Why We Should Forgive The Faults Of Our Heroes

There comes a time in the life of every son or daughter when they begin to see their parents as flawed mortals.  Before this, they are still under the spell of their upbringing; they see their parents more as imposing authority figures than as anything else.  I am not sure exactly when, or how, this transition takes place; for some it may be one event, for others it may be a series of events, or an incremental process.  But it does happen, and the son begins to see the father as the human being he is, in all his definitive defects and foibles.

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The Mystery Of Cicero’s Lost Work “On Glory”

Of the literary works of classical antiquity, only a fraction have survived to the present day.  What fraction this is, we do not know; one estimate places it at one-fourth, but the true figure will never be known.  The reader may wonder how it can be that literary masterpieces could have been permitted to fade into obscurity, and then oblivion; but, on further reflection, he will marvel more at the fact that anything at all survived from antiquity than rue the losses we have suffered.  Printing and the mass production of books are relatively new inventions.  For most of history (in Europe at least) books could only be reproduced as fast as a copyist could transcribe them.  Multiplicity was the only insurance against destruction:  the more copies in existence, the better the book’s chance of survival.

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Now Available: The Audio Book Of “Stoic Paradoxes”

The audio book of my translation of Cicero’s Stoic Paradoxes is now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.  You can find it by clicking on the image above.  The audio book is complete and unabridged; it contains the complete texts of Stoic Paradoxes, as well as the Dream of Scipio, along with summaries and commentary.

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The Road To Tusculum

Today I visited the site of the old Roman town of Tusculum.  It is located in the Alban Hills outside Rome, near the modern town of Frascati.  It is close to Barco Borghese, Monte Porzio Catone, and Montecompatri.  In Cicero’s day, Tusculum was known as a fashionable spot for the elite to have summer villas.  Cicero himself owned a villa in Tusculum, and although its precise location has not yet been identified, he and his friends walked the ground there many times.

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The Shortness Of Life, And The Second Death

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There is a passage in Cicero’s treatise Tusculan Disputations I was thinking about today while driving home from work.  The passage begins as a parable, then closes with a glorious invocation to action.  Cicero makes an analogy from nature observed near the River Hypanis, then draws some conclusions from that analogy.  He says:

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The Three Things That Deflect Us From Love

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Several days ago I received a warm email from a young guy in Brooklyn who had read one of my recent articles here.  The story, told in the form of a fable, underscored the importance of taking the initiative in matters of love.  His questions were these:  How do I know when to take the initiative?  How can I develop my “initiative-taking” spirit?

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