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"Decline and fall ... must empires always self-destruct?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2018 12:15 p.m. PST

"Why Rome? Why, some 2,000 years after the Roman Empire embarked upon its decline and fall, do we remain bewitched by its ruin? From Russell Crowe's Gladiator to Niall Ferguson's histories to Washington thinktanks, the spectre of a crumbling Coliseum still haunts our popular and political culture. The story of the collapse of Rome speaks to something fundamental within the Western imagination.
Meditating on its fall is as old as the city itself. In the first century AD, as centurions stamped across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, commentators were already predicting Rome's demise. Critics mourned the lost virtue of the Republic and lamented the Empire's bread-and-circuses decadence. Yet it took another 400 years for Rome to succumb to the Goths and a further 1,000 years before the Byzantine or the Eastern Roman Empire followed suit.

But by then the narrative of collapse was clear. To medieval and Renaissance historians it was a morality tale of hubris and nemesis, testifying to the unrelenting cycle of history. What rose had to fall…."
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Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2018 3:35 p.m. PST


Nothing lasts forever, with perhaps the sole exceptions of death and taxes.

Mars Ultor10 Aug 2018 4:13 p.m. PST

I've been three times to the Forum center of Rome, and the next time I'm just going to spend all day there thinking about things like that, what's came before and what they left. Dynamics of peoples and individuals that make good and bad decisions just don't allow for permanence, sadly. In the Roman situation you have an Gaius J.C. Augustus and then you have a Gaius J.C. Caligula.

Hector Blackwolf10 Aug 2018 8:26 p.m. PST

Entropy is always a safe bet. Eventually everything has to come to an end.

Empires are highly unstable. Only a few have lasted more than a couple centuries at most. Like the Han, Roman is one of the handful of large political units that endured for considerable time.

It is less a matter that Rome fell, than that it stood so long.

catavar11 Aug 2018 11:11 a.m. PST

In Romes case, I think a large part of Roman citizens believed they no longer truly benefited from being part of their government.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2018 11:19 a.m. PST



Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Aug 2018 5:44 p.m. PST

Comments relative to modern politics have been removed.

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