I Bet You Don’t Know What Happened on This Day 2,061 Years Ago

Maybe you do. But I bet you don’t.

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On this day 2,061 years ago, in 42 BC, the Roman civil war caused by Julius Caesar’s assassination culminated in Brutus’ suicide at the Battle of Philippi, with Mark Antony and Octavian emerging victorious.

I don’t know nearly enough about ancient Rome to compare it to the United States today, but my colleague Tim Murphy does. His father, Cullen Murphy, wrote a book answering the crucial question: Are We Rome? As Murphy the Elder told Murphy the Younger in an interview we recently published:

I think people have a wrong sense of what the quote-unquote “Fall of Rome” actually was…It wasn’t a single catastrophic collapse. It was a slow, lumbering, messy deterioration. When you look at what is happening to the United States right now you see something very similar. It’s not being caused by one single silver bullet of a threat. It’s many things happening at once, whether it’s lack of investment in core activities, whether it’s diminishing trust in institutions, whether it’s growing corruption, whether it’s inequality.

Oof. If history repeats itself, take it from Brutus and don’t try to assassinate any dictators. It only leads to trouble.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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