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“Resting on what's considered great has always been a recipe for decline. I remember touring Rome with a guide who pointed out one marvelous achievement after another of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. Augustus was said to have inherited a city of brick and left a city of marble, with twelve entrances on twelve hills. He built nearly a thousand glorious new structures - bridges, buildings, monuments, and aqueducts. As we marveled at the remnants of Augustus's grand designs, our guide exclaimed with pride that this era marked the pinnacle of Rome's greatness.
What came next?' I asked.
After an awkward silence, the guide said, 'Slow ruin.”


Robert K. Cooper
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