Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Saturday, February 28, 2004  

Barbarians at the Gate

An aspect of the tribes that invaded Rome, the early Celts, the later Visigoths and Huns, and finally the Norse was that the men did almost no work.

They invaded cultivated lands because they wouldn't bother to do the work to clear their own, and the cultivated civilizations had gold and other guady things to steal. If they needed tools, they could have easily traded for them (and often did. The Roman peddlar like his latter Yankee counterpart invaded terrirtories well before the armies did.)

But for the barbarians, the men did little work, but sat around in a hall or hut all day drinking with the boys, and waiting for their chief to take them on a raid for booty. Most of the time, their adventures were between their own clans. Chiefs only ruled a body of men by gaining them plunder. So they had to always be active in banditry or warlordism.

Any chance to raid a foreign town or city with success would be extremely welcome. The barbarians were basically lazy, drunk, and vicious. Their only advantage was that they had little respect for life, including their own.

To read a longer essay -- Why Was Rome? -- go here to Mark's Mentations.

It's not the best essay I've written, but it covers a variety of aspects about Roman civilization and its beginnings which I think are interesting even if I didn't illustrate my theme as well as I wanted.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 9:29 PM |