Ancient Accidents, Modern Consequences

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Sep 16 2006 14 mins   2
If you ask a historian why the study of history is important, he/she would probably respond with: "to not repeat the mistakes of the past". This is true, history does help us improve from our mistakes. However, we also must keep in mind that trivial events (i.e. accidents) do happen, and they do manage to alter the course of history significantly. Therefore, this statement must be taken with a grain of salt.

For example,
The powerful Persian Empire, and consequently Zoroastrianism, rose as a result of the one bodyguard peering on a Lydian king's wife naked.
The legendary Roman Republic began as a result of one Roman woman getting raped by an Etruscan man.
The infamous Middle East conflict and the continued dispute over control of Jerusalem resulted from one Roman soldier accidentally dropping a torch on the Second Temple.

For more information,
The Histories by Herodotus
The Columbia History of the World
The History of Rome by Livy
War of the Jews by Josephus

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