‘Humanitas’ or Slavery?

Tacitus, Agricola (21):

“The following winter was sent in the most salutary counsels. For, as people who live spread out, uncultured, and every ready for war will in peace grow accustomed to leisure through its pleasures, they urge privately and help publicly to erect temples, forums, and homes by praising the industrious and censuring the lazy: so was the eager striving after honor something of a necessity. Now indeed they began to educate the sons of the chief men in the liberal arts, and to prefer the natural intelligence of the British to the studies of the Gauls, such that those who recently declined to learn the Latin language now desired eloquence. From there proceeded the honor of our clothing and the frequent wearing of the toga. Gradually, there was a departure to various incitements to vice, such as the porticoes, the baths, and the elegance of dinner parties. Among the ignorant, this was called humanity, when it was really just a part of their slavery.”

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Sequens hiems saluberrimis consiliis absumpta. Namque ut homines dispersi ac rudes eoque in bella faciles quieti et otio per voluptates adsuescerent, hortari privatim, adiuvare publice, ut templa fora domos extruerent, laudando promptos, castigando segnis: ita honoris aemulatio pro necessitate erat. Iam vero principum filios liberalibus artibus erudire, et ingenia Britannorum studiis Gallorum anteferre, ut qui modo linguam Romanam abnuebant, eloquentiam concupiscerent. Inde etiam habitus nostri honor et frequens toga; paulatimque discessum ad delenimenta vitiorum, porticus et balinea et conviviorum elegantiam. Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.

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