The most difficult thing to recognize about the current situation in the world is that it is very simple! We live in a godless world - where the divine is excluded from all significant public discourse.
To whatever question why; the answer is ultimately Godlessness.
Therefore, historical (and any other kind of) scholarship is not just useless but actively misleading as a guide to where we are and where we are going. It is just another distraction to add to those deluged upon us by The System.
And this is why the most educated are (in general) the most clueless.
But even among people who have recognized what is happening and where we are going, there is an unhelpful desire to seek insight by scouring history for analogical precedents - especially about the Roman Empire; but also elsewhere.
These are mostly a kind of displacement activity (much like the focus on national personalities, policies, elections and minor quantitative variations in a world of unprecedented qualitative uniformity); a kind of self-psychotherapy, subconsciously-intended to cover the reality of helplessness when faced with the global and inexorable nature of what is coming.
I am not at all advocating despair and passivity - quite the opposite (as many other recent posts make clear); but intellectuals need to be clear that brain power and hard study leading to abstract national/ planetary generalizations are of zero strategic value for improving the outcome of where we are and going.
My attitude is: by all means read history, theology, philosophy, whatever etc.- but do so for your own personal purposes; and do not expect it to help other people.
What helps others in a general way is very simple, child's level analyses, rooted in the spiritual war between God (and the Beings who support creation) and the devil (and the Beings who oppose the divine).
That is really all which needs to be said theoretically: the rest is working-out the implications in our own lives.