On The Tempests Of Misery

The Roman writer Aelian, in his Varia Historia (X.5) credits the following parable to Aesop the Phrygian, although I have never heard it mentioned in collections of his stories.  He said that a pig squeals when it is touched by man for a good reason:  it does not produce fur or milk for human use, as a goat or sheep, and has nothing to offer except its own meat. 

Continue reading

On Why The Best Philosophers Are Men Of Action

The Roman writer Aelian, in his Varia Historia (III.44), conveys the following anecdote. Three young friends, he says, were traveling to Delphi in order to consult the oracle.  Along the way, they lucklessly encountered some bandits.  In the melee that followed, some of the robbers were killed. 

Continue reading

Arousing The Imagination

By what means can the imagination be activated?  By what artifice may its secrets be coaxed to the surface of our consciousness, and made capable of articulation, as an enterprising fisherman might lure a rare specimen from deep waters to the surface?  Are there tried techniques, or is it simply a matter of random inspiration?  These are questions worthy of consideration.

Continue reading