Adrastia: The Goddess Who Punishes Hubris And Arrogance

We have observed that one of the themes of ancient literature is the concept of Fate or Fortune.  We find it first expressed in the plays and heroic poems of the Greeks; the idea then seeped into the writing of history and biography.  Closely associated with this concept is the idea of divine retribution for offending the gods.  Those who showed contempt for divine or human law would be humbled by the harsh blows of Fate:  no man could expect to thumb his nose at the laws of the universe and get away with it.

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Yuri Andropov: A Missed Opportunity For Reform Of The Soviet Union?

One of the forgotten names of recent history is Yuri Andropov, the fourth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the successor to Leonid Brezhnev.  In the West at least, his name seems to have become buried among the pile of relics that accumulated in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.  As far as I can determine, there is still no comprehensive English language biography of him currently in print; what studies do exist were written years ago and do not incorporate the latest research.  This is unfortunate.  His career spanned an important period of Soviet history, and his policies have proven to be more influential than is generally believed.  The student of modern Russian history owes it to himself to examine his life and career diligently.

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Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The New World’s First Ethnographer

Little known today is the courageous Catholic friar, linguist, and ethnographer Fray Bernardino de Sahagún.  He was born in Sahagún, Spain, in 1499 and drank deeply from the well of Renaissance humanism that had been washing over Europe for several decades.  Mastering Latin at an early age, he startled his instructors with the intensity and depth of his observational powers.  He arrived in Mexico (New Spain) in 1529 with a group of Church prelates whose job it would be to convert the natives to Catholicism.

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How To Solve The North Korea Problem (Podcast)

What is the motive behind North Korea’s belligerent behavior? Who is pulling the strings in the background? And what is the best way to resolve this situation? We discuss the power realities in East Asia and explore some options for the United States at home and abroad.

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To Curb North Korean Provocations, Pressure Must Be Placed On China

There is a steady stream of news these days about North Korean missile launches and nuclear tests.  Accompanying this news are debates and discussions about how the United States should handle the situation.  I wanted to offer my own assessments and opinion on the matter.

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Even When Glory Departs, Something Always Remains

The Italian humanist Ciriaco de’ Pizzicolli lived from 1391 to 1452.  He is more commonly known as Cyriac of Ancona.  While most humanists of his era were content to labor at their desks, he was unusual in that he sought to observe ancient monuments and inscriptions in person.  He was, in fact, one of the very first to undertake a systematic survey of the surviving monuments of Greek antiquity in the Eastern Mediterranean; his work is of great value to the modern antiquarian, since many of the inscriptions and temples he sketched now no longer exist, ravaged by the cruelties of time and man.

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The Trial Of Galileo (Podcast)

The Italian astronomer Galileo was examined by the Inquisition for heresy in 1633. At issue was his advocacy of the heliocentric (sun-centered) view of the solar system. What was the significance of the trial, and what were the motivations of the participants?

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