In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

I was surprised to find Caesar’s Ghost at my door again, and on a holiday morning. “Happy Thanksgiving, Dictator!” I said. Hail, professor. Caesar looked perplexed. I asked what ailed him. I do not understand this Thanksgiving of yours. In Rome, we had Thanskgiving too, and we called it supplicatio. But it was not an annual event. We saved Thanksgiving …

Barry StraussThanksgiving


In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

With the Euro taking up fewer headlines this week, I didn’t expect to hear from Caesar’s Ghost. But the dictator came knocking on my door. Hail, professor! Hail, Caesar! What brings you here? The sweet smell of empire. Willy-nilly, the Germans are getting used to the idea that they have one and they like it. Now they merely have to …

Barry StraussImperium

Crossing the Eurocon

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

It was a bad week for powerful men. Joe Paterno was fired as football coach at Penn State, Papandreou stepped down as Greek Prime Minister, and finally, Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italian Prime Minister. Knowing, as I do, how little respect Caesar had for those who gave up power voluntarily, I summoned up his ghost once again. Hail, Caesar! Are …

Barry StraussCrossing the Eurocon

Caesar on the Republican Debate

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

I asked Caesar’s Ghost what he thought of last night’s Republican Presidential candidates’ debate. He sent the following reply: CAESAR THE DICTATOR TO “STRATEGIES” BLOG Caesar would not entrust the highest office in the republic to a person lacking the ambition to win. Romney displayed that ambition last night but Perry did not. Caesar adheres to the Greek ideal that …

Barry StraussCaesar on the Republican Debate

Caesar on 9-11

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

With the tenth anniversary of 9-11 approaching, I summoned up once again the ghost of one of history’s greatest strategic thinkers. Hail Caesar! What words of wisdom do you have for us, as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9-11? Caesar would not have waged war as you Americans have. After a conspiracy attacked your country around the Nones of …

Barry StraussCaesar on 9-11

You Can’t Win Without a Winner

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

With electoral politics heating up, I summoned up the new familiar ghost of Caesar. Hail, Caesar. The Republicans seem quite optimistic these days about defeating President Obama in 2012 and winning the White House. Men readily believe what they want. But given the state of the American economy in the Obama years, doesn’t it seem that the Republicans have a …

Barry StraussYou Can’t Win Without a Winner

Never Confess

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

With the financial crisis upending the political scene, I turned for advice once again to the master of crisis management, Julius Caesar. As usual, his ghost was ready to talk. I notice, dictator, that President Obama has not taken the blame for Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U. S. credit rating. In fact, his advisor, David Axelrod, went on …

Barry StraussNever Confess

The Man and the Mith

In Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

Look closely at this detail of a tower in Turkey. Most of it is brick and dates from the Byzantine period but the lower courses contain some marble blocks – they are ancient. The marble was reused from an earlier structure, maybe one that stood on the same site. I’d like to think that they come from a fortress that …

Barry StraussThe Man and the Mith


In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

“Pivot” is the buzzword of the season among political journalists. They report, for instance, that President Obama is “pivoting” to the issue of jobs after the federal debt ceiling debate. Earlier this year they said that Governor Romney was trying to “pivot” from playing defense about his healthcare law in Massachusetts to going on the attack on Obamacare. And we …

Barry StraussPivoting

Doing the Hannibal Haul

In Hannibal's Path, Masters of Command by Barry Strauss

During the recent backing and forthing over the Federal debt, did you ever wish that somebody would walk into the room and turn off the sound system? Well, two thousand years ago, Hannibal turned that wish into reality. The year was 202 B.C.E. and the great Carthaginian general had just lost the last major battle of his country’s long war …

Barry StraussDoing the Hannibal Haul