Rewatching I, Claudius long after our first viewing 20+ years ago, I found this quote to be highly appropriate to a large number of situations — from family to work to politics.
Sejanus: There’ll be no trial. I have no need of a trial to prove your guilt.
Gallus: A song sung by every small-town corrupt policeman, which is what you are and what you should have stayed.
I have watched your career with fascination, Sejanus. It’s been a revelation it’s been to me! I
‘ve never fully realised before how a small mind, allied to unlimited ambition and without scruple, can destroy a country full of clever men.
I’ve seen how frail is the structure of a civilisation before the onslaught of a gust of really bad breath!
Yes… But I suppose you are not really the destroyer. No, we must look elsewhere for that. You are merely the putrefaction that spreads after death – the outward and visible sign of its presence!
You’re a lesson in history to me, Sejanus, proving that, above all, Mankind needs its sense of smell.