Jhoro jhoro borishae bari dhara hai potho bashi, hai gothi hinu, The rainfall will only last until it reaches the shores. Hai gothi hinu hai griho hara. What are those who depend on the starry heaven to guide their journey to do now? Phirae bayu, they cry, swiftly return black clouds that carry rain. Shorae phirae bayu, let thunder, lightning and rain sing with one voice again. Dakea karae, who are they in unison calling for? Jononino ashimo pranthorae, they plead for those whose shores are at the end of the world. Rojoni adhara and lightning lost, hai potho bashi hai gothi hinu hai griho hara adhira jomuna thorongo akula bokularae, the restless river Jamuna’s strong waters, thimiro dhokula shogonaei rae dhokularae, Unfortunately only the timid afraid that they will be forgotten, nibiro nirodho gogonae, look up at the empty skies, goro goro goro gorojae, and hear only the thunder that carry no songs of the rain falling. Choncholo chapula chamokae, the restless lightning nahi shoshi thara, do not have an answer, What are they who carry misfortune going to do now? Hai griho hara, having lost their way, what are the ones for whom the starry heavens carry no rain fall only empty clouds.
Alternatively, go to any politician’s website in the MODERN world.
Click on the link, Freedom
Be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her, That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, That you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom. For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem. Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad, And your bones will flourish like the new grass; And the hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants, But He will be indignant toward His enemies. For behold, the LORD will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For the LORD will execute judgment.
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE – A New History of Rome and the Barbarians. By Peter Heather.
ON THE BACK OF THE BOOK
The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution – centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an empire that had dominated their lives for so long. A leading author on the late Roman empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe’s barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the Empire apart. He shows first how the Huns overturned the existing strategic balance of power on Rome’s European frontiers to force the Goths and others to seek refuge inside the empire. This prompted two generations of struggle, during which new barbarians coalitions, formed in response to Roman hostility, brought the Roman West to its knees. The Goths first destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Hadrianople in 378 and went on to sack Rome in 410. The Vandals spread devastation in Gaul and Spain before conquering North Africa, the breadbasket of the western empire, in 439. We then meet Attila the Hun, whose reign of terror swept from Constantinople to Paris, but whose death in 453 ironically precipitated a final desperate phase of Roman collapse, culminating in the Vandal’s defeat of the massive Byzantine Armada, the west’s last chance for survival. Peter Heather convincingly argues that the Roman Empire was not on the brink of social or moral collapse.What brought it to an end were the barbarians. FROM PETER HEATHER’S BOOK PAGES 443/444. IN PRESENTING my own take on the reasons for the collapse of the west Roman Empire, I find myself lined up against one of the oldest historical traditions of all – in English writing, certainly. Famously, Edward Gibbon emphasized internal factors: The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. Gibbon’s analysis picked up from where the Greek writer Polybius left off. Polybius, like most ancient historians, saw individual moral virtue or vice as the main moving force behind historical causation. The Roman Republic rose to greatness
because of the self-discipline of its leaders, went his argument, and started to fall from grace when the excesses produced by success fed through to corrupt their descendants. Polybius was writing in the second century BC, long before the Empire reached its full extent, let alone started to shed territories. Picking up his general line of argument, Gibbon, addressing the subject of Christianity, saw it as contributing massively to the tale of woe. For him, the new religion sowed internal division within the Empire through its doctrinal disputes, encouraged social leaders to drop out of political participation by becoming monks, and, by advocating a ‘turn-the-other-cheek’ policy, helped undermine the Roman war machine. There may be something to be said for this way of thinking but there is one counter-argument that relegates it to no more than a footnote in the debate. Any account of the fall of the western Roman Empire in the fifth century must take full stock of the fact that the eastern Empire not only survived, but actually prospered in the sixth. All the evils identified in the western system applied equally, if not more, to the eastern. If anything,
the Roman east was more Christian, and more given to doctrinal argument. Also, it operated the same kind of governmental system over the same kind of economy. Yet the east survived, when the west fell. This alone makes it difficult to argue that there was something so inherently wrong with the late imperial system that it was bound to collapse under its own weight. And if you start looking for differences between east and west that might explain their different fates, accidents of geography are what come most immediately to mind. The richest provinces of the east, the band stretching from Asia Minor to Egypt, were well protected by Constantinople against invaders from the north and east, whereas the western Empire had most of the Rhine and Danube frontier line to protect, and we have seen what hazards that threw up. Both of these points were made by two earlier commentators, N. H. Baynes and A. H. M. Jones; but since Jones was writing -forty years ago – it has become more necessary, I would argue, in any account of the collapse of the Roman west, to shine the spotlight on the barbarian-immigrant issue. This is for two reasons. First, the only factor that Jones saw as playing any real role in the different fates of east and west was their relative prosperity. In his view, overtaxation crippled the late Roman economy. Peasants were not being left with a large enough share of their yearly produce to feed themselves and their families, so that both population and output saw steady, if unspectacular, decline. This, he believed, was especially true in the west. Jones’s view of the late Roman economy was entirely based, however, on written, above all legal, sources. As he
wrote, the French archaeologist George Tchalenko was publishing the account of his revolutionary trove of prosperous late Roman villages in the limestone hills behind Antioch (see pp. 112-13); and since Jones wrote, rural surveys, as we saw in Chapter 3, have completely recast our view of the late Roman economy. We know that in the fourth century, taxes were certainly not high enough to undermine peasant subsistence. In the west as well as the east, the late Empire was a period of agricultural boom, with no sign of an overall population decline. The east may still have been richer, of course, but there was no major internal economic crisis at play in the Roman world before the fifth century. Equally important, understanding that both moments of frontier crisis, 376-80 and 405-8, had the same non-Roman cause, and reconstructing the detailed narrative of subsequent imperial collapse from 405 to 476, underline the central role played by outside immigrants in the story of western collapse.