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)
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?
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
The summit of Aristotle's examination of "first philosophy" occurs in Book XII of his Metaphysics. Chapters 1-5 of Book XII reiterate Aristotle's examination into the nature of thinghood (an inquiry which had previously appeared in Aristotle's Physics). Thinghood is a kind of whole (not a part of a whole) representing the sources as well as … Continue reading Reflections On Aristotle’s Prime Unmoved Mover
The standard reading of Macbeth is that it is a tribute to King James I, Shakespeare's patron. As a relatively new king to the throne of England, James was fascinated with two chief themes found in Macbeth: witchcraft and regicide. James was a prolific writer and he wrote a book on the subject of witchcraft … Continue reading A Classical Hero in the Modern World: A Reading of Macbeth