Thoughts on: The Story of Civilization, Vol 3: Caesar and Christ by Will Durant

Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, this book is not read one either. It’s thousand pages covers almost all aspects of Roman civilization.
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The broad scope is both it’s biggest strength and it’s weakness. While philosophy and statemanship holds my attention, Rome’s pottery and poetic traditions does not. This leads many highs and lows, but also to a holistic understanding of the workings of the empire.
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📝 “A great civilization is not conquered from without before it has destroyed itself from within.” 💥
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📝 During this Saturnalia festival the relationship between slave and master was inverted. Slaves could disobey ordered without punishment. Sometimes they changed clothes with their master. They where served food and wine.
The masters “didn’t eat until all their slaves where filled.”. A great way to keep control the slaves. This temporary relief must have kept the slave/master dynamic from reaching a boiling point.
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📝 “Moreover, I consider that Carthage should be destroyed.” – the line Cato ended all his speeches with in the Senate. #Montaigne more humble adage was “what do I know?” . I wonder what my adage will be? 🤔 😆 I want one!
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📝 Caesar epic nickname: “The Bald Adulterer” 👴🏻
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📝 Caligula. the megalomaniac, took baths in perfume; had habitual incest with his sisters; sprinkled golds to the masses; ordered all
bald men to be sent as food for the gladiatorial animals when animal food was in I’ll supply.

📝 Marcus Aurelius: Slept on the floor while his mother asked him to get on the coach. “He became a stoic before he became a man.”
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📝 Historically the belief in heaven and the belief in utopia are like compensatory buckets in a well: when one goes down the other comes up.
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NEXT UP:
The Story of Civilization: Volume 4: The Age of Faith.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
I love that I’ve read this book but I don’t necessarily want to do it again. 😬
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3/5

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