’That’s what it was, sir,’ rejoined Snawley; ’the elevated feeling, the feeling of the ancient Romans and Grecians, and of the beasts of the field and birds of the air, with the exception of rabbits and tom-cats, which sometimes devour their offspring.
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A Roman Republic existed for 500 years before the start of the Roman Empire.
I know more about the fall of the Roman Empire than the Romans did.
Laurie Halse Anderson -- The Impossible Knife of Memory