The origin of the term "Hebrew" remains mysterious; 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, the word … Continue reading Where Did The Hebrew Bible Come From?
Book III begins as Archidamus, King of Sparta, invades Attica. This triggers a revolt, notably on the island of Lesbos, because of Athens's enslavement of its allies, which causes a proxy war for Athens with the Mytilenians. The Plataeans were attacked by Thebes and retreat to Athens, and Athens defeats the revolt of the Mytilenians, … 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, appropriately, praises Eros as the superiority of the medical art, over and above the legal craftsmanship of Pausanias. Recall that Erixymachus is a doctor, and is a follower … 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
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 III is concerned with the internal battles among the barbarians -a competition for the best of men among the Egyptians and the Persians. Per usual in Herodotus, he presents multiple perspectives and defends one or the other, as in the case of the Greek and Egyptian defense of Helen arriving in Egypt for the … Continue reading Egypt, Persia, and the New Regime: Book III
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