Abite hortibus meis iuvenci scelerati

No, I don’t speak latin, but it leads into this so well. “Remove yourselves from my gardens, miscreant children.” ahem. “Get off my lawn, you damn kids.”

I was idly contemplating complaints of the elderly in regard to the youths of today, how they are so terrible and spoiled and we’re all doomed and… well, and noting how it seems things never change. What actually triggered the post was the discovery that the satirical complaint of politicians giving into giving the mobs bread and circuses was written in 100 AD.

In other words, it was written about 150 years after Julius Caesar, the first defacto emperor, was assassinated. It’s also about 300 years (give or take half a century) before the Great Divide when (defacto or dejure) the empire became the Eastern and Western Roman Empires.

Yeah, “We’re falling apart.”

The funny thing is that the same sentiment has been issued in the midst of other strong empires and states’ existence.

It parallels the fact that people have been complaining of others corrupting youths – and youths being pikers compared to ‘what we went through’ – since, well, since before Plato wrote Socrates Apology. (Recall Socrates was accused of corrupting youths to lead a life of sloth and waste, not in accordance with both the state’s principles and the way things were in their parents’ days. familiar?)

I think we like to believe we made our children’s lives better, and have a little bit of envy about that fact. We also fear that our childen, having it better, will waste what we have given them. The reality is that some will, some won’t, and in general our children will complain of their children forever more.

Each generation tends to try to improve their lot, which incidentally makes it better for the next. It’s (shudder) the circle of life.

And while we’re at it, Abite hortibus meis. Unless you brought the lawnmower.


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