Historian and broadcaster Michael Wood has been musing about whether the time Britain slid into chaos at the end of the Roman Empire is also a distant mirror of our present crises. (Thank you Janet Webb for alerting me). He concludes a fascinating article:
Well, the fall of Rome serves to remind us that complex societies can, and do, break down. There is rarely one reason. Rather, there are multiple causes that come together in a perfect storm, as they did around 400AD.
But in time society recovers, for societies after all are made by people, and one guesses that the ones that recover quickest are the ones which are most adaptive, and perhaps too the ones with the strongest sense of identity and history – the strongest sense of “group feeling”.