Sallust: Letter of Mithridates on Roman Expansion (c. 66 B.C.)
The Romans have one inveterate motive for making war upon all nations, peoples and kings; namely, a deep-seated desire for dominion and for riches. Therefore they first began a war with Philip, king of Macedonia, having pretended to be his friends as long as they were hard pressed by the Carthaginians. When Antiochus [king of Syria] came to his aid, they craftily diverted him from his purpose by the surrender of Asia, and then, after Philip's power had been broken, Antiochus was robbed of all the territory this side of Taurus, and of 10,000 talents. Next Perses, the son of Philip, after many battles with varying results, was formally taken under their protection before the gods of Samothrace; and then those masters of craft and artists in treachery caused his death from want of sleep, since they made a compact not to kill him. . . .
Do you know that the Romans turned their arms in this direction only after Ocean had blocked their westward progress? That they have possessed nothing since the beginning of their existence except what they have stolen: their home, their wives, their lands, their empire? Once vagabonds with fatherland, with parents, created to be the scourge of the while world, no laws, human or divine, prevent them from seizing and destroying allies and friends, those near them and those afar off, weak or powerful, and from considering every government which does not serve them, especially monarchies, as their enemies.
Of a truth, few men desire freedom, the greater part are content with just masters. . . . The Romans have weapons against all men, the sharpest where victory yields the greatest spoils; it is by audacity, by deceit and by joining war to war that they have grown great. Following their usual custom, they will destroy everything or perish in the attempt . . .
(Sallust, Histories 4.69.)