Cornelius TacitusCornelius Tacitus, (55-117 A.D.) Senator and historian of the Roman Empire

Cornelius Tacitus Quote

“Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges. (The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.)”

Cornelius TacitusCornelius Tacitus
~ Cornelius Tacitus

Annales, 1st century A.D.

Ratings and Comments

Logan, Memphis, TN


Mike, Norwalk

The conscience/un-conscience goal of each and every 'Executive', 'Judicial', and 'Legislative' law maker; and, the unspoken moto or creed that should be hanging over each and every subject personnel's work place.

Joe, Rochester, MI

The U.S. has millions of laws, regulations and ordinances. More than ANY other country in the world.

E Archer, NYC

And in the end, the stretch is too great to dictate every behavior, and the system collapses.

Ben, Orem, UT


J. B. Wulff, Bristol

To differ with a Roman is to tempt fate. Here I go! In ANY organization, as situations arise, questions of how, why, who, when, etc. do blossom. God gave us 10 commandments, but we can't display them in a public space. When everyone does the right or correct or honest or whatever thing, the need to provide laws does not exist. If no questions arise, no laws need to be written. There's the rub. Think of the everyday questions that arise. Where can I park my car? First off, it should be "may." That's a rule of grammar. Is grammar thus corrupt? You may park on the street. How about during snow storms? Oops, not until the streets are cleared of snow from curb to curb. Why go on? It is not a corrupt state that makes laws necessary. It generally is people asking for something. It's like the joke about Bill Clinton meeting with the pope. Bill announced the meeting a success with agreement on many things. The pope was troubled as agreement had not been reached on all ten commandments. Go figure.

cal, lewisville, tx

As if we don't already have too many laws passed by congress, we have a Supreme Court that hands out so many numerous "court orders" and liberal interputations that don't even come close to what is written in our Constitution!

J Carlton, Calgary

There are so many laws now that even the Judges don't know half of them. There are so many laws now that we are all technically guilty of something at all times. And that is the goal of a corrupt state, to be able to arrest / detain anyone for any reason at any time. Its all about control, and power over people.

J Carlton, Calgary

This is off topic, but I have to share it. I 1948 cartoon on Freedom in America:

  • Reply
RBESRQ    10/21/09

Yes, it's like telling lies, once told you need to remember it so you write it into law. And then you need more lies to cover the original lie - it's called our legal system.


Well, that pretty much sums up the modern USA!

jim k, austin

And Pelosi, Reed and the rest of the Jackals are passing new laws all the time.

Waffler, Smith

J B Wulff is on the right track. But I will take a different tack. Since I believe that the people, the citizenry are the state, I agree that when the people are corrupt or unrighteous (failue to be right doing) more laws need to be written and enforced than when the people are righteous and self governing. In heaven the Bible says all will be in complete obedience to the will and laws of God. Could we hope for such a condition here on earth at least in reference to doing right, then laws will disappear. The state is the people, corrupt people make a corrupt state.

J Carlton, Calgary

Twisted again Waffler. You attended the Hillary Clinton school didn't you? The statement is factual on every level. And the state is all about controlling people to the point of slavery.

Elisabeth, Astoria, NY

Five "Wow´s", too!

  • Reply
Anon    3/23/10

The "State", being a legal fiction is made up of natural born freemen who are elected into political offices which are again, legal fictions. Therefore, in order to have a a corrupt State, the legal fictions are the only ones who can be corrupt and so being they write the thousands of laws that make the freeman corrupt if he does not kowtow to the myraid of laws the corrupt fictions have created to control and pillage everyman of his rights and other property. A corrupt State has to begin with corrupt politicians.

Walter Tuc Mayfield, Gravois Mills Missouri

"(The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.)" The premise and conclusion are inverted. The correct thought should be, The more numerous the laws, The more corrupt the state. I'm just saying.

Denise, Durango

Note as well, that those primarily on the left who wipe their dirty blood soaked feet on our Constitution, "faithfully" practice "do as I say, not as I do." Those who pass myriads of laws must believe they have some special immunity to the lock down laws they pass on citizens. Case in point; our Second Amendment is a RIGHT, not a privilege. Yet the myriads of laws concerning firearms are literally in the multiple thousands...and they ignore them while also, over the last 30 plus years, they have deliberately gutted our judicial system and law enforcement...shouting the worn out mantra "GUN VIOLENCE".
It's not about the safety or well being of the citizen, it's for the wannabe dictators to shut us down and rule on the rubble.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Should we not reduce the number of laws and become less corrupt?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

It's not the number of laws.  It's the substance and quality of the law.  For instance we need to out law all firearms.  Firearms, whether the firearms bearer realizes it or not, paves the road for cold blooded murder.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Mental healthy individuals have a correct sense of wrong and right. We have yet to put these qualified individuals in the position to create the proper instructional guidance and rules for proper living and love.  These individuals will arrive in time.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

The problem appears to be terminology. Law or laws is not the term we need for our guidance of human behavior. The term is principle. And you'll find the governing principles for the human are infinite.


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