Plutarch's Lives - Coriolanus

Certainly, it was not out of suspicion of bribery and corruption that they required all such petitioners for their favour to appear ungirt and open, without any close garment; as it was much later, and many ages after this, that buying and selling crept in at their elections, and became an ingredient in the public suffrages; proceeding thence to attempt teir tribunals, and even attack their camps, till, by hiring the valiant, and enslaving iron to silver, it grew master of the state, and turned their commonwealth into a monarchy. For it was well and truly siad that the first destroyer of the liberties of a people is he who first gave them bounties and largesses.

Plutarch, Lives Vol. I

I found this to be a prescient quote from Plutarch’s Lives that stands on its own even in the present. It’s astonishing how accurately history repeats itself occasionally.