The philosopher Philo of Alexandria, in the second book of his treatise On Dreams (II.18.123), relates a story about a despotic governor of Egypt. “It is only a very short time ago,” he says, “that I knew a man of very high rank, one who was prefect and governor of Egypt, who, after he had taken it in his head to change our national institutions and customs…was compelling us to obey him, and to do other things contrary to our established custom.”Continue reading
It is said that after Alexander the Great completed his conquests in Asia, he intended eventually to turn his gaze westward to the Mediterranean region, and bring those lands under his control. Death, of course, overtook him before he could begin this campaign. Either the lingering effects of his battlefield wounds, or his dissolute living habits, brought him to an early grave.Continue reading
The Battle of Zama essentially concluded the Second Punic War, that terrible contest waged by Rome and Carthage for control of the western Mediterranean. It took place in 202 B.C. near the town of Zama in what is now Tunisia. The commanding generals were Hannibal on the Carthaginian side, and Publius Cornelius Scipio on the Roman. The historian Livy (XXX.30) relates a fascinating exchange between these two great commanders that took place on the eve of the battle.
There are some who take a relaxed view of human intervention in the events of Fate. They believe that nascent crises can be placed on the “back burner,” so to speak, and left to stew in their own juices until a reasonable solution presents itself. They say that one should monitor developments, stay informed of the shifting winds, and act when one can be reasonably certain of a favorable outcome.