Saturday, June 18, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 31 - Are We Rome?

Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of Americaby Cullen Murphy

Started: June 18
Finished: June 24

Notes: I've long been fascinated with the classical period history of Rome, mainly because I see so many similarities between the Roman Republic period and the Roman Empire with American history and politics. In college I minored in classical history and could have received a bachelors degree if I had remained in college one more year; instead, I moved into the working world after complete my journalism degree. I still get drawn to Roman history from time to time, and this book comparing ancient Rome to modern America drew me in, especially as it is written by a former editor of The Atlantic.

Mini review: One of the things I found interesting about this book was the differences the author points out between Rome and America. Also interesting is the idea that the Roman Empire possibly might not have ever really fallen, but did cease to exist as a legal entity at an immediate point in time, but the culture and society of ancient Rome continued on for a good long time, even being felt today in many ways (the Catholic Church, the U.S. form of government, the latin-based languages, etc.). Still, there are enough similarities between Rome and America that it is possible to make a few estimated guesses at America's long-term future, none of which are overly bright for the official entity known as the United States of America. That's not to say the U.S. will cease to exist in the near future, but that the waves of time will likely eventually wash away this great nation. Perhaps that is the way of things.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I definitely had a brief Roman period back in my teenaged years, but didn't stay with it. There are so MANY intersting historical periods. I think that's the problem.