Anthony Everitt Quotes

Enjoy the top 29 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Anthony Everitt.

Anthony Everitt Quotes

Men in public life did their best to avoid accidental events or actions from being seen as unlucky. On a famous occasion during the civil war, Caesar tripped when disembarking from a ship on the shores of Africa and fell flat on his face. With his talent for improvisation, he spread out his arms and embraced the earth as a symbol of conquest. By quick thinking he turned a terrible omen of failure into one of victory.
— Anthony Everitt —

Slavery was endemic in the classical world and huge numbers of men, women and children, the captives of Rome's ceaseless wars, flooded into Italy. Slaves provided a cheap workforce, contributing significantly to unemployment among free-born citizens.

— Anthony Everitt

Gaston Boissier, who wrote in the mid-nineteenth century what is still one of the most charming and witty books on Cicero, observed: He always belonged to the best party [i.e., the optimates]  ...  only he made it a rule not to serve his party; he was contented with giving it his good wishes. But these good wishes were the warmest imaginable. ... His reserve only began when it was necessary to act. ... The more we think about it, the less we can imagine the reasons he could give [his friends] to justify his conduct.

— Anthony Everitt

At bottom, politics was a hullabaloo of equal and individual competitors who would only be guaranteed to cooperate for one cause: the elimination of anybody who threatened to step out of line and grab too much power for himself. It follows that there was nothing resembling today's political parties ... Since the fall of the monarchy in 510 BC, Roman domestic politics had been a long, inconclusive class struggle, suspended for long periods by foreign wars. during one never-to-be-forgotten confrontation over a debt crisis in 493 BC, the entire population withdrew its labor (14).

— Anthony Everitt

All his life he suffered from first-night nerves. He acknowledged: Personally, I am always very nervous when I begin to speak. Every time I make a speech I feel I am submitting to judgment, not only about my ability but my character and honor. I am afraid of seeming either to promise more than I can perform, which suggests complete irresponsibility, or to perform less than I can, which suggests bad faith and indifference.

— Anthony Everitt

Cicero was nothing if not a genius at character assassination.

— Anthony Everitt

The general was sufficiently impressed by the young man to ask him to go back to Italy with him. His back to the wall, Atticus for once in his life refused to do a powerful man's bidding. "No, please, I beg you," he replied. "I left Italy to avoid fighting you alongside those you want to lead me against." Sulla liked his candor and let the matter drop.

— Anthony Everitt

An incident occurred while Cato was speaking which caused much amusement at his expense. A letter was brought in for Caesar, and Cato immediately accused him of being in touch with the conspirators. He challenged him to read the note out loud. Caesar simply passed it across: it was a love letter from Servilia, Caesar's mistress at the time and Cato's half-sister. Cato threw it back angrily with the words: Take it, you drunken idiot.

— Anthony Everitt

Rome became a republic in 509 B.C., after driving out its king and abolishing the monarchy. The next two centuries saw a long struggle for power between a group of noble families, patricians, and ordinary citizens, plebeians, who were excluded from public office. The outcome was a apparent victory for the people, but the old aristocracy, supplemented by rich pledeian nobles, still controlled the state. What looked in many ways like democracy was, in fact, an oligarcy modified by elections.

— Anthony Everitt

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