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Ancient and modern

The plight of Roman refugees

21 October 2023

9:00 AM

21 October 2023

9:00 AM

To protect Gazan civilians (used as shields by Hamas), Israel has told them to leave their homes. When in 665 bc Romans forced the people of ancient Alba Longa (from which Rome had been founded) to leave and move to Rome, the historian Livy sympathised with their civilians’ plight as legions arrived to demolish their city: ‘They found none of the pandemonium associated with gates being smashed down, walls reduced to rubble, citadel captured, and armed men rampaging through the streets, killing and burning, but only a despairing silence and wordless grief, so paralysing that the populace had no idea...

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