5 Events That Wasted The Roman Empire And Lessons For Pakistan

Roman Empire’s timeline was from 753AD – 27 BC and then from 64 – 1400 AD. The first era was marked by rule of law, equal distribution of power and military focused on professional duties. This lead to Rome reaching the zenith of its power and annexing the most land at any time — and having the institutional strength to sustain it. The second era was more about ambitious leaders jostling for power — and a steady downward spiral. Top 5 reasons why Rome went downhill are as follows:-

Tiberius Graccus’s (166-133 BC) attempted to undermine the Senate and rule of law with populist agitation in 143 BC.  Tiberius tried to introduce a limit to landholding for the elite in Rome. His stated purpose was to redistribute land to the peasants. Instead of working with the Senate, he tried to launch a civilian coup by rousing populist sentiment and gaining more power for himself — an anathema for Rome’s core principles. It was his act of undermining his Senate that led to the same Senate bludgeoned him to death.  The plague of unconstitutional moves had already been introduced in Rome.

Privatization of the Roman army took place when generals were allowed to pay their own troops through spoils of war and land holdings. Then the Marius (157-86 BC) reform allowed soldiers to be recruited from the landless peasants. Furthermore, the Roman formations were no more told to return to their civilian jobs after a certain expedition was over. This created several legions of politically inclined formations — loyal to their commander — instead of Rome. All these three reasons combined to turn this army a political entity — thereby undermining the rule of law.

Julius Cesar (100BC – 44BC) as a victorious General returning from his conquest, crossed the Rubicon line and lead his troops straight into Rome – to grab power. This was to kick-start the downwards slide of Rome where military generals and presidential guards repeatedly took part in palace intrigue, with the aim to acquire political power. The empire as a consequence weakened drastically in civil wars.

Constantine (306-337AD) tried to assume complete control of Rome by using Christianity 300 years after Jesus Christ’s death, to galvanize his troops and get legitimacy.   He mutilated the non-religious foundation of the empire and ended up partitioning Rome into two. The same religion eventually made Romans complacent, indifferent and inclined to accept dictators — leading them further down the path of decline.

At the time of ransacking of Carthage in 146 BC, Rome was at its peak in governance and military prowess. In the absence of genuine enemies, the ambitious, unsavory and sociopathic elements in the Roman society, which included rogue military commanders, started looking inwards.

So, the lesson for Pakistan is that no matter how messy democracy looks from far off, it’s the rule of law, the balance of power, respect of the constitution, people-oriented institutions and a professional military that would ensure the long-term stability of a nation.

You dig people?

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3 Comments

  1. Klun says

    Nawaz and family members destroyed the image of Pakistan and economically .why they love money and lie
    all of them-. Are they Muslim or belonged a Sikh family . ?

  2. Ali says

    One major reason for why the Roman empire fell was rampant secularism. The reason why Rome was powerful was due to it’s religious values which gave society the discipline to function. However, towards the end of Ceasar’s reign, Roman religion had become irrelevant and the hyper-secularist environment lead to a decadent society filled with hedonism. Constantine’s implementation of Christianity was merely a move to counter this decadent lifestyle of Roman elites and society but it came too late.

  3. tar says

    Do power hungry Generals read history? If yes why three times coupe detate in Pakistan ? And still they are there pulling the strings but this time behind the curtains as coming to stage needs courage. And in the absence of courage you would need puppets and hence people like Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan. Shaikh Rashid, Chaudhry Nisar even Zardari and so many others……emerged on the political arena with secret dealings with establishment behind closed doors. Whenever a puppet demonstrates his self ego the establishment pulls his tail and exposes him and/or imprisons him through the establishment savvy judiciary. To date this has been the norm in Pakistan whether ordinary Pakistanis know it or not and which has been actively instrumental in the formation of the new government. And if this did not change in future the big question of “Who rules Pakistan” would still be there for generations to continue the struggle.

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