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The Thiasos of Plato, Part 3

The Thiasos of Plato, Part 3

      Plato as a child had attended an exercise garden other than this one, the private gymnaseion of the grammatist Dionysios. There he had learned to compose tragedies and dithyrambs from famous teachers of music, and there in the palaistra of Ariston of Argos he had trained to compete as a champion wrestler in [...]

The Thiasos of Plato, Part 2

The Thiasos of Plato, Part 2

  Plato sculpted by Silanion circa 370 BCE Socrates portrait by Palermo, copied from the 4th-century original   The Academy is located north of Athens.  It seems appropriate to begin in regular Socratic fashion, by dispelling false conceptions and replacing them with true ones. Let us begin first with the name. [...]

The Thiasos of Plato, Part 1

The Thiasos of Plato, Part 1

  Plato sculpted by Silanion circa 370 BCE   Socrates portrait by Palermo copied from the 4th-century original   Many images of Plato’s Academy have come down to us through the centuries: the idyllic robed band of secular humanists in every conceivable posture of inquiry and discussion that appears in Raphael’s [...]

The Divine Child of Virgil, Part 3

The Divine Child of Virgil, Part 3

3 As fate had it, the promising peace of Brundisium proved to be illusory and the promising boy-child which Virgil expected did not appear: if that child were to have been the child of Octavian, that child was born Julia, a girl; if one of the boys fathered by Pollios himself, one died at birth and the other was starved to death by order of [...]

The Divine Child of Virgil, Part 2

The Divine Child of Virgil, Part 2

     A bust of Virgil from his tomb at Naples, Italy. PHOTO A. Hunter Wright 2 Virgil was a poet not a prophet. He used in his poem the phrase Cumaeum carmen ("song of the Cumaean Sibyl") not to write an oracle but to call to mind in his Roman readers the renowned oracle which Rome called The Books of Fate (Libri Fatales). These are [...]

The Divine Child of Virgil, Part 1

The Divine Child of Virgil, Part 1

  1  For two thousand years, readers of Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue have speculated, without success, on the identity and nature of the Divine Child described in that poem: How did the prophetic image of the Child enter the poem and why? Where did the image of the Child come from? Who is the Child?. It is the  intention of these pages [...]

The Modesty of Alfred Russel Wallace

The Modesty of Alfred Russel Wallace

THE PROTAGONIST:  Alfred Russel Wallace was born on January 8, 1823 in the Welsh village of Usk in Monmouthshire, a remote pastoral district of low rents and country food. About the time that Darwin was secretively preparing the journal of his famous Beagle voyage for publication at his Down House estate in Kent, Wallace reached the age of [...]

Project X Goes to Greece

Project X Goes to Greece

Reflections of the Greek Tour by the Reverend William Bartlett Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a difficult battle. -- Plato The unexamined life is not worth living. -- Socrates I was asked to write a few thoughts about our trip to Greece. Many years ago, I read a book entitled The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan [...]

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