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Thankful My City Won’t Be Sacked

August 12, 2008
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I’ve been listening to Hardcore History lately, a very interesting podcast about history – basically, Dan Carlin, an insightful amateur, comments on historical events.  He looks at different events, and thinks about their impact, and talks about how they would look today.

In the latest episode about the Punic Wars, he talks about the ancient practice of sacking a city.  He takes Tacitus’ account of the Roman army sacking a particular city, and basically talks about how the army spent days in there looting, murdering, and raping the city’s inhabitants – and that this had been standard procedure in the ancient world – for thousands of years, this is something that our ancestors would have lived in fear of.  Tacitus describes this going on for four days.  The description is horrific, but it is something that should be thought of – we in the modern world have no concept of what the phrase “and the city was sacked” really means.  That word brings a meaning with it that has been largely forgotten in this world.

I thank God that I live in the modern world, and that among the bad things that could occur, the sacking of my city is not among them.  While horrible things still happen in war, it is currently unthinkable that a city in the world would be sacked like this.

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