Diversity and standards

At the opening of Chapter IV of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, in speaking of the multiple sexual affairs of Faustina, the wife of the philosophic emperor Marcus Aurelius, refers to
that unbounded passion for variety, which often discovered personal merit in the meanest of mankind.

Sounds like liberalism.

The next sentence is also a fine example both of Gibbon’s wit (in the older sense of keenness and quickness of perception or discernment) and of his style:

The Cupid of the ancients was, in general, a very sensual deity; and the amours of an empress, as they exact on her side the plainest advances, are seldom susceptible of much sentimental delicacy.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 15, 2012 09:25 AM | Send

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