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History of the Average Person
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Historicals are big at the moment so long as they are big historicals. Most people, we are told, want to read about big events and the famous figures who took part in them.

Mary and I, however, are less interested in Caesar than in the fellow who cleaned Caesar's floors. The rich and powerful have always had an easy time of it, buying what they needed and ordering others to do what they wanted done. Much more fascinating is how ordinary people managed to live.

Unfortunately, few people who lived during the era of ancient Rome recorded their daily experiences. Most were illiterate. We glimpse the past mainly through the eyes of the wealthy and powerful. Caesar described his exploits, Marcus Aurelius his musings, Pliny the Younger and Cicero left us their letters.

Today things are different. Millions of average folks are flooding the Internet with the smallest details of their lives via blogs and sites like Facebook or MySpace. On the other hand corporate CEOs and political leaders don't tend to keep personal journals about their everyday activities. There may be occasional autobiographies or "reality" television shows, for whatever those forms are worth.

Future historians, drowning in information about how we common people lived, might lament the lack of original source material concerning the lives of society's movers and shakers.

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