The Augustan settlement and Important Events in the Life of Julius Caesar.

1. What was the Augustan Settlement? How did Augustus balance his perceived need for absolute power with his concern to lend the impression that the republic had been restored and the old ways were being observed? 
Augustus, known as Octavian at the time, saw imbalance in the rising Roman empire.  He needed to take absolute power so that he could make accomplishments as dictator.  Up to this time, there had been many civil wars caused by single individuals attempting to take absolute power, and thus wars were caused by retaliation of the Roman people.  Octavian resented the idea of another civil war, so he attempted to give up some his privileges up to the consul, however they were given back to him and he was given the title “Augustus.”  He still had concerns that the Romans would fear having one person with absolute power over their city.  He attained their trust by restoring old rituals, as ritual was very important to the Roman people.  Augustus introduced social laws that prevented adultery, and in his progress, he proved himself an effective dictator of the Roman people.

He took a different approach than people who attempted to achieve dictatorship before him, and he thought on behalf of the city.

2. Use your reading and the video lesson to summarize important events in the life of Julius Caesar. 
Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) was an important figure in western civilization.  In 60 B.C., the first Triumvirate was formed, it was an alliance between Caesar, Pompey (106-48 B.C.), and Crassus (115-53 B.C.).  This was a secret arrangement, not yet known by the Roman public.  The purpose of this alliance was to combine their individual power (each of the three had significant power), to get things that each of them wanted, fro instance, Caesar wanted consulship followed by military command.  Caesar receives command in Gaul.  In 53 B.C., Triumvirate collapses, due to the death of Crassus and the death of Caesar’s daughter who was married to Pompey.  This leaves Caesar and Pompey, Caesar’s Gallic wars are a success which arouses jealousy in Pompey.  The senate takes the side of Pompey as the lesser of the evils, and he is ordered to return to Rome, this he refuses.  He maintains his army, and illegally crosses the Rubicon river, this march on Rome develops into a civil war against Pompey’s forces, and Caesar is victorious.

Caesar was made dictator for life in 48 B.C., and established the Roman empire, granting citizenship, establishing colonies for veterans, and making building and further military plans.  He is feared by some of the key senators and in 48 B.C. he was assassinated.

What would have been Orestes’ proper course of action, had he been living today?

The libation bearers is the second part of a Greek trilogy written by Aeschylus, a Greek tragedian (6th century-5th century B.C.).   In this tragedy, dialogue is continued from the first section of the trilogy; a series of blood guilt justice within the household of Agamemnon.  Like most ancient Greek tragedies of this time, this tragedy was a story of the effects of the Trojan war.  This was a series of events that followed the Trojan war, it did not take place during the Trojan war.

The character Orestes, son of Agamemnon, is faced with a difficult decision.  He makes an oath to the Greek god Apollo to avenge his father’s death.  To do so, he must kill his father’s murderer. In this case, his father’s murder is Orestes’ own mother, Clytaemnestra, and her new found lover, Aegisthus that she conspired with to kill Agamemnon.  Orestes is trapped with a decision, if he does not avenge his father by killing his mother, he will face the consequences of his father’s furies, and the consequences of Apollo.  However, if he does go through with the action of killing his mother, Clytaemnestra, he will face her household furies.  He is facing a decision in which he is potentially doomed either way.  Orestes asks for advice from his associate and ultimately kills his mother, and announces at the end of the tragedy that he must flee to avoid her furies.

It was a complicated system of justice.  One act of blood guilt in the family required another act to attain justice, but the system is endless because every murder will require another murder.  It was an “eye for an eye” system of justice.  This is a system that any given individual in the modern world would perceive as corrupt.

If Orestes had been living today, he would have needed to take a completely different course of action.  The series of slaughtering started with Agamemnon offering his daughter Iphogenia, as a sacrifice during the Trojan war, then Clytaemnestra and Aegisthus conspired the murder of Agamemnon to bring justice on his actions, and Orestes followed by avenging Agamemnon.  In this system, the murders are justified by personal reasons, there is no ultimate sovereignty that lays down laws.  In terms of courts, there were no ultimate laws that prevented this slaughtering of family murders, it was all personal to the family.  In most modern systems of justice, this is an issue that would be taken to the court and settled by the system of justice in that state.  No matter how personal the issue, murder is not permitted.

Orestes, if operating today, would have to take this issue to the courts, or he himself would be liable for his murderous actions.  In most modern systems of justice, decisions like the decision Orestes faced, would be made according to the law of that particular society.  In the time of this event, Greek religion played a big role, however, today, in most societies, it is not acceptable to justify murder based on one’s religion.  Had Orestes been active today, perhaps he could have avoided the situation and the difficult decisions he faced by appealing to the court and attaining justice for his household.

The Business Opportunity of Social Media Management.

A majority of individuals spend a vast amount of their time on various social media platforms, this poses opportunity for businesses to get in front of their customer.  All business professionals and other individuals need to keep a clean, updated online social profile.  People visit social media websites everyday, it is a waste for celebrities or businesses to not engage on this huge social hub.

No business or individual spends their entire advertising budget to be on a billboard in an extremely rural area, rather, they spend their money advertising on billboards in the city; where the majority of people are.  Facebook has approximately 1.49 billion active users, that is a lot of people, and the number is constantly growing.  These are people of all ages and interests, and they go on Facebook daily to find things of interest to them.  The potential customer is there and can be targeted easily.

Celebrities and small businesses need to be out there, but they do not always have the time and the “know-how” to reach their audience through social media platforms.  This creates a business opportunity for individuals who have a professional knowledge of social media management and marketing.  There is a broad customer base.  Businesses need a professional to create social buzz for them, they need to create a social experience for their customers.  This is not always easy.  To be successful, the individual needs to know how to attract people and keep them engaged.  This profits the celebrity or business because they need people on social media platforms to be following them and engaging in their content, they just need someone to professionally produce and manage that content.

Savanna vs. Tropical rain forest.

From Wikipedia, “A biome /ˈbm/ is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in.”  There are two categories of biomes, terrestrial biomes and aquatic biomes.  In these two general categories there is a wide variety of biomes.  In this assignment, I have selected, and will contrast two terrestrial biomes: the savanna, and the tropical rain forest.

A savanna is an open grassland, the trees in a savanna are sufficiently spread so that they do not create a canopy blocking direct sunlight to the soil.  However, this does not mean that they do not have high tree density, the trees are simply more regularly spaced than in tropical  forests.  Savanna covers about 20% of the earth’s surface, and despite the dryness, the savanna can support a lot of life.  Grazing or browsing animals are common inhabitants of a savanna.  The temperature year-round generally averages in the high 70’s (68-86 F), which is helpful to the organisms living there.  One of the challenges that faces the inhabitants of a savanna, is the danger of wildfires, which are common in a savanna.

Unlike the savanna, tropical rain forests have a canopy of trees that almost entirely blocks direct sunlight to the soil, this provides opportunity for organisms very different from those who occupy a savanna.  Tropical rain forests do not encounter a dry season, and encounter a lot of rain (avg. of 60 mm per month) year round.  Tropical rain forests are withing 10 degrees (north or south) of the equator.  The temperature is fairly consistent year round- rarely getting above 93 degrees Fahrenheit, and rarely getting below about 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty consistent year round, however, not as consistent as the average savanna temperature range.

The two biomes are significantly different from one another and the inhabitants of each face different challenges every day.  The organisms in each biome are equip to survive the conditions of  that biome.

Changes Resulting from the Struggle of the Orders.

What specific changes occurred in Roman society as a result of the Struggle of the Orders?

The Struggle of the Orders was an event taking place from 494-287 B.C.. the Plebeians (commoners) and Patricians (aristocrats), were the two groups of people who constituted the Roman population. However, the Plebeians were very much taken advantage of by the Patricians, however this changed with the Struggle of the Orders.

Prior to the Struggle of the Orders, the Plebeians were liable to enslavement if they were unable to pay their debts, they were deprived of political rights, and they were just oppressed by the Patricians.  The Plebeians saw that they were taken advantage of, and since most of the city was Plebeian people, they decided they could secede from the city and gain concessions from the Patricians who would need them back.  By stepping away, the Patricians underwent problems caused by lack of men to perform common labor.  The Patricians had no choice but to submit to the requests of the Plebeians.

One of the first concessions was the twelve tables of Roman law, which put the law on stone in a place that citizens could access it (mid 5th century B.C.).  This would publicize the law and give the individual an opportunity to know and understand the judicial standards of their city.  Prior to this concession, the law was not known to the public and this gave the Patricians an opportunity to take advantage of the Plebeians.

They won the power to elect Tribunes, which were ancient Rome officials who would protect their interests.  By the end of the Struggle of the Orders, the Plebeians were allowed to participate in lawful affairs as much as the Patricians.  Intermarriage between the two parties was allowed, and the act of debt slavery was abolished altogether.  However, while this huge transformation occurred, aristocratic families still dominated Rome, and saw themselves as above the Plebeians, they did so into the 4th century A.D.

What was Aeschylus’s view of the Trojan war?

In ancient Greek history Aeschylus is often described as “the father of tragedy,” he receives this description because he wrote about great Greek tragedies.  He was said to have written a vast amount of plays, however, unfortunately, only a small number of those survived to this day.  He was born in the late 6th century B.C. and died in the mid 5th century B.C..  In one of his most famous tragedies “Agamemnon” he provides some account on his view of the Trojan war.  This tragedy is dramatic, however, one may not learn about the Trojan war by reading it.  He only provides brief account on his view of the famous and devastating war.

While many people are in doubt about whether the Trojan war actually happened or not, the story of the Trojan war was heavily influential on western society.  The war that lasted 10 years, was believed to have began by an act of adultery, it ended in the destruction of Troy, and many deaths of Greek men.

During the war, the main character of the play, Agamemnon, offered a human sacrifice, his own daughter, Iphigenia.  This act was performed to settle war-related issues.  In the tragedy, this act itself was not perceived as wicked, but the wickedness was directed towards the attitude of Agamemnon.  He showed no mercy towards his daughter and did not struggle to command the wicked act.  Personally, I took from this that Aeschylus was attempting to display the way that this horrendous war effected the minds of men.  Agamemnon slaughtering his daughter was a mere example of the other acts that took place during the span of this war.  It seems as though Aeschylus’ view of the war was that it poisoned the minds of men.

Regarding justice, there was no finality, there was no ultimate judgement of good or bad.  Bloodshed was justified by more bloodshed.  These men had no morals, or at least it was interpreted that way in the plays.  Without a set of morals, humankind becomes no better than a beast.  The thing that sets human beings apart from all other creatures is the ability to apply reason, take away reason and men become brainless creatures unaware of the impact of their acts.  Even without an idea of God, I believe that men can reason and separate the difference between good and evil.  In general, a man would not order to have his daughter killed and be satisfied with the act, the war corrupted man’s reason.

Some of the gods sided with Troy, while some of the gods sided with Greece.  The gods did not impose an ultimate end sanction in the war, however they did intervene with more powerful acts than men, for instance, the gods had the ability to install a curse on man, which in some cases can be worse than murdering a man.

The tragedy was not central to the war itself but rather the affect of the war on the men who fought, the families of the men who fought, and the acts of the minds that were corrupted in the war.

The online business opportunity of selling products online.

Over the past week of lessons (L41-L44), in the business II course of the Ron Paul curriculum, I was presented with 4 online business ideas.  The opportunities were: 1. Blogging.  2. Photography.  3. Website security.  4. Selling products online.  I have interest in both photography and blogging, but they are, at this point in my life, just a passionate hobby used in building a personal portfolio.  Of these four endeavors, I am intrigued most by the opportunity of selling products online.

Selling products online is essentially creating a worldwide storefront.  There are several online platforms that can be used to sell products on (e.g. Amazon, Ebay, Etsy etc.), or one can create their own storefront website.  To build a successful online store, whether it is built on another platform or on a personal website, there must be a professional setup that provides a good customer experience.  It takes an investment to build a secure and successful online store.

The target customer depends on what is sold and in what niche.  To be set apart from competitors, the store should be stocked with a unique brand that consumers cannot find elsewhere.  Products can be handmade, made or produced by a local source, or they can be ordered wholesale by a manufacturer.  Personally, I am still unsure of what I want to sell online, however, I think the best way to develop a niche is to ask people about their problems and develop a product or series of products that solve a common problem.

This could be transformed into a career, or it could just be a business to get me started.  Regardless, if I follow a formula of success, this is an experience that is invaluable.

Ancient liberty vs. Modern liberty, and the basic idea of Epicureanism.

1. What is the difference between the liberty of the ancients and the liberty of the moderns? What would moderns find lacking in ancient liberty?  The modern idea of liberty is based mainly on the right of the individual.  Every individual can make choices for themselves and on their own terms.  The ancients had a different idea of liberty, rather than individual rights, the city had rights.  The city made choices and acted on behalf of its citizens.  Many of the ancients were devoted to their cities, as if their city was a parent to them.  This is dramatically different from what we see today.

Modern individuals would find several things lacking in ancient liberty.  The main point they would find lacking is that individual rights were ignored. the cities were smaller, however they were deprived of freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, and many other rights that most modern day people associate with the idea of liberty.

2. Based on the Principal Doctrines, explain the basic ideas of Epicureanism.
The Epicureans were a group of philosophy founded by the Greek philosopher Epicurus.  These people sought after things in life that would give them lasting pleasure, and ultimate purpose.  They did not engage in gluttonous behaviors, that would give them pains the next day, they searched and engaged in the things that would bring them life-long pleasure.  The invested themselves in friendships, expansion of knowledge and sober-reasoning, things that would give them long-term fulfillment.

They believed that the universe was pointless and that there were no gods, and if there were, they didn’t care.  They believed that the universe was entirely material, and that there was no immaterial realm.  They did however, believe in free will and common sense.

What was Hesiod’s view of the mankind’s past and future?

Hesiod was a Greek poet assumed to have been active in 750-650 B.C..  Among his writings, he wrote a poem called “Works and days” in which he attempts to persuade his brother, Perses, to pay him his rightful share of the inheritance.  The poem is essentially divided into two sections, the first section provides ethical instruction in the way man should live.  The second section provides instruction for how men should live practically.  Hesiod tries to persuade Perses to listen to Zeus (the supreme god) rather than the courts, who may take bribes in making their decisions.  The persuasion of Perses was the purpose of this poem, but in persuading Perses, Hesiod shared his view of mankind’s past and future.

Hesios tells us that there were 5 ages in sequence of mankind.  We are the fifth race.  The first period, was the golden age.  Man lived luxuriously in a god-like lifestyle, men stayed young and healthy and saw no harm or despair.  The second period was the silver age.  These men, unlike the golden age, had to work, however, a child could play for up to 100 years before growing up.  The third period was the bronze age.  The people were made of bronze and lived in a bronze world.  The fourth period of mankind, were the demigods. The demigods were a god-like race of hero men, far more righteous and more noble than man.   Then, finally, there is the fifth period, the iron age.  The iron age is the era we live in now, and we are told by descriptions that this is the lowest of the 5 ages.

In terms of the future, we are told that we (the iron age) are ultimately doomed.  We are told that Zeus will destroy the Iron race, like he did all the others.  It is a pessimistic view, the iron race have nothing to hope for, because ultimately it will be destroyed.

While Hesiod provided this ultimate gloomy fate of men, he also said that men should have good ethic, and that men should pray to and rely on Zeus.  Hesiod gave reasons for short term optimism, but regarding the long term, he had only reasons for pessimism.  In this poem, he is telling mankind to live their lives in justice, and in hard work, but at death, it is over.  The only hope for mankind is death.

To live a prosperous life, according to Hesiod, man must pray to Zeus and live his life according to the will of Zeus.  If a person is unjust, Zeus will inflict sanctions accordingly.  To attain reward, humankind must live justly.  However, Zeus is inconsistent, he is not predictable.  If a supreme figure is not consistent in their laws of ethics, or in the sanctions inflicted based on those laws, then difficulty arises for the person trying to abide by said laws.  Man can attain short term reward, if he is able to please Zeus, but in the long term, there is only darkness and death to look forward to.

The Business Opportunity of SEO.

Over the past week of lessons (L36-L40) in the business 2 course of the Ron Paul curriculum, 4 different online business opportunities were presented.  Search engine optimization, Graphic design, website theme development, copy-writing.  Of these 4 options, I was intrigued most by the business opportunity of search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization is getting a website to the top of search engine results using natural techniques.  There are companies with websites that could vastly increase their revenue, with the help of someone who has experience in SEO.  The common person searching for a business does not go all the way to the 10th page of Google to find their results, it is rare for people to even make it to the 2nd page.  When  you make a Google search, the top few results are paid ads, then from there, the results are placed based on how the website is keyed and optimized.  It is crucial to apply SEO techniques to a website, and a specific article.  For a website to be successful, it must be visited, to ensure that a website is visited, SEO techniques must be applied.

SEO is getting ranked as high as possible through NATURAL tactics.  If you use “black hat” techniques rather than natural methods, you can be removed from Google, and lose time and money that you have invested. Essentially, avoid lying to people to get website views. It is crucial to only use natural techniques.

To become an SEO specialist, it is crucial to understand how to key and optimize a website.  it is important to know how to create a good SEO title, and how to insert the right, and effective keywords.  Good writing ability is basic to SEO, as it is basic to almost every field.  Luckily, SEO is based largely on logic, there is no confusing formulas, it is all very logical.  To attain the skills needed, you simply need good work ethic, and as much experience as you can get.