So much has been written on the subject of self-confidence that a few more observations are unlikely to draw an objection. It seems to me that self-confidence rests on four pillars: (1) one must accurately and honestly assess one’s value; (2) self-confidence should never veer into the territory of arrogance or insolence; (3) self-confidence must be buttressed by demonstrated experience; and (4) while all can improve in self-confidence, it is essentially a character trait that comes easier to some than to others.Continue reading
Like the ceremony of deification, the Roman triumph (triumphus) is one of those rituals about which few readers may have a clear picture. This is unfortunate, for the ceremonial triumph provides a very revealing window on certain aspects of Roman society. Ancient writers mention it frequently, but almost always in passing; we are seldom offered a description of the event itself. Fortunately, the Greek historian Appian has done just this in his writings (VIII.9.66), and it will be useful for us to relate the specifics here.
We have recently discussed ways of handling a lack of appreciation. A certain independence of spirit–a soaring greatness of soul–is one of the main ways we can limit our expectations of appreciation from others. Consider again, if you need to, the verses of Ibn Munir on this subject, which capture perfectly this spiritual independence. As I see it, no more powerful statement of this ethic has ever been put into poetic form.