Western Civilisation

Latin Lessons

Analogies are frequently drawn between the Roman empire and the West. Permeated by a fuzzy-minded anti-Americanism, the accompanying predictions are usually dire, involving fire-and-brimstone pronouncements about the West’s manifold sins, heinous corruption and inevitable fall. Perhaps it’s time to consider the “Roman analogy” properly. It’s not just that the Romans have exerted such an influence on our world (I refer you to that noted scholarly source, The Life of Brian, for a remarkably comprehensive response to the question, “What have the Romans done for us?”). More important, however, is the fact that critical lessons remain to be gleaned from the…

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