Friday, December 30, 2011

Roman Virtue, Liberty, and Imperialism: The Murder-Suicide of Classical Civilization

Roman Virtue, Liberty, and Imperialism: The Murder-Suicide of Classical Civilization
http://historyoftheancientworld.com/2011/12/roman-virtue-liberty-and-imperialism-the-murder-suicide-of-classical-civilization/

By Geoffrey Allan Plauche

Introduction: It is widely recognized that the Romans made remarkable achievements in areas such as sanitation and architecture, among others. But political philosophers and historians from Polybius and Machiavelli to Rousseau and Montesquieu on up to the present have also had an equally remarkable propensity to praise and glorify Rome's moral and political traditions. Roman virtues, patriotism, and liberty, the Roman political system, and even Roman militarism and imperialism, have frequently been lauded and held up as examples to be emulated. While the history of Rome's decline and fall has also been utilized as a cautionary tale, there seems to be little recognition that there is a deep internal relationship between that decline and the very moral and political traditions that receive so much praise. It will be the purpose of this paper to question whether or to what extent Rome's moral and political traditions are indeed worthy of praise. In particular, I will offer a critique of Roman virtue and liberty from the point of view of Aristotelian and liberal ethical and political theory. In the process, closely related topics will be touched upon, such as citizenship, the Roman political system, internal political and social conflict, and public policy, including imperialism.

Click here to read this article from Geoffrey Allan Plauché's website