The most seditious is the most cowardly.

The word liberty has been falsely used by persons who, being degenerately profligate in private life, and mischievous in public, had no hope left but in fomenting discord.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.

Christianity is a pestilent superstition.

When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad.

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so.

The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.

It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks.

To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.

The customs of the Jews are base and abominable and owe their persistence to their depravity. Jews are extremely loyal to one another, always ready to show compassion, but towards every other people they feel only hate and enimity. As a race (the Jews are not a race, because they have mingled with the other races to the point that they are only a people, not a race), they are prone to lust; among themselves nothing is unlawful.

A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man.

It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured.