The Most Valuable Possession Of The Ancient Romans

Perhaps one of the most virtuous stories of ancient Roman history and mythology is that of Marcus Curtius. According to Roman legend, in 362 BCE a deep chasm opened in the Roman Forum. The Roman people attempted to fill the chasm to no avail. The senate consulted the sacred Sibylline books and learnt that the pit would close if the Romans were to sacrifice their most valuable possession. Many of the people threw their valuables into the sinkhole with not effect. Marcus Curtius, a young equestrian thought otherwise, however. He declared that it was the courage of the Roman youth that was their most valuable asset. Curtius donned his armor, mounted his horse and charged into the pit, to immortality. The hole filled up and Rome was saved. The location was later called Lacus Curtius, and is still marked today in the Roman Forum.

Lacus Curtius in the Roman Forum

It is ancient myths and epic legends such as that of Marcus Curtius that convey the Roman virtues and values of the early Roman Republic. It was the dedication and willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good, that gave the Romans a distinct advantage over their Italian and Mediterranean neighbours. After all, it takes tough men holding strong core values to thrive and to build an empire. On the other hand, if men are unwilling to make personal sacrifices, then it means that their lives are void of substance. And such men seldom reach greatness nor immortality.

In the modern brave new world with irrational values forced on by the society it is most paramount to be a virtuous man (ow woman). While Ancient Rome is long gone, the virtues of the Roman Republic can still be revived in the 21st century. All it takes is a time and dedication, and being in a lockdown (due to the corona pandemic), time is plenty. Hence it all comes down to dedication. Be a virtuous man!