Three Wayward Generals and Ancient Rome

Victor Davis Hanson and Sami Winc talk about current politicking of US generals and look at precedents in ancient Rome and Greece.

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6 thoughts on “Three Wayward Generals and Ancient Rome”

  1. Thanks for emphasizing the features that we evolved over time to guard against what happened to the Roman Republic. Did you mention that Roman generals began to pay for their troops thus placing them under personal obligation as clients of their commanding officer? We also have the advantage of a written constitution with a clear ammendment process rather than an ad hoc pile of institutions created to meet various emergencies. I would think that the deep-seated patron-client system was the actual basis of Roman government right to the end of the western portion. We’ve done everything we can to disrupt that sort of structure (c.f. the destruction of the Old South).
    P.s. Sami, 17th Countess Lehktor (since the last count was declared dead), needs a little button she can push that will give Victor a small electrical shock every time he cuts her off (since she can’t kick him in the shin).

  2. P.p.s. the Hanson hatred in Classics is real in my limited experience. When I was doing grad work in 06, Hanson was considered a maverick. When I lent “Who Killed Homer” to a friend doing her m.a. in 2017 her professor told her not to “read that crap” and immediately directed her to a critique his professor wrote of the book. The next year, that same friend contacted me from her new program and told me I had better throw all my Hanson (and Kagan too!) out if I wanted any academic credibility and the name VDH came up again and again over the next two years as the sort of scholar who would never be admitted to a phd. Program or given a job. This may have led to a limited series comic about VDH and the Taco of Forbidden Funding, but I digress….

    1. Credibility of source makes a lot of difference to critical thinkers. So, who are you “James” to criticize? Are you not just an angry toll? If not, please provide your published peer reviewed works for further consideration so you might redeem yourself.

      1. Hmmm. What was I criticizing? I was citing a personal annecdote (“limited experience “)that was in line with some of the nasty emails Victor has received from fellow Classacists. Indeed, the only reason I don’t use my full name is because I have friends who are still doing grad work and who are worried that having any of the “wrong connections” could hurt their career. If you want to gauge my level of academic significance, I hold an M.A. with a focus in Ancient History and Late Qing China. My master’s thesis was heavily indebted to the French Structuralists and Neo Marxists, but also made use of Peter Hunt who I believe Victor has written a positive blurb or two for. Are you ready to put aside your Menos now? Btw. I don’t see your name, rank, and serial number…

  3. “Five Gears in Reverse… If your patience is exhausted and you still cannot decide and sitting in the garage contemplating suicide, and you have no motivation and you can’t even catch your breath, {because} all of this acceleration is driving you to de…e…eath!” (Elvis Costello – ‘Five Gears in Reverse’; 1980).

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