Historians used the Gini coefficient, a modern measure of wealth inequality, to compare disparities between the classes in the Roman Empire 150 years after the death of Christ and those in the United States today. The ancients, with their ranks of plebeians, patricians and senators, scored slightly better than we did. (more)
Police walking a beat in Rome have more than pickpockets to look out for. A new rash of vandals and treasure hunters has afflicted the home of the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church, a city so stuffed with artifacts it is difficult to protect. (more)
The Nixon tapes have yielded untold, er, riches over the years, and here’s yet another nugget, featuring Nixon in a wide-ranging conversation with Bob Haldeman and John Erlichman on the subject of homosexuality. The discussion begins with a dissection of an episode of “All in the Family” and then spins off to such topics as how homosexuality “destroyed the Greeks,” the Roman Empire and San Francisco.