Rome is overrated (except in military)

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
Ouote: caldrail

He seduced the army with bonuses, and his cheap food policy was successful bait for civilians. Indeed, he attracted everybody's goodwill by the enjoyable gift of peace.
If I understand a professor's explanation of this history correctly, the food policy caused rural people to flood into the city, reducing the farming, increasing the dependency on government-supplied food and leaving the outskirts even less protected.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,332
That was happening anyway. Small farms were bought out by wealthy land owners and the rural folk were trying to find work in the big city. It had been going on for a long time. Bear in mind however that the dole, the handout of free food, was made only to those with a permanent address in Rome, though in fairness meat was distributed during arena games as an expediency.

Elephant steak, anyone? Eat up, it won't be around forever.

Actually Mary Beard has pointed at the way Rome sucked people in and chewed them up. It was Rome as a consumer state that was more important than its lauded conquests.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
That was happening anyway. Small farms were bought out by wealthy land owners and the rural folk were trying to find work in the big city. It had been going on for a long time. Bear in mind however that the dole, the handout of free food, was made only to those with a permanent address in Rome, though in fairness meat was distributed during arena games as an expediency.

Elephant steak, anyone? Eat up, it won't be around forever.

Actually Mary Beard has pointed at the way Rome sucked people in and chewed them up. It was Rome as a consumer state that was more important than its lauded conquests.
I am listening to a professor's explanation of Rome and I am appalled by the collapse of Rome long before the collapse was obvious. Even barbaric people ignorant of Romans culture could become rulers through military service and their power became greater than the Senate's power? Today it is not battlefield generals getting the seats of power and controlling the Senate, but industrial leaders who are taking control not to give service to the country, but for their own benefit.

Rome had an economic break down following devaluing coins and inflation. The US is repeating this.

Rome didn't persecute anyone because of religious prejudice but was acting on a belief that Rome was falling because the neglected gods had been angered, so they made a law to please the gods and restore Rome to its glory. Those who did not comply with the law were violating what some believed was an essential law. We have a mural of those gods in the US Capitol Building, but we no longer believe they have power. While the masses are sure we are in trouble because we have displeased a god. The only difference in belief I see here is the number of gods. Democracy demands we have a scientific understanding of cause and effect and treats religion as a personal matter that should be kept out of politics.

Oh, and how about Roman rulers (barbarian generals who seized power) behaving like the Prussian rulers! Effectively the people of the US have done the same thing by externalize authority and becoming dependent on "experts" as Eisenhower feared would happen after his administration embedded the Military Industrial Complex in the US. Now even our highly educated people, like dentists, doctors, and teachers are stripped of personal authority and are controlled by policies made by people without the consensus of those ruled, just as has been so for uneducated laborers, only when we are talking of educated people, this control over them is not so easy to justify.

Maybe someday if humanity survives, someone will question if the democracy of the US was overrated? We have not learned from history and repeatedly this leads to tragedy.
 
Dec 2012
446
The last 500 years: the internal combustion engine, manned flight, space flight, quantum physics, general relativity, the atomic bomb etc-- all western.

The great wall is modern. The ancient "structures" you are talking about were mostly made of earth and unimpressive. They don't compare to the Pantheon, the Pont Du Gard, the Colosseo. You know this is the truth.

It isn't that Roman structures "got maintained," it is that they did not erode or burn down because they were made of stone and concrete.

Look, you are entitled to have your version of reality, everyone is. But don't tell me that the mud walls or mounds of China equal, or the wooden structures are equal to:


























you are equating subjective beauty with objective truth. Wooden buildings can and are just as beautiful as stone ones. Also Walls of rammed earth are tougher than those of stone
 

cachibatches

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,355
you are equating subjective beauty with objective truth. Wooden buildings can and are just as beautiful as stone ones. Also Walls of rammed earth are tougher than those of stone
No. Walls of rammed earth erode with the rain. What is more, there is no way to build a Pantheon in mud.

I am equating nothing. Stone is stronger, and more difficult to work with, and that is why it is far more prestigious with wood that burns after a generation, or mud that melts away. Nothing will change that, and the pictures of the EXTANT structures of the Roman empire speak for themselves. If we are going to revive this thread, I will just have to start posting more again, a few at a time, and ask where the equivalent is of the HUNDREDS of pieces of monumental Roman architecture that still survives.

But good luck to you all the same.
 
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Dec 2012
446
look at the scale of wars in ancient China or even India or Mid-East for that matter and compare to the post Roman wars in Europe. Again you are equating subjective beauty with objective truth. if stone is more prestigious then why do Chinese emperors choose to build palaces with them when farmers used stone to build their houses?
 

mariusj

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,037
Los Angeles
look at the scale of wars in ancient China or even India or Mid-East for that matter and compare to the post Roman wars in Europe. Again you are equating subjective beauty with objective truth. if stone is more prestigious then why do Chinese emperors choose to build palaces with them when farmers used stone to build their houses?
Ancient Chinese warfare has a lot of numbers that don't really fight. Like you would be delusional to think Liu Bang had 500,000 at Pengcheng, but he probably had roughly that number in the campaign providing supplies to all the forces. Like once you hit over 100,000, at some point, some of them just won't be fighting any more or they would be fighting in a separate battlefield. There is no reason to diminish the greatness of Rome as that would not enhance China. They were probably peer powers, what Rome could accomplish so could China, and what China can do probably so can Rome.
 

cachibatches

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,355
look at the scale of wars in ancient China or even India or Mid-East for that matter and compare to the post Roman wars in Europe. Again you are equating subjective beauty with objective truth. if stone is more prestigious then why do Chinese emperors choose to build palaces with them when farmers used stone to build their houses?
Who cares? Why do I and millions of others visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the aqueducts, and hundreds of other Roman ruins, and no such things of that antiquity and sophistication exist in China?

Simple. It is because stone is stronger, more durable, allows for buildings of greater sophistication, does not burn like wood, and does not erode like mud. This is why Roman architecture still exists, and was the basis of modern architecture.

But go ahead and believe as you like. I have been trying to stay out of these threads in which I endlessly have to repeat things that are obvious. If you think Chinese wooden architecture was equal, please post picks of EXTANT wooden architecture that survives from that period. If not, the picks of the Hagia Sophia, Colosseum, Pantheon, Hadrian's tomb, the aqueducts, and all the rest will speak for themselves. Some people cannot be convinced. These threads are for those that want to learn, and they will come and see.

Good luck to you.
 

mariusj

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,037
Los Angeles
Who cares? Why do I and millions of others visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the aqueducts, and hundreds of other Roman ruins, and no such things of that antiquity and sophistication exist in China?

Simple. It is because stone is stronger, more durable, allows for buildings of greater sophistication, does not burn like wood, and does not erode like mud. This is why Roman architecture still exists, and was the basis of modern architecture.

But go ahead and believe as you like. I have been trying to stay out of these threads in which I endlessly have to repeat things that are obvious. If you think Chinese wooden architecture was equal, please post picks of EXTANT wooden architecture that survives. If not, the picks of the Hagia Sophia, Colosseum, Pantheon, Hadrian's tomb, the aqueducts, and all the rest will speak for themselves.

Good luck to you,
Are you suggesting Chinese society isn't sophisticated in public works?