It was a separate paragraph addressing the issue posed earlier which drew an equivalence between the US and the Roman Empire. I tried the multi-quote but couldn't get it to work. The issue of debt was brought up in tiny-tim's post which made the assumption "Since Rome ruled most of the known world..." and then linked that to a reference to Rome's debt.
Known by whom? Not yet discovered by whom? Rome's knowledge of its own territories was of course greater then what lay beyond the Empire's boundaries. The Han's knowledge their territory was greater than what lay beyond their territory and so on for India, Persia, and the civilizations of Central Asia which were all linked by trade networks. The Euro-centric view where you use the term "known world" without qualification is out of date and frankly smacks of white supremacy. It's not necessarily understood the same way by non-Europeans as it is by Europeans (and Euro-Americians). Europe is not the center of the world or its history anymore. We can be proud of our Western heritage (Greece and Rome) without marginalizing other heritages. Have you examined any recent world history texts and compared them to texts of fifty years ago? Certainly China and India's heritages should not be overlooked in a multi-cultural world. Their history is not less worthy of the attention of historians. Why even say "known world"? What's the matter with the 'Mediterranean World' or simply the 'Western World' in terms of describing the Roman Empire?