Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble

Rome, that is to say ancient Rome “fell”. Every schoolkid knows that. But a thought occurs to me. Was it the hordes of heathens knocking at the gate that told Romans, in a manner not unlike Nicholson in The Shining that “Here’s Gothy…!” as they chopped their way through that gate? Or were there subtler tides that crept unceasingly over the togas on the beach?

I bet ‘austerity’ is how the Roman Empire began to crumble; first the roads, then social services and the ability to defend themselves come what may. We nowadays think decline’s a temporary, partisan and fixable thing when it’s almost certainly the whimper preceding the bang.

“Ancient footprints are everywhere. You can almost think that you’re seeing double.”

 

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