Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ghosts, Part 2

"From the Hundred Year War to the Crimea
With a lance and a musket and a Roman spear
To all of the men who have stood with no fear
In the service of the King"*

This is a continuation of yesterday's post about Ghosts.

History is filled with the noble sacrifice of the brave. Men willing to lay down their lives with honor, no matter how terrible the cost. The ghosts of the past.

The Punic Wars were a series of clashes between Rome and Carthage. Two city states with ambitions. Three wars that lasted from 264 BC to 146 BC. It was truly a battle for survival.

And in the end, at the last battle Roman soldiers clawed their way through ferocious city combat. Every inch was contested. Planks were laid from building to building to cross streets. Behind them they burned everything. Thousands died.

In the end Commandant Hasdrubal of the Carthaginian threw himself at the feet of Scipio, General of the Roman forces, begging for pardon. Hasdrubal's wife found this so shameful she threw herself and her children into the flames.

Scipio, having seen the horror, said "Assyria had fallen, and Persia, and Macedon, Carthage was burning. Rome's day might come next."

And it did, it always does. Always with such scenes of horror and destruction. Yet, we can never find a way to avoid the end.

Nobody alive today really cares much for the fate of Carthage. It makes for interesting reading or boring history, depending on your tastes. But, at the time it was very important for the people involved, whose only real conflict was being the two largest powers at the time. Of course, they both wanted the same island, Sicily. But, 118 years later, hundreds of thousands of lives, and the complete destruction of an empire seems excessive.

Assuming for a minute that we can't find a way to live together, (and there is absolutely no reason tothink we can)  and end up kicking over the apple cart, and burning down the world as we know it what will people 2,000 years from now say about the role we played in the destruction? If there is anybody left.

* From The Card Cheat by The Clash