History Was A Riot: Fist-Raising, Fire-Setting Revolts | Ancient Origins Members Site


History Was A Riot: Fist-Raising, Fire-Setting Revolts

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The Women of Rome Gathering at the Capitol by Pieter Isaacsz (1600) Rijksmuseum (Public Domain)

History Was A Riot: Fist-Raising, Fire-Setting Revolts

From dinosaurs to entire continents to civilizations affecting millions of people, the mechanics of evolution is to construct and then to destruct. One of the key precursors in the collapse of ancient cultures is uncontrolled crowd behavior and collective violence, when evolution turns into revolution. Today, the definition of the term ‘riot’ is a subject of intense debate and argument and the traditional views of rioting, and unruly crowd behavior in general, suggest they are pockets of irrational destruction carried out by a few individuals supported by a mass of less aggressive followers, caught up in collective momentary madness.

The term ‘riot’, has been used historically by the frontends of various groups of activists and their followers often supplant the word with synonyms like ‘rebellion,’ ‘revolt’ and ‘uprising’, which highlight the protest nature of these events. While the world is watching scenes of violence on television screens and mobile phones, it is essential to recall the causes and outcomes of similar historical events when the streets reverberated with the ruckus of fist-raising, fire-setting enraged crowds.

The Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini (1804) Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea. (Public Domain)

The Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini (1804) Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea. (Public Domain)


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