Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine | Barry Strauss

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2019: Book #14

Augustus
Tiberius
Nero
Vespasian
Trajan
Hadrian
Marcus Aurelius
Septimius Severus
Diocletian
Constantine

These are the names of 10 Roman emperors. The list is not all of Rome’s emperors, but they are the 10 that Barry Strauss covers in his book, Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine.

This is a captivating read. Strauss is writing to business leaders. He details how each emperor rose to power and what they accomplished. This isn’t simply a listing of facts; rather, Strauss tells a story in which he weaves in their strengths, weaknesses, victories, and failures.

Those stories become examples for modern-day leaders.

Examples such as:

  • Revenge never serves a leader well
  • You can’t just defend your land, you must be advancing
  • Be loyal to your team
  • Honor the past and it will carry you to the future

Here’s one such story…

Rome was advancing on Israel. It was 67 A.D. The leading general was a 57-year-old man named Vespasian. During the the Galilean siege, Strauss records this story…

“When one of the defenders on a city wall in Galilee hit Vespasian in the sole of his foot with an arrow, the legions shuddered. But it was just a flesh wound, and the fifty-seven year-old general got up to show the men that he was fine, which spurred them to fight harder.”

The lesson: the team is watching. Leaders get up and inspire the team.

The book is filled with great lessons like this one.

I give the book 5 out of 5 stars.

That’s book #14 for 2019.
38 more to go.

Remember, all leaders are readers.

If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.
#52in2019

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