"And they are ignorant
that the purpose of the sword is
to save every man from slavery."
by:
Lucanus
[Marcus Annaeus Lucan] (A.D. 39-65)
Source:
De Bello Civili (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Loeb Classical Library, 1988), IV, 579, p. 216
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Reader comments about this quote:
Aww yes, slavery by armed deception, how appropriate! The need for more police (revenuers, liars, and power mongers) to enforce compelled compliance, license, governmental larceny, victimless crimes, torture for information, etc. comes to mind.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    And obvious aside made while he was watching gadiators kill or be killed by each other. Quote is a little vague, who are the ignorant ones the enslaved or the enslavers etc. I can think of many from Tamerlane, Alexander, and Rome for whom the purpose of the sword was to enslave. Bronze, iron, steel. Whoever had the stonger metal and the sharper edge were the enslavers.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Mike, well written.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    LOL, Waffler's having trouble figuring out who Lucanus is talking about... (him).
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler and I can read and by itself it's still stupid statement regardless of what the Roman poet meant
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    WOW. What an epiphany! Indeed, I do not know on what context this guy came up with that statement and in which planet he was residing or inferring to, but one thing for sure, Lucanus was indeed lunatic. Had it not been for the sword, the power of which they wielded against the powerless, there would not have been slavery.
     -- RKA, Wasilla, AK     
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    The principle here is simple. That being, anyone who has a sword (power) is in position to enslave those that do not have a sword. Not that they always will, I have guns and pose no threat to anyone, as It is my desire to eliminate all violence. However if everyone has power, it is less likely that even the attempt to enslave anyone will be made. The pursuit of peace, along with love, and respect, of his fellow man is man's greatest purpose. Saddly, the road to that objective is awash with the blood of tyrants and patriots. Why??? because the tyrants ALWAYS force the issue.
     -- Ken, Milford Pa     
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    Pointless quote unless you know the context it came out of. The sword could mean power. It could mean self defense. Hell the quote doesn’t leave any assurance if he was pro or anti sword.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    And they are ignorant that the purpose of the sword, Rightly wielded, is to save every man from slavery.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    Lucanus would know, as he lie bleeding to death, at the hands of a Tyrant, Nero, Emperor of the Roman Empire. A condoner of slavery and usury, a raiser of taxes for personal and state indulgence. It is that gross mentality of which our founding fathers sought to separate us from. Waking up to reality mirrors true history.
     -- Ronw13, OR     
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    Perfect - just replace sword with gun and it means the same today... If you trust your government to do the right thing then you are ignorant of their power to enslave.
     -- robert, somewhere inthe USA     
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    Robert, is that you? Editor, can you check if someone else is posting as Robert? ;-) If it IS you, would you please explain your change of heart?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I was in doubt of what the quote meant, and after reading Patrick's possible alternate translation, I'm even more lost. As warren pointed out, this one did not survived the test of time, we lost its meaning (completelly? maybe more info is available, but not here it seems)
     -- Felipe, São Paulo     
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