Back in last September I promised you that I would tell you about two great books I read while attending college at Northwestern University of Louisiana in Natchitoches.
The first of those two books was one that was written by a man who created a part of history, and then wrote a book about it: “The Gallic Commentaries” written by Julius Caesar, in which he wrote about his struggles against the primitive tribes of Europe.
It is the most honest book I have ever read when it comes to a great general leading his troops. At one point in that book, for example, Caesar had invaded a large city when here came another enemy force, which then surrounded him and his much smaller force.
And he beat both of them!
And here’s something important to think about: Except for Caesar, who brought the civilizing influence of Roman culture to Europe, the history of Europe would have been very different. In fact, except for Caesar, there would have been no Pax Romana.
So what was the “Pax Romana?” Thanks to Caesar, Europe came under the loose control of the Roman empire, and from 27 b.c. to 180 a.d. Europe was at peace. Yes, Caesar was born in 100 b.c. and died in 44 b.c., and to him goes the credit for over 200 years when all of Europe was at peace – the only time in history when that was true.
You see, Caesar didn’t take up arms to conquer Europe; he took up arms to spread the civilizing culture of Rome across Europe.
And he succeeded.
As to the second book I mentioned, it was “The Relation of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca,” a book written by a simple man who in 1518 volunteered to be part of the exploration of a destination in the Gulf of Mexico, and ended up spending eight years in the part of America located between Galveston Island, Texas, and Arizona, a man who spread peace and love wherever he went, and wrote the most honest, humble, and peace loving book I have ever read.
Here, in as few words as I can condense it into, is a quick summary of his book:
Pánfilo de Narváez, a Spanish conquistador who in 1520 was the man who was given command of a 900-man group of soldiers sent by the jealous Governor of Cuba to halt the victories of Cortez in Mexico, but whose men chose to join Cortez rather than to fight for de Narvaez. Later, in 1527, de Narváez embarked from Spain on another expedition, this one to Tampico, Mexico, but his ship was driven into Tampa Bay, Florida by “contrary winds.” Thirty-seven-year-old Cabeza de Vaca, a much wiser man, was his second in command, but during the few months that de Narvaez spent in Florida he ignored the wise and accurate advice given him by de Vaca.
De Narvaez, for example, heard from the local Indians – who wanted to get rid of him – about a place called Appalachia, a city whose streets were “paved with gold.” Instead of taking de Vaca’s advice, and focusing on the goal assigned to his expedition by the Spanish King, he split his party into two groups, sent 110 members of his force off on his ship, and pushed off northwards into unknown territory with just 300 men and 42 horses. The Indians, of course, cut his men and horses to pieces with their well aimed bows and arrows.
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