Ok. So, status quo is the issue. Does he go over Byzantium at all? Byzantium was a surprisingly robust and stable culture for 1000 years. They saw themselves as part of the continuum of the Roman Empire although they had their own distinctive ways which were uniquely their own.
It *did* reach a point of complacency and excess but I think 800 strong years for a civilization is pretty good, with 200 downhill years, before becoming a diaspora.
I bring up Byzantium because one of those strongest values was that of the Status Quo. We see Status Quo as a bad thing, but they pretty much perfected it.