Only one name in European history unites the realms of religion, mathematics, and philosophy, and that name is Pythagoras. Yet it is this very achievement that so torments posterity when assessing his legacy. Centuries of speculative accretions, hagiographic mythologizing, and the dubious testimonia of ancient authors have so obscured his original doctrines that the exasperated scholar must, at last, accept that fact and legend are in him inseparably woven.Continue reading
In 1917 there was published in Germany a book entitled Deductions from the World War (Folgerungen aus dem Weltkriege). It was an analysis of lessons learned from the previous four years of intense fighting, and its author was a man named Baron Hugo Von Freytag-Loringhoven. At the time he was a lieutenant-general, and he was working as the deputy chief of the German Imperial Staff. An English translation of his book appeared in 1918.Continue reading
Every man is a jumble of paradoxes. The same man can harbor sentiments of the noblest, most generous, and elevated type; and at the same time, he can retain the capability to deliver lethal blows for necessity or sport. It is almost as if the altruist or artist needs a bit of tempering with a dash of Tamerlane. Consider Theodore Roosevelt, the president generally considered the primary voice of conservationism in the twentieth century.