Blog Archives

Substantial burden, tender conscience, Hobby Lobby

Robert Middlekauff, The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728:  On her deathbed [Increase Mather’s] mother thrust upon him another great burden, a wish expressed in great emotion, that if it were God’s will, Increase should become a minister. Filled with

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Posted in Economics, history, law

Barbarians and Byzantines

Fix, my son, your mind’s eye upon my words, and learn those things which I command you, and you will be able in due season as from ancestral treasures to bring forth the wealth of wisdom, and to display the

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Posted in general observations, history

Are you a patronizing fuckwit? (a post wherein the author combines personal sentiments with some potentially worthwhile reading recommendations from the classical canon)

Intrinsic to the patronizing impulse is the notion that no true meeting of minds can ever be had: the distance is too great.  Your interlocutor is a lost cause, in other words.  Therefore, what is the point of that little

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Posted in history, literature

New book, old letters

Some comment related to an upcoming book, Writing on the Wall: Social Media, the First 2,000 years, Tom Standage.   A you might guess from the title, a historical take on social networks, which he defines as two-way, conversational environments in

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Posted in history, literature


Miss Cecilia, When I, some years ago, had the pleasure of being personally acquainted with your family, I discovered in you so decided a talent for music, that I am exceedingly rejoiced to hear that you are now really about

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Posted in history, music

Horizon, Autumn 1967(Part 3): Horizon Examines its Contemporaries

Non-catastrophizing, low drama: Horizon is consistently low-angst about the cultural and political upheavals of the day.  The photo and its caption above are rather characteristic: once you notice that continuity is of the essence, you’ll see there’s no big reason to freak

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Posted in art, history, literature

A Classical Education

Round about the 1970’s pop culture images circulating of the Greek and Roman classical world were something like this: 1. A couple more pics because there’s something so lovely and cartoony and delicate and humane about the illustrations.  Hera, Argus, Io:

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Posted in art, history