My passion for Historical Leadership began when I searched deeper from references found in best selling author’s Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady’s book ‘Leadership and Liberty’. I began to develop an appetite for more knowledge about our freedom and liberty so I searched some of their referenced books like, Skousen’s, ‘The 5000 Year Leap’, Os Guiness’s, ‘Character Counts’, and ‘The Road to Serfdom’ by F.A. Hayak. The LIFE Business also provides an abundance of products and resources to help deepen our understanding about the roots of our freedom.
Searching deeper led me to find that virtue has always been the staple to every free republic. John Adams wrote in 1819, “Have you ever found in History, one single example of a nation, thoroughly corrupted, that was afterwards restored to virtue? And without virtue there can be no political liberty.” It’s no coincidence that our founding fathers place virtue as the highest quality. This is the opposite of the rise of licentiousness (lacking legal and moral restraints) that we see becoming more evident in our society today.
Montesquieu, who was quoted more than any other author outside of the Bible by our founding father’s felt that virtue was the main principle of ancient republics. At the height of republics we find the qualities of courage, discipline, persistence, patience, self – restraint, hard work, endurance, and honesty. The word virtue is derived from these Latin words.
Republic’s come into existence when people of courage come together and stand on principle’s to resist the corruption of government. The history of the Roman Republic began when the last Roman King Tarquin was expelled. After that the word ‘King’ was not even used as it was called “odius” as in a foul odor. The Romans established a representative government with a Senate who advised the oligarchy. In addition to these Patricians (senate), the Plebian’s (common people) could elect two tribunes who were granted authority to halt any senate measures they considered unfair. The word “veto” is Latin for “I forbid” and would be shouted out in the senate chamber. It took courage to stand up for principles.
It takes courage to stand on principles for the preservation of freedom and historians say it was evident that Scipio Africanus saved the Roman Republic at the battle of Zuma in 202 B.C. This battle between Rome and the undefeated Hannibal would allow for the continued spread of Greek culture and ultimately Christianity. Scipio became prominent because of his military victories over the Carthaginian’s in Spain. After those victories he was offered the title ‘procounsel’ because of his heroism. He refused, saying, “The action was one that rewarded itself.” Scipio was a master of military strategy and the art of instilling confidence in his troops. When Scipio faced the undefeated Hannibal at the battle of Zuma, it placed two of the most adept general’s in opposition ever recorded in history. A wide range of strategies that included the use of mercenaries and elephants on the side of the Carthaginian’s while Scipio used trumpets to confuse the elephants and calvery to finally beat the Carthaginian infantry. As a result of this victory Scipio was given the title ‘Africanus’ in honor of his north African victories. Rome now controlled all of the western Mediterranean. By defending the Republic against this threat, Rome entered the peak of its Republic. Scipio returned to public life, not interested in rising to power. His story is similar to George Washington who modeled his behavior after the Roman farmer Cincinnatus who returned to farming after defeating a Latin tribe in 462 B.C. He had no interest in dictatorial power.
Similarly today, the downfall of the Roman republic began when Octavian procured favor with the Roman people by supervising the distribution of funds. The great historian Livy wrote, “The might of an imperial people is beginning to work its own ruin….Of late years wealth has made us greedy, and self – indulgence has brought us through every form of sensual excess, to be, if I may so put it, in love with death both individual and collective.” Will we be remembered as the next great men and women of courage while standing on principles preserved our republic? At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1789 a lady asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin, “Well Doctor, what have we got a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “It's a republic, if you can keep it!” God Bless, George Guzzardo