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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A warning about the true ennemy of a nation from 42 BC

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor—he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.

A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero, from a speech given to the Roman Senate, recorded in approximately 42 B.C. by Sallust.
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist.

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