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Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 11:34:35 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) Rome and Alexander the Great

Crush wrote:
>It is true that Latium is not numbered among the armies of Xerxes. This is
>not surprising. In 478 BC, Rome's republic was about 30 years old -- Rome
>was only about 100 years beyond an age of legend. 150 years later, Rome was
>not even considered worth the trouble for Alexander the Great or his heirs
>to conquer.

Not to give you a hard time, and granted there is always argument between
historians, but I just read a book, THE FATES OF NATIONS: A BIOLOGICAL
THEORY OF HISTORY (1980), where the author Paul Colinvaux wrote that
Alexander avoided Rome as too tough (and possibly "too poor"?) for a proper
victim of a war of aggression.  According to Colinvaux, the war of
aggression requires that the aggressor have a technological edge over the
victim, and the victim must have a resource that the aggressor wants.  The
Macedonian phalanx famously carved up the Persians, showing the edge; the
Persian empire had land and wealth.

Oh, I see I'm not really arguing with you after all!  Since I put in the
"too poor" part it falls under the rubric of "not worth the trouble" in
your message.  I.e., it would have been trouble, since the technological
edge favoring Macedonia over Rome was slight if it existed at all, and the
potential rewards were much less than those offered by the pesky Persians.

In other news, I've just started a new round of auctions for Lexicons and
boxes of uncollected Wolfe stories.


Sirius Fiction
booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley

eBay Auctions


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