The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, March 24, 2003  

The Civil War in the First Century B.C.

During the first semester of my senior year of college I took a course called "History of Rome." I took it for two reasons: first, because the subject was of considerable interest and therefore I thought it promised to be edifying in and of itself; and second, because I figured, as a senior, this freshman-level course would be an "easy A."

I was correct on both counts, with the course offering the added bonus of the co-enrollment of a student I will refer to here only as W.A.B., III, easily the most handsome freshman on campus that year, and a man who sat one row to my right and just one place behind me -- believe me, I checked three times a week -- a young man of considerable promise who, I'm very sad to say, has been most undeservedly deceased for more than 15 years.

Putting aside my schoolboy crushes of yesteryear, last week I returned to my interest in ancient Rome through an auto-didactical course of study offered by a collection of CDs I have been playing while -- and while not -- blogging.

I was struck last night by the discussion on these CDs of a civil war fought in Rome in the first century B.C.

I probably shouldn't be blogging about this without a more solid background, but I was struck by the obvious similarities between that Roman era and current American history, with all of its imperialist and anti-democratic trappings.

I hope another blogger can comment upon this particular period of Roman history more astutely than I. If not, I will proceed upon my own investigation of that era and report my findings at this site.

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