What have we learned since Rome? Heeding the Advice of Cicero

London, UK - 17th May 2009, 07:30 GMT

Dear ATCA Open & Philanthropia Friends

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero stated around 55 BCE:

"The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt..." and "...He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect."

What have we, our Leaders and Parliamentarians learned?

1. Rome was established in 753 BCE, the first 250 years of which were more tribal and led to an evolution towards a more sophisticated form of socio-economic governance.

2. The Roman Republic lasted for nearly 500 years until it became debased and corrupt, ie, up until the appointment of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE followed by Emperor "Augustus" Octavian's rule -- a period of transition to the Roman Empire. Octavian was a disciple of Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) and was the wise head on young shoulders that became the backbone and architect of the Roman Empire.

3. The Roman Empire was the post Republican phase of The Roman Republic. Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but reached its zenith under Emperor Trajan (53 - 117 CE), controlling approximately 5,900,000 km˛ (2,300,000 sq mi) of land surface, the largest empire the world has ever seen, by any standard.

4. In the late 3rd century CE, Diocletian (244 to 311 CE) established the practice of dividing authority between two emperors, one in the western part of the empire and one in the east, in order to better administer the vast territory. Similar to the Austro-Hapsburg empire in more recent times.

5. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 CE as Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate by Odoacer. The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire endured until 1453 CE with the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks.

So, all in all, Rome was saved then! For another 500 years on the Western front and another 1,500 years on the Eastern front essentially by Augustus Octavian who heeded the advice of Cicero! Do we have a choice to ignore the wisdom of Cicero? To thrive or to perish?

When comparing the past to the present we can see that human nature hasn't changed that much... it still creates similar outcomes. The work ethics and vision of our leaders having a significant impact on the tone and harmony of the people they lead.


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Best wishes

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.

The Philanthropia, founded in 2005, brings together over 1,000 leading individual and private philanthropists, family offices, foundations, private banks, non-governmental organisations and specialist advisors to address complex global challenges such as countering climate chaos, reducing radical poverty and developing global leadership for the younger generation through the appliance of science and technology, leveraging acumen and finance, as well as encouraging collaboration with a strong commitment to ethics. Philanthropia emphasises multi-faith spiritual values: introspection, healthy living and ecology. Philanthropia Targets: Countering climate chaos and carbon neutrality; Eliminating radical poverty -- through micro-credit schemes, empowerment of women and more responsible capitalism; Leadership for the Younger Generation; and Corporate and social responsibility.

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