A Snippet of Imaginary History

Head of a Roman Patrician (article) | Khan Academy

It’s 160 B.C., and the Roman Republic is the dominant power in the Mediterranean, governed by the Roman Senate and the Roman People’s Assembly.

But there has been friction between Rome and a power far inland–the United Scythians of Asia. We join the Senate with the debate in progress. Marcus Cato, Cato the Elder, is speaking.

“Senators, the United Scythians are ruled by a doddering dotard who can’t always remember to put his trousers on; and his newest government minister is this fat guy who paints his face and insists he is a woman. Their government is the laughing-stock of the civilized world! How long would it take us to conquer them? Fifteen minutes? Twenty? Or a whole day, if the weather’s bad? The only reason I can think of to send an army there would be if we felt sorry enough for those people to replace their government for them. And it wouldn’t have to be a big army, either!”

Happily, we know that no government like that would ever come into existence in the real world…

7 comments on “A Snippet of Imaginary History

  1. Oh, no, never! If we believe that, there is a balloon waiting for us as a prize.

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