Today's Featured Biography
Rome solved the great political problem of the ancient world in the best practicable, if not in the best conceivable, way. To Caesar it fell to put the crowning stroke to that work. The several states of modern Europe have all contributed, though in different degrees, to political progress, and therefore no one of them has the unique importance and glory that belongs to Rome. For the same reason, no modern statesman stands on a level with Caesar. He remains, in Shakespeare's phrase, "the foremost man of all this world." It was the high fortune of Rome that, in the principal crisis of her history, she possessed a citizen so splendidly endowed in intellect, character, and heart. Free to an extraordinary degree from the prejudices belonging to his age and country, with piercing and far-sweeping vision, he saw as from some superior height, the political situation of his own time in its relation to the past and the future of the ancient world. If Rome had till then carried out the work of conquest with considerable method, and upon the whole, with steadiness, she had very inadequately satisfied the need for incorporation. Her oligarchical constitution, admirably adapted for the first task, could not easily reconcile itself to the second. In its best days, and while Carthage and Macedon were still formidable, the Senate had from time to time, prudently though grudgingly, extended the privilege of citizenship to some of the subject Italian states. But the great mass of Ita...
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