Pirates of the Mediterranean

IN the autumn of 68 B.C. the world’s only military superpower was dealt a profound psychological blow by a daring terrorist attack on its very heart. Rome’s port at Ostia was set on fire, the consular war fleet destroyed, and two prominent senators, together with their bodyguards and staff, kidnapped.

The incident, dramatic though it was, has not attracted much attention from modern historians. But history is mutable. An event that was merely a footnote five years ago has now, in our post-9/11 world, assumed a fresh and ominous significance. For in the panicky aftermath of the attack, the Roman people made decisions that set them on the path to the destruction of their Constitution, their democracy and their liberty. One cannot help wondering if history is repeating itself.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zed
    Oct 02, 2006 @ 01:29:00

    So I'm not the only one seriously questioning if the passage of this torture legislation could be the beginning of the end of Western civilisation. That is…comforting, in a disturbing kind of way.


  2. Kimmers
    Oct 02, 2006 @ 12:22:00

    In this month's Vanity Fair (the one with Suri Cruise – yeach – on the cover), there's this excellent article that draws startling parrallels between the fall of the Roman Empire and the fall of the Western Empire (US, UK & W. Europe). It starts with military, goes on to economics, culture, immigration, and finally torture. Instead of orgies and circuses, we now have pornography and NASCAR. Well worth reading.


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