Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A lesson from Hadrian

NPR's Guy Raz offers a classical parallel to Obama's historical moment:

When he takes office in January, President-elect Barack Obama will inherit the gloomiest economy since the Great Depression, prompting comparisons to another president who came into office during tough economic times: Franklin D. Roosevelt. But there's another leader Obama could draw inspiration from — a 2nd century Roman emperor.. . .

Hadrian did what few of his predecessors would even consider: He went on a road trip and visited nearly every corner of the empire. He knew that for Rome to bolster its influence, it had to show at least some respect for the nations so affected by its power. Hadrian also increased foreign aid and started a program of nation-building throughout the empire.

By and large, it worked. -More-

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