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Lessons of the Roman Empire and its seemingly perpetual fall


It is not uncommon in our time for someone to comment on a declining country by comparing it to Rome, when the Empire decayed and eventually fell. It can seem like we know more about the end of the Roman Empire than the beginning.

Historian Edward J. Watts points out that even while Rome thrived, its leaders talked of renewal and a restoration of greatness... not unlike leaders in our own time.

Watts focuses on the talk of decline in the book The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome: The History of a Dangerous Idea. The author, a professor at the University of California-San Diego, joins us with an overview.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.