«A quei pochissimi che hanno parimente a sdegno d’essere oppressi e di farsi oppressori». G. De Sanctis dalla Storia dei Romani al rifiuto del giuramento - G. De Sanctis from the Storia dei Romani to the refusal of the oath
Freedom and its oppression are the most vital themes of Gaetano De Sanctis' scientific production during the 1920s. His experiences between the end of the First World War and the advent of Fascism oriented him in this direction. In the first volume of the fourth volume of the Storia dei Romani (1923) and in other contemporary essays, the Romans are represented as cruel and aggressive militarists who, in the end, oppressing the freedom of others, ended up losing their own at the end of the Republic. In contrast to the suffocation of freedom implemented by Roman imperialism, Greece appeared to De Sanctis as the mother of freedom, precisely in the years in which Fascism showed its liberticidal face, which was paid for by the Master himself with the forced removal from university teaching following his refusal to swear loyalty to the Regime.