Tag Archives: carthage

Hercules Invictus

In the third century BC the people of the new Roman republic accepted the view that they were of Trojan lineage, that the god Heracles had founded the city of Rome, and that Aeneas and Achilles had fathered Romulus and Remus. This acceptance of the Greek view of the world, and Rome’s place in that Greek world, put Rome in direct conflict with Carthage, whom the Greeks despised as barbarians. This conflict led to the eventual destruction of Carthage, and the eventual destruction of the Roman republic as well. Yet who would have thought that the Greek myth of Heracles driving the cattle of Geryon south through Italy and thus to Pallanthium, the site of a future Rome, would lead to the world we live in today.



Hercules Invictus

How gods laugh as they inflict us

With the thought that we could understand the world

Though we wonder and we labor

Neither arquebus nor saber

Ever answered questions while the bagpipes skirled

For the stars remain in silence

As they look upon the violence

Of the salted cities midst the women’s cries

Yes we think we are exalted

And we never can be faulted

But the gods know we are smart but seldom wise


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The Wheel Of Fortune

The world is changing: Europe and the Middle East are going down, China, India and the rest of southeast Asia are going up. The scales are always moving. As one side goes up, the other goes down. Carthage, the premier economic and military power of the western Mediterranean, was at the height of its power at about the time Romulus and Remus began suckling at the teat of the wolf. And so it goes.



The laden ships, the Inland Sea

Mighty Baal, thy kingdom be

Bestride the world, thy ships for hire

Adventurers who left old Tyre

To start anew in western lands

And carve a city with bare hands

And now you call the west your home

Still knowing not the infant Rome

The Punic language spoke by all

The Latin still an infant’s squall

And yet the scales were trembling now

The Carthage gods with troubled brow

For they foresaw the future clear

The death of Carthage drawing near

The universe is never still

Who climbs the mountain, crests the hill

Will find that on the other side

The slope is steeper, and the ride

From top to bottom’s but a blink

No time to act, no time to think

And so it is with tide and time

The world doth speak, and speak in rhyme

To tell of others who before

Laid up their riches, filled their store

With goods and gold and heady wine

And saw each day as good and fine

That all must end, the circle made

And time to rest in blessed shade

To dream of when your own strong hands

Built Carthage dreams in western lands


See my novels and collected verse at Amazon, paperback and 99 cent Kindle HERE