The Life, Travels, And Literary Works Of Yakut Al-Hamawi

In some recent researches I have discovered one of the more interesting travelers and scholars of the medieval Islamic world.  I have been encouraged to review what sources are available; and the more we learn, the more impressive his story becomes.  His name is Yakut Al-Hamawi, and his career and achievements tell us much about the geographical and social mobility of the age in which he lived.  His career also confirms the truth of the adage that a man of ability will always find a way to rise to the top, regardless of the obstacles placed in his path.

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How Pompey Cleared The Mediterranean Of Pirates

The Mediterranean became infested with pirates as a direct consequence of Rome’s Mithridatic Wars.  Around 88 B.C. Mithridates VI of Pontus went to war against the Romans and moved into the province of Asia Minor.  He took what plunder he could, and apparently decided that an effective way to wage irregular warfare against the Romans would be to encourage pirates to attack Roman shipping lanes.

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A Relationship Question, And More G Manifesto Tweet Readings (Podcast)

This podcast is in two parts. The first part deals with a good question I received today from a girl who emailed me about a relationship question.  She wants to know the best way to break up with a guy.  The second part is a reading of some G Manifesto tweets, just to have a few laughs.  Listen to these amusing tweets, as I try to control my laughter.

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The Cultivation Of A Sense Of Humor

To be lacking in a sense of humor is a true misfortune.  I would not go so far as to call it an offense against others; but it certainly is a detriment to oneself.  Social media seems to magnify our sense of self-importance; and when self-importance escalates, so does our sense of grim momentousness.  There is nothing wrong with being serious, of course, up to a certain point.  But there must be some kind of pressure-value to release the steam-engine’s expanding vapors.  And if the first duty of the philosopher is to be clear, then certainly his second obligation is not to take himself too seriously.  The truly wise know when to laugh.

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Al-Farra And The Three Obligations Of Respect

Abu Zakariyya Yahya Ibn Ziyad is one of the more famous of the early Arabic grammarians.  Known to history by his moniker Al-Farra, he was born in the city of Kufa around A.D. 761 and received an intensive education there in rhetoric, law, and theology.  His biographer Ibn Khallikan calls him “the most eminent of all the doctors of Kufa and also the most distinguished by his knowledge of grammar, philology and the various branches of literature.”

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