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All roads lead to Rome
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“Under a democratical government, the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abased, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude.” -- Edward Gibbon, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” WASHINGTON -- The period of the American Revolution coincided with publication of Edward Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (1776), and ever since we’ve been vigilant for signs that the U.S. was following in Rome’s footsteps. There’s no need to exhaust the already exhaustive list of parallels. But as we approach the political conventions, and are already worn down by ceaseless partisan bickering, the mind easily finds its way to Rome’s Coliseum, where powerful political families sought to entertain, pacify and distract the multitudes.