Popularly she was known as "The Virgin Queen" and "Good Queen Bess." Edmund Spenser honored her as "Gloriana" in his 1590 masterpiece, The Faerie Queene. Will Durant called her "The Great Queen" in his monumental The Story of Civilization. In the eyes of history, Elizabeth represents the apex as well as the conclusion of the … Continue reading The Tudors: Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
"Mason city. To get there you follow Highway 58, going northeast out of the city, and it is a good highway and new" (opening lines) In an age where populist demagoguery has once again captured the hearts of the American voter it has been illuminating for me to sit down and read the classic American … Continue reading The Dangers of Populism in All The King’s Men
Voltaire was born François-Marie Arouet in Paris in 1694. He was raised with a Jesuit education (Latin, theology, rhetoric, and so on) but he quickly became a thorn in the side of the French establishment. He was a brilliant student who wrote extensively about the lavish corruption of 18th century French society. His blistering satires … Continue reading Who Is Voltaire?
Recently I re-worked my way through all forty-eight propositions of Book I of Euclid's Elements. In the book, Euclid offers a captivating introduction to classical geometry, which straddles the world of perfect abstraction on the one hand, yet it also relies upon certain physical principles found in the world around us. For example, in some … Continue reading Working Through Book I of Euclid’s Elements
At the outset of Euclid's Elements he offers twenty-three definitions, five postulates, and five common notions (sometimes translated as "axioms"). Of the five postulates, the fifth is the most troubling. It is known as the Parallel Postulate. The word postulate can be roughly translated to mean "request," "question," or "hypothesis" (postulat in Latin means "asked"). … Continue reading On The Puzzling History of Euclid’s Fifth Postulate
Euclid's Elements ("Stoikheîon") is the foundational text of classical, axiomatic, and deductive geometry ("earth-measurement"). The Elements is composed of thirteen books, each filled with propositions that beautifully unfold a theory of number, shape, proportion, and measurability. The Elements was the essential geomtery textbook for nearly 2,000 years thanks to the preservation efforts of the Byzantines, … Continue reading On the Definitions, Postulates, and Common Notions of Euclid’s Elements