Thursday 24 November 2011

Tempora non mutantur

A thought-provoking quote from Livy's "History of Rome": "I would have [the reader] trace the process of our moral decline, to watch, first, the sinking of the foundations of morality as the old teaching was allowed to lapse, then the rapidly increasing disintegration, then the final collapse of the whole edifice, and the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them. The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings: fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid."

It could have been written this year. When I read these lines aged 13 they did not seem topical but surely they do now or have I grown old? 

(I wish I did not have the misfortune to study the Cambridge Latin course - I got grade A in A Level but cannot read a word because I was not taught to write it.)

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