Salvian

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Salvian, or Salvianus, was a Christian writer of the 5th century.

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  • The castaway Roman poor, the grieving widows, the orphans under foot, even many of the well-born and educated Romans took refuge among their enemies. They sought Roman humanity among the Barbarians so they would not perish from Barbarian inhumanity among the Romans. They were different from the Barbarians in their manners, their language, and the smell of their clothes, but these differences were preferable to injustice and cruelty. They went to live among the Barbarians on all sides and never regretted it. They preferred to live free under the appearance of slavery, than to be slaves under the guise of liberty. Roman citizenship, once highly esteemed and bought at a high price, is today not only worthless, but despised. Those who did not flee were forced to become Barbarians by the persecution of Roman lawlessness. We call them rebels and lost men, but it is we who have forced them to become criminals.

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