“Of Custom; We Should Not Easily Change a Law Received” by Michel de Montaigne There is a story that warns us about not being comfortable with customs. A woman starts holding a calf and feeding it. She did this every day until the calf was no longer a calf butContinue Reading

“Gargantua and Pantagruel” Book I by François Rabelais   “Gargantua and Pantagruel” by François Rabelais Book I Chapter 1 Gargantua is the father of Pantagruel, both giants. We should all be so lucky as to have our genealogy laid out so neatly as theirs. There are so many people withContinue Reading

“The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli Chapter I All states are either republics or principalities. Principalities are either hereditary or annexed to the hereditary state. The people in these states are used to either living in freedom or under a prince. They are either acquired by the prince or given toContinue Reading

“Confessions” by Augustine Book I I. [Addressed to God] You should be praised because of your infinite power and wisdom. Man is so little, sinful and proud. But at least we have the ability to look to you. You made us but you made our hearts restless. Should I callContinue Reading

“The Acts of the Apostles” 1 “Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven” Jesus did all of his stuff until he went to heaven after giving instructions with his boys. He made his point with his words and actions, fulfilling prophecies. He stuck around for 40 more days. “Don’t leave Jerusalem. WaitContinue Reading

“The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Caesar” by Plutarch Julius Caesar’s wife was Cornelia, Cinna’s daughter. Cinna used to run things in Rome. Then Sulla came along and was the big boss. Sulla stopped Caesar at every attempt to gain some sort of office in Rome. The reasonContinue Reading

“Gospel According to Matthew” 1 “The Genealogy of Jesus” Abraham to David -> 14 generations David to the Exile to Babylon -> 14 generations Exile to Jesus -> 14 generations 42 generations between Abraham and Jesus. “Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son” Mary and Joseph tied the knot but hadn’tContinue Reading

“The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Alexander” by Plutarch “The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Alexander” by Plutarch (Notes) The book “The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans” is not so much a history book but a series of biographies about great men. Often theContinue Reading

“The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Lycurgus and Numa Compared” by Plutarch 1 – Similar: Moderation, piety, talent for governing and educating, deriving laws from a divine source. Different: Numa accepted the role of king without asking for it, Lycurgus was given the role of king and resignedContinue Reading

“The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Numa Pompilius” by Plutarch 1 – Not much about Numa’s family is well known. However, starting at Numa and going forward, the genealogy is fairly well known. It appears that the records on him were destroyed by attacks from Gaul and muchContinue Reading

“The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Lycurgus” by Plutarch 1 – So much of what was floating around about Lycurgus is legend. They can’t even get the century right of when he was living. Plutarch’s sticking with the most consistent and logical accounts of what was said andContinue Reading

“Politics Book I” by Aristotle (Notes) 1. The state is a sort community and is set up to achieve some sort of good. That’s the nature of mankind – to achieve what they think is good. Since a community is made of many men, their good must be higher thanContinue Reading

1. Everything and every activity has a point to it. The purpose of building a ship is to have built a ship. But this purpose has purposes beyond it. Having a ship built has military purposes as well as fishing purposes or trade purposes. There’s almost nothing around that standsContinue Reading

  From what I have read about Greek plays, I gather that they are meant to be watched in bunches. I doubt very much that a modern audience has the time or patience to sit through three plays. But then again, we’ve got a lot more options for entertainment andContinue Reading

“Clouds” by Aristophanes   Strepsiades wakes up complaining that neither his servants nor his son have woken up to start the day off. He complains that the only thing his son does is ride horses which is starting rack up some debts because of this. The son, Phidippides is talkingContinue Reading

“The Republic Book II” by Plato     Glaucon, Socrates’s friend, wants to know what justice is. Nobody’s happy with how that chat with Thrasymachus ended. He continues the discussion: G: Isn’t there something we like for its own sake and not just for the things they bring? And there’sContinue Reading

“The Republic Book I” by Plato     Socrates was at the Piraeus with some friends to see the festivities there. On his way back, he was compelled to go to the house of Cephalus – an old man. There were many people there discussing things. Cephalus complained that sinceContinue Reading

“Crito” by Plato Socrates is in prison waking to be executed from his trial in “Apology”. Crito shows up ready to spring Socrates after bribing the guard. Crito is amazed how calmly Socrates is taking the idea of being put to death. Socrates says old men know that death isContinue Reading

“Apology” by Plato We walk in on Socrates on trial. Before he even starts explaining and defending himself, he calls his main accusers a bunch of lying twats. He even calls them lying twats for warning the crowd not be fooled by his sweet talk. The first accusation is thatContinue Reading