Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Age of Anxiety

The principate system, Augustus’s solution to the problems of the Roman Republic, brought stability and good governance, and led to the rise of the Roman Empire. For the Roman people, the principate system was a vast improvement; they prospered under Augustus’s long reign (27 BC–AD 14) and for two centuries after his demise. But the principate system had one flaw—the problem of succession, and after the death of every emperor a war between the various claimants to the throne became inevitable. The Roman Empire started unravelling in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD (these two centuries are known as the “Age of Anxiety”). Romans started looking for ways of finding solace in a world in which life was becoming increasingly difficult; many turned towards gods and oracles, and some discovered Christianity which in another century became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. The year 2020, I believe, is turning out to be an “Year of Anxiety”—and it might eventually drive people into the arms of religion.

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