Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Article excerpt

EVERY sensible Englishman is in favour of Europeans. We want to drink their delicious wines, eat their scrumptious food, travel on their wonderful railways, speak their heavenly languages and sit in their glorious sunshine, talking drivel. We just don't want to be told what to do by the brutes. The Romans can perhaps show us the way forward.

For all his name, Lucius Cornelius Balbus was in Roman eyes a foreigner. He came from Cadiz in Spain and was a Phoenician, of Semitic origin. After noble service in the Roman army in Spain, however, he was rewarded with Roman citizenship in 72 Bc, and formed a close connection with Julius Caesar, serving on his senior staff both in Spain and later in Gaul. But in 56 Bc political enemies in Rome attempted to strip him of his citizenship, and the oratorpolitician Cicero came to his defence.

Cicero argues that it is absurd that the Roman people should offer citizenship to those they have defeated in battle but withhold it from those who have supported the Roman cause. He lays it down as a general principle that there is no community in the world, whether hostile or affectionate to Rome, whose individual members should not be allowed to enjoy Roman citizenship, circumstances permitting. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.