191 out 410 days: Roman Manifest Destiny



I’m reading V. Arena’s fabulous new book on Libertas. The BMCR review made it seem like a very theoretical take.  I find it well grounded in both theory and evidence.  Really well conceived throughout.  She does a brilliant job of integrating numismatic evidence throughout. 

In the midst of a well-reasoned discussion of why libertas and victoria are linking in the Roman mind set, she drops in the bit about Cicero I quote above (p. 77).

This kicked off in my mind an old thought I’ve often had while reading the prophesy of Jupiter in Vergil’s Aeneid with my students in gen ed classes.  Do we have the Romans to blame for such problematic ideologies as Manifest Destiny, The White Man’s Burden, vel sim.  Did all that classical education in post-renaissance Europe provide a template for justifying Imperialism to the emerging christian colonial powers?  

I hope some one smarter than me has articulated the connection.

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