Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: Vitellius, on the contrary, was sunk in
Do not display Latin text
Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 26: On laws[AD 20]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
Mankind in the earliest age lived for a time without a single vicious impulse, without shame or guilt, and, consequently, without punishment and restraints. Rewards were not needed when everything right was pursued on its own merits; and as men desired nothing against morality, they were debarred from nothing by fear. When however they began to throw off equality, and ambition and violence usurped the place of self-control and modesty, despotisms grew up and became perpetual among many nations. Some from the beginning, or when tired of kings, preferred codes of laws. These were at first simple, while men's minds were unsophisticated. The most famous of them were those of the Cretans framed by Minos; those of the Spartans by Lycurgus, and, subsequently, those which Solon drew up for the Athenians on a more elaborate and extensive scale. Romulus governed us as he pleased; then Numa united our people by religious ties and a constitution of divine origin, to which some additions were made by Tullus and Ancus. But Servius Tullius was our chief legislator to whose laws even kings were to be subject.

Religious reforms by Numa

Event: Religious reforms by Numa

Vetustissimi mortalium, nulla adhuc mala libidine, sine probro, scelere eoque sine poena aut coercitionibus agebant. neque praemiis opus erat cum honesta suopte ingenio peterentur; et ubi nihil contra morem cuperent, nihil per metum vetabantur. at postquam exui aequalitas et pro modestia ac pudore ambitio et vis incedebat, provenere dominationes multosque apud populos aeternum mansere. quidam statim aut postquam regum pertaesum leges maluerunt. hae primo rudibus hominum animis simplices erant; maximeque fama celebravit Cretensium, quas Minos, Spartanorum, quas Lycurgus, ac mox Atheniensibus quaesitiores iam et plures Solo perscripsit. nobis Romulus ut libitum imperitaverat: dein Numa religionibus et divino iure populum devinxit, repertaque quaedam a Tullo et Anco. sed praecipuus Servius Tullius sanctor legum