After the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, first spurred by the Visigothic sack of Rome in AD 410 followed by the collapse of the western Empire in AD 476, a cloud of darkness overcame the island of Britain. Very little writing or culture emerged as the world of the Britons became immersed in … Continue reading Anglo-Saxon England, Part I
The origins of the term "Hebrew" remain a mystery. The Biblical term Ivri, meaning "to traverse" or "to pass over," is usually rendered as "Hebrew" in English, and it comes down to us from the ancient Greek Ἑβραῖος and the Latin "Hebraeus." The Biblical word Ivri has the plural form Ivrim, or Ibrim. In addition, … Continue reading Where Did The Hebrew Bible Come From?
Book III of Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War begins as Archidamus, King of Sparta, invades Attica. This triggers a revolt, notably on the island of Lesbos, owing to Athens's enslavement of its allies. This rebellion in turn causes a proxy war for Athens with the Mytilenians. The Plataeans are attacked by Thebes and retreat to … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book III: Invasion and Revolution
The traditional Hebraic title for the book of Numbers is "Bemidbar" meaning "In The Wilderness." It is titled to honor the census that takes place in its opening chapters, followed by a reiterating of the Israelites in the Sinai wilderness following the embodiment of the Lord in a cloud. Eventually, at Chapter 11, the Israelites complain … Continue reading Notes on Numbers
Erixymachus follows Pausanias, only after Aristophanes is overcome with a fit of hiccuping -an appropriate interruption for the famous comedian who once mocked Socrates in The Clouds. Erixymachus praises Eros as the akin to the superiority of the medical art, over and above the legal craftsmanship of Pausanias. Recall that Erixymachus is a doctor, and is … Continue reading The Symposium III: Erixymachus, Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates, and Alcibiades
Scene 1 At the outset, we encounter Orlando, an English spelling of the French hero named Roland (of Chanson de Roland, or the "Song of Roland", the great French heroic poem from the reign of Charlemagne) bemoaning his state of affairs to the family servant Adam in an orchard. The setting is far from the … Continue reading As You Like It, Act I