Xenophon’s Perfect Country Gentleman in the Oeconomicus

The word "economics" comes down to us from the Greek meaning "household management" and the various contingents of the household. Thus the science of the economy is the science of the household or the estate. The title of Xenophon's seminal but brief dialogue points us to the theme of the text: household management, or more … Continue reading Xenophon’s Perfect Country Gentleman in the Oeconomicus

Socrates’s Desire to Die: On Xenophon’s Apology

Xenophon's Memorabilia ("recollections") is his public defense of Socrates, but the title is notably silent about whether or not the recollections are exclusively of Socrates. The text is, instead, rife with the recollections by Xenophon on the Socratic, and therefore, the philosophic life. As an alternative, his shorter Socratic writing, the Apology of Socrates, is clear about who … Continue reading Socrates’s Desire to Die: On Xenophon’s Apology

The War Between the Sexes in Lysistrata

Lysistrata is the only surviving Aristophanean play whose title designates the name of the main character. Most other plays convey the collective name of the Chorus or another chief theme of the play. Lysistrata means something like "releaser of war" or "army disbander" and we are invited by Aristophanes to consider her character above all others, as the … Continue reading The War Between the Sexes in Lysistrata

The Unremarkable Able McLaughlins

I finally finished the next Pulitzer Prize winning novel after dragging my feet for much of the summer. It is altogether difficult to go from reading the beautiful rolling novels of the great American pioneer writer, Willa Cather, to the bland landscapes of Margaret Wilson's Pulitzer-Prize winning book, The Able McLaughlins. Wilson's novel is a story … Continue reading The Unremarkable Able McLaughlins

Thoughts on the Prayer of Manasseh

The Prayer of Manasseh is a fascinating little prayer. Today, it is included among the biblical apocrypha -and sometimes it is included among thePsalms or at the end of Second Chronicles. It is an imagined prayer of Manasseh, successor king to Hezekiah of ancient Judah, as he makes an apologia in penitence for his sins -praising of other gods. The prayer is divided into fifteen verses, and … Continue reading Thoughts on the Prayer of Manasseh