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IPFS News Link • Political Theory

The Rise & Fall of Empires, Nations, & City States has been Going on for Thousands of Years...

•, By Martin Armstrong

COMMENT: Marty: I was re-reading Herodotus and saw early in his book a reference to the rise and fall of civilizations pertinent to the concept of capital flows:

Herodotus, Histories 1:5

"For many states that were once great have now become small; and those that were great in my time were small before. Knowing therefore that human prosperity never continues in the same place, I shall mention both alike."

Here is the source for the above translation.

I studied Ancient Greek in college.  "Prosperity" is the proper translation of  "Eudaimonia" (Greek: ε?δαιμον?α) in this context.  See also this.

I thought you may find this of interest in case you hadn't noticed this before in your readings.

Be well and thank you for your work and your continuous improvements of Socrates.



REPLY: Yes, great to point that out. To put this in context for the non-Ancient historian, when Herodotus had written that, it was about 2,000 years after the rise and fall of the Sumer Empire, which is the earliest known civilization in the historical region of southern Mesopotamia. There were the Minoans, Troy, Greek Heroic Age, Babylon, and Cyrus the Great who conquered Lydia, the Hittites, and the Assyrians.

Civilization in its primeval state was already at least 6,000 years before Herodotus. It was ancient history to them of the Greek Heroic Age when Evander entertained the stranger of Troy. The relics of the glory of civilization still littered the landscape during the age of Herodotus like the gates to Babylon which have survived in the Berlin Museum. History is delineated by the fancy of Homer and later by Herodotus. Athens was but a solitary thicket during the Age of the Hittite. The temples of Asia Minor (Turkey) had long been crowned with the gold of Lydia when the Greeks were rising again. But those temples would be overthrown and the gold will be pillaged, as the wheel of Fortune accomplished her revolution, and the armies of Alexander the Great would conquer the world about 100 years after Herodotus.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Redthumb Liberty
Entered on:

All empires/political systems come with an expiration dates. In the final analysis all political systems are an exercise in the art of self-destruction; only two observable characteristics can serve to distinguish between any of them: rate and degree. Which is to ultimately say: the only difference between a good government and a bad (terminal) one is time. “Limited” governments (Republics) just tend to stretch the timeline out a little more than the others. For in the end: Quod corrumpi potest, corrumpetur. Quod corruptum est, peribit. That which can be corrupted, shall be corrupted. That which is corrupted, shall perish. SINE QUA NON Liberty, Truth, Reason