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Europe and Empire$
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Massimo Cacciari and Alessandro Carrera

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267163

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267163.001.0001

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Digressions on Empire and the Three Romes

Digressions on Empire and the Three Romes

(p.111) 8 Digressions on Empire and the Three Romes
Europe and Empire

Massimo Cacciari

, Alessandro Carrera, Massimo Verdicchio
Fordham University Press

There has been a great discussion about empire in recent political literature, yet empire is precisely the event that is not happening, since none of the current political forms resembles the fundamental characteristics of what is known as empire. Essential to Rome was the notion of civitas augescens, the always-growing city, and imperium sine fine, empire without end. To achieve such goal, Rome had to be open to transformation and even relocation, as it happened first with Byzantium and then with the Christian Czars of Russia when they declared Moscow the Third Rome. In the history of Russia, however, the civil religion of Rome and its freedom to reinvent under new forms came to a halt, even more so than during the Christian Middle Ages. The Roman Empire was based on the absence of a state religion and the extension of citizenship to all its subjects. Nothing of that kind is happening today, especially after September 11, and that poses a serious challenge to anyone who finds the trace of an empire in the political forms of globalization.

Keywords:   Nicolai Berdyaev, Michail Bulgakov, Byzantium (Constantinople), Moscow, Sallust, September 11, Vladimir Solovyov, Arnold J. Toynbee, Virgil

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