Book Review: How Rome Fell by Adrian Goldsworthy


Being Italian I often enjoy reading about Italian history. However, I had never picked up a book on the fall of the Roman Empire. I do enjoy the History Channel’s show called Engineering an Empire: Rome. Its interesting to see how far mankind had come in building technology just to fall back again to thatched roof huts by the time of the dark ages.

The common belief is that Rome and the Roman Empire became weak by the 5th century due to growing too large and was over-run by various groups of barbarians which threw the world into a period of stagnation for centuries. At least that’s what I believed until I read “How Rome Fell.”

Rome and the Roman Empire’s fall should be a required study for anyone trying to build any type of organization. It is a study in the importance of cohesion for long term strength and growth. According to Goldsworthy, it wasn’t the expansion and barbarians that caused the downfall of the Roman Empire. It was actually hundreds of years of civil war that did it in. His theory is that since the 3rd century B.C. the Roman rulers fought with each other and usurpers for control of the Empire. This in-fighting pitched Roman against Roman and sitting rulers versus their challengers. These civil wars weaken the defenses of the Empire which allowed barbarians to invade the fringes of the Empire. Goldsworthy proposes that if there were not several hundred years of civil unrest it is quite likely the Western Roman Empire might not have fallen and points to the Eastern Roman Empire in Constantinople than endured into the 15th century as evidence of such.

The obvious moral of Goldsworthy’s story is the lack of cohesion can cause the greatest of all Empires to dwindle and eventually disintegrate from within allowing your enemies to overthrow you. I can only think of how this currently applies to the adult industry. The industry has withstood attacks for decades from the United States government in the form of criminal prosecutions, however, we persevered. Now, through internal piracy, fighting amongst certain associations within the industry and the general attempts at power grabs by talent agents, PR agents and others, we stand ready to fall from attack by our barbarians at the gates – the AIDs Healthcare Foundation and Michael Weinstein. We as an industry are at a pivotal time in our history. We will either survive, albeit, in a different form or we will perish for the most part. Sure Manwin isn’t going anywhere, they are like the Eastern Roman Empire that survived in Constantinople. But Canada isn’t Porn Valley just as Constantinople wasn’t Rome. There was a certain majesty to Rome as the capital of the Roman Empire as there is in Porn Valley.

The next 5 years in the adult industry will be by far be the most interesting in its history. Either way, the industry will survive, like the Roman Empire will survive but where will its capital be ?