Horace's attitude toward the orientalization of Rome
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It has ever been the history of empire-development that nations face the West. Babylon, snugly esconced in the fertile Tigro-Euphrates valley, subdued its eastern neighbor, the Elamites, rose to power in wealth and court splendor, and fell a victim of its own luxury to its neighbor, the Assyrians. To the Assyrians, corrupted by the vices of their captives, was destined, in turn, a like calamity at the hands of the Medes and the Persians. When Athens had become mistress of the Persian world through the Hellenizing conquests of the intrepid Alexander, perverting her powers, she, too, succumbed to the vices of the Orient. Thus for five centuries the power of Eastern nations drifted westward, and Greece herself, corrupted, was compelled to yield her sceptre to the sturdy Roman conqueror. To legal and military Rome was now presented this feat of empire strength, the power to resist the vices of luxury and the effeminating influences which had undermined the Grecian and Persian thrones.
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