Ancient Rome Did Not Fall: Why Real Story is Even Scarier for America and How It Connects to Billionaires
Note: This story is an update from one that generated 50,000 readers. It now has a sequel revealing how an open gate destroyed the world’s longest-lasting empire.
Many who argue that America is in decline like to point to a perceived parallel with the decline of Rome, where citizens went from ruling the world to surviving by eating mouse dung and weeds in the streets.
They are pointing to the wrong flaw, and if their lesson is heeded, America will indeed be in trouble.
The alleged script goes like this: After a series of remarkable conquests, when Rome ruled the world, it came to rely on ‘foreign’ armies for its power. These armies killed Rome.
Only it didn’t. It didn’t fall at all. And that is the more serious comparison with America. The Western Roman Empire declined gently into insignificance. It did not fall; it faded.
The Huns were horse warriors of central Asia; an early version of the fearsome Mongol tribes. They learned horsemanship at age three when their faces were cut with a sword to teach them to endure pain. To create a fearsome appearance they put binders on their children’s heads, which gradually deformed their skulls and gave them a menacing look. They swept into Europe and crushed the Germanic tribes, the Goths, by 400 AD.
By 451, they had an immense army gathered on the plains of France at Chalons, east of Paris, facing the Romans. The Visigoths, or Western Goths, were allied with the Romans under their general Aetius. Three invincible armies, churning up the dust. It was Game of Thrones, Master Class.
The battle — called the “bloodiest battle in history” — raged all day and into the night. The Huns were driven back by the wings of the Roman army, with the Visigoths in pursuit. King Theodoric I of the Visigoths was slain, but instead of disheartening the Visigoths, it infuriated them. Before the enraged Huns could be overrun Attila managed to reach his baggage train and used the wagons to save himself. It was the…