You know, ancient Rome wasn’t always bad. In fact, I believe our Founding Fathers used Rome as a model for our republic. Even as an empire they weren’t always bad. If you take a good look at history you have Rome achieving things such as victory over the mighty Carthaginian Empire, and eventually having an empire of their own. But something went wrong…
For one thing, the Pax Romana, (peace of Rome,) may have led to the Romans forgetting how terrible war and violence are. You went from Romans killing Carthaginians on the battlefield to killing each other in the Colosseum, and even in the streets of Rome itself, (I refer here to the civil war that shook Rome following the death of Nero.)
Another thing that went wrong is that Romans stopped, (at least I think,) believing in a higher power. They went from polytheism to secular humanism. From the worship of the gods to the worship of man. Not that those gods had any real existence or power, but the point is, they went from believing in a higher power to believing in no higher power than that of man.
So there you have it. It was Rome’s conversion to secular humanism that made them bad. They weren’t always bad, but they became corrupt and savage, and as Benjamin Franklin once said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”