CULTURE

My Child Caught Me Thinking About the Roman Empire

Marlon Weems
The Journeyman.

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Roman Emperor Nero with his court in the aftermath of the Great Fire of Rome. Credit: The Times/Carl Simon/Getty Images

A couple of months ago, my daughter asked me a question so out of left field, yet so apropos, I reacted like a person witnessing a magic trick they couldn’t explain. “How often,” she asked, “do you think about the Roman Empire?”

When she posed this question, it just so happened that I was working on an essay on the parallels between…

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