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Lessons from Rome

I’ve been re-listening to Mike Duncan’sThe History of Rome” podcast, and it’s interesting to see how a lot of the issues that plague modern countries and leaders happened back then, both during the Republic and the Empire. Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Keep your friends close and your enemies in a small iron box.
  • If you’re going to be just and merciful, be just and merciful.  If you’re going to be bloodthirsty, be bloodthirsty.  Trying to be both will just get you shanked.
  • It is better to be loved than feared, but it is better to be feared than to be murdered and thrown in a river.
  • Friends and supporters that are there for you because you pay them off will make extremely difficult enemies when you can’t afford them anymore.
  • There are enough problems in the world.  Don’t go poking your neighbors in the eye out of boredom.
  • The children and grandchildren of very successful people should be watched with a jaundiced eye.
  • Giving power to someone before they’ve established a track record that says they can handle it is a very bad thing.
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