The Emperor Trajan as a Vacuous Progressive

In his letter to Pliny the Younger on the proper procedure in the persecution of Christians the Emperor Trajan agrees with Pliny that no note is to be taken of libelli containing anonymous denunciations, for, “Nam et pessimi exempli nec nostri saeculi est.” (“They set a bad precedent and are not in the spirit of our age.”) Not of our age! How disappointing that a Roman emperor would would sink to the level of that puppet of the contemporary self-congratulatory liberal establishment, the Prime Minister of Canada, who famously justified his cabinet selection with the moronic pseudo-reason “because it’s 2015.” I had thought that this species of idiocy only came into being after Vico, but apparently I was wrong.


8 thoughts on “The Emperor Trajan as a Vacuous Progressive

  1. ‘Now the last age by Cumae’s Sibyl sung
    Has come and gone, and the majestic roll
    Of circling centuries begins anew:
    Justice returns, returns old Saturn’s reign,
    With a new breed of men sent down from heaven.’


      • The 4th eclogue of Virgil (another progressive). The Bucolics have been published some 90 yrs before the Emperor’s birth.

        Being from Dacia myself, I thought of returning a favor to the Emperor.

        (And E. Gosse, in Father and Son : ‘One evening my father took down his Virgil from an upper shelf…And then, in the twilight, as he shut the volume at last, oblivious of my presence, he began to murmur and to chant the adorable verses by memory…’. and also: ‘In the old solitary years, a long time ago, by the shores of Canadian rapids, on the edge of West Indian swamps, his Virgil had been an inestimable solace to him…The book was a Delphin edition of 1798, which had followed him in all his wanderings; ther was a great scratch on the sheep-skin cover that a thorn had made in a forest of Alabama.’)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t you think he might mean ‘under my government anonymous denunciations are not to be encouraged unlike the Flavians and the Julio-Claudians’. That doesn’t seem such a bad thing to say. It is because he thinks they are objectively a bad thing that he doesn’t want them to soil the memory of his reign.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If I recall correctly, panegyrics around this time declare it to be very height of history than which better nothing could possibly be imagined. So a “progressive” idea was definitely in the air, even if it was much less “things will keep getting better forever!” as “things will never get better, because we are the best!” IIRC.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Nothing New Under the Sun | Entirely Useless

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