21 March 2011

Prey to wicked men

"Ancient religions glorified only men who were endowed with worldly glory, such as generals of armies or rulers of republics; our religion has glorified humble and contemplative men rather than active ones. Furthermore, it has established as the supreme good humility, abjection, and contempt for human affairs, while ancient religion defined it as grandeur of spirit, strength of body, and all the other things likely to make men most vigorous. If it is true that our religion also requires strength, it is the kind of strength that makes you willing to suffer rather than to undertake bold deeds. So this way of living, then, seems to have rendered the world weak and handed it over as prey to wicked men, who can safely manage it when they see that most men think more of going to Heaven by enduring their injuries than by avenging them." (Machiavelli, Discourses, Book II, Chapter ii. as quoted in Honor: A History, James Bowman, 2006; page 58). 

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