University of California San Diego Professor Edward Watts discusses his new book “Mortal Republic : How Rome Fell into Tyranny” with Intelligent Talk. At a time when democracy is in retreat in many parts of the world it’s an especially topical book.
The Roman Republic lasted nearly 500 years, about twice as long as the United States has currently existed, from 510 BC to 27 BC with the rise of Augustus as the first Emperor. Rome then became an empire before being sacked by barbarians in 410 AD. The Roman Empire then lived on until 1453 in what is now modern day Turkey, and was known as the Byzantine Empire.
Professor Watts discusses the series of events, beginning in 133 BC with the first acts of political violence in Rome, which led to the end of Rome’s Republic. He draws parallels to where the US is today, and discusses possible threats to our own Republic.