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Decadence at Rome

The dissoluteness of the young men in Rome had
Cato on the growth of luxury.
grown to such a height, and broke out in such extravagances, that there were many instances of men purchasing a jar of Pontic salt-fish for three hundred drachmae.1 In reference to which Marcus Porcius Cato once said to the people in indignation, that no better proof could be shown of the degeneracy of the state than that good-looking slaves2 should fetch more than a farm, and a jar of salt-fish more than a carter. . . .

1 About £12.

2 In his Censorship (B. C. 184) Cato imposed a tax on slaves under twenty sold for more than ten sestertia (about £70.) Livy, 39, 44.

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184 BC (1)
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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 44
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