Friday, 6 February 2009

Ten lessons from Ancient Rome

The great period of Roman peace and prosperity lasted barely two centuries, until the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 A.D.

Nevertheless, the physical and intellectual assets accumulated during that period have allowed Roman civilization to exert its influence for two thousand years.

Principles of success are eternal. Teachings of the past should never be forgotten. We don't need to spend our time making mistakes that we can easily avoid by paying attention to History.

What can we learn from the best years of Ancient Rome? This list contains my ten favourite lessons:

  1. Entrepreneurship is the basis for creating wealth in society.
  2. Expansion projects are infinite, but the available capital is always limited.
  3. There are many different ways to finance a venture.
  4. Trade opens the door to tolerance and friendship.
  5. Violence only leads to more violence.
  6. Most people are open to new ideas that bring immediate benefit.
  7. Immigration enriches society, economically and culturally.
  8. Rigid structures are immensely vulnerable to change.
  9. The place where a man is born does not determine his future.
  10. Quality in the use of language reflects quality of thinking.

[Image by Maurice under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]