A fascinating hobby, and one that provides valuable insights proving that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
How Excessive Government Killed Ancient Rome
An excellent reading, covering everything from the "dole" (AKA Bread and Circuses) to free-market capitalism to the debasing of a currency (inflation, today known as "The Fed turning on the printing presses") to the oppressive taxation of "the wealthy" and the devastating effects of that particular policy including but not limited to the (literal) enslavement of the middle class, all the way to the conclusion we are bearing out once again, centuries later, the brutal consequences of poor policy:
In conclusion, the fall of Rome was fundamentally due to economic deterioration resulting from excessive taxation, inflation, and over-regulation. Higher and higher taxes failed to raise additional revenues because wealthier taxpayers could evade such taxes while the middle class--and its taxpaying capacity--were exterminated.How long before the epitaph of the United States reads in similar fashion?