Friday, August 29, 2014

What's a Few Trillions in the Long Light of History?

One wonders if Obama’s teleprompter scrolls include exerpts from Edward Gibbon or any history of the interminable conflict in Asia Minor which Cassius Dio called a "never-ending cycle of armed confrontations" which “yields very little and uses up vast sums.”  Writing in the Third Century, Dio goes on to grumble, “and now that we have reached out to peoples who are neighbor of the Medes and the Parthians rather than of ourselves, we are always, one might say, fighting the battles of those peoples."

We thought a map-history might be of interest.

200 B.C.

Roman Empire at Maximum Extent

Empire & Contested Areas at Time of Dio's Complaint

Emperor Julian's (the Apostate) Campaign 363 A.D.

Border in 450 A.D.

(Eastern) Roman & Persian Empires, 477 A.D.

(Reunited [sort of]) Roman & Persian Empires, 525 A.D

Byzantine Empire & Arab Caliphate, 650 A.D.

"TheWest" and the Ottoman Turks, 1580 A.D.

Decline of the Ottoman Empire

Sykes-Picot Division of Ottoman Empire, 1917

Division of Palestine 1916
Middle East, 2003

Caliphate of Syria & Levant, 2014

Wiki notes:  The Roman quest for world domination was accompanied by a sense of mission and pride in Western civilization and by ambitions to become a guarantor of peace and order. Roman sources reveal long-standing prejudices with regard to the Eastern powers' customs, religious structures, languages, and forms of government.  [A]lthough the conflicts between Persia and East Rome revolved around issues of strategic control around the eastern frontier, yet there was always a religious-ideological element present.  



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