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The long life of the death of the Roman Empire.

20210825edwardjwatts

For us, this isn't about recovering from crisis, it's instead about a crisis that leads to the end of something great, something that achieved tremendous things but eventually no longer existed. The fall of Rome becomes a tool to highlight not how we can recover from a problem - but how the problem can kill us, how the problem can eliminate our society. In some ways that's even more dangerous that what the Romans we doing, because we're not promising recovery at all.

Historian Edward J. Watts on the political use of declinist rhetoric around the Roman Empire - from Rome itself to the American present - and his book The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome: The History of a Dangerous Idea from Oxford University Press.

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Edwardjwatts
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Edward J. Watts

Edward J. Watts is Alkiviadis Vassiliadis Endowed Chair and Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego.

 

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