Over the weekend, I came to this realization by watching a BBC documentary on Ancient Rome, and then the classic movie 300 (for the umpteenth time). I’ve always been fascinated with the Roman Era. The reason is it’s a period of history that seems so close to our own. Okay, nowadays we’re not exactly watching people get thrown to the lions…and to me it was the birth of thinking. They tried to be as civilized as possible, and in doing so brought forward many ideas, theories and religions that would later be boosted a couple hundred years later in the Renaissance.
Call me the historian now…but think about it, if the Roman Empire didn’t exist (this includes all the thinkers, philosophers, scientists, scholars, and activists of that period) would there still be a Renaissance? Many say that the 1600-1700s was a time of rebirth in knowledge, although it was more an uncovering of past ideas and thinking. This is not to say that there weren’t new discoveries, but I see the Renaissance as a whole lot of people stopping themselves and saying, “Holy crap, there’s so much to build on in the past! We better get started and make the most out of our generation…”
Moving on, I think that we a lot to thank the Roman’s for. They were ahead of their time. Okay, they didn’t exactly have the internet, automobiles, and a Starbucks around every corner, but they did begin what the rest of mankind would continue to build on. The only regret (I have) of the Roman rule, was the institutionalization of Christianity with Emperor Constantinople, deciding that slaying a few pagans in the name of God…isn’t such a bad idea.
(Anyway, I won’t get started on that train of thought just yet.) For those who are interested the documentary I mentioned, it’s called BBC: The Rise and Fall on the Roman Empire.
If you’re into history…I highly recommend it!