This is a book review about James J. O’Donnell’s recent volume on the 6th-century Roman Empire — it deals of course with the issue of “why did Rome fall?” O’Donnell’s writing is amusing and makes interesting comparisons between the Emperor Justinian and George W. Bush, in that they both set the stage for the future ruin of their respective empires. This was published previously at DailyKos.com — but I’ve decided to bring it back to Docudharma, especially since youse guys have decided to stick around!
Tag: Roman Empire
Feb 11 2008
Would-be imperialists beware: You gotta be careful when you go to pick a fight with a country possessed of a 5000-year history, for such a nation will inevitably have in its historical record an example of every kind of victory and every kind of loss, and every kind of human triumph and failing in between. In these countries, ideas like a Declaration of Human Rights aren’t imports; they’re the original products of ancestors and fellow countrymen. Been through a few golden ages, followed by periods of decline and ruin? Check. Dealt with foreign aggressors and internal revolt? Check. Been led by people that history remembers as “the Great,” as well as by guys so incompetent that they make George W. Bush look adequate? Check.
Join me, if you will, in the Cave of the Moonbat, where tonight we’ll take a look at Persia in the Classical Age – and find out that Iran’s willingness (and ability) to go toe-to-toe with the West’s greatest superpowers is not something that first emerged in the Era of Petroleum. As a courtesy to the neo-imps among us, I should give fair warning: We may also find that the Iranian contemporaries of Rome influenced the makings of our modern world far more than might first seem apparent.