Homer’s “Iliad”: From Strife to Love

Homer’s Iliad is the defining epic of Western literature. Its heroes live on in lure and our collective and individual consciousness. Most of Greek—and Roman literature—is indebted to the epic and its characters. Even modern English literature owes much to Homer’s monumental and heroic poem. Indeed, all Western literature owes to the wellspring of Homer. Even literary … Continue reading Homer’s “Iliad”: From Strife to Love

Cicero’s Republic: Education and Humanism

Besides political commentary, although Cicero’s ruminations about education and philosophy are still tied to his political philosophy, Cicero’s other great undercurrent of thought in the Republic is the relationship between philosophy and education with the health of one’s soul and how this pursuit of wisdom impacts how one acts and engages in the world.  Naturally this does … Continue reading Cicero’s Republic: Education and Humanism

Cicero’s Republic: The Cyclical Theory of Constitutions

Cicero’s political philosophy is the most comprehensive from among the Roman philosophers.  In fact, we owe much to Cicero, since he was the one who translated politeia as “republic” with regards to Plato, hence forever passing on Plato’s great work to us as The Republic.  Cicero paid homage to Plato by the name De re publica.  … Continue reading Cicero’s Republic: The Cyclical Theory of Constitutions

Cicero’s Republic: Patriotism and the Common Good

Cicero is perhaps the most famous of the Roman Stoic philosophers.  He wrote many philosophical works, the two most famous being On the Republic/Commonwealth and The Laws.  We will begin to look at Cicero’s anthropology, and how it influences his views of political philosophy beginning in The Republic.  (It should be noted that the work is in poor condition, … Continue reading Cicero’s Republic: Patriotism and the Common Good

Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Athens was undoubtedly an exceptional polity. The Athenians are evidently aware of this fact. In the speeches leading up to the declaration of war between Athens and Sparta the Athenian representatives highlight their long and noble history which had brought them up to this moment in history. The much-remembered funeral oration of Pericles equally praises … Continue reading Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Geopolitics and the Melian Dialogue

In sticking with the theme of geopolitics which I have already discussed, I wish to segway into the Melian Dialogue by way of geopolitics. Alongside Pericles’ “Funeral Oration,” the Melian Dialogue is the most famous of dialogues (or orations) in Thucydides’ masterpiece. Most people who have never read the entirety of Thucydides have probably read … Continue reading Geopolitics and the Melian Dialogue

Corruption of Language and Morality in History of the Peloponnesian War

In a celebrated analysis of the corruption of language and its relationship with deteriorated character, Thucydides reflects on the symbiotic relationship of language with moral character. Language is clear, meaningful, and understandable when there is moral clarity, meaning, and understanding in the human animal. That is, the clarity of language ebbs and flows with the … Continue reading Corruption of Language and Morality in History of the Peloponnesian War

Geopolitics and the Cause of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides, and his famous work, The History of the Peloponnesian War, is often misunderstood. Many consider him the so-called father of “objective history,” or “scientific history.” This has never been the position of the philosophers, and at long last that view of Thucydides is changing in history departments too. Thucydides was, as Leo Strauss said, … Continue reading Geopolitics and the Cause of the Peloponnesian War