The Tendency of Empire

Tacitus, in describing the Romans…and it feels all too familiar.

They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger, they loot even the ocean: they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor; neither the wealth of the east nor the west can satisfy them: they are the only people who behold wealth and indigence with equal passion to dominate. 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.

Cornelius TacitusDe Vita Gnæi Julii Agricolæ cap. xxx (98 CE) in the Loeb Library ed., vol. 35, p. 80 (S.H. transl.)