The Inevitable Fall
Titus Livius stated, “Rome has grown since its humble beginnings that it is now overwhelmed by its own greatness”. From humble beginnings as a small village republic, Rome grew into a massive empire through military dominance. However, the power Rome gained eventually lead to its fall, as citizens quickly became accustomed to the leisure that comes with being a hegemony, and in 410 AD, Rome itself was sacked by a primitive tribe of barbarians, the Visigoths. Just as Rome suffered a surprising and shocking defeat in 410, another great empire was attacked by a group of “barbarians” in 2001. After Rome was routed, its stunned citizens searched for something to blame, and the widespread consensus was the blame of Christianity. Augustine, a theologian, dedicated thirteen years of his life to refuting this idea, blaming the collapse of Rome on the selfishness, leisure, and the skewed morals that Romans had developed, in his writing, The City of God. Just as Augustine’s writing was relevant to Romans in 410 AD, his writings are equally applicable to Americans today in that the empire’s morals had collapsed, its citizens had become infatuated with entertainment and worldly pleasures, and launched wars for selfish reasons in efforts to regain self security.
In The City of God, Augustine points out the decay of Roman morals. He cites that as the Roman Empire increased in power, it found itself compromising itself by adjusting its original intent and ethics. When speaking of the moral collapse of Rome, Augustine states that “It was incomprehensible to him that a republic’s defenses could be mighty while its morals would be in ruins” (Augustine). While Rome was still the dominant military power in the world in 410, the citizens indulged completely in self gratification. This point is also prevalent in modern day America. Today, the strict moral guidelines and beliefs of America’s founding fathers are in many ways completely estranged from the morals...
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