200) The “United” States – Get It? – Is The Roman Empire

America is not mentioned in the prophecies because the Rapture will have taken place…hundreds of millions of Christians will have vanished – causing enormous consternation among those who remain…

perhaps the United States may not be mentioned in Scripture because it might be devastated by a nuclear war…“The possibilities of it have never been greater,” says Laurie…

I personally believe that the reason the U.S. is not mentioned in end time prophecy,” says Reagan, “is because we will suddenly cease to be a world power and will therefore play no significant role in end time events.”

The destruction of American power is most likely to occur in two stages,” writes Reagan. “The first could be an economic catastrophe that will result from our out-of-control debt situation. Our god is the dollar and the Lord is going to destroy that god when the weight of our debt collapses our economy.” In such a scenario, writes Graff, “America will have suffered a financial collapse by the time of the last days, and would still exist, but not be a superpower. That is exactly what many political and financial analysts are saying about our current course. The United States will not be gone in the last days. We will just not be worth mentioning.”

The above speculations and personal opinions are discredited by

  • ignoring the intrinsic fluidity of an empire’s geography since expansion is definitive of empire,
  • ignoring that the other modern nations are not mentioned by name either,
  • contradictorily attributing modern European nations’ historical roots to their current identities while not attributing America’s European historical roots to her current identity.

The real reasons “Bible-believing Christian” refuse to consider the United States’ role as the Fourth Reich are their fixation on self-indulgence and lack of biblical knowledge.

Let’s continue reviewing history to see how America’s history fits in with the rest of the world’s.

The Influence of Classical Rome on the Founding of the United States

The Founding Fathers gathered in the summer of 1787 to draft a new constitution for the young United States after America’s independence was won in the Revolutionary War. While Enlightenment ideals of many European political philosophers influenced the drafting of the Constitution, another key influence on the Founding Fathers came from classical antiquity. The large scopes of the Roman Republic and Empire as well as the Athenian Empire largely shaped the Europe that the Founding Fathers were born and reared in…From Rome, my paper will cover political thought from the establishment of the Twelve Tables circa 450 B.C.E. to the fall of the Republic under Caesar by 46 B.C.E….

Outside of the Constitution Convention, the Founders used classical rhetoric to foment the American Revolution…to portray the British Empire as dictatorial…From the 1760s until the Revolution, Americans would characterize the British as “the Rome of the corrupt tyranny of the most hated Caesars” in a process of Nerofication of the British Empire…

In one way or another, the men that helped to craft the United States Constitution were educated, professionally or individually, with classical texts…The Bible and the writings of classical antiquity were the main educational tools…

In a [grammar school] student’s fourth year of education, they would be reading classical texts like Ovid’s De Tristibus and Metamorphoses and Cicero’s Orations…Just as the classics were a main pillar of grammar school and private education, it was also the main foundation upon which the United States began building its early colleges and universities…

at the major institutions of higher learning in early America, one-third of the curriculum was devoted to the classics…

The admission requirements for Williams, Brown, King’s College, Yale, and Harvard were identical from 1790 to 1800; students needed to read Cicero, Virgil and the New Testament in Greek…

In particular, early Americans had an affinity for ancient Rome…

Jefferson…noted… “I am immersed in antiquities from morning to night. For me the city of Rome is actually existing in all the splendor of its empire…

Today, the coins of the United States of America are inscribed with the Latin phrase E

Pluribus Unum which translates to, “From Many, One.” This Latin phrase, that is on every coin and dollar bill, is a fitting reflection of the United States’ deep history and fascination with classical antiquity.

After the fall of Constantinople the Roman cultural and imperial heritage was always subject to disputes.The race for prestige and legitimacy was forcing different eastern or European monarchies and dictatorships to declare themselves as the new Rome or 3rd Rome…it is the US that came closest to the pedestal of the 3-rd Rome, with its cultural, political, historical, geopolitical aspects…

The comparison we are building can be divided into two historical cycles, the foundation of the US is compared to the Roman republic and the modern US…to Imperial Rome…

The Pax romana or the Roman peace was the eventual product of the international relations in antiquity, and one of the key factors for the followers to dream about. The role of Rome as the Global Dominant in the international relations forced all the political issues to be solved under the auspice of the Republic. This was transformed into what many scientists call Pax Americana or American peace

Founding Fathers and the Roman influence on them

All of them were well educated people and the classical education was almost fully based on the Roman and Greek studies.  Their heroes were the Roman republicans and defenders of liberty. All of the Founders’ Roman heroes lived at a time when the Roman republic was being threatened by power-hungry demagogues, bloodthirsty dictators and shadowy conspirators. The Founders’ principal Roman heroes were Roman statesmen: Cato the Younger, Brutus, Cassius and Cicero — all of whom sacrificed their lives in unsuccessful endeavors to save the republic․..

The political vocabulary they used — republic, virtue, president, capitol, constitution, Senate — had Latin etymology. The legislative processes they utilized — veto, sine die — were Latin…

The Founders’ and Framers’ noms de plume were Roman…They were consciously identified with Roman models of republican virtue. So:

  • George Washington: others were calling him American Cincinnatus. While he preferred to call himself Cato the Younger,
  • John Adams was called Cicero, the greatest attorney of the ancient world,
  • Besides their differences with Adams, Thomas Jefferson was called Cicero too,
  • James Madison was known as Publius (Valerius Publicola),
  • Alexander Hamilton was most surprisingly identified with Caesar.
  • John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, was identified with Publius (Cornelius Tacitus).

While Rome served as a primary example of republicanism for the Founders as a whole, no one took it to heart more than John Adams…Due to Cicero’s influence, Adams chose law as his profession…Adams dedicated his life to justice…Colleagues called Adams “the man to whom the country is most indebted for independency.” And later some added: “For the country that was born in Philadelphia that day, we have Adams — and Cicero — to thank…”

The Ciceronian school of political thought has been studied for two millennia and found its culmination in the American Constitution…Cicero gave Adams the idea of “a mixed constitution of three branches” each restrained by a delicate equilibrium of checks and balances…There can be no doubt that Cicero’s republican ideology found its way into the American Constitution and that the liberties people enjoy today have their roots not in an inspired gathering of the Founding Fathers, but in a more ancient time, in the Republic of Rome…

America’s advent of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches were directly derived from the Ancient Roman model.

  • Executive Branch

    In times of peace, the executive branch of the ancient Rome comprised two consuls, elected by Roman landowners for 1 year terms. At all times, the executive branch also contained various bureaucrats who were in charge of arranging festivals and conducting censuses. The same system was used in The USA, President, & Vice President similar to the two consuls and the government similar to bureaucrats.

  • Legislative

    The most influential members of the legislature in Rome were those in the Senate. This large body of elected land owners decided how state money was spent and what projects were viable for state funding. The Senate also took control of foreign policy in particular, the many wars Rome was engaged in as it expanded its territory. In this case similarities are more than obvious, the modern US Senate generally speaking has the same role and rights as the ancient Roman, even the name of this institution was not changed. By the way, today very often Senators are nominated and elected as presidents just like it was with the counsels in Rome.

  • Judicial

    The judicial branch of ancient Rome was very similar to the modern US courts…particularly the Supreme Court of modern-day America. Six judges were elected on an annual basis to administer the law of the land to those who broke it…the Roman judiciary could actively create sentences and punishments instead of merely following the past precedent or the sentencing law handed down from the legislative and executive branches, however the right of the constitutional court to interpret the constitution and the laws is somehow the transformed form of the creational jurisprudence of Rome.

    The citizenship and professional armies are another remarkable similarity. The Citizenship of Rome was the prototype for the “New” idea of equal and free citizens in the US. The citizens in both places have rights that are differentiating them from the rest of the world in the eyes of the state. And last but not least, the first model of the professional army much before it was created in the US was the Roman Legion.

Roman symbolism in USA

The architecture of the American founding also showed a predilection for the Roman aesthetic sense. It is not too much of a stretch to assert that the buildings and monuments lining the National Mall in Washington, D.C. with their stately, classical architecture might resemble a Roman colony.

Some perfect examples are listed below:

  • Perhaps the most obvious example of this lies in the Supreme Court building. Cas Gilbert’s design draws its inspiration from Roman temples. The staircase, raised podium and the columns would not be out of place in the Roman Republic. Similarly, the white marble on the Supreme Court and throughout Washington, D.C., was consciously selected to mimic the architectural splendor of ancient Rome.
  • The Capitol, White House, Thomas Jefferson’s memorial were loosely based on the Roman Architecture.

The same logic works not only in architecture but also in arts and symbols of the time of young American republic:

  • The Founders’ sculpture and painting were also inspired by Roman precedents. It is not unusual to see them adorned in a toga.
  • The Roman Eagle was transformed into the great seal of the USA.

The US Capital is identified even with Rome’s geography. In Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill (formerly called Jenkins Hill) alludes to one of the Seven Hills of Rome. Almost all political and law terminology was also copied from the Latin roots.

At the end another aspect should be mentioned – the Law. After the fall of Rome, the US became the first state to be fully led by laws. After the fall of the ancient world the idea of the rule of law was forgotten and the Term “right” was used only with some religious context. The US became the first modern state to be fully governed by elected authorities. The idea of a civilized society where no one is higher than law, where all interpersonal relations can be regulated by law where the state was not affiliated with certain people but rather with a system (together with above mentioned) was the renaissance of Romanism…

Therefore, the American Republic is hardly a new idea and is in fact a mere innovation of a far more ancient political system: The Roman Republic.

Unpacking the Titles of Augustus: Wordplay and Double Meanings

When Octavian assumed leadership of Rome…he focused on consolidating power while at the same time maintaining the illusion that he did not have the absolute control of a king…

Octavian turned to his facility at propaganda…What he did was to take on not just one name or title, but a plethora of them, each of which individually didn’t seem that intimidating or autocratic, but which collectively bestowed unprecedented status and prestige upon him…all of these names or titles either had republican precedents or were based on long-standing cultural concepts, so that it appeared Octavian was respectful of tradition…

Ancient Roman statue of Emperor Augustus as Jove (i.e. Jupiter), first half of the 1st century AD
Ancient Roman statue of Emperor Augustus as Jove. (Image: Photography by I, Sailko/Public domain)

One of the most interesting of these was the title of Augustus, bestowed upon Octavian by a vote of the Senate [emphasis added]…On the one hand, to describe someone as “augustus” simply indicated that he was a deeply pious individual who was filled with respect for the gods. On the other…implied that he was holy or deserving of religious veneration…Augustus had a distinctly religious connotation as it was applied to deities. Augustus wanted to be seen as a god and after his death was included in the Roman pantheon…The duality of this term—is typical of the extraordinary facility that Octavian possessed for manipulating words and images to promote himself and his reign…

the honorific princeps civitatisLike the word augustus…embodies contradictory meanings that can be viewed alternately as expressions of modesty or self-aggrandizement…Princeps is the root of the English word “prince…”

It had long been the custom for a general to be hailed with shouts of “Imperator!” after a notable battlefield victory, but Augustus took on this originally spontaneous acclamation as a permanent part of his formal name. It is from the Latin term imperator that the modern English words “emperor” and “empire” are derived…When we speak of Roman emperors, we are picking one of their many titles and using it as a shorthand for all of them [Emphasis added]

Augustus also had bestowed upon himself the title Pater Patriae, meaning “Father of the Country…”seems like a warm and fuzzy acknowledgment that he cared deeply about his metaphorical children…However, in Roman culture, the father was a figure of enormous authority and dignity who wielded absolute power over the members of his family—even to kill them…

Augustus absorbed the title of Pontifex Maximus as it was the ultimate ruling title, indicating both religious and political power over ancient Rome…

Subsequent emperors would follow his lead and call themselves by the same constellation of terms.

Augustus actively prepared his adopted son Tiberiusto be his successorOnce in power, Tiberius took considerable pains to  [like his predecessor] observe the forms and day-to-day substance of republican government. [Emphasis added.]

Rome had no single constitutional office, title or rank exactly equivalent to the English title “Roman emperor”. Romans of the Imperial era used several titles to denote their emperors, and all were associated with the pre-Imperial, Republican era. [emphasis added here and below in this quote.]

The legal authority of the emperor derived from an extraordinary concentration of individual powers and offices that were extant in the Republic rather than from a new political office; emperors were regularly elected [emphasis added] to the offices of consul and censor. Among their permanent privileges were the traditional Republican title of princeps senatus (leader of the Senate) and the religious office of pontifex maximus (chief priest of the College of Pontiffs)…until Gratian surrendered it in AD 382 to Pope Siricius…

the basis of an emperor’s powers derived from his auctoritas..He had the right to enact or revoke sentences of capital punishment…could save any plebeian from any patrician magistrate’s decision. He could veto any act…

The titles customarily associated with the imperial dignity are imperator (“commander”), which emphasizes the emperor’s military supremacy and is the source of the English word emperor…In Greek… rendered asautokratōrCaesara [family] name [bestowed upon]…the [adopted or] designated heir…and was retained upon accession…In Greek…kaisar (“Καίσαρ“).

There is a direct parallel between writing amendments to the Constitutions that strengthened, through centralization, the power of the existing Republican governments in both Washington and Rome during

  • the American Civil War resulting from the wealthy plantation owners claiming to right to own slaves
  • and the Roman Conflict of the Orders resulting from the wealthy Roman aristocratic landowners claiming the right to enslave indebted plebeians.

The federal government grew enormously in power and prestige, particularly the office of the President. Abraham Lincoln’s assertion of the “war powers” of the President has been used (abused) consistently by his successors to spread American “democracy”. And which red-blooded American can argue against that most noble of objectives

A central theme of all recorded history has been the use or abuse of power — how it lurks in the shadows behind the professed idealism of politicians and the compelling reasons they expound when they bring their nations to war. Such words often cloak those who wield political power and redistribute it among themselves as a consequence of success or failure on the battlefield.

It is important in this discussion to emphasize the contrast between “rights” and “powers.” Ironically, many strong reservations about “powers” came from the Northern states during the [Constitutional] ratification debates. The Massachusetts legislature expressed a fear that the Constitution might be interpreted so as to extend the powers of Congress, and Rhode Island proposed a remarkable statement of states’ rights similar in sentiment to that used by Southern secessionists two generations later. Even New England politicians resorted to their rights and threatened secession if their demands were not met. Among the Southern states, the people of Virginia required that the powers granted the national government under the Constitution “be resumed by the states, whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.” Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that the states were “not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government” but reserved “each State to itself, the . . . right to their own self-government…”

  • However, the Union victory virtually eviscerated the 10th Amendment leaving the Federal (national) government with perhaps too much power. The idea of limited federal power was much older than the slavery debates of the nineteenth century and was recognized as an unresolved issue at the time. Would the united states, melted down into one nation, be practicable or consistent with freedom? Is it consistent with freedom today?

The phrase public diplomacy may not have become an official term in the popular press until World War I.But it was during the Civil War that deliberate, state-sponsored programs began attempting to influence the public mind abroad about American foreign policy.

The Civil War left an enormous imprint on the American consciousness in much the same way as World War I did on the European mindset...

During the Civil War almost the entire population of those who were of military age in both the South and North [bore arms].

The scales of the armies were enormous…in a single battle there might be 100,000 men on each side, and casualty rates ran as high as 20 to 25 percent. Cities were razed. Thousands of prisoners of war starved to death. And many were simply shot and left to die on the roadside…

The Cause of All Nations: an International History of the American Civil War…takes us through the trajectory of the intellectual and diplomatic international debate that continually evolved as each stage of the Civil War progressed…into a grander narrative about universal human freedom —and progressive enlightenment values—in a global context during the 19th century.

the public debate that was happening in Europe by prominent intellectuals of the daysaw the Civil War as far more than just internal strife between the Confederacy and the Union. They viewed it instead as an epic showdown between democracy and aristocracy. [Exactly like the founding of the Roman Republic.] It was a matter of free versus slave labour, where the winners would decide how the capitalist world would progress in tandem with modernity.

Before 1860 the United States had offered aspiring republicans around the globe a template for how a free, self-governing nation might live in peace and prosperity. And America…thus automatically became, in many European minds, a model country to aspire to when thinking about progressive ideas such as liberty, equality, and self-rule. And with the Civil War, the U.S. seemed to offer to the rest of the world a literal battle between those values and rights.

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