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Rise and Fall

John Adams letter to John Quincy Adams, May 18, 1781
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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

5 Comments

  1. I believe the following is from Edward Gibbon.

    “The five marks of the Roman decaying culture:

    Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth;

    Obsession with sex and perversions of sex;

    Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original;

    Widening disparity between very rich and very poor;

    Increased demand to live off the state.”

    Does that sound familiar?

  2. The quote is spurious T.Shaw:

    https://historicalhorizons.org/2014/08/29/the-trouble-with-quotes-on-the-internet/

    In regard to the fall of the Roman Republic I would attribute it to the fact that Roman politics and military command were too intermingled. Once the Roman Legions were no longer citizen soldiers, but long term mercenaries usually recruited from the most poverty stricken, it was inevitable that eventually Roman politics would become warfare and that some ambitious Roman politician would bring to an end the whole political game with himself firmly ensconced as Dictator. Caesar, who was a military genius but a political dunce, did it poorly. His nephew Octavius, who was a military dunce but a political genius, did it well and reigned as a King, while pretending to be merely First Citizen and kept much of the ceremony of the Republic as window dressing.

  3. The old movie Spartacus is good on the breakdown of the Republic despite its numerous historical howlers:

    The film is a magnificent work of art, and it gets the atmosphere of the late Roman Republic right: old Roman morality being forgotten, a growth of decadence fueled by ever more wealth from foreign conquests, endless amounts of slaves flooding into Italy from the same foreign conquests, factions in the Senate engaging in what amounted to a cold civil war between bouts of hot civil war, the Roman Republican government teetering on the brink of military dictatorship, the movie presents all of these elements more clearly than any classroom lecture could.

  4. Well ?- a little off topic, but
    Decadence doesn’t cause decay, but it means decay has already manifested.
    The Church however, is animated by the Giver of Life, the Holy Spirit. Though earthly kingdoms rise and fall, our Church – will give glory to God per omnia saecula saeculorum.

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