Reflections on Thucydides

Reading Thucydides is familiar to modern audiences. His succinct style of political and military history is perhaps the most commonly mirrored practice for writing contemporary history. However, his project is still somewhat elusive. Unlike Herodotus, Thucydides does not explicitly call his work a "history" (historia), and he calls his book a work for all time, … Continue reading Reflections on Thucydides

Plato’s Laws: Notes on Books II-IV

Book IIIn Book II, the Athenian Stranger wishes to explore the question of what is the greatest benefit of a correctly executed drinking party, or at least if there is a greater benefit than considering human nature. He explores the question of education. What is education? First, we begin in childhood. A young child experiences … Continue reading Plato’s Laws: Notes on Books II-IV

“All The World’s A Stage” Considered

In Act II scene 7 of Shakespeare's As You Like It, we encounter one of the more fatalistic and artful monologues in all of Shakespearean literature, Jaques's famous "All the world's a stage" soliloquy. Drawing on Ovid, Shakespeare uses the character, Jaques, to compare the totality of human life to the charade of a play, … Continue reading “All The World’s A Stage” Considered

Thucydides on Greek Origins

At the outset of Thucydides's "archaeology" of the Peloponnesian War, the greatest "motion" of the city yet seen by either the Hellenes or barbarians or also possibly of all mankind, including the ancient Trojan War, Thucydides provides many opportunities for wonder. Pointing to later thinkers, like Hobbes, Thucydides gives an account of how the Hellenes … Continue reading Thucydides on Greek Origins