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Rome’s economic bailout, an excerpt from Cornelius Tacitus’ Annals, Book 6.


By Tom Dennen & Cornelius Tacitus


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Tacitus was one of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, and ‘a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of the Christus’.


Today’s ubiquitous mantra, “if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it,” bears some examination, and the opportunity to do so came through a small magnifying glass focused on Tacitus, given to me by my friend Graham Linscott a South African political and financial writer of some note.

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I have and always will maintain that most of mankind’s troubles derive from greed.


Rome, in its latter years, was a hotbed of conspiracies and intrigue that went on and on in orgies of conspiracies, murder and destruction from its outskirts to the Senate chamber, the land, according to Tacitus, bathing ‘in a sea of blood.


This excerpt, taken in context, is but a brief interlude in a chaotic carnival of bloodshed and treachery, a pause just to ‘fix the system’ after which the blood returned to the streets

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The financial interlude is halfway through Book 6, and is a parenthesis in his description of Rome’s long, long collapse during that period, which echoes that mantra I mentioned to which I can only add this codicil: “if we forget the pain inflicted upon us by the same perpetrators over and over again, by the same means then we are doomed to be destroyed again by the same instruments wielded by the same perpetrators, again and again.”


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Tom is a contributor to public debate on issues affecting our survival; works with a London and a South African think tank, is a working journalist and author.

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