Part of the Roman Empire Still Exists Today
Since we humans have such relatively short lifespans, it's difficult to come to terms with the fact that nation-states have been a pretty recent fad of history. It's only a few short generations ago that the world was made up of gigantic empires that spanned continents. In fact, by the time America achieved independence at the turn of the 18th century, it was still a mishmash of English, French, and Spanish colonies battling in a worldwide Thunderdome to collect the most land. Even still, you imagine that the era of globe-spanning empires only exists today as your most accomplished Sid Meier game.
You know Julius Caesar would never settle for a pansy-ass space-race victory.
But Actually ...
Pretty much the first group of people to look at a map of the entire Earth and say "I'll take one of those, please" was the Roman Empire, except they didn't really say "please." Over the course of a significant chunk of human history, the Romans went forth and conquered most of the known world until eventually it became so huge and unwieldy that it broke apart into smaller and smaller pieces.
You probably learned that the fall of the Roman Empire is the milestone that separates the ancient from the medieval world, but what you might not know is that it never entirely fell. It just got smaller, its constituent parts being divvied up among rival empires until there was nothing left ... except Liechtenstein, an incredibly tiny nation near modern-day Italy.
It was briefly overthrown when a drunken tourist accidentally wandered into parliament and sat in the prime minister's chair.
After literally millennia, tiny Liechtenstein, just a dot on the world map, is the last remaining outpost of the Roman Empire that has never been conquered. To this day, even its royal family is descended from their no-doubt inbred Roman ancestors.
As for the rest of the Roman Empire, it is officially recorded in history as having fallen in the 1400s, when it was finally conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1452, just in time to be reported by the printing press. So how long did the Ottomans stick around? They existed until 1922, until they were defeated in goddamned World War I, meaning a country that fought the Roman Empire was competing in the modern Olympics and being talked about by Warren G. Harding. This basically means that, if you play the Kevin Bacon game with world leaders, the 29th president is surprisingly damned close to Julius Caesar.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Who has a salad, that was eaten by ... Kevin Bacon.
Evan V. Symon is a Cracked article writer, Personal Experience interviewer, and interview finder guy. If you have a rockin' experience you want to share, hit up the Personal Experience tip line at email@example.com.
For things we consider modern but actually aren't, check out 6 Badass 'Modern' Weapons (Are Way Older Than You Think) and 7 Memes That Went Viral Before The Internet Existed.
It's time to overthrow the Roman Empire, once and for all: click the Facebook 'share' button below. If we can convince a dozen or so people, Lichtenstein is ours!