when do we start coopting Zig Forums‘s statue-memes?

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Spartacs was a hard motherfucker. All the latin sources praise him even if he was a slave for his smartness and ability. When Crassus was sent to fight his slave army (which at its peak was some 100000 men) his men were so scared he had to adopt a strategy where the soldiers would be more scared of Crassus himself than of the Spartacus army (by decimations and mass killings). In the last fight some of the greatest roman generals were there, Pompeius, Lucullus and Crassus.
The bad thing is that he didn't really have a plan and this made his war lose momentum since the slaves had absolutely no structural opposition to the empire and were divided among what to do.

What have Marxist thinks said about Spartacus?
I been meaning to make a thread about him but I don't know much to have a good discussion point.

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Not really an answer to your qeustion but I feel spartacus is not really in line with marxism. His goal and the goal of those who followed him was just freeing themselves; when they arrived at Modena and dindn't know what to do the movement began to crumble. Some wanted to go home, some to assault rome, some to go to other places ecc the complete lack of structural analysis made them not think about slavery as wrong, they were just just revolting against their personal conidition of slavery.

This part sounds pretty good actually. We should be trying to associate socialism with liberation and self-liberation.

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They are already associated, it's called anarchism.

Marxism is already the concerned with the liberation of the proletariat and on much better theoretical grounds

I'm talking about in the minds of the average proles, ya dinguses.

sounds good but imho it's pretty shit because it offers no alternative. They didn't offer structural liberation so the whole system of slavery would have remained. Basically once frred a man could be re enslaved by debt for example.

My nigga.

Then do that by going out and organizing where the average prole is.

He said "liberation and self-liberation", this explicitly states that liberation isn't solely inclusive of an individual.

Spartacus was cool as shit but don't forget about the yellow turban revolution. It was just as important if not more so in China because it indirectly led to the collapse of the Han dynasty.

I’ve never heard of this. I have a big book on Chinese history I’ve never really read past the Shang Dynasty. I’ll have to look it up

do you mean the taiping? I'm corious

Taiping was in the 1800s fam. Yellow Turban was the Han dynasty around the time of the Roman Empire

Sounds cool what's it called

No the yellow turban rebellion was much earlier than Taiping was
In China wealthy peasants would buy land from other peasants if they had a bad harvest therefore a portion of the crops on the landlords land became there's this want on until virtually all land was owned by landlord's. Eventully the landlords got so rich they started directly influencing the emporer. The YTR started around 200 ce it was caused by a famine in northern China that forced peasants to move southward. However the land lords refused to give up there land if the peasants didn't pay up. The government made it worse by 1) being bought by landlords and refusing to do anything for the peasant and 2) imposing heavy taxes on the peasants in order to fund protection across the silk road. This among natural disasters was seen as a sign the Han had lost there mandate of heaven (if someone doesn't know what that is I'll explain) and the revolt broke out. The main revolution lasted for about a year but lasted about 20 years and while it did fail the Han collapsed around 15 years later so it was a major factor to the Hans collapse.

I've probably seen a movie about this somewhere but forgot the name to it.


thanks for the explanation, I think I'll look into this stuff when I'll have the time.
I'm starting to think that in history there is like some kind of pattern where this happens

What it seems more like to me is:

meh. I was thinking mainly about stuff like for example the western roman empire, which became poor as fuck since property owners were a reeeeally slim art of the population that depaupered it from resources, sending them eastwards, resulting in the breakdown of the western empire in the IV century that consequently redistributed wealth partially; society became so inefficent in that period that the lords could not control anymore their lands in a senseful way so they granted freedom to slaves and transformed full propery into rent (or even full propery sometimes), leading to the curtis system of the middle ages. I mention this case specifically because there was no revolution, just inefficency because the rich absorbed just too much.
Even in the case of the french revolution, whichyour model seems to be mainly modeled upon, I think mine works pretty well. The first stage is the situation of pre revolution france: a country that historically had a lot of small property that was slowly absorbed by the lords, leading to more and more impoverished masses. Then society started to malfunction and France was basically unable to compensate the costs of the seven years war added with the aiding they gave to the american revolution. Society not functioning anymore meant that people started searching for any alternative and in the end feudal property and rights were abolished, a condition that would have made the french economy less problematic already by itself if not those fucking brissotins were not so retarded to begin the war with austria

That is exactly what I was thinking of. The slaver class that had dominated the Republic progressively relinquished power to the emerging aristocrat class that put down slave revolts and gave the urban poor bread and circuses as spoils. As the aristocrats grew in power, guys like Sulla, Pompey the Great, and Caesar began bending the slavers to their rule until finally Octavian–an army at his back–declared himself emperor. From then on the aristocrats were the ruling class and progressively reshaped the Mediterranean economy and state to match that reality. The aristocrats gradually left the cities that slaves had built in favor of rural estates that were manned by the much cheaper, and thus more profitable, peasant class. Large waves of human migration into the Empire encouraged the transition until a lord's wealth could be measured in how many peasants work his land. In the later Empire Period there are examples of Roman military leaders hiring gladiators as soldiers instead of peasants, because peasants were in such high demand. This change was particularly apparent in the more lucrative provinces of the Empire, like Egypt. Eventually, the Mediterranean world became so decentralized (a process speeded along by Diocletian who partitioned the empire) that eventually everyone just stopped pretending that it still was the Roman Empire.

Of course, then shit started all over again. The working class and the bourgeois class arose to provide specific services to the aristocracy. They produced and otherwise acquired luxuries. They temporarily replaced peasants who had died for one reason or another. They hired themselves off as soldiers to quash peasant rebellions or to steal from other aristocrats. Eventually they became indispensible for the maintainance of the system. Slowly but surely the aristocracy ceded power to the bourgeoisie in order to fulfill functions that were increasingly important like banking, mercenary work, and the acquisition of exotic goods. These services kept the aristocrats fat, lazy, and safe for a long time, but we all know what happened as the bourgeoisie grew in power.

Oh, but there was a revolution. Octavian marching his army into Rome and declaring himself the successor to Julius Caesar before creating the office of the princeps based on dynastic succession while the Senate could only smile, nod, and try not to piss itself was indeed a revolution. At that point the aristocracy permanently displaced the slavers as the ruling class, as would be verified in the purges done by later emperors like Domitian.

that's not correct. rome and constantinople were still very large cities until the Vandals cut off north africa grain supplies to rome and constantinople lost egyptian grain from reconquered north africa as well as egypt and levant due to arab invasions. also justinian's plague probably impacted the eastern mediterranean. also you're ignoring the importance of cities and local elites allegiance in the roman world, the formers collapse pretty much ending the roman world and the latter's loss of allegiance to rome was provoked by the barbarian's severing ties to the metropole.

Well I don't think your description really matches reality. firsst of all there was no dichotomy between aristocrast and slave owners; they were of the one and same class, indeed Sulla was a guy who thought he was restoring the senate power. The rise of personalistic powers like pompeus and ceasar was due to cheap armies of underclasses being avaiblto them and Octavian was seen, when he rose against mark anthony, as the defender of the senate; only later he decided to seize power and he went unopposed because after decades of slaughters the romans were just so tired of this shit. Also the aristocrats were aleady implanted in the countryside, villas were built in the II century AC, when the republic still was going strong, and slaves were preferred to peasants because they were much much cheaper, leading to mass waves of impoverished peasants swathing the cities (and leading to the military reform of Gaius Marius that made them able to join military, making them able to make personalistic figures like Ceasar and Pompeus rise).

What this guy also said is correct.

No, Rome was no longer even the functioning capital of the Western Empire when they lost the North African grain supply. Milan had surpassed the declining Rome in importance in the 3rd century, and emperors had been spending most of their time north of the Italian peninsula even before the capital was officially moved.

Hardly. Compare the client kings and equites governors of the provinces to the senators who had ruled the provinces during the Republic Period. Where client kings had been on a short leash into the early Empire Period and were subject to recall (albeit with often disastrous results), their status changed significantly following the Edict of Caracalla. Also, the equites were chosen to be directly loyal to the emperor and not to the Senate, which was little more than a book club following Domitian's purge. Such aristocrats were very clearly no longer answering to the slaver class but rather to a king of kings.

The old unified Mediterranean had been gone since the reign of the Barracks Emperors.

Allegiance had been a fluid thing for quite some time, but, more than any foreign influence, it was the decentralization of state power in the Empire that allowed the provinces to spin off from the whole. Rome had been inviting barabarian hordes into the Empire for centuries, and it had worked out up until there was no clear center of Roman authority anymore.

I disagree. Aristocrats staisfy their needs by hiring and maintaining armed groups of men to steal from both producers and others, whereas slavers profit off of the production of their own slaves. Those are two very distinct methods of acquiring income. Aristocrats may have possessed slaves, but their income was largely generated by theft (including taxes) rather than by production. Consider Caesar Augustus who only acquired land by means of an army bought with his inheritance. Augustus, although he possessed slaves, was an aristocrat.

He did restore the Senate but only after making himself a dictator. Remember that what these guys claimed to be doing and what they were often actually doing were two very different things.

Hell no! Octavian was a rogue military commander imposing his will. The Senate called him that, because he was leading the only army that was in town at the time. You don't piss off the big guys with the spears. The Senate was angling to get him killed or to otherwise be rid of him.

Yes, as a middle class as they had been since Italy got rid of its kings.

Slaves are only cheap when they are acquired in large numbers by warfare, and even then peasants are cheaper. Consider that the peasant comes to work the land for free, and then he makes everything that he needs himself with his own labor. The only thing a lord has to pay for is the armed thugs that steal from him. The slave requires maintainance, food, and upkeep. The advantage of the slave is that he can be made to do dangerous and miserable work (eg. salt mining) and cannot easily leave as the peasant can.

Yes, indeed. See the class conflict in the making.

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but the armed men stole in the wars, you couldn't steal in the provinces or in italy (if not in time of total chaos because of pillaging) and acquiring big shares of land was always what every nobillitas member had in mind, you didn't do war and shit just for the war compensation, you wanted a stable mean of economic extraction.
If you look at the Sulla dictatorship it's very VERY clear he was the only guy interested in restoring the senate. He reestablished the normal cursus honorum, he extended the pomerium, he resolved the senate vs horsemen jurisdicialprobem and other things; these are not simply measures to gain support its a very very clear attempt to restore the senate. Not only that but his march on rome and the later dictatorship were a very clear response to the Marius party, HE was the one destructuring the republic and imposing personalistic power. This and his subsequent voluntary abandonment of the dictatorship were very clear signs that he did it to restore normal life in the republic. If anyone it was Marius who was trying to get personalistic power: yes, it's important to disinguish what a person says from what he does, but you should not just superficially see its actions.
I'm not saying that Octavian was the defender of the senate for real, just that the senate viewed him as such because he was against mark anthony
A slave works for how much time you want. A slave works ONLY for you and you can give him just enough to survive, a peasant instead works on his own and you can "only" ask him for overwork or taxes, which the peasant can even (if weakly) oppose on some grounds. Slavery is always cheaper because it makes you gain more, you shouldn't just watch the payment but also the actual production and who benefits from it. The early middle ages freeing ofslaves was not done because it was cheaper, if they had the opportunity slaveowners would have kept every slave since making them peasants meant using them only for some time and extracting only a set number of resources, not ALL their production. And that is what happened, the slaves were made free because it began to be impossible to manage big shares of land without making them autonomous and sending them "on their own": if the lords had the resources to manage these lands with that number of slaves none would be freed. Also with slaves you have no obligation whatsoever while with peasant you have to at least fake a contract of some type and "at least faking", for example protection like the middel ages, costs money.
conflict internal to a class is not class conflict. Ceasar and Pompeus were in the same class of the other nobilitas.

Aristocrats could and did. Taxes fall under the category of theft (see: the constant cries about Greece being enslaved and emperors' promises to free them), to say nothing of raids beyond the empire in places like Armenia, Dacia, and Germany. Note that taxes were collected by governors (where equites eventually replaced senators) and client kings.

Yeah, I suppose that you are right about Sulla.

Not Octavian, though. The Senate viewed him as a threat, if Tacitus is to be believed (I know how big of an "if" that is), and only called Octavian the defender of the Senate in order to try to convince him to take his army and go fight somewhere else. Their trepidation about Augustus lasted into his early reign as the princeps and was only mollified by how much power–both real and theoretical–that he left them with. The long peace really won them over.

Correction: a slave works for as long as he is able, and he resists doing so. Does a slave really work much longer than a peasant does? I would argue not.

As I said before, that is a big advantage to slavery.

Sure, if you don't mind having a sickly, unproductive slave. Also, you don't have to give a peasant anything. There is no maintainance at all with peasants.

Peasant resistence is far less destructive and expensive than slave resistence. OP is a perfect example of how that is the case. With peasant revolts, all you need is a good fortress and some soldiers armed with steel weapons. You hide in the castle and let the soldiers slaughter the barely-armed and untrained peasants. Then you get more peasants. Slave revolts, on the other hand, are a terrifying prospect. They are already inside your fortress, inside your home, inside your kitchen. Slaves are concentrated in small areas making anything that they do quick and surprising. Not only that but, unlike peasants, a lot of slaves have specialized skills that would be useful in a rebellion. You need a legion nearby at all times in addition to the slavedrivers that keep the slaves working.

Oh yes it was. Who could afford slaves but the lords? How many could the lords safely keep without any legions on-hand to discourage revolts? Owning slaves was not only expensive to the individual slavers (it really was not overly expensive, but it did carry costs that add up), but it did require a lot of social institutions that disappeared as wealth moved into the countrysides. Without that concentrated wealth, that social power of the slaver class, slavery was untennable in the large numbers that were necessary to make it a viable source of income.

The difference between what slaves produce and what peasants produce is offset by the costs, both social and individual, of maintaining the institution of slavery. Slaves have to eat as much as peasants do, but the peasant will make his own food. You do not have to house or clothe a peasant; he makes his shelter and his clothes himself. He is a completely free asset. The peasant just goes away when he is done working your land, much like a waged laborer. A peasant is nothing but black ink, and the more of them you have the wealthier you become.

Yes, exactly, except that individual slavers never have the ability to keep large numbers of slaves by themselves. They need social institutions (dedicated legions, relatively safe long-distance trade routes, wars of conquest, etc.) which aristocrats with peasants (and much later industrial capitalists) do not feel the need to pay for. Slavery is a fragile thing.

Protection for peasants is no different than protection for slaves, and you absolutely do need to protect slaves lest some barbarians steal them. Stolen slaves are money out the window.

It is not internal. Slavers and aristocrats are seperate things with very different relationships to the means of production and conflicting material interests. I know that people like to call the early-American slavers the "slaver aristocracy," but it is a misnomer.

sulla launched the proscriptions which was one of the dirtiest uses of personalistic power and cronyism ever seen up to that time. The amount of anger he created through the wanton slaughter of many innocent people was not forgotten and his relinquishing power did not make them forget. There's a reason his system collapsed within a decade; his reforms were conducted in bad faith ("i expect you to follow my laws and reforms after i've killed your family"). That might have been solved had his proscriptions been targeted and thorough- the that's always impossible, especially given the means at the time to enforce such a program.
this is a short little read that presents the negative view of sulla!UtBXjCaR!dYamQVfjK90FsBz8RcEajBxyQJ2KUifca1sGqcDNIKU

I agree on that. By theft I was talking about the practice of looting straight and proper. Taxes were profitable as fuck but if you wanted land and new situations for tax extracting you had to wage war to find new ones mainly.
well I think I cannot disagree with you on that, I'll think I'll research it more. Thanks for providing me with insightful arguments.
1 The slaves are not that much of a threat. For example urban slaves never revolted against Rome and field slaves never started revolts since they were bound and unable to form groups; it was cattle-raising slaves and gladiators that started them, only to be joined by field slaves later, when the rioters liberated them. The urban slaves were even complicit in suppressing the revolts since they didn't want to associate with the movement. In general while peasants can be able to further their interests and organize better armed revolts (like the very bloody jacqueries, that indeed succeded in killing some nobles) the slaves are in so dire conditions that cannot really organize that well.
2 the slaves do not require that much of social institutions compared to the peasants. You have to offer the peasants at least something. You do not care if barbarians kill your slaves because you can always buy more (slaves were always on the market), on the other hand, as in the case of jacqueries (if you wanted to focus only on the romans I'm sorry but as this thread was already about other things I feel this example is valid) if peasants feel their protection is frauded then they revolt, same if they think you are taxing them just too much.
In the early middle ages the breaking down of even the most basic state institutions was what made impossible to control land by the lords. And it was not the slaves themselves that were difficult to control but "the land"; the tenures were so big and there was so little people that much even converted to woodland.
3 The peasants will never be as profitable as the slaves. For example, if a slave works 10 years then dies, he still worked every day for you while a peasant working every day a month for 30 years on your field as corvees plus taxing (that has to leave him not only a share for his feeding because if you don't do it he dies, but also a share to buy tools and seeds because without that stuff he can't produce anymore) is still less profitable.
Around the third point I think we will hardly reach a conclusion point, I think we are really going back and forth about which is more profitable. Nevertheless the conversation surely stimulated me about researching more about the relation between the two institutions.
Well, I think I have to look more into this, but I think there is a similarity between american oligarchic conflict in the civil war and rome because differently than in the middle ages these oligarchies did not have jurisdicial differentiation from the rest of the population. Still it is a conflict internal to a class because they did want similar things, just to reach it with different ways.
Sorry if I didn't respond greentexting your responses but I find it difficult to make long point in that format.

Proscription lists were accepted at his time because they targeted mainly Marius party faithfuls. Sulla even made them because the march on Rome of 88 was accompained by generalised violence; the lists meant that ONLY those whose name was in the lists were to be prosecuted, and this was plauded.
The most impotant thing is to remember that even Marius invaded Rome with its army, after Sulla, in 87 and his march was accompained by so much violence that in respect to that the prescription lists were seen as a tame, order-restoring measures. Marius killed so many senators that Sulla had to make 300 horsemen senators (another measure he could have simply not taken if he wanted jonly to have personal power, not saying he didn't like it on some level he was not stupid, but he wanted to genuinely restore the republic too). In fact in the 70s he was so liked that every major politicia was expected to be a sullan; pompeus, crassus, catilinas, cicero, every one of them and the members og the senate was a sullan of some sort and this period is even remembered as the sullan generation. The first who tried to rehabilitate the figure of Marius against Sulla was Ceasar but before that it was considered normal to see Sulla as a gy who with force had to restore power against a guy (Marius) who was a threat to the republic.
I'll download the thing but at the moment and in the short future I don't have the time to read it. But I'll do when I can.

Holy shit read a book

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Like i said its short it only takes an hour or two to read or less if youre familiar with the events. Its a transcribed lecture so it has a conversational tone. For positive perspective on Sulla you can counterbalance with sulla: the last republican which you can downlod off libgen

It really does boggle my mind how anyone can idolize the Roman Empire with just a little bit of historical reading. There was another fucking civil war literally every 5-20 years that an emperor died or was assassinated. 400 years of one warlord preceding another.

That is one way of doing it, but in the case of the Roman Empire new land was usually there for the taking within its existing borders. The particular climate of the region was singularly productive, and places like Iberia and Gaul took a while to reach their productive capacity in that particular mode of production. The biggest limiting factor was often the lack of avaliable manpower to work it all, which is why Rome was always so eager to allow migrant groups to cross over the Danube and the Rhine.

Slavery is only safe until slaves outnumber everyone else. Then it becomes volatile. Sparticus proved just how bad an idea it was to have a whole lot of slaves in one area without an army present to keep them in line. As such, there is a functional limit on just how big slavery can get. The real bitch of it is that slavery is not particularly profitable unless you have a large number of slaves working in a small area–a mine, a plantation, or the like. It is a conundrum for slavers.

I don't know how you figure that. A slaver needs a garrison in the area, which is a huge cost that must be carried by several slavers in solidarity. It can't just be one guy hiring thugs to look after his own, like lords can get away with. A slaver needs a reliable grain supply that is not his own. A slaver needs an expeditionary army to capture new slaves in order to keep the large numbers of slaves that he requires cost effective. A slaver needs dedicated slave catchers and legal institutions that validate his claims to his slaves. All these financial burdens have to be carried socially.

That's money out the window, a complete loss. Also, slaves are not always cheap. Sure, you can obtain them cheaply when the emperor raids a foreign territory or defeats an insurrection, but the supply is never steady or reliable.

Unlike slaves, peasants cost absolutely nothing to acquire. When a peasant revolt is put down they are simply replaced, so long as there are poor people or barbarians enough to replace them.

Yes, indeed. Slavery does not work when the slaves are spread out over a large territory. They need to be concentrated.

And what has happened with the slave of ten years and the peasant of thirty years? The slave has worked constantly and then died, while the peasant has had children and grandchildren. Slaves were not a self-sustaining population (the United States being a singular exception) and required constant replenishment at a price, whereas peasants made more peasants. That peasant of thirty years may not have labored for as long as a slave of thirty years would have, but the peasant adds his offspring to your estate.

After the Edict of Caracalla, I suppose, but by then peasant production had already supplanted slave labor in places like the Nile Valley (what a fascinating development Egypt went through!) and Gaul (which should not be surprising given the climate).

Slavers and aristocrats did have different material interests. Slavers needed the complex social structures that I noted above, while aristocrats were content to minimize those institutions (eg. Galienus's restructuring of the Roman army into a smaller, quick force based in centralized military encampments instead of cities). Where aristocrats like Augustus prefered a fixed and defensible border for the empire, slavers needed wars of expansion and conquest. Slavery whithers away in a static environment.

Another thing to consider is that aristocrats tended to have a very different relationship with their slaves than the slavers who made their living by slavery did. Slaves of aristocrats were occasionally employed as skilled specialists. During the Julio-Claudian Dynasty emperors (with some scandal) began using trusted slaves and freed slaves to fill offices that had previously been the exclusive pervue of free men. During the Antonine Dynasty, there are even records of aristocrats counting slaves as personal advisors and, in the case of Commodus, best friends. This was a distinct break with the old Roman morality that regarded even freed slaves as beneath Romans. I can only imagine the social upheaval that must have happened when Caracalla made even freed slaves into full Roman citizens. It's just too bad that Roman history became so spotty afet Cassius Dio died.

You know I would like really much to continue this conversation but the more we go on the less time I have to make these long winded posts, sorry. Nevertheless it was all very interesting. Maybe in the future if the thread is still up I'll respond, I have arguments to make but I almost can't wipe my ass these days.

No, that really only started happening after Commodus crashed the Antonine Dynasty with so survivors. The reign of Augustus and the Julio-Claudians lasted a good long while, and there was really only a year of craziness before the Flavians put everything back on track. The Antonines took over almost immediately after Domitian was killed, and they lasted until Commodus started calling himself Hercules and running around the Colloseum in animal hides and loosing arrows around like a complete loony. That's when the wheels really came off. Compared to other empires of the age it was a good run.

Yeah, that was a hell of a lot of effort posting on one particular historical topic. It is an interesting topic none the less. I just wish that we could get some more archaeological work done to shed some more light on the era. So few sources are even remotely trustworthy.

Get real, stop romanticizing shit. Augustus and Tiberius ruled for maybe 50 years together (which they pulled off by relentless empire-building outside of Rome), and then after that most emperors lasted each less than 15 years (often much less) before being assassinated and then another power struggle ensued. Caligula, only the third emperor in this "dynasty" was killed by his own guards.

You know, it's really easy to look this shit up before talking about it.

And Claudius was installed on the same day. Transitions don't get much more seemless than that.

I'm and I agree there should be more archeology but as you probably already know sadly archeology is not profitable :^)

Tell me about it. Did you hear about the Wal-Mart that they built on top of a gigantic mound from the Mississippian Civilization? Is there anything good that the profit motive cannot bring to ruin?

Fine, 63 years together, with the whole dynasty lasting about 100 years altogether. The longest Roman dynasties had nothing on the stability of empires that actually practiced primogeniture.

Rome anons: been thinking of picking this book up recently. Is it a good read?

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Primogeniture? Top-fucking-kek. The only decent emperors who were related by blood to their predecessor were Titus (who died after just two years), Gallienus, and arguably Domitian. Nearly all of the capable emperors were either adopted and groomed for the role (eg. Tiberius and all of the Antonines between Nerva and Commodus) or took the throne with an army at their backs (eg. Augustus, Vespasian, Diocletian). Primogeniture is how you end up with psychos like Commodus in charge.

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I was referencing empires other than Rome.

I honestly do not know. It does look like a book that I might like, even if it is a secondary source. I am curious if Parienti frames the event in terms of slavers vs. aristocrats class war, like we were talking about ITT. I usually dislike when history gets framed in a modern perspective, but a class analysis would be very welcome.

As opposed to what perspective? Is there such a thing as objective historical analysis?

Why assume that a practice that worked out so badly for Rome should have been practiced more by Rome? Now I am trying to think of a similarly long-lasting empire for whom primogeniture did work fairly well. Are you thinking of the Egyptians whose kings were usually controled by the clergy, and thus were less able to go bonkers and fuck everything up? I know that you are not thinking of the offshoots of the Mongol Empire or China. The Sasanians maybe? The Khmer?

I have seen too many attempts to massage historical occurances into a prefered narrative and the intellectually dishonest products thereof to trust such attempts. Analysis of history is one thing. Casting historical events in terms of a narrative should always be viewed with suspicion. Also, you can entirely throw out anything that purports to tell a historical figure's personal story. Read enough postmodernist history–and more importantly their citations–and you will see what I mean.

God I didn't know about that I wanna cry ancient civilization have so few remains its a crime against humanity to do this kind of shit