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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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