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Corporate Strategy as an Art (XVIII): A Prelude to Iron Age Civilizations.

After a well-deserved vacation, we are blessed to have the opportunity to start a corporate strategy analysis of a new stage of human history. The Iron Age. I couldn´t wait to publish, so I did it today, instead of every Friday as I have promised it.

Iron Age trade routes

Iron Age Trade Routes.

According to “Ancient Europe 8000 B.C.–A.D. 1000: Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World”,  “while the Iron Age in central Europe conventionally is dated between 800 and 1 B.C., the beginning and the end of the Iron Age varied from region to region. During the Iron Age, the Mediterranean region and the temperate European region embarked on different, although interrelated paths. It is during this time that urban, literate civilizations developed first in Greece and somewhat later in what it is now Italy. With the development of cities, writing, and complex political institutions, the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome started during this time. The classical civilizations of the Mediterranean world were non-egalitarian societies characterized by marked differences in social status, political power, and material wealth. In addition, these societies were internally discriminated. While many people may have been engaged in subsistence activities such as farming and raising livestock, craft activities such as metalworking were carried out by full or part-time specialists. Archaeologists often use the term “complex societies” to describe these stratified and differentiated societies”. In the military sector, with the appearance of iron as a “prime material”, the size of armies, logistics transport, strategic and tactical mobility, siege craft, artillery, staff organization, and military training were all greatly improved from the inventions, innovations, and discoveries of the Iron Age.

Let´s see the societies flourishing during the Iron Age Period (Source:

Iron Age Timeline EuropeIron Age Timeline Middle EastIron Age Timeline South East Asia.Iron Age Timeline East Asia

Again Eleonora Escalante Strategy will not describe the historic or anthropologic details of the Iron Age Civilizations. In comparison to the Bronze Age, we have much information available about the Iron Age. As you have managed to handle my writings, again, before proceeding to publish a strategic analysis,   I always provide some links for you to study history as it is written up until today. I will share them below, and please read them. Otherwise, you won´t understand my next publication. But please, be aware that many of the physical objects that archaeologists have interpreted do have their own limitations. With the outgrowth of DNA and chemical analyses based on the new and latest emerging technologies, we will probably start to see a different overview of our past.   All that we can extrapolate is from the artistic paintings, literature, tombs´ artifacts or vestiges (which are considered as art by museums and historians).  By conducting DNA tests, we will be able to foresee more gene linkages between the Greeks, the Persians, Asians, Celts, Phoenicians, Egyptians and other cultures of these epochs. “New discoveries will be a nouveau promise of evidence about migration patterns of populations and genetic relationships between individual remains”.

Before moving further, it is important for us to understand archaeologists.  I have not written about their valuable role in the universe, and all of them have sacrificed years and years and years to show us what we can see at museums. Archaeologists deserve our recognition as much as historians.

Archaeologists have been in the market as a scientific domain just slightly recently.  The term Archaeology was originated around the 15th and 16th century in Europe with the popularity of collecting artistic antiquities. The Humanism, a type of rational philosophy that held art in high esteem established archaeology as the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture artifacts. Furthermore, archaeologists have been doing “collection activity” with rudimentary techniques for the latter 3 to 4 centuries. With the new technologies, I foresee new “archaeology discoveries” in many places which have never been explored. Many artistic remains will be recovered and saved by technologies beyond the Xrays, GIS or reconstruction of landscapes.  Have you thought that any of us might sleep every night over archaeological treasures located downbound our home? And once we find new remains or re-interpret existing museum artistic vestiges, we will also understand new approaches to explain our ancestor’s life, successes, and mistakes. Archaeologists and historians have a vital role in our future development: their work can´t be dismissed or undervalued. Their role is to find, keep, understand and provide the wisdom of the registry of our past.  Archaeologists need to work with historians, physicians, corporate strategists, economists, and many other discipline scientists. Their findings are outlines, cues, suggestions, warnings or recalls to help us in the present or future decision making. Outlines of the good and the bad of ancient leaderships. Warnings of never repeating the same mistakes that our ancestors did (insane wars, slavery, flora-fauna destruction, excessive non-ethical actions, greed policies, etc.). Memories of progress on how to repair problems that our ancestors did not fix. And recalls for us to balance our future with wisdom from more than 4,000 years of golden history.

Let´s start with European Iron Age civilizations, initiating with Ancient Greece, and then we will continue with the Celtics, the Phoenicians and so on. Later we will proceed to continue with the Middle East region, followed by the South-Asian groups, to finish with the Zhou Dynasty in China (we will revisit it at the Iron Age timeline, and you will know why). I won´t visit the new world during this chapter of the saga. I will concentrate only on the most important Iron Age civilizations.

Greek-crisis-report-450x240.jpgLet´s start with the ancient Greeks. I am urged to write about Greek ancient civilization. Why? The term strategy comes from the word στρατηγική “stratigikí”, and it is of Greek origin. Moreover,  this was the first of the old civilizations which inaugurated the word “democracy”. In addition, greeks tried to organize their cities with a counterbalance between expansion-colonization and self-independent states development. The origin of philosophy as we know it today is related to Ancient Greece, figures as Aristotle, Socrates and Plato come from this period of time. Many historians have linked the greek social progress with their predecessors´ roots, the Mycenaean and Minoan cultures, which have provided us a beauty of art from their existence.

Ancient Greece history was not a smooth path. It was accompanied with internal struggles, independent states which were not a unified regime. Every Greek city or “poli” had a differentiation strategy against the other one, but all of them were sharing at least a similar language and cultural norms. This idea opens up for the homework. Please explore and read “at least” the following links before proceeding any further:

Find a general Ancient Greece Timeline, in order to contextualize ourselves in the happenings of this civilization.

In terms of my own area of domain, with the Ancient Greeks, I will share a differentiation strategy exercise. We will compare the different corporate strategy between Athens and Sparta (mainly). Please click the following link to refresh the concept of a differentiation strategy. I have already provided the theory when I was sailing at the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018:  Differentiation Strategy Explained.

greece oracle of delphi

Oracle of Delphi. Greece.

In addition, we will also accomplish an analysis of the differentiation strategy of the educational impact for the ancient Greek society:  why all the education provided to the elites did not help the Greece system to sustain themselves against the Roman Empire domination?. You will understand that education is not only for the rich, but it also has to be delivered to everyone in societies. Education is the key to peace and development. The more educated is a society (not just in their own career or domain), the better it is for all to understand and help its´rulers to build a path of prosperity with them, all together in the same direction. Moreover, the more educated is a society, the better to interact and choose the correct leaders, the better to maintain everyone in their own progress,  working hard for their future. Finally, the better to open up new sources of business/jobs through new prosperous enterprises.

greek economy.pngFinally, for those economists, bankers, and policymakers who have been related with the contemporary Greek financial crisis, after reading my next publication, you will tie the knot between the delusion of the ancient Greek past blunders and their existing modern repercussions. When lessons from the past are not conceived to be fulfilled by every generation, countries are doomed to replicate the same mistakes, even 3,000 years later. Just a hint: Ancient Greeks couldn´t have peace in between them because they did not respect each other polis priorities, and they did not listen to the wise men of theirs. “A house divided against itself, cannot stand”. Years of internal wars weakened the Greek city-states of Sparta, Athens, Thebes, and Corinth. And Ancient Greece Empire came to an end when they fell to the Romans, in 146 BC.

Stay tuned. Thank you!bee

Source References utilized for this article: 

Peter Bogucki and Pam J. Crabtree, Editors in Chief.  “Ancient Europe 8000 B.C.–A.D. 1000: Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World”. Charles Scribner’s Sons-The
Gale Group, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. 2004.




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