Episode 34 – Democracy and Republic, Part 2

“The Athenians, when ruled by tyrants, were no better in war than their neighbors, but freed from tyrants they were far superior.  This shows that when they were constrained they let themselves be defeated, since they were working for an overlord, but when they were […]

Episode 33 – Democracy and Republic, Part 1

“He added the Athenian people, who had formally not been in the center of things, to his own party, changed the names of the tribes and increased their number.  He made ten tribal commanders instead of four and distributed demes into the tribes ten at […]

Episode 32 – Things Fixed, Things Moving

“Black is your path, Agni, changeless, with glittering waves!  When like a bull you rush eager to the trees. With teeth of flame, wind-driven, through the wood he speeds, triumphant like a bull among the herd of cows, With bright strength roaming to the everlasting […]

Episode 31 – Land of Imposters

“After I became king, I fought nineteen battles in a single year and, by the grace of Ahura Mazda, I overthrew nine kings and I made them captive…As to these provinces which revolted, lies made them revolt, so that they deceived the people.  Then Ahura […]

Episode 29 – A More Perfect Empire

“Remember this lesson well:  Whenever you can, act as a liberator.  Freedom, dignity, and wealth—these three together constitute the great happiness of humanity.  If you bequeath all three to your people, their love for you will never die.” – Cyrus the Great (quoted by Xenophon) […]

Episode 27 – Count No Man Happy

“But in every matter it behooves us to mark well the end: for oftentimes God gives men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin.” – Solon of Athens Peisistratos’ first two attempts at tyranny were thwarted by the Athenian eupatridae.  The Spartans […]