User:Dbachmann/Roman and US empires

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Ancient Rome USA
509 BC: Roman Republic 1789: United States Constitution
340-268 BC unification of Italy 1783-1849: Westward Expansion
264-241 BC: First Punic War War of 1812
2nd century BC: Roman Servile Wars 1849–1865: American Civil War
120s-130s BC economic instability, transition to the Empire 1930s-1940s: Great Depression, rise to superpower
44 BC: Ides of March 1963: John F. Kennedy assassination
40s: public employment of liberti under Claudius 1955-1968: Civil Rights Movement
1st century AD Roman-Germanic wars, Germanic limes, Pax Romana 1940s-1980s WW II, Cold War, Pax Americana
66-73 First Jewish-Roman War 1959-1975 Vietnam War
40s BC ff. Roman Imperial cult 1960s ff. Christian Fundamentalism / Evangelicalism
166-180: Marcomannic Wars 1990-1991: Gulf War
180-192 Commodus 2000-2008 George W. Bush
Crisis of the Third Century Crisis of the 21st Century

the comparison is somewhat arbitrary, you could compare the history of any empire with that of any other, but nevertheless very instructive.

I am quite intrigued with the position of Commodus that emerges for George W. Bush. Dio Cassius' verdict of

not naturally wicked but, on the contrary, as guileless as any man that ever lived. His great simplicity, however, together with his cowardice, made him the slave of his companions

could be taylored to the early 21st century president. Wikipedia's Though he has become a byword for insane caprice, it is difficult to assess his character from the written sources. His recorded actions do, however, tend to show a rejection of his father’s policies, his father’s advisers, and especially his father’s austere lifestyle doesn't sit quite right, but the insanity and the related dominant father certainly sound familiar. Likewise, the hubris, He thought of himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, frequently emulating the legendary hero's feats by appearing in the arena to fight a variety of wild animals (a gladiator at the time had the prestige of, let's say, a fighter pilot).