Is America following the path of the ancient Roman Republic? Will we, as one of the greatest superpowers in human history, one day crash and burn like the Romans did in the fifth century?
In addition to our excesses, over-indulgences and moral decadence, there are many serious problems that confront America – war fatigue, illegal immigration, our dependence on foreign oil, health care, education and huge budget deficits, just to name a few.
“We have to reach some kind of crisis,” he said, “that’s when true change will occur.” For the Roman republic, the crisis was the return to monarchy when Julius Caesar took control. But what will be the tipping point for the United States?
Tag Archives: Fifth Century
My point is that when you look back on the history of past civilizations, a striking feature is the speed with which most of them collapsed, regardless of the cause.
The Roman Empire didn’t decline and fall sedately, as historians used to claim. It collapsed within a few decades in the early fifth century, …
The Ming dynasty’s rule in China also fell apart with extraordinary speed in the mid–17th century, …
A more recent and familiar example of precipitous decline is, of course, the collapse of the Soviet Union. …
What all these collapsed powers have in common is that the complex social systems that underpinned them suddenly ceased to function. One minute rulers had legitimacy in the eyes of their people; the next they didn’t.
Marathon—one of history’s most pivotal battles. Its very name evokes images of almost superhuman courage, endurance, and fighting spirit. But until now, the story of what happened at Marathon has been told exclusively through the narrow viewpoint of specialists in antiquity. In this eye-opening new book, acclaimed journalist Jim Lacey, both a military historian and a combat veteran, takes a fresh look at Marathon and reveals why the battle happened, how it was fought, and whether, in fact, it saved Western civilization.
Lacey brilliantly reconstructs the world of the fifth century B.C. leading up to the astonishing military defeat of the Persian Empire by the vastly undermanned but determined Greek defenders. Using the seminal work of Herodotus as his starting point, Lacey reconstructs the tactical and strategic scenario of the battle, including how many combatants each side might have used and who actually led the Greeks. He also disputes the long-repeated myths of Athenian inexperience and effete Persian arrogance.
With the kind of vivid detail that characterizes the best modern war reportage, Lacey shows how the heavily armed Persian army was shocked, demoralized, and ultimately defeated by the relentless assault of the Athenian phalanx, which battered the Persian line in a series of brutal attacks. He reveals the fascinating aftermath of Marathon, how its fighters became the equivalent of our “Greatest Generation,” and challenges the view of many historians that Marathon ultimately proved the Greek “Western way of war” to be the superior strategy for fighting—and winning—battles to the present day.
Immediate, visceral, and full of new analyses that defy decades of conventional wisdom, The First Clash is a superb interpretation of a conflict that indeed made the world safe for Aristotle, Plato, and our own modern democracy. But it was also a battle whose legacy and lessons have often been misunderstood—perhaps, now more than ever, at our own peril.
Judgment Day at Marathon – Battles BC – History Channel