Sestercentennial. Two hundred and fifty year anniversary. This same period can also be expressed as quarter-millennial. A length of time that spans roughly ten familial generations. It also happens to be about twice as long as the generally recognized period of Imperial Rome (at least the Western Empire.) Five hundred years encompassing the period from when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon until the assassination of Valentinian III. By the time Flavius wrote his Epitoma Rei Militaris, Imperial Rome was well past her peak and his call to a return to ‘first principles’ fell upon ears the were generations removed from Peak Glory.

The American Revolution is currently going through its sestercentennial now as well. What, you say! Everyone knows the Revolution started with the Boston Massacre, or the Tea Party, or on Lexington Green. Who cares, right? The Revolution was about a bunch of greedy old white slavers trying to avoid the King’s rightful taxation, and who decided to revolt at the drop of a hat.

Well, not so much. School curriculums and internet encyclopedias make for lazy thinking. Spoon fed pablum and push button insipidity. Easy answers are seductive. Questioning is good, but avoid those who provide pat answers like the plague, or at least recognize that you are being manipulated. As the KOG said to Edward R. Murrow “The trouble with you is that you want easy answers, but you don’t know the proper questions,”

Embrace the warts and ride the chaos. Check your presentistic views and prejudices at the dust cover (virtual or otherwise.) With a more thorough understanding of the past, the “proper questions” become clear and the simplistic answers become glaringly obvious when offered in response.

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