Monday, December 18, 2006

Strange Attraction: Stories of Imperial Decline

Not always a bad thing when the Captains and Kings Depart!

I have several times been accused of posts longer than some blog-readers' attention span, so I will not inflict this 8 page opus on you. Besides, I think people should look at Common Review and subscribe, since it is a highly readable yet cultured magazine. The link below takes you to the pdf of my cover story in this issue, and the links below that allow you to buy the works mentioned, and help my sagging bottom line with commission from Amazon!

"Strange Attraction: Stories of Imperial Decline," by Ian Williams

Nothing becomes an empire like its fall. We look upon its works with a sense of despair that such a mighty social edifice could fall so completely. Whether it is the Anglo-Saxon elegist on the ruins of the Roman city of Bath (“giants made it”), or Edward Gibbon “musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol," the fall of Rome is behind the almost omnipresent Ozymandian nostalgia that permeates Western intellectual life. But, although many of us share in this fascination, one has to admit how odd it is that our generally accepted apogee of civilization was in fact a military dictatorship based on brutal aggression, conquest, and slave trading, whose most memorable entertainments were forcing people to kill each other or setting wild beasts to dismember them in front of large audiences.

See the Decline and Fall of the Roman, British and American empires below...

Click on the Common Review

And buy the Books!!

Mohammed and Charlegmagne, by Henry Pirenne

Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire
by Morris Berman

The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians
by Peter Heather

Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors by Charles S. Maier

Europe After Rome by Julia Smith

Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800
by Chris Wickham

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