Though your buried wealth surpass
- unsunn'd gold of Ind or Araby, Though with many a ponderous mass
- crowd the Tuscan and Apulian sea, Let Necessity but drive
- wedge of adamant into that proud head, Vainly battling will you strive
To 'scape Death's noose, or rid your soul of dread.
Better life the Scythians lead,
Trailing on waggon wheels their wandering home,
Or the hardy Getan breed,
As o'er their vast unmeasured steppes they roam;
Free the crops that bless their soil;
Their tillage wearies after one year's space;
Each in turn fulfils his toil;
- period o'er, another takes his place. There the step-dame keeps her hand
From guilty plots, from blood of orphans clean;
There no dowried wives command
Their feeble lords, or on adulterers lean.
Theirs are dowries not of gold,
Their parents' worth, their own pure chastity,
True to one, to others cold;
They dare not sin, or, if they dare, they die.
O, whoe'er has heart and head
To stay our plague of blood, our civic brawls,
Would he that his name be read
"Father of Rome" on lofty pedestals,
Let him chain this lawless will,
- be our children's hero! cursed spite! Living worth we envy still,
Then seek it with strain'd eyes, when snatch'd from sight.
What can sad laments avail
Unless sharp justice kill the taint of sin?
What can laws, that needs must fail
Shorn of the aid of manners form'd within,
If the merchant turns not back
From the fierce heats that round the tropic glow,
Turns not from the regions black
With northern winds, and hard with frozen snow;
Sailors override the wave,
While guilty poverty, more fear'd than vice,
Bids us crime and suffering brave,
- shuns the ascent of virtue's precipice? Let the Capitolian fane,
- favour'd goal of yon vociferous crowd, Aye, or let the nearest main
Receive our gold, our jewels rich and proud:
Slay we thus the cause of crime,
If yet we would repent and choose the good:
Ours the task to take in time
This baleful lust, and crush it in the bud.
Ours to mould our weakling sons
To nobler sentiment and manlier deed:
Now the noble's first-born shuns
- perilous chase, nor learns to sit his steed: Set him to the unlawful dice,
Or Grecian hoop, how skilfully he plays!
While his sire, mature in vice,
A friend, a partner, or a guest betrays,
Hurrying, for an heir so base,
To gather riches. Money, root of ill,
Doubt it not, still grows apace:
Yet the scant heap has somewhat lacking still.
This site is dedicated to bringing you information about the wonder that was the Roman Empire and how its legacy still shapes our history, our language, and the foundations of our society and its institutions. The Roman Empire endures!
The City of Rome was traditionally founded in 753 B.C. by our calendar. The Romans measured their calendar from the foundation of the City, or "Anno urbis conditae". By their calendar, today is Anno Urbis ("The Year of the City") 2773.
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent comprised most of western Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Larger than even most modern nations, the empire was held together by a network of roads, a common language, and most of all a culture which still today exerts a powerful influence on our society and institutions, over 1600 years after the fall of Rome. No other empire or civilization has had such a lasting and significant impact on the modern world.