If you think today’s politicians are demagogues and manipulators, wait until you see how the Athenian Pisistratus seized power.
For a long time, like a hard-working little ant, he had been working on obtaining the favor of the people through all sorts of wonderful deeds and kind words.
Even once, having accidentally killed a man, he went of his own free will before the judges, confessed his crime, and was so humble that he completely disarmed the fury of the people over the murder.
When he felt he had everyone in the can, he appeared one day in the marketplace covered with blood, which dripped from several superficial wounds he had made himself.
He said that his political enemies had tried to kill him and that it was a miracle that he was even alive.
Then the Athenian people decided to give him a personal escort of fifty armed men.
So now Pisistratus went to the Acropolis, with his fifty soldiers, and seized power in the city.
Since Pisistratus ruled as he pleased, without consulting the court or the people, he was called a tyrant, although in those days it simply meant ‘supreme ruler’.
That said, one thing.
I write to you as a person, not as a large corporation: I don’t have a personal escort, nor a sales department, nor a customer service department, nor a community manager.
I do it all myself.
I like to write, and that’s why my general plan is to write once a day, but it is possible that you may receive up to two or three emails from me a day.
It is also possible, depending on the time of the year and my life, that the frequency will be reduced or I will disappear for a month.
All that can happen.
So, as I have no one to help me, I try to simplify as much as possible.
I’m 99% sure you know, roughly speaking, how a newsletter works: it’s a mass mailing to people who have decided to sign up.
It is a mass mailing.
It is not a personalized mailing.
Your name does not appear because the mailing has not been written and sent specifically for you: it has been written and sent to all the people (who can be ten or a million) who have signed up for a newsletter about Latin and classics because they are interested in content about Latin and classics.
Please don’t take anything I send you personally.
I just don’t know you.
I don’t even know your name.
I know you know all of this. However, there are 1% of people in the world who don’t know it. If you were one of those people, you have now moved on to the other group, the 99% who do know.
Don’t get me wrong.
Just because the mailing is mass and not personalized doesn’t mean I’m going to treat you like a sheep in a herd. It simply means what I said before.
I don’t have a million people signed up for the newsletter. That’s why I can afford that, if you click reply, that message will come to me and not to the trash.
And I will read it.
I do ask you one favor: use common sense. I get quite a few emails a day.
Sometimes it takes me a day, sometimes it takes me a week, but in the end I read them all. However, I can’t answer them all.
It would be impossible: I would not be able to do anything else.
I kindly invite you to write me (concisely, please) if you have any interesting comment in any mail. I will read it and I will take into account what you have told me, but normally I will not answer it (I understand that it is a comment that does not require a reply).
If your message includes a question that requires a response, then it is best to go to latinfromscratch.com/contact.
There are guidelines there for you to follow. It is especially important that you understand that this is not a linguistic consultancy for me to go around answering spelling and grammar questions and translating tattoos.
Since most people read the guidelines and respect them, I know that (almost) any message that arrives there is important/urgent and requires a response.
Now, back to this newsletter: all emails end with a call to action, an invitation for you to do something.
So, I’ll leave you with some free stuff:
P. S. I’ll be back to talk about “my stuff”.