Tacitus has heaped praises on Agricola, his father in law. He describes his stint as the governor of the ancient Roman Britain very vividly. Agricola assumed leadership position at a time when the leadership was tainted by corruption, misuse of public resources, and abuse to fundamental rights of the citizens. It is however worth noting that despite this negative trend, Agricola remained a true leader who stood against all odds to provide quality leadership that was aimed at improving the livelihoods of his subjects.
Roman has rich history and this has been the case since the times of Tacitus. Agricola will remains in the book of history positively due to his immense contributions to leadership in the ancient Roman Empire at a time when bad leadership was the order of the day. Agricola was not a corrupted leader he held his position with responsibility and ensured that the livelihood of the Romans was given priority (Cicero 220). Agricola remained humble throughout his regime unlike many leaders who were always arrogant and did not respect human rights whatsoever.
Agricola was also a shrewd leader because he was determined to protect his subjects, which reflects the attributes of an ideal Roman citizen. A typical roman is always shrewd and ready to fight for his rights just like Agricola. The shrewdness of Agricola came into play as he relentless fought oppressive forces, which were bent on colonizing his territories. The secret to success of the Agricola army came from the fact that his troupe adopted secrecy in dealing with their nemesis. Roman enemies were left guessing the next move that would be adopted by their enemies (Cicero 98). They also used Propaganda to catch their enemies off guard. At the height of the war, Agricola would send a fake letter to enemies telling them that their soldiers were in control of the situation. This later was a trump card, it made the colonial masters to relax and thereby they did not add any more troupes to back up the troupe, which was fighting the revolution stage by Agricola. The fact Agricola and his troupes adopted several tactics to defeat their enemies prove that romans were very cleaver people who knew how to conquer their enemies in war.
The situation that citizens were subjected to during the under Domitian was despicable. They were put under forced labor, they were forced to stay as squatters in their own countries and reverted to slaves or to cheap laborers. Most of the people who worked on the plantations were subjected to harsh conditions. They worked for long hours at very meager pay that would not effectively cater for their daily needs. The conditions for livings for most households were despicable because they could not afford some basic needs owing from the fact that they were being paid meager income. The other bad element in the ancient leadership under Domitian is the fact that the fundamental rights of citizens were abused (Cicero, 89). They were not allowed the freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the right to basic needs. The inhumane acts, which the leaders subjected the citizens to such as, abuse of human rights makes the victory against the colonial master’s sweater.
It is worth noting that during this period of Domitian rule, Agricola did not compromise his ideals and remained true to his resolve for good leadership. Agricola never tolerated corruption, bad leadership, or abuse of the fundamental rights of the citizens. Tacitus praises on Agricola are therefore justified in many ways because he provided good leadership at a time when the various leaders were practicing bad leadership. He made deliberate efforts to conquer all his nemesis and ensured that all his territories were well guarded to put a bay any imminent invasion (Cicero, 89). The war against the enemies by the Agricola led army won many battles not because the army was superior but because they adopted the right strategies. It is critical to take note that the enemies of Agricola were ambushed in many instances because they could not outwardly predict the next move of the revolutionist.
The other determinant of success during the liberation struggle under Agricola is the fact that the general was a good planner and executer just like the rest of the Romans who always achieve great things because of their ability to plan their activities in time. This explains why the legendary artists, ironsmith, and poets came from among the Romans, one perfect example being Frescoes. He was well aware that he could not win the war alone. He needed the assistance of other nations to achieve this objective. He embarked on mission to get the likeminded countries to support his quest for liberation and protection of the borders.
Comparison between Earlier Republicans and Agricola
There exist a sharp contrast between the Agricola style of leadership and the leadership of earlier republicans. While Agricola was a charismatic leader who was cherished by his subjects the leadership of the republicans was dictatorial (Atchity & McKenna, 201). History will judge ancient republican leaders very harshly judging by the way they ruled the country with an iron fist, no regard to humanity, and through circumventing of the law to favor his authoriotatrian style of leadership.
On the other other hand, republicans had strange principles of ledership. Leadership is expected to be exclusive in that it should embrace everyone irrespective of their race, gender, or religious affilitaions yet republican leaders were very sellective and racist. Leadership is also about protecting the interest of all citizens yet republican leaders’ main priority was to hold on to power and manipulate the masses. Atchity & McKenna (201) says that the republican leaders tortured, killed, and forced several non natives out of the the coutry into assylum. To make the matter worse he did not tollerate the disbaled in natives. This is an obvious abuse to the fundumental rights of individuals enshrined in the cosntitution. Human beings should not be discrminated againts based on gender, race, or disablity. Moreover, people should have fredom of expression as well as freedom of asocaition.
Democracy is participatory and involves all citizens in running the affairs of the country. A state that upholds democracy provides a potent platform for effective realization of fundamental rights of citizens. The right to vote in an election is a critical tenet of democracy according to Tacitus. It is important to recognize the fact that citizens must be given the platform to participate in the electoral process of electing their leaders (Matthes 112). Moreover, freedom of expression is yet another critical tenet that is important in enhancing democracy. According to republican leadership, success in politcal leadership is measured through conquering of opposing voices. Rebublican leadership showed the extent to which people can missuse the power vested to them by citizens for their own selfish gains. Moreover, the republican leadership has proved that the minds of the massess can be exploited to an extent that they are oblivious to the negative acts of the leadership which should otherwise be working to improve their livelihoods.
It is worth noting that in the ancient times leaders were treated as supreme and their actions could not be questioned by anyone. Their subjects had no choice but to religiously follow all the directives of the leaders. Most of such directives were not only retrogressive but they were also exploitative (Matthes 110). Domitian is a perfect example of the kind of leadership that existed during the ancient times. He was corrupt and did not have any regard to the fundamental rights of his subjects. The voices of liberty and respect to the fundamental rights of citizens therefore began with Agricola. It is very commendable that Agricola remained true to good leadership despite the fact that he predecessors were embroiled in bad leadership practices. Agricola is therefore credited with offering alternative leadership at a time when leadership did not care about the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Agricola indeed was a good leader who deserved all the accolades that he received from his son in law Tacitus. Agricola will remain in the books of history as a leader who stood out against all odds to provide good leadership at a time when bad leadership was the order of the day. It is however worth noting that despite this negative trend, Agricola remained a true leader who stood against all odds to provide quality leadership that was aimed at improving the livelihoods of his subjects. Agricola was not a corrupted leader he held his position with responsibility and ensured that the livelihood of the Romans was given priority. Agricola remained humble throughout his regime unlike many leaders who were always arrogant and did not respect human rights whatsoever. The secret to success of the Agricola army came from the fact that the coalition troupe adopted secrecy in dealing with their nemesis. He was also charismatic and democratic in his undertakings. Agricola was indeed a charismatic leader owing to the democratic leadership, which he provided at a time when leadership was tainted by racism, dictatorship, and lack of freedom of expression. In fact, his good leadership inspired democracy hat is enjoyed globally today. He fought hard and smart to defeat all his enemies, which were keen to colonize his territory.
Matthes, Melissa. Rape of Lucretia and the Founding of Republics: Readings in Livy, Machiavelli, and Rousseau. Penn State Press. 2007. Print.
Cicero Marcus. Cicero's Cato the Elder on Old Age. New York: BiblioBazaar. 2008. Print.
Atchity Kenneth & McKenna Rosemary. The Classical Roman Reader: New Encounters with Ancient Rome. New York: Oxford University Press. 2006. Print.