It was the city of Rome’s birthday recently on April 21st, marking 2774 years since it’s supposed founding date of 753BC. While not the oldest city in the world, there are none other that can claim to have had such an important role in shaping civilization as we know it. It was once prophesied that if Rome should ever fall, so too will the world. So let us hope that she has many more birthday’s to come!
I sing of arms and of the men, who tamed your hostile shores.
With fathers borne upon their backs, and gods like babes in arms.
Of twins lupine, seven summits, and prophetic flocks divine,
Who set foundation stones, on the noble Palatine.
Beside the winding Tiber, beneath the conquering sun,
Beset by foes upon all sides, Juno’s wrath sustains,
By the meddling of the gods, old Illium is done,
Few, and lonely outcasts, who left her wreathed in flames.
Seven kings for seven hills, who built your ancient ways
Before you had enough of crowns, “sic semper tyrannis” was proclaimed!
I have been reading Robert Harris’ novels about Cicero. Excellent. This has led me to read Plutarch about the characters involved in the years of the ending of the Roman Republic. The similarities with the USA under Trump cannot be missed.
Harris has a great style! I love comparing the focus of modern authors to the contemporary historic sources and how much they focused on individual character as the driving force for world events vs the broader scope we tend to take today. Although, perhaps in Plutarch’s case he was writing more of a series of guides to a high-functioning life for his peers rather than a straight historic text. RE: Trump, there’s an interesting part of Plato’s Republic where he mentions the weaknesses of each type of govermental system (democracy, tyranny, oligarchy etc.). In that he states that democracy will most likely be brought down by the rise of a people’s hero in a struggle against the rich, who once he loses his popularity or gains too much power is forced to become a tyrant to maintain it.