Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient and Modern: Governor Cameron and the Brussels Empire

Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient and Modern: Governor Cameron and the Brussels Empire

Article excerpt

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU Commission, made a typically brilliant intervention in the EU referendum debate by arguing that 'Whoever does not believe in Europe, who doubts Europe, whoever despairs of Europe, should visit the military cemeteries in Europe.'

Cicero made just this point to his brother Quintus, who in 59 bc was about to embark on his third term as governor of Asia Minor (now western Turkey): 'Asia ought to remember that, if she were not governed by us, she would hardly have been spared the disasters of external war or internal discord. But our government cannot be maintained without taxes, and Asia ought without resentment to pay over some of her wealth as the price of permanent peace and quiet.'

So speak Masters of the Universe, who expect those they control to know their place. The Greek toff Publius Aelius Aristides (c. ad 117-181) -- note the Romanised name -- also came from Asia Minor and understood exactly how to play the game. His most famous speech was made on a visit to the imperial household in Rome, extolling the emperor and the governors he had put in place across his empire. …

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