The glory gridlock that once was Rome

by gaytaylor

As part of a continuing education program offered by a local university, I’ve been attending a series of video classes on “Famous Romans” recorded several years ago by the late Professor of History Rufus Fears, PhD. He’s been walking us through the years leading up to the first century, the final moments when Rome still operated as a free republic, before it became a dictatorship. It’s been chilling to hear described some of the sweeping problems Rome was facing, problems that contributed to their losing their freedom:

(1) the demise of the small farmer and the rise of agri-business;

(2) elections were openly bought and sold—campaign contributions swayed the elections regularly; and

(3) the Roman people had lost faith in the ability of the Senate and their elected officials because those worthies experienced such gridlock they could not solve even simple problems.

It sounds way too familiar.


Oh, and by the way, I haven’t heard the good professor once cite homosexuality as the reason for Rome’s decline and fall. But the preachers I sometimes hear on late-night radio programs have got that territory covered. There was a time when that notion was trumpeted in almost every fund-raising letter I received from a certain family-focused Religious Right organization.

The initials SPQR stood for Senātus Populusque...

The initials SPQR stood for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus (“The Senate and the People of Rome”). They were emblazoned on the banners of Roman legions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)