When the European nations gained mastery over a significant part of the world, between the fifteenth and the twentieth centuries (the Age of Imperialism), they were inspired by the four Cs: Cyrus, Christianity, Cicero, and Caesar. The imperialists of Europe were barbarian warriors, preachers, empire builders, and ideologues.
In the sixth century BC, Cyrus the Great founded the First Persian Empire (the Achaemenid Empire), which at its peak spanned 5.5 million square kilometers, stretching from the Balkans and Eastern Europe in the west to the Indus Valley in the east. The geographical expanse of Cyrus the Great’s empire became an inspiration for the European conquerors and adventurers who came after the fall of the First Persian Empire.
Alexander the Great tried to conquer all the lands that Cyrus had conquered. The Emperors of the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) were inspired by the size and scope of the First Persian Empire.
Cyrus played an important role in the founding of Christianity. He allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and build their Second Temple. The construction of the Second Temple began in 537 BC, according to the Biblical book of Ezra. Around 500 years after Cyrus, Jerusalem became the birthplace of Christianity, which united the European nations under a common culture.
Caesar was the political icon of the imperialist powers, and Cicero was their intellectual icon. The leaders of the imperialist powers aspired to be a warrior king like Caesar, and they were motivated by the philosophy of Cicero. During the Renaissance, which was contemporaneous with the initial phase of imperialism, Cicero was Europe’s most powerful philosopher. Aristotle and Plato were being studied, but Cicero continued to dominate European philosophy till the 19th century.
There was no connection between Ancient Athens and Imperialist Europe. During and after the Roman Age, Ancient Athens was a dysfunctional and utopian university town full of teachers, preachers, and philosophers who were known for their verbosity, unworkable political theory, rationalistic moral philosophy, and endless arguments.
After 1915, the European nations started rejecting the four Cs—Cyrus, Christianity, Cicero, and Caesar. Due to the rising influence of modernist thinking, preached by an Athenian style dysfunctional and utopian university establishment, they became atheistic, liberal, and non-militaristic. This transformation precipitated the decline of the European nations. By 1945, these nations had lost their colonies. By 1960, they had lost their military and economic superiority, and became woke, weak, and nihilistic.
The 21st century marks the end of European (and North American and Australian) supremacy. What will the future be like? It will be unlike anything the world has seen before. A global revolution is currently underway.