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March 13, 2013 / Dale Melchin

Lessons from Ancient Roman History


I have been reading The History of Rome Books 1-8 by Livy  It has been a long read and I’m not going to provide a full review.  I’m going to share X lessons I have gleaned from reading it.

All States/Countries have their origin in another State, Country or Culture.  The Ancient Romans were descended from the Aenids who were refugees from Troy.  Romulus and Remus were the children of Aeneas he himself was a noble warrior who was permitted by the gods to escape because they had a purpose for him.  While the Romans established a great state in their own right, had Aeneas not escaped or had stayed in Carthage, history would’ve been quite different.

In politics, there is neither good, nor evil that prevail, only what is strong and popular.  This unfortunately is nothing new.  The Romans prevailed for as long as they did was because they were disciplined and strong, not because they were necessarily good.  On the contrary, even in the early history when Rome was a Monarchy they routinely were statist, nationalistic, and manipulative.  They just played the game better than the other Latin states.  The people eventually moved to overthrow the monarchy, not because the state was immoral, but because the king had exceeded his boundaries.

For the time it existed,  Rome as a Monarchy worked because the people were involved.  When ever there was a death of the King, the people would select the king.  The Senate would approve the new king.  This is tale for us that we should be able to follow, regardless of the level of the social strata, if you are going to have a great country, you have to have involvement.

While there are other lessons, the primary one is that there is nothing new under the sun.  The things we do in our modern culture are simply repackaged versions of the old.


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