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

I don’t understand the debt crisis in Washington. I’m not an economist. But I do understand the election of 2012. And I know that whoever wins this week’s debate in D.C. will forge ahead in next year’s races. To put events in perspective I turned to my usual source of wisdom on this matter, Julius Caesar’s ghost. Hail, Caesar! What …

Barry StraussTrust

Let’s Make a Deal — or Not

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

The news that negotiations were held again last night at the White House between President Obama, Speaker of the House Boehner, and other congressmen, that the negotiations failed, and that they will resume again on Monday morning – but only after the President holds a news conference – well, that was enough for me. There was, I knew, only one …

Barry StraussLet’s Make a Deal — or Not

What Would Alexander Do?

In Masters of Command, What Would Alexander Do? by Barry Strauss

The Greek government nowadays is desperately broke. One answer to its troubles is to borrow money, while the other is to declare bankruptcy and start all over. Either possibility is imposing a strain on the world’s financial system, because if Greece falls, it might take the European banks that lent it money along with it. But bad as that would …

Barry StraussWhat Would Alexander Do?

Beware the Kalends of May

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

The news of Osama bin Laden’s death seems to have jolted my connection with Caesar back to life. Tell me, dictator, what do you think of the news? I suppose Bin Laden should have known to beware the Kalends of May [as Romans called May 1]. But we men of action never could abide soothsayers and their warnings.

Barry StraussBeware the Kalends of May

Great Caesar’s Ghost

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

I read a report recently that Syrian ruler Bashar Assad sent thousands of soldiers into Damascus undercover, in black plainclothes, to make them look like policemen. Classicist that I am, I immediately thought of an incident in 49 BCE. Just before crossing the Rubicon and starting his invasion of Italy, Caesar sent centurions into the key city of Rimini (ancient …

Barry StraussGreat Caesar’s Ghost

Caesar, Spartacus, and NATO

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

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking a staff ride to the site of one of Julius Caesar’s battles in Gaul. It was part of my visit to SHAPE in Mons, Belgium, where I was invited to lecture on military history. SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers in Europe) is NATO’s military wing. My companions on the staff ride …

Barry StraussCaesar, Spartacus, and NATO