The Font Of Life And Leadership

How often do we really think about time, and our interactions with it?  We know that Augustine of Hippo, in his Confessions (XI.20), expended significant effort on the nature of time, and its effect on human affairs.  In his view it was not accurate to say, as we normally do, that the three “times” are past, present, and future.  The better way of understanding our perception of time, he says, is to observe that the three “varieties” of time co-existing in our souls are the following:

Continue reading

Captain Adolf Von Schell On Leadership And Composure In Adversity (Podcast)

Captain Adolf Von Schell was an infantry officer in the German Army during the First World War.  In 1930 he gave a series of lectures on battle leadership to American officers at the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia.  These presentations were later collected into a book called Battle Leadership.  In this podcast, I read a short selection from Capt. Von Schell’s book, and discuss its relevance for today.

Continue reading

The Monkey Atop The Ship’s Mast, And How To Deal With Him

A nineteenth-century volume of nautical lore provides the following story of a strange incident at sea.  In 1818 there was a ship—its name is not recorded by the tale’s author—on its homeward voyage from Jamaica to Whitehaven, England.  One of the passengers was a young mother with her infant child, who was only several weeks old.  One day, the ship’s captain saw something on the horizon, and offered his spyglass to the mother, so that she might for herself see what it was.  She wrapped her child in her shawl and placed it carefully on the seat where she had been sitting.

Continue reading

Special Kindle Discount Sale: Limited Time Only, From March 16 To March 19

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.

Continue reading

The Complete Lecture Series On “Stoic Paradoxes” And “On Moral Ends”

In 2015 and 2018, I made a series of podcasts discussing Cicero’s Stoic Paradoxes and On Moral Ends.  In response to continuing interest and questions, I thought it would be useful to provide all the links to these lectures in one place.  Having all of them consolidated can be a real convenience, and I want to do everything I can to assist students and general readers.  The most benefit can be gained from these podcasts if listeners also have the texts of my translations of these works.

Continue reading

Having Too Many Choices, And Falling Into Ruts (Podcast)

A reader has some questions about some possible choices in his life.  We comment on this, and talk about: (1) how having too many choices can inhibit progress; (2) why you should focus on internals, and not externals; (3) why character and determination are all-important; and (4) how you need to shock yourself out of the self-imposed ruts you can very easily slip into.

Continue reading

The Humor And Wisdom Of Ibn Sabir Al-Manjaniki

Ibn Sabir Al-Manjaniki’s full name was Abu Yusuf Ibn Sabir Ibn Hauthara Al-Manjaniki; we note it here for completeness, and will not repeat it again.  He was also known in some circles by the surname Najm Al-Din, which means “star of religion.”  He was born  in Baghdad in January 1159, and spent his early life there.  He is nearly unique in having achieved enduring fame in two completely separate disciplines:  military engineering and poetry.

Continue reading