Business humorist Stanley Bing retells the history of the Roman Empire in corporate speak and sarcastic one-liners in Rome, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation (W.W. Norton, $23.95). Starting with Rome's humble beginnings as a family business started by two competitive brothers to its eventual collapse because of mismanagement and a series of reverse-takeover bids by former subsidiaries, Bing draws lessons and examples for today's would-be emperors and CEOs. He compares Rome's desperate and eventually fatal alliance with the Visigoths when facing conquest by Attila the Hun to the Time Warner/AOL merger. Bing also finds role models for corporate executives among the generals and politicians who made Rome great. Julius Caesar receives his own chapter, but lesser-known leaders like Caius Marius provide entertaining role models for future moguls. At just under 200 pages, the book is not a comprehensive history of Rome, but it is a fun read.
It is hard not to be impressed by a website with photographs of 28,000 coins from Celtic Britain. Each entry in The Celtic Coin Index [writer2001.com/cciwriter2001] is cross-referenced by type of metal, method of manufacture, and the name of the tribe that minted it. Excellent photographic quality make the artistic designs easy to see, and give the viewer a unique window on ancient Celtic life. The faces of important people stare blankly from many of the coins, while others depict stylized horses or tree designs. The site is supported by Oxford University, which maintains a large collection of Celtic coins, and plans to expand the site to include Celtic coins from continental Europe, as soon as someone comes up with the funding. If you are a fan of comprehensive, well-organized numismatic data, you can't do any better than the Celtic Coin Index.
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