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Wed Mar 27, 2013, 04:55 PM

"We are doing what the Roman Empire did right before it Collapsed"

Last edited Thu Mar 28, 2013, 01:30 PM - Edit history (15)

Stated by some wing-nut on TV who didn't care for marriage equality.

This ubiquitous right-wing wisdom is extra amusing because in addition to being a tired chicken-little cliche that has been applied to everything from mini-skirts to fluoridation, it is hopelessly ass-backward as history.

Everything these chowder-heads identify with the fall of Rome (OMG, Caligula!1!!) is from early Roman history... stuff that happened before the Roman Empire even reached its greatest power on the way up. The most notable thing the Roman empire actually did right before collapsing was to make Christianity the state religion. I don't say that to suggest that Christianity was to blame (though Gibbon certainly seemed to think so), just reciting actual history.

Unlike this guy...

Roberto De Mattei, 63, the deputy head of the country's National Research Council, claimed that the empire was fatally weakened after conquering Carthage, which he described as "a paradise for homosexuals"... The fall of the Roman Empire was a result of "the effeminacy of a few in Carthage, a paradise for homosexuals, who infected the many. The abhorrent presence of a few gays infected a good part of the (Roman) people," Prof Mattei told Radio Maria, a Catholic radio station.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/8438210/Fall-of-Roman-Empire-caused-by-contagion-of-homosexuality.html


The last Punic war ended 146 BC. Rome was sacked in 410 AD. So that creeping Carthaginian gayness infected and destroyed Rome in a mere 556 years. Of course, not many empires have ever lasted as long as 556 years, so teh gay could more plausibly be cited to explain Rome's striking longevity.

(We can say that Rome fell in 410, or as late as 476, when the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire was deposed by Odoacer, a Germanic chieftain. But the 410 first sacking of Rome by 'barbarians' is a usual date.)

Oliver North was always fond of pointing out that Caligula brought down the Roman Empire by debasing marriage with his incestuous depravity. Let's see... Caligula died in 41 AD and Rome fell in 410 AD. What is 369 years one way or another? Sure, that's way longer than the USA has been around. But math is for commies.

Nero? A depraved fellow by most accounts, but he was emperor from 54 AD to 68 AD. The big fire in Rome (which he did not start, by the way) was not the end of Rome, or even within 300 years of the end of Rome. It was an event in a city on the way up. Most of the architectural "grandeur that was Rome" came later. (The Coliseum broke ground in 70 AD) Blaming Nero for the fall of Rome is like blaming the stock market crash of 1987 on Ben Franklin's womanizing.

In 380 A. D., Emperor Theodosius I made the Christian Nicene Creed (never identified as a notably gay set of beliefs, and without a hint of marriage equality) the mandatory religion of the Roman Empire.

And thirty years later the barbarians were hauling off the statues.

But it had to be teh gay.

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Reply "We are doing what the Roman Empire did right before it Collapsed" (Original post)
cthulu2016 Mar 2013 OP
elleng Mar 2013 #1
Richardo Mar 2013 #2
leftieNanner Mar 2013 #92
slackmaster Mar 2013 #3
dgibby Mar 2013 #82
Trajan Mar 2013 #4
JHB Mar 2013 #5
cthulu2016 Mar 2013 #10
lunatica Mar 2013 #6
Initech Mar 2013 #7
lunatica Mar 2013 #8
Ed Suspicious Mar 2013 #28
onpatrol98 Mar 2013 #105
Moonwalk Mar 2013 #38
eridani Mar 2013 #49
Diclotican Mar 2013 #80
happyslug Mar 2013 #112
Diclotican Mar 2013 #115
Moonwalk Mar 2013 #96
Janecita Mar 2013 #39
Recursion Mar 2013 #68
Trajan Mar 2013 #9
WilliamPitt Mar 2013 #11
xtraxritical Mar 2013 #90
Spitfire of ATJ Mar 2013 #93
xtraxritical Mar 2013 #100
Spitfire of ATJ Mar 2013 #101
xtraxritical Mar 2013 #110
Spitfire of ATJ Mar 2013 #111
Duer 157099 Mar 2013 #12
Guy Whitey Corngood Mar 2013 #13
1-Old-Man Mar 2013 #14
edbermac Mar 2013 #15
Faygo Kid Mar 2013 #26
Le Taz Hot Mar 2013 #76
David Zephyr Mar 2013 #16
hatrack Mar 2013 #61
idwiyo Mar 2013 #17
Agschmid Mar 2013 #18
Boomerproud Mar 2013 #19
Blanks Mar 2013 #20
defacto7 Mar 2013 #22
hunter Mar 2013 #44
happyslug Mar 2013 #50
NewJeffCT Mar 2013 #95
tclambert Mar 2013 #58
happyslug Mar 2013 #109
tclambert Mar 2013 #113
Blanks Mar 2013 #97
Skittles Mar 2013 #21
alcibiades_mystery Mar 2013 #23
closeupready Mar 2013 #46
Rex Mar 2013 #24
Crowman1979 Mar 2013 #25
LanternWaste Mar 2013 #42
BrotherIvan Mar 2013 #48
angry citizen Mar 2013 #53
tclambert Mar 2013 #55
bobclark86 Mar 2013 #73
Rex Mar 2013 #103
2Design Mar 2013 #27
Warren DeMontague Mar 2013 #29
Tyrs WolfDaemon Mar 2013 #30
cthulu2016 Mar 2013 #31
Tyrs WolfDaemon Mar 2013 #32
Janecita Mar 2013 #41
tclambert Mar 2013 #56
Recursion Mar 2013 #69
Gregorian Mar 2013 #33
AlbertCat Mar 2013 #34
Hekate Mar 2013 #51
ms liberty Mar 2013 #35
Spitfire of ATJ Mar 2013 #36
Enrique Mar 2013 #37
Janecita Mar 2013 #40
ChairmanAgnostic Mar 2013 #43
hatrack Mar 2013 #63
ChairmanAgnostic Mar 2013 #72
closeupready Mar 2013 #45
nomorenomore08 Mar 2013 #54
cbrer Mar 2013 #47
davidn3600 Mar 2013 #52
BrainDrain Mar 2013 #57
trusty elf Mar 2013 #59
Demeter Mar 2013 #60
Puzzledtraveller Mar 2013 #62
AngryAmish Mar 2013 #66
greiner3 Mar 2013 #64
AngryAmish Mar 2013 #65
Diclotican Mar 2013 #84
AngryAmish Mar 2013 #87
Diclotican Mar 2013 #88
ChairmanAgnostic Mar 2013 #120
Recursion Mar 2013 #67
blackspade Mar 2013 #70
steve2470 Mar 2013 #71
cecilfirefox Mar 2013 #74
randome Mar 2013 #75
jwirr Mar 2013 #77
southernyankeebelle Mar 2013 #78
Xyzse Mar 2013 #79
klyon Mar 2013 #81
ZRT2209 Mar 2013 #83
The CCC Mar 2013 #85
malthaussen Mar 2013 #86
Ian_rd Mar 2013 #89
Anonymousecoview Mar 2013 #91
RoccoRyg Mar 2013 #94
markbark Mar 2013 #98
randome Mar 2013 #106
MisterP Mar 2013 #99
joeybee12 Mar 2013 #102
pansypoo53219 Mar 2013 #104
Pakid Mar 2013 #107
grantcart Mar 2013 #108
AnnieBW Mar 2013 #114
caseymoz Mar 2013 #116
area51 Mar 2013 #117
King_Klonopin Mar 2013 #118
Javaman Mar 2013 #119

Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

1. THANKS for the history lesson, cthulu!

Must say, I never really studied ancient history, so I appreciate this bit of it.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:01 PM

2. Dividing Gaul in three parts?



On edit: Thanks for the history - I'll copy and paste at the appropriate places if you don't mind.

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Response to Richardo (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 01:18 PM

92. Galia est divisa in partes tres...

My Dad made me take Latin in 7th grade. Sheesh... Thanks for the history lesson. I'm so glad to know that teh gay didn't burn down Nero's Rome while Caligula had his orgies and everyone threw up their dinner so they could eat more. No, wait... I got it wrong.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:02 PM

3. The Romans had the right idea, but they didn't have the will to fully implement the plan

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:51 AM

82. Off topic,

but thanks for posting this photo. I'm doing an album for my BIL, a retired C&O/CSX/Amtrak engineer, who is suffering with dementia, but still remembers his RR days. He'll love this!

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:08 PM

4. Should that not be Theodosius?

Not sure about the Theodorus reference

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Response to Trajan (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:11 PM

5. Considering their anachronistic reasoning, it might as well be...

...Theodoric of York, Medeival Barber.


Naaaaaaah!

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Response to Trajan (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:21 PM

10. You are correct. Don't know where that even came from.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:12 PM

6. Roman's had no problem with gays, or with young boys either

And they lasted for quite a while, so the teabaggeratti are wrong again. Quelle Surprise, non?

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Response to lunatica (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:14 PM

7. Wasn't homosexualality actually encouraged in Rome? Or was it Greece?

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Response to Initech (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:16 PM

8. Alexander the Great was gay and it was totally accepted in Greece and Rome

And so was man/boy relationships.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:56 PM

28. I remember hearing/reading about a boy/young man being distraught that Socrates would not have him

sexually as was usual and customary between sophists and students. He was supposed to be quite attractive and that made it all the more irritating that Socrates had not an appetite for him.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:21 PM

105. Man/boy???

Pedophilia, totally acceptable...how horrible. I always wonder what the heck kind of person sees a child and thinks...hmm, potential person to sleep with. The world is full of sick people. History is always so interesting. Truly, as my grandmother would say. There are no new things under the sun.

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Response to Initech (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:52 PM

38. Greece encouraged homosexuality; Rome did not condemn homosexuality, BUT...

...Rome is where we ended up with the prejudice in gay male relationships about who is "on top." Romans made an important distinction about that. A Roman citizen--especially of the upper classes, could have sex with another man but that man had to be slave or not Roman or lower class and had to be on the receiving end. The Roman always had to be the "man" as it were in the relationship.

This was especially important in regards to young men. Romans did not encourage older men to have relations with younger men as did the Greeks--who saw such relationships as important, even essential. Romans, in fact, really didn't like their young men--especially those of respectable class--to be deflowered by other men. Because, once again, these young men were being raised to be Romans and "men" and so they could never be in the lesser position. If they had inclinations in that direction, they were urged to have relations with a slave and be the "man" just as they'd be with a female slave.

All of which made it difficult for two, respectable Romans of equal stature to have a homosexual relationship unless it was kept fairly quiet. Because it wouldn't be looked on favorably for one of them to be in the "inferior" receiving position. As for lesbians, I'm not at all sure about what the rules were there.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #38)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 02:59 AM

49. They said of Julius Caesar--

--that he was every woman's husband and every man's wife. If you were the emperor, you could ignore the "who'se on top" question.

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Response to eridani (Reply #49)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:43 AM

80. eridani

eridani

Julius Casar vas never a emperor - the first emperor was his grand nephew - Octavian, who was adopted by Casar to be his hair when he died - Casar itself was a roman Dictator - who in the old ages had meant a public servant who in a time of crisis could be given all command of the Republic - that be civilian or military - but the catch was that he was supposed to give away the power after 6 mounts - and then be hold responsible for what he did in the time he had full power over the Republic...

But in the last century of the Republic, something happened - the mighty ones used the Republic to its own deeds - and it all ended in a revolution, and a civil war, where the powerfully was fighting each other - even on the door steps of the Senate...

It all ended in a way - when Casar ended up on top - and was given more or less total command over the Senate, and all the soldiers in the duty of the Republic. It is little more difficult to explain as the details is intertwining with others - but in all. Julius Casar was for a time the biggest leader in the Republic - and also hold power as roman Dictator (who by then was just a formality for him).. But for all his wrongs - he also did a lot of good, in the high position - for being a Dictator he was not exactly a tyrant - he was able to listen to others - to learn from others advice - but also to put forward a lot of laws, that in the end benefited the whole Republic.. His grand nephew Octavian, who, heritages his position, and power when he was killed was able to use his name - and the old soldiers he heritages from Casar - to win the civil war who started again - and then, when he was the only man standing after the civil war - able to use many of the tools Casar had given him, to repair the damages - make the Republic a Empire with a "emperor" on top.. But he was also smart enough to not rush the feathers of the old republicans - by crowning himself - in the system he made possible. The Emperor - or Augustus as they was titled after Octavian was given that title from a thankfully Senate, was just the highest ranking public servants - who hold tremendous power, as he had many titles - and rights who supersides all others in the republic.. In fact, most emperors, to after Nero, was seen as public servants - who was responsible for his actions - but with good advisor's, most of them managed to do the work rather good... Even if they was nuts as hell.. After Augustus - Tiberius was given the reign - he was not a happy man - who also hated the sermonizes - and the Senate he in theory was responsible for.. Caligula was nuts - and in the years he ruled - the empire wasted billions of dollars (comparative) on corruptions - of outright wastefulness - wars and a lot of partying in the empires Capital and so one... One of the few who really did a lot of good for the empire, was hiding in the shadows - and was given the power by the soldiers Claudius - who in his office, did a lot of good for the Empire - but was killed by his 3th wife - the mother of Nero - who pushed for Nero to be the next emperor - and in the end Nero was made emperor. Nero on the other hand was in his first couple of years a mindfully emperor - who also was given some of the Empires greatest advisor's - who in his name government the Empire in a exemplary way... But when Nero itself tok the reign - and deiced he could rule without his advisor's - and wasted a lot of resources on everything and nothing - and in the end, ended up as "enemy of the state"... something that was not good for the well-being of an emperor - in the end he killed himself - and a new, civil war engulfed the empire for 4 years...

He was claimed - by some of his enemies that he could be a lover for the man - and for the woman - but historians doubt really if he was inclined to do as they claim him to be.. But anyway if he was - I doubt it was off any interest other than the ones who wanted to make Casar feel bad about himself - and that he for the most part, was able to make up for it, by dating more womans - even his friends wifes if he found them intersting...

And by the way he was married to women - at least twice he was married... First to a woman he was not in love with - but who the family found suitable to him - the other was more his own type of woman - not as beautifully as the first one - but had a hard hitting sentiment - and was not afraid of telling the mighty Casar how he acted.... For some reason no historians has founded out - he liked outspoken woman - as long as they did it in private..

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #80)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:33 PM

112. Actually he was an "Impertor", which was what a successful General was called in the Republic

The English term Emperor is just a corruption of the Latin Term Impertor. Thus Julius Caesar was AN EMPEROR. In fact so was Augustus, who held many titles including "Pontifex Maximus" "Tribune of the people" another, "First Senator" a third, and finally a Proconsul. Under the Republic and the Empire, every Legion had to be under the command of a Consul or former Consul.

The title of Impertor, derived from Imperium, which was "The power to command". The Imperium was the ability to order people do due what the holder of the Imperium wanted done, and such orders had to be obeyed UNLESS you held a superior Imperium OR were a Tribune. Thus the Emperor held command over anyone below him in command BUT not his equal or his superiors AND not the Tribunes. Imperium was an absolute power, but restricted by who held the Imperium and over what territory. An Imperium tied in with the Army (An Imperium Pro-consulship) meant absolute command over the Army AND the area the Army was operating or stationed in. This is what Julius Caesar and Augustus wanted, the Imperium over the Legions AND BOTH HAD IT.

More on what is an "Imperium":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperium

Both Caesar and Augustus also had held the title of "Dictator", which was a temporary absolute ruler of Rome during times of Crisis. A person could only be a Dictator for Six months till Sulla had himself made Dictator for life in 81 BC. Due to Sulla's abuse of the power of Dictator it had become a title of tyranny, so both Julius Caesar and Augustus thought it was better to give up that title then retain it.

The next most important position for Julius Caesar And Augustus was the Pontifex Maximus, chief priest of Rome. The Chief Priest controlled the highways, the bridges AND the communication system of the Rome State (i.e. how do you get the people to know what the State wants them to do, today it is done by newspapers, Televisions, Radio and the net, but prior to about 1850 it was done by the Church and prior to 376 the various pagan priests that reported to the Pontifex Maximus. In many ways due to the Catholic Church wanting EVERYONE to attend a church every Sunday appears to be the Reason Constantine embraced Christianity, it did a better job then the Pagan Priests at both getting messages to the peasants AND from the peasants. The Pagan Priest's temples tended to be quite small, limited to just the priests who took the sacrifices of the people from outside the temple into the temple to sacrifice. The Christian Church of having everyone INSIDE the Church made it easier for the Christian priests to reach more people quicker then the old Pagan Priests who had to talk to the people directly OUTSIDE of their temple IF they were willing to talk to the people).

The third most important was the position of Consul or Proconsul (Someone who had been a Consul in the past) over every legion, Julius Caesar did NOT quite have this power, his legions each had their own Proconsul, but Augustus made himself the Proconsul of every legion, and the legionary actual commander was his Lieutenant (Legate of the Emperor, The Emperor was the Proconsul of the Legion, The Legate was just the Emperor's agent in command of the Legion).

The Fourth most important power was that of the Tribune, the Tribune could convent the Senate AND the People's assembly. They could also veto anything passed by the Senate. As a patrician Augustus could NOT be the Tribune, but he had the People's Assembly given him the POWER of the Tribune, which is all he really wanted, the ability to veto anything the Senate passed.

The Fifth power was that of First Senator, prior to Augustus this had been an elected position, but a position generally held by the eldest Senator. Augustus made sure he was elected First Senator. The First Senator controlled the Agenda of the Senate, thus Augustus controlled the Senate.

Given that all the Judges of the Roman Republic were elected by the Senate from among themselves, the power of First Senator AND the Power of the Tribune, meant Augustus could prevent anyone he did NOT want into the Senate AND with the Veto power prevent the Senate from picking anyone to any Judaical, Executive, military position or other position that Augustus did NOT want (This included naming the Proconsul and Legates to the Legions).

More on the Position of Pontifex Maximus:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontifex_Maximus

More on the Tribune:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribune

Thus Julius Caesar was an Emperor, as had been Sulla and Sulla's rival (and Julius Caesar's uncle) Marius.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaius_Marius

Please note, no one called Augustus and his successor "Emperor" or "Impertor" till Diocletian. Diocletian decided he needed a title as fancy as the Persians' King of Kings title and found the traditional term "Impertor" convenient. The term seems to have been used as to the Emperors since Augustus, but it was NOT a formal title, it was a Declaration by the Troops that they would follow the Orders of whoever they declared to be Emperor since he had one at least one victory. Please also note, by the time of Diocletian no leader of a Roman Legion dare have his troops declare him Impertor without Imperial permission UNLESS he wanted to go to war with the ruling Emperor. Thus by the time of Diocletian, Impertor had become a term restricted to the Emperor, unlike its earlier use for any successful general.

In fact not till Charlemagne did not any BUT the Roman and later Eastern Roman Empire ever used the Term Emperor. Charlemagne called himself "Emperor of the Franks" something the Eastern Empire refuse to accept (Through within 20 years the Eastern Emperor was using the Title "Roman Emperor" instead of just "Emperor", the later had been the norm since the days of Augustus 800 years before).

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Response to happyslug (Reply #112)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:02 PM

115. happyslug

happyslug

I know about the details - the devils is there you know And it is also true that in the first couple of centuries of the roman empire, even the emperors them self, was not seeing them self as a sole ruler of the empire - the few who did so - ended for the most part dead before long... Some of the emperors was also influenced by eastern forms of ruling - who crashed somewhat with the more cold headed republican way of the empire..

Most Emperors was also commanders of all the armies - one of the offices the roman emperors needed to hold, to keep them self to power, as the whole system was build up on the little thing, soldiers who was ruled by a sole general - before the last centuries of the Republic, it was the generals - given command by the Senate to command armies for a little while - a couple of years at most who hold much of the power - but the ultimate power, was always in the hand of the Senate - and in the hand of the roman upper class, who also hold most of the offices who could end up in a office where they could command armies.. But by the last 150 year of the Republic - it was clearly that the Senate was not up to the task anymore.. The wealth from the east - specially the greece areas in south Italy - and then in other parts of the growing republic - made some extremely wealthy - many generals who made command, also was using the time they had in new provinces to plunder the area as best they could - any means necessary.. By the end of the Republic, specially after Sulla and Marius (who was a grand uncle of Julius Casar, not directly a uncle) and other had messed up the republic to much - the whole system more or less collapsed under the weight of their own corruption from within.. The logical step, from Sulla's and Gaius Julius Caesars point of view was to consolidate the power they had - under them self - and therefore make the system more effective... The mistreatments and misbehavior under Sulla and Marius, who hold the consulate for many years as rivals and enemies also was devastating the Roman Republic....

The office of Dictator was seldom used in the old Republic - it was used the few times the old republic was in dire need of one who could command everyone - and the system was vice-ly enough not longer than for 6 mounts at the time. After that, anyone who had hold that extraordinary office had to to stand for the Senate - and be judged.. For the most part, the few times the system commanded a DICTATOR, it worked well - and the republic was growing more because of ordinary generals rather than by over-ambition from generals who hold the office of Dictator... It was not before in the late Republic, when great powers, and great generals had ambitions way overhead anyone else the office of Dictator was given the bad name it have had after. It is similar to the fate Tyrants was given - by the greek tyrants who originally ruled as sole rulers - for a time - but who many choose to misuse the power they had - to put them self off as tyrants for life.. And some even was able to live out their life - and die in their beds rather than on the battle field..

I know about that most generals, if they was not willing to go to war against the ruling emperor was ever willing to compeplate the idea of naming himself Imperator - it was the same as making a lot of mess out of it.. It was one of the offices the Roman Emperor kept for himself - and very seldom was given to others - the risk of someone discover that he could be a better emperor than the one of the throne was to big. It was better to keep the tittle for himself... And in practice, all Emperors from Augustus, to Romulus Augstulus in the west - had the whole office of Imperator - and a lot of other offices under their own belt... Even though in West, the roman emperors in the late empire might as well have studied the bible instead of govern, as they had no armies to speak about - and little power outside their own palace..

Emperor Diocletian was not the first emperor, who put forward often drastic changes to how the Emperor was treated by the subjects - but Diocletian was maybe one of the most ruthless emperors who also was willing to change the court to make sure the emperor was shown as higher than life - more powerfully than the rest of the court - and also made sure the empire would survive - specially as the empire was almost breaking into pieces by the time Diocletian was able to take power - and the next 20 year was waging wars all over the place - from the west to the east - and then again from the east to the west.. The 280-330 was a messy and horrible time to live in the roman empire, specially as the empire was looking as it could break down anytime.. Forward from Diocletian the roman Emperor was not longer just a "public servant" as they had been from the time of Augustus - from the time of Deocletian, the office of the Emperor changed - drastically from what it was when Augustus build up the empire - to what it become when the governing forms from the East finally got the last straw.. The emperor had a great court around him - and even the greatest of generals had to kiss his feet - and subdue himself as forward a eastern potentate.. Something that would NEVER have happened before the 280s..

But Emperor Diocletian was one of the few emperors, who could retire - and lived for 20 year thereafter - in his retirement palace in todays Split (who still have ruins - and the mausoleum where he was buried - is today a church!) and was known for making some decent flowers - who was spoken for, both in the court in the West - and in the East.. In fact some flowers who was given to the Eastern roman court was grown, and was in the palace garden at least 200 year after Diocletian was dead.... The Emperor was also a few times after his retirement asked to come back to the imperial office - but thanked no thanks - he loved the peace and tranquilly he was able to live with - in his retirement palace....

Most of the governing ideas Diocletian had, was dead before he himself was dead - ad his great prize edict who on one side made possible to stabilize the empires economical situation - for a while - but also made it more or less impossible for everyone to break out of his stand in the community - the system he made - was a stable - but not a good system - and you can look at the late antiquity as a place of stagnation compared to what was before in the "golden" centuries of the roman empire.. Not that impressive buildings - and powerfull statements about the roman empire would not be known also in later years - but compared to the Empire of past - the future was indeed bleak - even though the court was impressive - and the Emperor himself - a powerfully symbol of the Roman State.

Charlemagne himself never used the name Emperor - even though he was not refusing to be crowned as Emperor AD 800, he himself never used the name - as it could have been seeing as an affront to the Eastern Empire - who universally was accepted as the only Empire in the world. The eastern roman Emperor was the sole "master" of the world - Charlemagne himself was building himself more as an european junior emperor - rather than an Emperor at the same stage as the Emperor in Constantinople.. And as you pointed out - he himself, named himself as Emperor of the franks - even though he would rule over many germanic tribes also - most of todays Germany - some parts of Poland - and the central parts of Europe, was ruled by the Frankish Emperor.. And he had a habit on ruling rather ruthless but in the 800s I guess the idea of ruling by law, was little off.. The was the sword who gave the answer - not silly law... Even though the barbarians - the germanic tribes who in the end melted together with the other who lived there - and was roman citizens and was ruled by roman laws

I guess the Eastern Roman Empire - needed some definations, about who they was - and the fact that the western part, formally still was part of the Empire - untill the shisma between the chatolic and ortdox church in the late 1090s - most ruling powers in the west - accepted the Emperor in Constantinople as their overlord. The barbarians who took over when the last western emperor was trown out of the palace did ruled - formaly as subjects of the emperor of Constantinople.. And the former subjects of the roman empire, was still bouded by the laws of the empire - and for the most part, the germanic rulers accepted it as a matter of how things was.. The barbaric kingdoms might have overtrown the Empire - but the idea and the ideals of the Empire survived it all - and Charlemange was just one of the first, to try to build up an western Empire - who could make it posible to rebuild the Roman Empire as it was before the 400s... The Roman Empire was never rebuild - but the ideal of the roman empire was still living in the hearts - and in the ideals of many kings, emperors - and others who was ambitiosus enough to be willing to chance it.. The last one who tried with violence to make an Empire out of Europe, was pepole like Hitler and Stalin - and we still "pay the price" for that...

The Eastern Empire - who as you pointed out - 20 year after Charlemange desied to go all the way - and named itself the Roman Empire even though by then most of the public offices used greek instead of latin - and it was most in the court the use of Latin was used... The eastern Empire - called roman or not - was made into a greek empire, who for more than 1000 year should stand between the West - and the rest of the world..

Diclotican

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Response to eridani (Reply #49)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 02:06 PM

96. well, he wasn't the emperor, he was the dictator, and being every man's "wife...."

...probably was intended as a mocking put-down. Meaning those who said it probably did think that Caesar cared if other men viewed him as a bottom rather than a top.

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Response to Initech (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:54 PM

39. Nero's last "wife"

Was actually a boy

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Response to Initech (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:18 AM

68. It's difficult to translate the modern concepts of sexuality to the ancient world

Sex and power were coupled in a way that we would find very distasteful.

It's sort of like how we get the Lysistrata backwards: we hear "women withhold sex from men until war is stopped" and think "wow! that's a great idea!" Ancient Athenians heard that and thought "Hilarious! Women having the willpower to not have sex?!" Imagine a modern comedy based on the idea of men withholding sex from their wives to obtain some sort of wishlist.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:19 PM

9. For those who enjoy this history

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:26 PM

11. I hate all these dumb people on DU



Win.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:16 PM

90. I thought the decline and demise of the empire was the topic.

 

I'm now reading a book Life Without Oil, by Steve Hallett & John Wright. They analyze what doomed many, many, many societies and cultures over the years with quite a bit of time spent on Rome. One of there main conclusions common to all the cultures was resource depletion thru competition as scarcity grew. In Romes case everything about their culture was dependent on wood. Their army's depended on wood for large scale metal smelting for weapons all building, heating, cooking, transport depended on wood. They decimated the ancient forests of Europe and everywhere else they went. As the wood ran out they lost steam (punny) and became easy prey for the Huns whom ushered in a thousand years of "dark ages". The point I'm leading to is that in every culture that the authors relate there were same sex and older/younger relations and this had no bearing on the demise of these society's. It's an inane hypothesis that is easily dismissed if it's not sarcasm.

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #90)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 01:29 PM

93. There are many who claim the "Dark Ages" was part of the plan to purge Paganism.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #93)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 03:35 PM

100. Plan? Whose plan? Why for?

 

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #100)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 03:40 PM

101. Do you honestly believe the wealthy went away just because religion changed?

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #101)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:49 PM

110. Hell no, the empire declined because they outstripped their most basic resource, wood. That's what

 

I typed, what did you read?

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #110)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:22 PM

111. The same. But I consider this tidbit...

Italy went through 75 different governments in the 20th Century. Through it all the wealthy land owning class prevailed.

The empire may have fallen but not the power behind it. They just hired new management.

What makes me laugh is the number of people who really believe that Rome fell because God didn't like all the sex they were having.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:29 PM

12. Ooooh, storing this one away in my quiver

Should come in handy some day, thanks!

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:34 PM

13. It is a well known historical fact that teh gays made the Roman Empire fabulous before they

got tired of it and redesigned it as the Roman Catholic Church.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:39 PM

14. That is a beautifully written response to a deplorably stupid assertion

Thank you.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:46 PM

15. "I have a vewy gweat fwiend in Wome named Biggus Dickus"

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Response to edbermac (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:46 PM

26. LOL. I thought they saved the Empire from clashing togas/tunics

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Response to edbermac (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:30 AM

76. It's been years since I've seen that.

Still just as funny! Thanks for posting.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:51 PM

16. Enthusiastic K&R.

I always mess with christo-fascists' heads when they spout their bumper sticker ignorance that "Rome and Greece fell when they turned from God" by telling them Rome only fell after it became Christian.

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Response to David Zephyr (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 08:46 AM

61. Or "Rome and Greece fell when they turned from Gods"

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:51 PM

17. K&R

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:53 PM

18. Kick.

Lesson learned watch out for teh gays!

... Just in case.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:02 PM

19. While I was channel surfing I stopped on Fox for 30 seconds and the topic was-oh yeah

Erasing Easter!!!" The folks at Fox are always looking after our holidays doncha know.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:09 PM

20. I'd never been particularly interested in that era...

Until documentaries on Netflix.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ancient-rome-rise-fall-empire/

They didn't spend a lot of time discussing same sex relationships. They pretty much blamed it on the barbarians tearing down the water distribution system. IIRC

So my interpretation (as a civil engineer) is that the failing of infrastructure was what brought down the Roman Empires.

More investment in public works - less worrying about who is sleeping with who that's what we should take away from the history lesson. IMHO

Of course the barbarians tearing down the water supply was an act of war; we're just waging war instead of performing public works projects.

From that perspective, it could be argued that we are doing the same thing as the Romans before the fall of the Roman Empire.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:23 PM

22. Good point!

n/t

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Response to Blanks (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:45 AM

44. Did the barbarians tear down the water supply?

Or did the society simply lose the ability to maintain the system?

It doesn't matter really. Simple mechanical failures or barbarian invaders are both consequences of a society collapsing, not the cause of it,

But it's really not hard to imagine incompetent authorities blaming the failure of the water supply on "barbarians."

Today we might call them "terrorists."

When we see our leaders blaming infrastructure failures on terrorists we will know the end is near.

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Response to hunter (Reply #44)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:15 AM

50. Both, the Gothic war of 535-553 were one of the longest, most expensive wars in the history of Rome

The Visi-Goths only sacked Rome for three days (The time period had been agreed to before the Goths entered the City) in 410. They had lived under Roman Rule since 376m thus the invasion of Italy and the Sacking of Rome was more an internal Roman Empire fight then a true invasion from outside. Thus they did NOT need to attack the water supply. Subsequently the Visi-Goths moved to Southern Gaul (Where they lost to the Franks, as the Franks marched south in the 500s) and Spain (Which they lost to the Invading Moors after 700 AD).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_(410)

Being Arians, the Visi-Goths HATED statures of ancient gods, thus the Christians of Rome had seen no need to destroy such statutes, the Goths did

In 455 the Vandals hit Rome, but this time the attack was a sea attack from the Vandals out of Carthage. The Vandals had never agreed to live under Roman Rule (But had been recognized as a State by Rome). Again, no siege, it had been agreed by all parties (via the Pope) to permit the siege, but no violence be used. There is some dispute as to violence being used, but if used, minor for again the sack had been agreed to by both sides

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_(455)

As to the third sacking of Rome, the Sacking that did see the destruction of the water system, you first have to understand the politics of the last years of the Western Roman Empire. Aetius, the General that had defeated Attila in 451 AD was killed by order of the Emperor in 453 AD (After sitting in Gaul as Attila invaded Italy in 452 AD). Aeitus had been very popular with the Roman People and the Roman Senate (which is why the Emperor had him killed) and when Aeitus was killed the Roman people turned against the Emperor and actually cheered the killing of the Emperor in 454 AD. This lead to a complete destruction of the remains of the Roman Army, thus leaving Rome open to the Vandals in 455 AD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavius_Aetius

Now after the sacking of Rome, Racimer, believed to be of a tribe from what is now Eastern Germany, became head of the Roman Army, and held that position till his death in 472. Racimer had several puppet emperors, but the real power was held by Racimer and the Senate (Racimer appear to have wanted to rule without a Western Emperor, but the Senate said no, thus the puppets). Under Racimer the Empire actually expanded, retaking Gaul and Spain (by returning the Ostro-Goths to being a subject people of the Roman Empire, not an independent state).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricimer

Odoacer took over from Racimer, did what Racimer could not do, get the Senate to agree to abolish the Western Emperor-ship and accept the Eastern Emperor as the Sole Emperor and then ruled Italy as the agent of the Eastern Emperor. Odoacer ruled Italy and what is now Croatia till 490 AD, when he was killed after the Ostro-Goths out of present day Serbiam invaded first what is Croatia and then Italy. The Ostro-Goths took over almost all of Italy in 490 AD, setting up the Ostro-Gothic Kingdom under the Gothic King Theodoric the Great.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoderic_the_Great

Rome seems to have been losing population from 410 to 490 AD, but seems to have retained most of its population during this time period. Constantinople was still a small city compared to Rome in 410, but sometime between 410 and 536 it became larger then Rome (And would remain the largest city in the World till 1204, when it was sacked by the Fourth Crusade)

Side note: It is unclear when Constantinople replaced Rome as the largest city, it was clearly while after 400, but occurred before 536, We know Constantinople was the largest city in the World, for even the Arabs as late as 1204 was calling it that, Baghdad was #2 in the 1200s, we know that for when the Mongols took Baghdad in 1258 they called it the largest city they had ever taken, and by then they had most of the cities of China).

Side note: By the time the Goths then the Vandals sacked Rome, both had converted to Arian Christianity. Thus it was Catholic Christians vs invading heretical Christians.

Now, the Siege that did see the water works destroyed was in 536, in the what is called the Italian wars, or the Gothic Wars, as the Eastern Empire under Justinian proceeded to re-take rome from the Goths. The Ostro-Gothic Kingdom had been established in 490 and had been accepted by the Eastern Emperor. It was a Roman-Gothic Kingdom, if you were a Roman Citizen, Roman law applied, if you were a Goth, Gothic law applied (This was the same rule in African under the Vandals, the Franks and Burgundians in what is now France, and the Visigoths in Spain. The Roman Senate still held sessions in Rome, even through it was technically under Barbarian rule (and would continue to do so, during the Gothic War, but the War killed off what power the Senate did have, may have survived as a social club till 1603, but was clearly gone by 630 AD):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Senate#Post-Imperial_Senate_in_Rome

Yes, the Senate survived the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West, it was killed off with the rest of Italy during the Gothic wars of 535-553.

Note, the Ostro-Goths ended up in Control of Italy from 490 till the 453, when the Gothic wars ended. In 535 the Eastern Empire took Sicily from the Goths, and moved to southern Italy. In December 536, due to support for the Eastern Empire within the city itself, the Goths decided to vacate Rome, as the Eastern Roman Forces entered. In 537 the Goths returned and started the first real siege of Rome since the Gauls took Rome in the days of the early Republic. It was this siege that saw the destruction of the Water System of Rome, but Rome fail to fall to the Goths.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Rome_(537%E2%80%93538)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_War_(535%E2%80%93554)

Now, in 546 the Goths returned and this time took Rome, sacked it and then abandoned it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Rome_(546)

The Goths would re-take Rome in 549 AD, when the Roman Army returned the Goths abandoned the City, taking all of its citizens with them. The Romans then moved in 50,000 new Citizens. Yes, 549 is when the population of Rome is knows to reach Zero.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Rome_(549%E2%80%93550)

This was a disaster, Rome NEVER really recovered from the Gothic War, the Eastern Empire was broke, 90% of the population of Italy was no more (Either killed or moved to Constantinople. Italy would not really recover for another 400 years.

The Roman water system was intact till the Siege of 537, after 537 Rome no longer had the population or the Wealth to keep up what remains of the system or even to rebuild the system.

Side note: The Aqua Virgo, the only completely underground Aqueduct may have survived the siege of the Goths in 537. The Goths appeared to have tried to use it as way into Rome, but were stopped by Roman efforts. How much the Goths thus stopped the flow of the water and what the Romans did to prevent Gothic move via the Aqueduct is unknown. It was restored to use in late 700s by Pope Adrian I, and then rebuilt in 1453 (Provided it was ever fully NOT in use, being underground harder to destroy that an above ground aqueduct). The 1453 re-opening of the Aqua Virgo is considered by some to be the start of the Roman Renaissance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_Virgo

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Response to happyslug (Reply #50)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 02:01 PM

95. Thanks - great history lesson

I knew some of it, but it helped to have it summed up so nicely.

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Response to hunter (Reply #44)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 07:06 AM

58. They broke the aqueducts, reducing the supply of fresh water to the city.

The population of Rome plummeted afterwards, and the capital actually moved to Ravenna. So you could argue the later dates actually refer to the "fall of Ravenna."

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Response to tclambert (Reply #58)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:37 PM

109. Actually the movement to Revanna was in the 400s, the Aqueducts were NOT breeched till 536

The Western Emperor moved to Revanna when Attila first threaten Rome, but the Capital retain both its prestige and population (and most of its Wealth) till the Gothic War of 525-553 AD. It was in the Gothic War that the Aqueducts were breeched NOT before.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #109)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:02 PM

113. I had the timing wrong. Thanks.

I just repeated something I heard someone say. I didn't double-check it. Sorry for my laziness.

So if you take 476 A.D. as the date for Rome's fall, the aqueducts had nothing to do with it. So it must have been the horseshoes.

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Response to hunter (Reply #44)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 02:58 PM

97. The way they told it in the documentary...

It was part of their strategy to 'cut off the logistical tail'.

That's an interesting theory (the terrorists). Since we went to war to maintain our supply of oil and tried to blame it on terrorists - I believe a parallel could be drawn.

It could be massaged.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:17 PM

21. need more details on the "paradise for homosexuals" please

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:27 PM

23. There used to be a poster here who thought EVERYTHING was analogous to the "fall of the Republic"

A real nutso. tompaine something or other.

Departed after the Bush admin.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:51 AM

46. Oh yeah, I remember him. Was he banned?

I don't remember his stuff all that well, but I do remember the name.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:32 PM

24. You cannot fix stupid.

Men like Mattei look for monsters under their bed at night. They are childishly delusional and so out of touch with history, that they say and write total crap. I would call them pathetic, but in reality they are sad little individuals scared of their breath on cold days.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:40 PM

25. Actually it was constant wars that brought down the Roman empire.

Gee, which country does that remind us all of?

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Response to Crowman1979 (Reply #25)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 08:16 PM

42. Rome's decline and fall is still under both detailed scrutiny and debate.

I'm under the impression that the cause of Rome's decline and fall is still under both detailed scrutiny and debate. However, to be more accurate, implying one cause and only one cause would get any first year classics students laughed out of class.

Diseases (McNeill), cultural malaise (Burke and Toynbee), environmental degradation (deforestation as per Diamond), slavery causing catastrophic loss of jobs (Kagan), political instability, reduced taxes and foreign invasion also contributed to the transformation.

As Bury wrote," The gradual collapse of the Roman power was the consequence of a series of contingent events. No general causes can be assigned that made it inevitable"

Also, try the Pirenne Thesis, published in the 20s yet still remains influential, whose premise is that the actual fall of Roman culture didn't happen until the 8th and 9th centuries as a result of Arab Expansion.

I think saying that X and only X caused the fall of Rome is as vague and diaphanous as saying the WWI was caused by an assassination and only by assassination.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #42)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 02:14 AM

48. Thanks for the history lesson

I too thought the size of the empire and military overspending was the final lynchpin along with squandering of resources and failure to control corruption, especially in the outlying areas. Which sounds exactly like the US. I will definitely check out some of your authors to get a better understanding.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #42)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:40 AM

53. do not forget the 1%

At that time roman society was devided into two classes. The Petricials who seemed to capture virtually all the wealth of the Roman empire, and the Plebians who weer dirt poor. I think this tilted distribution of wealth had a lot to do with the Empire's demise. Please excuse my spelling.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #42)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:57 AM

55. I heard there are something like 200 theories for the decline and fall of Rome.

Including the invention of the horseshoe. All academically debated, coolly rather than hotly. Gibbons did blame it on the rise of Christianity. However, critics of that theory point out that the EASTERN Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) lasted another thousand years, despite an even greater devotion to Christianity.

That's a big problem for any theory of Rome's fall, you have to explain how the Eastern Empire differed and survived for another age. The very success of the Eastern Empire may have contributed to the diminishment of Rome.

Another problem arises from debating over when exactly Rome fell. As the article says, different people refer to different dates and events. Some say it didn't really fall, just "transformed." When Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus, he didn't take the title of Emperor, but did take the title King of Italy, which some see as just emperor by another name. They argue that a vestige of the Roman Empire continued in Frankish realms, and that Charlemagne (first emperor of "The Holy Roman Empire") really was a legitimate successor to the emperors of old.

But I'm sure Sarah Palin can straighten all this out.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #55)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:15 AM

73. I prefer to think the empire didn't die...

it just changed continents to Constantinople. Later, it moved to Moscow.

So it WAS 'em damn commie libruls who killed the Roman Empire!

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #42)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 03:48 PM

103. Was never just one thing.

Many things led to the 'decline of Rome'. A military and Empire spread out way to thin for centralized authority to work. A shift from polytheism to monotheism. A government that could not maintain it's economy. A cultural shift from living in an Empire, to living in a manorial system. Splitting up the Empire into an East and West. The countless German war bands. The endless Barrack Emperors. And about a thousand other reasons that will never make it into the history books.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:50 PM

27. same thing during hitlor rise

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:59 PM

29. Christianity killed the Roman Empire. That, and lead in the pipes.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:00 PM

30. But...But...But, please tell me that Nero at least played his fiddle while the fire burned

This is important, I can't sleep not knowing if Nero was a fiddler or not. Who cares if Nero diddled with other dudes, the fiddle is important!



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Response to Tyrs WolfDaemon (Reply #30)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:03 PM

31. The violin was invented after 1500 AD... but sure. Why not?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:11 PM

32. Ok, I feel better now, thanks.




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Response to Tyrs WolfDaemon (Reply #30)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 08:02 PM

41. He didn't, that is a myth:-(

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Response to Tyrs WolfDaemon (Reply #30)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:21 AM

69. It was a lyre, and probably not

Cassius Dio (100 years later) mentioned that Nero sang on stage during the fire. Tacitus (who actually saw the fire) said Nero was in Actium at the time, but he was aware of a contemporary rumor that he played the lyre while the fire continued. (Even that we probably have the sense of backwards, hearing it today: the fire burned for six days, and the lyre-playing would have probably been a religious ceremony rather than something mocking, if it happened.)

Some historians, incidentally, say that the fire actually was started by Christian fanatics in the city.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:29 PM

33. Et tu, Bruce?

Oh man, I hate to do something so stupid. But my dad always used to think that anyone with the name Bruce had to in some way be associated with gayness, even if it was just in jest.

I'll go shirk away now.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:38 PM

34. a few gays infected a good part of the (Roman) people,"

With what? the flu..... or good hair?

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #34)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:27 AM

51. No no no. Ruby slippers, like Pope Benedict.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:42 PM

35. KR&B...thanks! n/t

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:47 PM

36. So,...the gays won and created the Vatican?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 07:51 PM

37. de Mattei sounds like the Michele Bachmann of Italy

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 08:00 PM

40. The Italians are still mad at Hannibal

For kicking their butts!!!

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 10:48 PM

43. What else did they do right, before they collapsed?

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #43)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 08:53 AM

63. Whate have the Romans ever done for us?

Reg: All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?

Xerxes: The aqueduct.

Reg: Oh yeah, yeah they gave us that. Yeah. That's true.

Masked Activist: And the sanitation!

Stan: Oh yes... sanitation, Reg, you remember what the city used to be like.

Reg: All right, I'll grant you that the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done...

Matthias: And the roads...

Reg: (sharply) Well yes obviously the roads... the roads go without saying. But apart from the aqueduct, the sanitation and the roads...

Another Masked Activist: Irrigation...

Other Masked Voices: Medicine... Education... Health...

Reg: Yes... all right, fair enough...

Activist Near Front: And the wine...

Omnes: Oh yes! True!

Francis: Yeah. That's something we'd really miss if the Romans left, Reg.

Masked Activist at Back: Public baths!

Stan: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now.

Francis: Yes, they certainly know how to keep order... (general nodding)... let's face it, they're the only ones who could in a place like this. (more general murmurs of agreement)

Reg: All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

Xerxes: Brought peace!

Reg: (very angry, he's not having a good meeting at all) What!? Oh... (scornfully) Peace, yes... shut up!

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Response to hatrack (Reply #63)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:13 AM

72. LOL!

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:49 AM

45. Funny how these Xtian homophobes deplore Rome

when discussing the prevalence of homosexual relationships in Roman life and then, in the next breath, suggest that it's a pity homosexual relationships brought down Rome.

It's like, the whole world and their entire reality revolves around hating gay people. They will say everything and anything if it has even a remote chance of making even just one more fundie Xtian hate gay people. Even if it directly contradicts what they said 5 minutes ago.

Not that that's news to anyone who reads, but just making that observation.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #45)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:49 AM

54. The level of cognitive dissonance required really is staggering.

nt

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:55 AM

47. And the fact that "Empire" fell

 

And Rome still exists. In a much diminished form.

Hmmm...

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:38 AM

52. Well...we are following them in a few ways

Wealth distribution is growing. And we are getting fat and lazy.

Rome in its final years had increasing problems with its social classes and they had no solution for it.

The banks and corporations are eating away at America the same way the wealthy ate away at Roman farmers and took their land. The balance between the classes has been destroyed and it's becoming increasingly favorable to one side.

So yes we are going down that path. Greed destroyed Rome. And it will eventually destroy us as well.

Homosexuals though had nothing to do with it.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:59 AM

57. Now see....THAT is the REAL problem...


Us liberal/snotty/eastern ivy school edjumacated lefties are always, always coming up with facts. Don't we realize that the great flying spaghetti monster in the sky and all his faithful don need no stinkin facts.

All they need is some red meat, and a thumb to suck on.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 08:24 AM

59. ...........

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 08:41 AM

60. Love it!

Why didn't we have discussions like this in history class? That would have made high school much more bearable and educational!

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 08:48 AM

62. Rome collapsed because of it's greedy emperialism

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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #62)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:12 AM

66. That is facil and ahistoric.

First we must agree on terms: are we talking about the sack of Rome in 410 or the Eastern Roman Empire.

Sack of Rome was caused by .... there is a bunch of things. Some people lay the blame at the Marian Reforms. Yes, even the Marian Reforms. I just think it fell because of the Huns, who started pushing everyone west. The proximate cause was pissing off the Visagoths - but there were larger forces at work.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:04 AM

64. The fall of Rome;

According to About.com;

http://ancienthistory.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=ancienthistory&cdn=education&tm=12&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=6&bts=6&zu=http%3A//www.utexas.edu/courses/rome/210reasons.html

I read, listened to the abridged, still 20 some hours, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.'

I'm sure he gave several reasons for this event, but my recollection of these are clouded by a decade or more since listening to them.

But here are 210 reasons About.com gives.

Not sure what constitutes fair use as this web page is not broken down into paragraphs;

Abolition of gods

Abolition of rights

Absence of character

Absolutism

Agrarian question

Agrarian slavery

Anarchy

Anti-Germanism

Apathy

Aristocracy

Asceticism

Attack of the Germans

Attack of the Huns

Attack of riding nomads

Backwardness in science

Bankruptcy

Barbarization

Bastardization

Blockage of land by large landholders

Blood poisoning

Bolshevization ( I had to look this one up. Seems this is a term meaning to 'to bring under the influence or domination of Bolshevists; render Bolshevik or Bolshevistic'. Funny, as the term originated in 1915-1931 and Communism not much earlier.)

Bread and circuses

Bureaucracy

Byzantinism

Capillarite sociale (Again, Looking up the term, it means the 'the striving of each social molecule to rise higher than the organism'. This causes infecundity.

Capitalism

Capitals, change of

Caste system

Celibacy (See above)

Centralization

Childlessness (A lot of redundancy)

Christianity (Too funny!)

Citizenship, granting of

Civil war

Climatic deterioration (A new one on me)

Communism (See above)

Complacency

Concatenation of misfortunes (connection, as in a chain. Me thinks I need to brush up on my vocabulary!)

Conservatism

Corruption

Cosmopolitanism

Crisis of legitimacy

Culinary excess

Cultural neurosis

Decentralization

Decline of Nordic character (?)

Decline of the cities

Decline of the Italian population (See above. This is also happening in most industrialized nations with the birth rate not keeping up with the deaths.)

Deforestation

Degeneration (I wonder what this encompasses?)

Degeneration of the intellect

Demoralization

Depletion of mineral resources

Despotism

Destruction of environment (wonder if ancient Rome had their own version of the Koch Brothers?)

Destruction of peasantry

Destruction of political process

Destruction of Roman influence

Devastation

Differences in wealth (So many parallels to modern times.)

Disarmament (2nd amendment, 2nd amendment :rofl

Disillusion with stated (?)

AND ON AND ON...

Division of empire

Division of labor

Earthquakes

Egoism

Egoism of the state

Emancipation of slaves

Enervation

Epidemics

Equal rights, granting of

Eradication of the best

Escapism

Ethnic dissolution

Excessive aging of population

Excessive civilization

Excessive culture

Excessive foreign infiltration

Excessive freedom

Excessive urbanization

Expansion

Exploitation

Fear of life

Female emancipation

Feudalization

Fiscalism

Gladiatorial system

Gluttony

Gout

Hedonism

Hellenization

Heresy

Homosexuality

Hothouse culture

Hubris

Hypothermia

Immoderate greatness

Imperialism

Impotence

Impoverishment

Imprudent policy toward buffer states

Inadequate educational system

Indifference

Individualism

Indoctrination

Inertia

Inflation

Intellectualism

Integration, weakness of

Irrationality

Jewish influence

Lack of leadership

Lack of male dignity

Lack of military recruits

Lack of orderly imperial succession

Lack of qualified workers

Lack of rainfall

Lack of religiousness

Lack of seriousness

Large landed properties

Lead poisoning

Lethargy

Leveling, cultural

Leveling, social

Loss of army discipline

Loss of authority

Loss of energy

Loss of instincts

Loss of population

Luxury

Malaria

Marriages if convenience

Mercenary system

Mercury damage

Militarism

Monetary economy

Monetary greed

Money, shortage of

Moral decline

Moral idealism

Moral materialism

Mystery religions

Nationalism of Rome's subjects

Negative selection

Orientalization

Outflow of gold

Over refinement

Pacifism

Paralysis of will

Paralyzation

Parasitism

Particularism

Pauperism

Plagues

Pleasure seeking

Plutocracy

Polytheism

Population pressure

Precociousness

Professional army

Proletarization

Prosperity

Prostitution

Psychoses

Public baths

Racial degeneration

Racial discrimination

Racial suicide

Rationalism

Refusal of military service

Religious struggles and schisms

Rentier mentality

Resignation

Restriction to profession

Restriction to the land

Rhetoric

Rise of uneducated masses

Romantic attitudes to peace

Ruin of middle class

Rule of the world

Semieducation

Sensuality

Servility

Sexuality

Shamelessness

Shifting of trade routes

Slavery

Slavic attacks

Socialism (of the state)

Soil erosion

Soil exhaustion

Spiritual barbarism

Stagnation

Stoicism

Stress

Structural weakness

Superstition

Taxation, pressure of

Terrorism

Tiredness of life

Totalitarianism

Treason

Tristesse

Two-front war

Underdevelopment

Useless eaters

Usurpation of all powers by the state

Vain gloriousness

Villa economy

Vulgarization



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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:06 AM

65. Roman Empire fell in 1453 -

First, Carthage was razed by the Roman Republic.

Second, the first "emperor" was Julius Caesar who was killed in BC 44. After another civil war, Octavian became "emperor".

Third, in 800 Charlamagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor - and what a funny piece of work that was, goofy Donation of Constantine and all that.

In 1453 the Ottoman Turks took Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul - cue They Might Be Giants. Constantinople was the seat of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Heck, the Tsars of Russia considered themselves to be the heirs to the Eastern Roman Empire, thus Tsar is Russian for Caesar.

The Roman Empire did not fall. It changed. It took a long time. Arguably parts of it are still alive today.

And what exactly did homosexuals have to do with any of this? By any definition the Roman Empire was one of the longest Empires in history. If it was filled with teh gay, then maybe we need more of teh gay.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #65)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 11:11 AM

84. AngryAmish

AngryAmish

Julius Casar was never a Emperor - he was a Dictator - but never a emperor - he hold empire as commander of an army - but again he was never an Emperor, that be in name or in deed.

Octavian, who hermitages Casar and was given all his land, and all his riches - and also was able to be powerfully enough to play the game of a nasty civil war - he in 31 BC, was given all power in the republic.. By who the way - he was able in a way Casar never was able to make believe the virtuous of the Republic was dear to him.. Octavian was a great power player, who, when he was had the power - was given more power than any other representative for a Republic even could dream about.. And he was smart enough also to make sure the cloth of the Empire was colored in a way who could not offend even the strictest of republicans...

The Empire as an idea have never really disbanded - even today the dream of an empire have its supporters - in Europe it is notable EU, who could in some way bee seeing as a form of Empire - with a common currency and it all - who when Euro was put on the table, was heralded as the first time an european could use the same coinage in all of europe...

The Western part of the roman empire was more or less disbanded by 475, even though it existed as a idea - even after Charlemagne was old and dead, and by the way, the way Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the West, was a coup from the then Pope who needed a protector who could defend the Papal estates from enemies and who in Charlemagne found both a friend - and an allied - as Charlemagne was trying to build up a Christian empire... And in most of his rule, he was out waging war against enemies - that be germanic tribes who was yet to fold into the christian fold - or slavic ones who also had not found christ... It was a messy time - and it is amazing that Charlemagne was able to build anything.. The few pieces we still have from that time - document a interest in roman history - that be in building or in idea..
But it is also interesting to se, that by 800 a more European idea had grown up than before.. The Western part of the old empire, who for the most part had been not to interesting from a trading part, was starting to really wake up - new towns, new trading city's, new trade routes over the western part of the continent had been shaped by new settlements, after the messy "dark ages", by 800, the middle ages was starting coming into light - and Charlemagne was one of them, who made education one of the hallmark of his rule. And under his rule - a lot of benefits was made possible - new schools - in the Shadow of the church was build - monasteries, who was in most cases center for education was made possible - and new land was made possible by cleaning the forrest - and even new tools was make aviable... In all, the 800s was not a bad time to live, if you was a fitfully christian who was had interest in education...

The Eastern Empire, was able to make it all the way to 1453, Even though, by 1400 it was not exactly any empire to speak about - and the City itself was nothing like the old city who government a prosperous empire. But it was seen as the greatest city in the christian world - up until the sack of the ottomans in 1453, when the ottomans took Constantinople - but by the way - the city was not re-named before 1924, when Constantinople was renamed Istanbul. For most of the time, the city was named Constantinople named after the emperor who made the city his capital - in the 300s.. Mostly because it was a great trading city - and because it was far more strategic for the eastern part of the empire than Rome was by then..

The Russian empire claimed to be the hairs of Eastern Roman - as one of the grand dukes of Moscow was married to one of the last princesses of the Eastern Empire. The russians took that idea to Heath, and all the way forward to 1917, the russian emperors claimed to be the hairs of the last emperors of the old roman empire..

The idea of an empire is still very well even today - but it is doubtfully a new roman empire wile arise from the ashes today

I doubt gay people had anything with the sack of Rome, or the end of the roman empire.. To be fair - it was far more dangerous things in motion, than gay people, who ended the empire... It is just stupid, silly to claim that gay people was making the roman empire broke... But silly people tend to talk silly - and not even think about how silly they really is when they is speaking.

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #84)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 11:38 AM

87. Diclotican:

Last edited Fri Mar 29, 2013, 10:27 AM - Edit history (1)

I think we both are familiar enough with the subject matter to know where the facts are and where the disagreements lie.

It is my firm belief that Julius Caesar was an "emperor" in all but name. Dictator for life is not exactly the office that Cincinnatus served, no? The Republic was dead and ever after the Senate was a joke. (BTW, I think Caesar needed killing but that is neither here nor there).

And, to paraphrases Larry Holmes, if you want to be technical Constantinople probably would not have fallen if the FOurth Crusade did not weaken the empire by sacking the capital city. Then again, the Turks had cannons and the Walls did not keep them safe after that...

anyway, cheers!

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #87)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:01 PM

88. AngryAmish

AngryAmish

The devil live in the details I suspect - and in this I think we know where the devil lies - in the details .. But it is relative correct to say that he was a emperor - in all but name - he was Dictator Life - even though it was not as the office Cincinatus had, when he was dictator for 6 mounts- and then walked home to his farm, to plow the field as he had being doing before he was given the office of Dictator to save the Republic from devastation when some Gauls was make the Republic at un-ease..

For the most part, the Republic was dead long before Julius Casar killed off the rest of it, and it was released by the Empire, who lasted for more than 1000 year after the fact... And it was killed, ny by outside enemies - but by inner enemies, and ambitious families who believed they had the right to rule the Republic as they was seeing fit.. The consequences of it, was a corruption of the core the old families, who once had hold the highest offices, not for the purpose of roaching them self, but for the good of the Republic, used the resources they could grab - to destroy the republic from within... By the time of Casar the Republic was a mess, who no one could control anymore.. It was a logical step from the view of Casar, to govern the state from his own office, rather than from the Senate.. And by the end of his life - and the start of the Empire, Senate was not as it once was - it had no real power - rather it was more and more like a gentleman's club, who sometimes could tell the emperor to F*** U, but for the most part was doing the bidding of the emperor - as the emperor had control over the armies...

And it is correct - to assume that Constantinople would not have ended as it did - if it was not for the 4th crusade who sacked the hearth of the eastern roman empire, plundered it, and sacked it in a way it never was able to really recover from... But until the 4th crusade, Containable was one of the greatest City's on the face of the earth - and for the most part, also a city where scholars, and education was king.. And the eastern empire had a decent education, until the 1400s - and most of the west benefited greatly from the influx of people who shoos ed to leave Constantinople before the end - because of the high quality of education - and scholars who was ready to educated the west.. Most of the knowledge the east had - was given back to the west european country's even if it would take some time for it to be accepted as knowledge as such,..

But, it is a point to make here - in the eyes of the christian world, by 1453, it was a horrible defeat when Constantinople was overrun by the ottomans - and it is said, it was one of the real reasons the kings of the west choose to work together rather than the opposite to try to stop the ottomans from taking over all of Europe.. And the fear of the turks is even today, many, many hundreds of years still there in most of europe... It is just not political correct to say it..

Diclotican

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #65)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 11:13 AM

120. But it tripped in 1301.

A very unlucky year for them.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:14 AM

67. Well it depends which "collapse" you're talking about

The crisis of the third century? The end of the Tetrarchy? The sacking of Rome? Each of those is 200 years or so from the others. That's roughly how long our country has been around.

If you were to put us on Rome's timeline, 1783 would correspond to 509 BC (independence from the monarchy). So 230 years later would be 270 BC. This was the year of the consulship of Clepsina and Blasio, and by this point Rome was just bringing the Italian peninsula under her sway. This was the year Hamilcar Barca (father of Hannibal) was born. So look out for children of people born this year; don't let them have elephants.

The entire Mediterranean was still Greek; from Syracuse in Sicily around to Alexandria in Egypt Latin wasn't even known yet, and Greek was what would get you everywhere.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:27 AM

70. It should be no shock...

That the folks that have no grasp of science have no grasp of history either!

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:34 AM

71. k&r nt

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:25 AM

74. Best post ever. +1 this religious studies undergrad luvs you

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:28 AM

75. Many scientists think we didn't even have full consciousness until 2000 years ago or so.

So analogies to Rome, IMO, are strained at best. Because of the Industrial Revolution and technology, we are a much different culture.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:31 AM

77. Read: The Rise amd Fall of the Greatest Powers by Paul Kennedy. We are on the way.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:34 AM

78. Every great empire that rises up will come down. I remember back in 1966 when my English

 

teacher (of all people) got on the subject of empires. He told our class that at some point our empire will fall. I remember thinking OMG what will that mean to all of us. Will we become a 3rd world country. It was an interesting discussion. He got me into reading. But now I keep thinking we are acting like an empire. America minds everyone's business but their own. I don't blame other countries for not liking our country. I know I sure wouldn't want another country telling us what to do.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:34 AM

79. Yep, thanking you for the history lesson as well

I enjoyed reading that.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:48 AM

81. so maybe the real things that brought down Rome are happening today here

big gap between rich and the poor
austerity
failed war effort/conquest at any cost
used up natural resources

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 11:09 AM

83. Dear God, save us from your followers.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 11:18 AM

85. "We are doing what the Roman Empire did right before it Collapsed"

If I were grading this as a school assignment I'd give it no better than a C-. The Roman Empire had moved its capital to Constantinople over 100 years before Rome fell in 475 CE. Byzantium lasted another millennium as a Christian empire.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 11:32 AM

86. Another reason I've seen mooted...

... as contributing to the fall of Rome which we are also doing: the change from a citizen army to a professional mercenary force. I think Gibbon mentions this as well, although obviously he sweats the Christians the most. Makes a better argument for the Fall of the Republic, since even after citizens were exempted from military service (and Citizenship was extended to most Italians), the Empire continued. But the argument that once a military becomes a professional force isolated from the community it serves, that it owes its loyalty only to its generals, has some merit, although it doesn't appear to have adversely affected the British Empire.

-- Mal

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:07 PM

89. This just proves that historians have edited the dates.

Because historians are obviously under the sway of the homo-fascist illuminati! Let us not forget that Hitler was gay and hated Poland because it was straight. Or something.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:58 PM

91. The Heart of the Matter

 

The lifestyle issue reflects our human need for relationship. I believe the fall of humanity is strikingly based on our lack of understanding with respect to our relationships as living beings even before our humanity. At this crossroads of human existence, all people have perhaps for the first time an opportunity to fight the same fight to restore a sustainable relationship with all other living systems on the planet. An after winning this monumental battle together, a new relatedness should lead to greater understanding regarding all other issues humanity is facing. A google search of the pledge of the Rainbow Warriors elaborates on this togetherness...

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 01:50 PM

94. Holy geez!

I right-wing friend of mine told me Rome fell because of socialism. They provided help to the poor and Rome went into debt and collapsed.

This was during her epic rant about Obamacare and how socialistic it was. She got really emotional and drifted from one topic to the next, ignoring every fact I used back. I just sat back and listened, realizing that the truth has no effect on these people.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 03:20 PM

98. This de Mattei fellow needs to chill....

Overly simplistic, sweeping judgements about complex affairs in history annoy me. A lot. I suppose its a useful ploy if all your listeners/viewers know about history comes from television and movies. But the "teh gays!/commies!/fluoride! are corrupting our values and making us collapse, just like Rome" argument is just silly. I'm not even going to go into the rather different views the ancient world had about sexuality, but if that Italian scholar was so worked up about Carthage, he should have been apoplectic about Greece--you know that place where the Romans got and looked to for culture and the arts?

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Response to markbark (Reply #98)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:38 PM

106. Yes.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 03:34 PM

99. literally split it in half and Byzantinize the good half?

feed chickens while Germans pound the ex-capital? replace the figurehead with a German ruler to rule in your stead, then try to reconquer it and then give the general the boot at the behest of your gross, goose-loving wife?

Alexander Septimus's assassination meant a military anarchy that almost brought the whole kaboodle down, and by 300 Aurelian and Diocletian (and the decades of Chinese-epic-level war) had made the Empire totally unrecognizable--utterly unlike anything we associate with "Rome"

as for Rome, it fell a few dozen times, and got sacked in 411 and 455: it was *over* for the West!

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 03:44 PM

102. Math and history challenged asshats...knr...thanks.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:02 PM

104. happened to the spanish empire as well. we don't PRODUCE anymore. we just push money around.

kevin philip's american theocracy is a good primer. part 1 + 3. ignore part 2. it's boring.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:47 PM

107. If I remember my history right

the real reason Rome fell was the greed and corruption of the rich and the ruling class

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:50 PM

108. Before the Roman Empire collapsed the Dow Jones reached record highs?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:42 PM

114. "Rise And Fall of the Roman Empire" Suggests the same thing

That it was Christianity becoming the state religion that eventually brought down the Roman empire. Before that, Romans were united by civitas, or civic duty. Christianity replaced that with duty towards the Church, not the State. Of course, droughts, wandering barbarian tribes, plagues, and drinking from lead pipes also helped bring down Rome. But, Caligula and Nero were NOT the cause of the fall of Rome. There were many emperors after them.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 01:10 AM

116. Rome lasted longer after Caligula


than the US has even been around. They find pornographic art in Pompei that's from about 79 CE, and Rome still lasted almost 400 more years.

Not only that, if you count the Eastern Byzantine empire, arguably Rome lasted a thousand years after that.

In fact, if you look at the history of Rome, they pretty much hand no notion of obscenity from the very beginning.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 03:16 AM

117. I would think

that what we're doing that matches Rome before the fall is extending ourselves militarily too much and our nation can't support the financial burden.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 03:56 AM

118. I don't think it was The Gay or The Christian

But we are following in the Roman Empire's footsteps, for sure.

1) The rest of the world either hates us, fears us, or both.
Our dismissive attitude makes their resentment and fear worse.
If I were a citizen of another country, I would be afraid of the
U.S. invading, placing sanctions on, or "droning" my country --
and then being powerless to stop it.

2) Our government is completely CORRUPTED by money and
special interest. The "public interest" does not matter anymore.

3) Our foreign policy has become too militaristic. We rule by edict
of the sword. Most of our taxes go towards funding the military.
We believe and act as though we are above the rule of international
laws. Empires always collapse under the weight of their own excesses.

4) We over-extend our reach and over-stay our welcome by the
interference and occupation in other countries and other governments.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have wasted trillions of dollars and killed
many people.

5) The moral fiber of our society is rotting from the inside. Human life
has no value (e.g. the poor, working class, minorities, immigrants, etc.)
We glorify violence, warfare, and obscenely gluttonous wealth. We legalize
and legitimize the oppression of other people -- foreign and domestic.

6) Washington D.C. fiddles around while our country is burning.

The conflation of religion and politics in Rome (and in America) are symptoms
of the overall dysfunction, not the cause. Corrupted, amoral rulers use
religion in order to provide the pretense of moral authority and to manipulate
the masses. If Islam were the official religion, or Scientology, the results
would have been the same. The collapse was gradual and took time. This
country started heading south after Reagan was elected. That was 1980.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 09:19 AM

119. Best line...

"Blaming Nero for the fall of Rome is like blaming the stock market crash of 1987 on Ben Franklin's womanizing."

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