Tag Archive for: Mark Twain

“Getting Started”

Going through some emails today I came across this gem sent from my Dad:

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

The secret of getting started is breaking the overwhelming complex task into small manageable tasks.

Then, start with the very first one.

Mark Twain
American Humorist, Writer, & Lecturer

Notes on “The Ghosts of Cannae”

P8 – “Verisimilitude is not truth, just the appearance of truth.”

P12 – “Mark Twain seemed to have gotten it about right when he concluded that although history doesn’t repeat itself, it does sometimes rhyme.”  Twain may have said that… but Twain also has the “Periodic Law of Repetition.  See Letters from the Earth.

P42 – Romans were never too proud to learn.

P87 – “At one point Livy has him (Hannibal) say: ‘Many things which are difficult in themselves, are easily effected by contrivance.’  This was tactical Hannibal in a nutshell.”

P162 – Livy’s “cinematic” description of the post-Cannae battlefield.

P184 – Roman siege of Syracuse in 212 b.c.e.  “Property rights were given the same regard as academic freedom by the rampaging Romans, who picked the place (Syracuse) clean–so clean that the haul brought home by Marcellus for his ovation was said to have kick-started the city’s passion for Greek art.”

P239, 240 – Sophonisba’s death: “Choose my fate as your heart may prompt you, but whatever you do, even if it means my death, don’t surrender me to the arrogant and brutal whim of any Roman… What a woman of Carthage–what the daughter of Hasdrubal–has to fear from a Roman is all too clear.”