New Gladiators

In Spartacus by Barry Strauss

In Spartacus’s day, gladiators advertised by parading through town, displaying their fierce physiques and touting their records of wins and losses. Nowadays, states advertise by testing missiles and nuclear bombs and then peddling the results to a global audience. So, Iran and North Korea in the past week. Their weapons make them winners; the implied loser is the United States, …

Barry StraussNew Gladiators

MemorialDay, 2009

In General by Barry Strauss

A spring afternoon several years ago found me in Volterra, Italy. I was following in giant footsteps by coming to this town. Located in the hills of western Tuscany, Volterra sits on a steep rise that commands the route between Pisa and Florence. The town’s strategic location and wealth, derived from alabaster and iron ore, have attracted conquerors ranging from …

Barry StraussMemorialDay, 2009

Core Values

In Rowing, Spartacus by Barry Strauss

When I took up a rowing some years ago, I learned that things were not as they seemed. People speak of “pulling an oar,” but in fact, rowing is more about pressing than pulling. By pressing against the foot-stretcher, a rower’s legs do more to move the boat than his arms do by pulling the oars. If that seems counter-intuitive, …

Barry StraussCore Values


In Spartacus by Barry Strauss

When American President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Washington, D.C. next week, the ghost of Rome will stalk the room. Although the Founders modeled themselves on the Roman Republic, Americans have long had an identity crisis: are they homebodies like Cincinnatus, who prefer the plow to politics, or tyrant-slayers like Brutus, who seek to strike …

Barry StraussFriends

Terrorists and Gladiators

In Spartacus by Barry Strauss

Attorney General Eric Holder testified in the Senate Thursday that no terrorists would be released from Guantanamo Bay Prison into the United States – or anywhere else. Presumably, those Guantanamo prisoners whom he has earlier said would be released are not terrorists.

Barry StraussTerrorists and Gladiators

How to Succeed in a Recession

In Spartacus by Barry Strauss

Even in a recession, someone always makes money. You’ve just got to have the right product to sell. Today’s newspaper carried a report that antiques are doing well, especially at the high end. The rich, it seems, need someplace to put their money, and many distrust the stock market these days. So why not buy a Louis XV chair? Or …

Barry StraussHow to Succeed in a Recession