Regarding the question of nature, or rather the “not-natural” we recall Shakespeare’s use of the word ‘natural’ in King Lear. In the play, political nature has been upset and Shakespeare freely uses the word "nature." If we accept Aristotle’s famous pronouncement that “man is a political animal” in his Politics then indeed human nature has … Continue reading Nature in the Nicomachean Ethics
The hero Theseus was rumored to have instilled the democratic sensibilities in Athenians during the Bronze Age when he brought the twelve districts of Attica (an area capable of housing twelve different cities) together and limited the rule of the kings. He recognized certain families as Eupatrid, or "well born" and created the Council of … Continue reading Notes on Athenian Democracy
Book I is often called "Kleio," named for the muse of the past meaning the "Proclaimer" or the "Rejoicer"; literally "to recount" or "to make famous." The Causes of the Persian WarsAt the outset, in the proem of Book I of Herodotus's Inquiries, he first identifies himself as the author hailing from Halicarnassus in Asia … Continue reading The Purpose of the Histories: Notes on Book I
As with much of ancient literature, the life of Sappho is shrouded in mystery. She is said to have been a poet hailing from the islands of Lesbos and was revered in antiquity for her short songs of revelry -praising the stars, the gods, children, a woman's love, carefree summer days, and cool evenings. We … Continue reading Notes on Sappho
Unlike the Homeric epics or the histories recounted in the early Biblical texts, the fables of Aesop are short allegories intended to encourage appropriate actions. As elsewhere recounted, the Homeric epics are concerned with the noble deeds of great men, particularly duality between wrath of swift-fated Achilles and long-enduring Odysseus, and the Biblical texts are … Continue reading What Is A Fable?
The Book of Jonah is the chosen book for thousands of latter missionaries who feel themselves to be heeding the call of God. Like Jonah, they feel themselves called out to distant lands, Nineveh, to proselytize and convert the foreign natives. Indeed, Jesus also cites Jonah as the apt metaphor for the sign of his … Continue reading Notes on Jonah in Nineveh