The Dangers of Saccharine

I flew to Paris the day Brussels was bombed. It was a fine day—weather-wise—and as I looked down with a clear view on that vast and wealthy city, its millions of citizens going about their business as if nothing had happened, I thought how stupid it was of a handful of miserable ferret-faced terrorists, the living incarnation of Lombroso’s theories, to imagine that they could bring about the downfall of such an imposing edifice by their putrid, self-important acts. And yet…only the other day I was reading, in a book by Professor Henri Pirenne (a Belgian, by the way), that the barbarians made up only 5% of the population of the Roman Empire at the moment of its supposed collapse.

Share
  • simus1

    Rome collapsed because of their own barbarians inside its city walls, not the noble savages on the frontiers whose depredations were as predictable as the spring floods.
    Byzantium fell because there was supposedly not enough money on hand to outbid the turks for all the desirable mercenary services on offer, such as artillery.
    There seems to be a pattern here ……………..

  • “the barbarians made up only 5% of the population of the Roman Empire at the moment of its supposed collapse.” – it doesn’t take much. Where there’s no will to win, there’s no way to win.