It’s time to review the top ten articles and essays that have appeared here at Fortress of the Mind in 2021. The following list is ranked by page views, with the greatest number beginning at the top.Continue reading
The audiobook of my translation of Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations is now available. Narrated smoothly and beautifully by Saethon Williams (the same narrator of my other translations), this audiobook is a complete and unabridged version of the print edition published in August 2021. Mr. Williams has brought his own authority, sparkle and polish to the dialogues, and I am confident that readers and listeners will find the audiobook to be a source of both enjoyment and understanding.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
As 2020 staggers to a close, it is time to review the year’s eleven most viewed essays and podcasts here at Fortress of the Mind. The misery of the year’s events was in some way mitigated by its productivity in writing. I list them below, in descending order. Now would be a good opportunity to catch up on any that you may have missed, or to visit a favorite once again. Here is the list:
It is often forgotten that Latin was a primary European language of education and literature until the late eighteenth century. University lectures were conducted in Latin; textbooks, treatises, doctoral dissertations, legal work, and government publications were composed in Latin; and scientific and religious tracts were written in Latin. There was a thriving vernacular literature in prose and poetry in every country, of course, but this arrangement co-existed (sometimes uneasily) with the official standard. Scholars and officials frequently debated the extent to which the vernaculars should replace Latin. Yet anyone wanting to reach an international audience—which in those days meant the breadth of the European continent—needed to be proficient in the language. Among the competitive and tussling European states, its neutrality and prestige meant that it was the only language accepted as an international vehicle.
In response to requests by students and instructors who want them for classroom use and recreational reading, Fortress of the Mind Publications will be offering, for a limited time only, a special discount sale on all of Quintus Curtius’s translations in Kindle format. All of them are fully annotated, with commentary and indices. They are the only existing translations of these classics that are both faithful to the originals, and yet readable as works of literature for a modern audience. Simply look, and compare.
Digest is available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle editions. This comprehensive (713 pages), annotated, illustrated, and fully indexed collection includes all of Quintus Curtius’s important essays from 2016 to January 2020. Some of the essays have been expanded. The range of topics is diverse and compelling, and includes history, moral and ethical philosophy, travel and exploration, language, and the wisdom of the Near East. These penetrating and inspiring writings provide a window into a philosophy of life based on a belief in achievement through struggle, the redemptive power of wisdom, the value of moral goodness, and the necessity of direct personal experience.
It’s inventory and round-up time of the year again: time to do some record-keeping and list the most viewed posts here at Fortress of the Mind. The list below is a pure ranking. It includes not only essays, but also podcasts. The first post listed (“A G Manifesto Tweet Reading”) was number one, and is followed sequentially to number ten (“What Did A Roman Triumph Actually Look Like?”) Check out the ones you might have missed, or revisit your favorites.
Reading the works of American military pundits and the vast US media commentariat that amplifies their voices often feels like entering an alternate universe. Weaknesses are touted as “strengths”; self-congratulatory propaganda and delusion are seen as substitutes for hard analysis; belligerent, callous jingoism passes as the norm; and American “exceptionalism” is taken for granted almost as a theological truth. Clearly a day of reckoning is coming. It has been coming for some time now.