Tacitus (c. 56-117)
“Let it be clear to those inclined to admire unlawful acts that even under bad emperors men can be great, and that a sense of duty and discretion, if backed by ability and energy, can reach that peak of honour that many have stormed by precipitous paths, winning fame, without serving country, through an ostentatious death.”
- From the Agricola (section 42) by Tacitus, translated by Harold Mattingly and edited by J. B. Rives. New York: Penguin Classics, 2009.