Sallust and the Fall of Rome

10 October 2016

Sallust and the fall of Rome At the peak of Roman society Rome was considered the greatest empire in the world; the powerhouse for trade and government. They were never selfish or greedy. The Roman historian Sallust said “in peace and war virtue was held in high esteem…and avarice was a thing almost unknown. Justice and righteous were upheld not so much by law as natural instinct”. This means they were never greedy and always had pride.

Sallust also said “at home they lived frugally and never betrayed a friend”. This means they were always kind and never betrayed anyone. This was all before money became a factor. Sallust could see that Rome was becoming greedy and started to care only about money and knew Rome was going to collapse. He said “as soon as wealth came to be a mark of distinction and an easy way to renown, military commands and political power, virtue began to decline”.

This was before the actual fall of Rome but it was absolutely correct. Rome began to fall apart over money and never went back. They ended up fighting themselves over money and that allowed others to take over. Sallust also said “such men, it seems to me, have treated their wealth as a mere plaything: instead of making honorable use of it, they have shamefully misused it on the first wasteful project that occurred to them…”.

This sums up how the thought of money as a toy and used it on the first thing they saw. This greed made Rome fall. Rome was the greatest empire of its time but all things come to an end. Some things ended with war or disease but Rome fell because of the greed of the people there. Greed never leads to anything good and this is probably the best example of that in history. Sallust was completely right when he predicted the fall of Rome over money but no one listened and that was the end of Rome.

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