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mercoledì 25 marzo 2020

The fall of the Empire

All of a sudden the Western Roman Empire ceased to exist.: that which for whole centuries had represented an ineludible referral point for an entire area of the world, which was intended as "civilized", came to lack of its most focusing point, with the deposition of the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire,  Romulus Augustolus.The Roman Emperor, that whom for so much time  had been considered to be the perfect  link between an idea of absolute power and the Gods.
A long time had gone past since the city of Rome did not represent any longer that explicit referral point for that which was a complex mechanism of power administration, such as the Empire had shown at the apex of its efficiency. Diocletian's reform, with its fractioning of the main administration of power centre in 2 distinct seats, and then, Emperor Constantin's consolidation of the city of Costantinople as the main capital, not Rome any longer, had made so that Rome "caput mundi" was not the centre of the world any longer, the charismatic centre of power, which had seen opposed in eternal diatribe the Emperor and the Senate, the city where everything was decided and where everything was possible. Then,one day, came the defeat of Adrianopolis, that fatal year 378.The Emperor of the Roman East Valens had not managed to efficiently contrast the aggressive pushing westwards of the Goth people, the Goth themselves, however, feeling on their necks the hard breath of Attila's Huns, this situation unfortunately degenerating in one of the more catastrophic battle defeats the Roman Army had ever sustained in the whole of its history. From then on, the barbarian's presence on Roman soil became more and more pervasive, and, regardless of Theodosius's attempts, the greatness of the personality of whom was certainly not equalled by the weakness of character of his two sons, Onorius and Arcadius, and those of two extremely good-willed generals, Stilicone and Ezio, who served, the first under Onorius, the second under Valentinianus the 3rd, the situation raved out of control. After a last desperate attempt enacted by Emperor Majoranus to rectify the state of things back into some semblance of order the Western Roman Empire fell more and more victim to the barbaric invasions. In vain the Eastern Emperors tried to give some form of legitimacy to whoever would occupy the Western throne, giving formal back-up to this or that momentarily prevailing figure, but all these would rather abruptly be pushed aside, on the other hand, by this or that prevailing military chieftan, of the many in the hands of whom Italy had by now unredeemeably fallen. One of the most untied knots of these extremely exasperated times could however be that lacking that physical place, which could signify that charismatic centre of power which could provide the necessary link between the figure of an Emperor, and that complex code of symbolic power rituals which need  a specific time and place for them to persevere in their full practice, the same figure of the Emperor itself, for as legitimate as it would appear, would lack that symbolic place collocation which Rome had been for so long, without everybody's perception of which would have been very difficult for him to inspire that "strong man" charisma the times were undoubtedly calling for. But Rome had been brought to its knees by the Visigoth King Alaricus who had ransacked it in 410.And so it was that the barbarian general Odoacer, in the midst of what in Italy had become  a state of perennial war without any difficulty deposed the las ephemeral Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustolus, no more of a boy,son of general Orestes, whom Odoacer had just defeated in battle. Without any difficulty, without any noise, in the general indifference.Then Odoacer would think of sending the Western Imperial Flag to the Eastern Emperor, Zeno, implying that the ball was now in his field,  as Odoacer would continue to reign over Italy being there no-one else as an alternative. Further decisions, obviously, would follow but by now the Western Roman Empire was more than dead, what would happen in the East before long would be called with the expression Byzantinian History.The Roman West gives its final farewell to arms, leaving its immense heritage to be later re-discovered, and exiting the scene in a near apolegetic manner, as if wanting to excuse itself for having imposed its presence in history for such a long time. Rip S.P.Q.R.

venerdì 20 marzo 2020

What's this blog?

This blog is intended for all those who have an interest in Italian history, culture and traditions; 
provided that all these three are linked by more than a 2000 year old heritage, the subjects that shall be examined here will embrace an extremely long period in time and even though they would not seem to have an immediate connection one with the other to the superficial eye, it is quite clear that
they are all part of the same "melting pot" of experiences, suggestions, traditions and multifaceted 
elements of interpretation that have, ever since the rising of ancient Rome to the stable heights of 
a consolidated regional - and international - power, provided the ground elements for the definition of such an incredible varied history, such as Italy can tell itself proud to have.
I hope that here and there some aspects which have proven to some of you to be a bit obscure can be better defined through the eye of someone who has always had a lifelong passion for the subject and who wishes this can be shared with others.