Lead piping was nothing at all new at the time the Roman Empire fell. It had been used as water pipe since the early Roman republic, for at least 300 years, and its toxicity was well known. But it was used for the same reason that pesticides and food additives are used today, in spite of their well-known toxicity - because it's cheaper. The alternative was fired clay pipe which was expensive to make and even more expensive to install and maintain, and wasn't as durable. So lead piping it was. The lower classes suffered from lead poisoning, too, for the same reason - the lead pipes were ubiquitous in Rome. But I don't know of any reputable historian that puts the fall of the Roman Empire down to the consequences of lead plumbing. Indeed, many cities in the U.S. had water systems that were initially plumbed with lead pipes, and many still are, including at least Denver and Washington DC. Lead is not the problem one might think if the water conditions are just right - the correct pH and low solute levels.
I know a lot more historians who put the fall of Rome down to the greed and avarice of the ruling class, absorbing ever greater portions of new wealth for themselves and forcing the middle class into penury - with concomitant collapse of the demand-led economy. If that sounds familiar, it should be, because it is happening in the U.S. today. It has been, as Plutarch predicted 2500 years ago, the downfall of nearly every republic, and then empire, since his own.
yes , you are correct, but it seems that the cumulative low levels of lead in the piping along with the spike in lead leves in the ruling / controlling class associated with the use of lead goblets full of high acidic wine caused a mental ability breakdown in this ruling class. so you start getting more and more bad / bizzare decisions with increasingly deranged people in positions of authority and decision making. a guaranteed formula for collapse of any organization especially with the "barbarians" still attacking every chance they can!!!
I think we have people in charge that are deranged too, butare deranged for a different reason!!!
as a aside does any one remember the b movie "they live"? reminds me of the folks we have in chaarge now. LOL
... based on this ethical system of thinking, righteous militarized cultures should plunder tolerant, more civilized (and less militarized) cultures until everyone is 'righteous' and 'manly'?
Ancient cultures that tolerated gays not only gave us spas, bathing and sculptures ... they gave us the philosophies and DEMOCRACY, which originates in ancient Athens and is one of the very foundational elements of modern Western civilization. They only turned anti gay after succumbing to the moral and intellectual decadence of Christian religion.
Also, if one looks at the cultures of the world one will find that the levels of tolerance for homosexuality serve as a way to gauge (usually) the state of human rights and societal health in those societies. Except in the case of South Africa, almost all the other societies that tolerate gays tend to be the least hostile to human rights whereas the most intolerant tend to be where people are most authoritarian govts, with the most ignorant, religious and sometimes violent populations and regimes (Uganda, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.).
Because of generalized religious hostility towards gays, the correlation between levels of tolerance for gays and levels of poverty / dysfunction as it ties to high religiosity can be measured as being parallel.