——Chapter 7: He was a genius? (2)——
Marcus was not wrong in his decision that he would make a large profit by buying and selling wheat in bulk.
But of course, in order to have that much of a say, it was necessary to first build trust in the form of performance.
Who would listen to Marcus's idea of buying wheat in advance because he thinks the price of wheat will rise?
However, if he acts too prominently from the beginning, he will be suspicious.
So that is why for now, he decided that it would be enough to show that he is a budding guy by providing new ideas.
'Build-up is important in everything in the world.
So first I have to build my reputation here.'
While looking around the workplace, Marcus found just the right material.
It was a broken water wheel.
“Septimus, why is the water wheel over there being repaired?”
“They said that its teeth were twisted.
It happens often.
“It happens often? Is the material of the teeth not good? “
“I don't think so.
However, strangely, extremely worn teeth are often coming out.
So it seems that the overall shape is often broken.
Marcus sighed in delight.
This was a problem that could be solved with only one's own knowledge, which was only at the level of culture.
Even that could be fully explained with only the ancient level of mathematical knowledge.
Marcus asked with an innocent face pretending not to know.
“Don't you know why? “
“To my shame, I don't know.”
“There is no phenomenon without a reason in the world.
If you use the same wood, but some are fine and some are severely worn, there must be a reason.
For a while, Marcus immersed himself in the act of contemplating diligently, observing the wheel here and there.
“Could it be that the worn-out teeth wear out quickly because they always only mesh with each other? Conversely, healthy teeth have fewer meshes.
That's right? It makes sense to see if that is the case or not.
“Then, wouldn't durability be improved if all teeth were evenly matched when designing the teeth?”
But the important thing is how to design it that way.
“Isn't it? But I think I've seen something related to this recently? I think it was a book on geometry…
Septimus's eyes widened.
He couldn't believe that Marcus, who ran away because he hated studying, had read a book on geometry.
Marcus, noticing that gaze, added a word as an excuse.
“To run a business, you have to be at least good at mathematics.”
“It's a good attitude.
You've finally matured.”
Well, anyway, if I apply the euclidean algorithm I saw a while ago, I think something will work.
Would you like to hear if it makes sense?”
[TL- The Euclidean algorithm is a way to find the greatest common divisor of two positive integers.
Yes I googled it…]
'Most modern people tend to underestimate the level of ancient people too much.
However, the intellectual level of the ancients was never low enough to be ignored.'
'The original theory of Euclid, the father of western geometry, was used as a textbook until the 19th century.'
'Even just looking at Euclid's algorithm, it can be confirmed that the method for obtaining the greatest common divisor is described in detail and that the concept of coprime is also understood.'
'The best way to prevent teeth from damage is to have the number of teeth offset from each other.'
Cogs were disjoint if the common divisor of the number of teeth was only 1.
If the number of meshing teeth is relatively small, all teeth mesh with equal probability.
Naturally, the teeth wear evenly and meshing is optimized.
Marcus was good at this kind of problem because it was a hobby to spend time in the library and solve problems due to financial issues.
'In fact, there was a high probability that this principle was already known in a place like Rhodes, where mathematics was highly developed.'
'However, this era was a time when knowledge and skills differed even within the same region.'
'Even more so, if the distance between Rhodes and Rome is the same, it will take a year for knowledge and technology to spread.'
It was certain that there would be few people in Rome today who fully understand this principle mathematically and design waterwheels.
In any case, even to Septimus, Marcus's explanation sounded quite plausible.
He instructed the engineer who made the waterwheel to try an experiment.
“If you can really improve the durability of the waterwheel, you will change many things.
The cost of regular cog repairs will be greatly reduced.
“Isn't it? But even if there are actual results, I think it would be better to use it only in the places we manage for the time being.
“Hmm? Is there a good reason? “
“It's something we use, and it's good if it's durable, but if someone else uses it, you have to break it often to make money.
Rome, where wheat was the staple food, had large mills all over the country.
Since the great inventor Vitruvius created the cogwheel, it was safe to say that few mills have not used it.
If the durability of this aberration improves, it will be good for users, but the craftsmen who manage and repair it will inevitably lose their profits.
The intelligent Septimus immediately saw through Marcus's intentions.
Certainly, using improved products only for the places we manage can maximize profits.
“Anyway, everyone will know the principle of the sawtooth sooner or later.
At that time, it will be possible to make up for the damages of the artisans the form of fixing the overall contract method.
“I didn't know that you had such knowledge.
You are indeed the master's bloodline.
“I am not just good at bullying other people.
It was a light joke, but Septimus couldn't help but laugh.
Marcus' activity did not end here.
He explained to Septimus the concept of a simple division of labor and asked for his opinion.
Even in ancient Rome, there was no division of labor.
However, the division of labor at that time was not about dividing the labor process but was close to the distribution of industry.
Large farms in fertile land grew crops for export, and in cities, handicrafts for luxury goods were only carried out.
The division of labor began to have a theoretical system when Adam smith wrote the wealth of nations.
Marcus decided to apply this concept of division of labor a little earlier to Rome.
“It is a form of dividing the labor process into various parts, and individual or individual groups are performing and collaborating…
How did you come up with this idea?”
“Because I'm tired of studying.
“It's a bit different, but isn't studying efficiency low when you learn multiple subjects at the same time? It seemed like repetition would make things a lot easier.”
Septimus' jaw dropped in admiration at Marcus' answer.
He started to wonder if the idiot who couldn't study and only caused problems was actually a genius.
“In my judgment, the young master's idea seems worth experimenting with.
First of all, let's experiment with artisans who make chariots and wagons.
“It could be just a silly idea, so don't expect too much.”
I have a good feeling.
Production will go up considerably.
A few days later, Septimus praised Marcus in front of Crassus.
“He must have tremendous talent in commerce.
If he learns and grows properly from now on, he will become a talented person who will double our family's wealth.
“…Is this a new joke that's trending these days? “
I've only been watching him for a few days, but his talent is on a genius level.
He has the most important insights into the business.
Crassus looked at Septimus with an expression as if he had eaten something wrong.
There's no way that his child's praise can make him feel bad, but this was too unrealistic.
“Aren't you overestimating it more than necessary because that child has only shown you so far a lacking side? “
I thought you would say that and brought the data.
Septimus unfolded a wax woodblock he used as a notebook and showed it to Crassus.
“I tried to make the sawtooth based on the idea he came up with.
As a result of the actual operation, we confirmed that all the wheels meshed evenly.
In the opinion of the craftsman who made it, the life of the sawtooth would be incomparably longer.
“Ho-oh, did that child achieve this kind of achievement?”
“In addition, the new concept of division of labor by dividing the labor process is also very effective.
Although it is very childish to say that he came up with this because he did not want to study.
“Really? How specific was that different from the existing method? “
Septimus deliberately paused for dramatic effect.
And in a small voice, as if whispering, he told Crassus the shocking figures.
“If you look at the simple work speed, there is a difference several times.
Besides, this is the result of an experiment with artisans who are not yet accustomed to this method.
Moreover, surprisingly, the defect rate was also lower in the division of labor.
This time, even Crassus was sincerely astonished.
It was because he never imagined that productivity would increase to that extent simply by dividing and collaborating.
I never imagined he would have such a talent.
“Besides, it's not just a brilliant idea.
He foresaw that even after the gears were improved, the profit from repairs would diminish.”
“The most important thing in commerce is the intuition to figure out where you can get a profit.
Well, since he's my son, it's not strange even if he has that ability.”
Everyone has something that matches their aptitude and something that doesn't suit them.
It's probably because the boy's studies didn't suit him very well.
Crassus, who had been listening to Septimus's report all along, caught his mouth up to his ears.
It is surprisingly common for a child who has no talent in studying to show talent elsewhere.
However, Crassus did not expect that such a thing would apply to his son.
That expectation was spectacularly wrong.
But to him, it was a very happy mistake because now he can see his son's talent because of that.
“If he has a talent, we should let it bloom.
Make sure that you stay close to that child in the future.”
After Septimus retreated, Crassus, who was left alone, murmured in a low voice.
“If the two children grow up as well as they do now, there is no reason for me to be defeated by Pompey.”
An ideal structure was pictured in his mind, in which the second son, Publius, gained the support of the citizens, and the eldest son, Marcus, was responsible for the family's wealth.
“What's left is a military feat comparable to that of Pompeius…
We have to solve this part.
But there's no suitable stage…”
After Septimus praised him, Marcus' range of maneuver widened considerably.
It was thanks to Crassus personally giving orders to develop Marcus's talents first.
Experiments that cost a lot of money could have been done without a good reason.
Marcus, who had time to catch his breath, visited Danae.
After a few days, she was a completely different person than before.
Her complexion was now fully restored, and her frizzy hair was neatly curled up in a plait.
Even her skinny body, which seemed close to malnutrition, gained some weight.
She was still a lot skinny, but time will solve that.
Judging from her straight features, it seemed that she would become a lovely girl if she gained moderate weight.
“How's life here? Is it acceptable? “
I can't compare it to when I was there before.
Other people treat me kindly and learning is really fun.
I want to learn more things with my heart.
“Really? That's really fortunate.
In fact, I thought you'd better start learning about the trade, too.
I'll tell Septimus, so you'd better stick around with me for a while.
Will that be okay? “
Although women's rights in Rome were low compared to modern times, they were quite high for ancient countries.
No matter how strong the authority of the head of the household was, the wife's authority in the family could not be ignored either.
A good example is the repeal of the opium law, which forbade women to be extravagant.
At that time, the head of the family could not contain the onslaught of the women who were sincerely angry in any way.
In Rome, upper-class women were quite important customers in the luxury goods market.
In addition to simply purchasing goods, women's unique human networks were still alive in this era.
It also played a very important role in creating political opinion.
Marcus planned to dig into this area and attack it.
However, there are limits to entrusting it to men.
So Marcus planned to give Danae this role once she had grown enough.
Danae clenched her fists and burned with enthusiasm.
“I will do my best to do whatever the young master entrusts to me.”
“Haha, it's going to be a distant future to entrust you with direct work, so it's okay, you are doing too much already.
“I'll do my best, though.
I will have to be several times smarter than I am now to serve the young master by his side.
'I wondered if she was overly motivated, but there was nothing wrong with learning hard, so I decided to leave it as it is for now.'
“It's enough to stop the future work…
Oh, that's right.
I'm going to Capua tomorrow, so if you have anything to prepare, you'd better do it in advance.”
“Are we going, Capua? Is it because of business? “
It's because my friends are screaming for me to go.
I shouldn't be too negligent about managing my personal connections.
If I have something to make money with, I'll take care of it.
Most of the children from the families Marcus usually hung out with were members of the same senatorial family.
Now, even if he distances himself from the riotous life, he could not neglect future VIP customers.
Moreover, the place to go this time was also an area that Marcus was very interested in.
“We are going with other nobles, are there any festivals going on in Capua?”
“I'm going to see a gladiatorial match.
Capua's gladiators are the talk of the town these days.
There are rumors that the level is extremely high.
“Ah~ it's a gladiator match.
It's kind of like a festival.”
Especially, the champion of the Capua gladiators is famous for being beast.”
Marcus said the name he knew well.
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