Antonio De Ulloa’s Explorations In South America

Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Giral may have been Spain’s greatest explorer of the eighteenth century.  The hardships he endured certainly merit his inclusion on any list of that century’s great cultivators of geographic knowledge.  He was born in Seville on January 12, 1716; and like many accomplished travelers, he received a thorough education in the traditional disciplines.  He came from a family with a naval tradition, and young Antonio was eager to follow in these footsteps.

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Treachery Ensnares Some, But Is Defeated By Others

Every man who goes about his business must be attuned to the realities of his surroundings.  He should not close his eyes to what lies within his field of vision; and he must not delude himself by rationalizing the treacherous intentions of others.  The prudent man will not see plots and conspiracies everywhere, for this is the mentality of a craven fool; but he will still maintain a healthy alertness and awareness of his environment.  Such a policy might have saved the life of the camel in the tale that follows, as we will see.

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Georg Wilhelm Freytag’s Latin Compendium Of Arabic Proverbs

About a year ago one of the readers here at Fortress of the Mind informed me of a work of scholarship that he thought might be of interest.  The work was Georg Wilhelm Freytag’s monumental Latin treatise Arabum Proverbia (literally Proverbs of the Arabs, but better rendered as Arabic Proverbs), a three-volume collection of classical Arabic proverbs drawn from the Compendium of Proverbs (مجمع الامثال) of the medieval philologist Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Al-Maydani (احمد ابن محمد الميداني).  I was able to locate this impressive yet forgotten work, and have found much pleasure in poring over its pages.

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The Villa Of The Papyri: A Glimpse At A Roman Book Collection

Sometimes an accident of history can preserve records of great value.  As is well-known, Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupted in 79 A.D. entombing the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in ash and ejecta.  In the eighteenth century, these sites began to be explored in a random and haphazard manner; one of the villas so discovered turned out to be the residence of a dedicated scholar.

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The Top Ten Articles At Fortress Of The Mind For 2018

The following articles were the most popular at the site in 2018.  There are some surprises here.  For the first time since the site was founded in 2015, a podcast made it to the top ten list.  And not just one podcast, but two of them.  They were “The Surrealistic World of Michael Porfirio” (at no. 3) and “The Porfirio Effect” (at no. 9).  I much appreciated Michael’s feedback in these podcasts, and I’m glad that readers also found them enjoyable.

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