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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 26

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 26.—Of the Various Kinds of Wars Which Followed the Building of the Temple of Concord.

But they supposed that, in erecting the temple of Concord within the view of the orators, as a memorial of the punishment and death of the Gracchi, they were raising an effectual obstacle to sedition.  How much effect it had, is indicated by the still more deplorable wars that followed.  For after this the orators endeavored not to avoid the example of the Gracchi, but to surpass their projects; as did Lucius Saturninus, a tribune of the people, and Caius Servilius the prætor, and some time after Marcus Drusus, all of whom stirred seditions which first of all occasioned bloodshed, and then the social wars by which Italy was grievously injured, and reduced to a piteously desolate and wasted condition.  Then followed the servile war and the civil wars; and in them what battles were fought, and what blood was shed, so that almost all the peoples of Italy, which formed the main strength of the Roman empire, were conquered as if they were barbarians!  Then even historians themselves find it difficult to explain how the servile war was begun by a very few, certainly less than seventy gladiators, what numbers of fierce and cruel men attached themselves to these, how many of the Roman generals this band defeated, and how it laid waste many districts and cities. And that was not the only servile war:  the province of Macedonia, and subsequently Sicily and the sea-coast, were also depopulated by bands of slaves.  And who can adequately describe either the horrible atrocities which the pirates first committed, or the wars they afterwards maintained against Rome?

Next: Chapter 27

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