© CC Flickr User Ancient Art
On this day in ancient history: September 4
Especially if you substitute "Roman Empire" for "world," this day reminds me of the lines from T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men:
This is the way the world endsA reader (AquilliusDrinksGold) posted the following alternative, and it doesn't even need a substitution:
Not with a bang but a whimper.
"Now conquering Rome doth conquered Rome inter, And she the vanquished is, and vanquisher. To show us where she stood there rests alone Tiber; and that too hastens to be gone. Learn, hence what fortune can. Towns glide away; And rivers, which are still in motion, stay.
Author: Joachim du Bellay
In connection with this pivotal date, here is the first of a series on the rise of the Medieval period: From Prehistory to the Middle Ages. In a way, it is a programmatic statement for this year, in that it describes the blurring of the A.D. 476 end point. Already, you've seen a review of a book that makes the fall of Rome at least as late as the 8th century and a glossary entry on a battle in Spain in 711. Melissa Snell, the Medieval History Guide, is, likewise, working backwards. See her Rome Introduction. There are enough sections of my series on the rise of the Middle Ages to form an ecourse when it is completely online, so stay tuned.
Read more about the Fall of Rome, which is said to have occurred on this day in A.D. 476 when Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the Western Empire, was deposed.