When she asked me this question, I had no idea that I was a part of a cultural phenomenon. When my wife Maddie walked into my office and without context asked, "How often do you think about the Roman Empire?" I had no idea that this simple question was uniting both men and women across the country.
"A couple times a day," was my honest answer.
She was dumbfounded and doubled over laughing.
"Really? Life for real? You don't just know that that is what you are expected to say?" She said between laughs thinking I was hip enough to know about this trend online.
For those of you that haven't had this experience yet, let me explain.
A trend on Tiktok (and now Instagram) is to ask a man, "How often do you think about the Roman Empire?" (See example below)
And almost without fail, the man answers with a frequency that is much higher than what the person asking the question thinks it will be.
In hindsight, "a couple times a day" might actually be underrepresenting it for me.
Without knowing it, I was predisposed to thinking about this way more than I realized. Let me break that down for you:
- I was raised in a Bible church that gave me the chance to hold the prestigious title of "Bible Quizzing Champion of Texas" three out of my four years in high school. I went to nationals twice. 27 of the 66 books of the Bible were written under the Roman Empire's rule of the world. There are more than a few references to Caesar in the books of the Bible I studied in high school.
- As a history nerd, I have fallen down the very deep hole that Neil Howe's "The Fourth Turning" (1997) and "The Fourth Turning Is Here" (2023) have created. These are two of the most incredible books I've ever read when it comes to understanding the future through studying the past. The Roman Empire has so much to say about the future. (see below)
- When I walk my dog Hudson up 5th Avenue, I walk North on the East side of the street so I can always have the EMPIRE State building in my view.
How often do you think about the Roman Empire?
I bet it will be a lot more once you read the rest of this post.