I keep being struck by how contemporary the Romans sound. When I read Seneca, I think of the names read at the World Trade Center Memorial or the faces I would see in the London subway or looking harried, after work, at Waitroses grocery store on Friday night. Empires are charismatic; they push out, but they also pull in:
Look at the mass of people whom the buildings of huge Rome can scarcely hold: most of that crowd are deprived of their country. They have flocked together from their towns and colonies, in fact from the whole world, some brought by ambition, some by the obligation of public office, some by the duties of an envoy, some by self-indulgence seeking a place conveniently rich in vice, some by love of liberal studies, some by the public show; some have been attracted by friendship; some by their own energy which has found a wide field for displaying its qualities; some have come to sell their beauty; others, their eloquence.