Re: Pearson Question

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 26215
Date: 2003-10-03

--- In, "merbakos" <gigolojoe0@...> wrote:

> We know of about fifty
> patrician clans in the fifth century B.C., but by the time of
> Caesar, in the later first century B.C., only fourteen of these
> survived.43 The decay continued in imperial times. We know of
> families of nearly four hundred Roman senators in A.D. sixty five,
> but, just one generation later, all trace of half of these
> had vanished.44
to avoid a similar fate, we must learn from
> Indo-European history...>

Aren't there two phenomena here? Patricians had to have patrician
grandfathers, so their numbers could be whittled away by
intermarriage. (I've a vague feeling the Spartans declined for a
similar reason - being a citizen was made too exclusive.) The
senatorial decay has different reasons. (Are the dates and
statistics correct?) I suspect delators and bloody politics had a
lot to do with it. I'm not sure that the obvious conclusions
(purity => death; don't kill your rivals) would appeal to Nazis!
Breaching the latter rule has ended quite a few dynasties.