The Romans were very, very methodical. More like the Chinese than any other western power I can think of. They didn't send out armies as far as possible and suddenly conquer huge areas that they couldn't then hold and maintain. (Which Alexander did...) They advanced slowly, consolidating as they went, so they could not be pushed back. Compare to the Han progress through what is now southern China. They grew to a size where they could just push the other peoples back, and then they did. Then they settled down with their new holdings and grew some more. The Roman method.
It was the slow build-up of a sort of constant rate of rebellion, a long game of whack-a-mole, that brought the Roman Empire to its limits. They were too busy stomping out recurring rebellions to expand any further. The difference is both ethnic and geographic. The Roman Empire was multi-ethnic, leading to much internal strife and desire for separate identity. The Han empire was never multi-ethnic for long. Either they inter-married and assimilated the foreign ethnicities, or pushed them out. China is geographically pretty easy to hold together, too. No major obstacles to armies marching wherever they need to. The Roman Empire was often hampered by the wide geographic gaps caused by needing to cross mountains, desert, large stretches of the Mediterranean, etc. Even with their well-developed infrastructure the slow movement of legions was a constant strategic problem.
So today we still have "China" as such, even though it has a very different style of government. But the Roman Empire is only present in remnants like the Orthodox and Catholic churches. Interesting that the Greeks as such, the ethnicity, are also still around. Just their political structures have changed.
Post Edited (03-Sep-14 18:15)
Like ancient Rome, we today are once more importing every form of exotic superstition in the hope of finding the right remedy for our sickness.
-- C. G. Jung
Richard Wilhelm: In Memoriam (1930), CW 15: pg. 60
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|Alexander was actually 32 when he died.||248||ananda||13-Sep-14 13:22|
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|Richard III was 32 when he died||313||Eddie Larry||17-Sep-14 02:58|
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