side Clinton’s bathroom.rnTwo weeks before Christmas, NewrnYork Post columnist Liz Smith interviewedrnSharon Stone. It turned out thatrnone of Ms. Stone’s “big fantasies” duringrnthe holiday season was visiting thernWhite House, where she’d like to runrnfrom room to cavernous room, “twirlingrnBill Clinton’s boxer shorts above mvrnhead.”rnWe’re a long way from 1988, whenrnDemocratic hopeful Gary Hart wasrnforced out of the presidential race afterrnreporters spotted him on The MonkeyrnBusiness in Bimini.rnRalph R. Reiland is an associate professorrnof economics at Robert Morris College inrnPittsburgh.rnURBAN LIFErnThe NewrnFederal Citiesrnby Martin Arbagirn”It is a hobby of mine to have an exactrnknowledge of London. There is Mortimer’s,rnthe tobacconist, the little newspaperrnshop, the Coburg Branch of the Cityrnand Suburban Bank, the VegetarianrnRestaurant, and McFarlane’s carriagebuildingrndepot. That carries us right onrnto the other block.”rn—Arthur Conan Doyle,rnThe Red-Headed Leaguern”. .. the city [polls] comes into existence,rnoriginating for the sake of the bare needsrnof life, and continues in existence for thernsake of a good life.”rn—Aristotle, Politiesrn^* A frican-American Males March-rnI ing Proudly Forward in UnisonrnToward a Drug Free Society.” The signrnwas too big for the storefront on which itrnwas erected, and the recent substitutionrnof the trendy “African-American” forrn”black” only made matters worse. Fundedrnb} a federal grant and run bv a coalitionrnof ministers, the group had openedrnoffices in three deteriorating neighborhoods.rnThis particular facility was near arnshelter for battered women, though a fewrnvacant buildings, a weed-grown lot, andrna nail styling pador intervened.rnMy bus jolted its way a couple of milesrnfurther up the potholed street to a newlyrngentrified area. Four hip art galleries satrnnext door to one another. Signs on onernloudlv proclaimed a “going out of businessrnsale.” Then came the Free AIDSrnclinic, a classical record store, the NorthrnSide Mental Health Center, and thernGlobal Caring and Sharing Boutique.rnThere, the Tiny Sisters of the Downtrodden,rna Roman Catholic order of nuns,rnsold handcrafted items by Mexican Zapatistasrnand Tamil separatists (the PLOrnCandy Department had been discontinuedrnsince the peace with Israel, thoughrnthere were rumors that it would be reopenedrnunder the auspices of Hamas).rnLike Sherlock Holmes, who pridedrnhimself on an exact knowledge of Londonrnand could name from memory thernbusinesses on any given street, I enjoyedrnkeeping track of the mercantile affairs ofrnmy much smaller metropolis. Leavingrnthe car in its garage once a month, I tookrnthe bus which ran through the heart ofrntown, and watched the ebb and flowrn(mostlv the former) of commercial activity.rnI witnessed two of the three upscalernmen’s clothing stores abandon downtownrnfor the suburban malls, as had twornof the three department stores. One ofrnthe men’s shops had been taken over byrnthe Metropolitan Arts Council, andrnthere was talk that the building whichrnhad formerly housed the larger of therntwo defunct department stores might bernused by the downtown branch of thernPublic Library. The expansion of thernmunicipal jail, the new County OfficernBuilding, and the local junior college hadrnengulfed a number of other derelictrncommercial structures. Well, well, Irnthought, at least it doesn’t look like arnburned-out shell, as so many other innerrncities do now.rnAnother pothole jarred my brain outrnof its comfortable rut: “But they don’trnpay taxes,” said a small voice. “Whyrndidn’t you listen to your own lecture?”rnMy own lecture? It had been that veryrnmorning in my upper-level survey of Romanrnhistory. I had been speaking of thernrole of the cit’ in Greco-Roman antiquity.rnOne does not have to be a Marxist (Irntold the students) to believe that the cityrnIS fundamentally an economic entity. Itrnserves as a base for industry, trade, andrnbanking; in preindustrial cultures, itrnserved as a market for the agriculturalrnproduce of the surrounding countryside.rnEven the site of a city is usually economicallyrndetermined; the junction of twornmajor roads, proximity to natural resources,rnthe head of navigation of a river,rna good harbor, and so forth. But in classicalrnantiquity, the city was viewed as anrnadministrative and cultural necessity asrnwell. Nor were the Greeks and Romansrnthe only ones with that view. The socalledrn”cities” of the Old Kingdom ofrnEgypt appear to have been ceremonialrnand governmental centers, as were similarrnsites in pre-Colombian Central andrnSouth America. Civilized life was simplyrnnot possible without the city. Consequently,rneven if an urban center did notrnfully justify its existence economically, itrnwould be necessary, under certain circumstances,rnfor it to be maintained. Inrnsuch a situation, the city becomes parasitical,rndraining more out of the economyrnthan it generates as a commercialrnand manufacturing hub.rnThere is an old cliche among Romanistsrn(I had continued in my lecture) thatrnthe early Roman Empire was, in terms ofrnits internal administration, a confederationrnof city-states. The imperial governmentrntook care of foreign policy and defense,rnleaving local government to therncivitates. Each city was responsible notrnonly for governing itself, but also for administeringrnthe surrounding countrysidern—the fiagus, as it was called. Thisrnwas all well and good in the East, whichrnwas heavily urbanized. But what aboutrnthe Western portion of the Empire? Tornbe sure, there were here, as in the East,rncertain districts, sueh as Italy, Sicily,rnsouthern Gaul, and North Africa aroundrnCarthage, which was dotted with urbanrncenters, large and small. But there werernalso vast territories which, when they hadrnbeen conquered by the Romans, were inrna relatively primitive state. The nativesrnwere organized into tribes, and thoughrnvillages may have existed, there were norntrue cities as sueh. Areas in this classificationrnincluded the northern and centralrnportions of Gaul and the Iberianrnpeninsula, and all of Britain. Here, thernRomans followed a conscious policy ofrnfounding new towns. These fledglingrnurban centers were not only viewed asrnadministrative necessities, but also asrnnuclei from which the urban-based Greco-rnRoman culture could spread into thernsurrounding pagus. Of course the Romanrnplanners located their new townsrnMARCH 1997/47rnrnrn