It’s a commonplace to connect the current troubles in Greece, Italy and Spain with some connection to ancient Greece or Rome. Mostly such connections are tenuous at best. However, here Guy Rundle makes the most lucid connection between the European crisis of now and its classical past that I’ve read on the internets.
You can do that when the contagion is contained in Europe. The continent’s fissiparous nature is, after all, the result of an earlier failure and collapse – the inability of Rome to conquer the Germans in the first century, followed by the financial crisis of the mid 200s, when the gold and silver currency was adulterated by an early version of quantitative easing. Intra-imperial trade collapsed because no-one could trust the coinage, and the economy relocalised – creating the national identities we know today. Had that not happened, for better or worse, Europe might be more like China, a single Latin empire unified over two millennia.