Most people know something about the Roman conquest of Ancient Gaul. In the south of France, Roman soldiers conquered the entire area know as “Provence” by fighting off the invading tribes who came from the north to steal the local population’s food, mineral wealth and women. The defenders set up camps on the tops of hills to be able to survey any invasive movement in the region. This required a strong skill of operations know how. As the empire grew, the camps became towns, some of the towns became cities… even “large” cities of 10,000 inhabitants (Arles, Vaison-la-Romaine and Nmes, for example) at the time of Christ!
What fascinates many of us is the clever building skills of the Romans. Much evidence of their work is visible and “visitable.” All this required to be a logistical empire. Travelers to Provence can find the remnants of the history and project building: roman monuments, statuary, remparts, aquaducts, ships, theatres, underground passages, … in city centres, in museums, on street corners, at the bottom of the mighty Rhone river, in deep forests and in farmers’ fields, and even in the gardens and old walls of our “hamlet.” Yes, carved stone from Roman times was often “re-cycled” to build medieval structures, which were in turn “re-re-cycled” to be used in 17th century buildings, many of which are still standing today!
As example, there are two interesting examples of re-cycled carved stone which probably dates from Roman times— a curious sun-dial installed upside-down in one of our walls AND the underground, double channelled aquaduct, built with small red bricks and which runs across the entire length of our property at a depth of about 5 metres.
Equally interesting is the fact that this swell of Roman construction lasted for almost five hundred years and then seems to have fallen into a complete “stall.” Comparatively little is known about what seems to have become a sluggish, lackluster way of life at the end of the first millenium. Was the Romans’ prowess somehow greatly diminished over time because they drank water which gushed out of lead pipes carrying the vital liquid into their cities? Maybe!
In operations, dont rest on your laurels. Or your company might also drink from the lead pipe. Constant movement and innovation is requires to thrive.