top of page

“Now, the Romans say that the many good qualities of Crassus were obscured by one vice, avarice…”

Plutarch, Crassus 2

Marcus Licinius Crassus was a political patron and partner in power with Julius Caesar, but he is best remembered as the Roman Republic’s wealthiest man and for the not unrelated manner of his death. Crassus lost his life in battle with the Parthian Empire in 53 BC, but his story did not end there. The victorious Parthians, to mock Crassus’ unquenchable thirst for wealth, proceeded to desecrate his corpse by pouring molten gold down his throat. Sigmund Freud even included the tragic scene in his classic work, The Interpretation of Dreams, and has a Queen of Parthia state to Crassus’ corpse, “Now hast thou what thou hast longed for.” But buried deep beneath the lurid tales of Crassus’ extraordinary life and gruesome death hides entrepreneurial genius. For the enigmatic Crassus time and again reveals himself as a financial wizard, who through his risk-taking and shrewd investments, reached the pinnacle of power in the Late Roman Republic.

This book examines the many similarities between the wealth accumulation methods of this ancient businessman (be they good, bad or ugly) and the greatest entrepreneurs of America’s Gilded Age—the men better known today as the robber barons. In the late nineteenth century, the term robber baron came into use to describe businesspersons who made great fortunes through aggressive, exploitive, and ruthless business practices as well as their ability to innovate on a grand scale. These same traits can also be clearly discerned in Marcus Crassus, who lived over 2,000 years ago. Although the author shows there is little to admire in Crassus’ character, there is still much to learn from his entrepreneurial thinking.

Nearly 2000 years ago a wealthy Roman Senator, Pliny the Younger, wrestled with the effects of collapsing grape prices on his Tuscan vineyard. Pliny, very much the Roman traditionalist, was in fact an innovative businessman whose problem analysis and ethical approach to his decisions, all made without the support of the modern technology taken for granted today, translate exceptionally well into the modern business world. Pliny’s actions during that business crisis are evaluated from the perspective of a modern day CEO and provide critical guidance for today’s entrepreneurs and students of business.

This study, primarily drawn from Pliny’s collection of letters, provides the foundation upon which a modern business framework of 20 lessons is constructed. These management lessons discuss topics such as personal leadership, business ethics, risk management, financial management as well as innovation and are augmented with commentary drawn from the author’s experience in managing and leading global businesses over a 30-year career.

Available on and


In our modern society, generating personal financial security, whether by means of employment in a small to medium sized company, or a career in a large corporation, is difficult enough even on “good days” and seemingly impossible during turbulent times. Most often your financial wellbeing is dependent on your employment, and so the loss of a job often can result in the complete destruction of personal wealth. The goal of this handbook is to instruct you, via a set of 20 lessons, in a ‘bare knuckles’ approach to survival in the marketplace - a marketplace where events are often not just complicating your business life, but are conspiring to destroy both your livelihood and your accumulated wealth.

This handbook will examine the decisions and actions of one exceptional survivor who operated over two thousand years ago in ancient Rome - the Rome of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Marcus Brutus, and Cicero. For among these giants of history operated Titus Pomponius Atticus (referred to in the text simply as Atticus). Atticus witnessed years of civil war and bloodshed that the rise of Julius Caesar engendered. After surviving all that turmoil Atticus then faced one of the most jarring events in history, the assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 BC - but Atticus was no mere witness to these events - he was involved financially with the major players!  We will look beyond the distaste of some historians and use Atticus as a source of shrewd wisdom, for the lessons to be gained from his amazing ability to survive and prosper are timeless. An employee fighting for his or her own survival in today’s heartless business world could do much worse than the selection of such an advisor.

Available on and


Customers are the lifeblood of any modern company but how do you go about capturing their business? To answer this question author Robert Lerner reaches back in time to the customer acquisition strategies of four of the most successful entrepreneurs of ancient Rome.

From these ancient entrepreneurs’ marketing and promotional techniques this book provides twenty-nine lessons in customer acquisition that are insensitive to the passage of time and that can applied across the broad spectrum of communication vehicles available today.

Available on and

bottom of page