Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pirates of the Mediterranean

Via The War in Context, this article in the NYT points out historic parallels between 9/11 and the burning of the Roman port at Ostia in 68 BCE by pirates, a 4th generation force.
The basic parallel drawn is that the Romans, like the Americans, were panicked enough to place authority in a single individual. The Romans gave that authority to Pompey, later to Julius Caesar in Gaul, and the republic was toast.
In Spengler's philosophy of history, the path from republic to empire is inevitable, and he places Rome of that period and current western civilization at the same epoch in his schema, "the moment when money is celebrating its last victories, and the Caesarism that is to succeed approaches with quiet, firm step".
It's hard to imagine George Bush or Dick Cheney in the roles of Pompey the Great or Julius Caesar, but perhaps History likes making sick jokes, and the joke's on us.


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