XXIII.20 That the Romans found it necessary to make laws for the propagation of the species

, par Stewart

The Romans, by destroying all the others, were constantly destroying themselves in action, effort and violence ; they were using themselves up, like a weapon that is always in use.

I shall not speak here of the attention they devoted to supplying themselves with citizens as they were losing them, [1] of the associations they made, the privileges they bestowed, and that immense seed bed of citizens they found in their slaves. I shall say what they did, not to replace the citizens, but to replace the men ; and as they were the best people on earth for matching their laws to their projects, it is not indifferent to examine what they did in this regard.


[1A modern writer [i.e., Montesquieu] has treated this in his Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and of their Decline, 1748.