View Poll Results: The fall of Rome equals US today?

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  • Yes, absolutely

    12 25.00%
  • Some similarities, but not really

    21 43.75%
  • No, not at all

    14 29.17%
  • Other (please elaborate)

    1 2.08%
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Thread: The fall of Rome equals US today?

  1. #41
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by shrubnose View Post
    No, absolutely not.

    Rome fell, the USA has not fallen and right now it is the dominant power on this planet.

    I'm not saying that it will always be that way, but those are the facts right now.
    I don't think anyone's suggested we've actually fallen, but since we're already dropping down the list on an increasing number of scales we might as well explore what, if any, similarities we share with previous empires who lost their empire/superpower status.

  2. #42
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Like it or not the theory of lead poisoning is not only very logical, but can be backed up by historical records on how Roman elite ate and conducted themselves. It is no different that the first Emperor of China going mad due to Mercury poisoning because he ate mercury every day which is also an historical fact. That they now have found his tomb location and have discovered massive amounts of mercury leaking from the tomb, also proves the myth of the design of the tomb and his love of mercury.

    Fact is that the Roman Empire had leaders that did not live long, especially during the latter part of the empire, and had some crazy ass ones at that.. Nero and Caligula are only the famous ones, but they are hardly alone. The fact is that many of these leaders died without any heirs which lead to civil wars and so on. And the fact is that the water pipes in ancient Rome were made of lead and that lead was seen by Roman's as a miracle metal. It is not a myth but a fact. It is just a fact that has been overshadowed by other theories, often politically motivated, to explain why the Roman Empire died over several hundred years.

    Now the Roman Empire lasted for 1000 years, where as the US has only been around as a powerhouse for maybe 150 years if we stretch it a bit, but more like 80 years. It took the Roman Empire centuries to decline and dissolve, where as we cant say for the US yet.. other than the decline has started.
    Like it or not, but this argument has also been a source of contention for decades, even with strenuous warnings from proponents of the theory. A relatively recent journal article highlights many of these issues. For instance, see F.P. Retief and L. Cilliers "Lead Poisoning in Ancient Rome" in Acta Theologica Volume 26, no. 2 (2006), pages 147-164.

    However, Scarborough (1984:469-475) and Needleman & Needleman (1985:63-94) warn that calculations of lead consumption must be critically scrutinised. Although sapa prepared in leaden containers would indutibly have contained toxic levels of lead, the use of leaden containers was popular but not necessarily general. The exact amount of sapa added to wine was not standardised either, and we have no idea how often sapa was added, or which wines were treated in this way. (Page 159)
    Likewise, "The disappearance of aristocratic family names does not necessarily indicate a decline in the number of noble families, but that the complex composition of the aristocracy was subject to constant change during the Empire, and that many other factors besides lead could have been responsible for the apparent decline in the numbers of the aristocracy and the reduction of family size." (Page 160).

    We also do not have much in the way of documentation to ultimately demonstrate that widespread lead poisoning was much of a factor (Page 160), but we may know that ancient Romans may have ingested "less than half that of modern Europeans," at least part of the time (Page 160-161).

    Beware of the single factor explanation of complex social and political changes. It will do you some good.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 02-26-14 at 12:37 PM.
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  3. #43
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    I think the comparisons to Rome usually just result in very poor analogies. It's the attempt to fit the square pegs of modern policy dilemmas into the circles of Roman civilizational woes. Even the tropes like 'Roman military spending' aren't as simple or accurate as they are being presented and certainly can't be easily compared to the United States or any other country in the world today. The differences between our world and theirs is more extraordinary than we give ourselves credit for.

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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    I think the Roman, Persian, Ottoman and British Empires all fell for similar reasons of over extension, wars, internal/political strife, economic stress and change. Eventually some form of oppression always begins to form against a certain group.

    We're definitely seeing the signs of those problems starting here, but I'm not sure how close we are to decline or dissolution.
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    The fall of Rome equals US today?

    You hear this a lot. People pointing out the poarallels between the US today and the fall of the Roman empire. Implying, of course, that we are on the downslope of our phase as a country.

    Do you believe this is true? If so, why? If not, why not?
    Many do not discern the difference between the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.

    A reasonable, concerning same, site for perusal of those interested:

    Roman Republic vs. Roman Empire - Historum - History Forums

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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Translation: "Imperial Presidencies are ones that do things by Executive Order and Signing Statements that I don't agree with."
    Constitutionally, it's not legal. whether I like them or not.
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  7. #47
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    The main reason of the fall of the Roman Empire was more sinister and historians are beginning to realize this. The Roman Empire had a massive population decline of "true Romans" and especially among the powerful elite. This caused massive problems over many many decades and even centuries. The reason was rather simple... lead poisoning.

    Roman water systems were built with lead pipes and there was a belief among the upper classes that lead was good for you. What we know today is it is far from it and causes things like insanity and sterility.

    This eventually lead to a weak Empire and hence its downfall.
    True. it could totally affected their judgment and reasoning across the board.
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  8. #48
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    The fall of Rome equals US today?

    You hear this a lot. People pointing out the poarallels between the US today and the fall of the Roman empire. Implying, of course, that we are on the downslope of our phase as a country.

    Do you believe this is true? If so, why? If not, why not?
    1 The US empire (or whatever it has been/is) does not cover almost all of the known world.

    2 It has not lasted a thousand or so years (for the western part) or 2000 for the rest of it.

    3 It has not been vastly successful in war, destroying and conquering almost all before it.

    4 It is not undergoing a slow stagnation of culture and innovation.

    5 It is able to recruit soldiers into it's forces from all sections of it's society. There is no irreplaceable soldier cast.

    6 It is not in the throws of several vastly depopulating plagues. This was especially sever in the western Roman empire in the 5th century. The eastern half only lost about half of it's population.

    7 There are not significant military threats attacking it.

    8 It is the most advanced military technologically nation as opposed to Rome having been surpassed in many ways.

  9. #49
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    The fall of Rome equals US today?

    You hear this a lot. People pointing out the poarallels between the US today and the fall of the Roman empire. Implying, of course, that we are on the downslope of our phase as a country.

    Do you believe this is true? If so, why? If not, why not?
    There is no similarity between the Roman Empire and the USA. None.
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  10. #50
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Can't really answer because I haven't significantly studied the Roman empire. I do think some of our efforts abroad in the 2000's could be similar to the overreach of an empire; though I thought the war on terror's issues were more a wonderful analog to our efforts to spend the soviets into oblivion in the cold war as opposed to anything to do with Rome.

    Claiming Obama is a "Usurper" however is foolish. 8 years of that crap with Bush and now we have to put up with it for Obama. Will doomcriers please go away? When a President actually makes a push to go beyond 8 years THEN I may start giving them Robert Baratheon's title. Before that, meh. I disagree with a lot of what he's doing too, but Usurper is ridiculous.
    Well here's something to chew on:

    Roman usurper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
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