Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sham republic, absolute monarchy …

… A Short Step to Dictatorship - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Unsurpassed in his erudition, relentless in his perspicacity, Syme combined these merits with a historical style in the tradition of Thucydides, Sallust, Tacitus and Gibbon, great disillusionists all. The interjection of the short, deadly sentence is among the hallmarks of this style. “Two days of diplomacy divided the Roman world,” is but one example from Syme. The murder of Cicero “disgraced the Triumvirs and enriched literature with an immortal theme” is another. Accounting for the rise of Octavianus, he writes: “Accident blended with design.”

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