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

Friday, December 03, 2004  

Ancient Americans

As a child I was fascinated by American Revolutionary War history and later with the Civil War and WW2. (Not WW1 for some reason. Maybe because it wasn't our war so much as it was a European one, and it was an idiotic slaughter and waste of lives by generals.)

What also fascinated me and continues to do so was the ancient history of Greece and Rome, whereas the history of English Kings, Napolean, the Russian Czars, or China and japan held no interest for me.

The reason I mention this is that while reading a book on the history of the Roman Republic it occurred to me that my lifelong interest in these people has to do with the fact that, in a way, these people of Greece and Rome were Americans. Especially the Romans.

Yes, they were pagans (but religiously devoted ones), and they were war-like imperialists (while law abiding moralists and constitutionalists at home) and predators; yet, they had the rule of law, their citizens were free, and they provided a peace and prosperity the world had never known. Their innovations in city life were unmatched for nearly 1800 years.

Respect and love for freedom has been rare in this world, and few peoples who have enjoyed its blessings. The Greeks and Romans were Americans at heart. Who are the Chinese? They are not Americans and will not be any time soon, but Indians just might. I sympathize with the Russians (they are the descendants of Vikings, after all), but what a sorry lot of miserable creatures they are in abiding one Ivan the Terrible after another.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:21 PM |