Here's the question:

What was the primary reason for the rise and success of the Roman republic / empire?

It is the ultimate question. It is the question that gives credence to history being a scientific discipline. To put it on hold as "too broad" is an act of willful, highly egotistical anti-intellectualism. Some people are just not inquisitive enough.

I didn't post the question. I did attempt to answer it.

Another question - less important, but certainly among the ten most important historical questions - has already gathered 3 close votes (and I'm pretty sure it'll gather more after this post).

I posted it. Here it is:

Did Heinrich Schliemann discover Troy?

It is important because it questions mainstream archaeology as a reliable source, as well as the attitude of professional historians towards archaeology.

What are we doing here? Are we truly interested in history? Or are we just a bunch of nincompoops parading whatever knowledge was hammered into our heads in college, suspicious of anything we're not familiar with, and showing off our power and hubris by closing and downvoting questions that are truly worth posting, thinking about, and answering?

Nobody's going to think less of you if you simply say "I don't know" and leave it at that. You don't have to vote to close anything.

  • 6
    We all have our questions closed sometimes. No one is going to take your complaint seriously unless you chill out.
    – Ne Mo
    Dec 14, 2015 at 11:09
  • 1
    @NeMo: Sounds like a garbled quote from George III.
    – Ricky
    Dec 14, 2015 at 11:22
  • 4
    I have no idea what you meant by that. Are you upping the grandiloquence by comparing yourself to America's Founding Fathers?
    – Ne Mo
    Dec 14, 2015 at 11:26
  • 1
    @NeMo: No: to the drunken Philadelphia bartender who was tasked by the British courier with relaying the message to them. The courier was too drunk to move from his stool.
    – Ricky
    Dec 14, 2015 at 11:33
  • 4
    Whatever you say, champ (literally, whatever that was meant to say, I have no idea). If your original point was that this site is too quick to close questions, then I agreed with that and would have supported you. However, it's clear you don't need any help from George III, so I'll just take my royal self away.
    – Ne Mo
    Dec 14, 2015 at 11:46
  • 1
    @NeMo: Your Majesty: that's one intriguing definition of the word "support" I have not been aware of until now.
    – Ricky
    Dec 14, 2015 at 11:51
  • 5
    Well, you don't seem to be aware of a great many things normal people take for granted as common courtesy in a civilised discussion.
    – Semaphore
    Dec 14, 2015 at 12:10
  • NeMo and Ricky- you two just became my two favorite users on this site. You all are hilarious!
    – 米凯乐
    Mar 20, 2017 at 21:17
  • @米凯乐 We aim to please. I don't know how to pronounce your name (I'm not familiar with the alphabet), so I think I'll just call you Lucky.
    – Ricky
    Mar 21, 2017 at 2:06

2 Answers 2


Considering all the ink that has been spilt in academic and "popular" histories of the rise (and fall) of Rome, it seems fairly obvious that the answer to this question is "too broad" for a Question and Answer site.


Your comments are merely musings on a set of variables that collided to create outcomes that from our perspectives are history. There is no kernel of wisdom to be gleaned from from the happenstance, nor are you granted intellectual authority by your shameless self congratulation,

"It is the ultimate question. It is the question that gives credence to history being a scientific discipline. To put it on hold as "too broad" is an act of willful, highly egotistical anti-intellectualism. Some people are just not inquisitive enough."

You are basically saying: "I have found the ultimate question, I am the authority who decides the basis of history as a science, I am humble, I am highly intellectual, I am inquisitive." You are none of these things, your comments and your queries are hollow attempts to do more of the aforementioned. You are however a stunning example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  • Now that you've divested yourself of these profound and witty observations, do you feel a considerable degree of satisfaction? Self-esteem back where it should be? Now that you've stuck it to the miserable wretch (me), are you sensing that feeling of rich righteous joy coming on? ... Don't sweat it. Sometimes I just wonder why people do what they do. So, history is just happenstance ... there's nothing to be learned ... gleaned from ... it .. Hmm ... Perhaps you should rewrite it in terza rima and set it to music.
    – Ricky
    Dec 14, 2015 at 8:40
  • 4
    @Ricky I would ask that you consider something here. I've been a user/curator of this site for well over a year. If I had given the answer above, you might be correct. But consider this. I've never heard of the user who answered here, Minativ7. Looking at his/her profile, he is new. He is not one of the people you have railed against. Here we have an "outsider" giving you his opinion on your question here. He's also gotten two up-votes, meaning that other people agree with him. Instead of being (childishly) defensive, take this as an answer to your question and learn from it.
    – CGCampbell
    Dec 15, 2015 at 12:05
  • But your answer proves the OP right. How can a person who puts a lengthy tangent comment as an answer have enough knowledge to tell if a question should be closed or not. Also what does the OP's possible self-delusions have with a question being on topic or not - or great or not. The question is either good or bad because of its own validity. It is not a good question because a nice person asked it or someone who is even sane. Really weird that SE makes a point to take any emotion out of a question but if people don't kiss ass they don't get votes? Ridiculous.
    – blankip
    Dec 26, 2015 at 7:23
  • @blankip Your comment makes no sense. Those question were closed because they were poor. This answer is evidently criticising Ricky's attitude here. You'll notice Minativ7 clearly does not have the rep to participate in closing questions.
    – Semaphore
    Dec 28, 2015 at 11:19

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