Front Page Quotations Other Quotes Week of 18 August, 2008
About this Quotation:
When reading this passage one is struck by its similarities to E.L. Jones, The European Miracle (1981, 1987) in which he states that free institutions emerged in Europe precisely because there was no universal empire but rather a multiplicity of rivalrous states which had to compete to get or retain labour and capital. When a state did introduce despotic legislation the citizens could and did move elsewhere. Gibbon understands this and feels for the “slave of imperial despotism” in a unified state, with his “gilded chain” but nowhere to hide from his “irritated master”. He sadly concludes that in such a society “to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly”.
Other quotes from this week:
Other quotes about Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots:
18 August, 2008
Read the full quote in context here.
Edward Gibbon, in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776), describes the dangers of a unified Empire, in comparison to a Europe divided into a number of independent states, where the opponent of tyranny has nowhere to escape:
The full passage from which this quotation was taken can be be viewed below (front page quote in bold):
[More works by Edward Gibbon (1737 – 1794)]