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Historical novels from the 2nd für das 21st century


Mittwoch, 23. Juli 2014

50 million refugees beyond the Limes

The message was published that 50 million people all over the world are on the run - as if the whole population of the Roman Empire was on the move! How would the Romans have handled this problem? They had it, too. Many people tried to get into the Empire from the outside, especially from Germania; and we might call them poverty and economic refugees. And the Romans did what modern Europe would also prefer to do: foreclosing. They built a Limes and hid - not behind barbed wire, but behind fences, ditches, walls and turrets. The task of this facility was then the same as now: They wanted to keep to themselves in Rome and not to have to face their own version of the "Third World" and its overwhelming problems.

Did it help them? The Limes, seen from the outside, became a monument of hope for those who sought salvation on the other side. And certainly there were even then those ruthless traffickers, men like Catvalda the Pegleg in the "Romanike" series, who made a killing by promised to the poorest they would take them into the Promised Land if they paid with all their scarce
belongings for the transit. The Limes could not withstand it - and its doom, which is hinted at in "Corpus Sacrum" and "Opus Gemini", is still alive, in view of the boat refugees off the coast of Lampedusa.

One character in "Corpus Sacrum" claims that you cannot stop ideas with wood and steel. That has been true as then as it is today. Exclusion and foreclosure cannot be permanent solutions. They only help to keep the problem invisible until it has become powerful enough that no dam can hold it back any more.

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