The Roman Empire is gone just like many others before it. It’s been a minute since I had the luxury of time to read The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. A very good book. Had I the time I’d read Will and Ariel Durant’s the Story of Western Civilization again.
I still remember how my father, with such incredible recall, could pull a verse from one of the 11 volumes and describe something he read decades prior. My brother and I looked at him in amazement. How did this old dude have such mental powers? Time in. Every man has areas of his empire that he needs to develop. Some do and some don’t. He read the classics, practiced Karate, traveled the world, and wrote on technology for universities.
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The English historian Edward Gibbon traced Western civilization from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium. Oswald Spengler noted nearly 20 + civilizations rose and fell due to infighting from their leadership. Spengler’s model of history postulated that any culture is a superorganism with a limited and predictable lifespan. I didn’t like his view on industrialism and racism nor his politics but his viewpoint was interesting.
The Romans fought with outsiders, those Barbarian tribes, and also fought battles within. I give a lot of thought to men who fight the undulating waves of emotion that roil inside the heart. An old tale tells of a Greek warrior, who in losing his mind, fought the ocean waves with the iron rods held in his hands. The movie Gladiator did a fine job of showing the Romans battling an ocean sized army of German tribes. If we can learn anything from history it is that we cannot deal with the insurrections that come from without until we strengthen the empire within. We must do the work to build more than just columns of stone or our weaponry for the armory. We must work on our mind, spirit, heart and social networks to keep our empire strong. You cannot fight an ocean with iron.
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