For most humans living today, it’s hard to imagine life without written language, governments and large-scale agriculture. But on the scale of human history, all these are recent inventions. Until just 11,000 years ago, we lived in small groups, hunting, gathering and practicing simple farming. Tribal warfare was common, life spans were short and strangers were rarely encountered.
Today’s piece will be on two ancient civilizations, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome and the survival lessons we can learn from them.
I want us to focus a little bit on the Greek city that’s most relevant to survival and preparedness, Sparta. If you’ve seen the movie, you probably know people living there were very strict and that’s exactly what you’ll need if you want to be a good prepper. You need determination, you need practice and much more.
In Ancient Sparta, there was a strong emphasis on physical fitness. Boys received physical education from a very young age, 7 to be exact, when they were taken from their mothers and sent to military barracks for training. Girls were taught how to fight as well. Children were taught wilderness survival skills since it was expected they were going to fight at some point in their lives. The Greeks lived a frugal, minimalist life, yet they taught their children things like singing and dancing.
Nearby were the Romans.
As you might expect, life during the Roman Empire was tough. If you didn’t have a job in the city, you were stuck farming and had zero access to the services people in the cities had. Even so, because the Empire was always looking to expand, you’d still have to leave everything behind and go to war if you were needed.
Many compare the fall of the Roman Empire with the migrant crisis in Europe. When you’re too big and keep conquering other nations and territories, you become a target and those people will resent you and try and take you down.
The uprisings of the conquered nations such as the Visigoths (which led to the fall of the Roman Empire) happened because they were treated poorly and, if we look at France today, we something remarkably similar. Many of the radical extremists living inside this once great country are second generation immigrants. Many of them are marginalized, unable to fit, and some have grown so much hatred towards their country of birth that they’ve sworn to take it down.
The biggest survival lesson here is not about homesteading or self-defense. It is merely the bigger they are, the harder they fall. No great country ever stood the test of time before in our history. Countries like France and the UK are already seen by some as mere shadows of what they were 10-20 years ago.
The last lesson from the Roman Empire is no matter how good things are looking, there’s always a chance they’re going to take a turn for the worse.
Always Safe, Always Prepared