Coping With The Loss Of A Child (Podcast)

In this podcast, we discuss a serious subject. A reader explains that his family has just lost a young child, and he is searching for advice on how to deal with this calamity. I offer some suggestions drawn from Plutarch’s letter of consolation to his wife on the death of his two-year-old daughter Timoxena. We also discuss anecdotes from other sources (e.g., Cicero’s views on grief, the life of P.T. Barnum, etc.), and my own personal experiences. Fiat voluntas tua.

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A Heinous And Remorseless Maritime Killer

I first learned of the following story in a long-forgotten book of maritime lore entitled Unsolved Mysteries of Sea and Shore.  Authored by Edward Snow, it was published in only one edition in 1963.  As it is a difficult volume to procure, it will be useful for me to retell the tale here in abbreviated form, so that readers can form their own conclusions on the purposes of an elusive and sinister figure named William Kellogg Thompson.

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Coming August 2021: A New Translation Of “Tusculan Disputations”

In August 2021, a new and original translation of the full text of Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations will be published by Fortress of the Mind Publications. Nearly two years in the making, this is the first complete translation of Tusculan Disputations to appear in English since the 1920s, and the only one that is fully annotated and illustrated. It is ideal for the student, general reader, and scholar who needs a clear, cogent, and modern edition of this timeless classic.

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Breakout From Britain

Gunther Plüschow, Germany’s legendary escape artist of the First World War, was born to a  well-traveled family in Munich on February 8, 1886.  He was taken by his family to Rome at an early age, and was fortunate to have grown up amid the Eternal City’s bustle, ruins, and excitement; it was there that he acquired his facility with languages and adroitness in maneuvering his way out of trouble. 

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The Chesapeake-Leopard Affair And Its Tragic Aftermath

To understand the incident that has come to be called the Chesapeake—Leopard Affair, we must first understand the political and diplomatic circumstances that existed between the young United States and the European superpowers at the outset of the nineteenth century. 

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The Terrifying Wreck Of The “São João”

By the close of the fifteenth century, the maritime enterprise of Portugal had established a reliable network of trading routes from the Iberian peninsula to the Indian Ocean.  These routes were won at great cost; we note the results of the budding Age of Exploration, but forget the fearsome human toll that this Age exacted.  Shipwreck, loss at sea, loss of life on land, loss of property:  any one of these misfortunes—or a combination of them—could befall the intrepid explorer or trader at any time. 

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Escape From Fort Warren

Fort Warren is a pentagonal fortress located on Georges Island in Boston Harbor.  Older reference works call the island “George’s Island,” while modern texts have removed the apostrophe; readers can decide for themselves which spelling is more authentic.  The island’s fortress was one of the most solidly constructed and intimidating military installations of nineteenth century America. It is, in fact, more of a dungeon than a fortress. 

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The Mysterious Disappearance Of Captain Blakely And The “Wasp”

The premise of John Carpenter’s 1980 horror film The Fog is an intriguing one.  In the 1800s, we are told, a Captain Blake and his crew were lured to their deaths by townspeople who had set up a false beacon near some coastal rocks.  The ship was dashed against the rocks at night; Blake and all hands were lost.  But many generations later, the spirits of the murdered captain and his crew would wreak a brutal vengeance from beyond their watery graves. 

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