A Few Words on Politics and Character

Tacitus, Annales 1.81

“Appealing words, but of a hollow or deceitful nature: the more they were covered with the appearance of freedom, the more they would burst into hostile servitude.”

speciosa verbis, re inania aut subdola, quantoque maiore libertatis imagine tegebantur, tanto eruptura ad infensius servitium.

 Critias, Fr. 11.1-4

“A good character is stronger than the law;
no politician can ever twist him around
as he ruins the law by troubling it
this way and that with arguments.”

τρόπος δὲ χρηστὸς ἀσφαλέστερος νόμου·
τὸν μὲν γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἂν διαστρέψαι ποτέ
ῥήτωρ δύναιτο, τὸν δ’ ἄνω τε καὶ κάτω
λόγοις ταράσσων πολλάκις λυμαίνεται


with an h/t to Pavel Gregoric for helping me fix the Critias

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