Montesquieu

There are two sorts of tyranny : one real, consis­ting in govern­ment vio­lence ; and one of opi­nion, which is felt when those who govern esta­blish things that offend a nation’s man­ner of thin­king.

Dio says that Augustus wan­ted to be cal­led Romulus ; but after lear­ning that the peo­ple fea­red he wan­ted to become king, he chan­ged his mind. The early Romans did not want a king, because they could not suf­fer his autho­rity ; the Romans of that time did not want a king so as not to put up with his man­ners. For although Cæsar, the trium­virs, and Augustus were authen­tic kings, they had retai­ned all the sem­blan­ces of equa­lity, and their pri­vate lives entai­led a kind of oppo­si­tion to the splen­dor of the kings of that time ; and when the Romans wan­ted no king, that meant that they wan­ted to keep their man­ners, and not adopt the man­ners of African and Oriental peo­ples.

Dio tells us that the Roman peo­ple were incen­sed at Augustus over cer­tain unne­ces­sa­rily harsh laws he had made ; but that as soon as he had brought back the actor Pylades, whom the fac­tions had dri­ven from the city, the dis­content cea­sed.1 Such a peo­ple was more sen­si­tive to tyranny when an enter­tai­ner was expel­led than when all its laws were sup­pres­sed.

Book LIV, p. 532.