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Roman Lessons: Theorizing Empire, Conquering the East

Roman Lessons: Theorizing Empire, Conquering the East

Chapter:
(p.323) Eighteen Roman Lessons: Theorizing Empire, Conquering the East
Source:
The Conquest of Ruins
Author(s):
Julia Hell
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226588223.003.0019

The author begins the analysis of the Third Reich’s imitation of Rome by studying the role that Rome’s fall played in texts by Rosenberg, Hitler, and Himmler about their future empire. Risking the end of the Third Reich with their ruthless empire-building, these men connected scenarios of imperial endings to their racialized version of the law of nature and empire’s endtime to the long duration of racialized history. In this neo-Roman imaginary, imperial time combines the accelerated temporality of conquest and the decelerated time of nature. The Nazis would master empire’s time by eliminating their enemies and fortifying their empire metaphorically and literally.

Keywords:   Alfred Rosenberg, Adolph Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Roman lessons, accelerated temporality, decelerated temporality, Nazism, Nazi Empire, völkisch, Reich

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