To write the history of the years from 219 to 221 (as we have it in the Scriptores) is a task which can only be undertaken adequately in a language not understanded of the people. Not that these years differed materially from those which had gone before, or those that followed. " Every altar in Old Rome had its Clodius " — so Juvenal has told us — "and even in Clodius' absence there were always those breaths of sapphic song that blew through Mitylene. Rome was certainly old, but Rome was not good — not, at least, in the sense in which we use the word to-day. Of this no one who has even sauntered through the catacombs of the classics preserves so much as a lingering doubt. This is because the Roman world was beautiful, ornate, unutilitarian ; a world into which trams, advertisements, and telegraph poles had not yet come ; a world that still had illusions, myths, and mysteries, one in which religion and poetry went hand in hand, a world without newspapers, hypocrisy, and cant," a world into which this boy Emperor, his mind attuned to
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