Mark Zuckerberg has been fascinated by Augustus Caesar for years, and it raises some questions about the future of Facebook

Technology
mark zuckerberg and augustus

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is an ancient history buff.
He recently discussed his fascination with the Roman emperor Augustus in a New Yorker profile.
Zuckerberg’s interest in the ancient historical figure shouldn’t come as a surprise — the two share some interesting traits.
The Facebook CEO’s professed interest raises a few questions about how he feels about trade-offs.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a history buff at heart.

In a recent New Yorker profile, the tech mogul revealed that his fascination with the ancient Roman emperor Augustus even figured into his 2012 honeymoon in Rome.

“My wife was making fun of me, saying she thought there were three people on the honeymoon: me, her, and Augustus,” Zuckerberg told the New Yorker. “All the photos were different sculptures of Augustus.”

Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm for classical history reportedly dates back to his time at Phillips Exeter Academy, where he studied Latin and immersed himself in learning about the civilization’s “good and bad and complex figures.”

On his fascination with Augustus, Zuckerberg said, “Basically, through a really harsh approach, he established two hundred years of world peace. What are the trade-offs in that? On the one hand, world peace is a long-term goal that people talk about today. Two hundred years feels unattainable.”

Zuckerberg’s deep interest in another young upstart who disrupted — and connected — the world like never before doesn’t come as a surprise. But it might raise some questions about how far the CEO is willing to go in order to achieve Facebook’s mission to “bring the world closer together.”

Because, as Facebook’s controversial role in the 2016 US election demonstrated, whether you’re uniting the world through conquest or clicks, everything comes at a price.

Augustus’ triumph came at the cost of the Roman Republic

Before Augustus was declared the first citizen of Rome or the son of the divine or a god among men, he was just a teenager named Octavian.

Granted, he was the adopted son of the powerful dictator Julius Caesar. But he wasn’t the only power player on the block in the bloody political circus that followed his adopted dad’s assassination.

The young man fared well, however. He accrued power and successfully waged war against the assassins, and, eventually, his early allies, like Mark Anthony.

Octavian’s victory in the 31 BCE Battle of Actium sank the hopes of Mark Anthony, Cleopatra, and their supporters — the power couple committed suicide shortly after the loss. And so the path was cleared for Octavian — who eventually took on the honorific “Augustus” — to become the sole ruler of Rome.

Let’s be clear — Augustus didn’t single-handedly murder the Roman Republic. Nor was the Republic some sort of perfect, equitable utopia. The entire system was falling apart long before Augustus came onto the scene. And the republican facade endured during his reign.

But his rule marked the death knell of the Republic and the dawn of the Roman …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Tech

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