Adding my little bit to the Maggie Gallagher pile up ; isn’t her claim-in-passing that the Roman Empire collapsed because of “death by sexual disorganization” rather entertaining? Sounds like a great way to go out to me; even more fun than Death by Chocolate (what clobbered the Aztecs, as any fule kno). Gallagher isn’t the first to advance this thesis – I linked a while back to a list which included childlessness and homosexuality among 210 extant explanations for the decline of the Roman Empire. But her claim seems no less ridiculous on its face than some of the other putative causes, which include bolshevisation, culinary excess, decline of Nordic character, female emancipation, Jewish influence, hyperthermia, tristesse and vulgarization. “Explaining” the collapse of Rome seems to be one of those historical Rorschach tests in which quack amateur sociologists stare into the inkblots and see their own prejudices and crackpottery staring back out at them.