U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 03-14-2020, 10:18 AM
 
612 posts, read 718,319 times
Reputation: 825

Advertisements

I thought this might be a good forum to ask this question.

I've always been fascinated by Roman history, especially the time of Julius Caesar and his immediate descendants. I would rather read a history of that time than indulge in any other form of entertainment. The time of the seven kings, very interesting. The establishment of the early republic, also worth hours of reading. The later republic and the civil wars also very gripping. From the time of Julius Caeser to the year of the four emperors, absolutely riveting for me.

It isn't that I find the continuing history boring, or that I don't spend time learning about it, but it seams more like working at an education, rather than what I would consider entertainment when I discover something new from the earlier period.

I've encountered a couple of other people that have a similar feeling as I. I'm curious if many others feel the same and why that may be.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-14-2020, 11:09 AM
 
10,482 posts, read 8,679,668 times
Reputation: 5436
I find the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the period leading up to it more fascinating but isnt too significant in terms of politics. The fall of Byzantine Empire is far more fascinating as well.

Fall of Republic is how a republic which is what we are turns into dictatorship, so I guess that is why is emphasized more. It is more politically relevant for USA.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-14-2020, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,571 posts, read 20,625,724 times
Reputation: 20999
Quote:
Why do we focus on the end of the Roman Republic, not so much on the later Empire?
Star power. The period before and after the transformation from republic to empire is loaded with larger than life characters. Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Crassus, Spartacus, Cicero, Catiline, Caesar, Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Octavian, Caligula, Nero, and thanks to Robert Graves, Claudius.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-14-2020, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,798 posts, read 16,052,944 times
Reputation: 19294
The reason we focus on the end of the Western Roman Republic is because it is effectively a modern State and a great of example of everything that can go wrong.

The lessons to be learned from the collapse of the Western Roman Republic are many.

The government collapsed, the economy collapsed, the military collapsed and society collapsed. Understanding how and why that happened has a bearing on today.

There is no real difference between the Western Roman Empire and a modern country, and I do mean country and not nation or nation-State.

You cannot compare the Western Roman Empire with Norway, because Norway is a nation-State, but you can compare it with countries like the US, Canada, Australia, China, Russia, India, and a handful of others (like South Africa and Iran).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-14-2020, 12:50 PM
 
3,406 posts, read 1,244,174 times
Reputation: 3318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Star power. The period before and after the transformation from republic to empire is loaded with larger than life characters. Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Crassus, Spartacus, Cicero, Catiline, Caesar, Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Octavian, Caligula, Nero, and thanks to Robert Graves, Claudius.
The Roman Civil War is an exceedingly interesting and well documented period in history.

It's similar to the Three Kingdoms period in China, the American Civil War, or the World Wars which are favorites of historians.

The time of the Five Good Emperors was a great time to be a Roman citizen, but it was pretty boring compared to what came before.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-14-2020, 05:55 PM
 
612 posts, read 718,319 times
Reputation: 825
It may be that we see more of ourselves in the demise of the republic. Perhaps it's a fear that we may be on the same path.

There are countless movies, plays, and television programs focusing on the late republic and early years of the emperors. Not nearly as many on the hundreds of years that followed.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-14-2020, 09:21 PM
 
4,185 posts, read 3,094,608 times
Reputation: 8082
My favorite history is in the ten books of Livy regarding the War with Hannibal. I also read all of Livy's earlier books on the founding of Rome, the empire, and the later ones regarding the Mediterranean. I have had no trouble finding people to discuss them with, so I am not sure of the premise.

Polybius, too, is a good author on the early days, though read by fewer in the modern world.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2020, 05:05 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
8,109 posts, read 11,912,903 times
Reputation: 8183
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh1954
Why do we focus on the end of the Roman Republic, not so much on the later Empire?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
The Roman Civil War is an exceedingly interesting and well documented period in history.
This is my understanding as well, it is a period with relatively abundant extant contemporary written sources some of whom had access to contemporary archives and/or were personal witnesses, and much of it high quality.

In comparison, much of the later Roman Empire history is written even centuries in retrospect, at times by writers of dubious quality and in any case from a partisan viewpoint.

Studying the later Roman Empire, or even the reign of Nero for example, requires, among other things, painstaking research of extant epigraphy, coinage, and different fields of archaeology, including field, soil, metallurgy and ceramics. Moreover, one would have to read contemporary research in diverse languages, such as Italian, Greek and Russian, not usual fare in western universities. That's a lot for one person, or even a team, and not too many are interested.

To my knowledge, there are a few individual professors here and there, but I do not know of one university ancient history faculty that specializes in late Empire history that combines all those disciplines to write a contemporary fact-based detailed chronological narrative, as opposed to facile assbackwards ideological retrojections which are a dime a dozen for every historical period and this "history" forum is rife with it.

On the other hand, I have been out of the late Roman Empire/late Antiquity loop for some 15 years, so maybe it's different now, though I doubt it.

Last edited by bale002; 03-15-2020 at 06:27 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-21-2020, 09:24 PM
 
255 posts, read 61,886 times
Reputation: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
The reason we focus on the end of the Western Roman Republic is because it is effectively a modern State and a great of example of everything that can go wrong.

The lessons to be learned from the collapse of the Western Roman Republic are many.

The government collapsed, the economy collapsed, the military collapsed and society collapsed. Understanding how and why that happened has a bearing on today.

There is no real difference between the Western Roman Empire and a modern country, and I do mean country and not nation or nation-State.

You cannot compare the Western Roman Empire with Norway, because Norway is a nation-State, but you can compare it with countries like the US, Canada, Australia, China, Russia, India, and a handful of others (like South Africa and Iran).

I think you missed the point of this thread. The original poster asked why we focus on the end of the Roman Republic versus the collapse of the Roman Empire. You do realize they are two entirely different events that occurred at different points in time right?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top