WND column

Dissolution and Post-Democracy

It is always difficult for those who live through transitional periods in history to recognize that they are taking place.

While we distinguish between the Roman Republic and the Roman empire, and mark the birth of the Byzantine empire with the establishment of its capital at Constantinople, it is unlikely that the average person living under Roman rule understood, much less cared, that he was a citizen of the Roman Republic, the Eastern Roman Empire or the Western Roman Empire. Indeed, although we call them Greeks and Byzantines, the men of the Eastern Roman Empire still called themselves Romans and believed they, and not the barbarian-infested ruins of the city on the seven hills, were the true heirs to Romulus and Caesar Augustus, even though they no longer lived in Italy nor spoke Latin.