The Richest Man in Babylon Book Review

If you want to generate wealth and keep it then this book is definitely for you - learn from the great Babylonians, the richest city in the world

The Richest Man in Babylon Book Review

The Richest Man in Babylon , by George S. Clason is a fantastic read. The book is only 100+ pages long and you can fly through it in under a week. The chapters are made up of short stories about the people of Babylon, which was once a great and wealthy city.

Hear about the Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, Old Banzar, the protector of the wall and Mathon, the gold lender.

If you follow the teachings in this book you will grow your wealth and make your money work for you. Skribal gives Relentless a 5/5 rating.

Dan Roche

The Richest Man in Babylon

“I decided that if I was to achieve what I desired, time and study would be required”

“A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should not be less than a tenth. Pay yourself first. Every good piece you save is a slave for you, save and earn and it’s children must earn.”

“Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only that is worth having. If you want advice on jewels ask the jewel maker, on sheep ask the shepherd ”

“Do not eat the children of your slaves, make them work for you – good analogy about freelance money. Use it and invest it.

• Live upon less than you could earn
• Seek advice from those competent from their own experiences
• Make gold work for you”

“Should I say to myself “For a hundred days as I walk across the bridge into the city, I shall pick from the road a pebble and cast it into the stream” I would do it. If on the seventh day I passed by without remembering , I would not say to myself, “Tomorrow I will cast two pebbles which will do as well”. Instead I would retrace my steps and cast the pebble. Nor on the twentieth day would I say to myself “Arkad, this is useless. What does it avail of you to cast a pebble every day. Throw in a handful and be done with it”. No I would not say that nor do it. When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure.”

“Wealth grows wherever men exert energy”.

“Counsel with wise men. Seek advice from men who’s job it is to handle money. A small return and a safe one is far more desirable than risk.”


Moral – pay yourself before you pay anything else. If you consistently save every month and invest wisely then your wealth will compound and accumulate. Only counsel with experts in their fields. Create habits and stick to them everyday – this will help in shaping the way you live

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

The king of Babylon returned from his battles and found that the people of the city became poor apart from a few men. The canals were built, the temples built and so on and the money earned had been spent. He called upon Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, to teach 100 teachers the secret to wealth who could pass this into the people of Babylon.

Arkad gave them the seven cures for a lean purse, one per day:

1. “Start thy purse to fattening: for each ten coins I put in, to spend nine. When Arkad started this “coins come to me more easily than before. Surely it is a law of the Gods that unto him who keepeth and spendeth not a certain part of all his earnings, shall hold come more easily”.
2. Control thy expenditures: that which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary. Let thy motto be one hundred percent of appreciated value for every coin spent. Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.
3. Make the gold multiply: gold in a purse is gratifying to own and satisfieth a miserly soul but earns nothing. The gold we may retain from our earnings is but the start. Told the story of a farmer who saved silver coins for his son with the money lender. He started off with ten pieces and after 51 years they became 150 pieces. “Put each coin to labouring that it may reproduce it’s kind even as the flicks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse”.
4. Guard thy treasures from loss: be not misled by thine own romantic desires to make wealth rapidly. Before thou entrust it as an investment in any field acquaint thyself with the dangers which may beset it.
5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment: if man setteth aside nine parts of his earnings upon which to live and enjoy life, and if any part of this nine parts he can turn into a profitable investment without detriment to his well-being, then so much faster will his treasures grow.
6. Insure a future income: make preparations for the days to come when your no longer young or your dead. A man may buy houses or lands for this purpose. If widely chosen as to their usefulness and value in the future, they are payment in their value and their earnings on their sale will provide well for his purpose.
7. Increase thy ability to earn: general desires are but weak longings. For a man to wish to be rich is of little purpose. For a man to desire five pieces of gold is a tangible desire which he can press to fulfilment. Desires must be simple and definite. The more of what soon we know the more we may earn.”
“Therefore I did determine I would be succeeded by none” – more interest in my work, more concentration upon my task, more persistence in my effort.

The Walls of Babylon

Old Banzar was protector of the walls of Babylon. Babylon’s soldiers were East with their king as they battled the Elamites so the city was light on defences. The city was under attack. Day after day passers by asked Banzar whether they would be ok. His response was always the same “the walls of Babylon are strong”. The fifth night of the fourth week came along and the enemy retreated. The walls of Babylon were a shining example of mans desire for protection. In this day the walls are savings accounts, investments and insurance to safeguard against an attempted breach.


Meet The Goddess of Good Luck

“If a Man be lucky, there is no foretelling the possible extent of his good fortune. Pitch him into the Euphrates and like as not he will swim out with a pearl in his hand” – Babylonian proverb

“To take his first start to building an estate is as good luck as can come to any man. With all men, that first step, which changes them from men who earn from their own labour to men who draw dividends from the earnings of their gold, is important.”

“We desire riches; yet, how often when opportunity doth appear before us, that spirit of procrastination from within doth urge various delays in our acceptance. In listening to it we do become our own worst ememies.”

“So must every man master his own spirit of procrastination before he can expect to share in the rich treasures of Babylon”

“To attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities”.

Story: Arkad had a room in the Temple of Learning where four score men would gather nightly to discuss and debate different topics. The topic that night was the goddess of good luck. Does she frequent racetracks, casinos etc? Or does she give luck to procrastinators? No, she gives luck to men who take opportunity when they see it.


The Five Laws of Gold

“A bag heavy with gold or a clay tablet carved with words of wisdom; if thou hadst thy choice, which wouldst thou choose? Gives sons of men the choice of gold and wisdom-what do they do? Ignore the wisdom and waste the gold. On the morrow they sail because they have no more gold.”

“Gold is reserved for those who know it’s laws and abide by them”.

1. Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.
2. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flicks of the field.
3. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.
4. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.
5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

“Without wisdom, Gold is quickly lost by those who have it, but with wisdom, gold can be secured by those who have it not.”

“Wealth that comes quickly goeth the same way. Wealth that stayeth to give enjoyment and satisfaction to its owner comes gradually, because it is a child born of knowledge and persistent purpose.”

“Do not take any wild risks that will threaten losing your principal or tying gold up in unprofitable investments.”

Story: Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, gave his son Nomasir a bag full of gold and a clay tablet with the five laws of gold written on it. Go away, come back in ten years and prove to me that you can manage your wealth and you shall have my estate.

Ten years later Nomasir returned, after being in Nineveh. He lost all his gold in bad investments. He then turned to his tablet and followed the laws. Nomasir returned the bag of gold to his father and two bags of gold in return for the tablet.


The Camel Trader of Babylon

“He who spends more than he earns is sowing the winds of needless self-indulgence from which he is sure to reap the whirlwinds of trouble and humiliation.”

“The soul of a free man looks at life as a series of problems to be solved and solves them, while the soul of a slave whines, “What can I do who am but a slave?”.”

Story: Tarkad owes lots of people money. He ran into Dabasir, the camel trader, of which he owed two coppers and a silver coin to. Dabasir told him a story of his youth, when he was indebted to lots of Babylonian people before he found his way to Syria as a slave. Upon his escape he returned to Babylon, paid his debts and made his fortune. As a slave, he never let his soul become that of a slave but that of a free man.



Download Skribal straight after launch and join the many professionals, students and self-improvers across the globe who are learning and revising with the push of a button!

Skribal is now available on iPhone!