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What are we REALLY in control of?

by on May 17, 2021

It was raining gold. The hazy autumnal light caught the cascading leaves, brilliantly illuminating them as they gently drifted to the pavement. The noonday sun, already sinking low to the horizon, stretched out the branches’ shadows, creating a speckled mosaic on the ground. 
Down here in South America the season has suddenly shifted to the cold, just as it has no doubt for my northern counterparts, sprung into warmth. And as we swiftly move into our shoulder seasons, it becomes evident once again of the continuous movement of the earth, the never ending cycles of life, death, and rebirth. 
Fall in Buenos Aires
With this timeless perspective of constant change, we are forced to take a step back and look at our place within it. What is our individual role in relation to this incomprehensible experience of the world forever rotating, the life giving star directing movements of growth and decay like a grand conductor of the heavens?
As I walked through today’s gilded shower, I have to ask once again:

Ephesia Grammata: Magical Words in the Greek World

by on May 14, 2021

Written by Ed Whalen, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
The Classical World is often seen as an age of reason and philosophy. In reality, the vast majority of people were very superstitious and belief in magic was very common. Spells, magical formulas, and incantations were popular and widely used. Some of the best known magical formulas from the Classical Word are the Ephesia Grammata or ‘Ephesian Words’.
The Meaning of Ephesia Grammata
The meaning of the words has long been a mystery. Even in ancient times, no one was sure what the words meant. The Pythagorean philosopher Androcydes regarded the Ephesia Grammata as part of an allegorical language that provided insights into the nature of the divine. Some believe that words derived from the legendary race associated with the Great Mother Goddess (Rhea) known as the Dactyls. The formula fascinated both pagan and Christian writers. 

Cicero: Defender of Freedom, Orator, and Philosopher

by on May 13, 2021

Written by Ed Whalen, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Cicero (106-43 BC) is perhaps one of the most remarkable figures in the history of Rome. He was an important politician and statesman who attempted to defend the Republic.
Cicero was also a great philosopher and writer whose works greatly influenced the development of Roman oratory and literature. His works had a profound impact on the history of Western Civilization.
Early Life and Career

The Extraordinary History of Mesopotamia

by on May 12, 2021

Written by Michael C. Anderson, PhD, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Greek and Roman cultures are universally recognized as the greatest Western civilizations from the time we consider “ancient.” Their cultural and political influence provided a foundation for modern society and its political frameworks inspired post-Enlightenment governments.
The Greeks were specialists in ideas, pioneering modern philosophy, art, theater, poetry, mathematics, and science. The Romans, a more practical people, contributed engineering, law, and a political system called the Republic.
The accomplishments of Greece and Rome cast a long shadow over their predecessors. Older civilizations were seen as less important. That line of thinking is a serious mistake because Mesopotamia was one of the most important civilizations in all of human history. It was the world’s first true civilization, making it the father of all cultures in the West. Mesopotamia served as the crucible for mankind to develop agricultural, pre-dynastic, and monarchical cultures.

Is there such a thing as FREE WILL?

by on May 11, 2021

And if not, what are the consequences? 

It quickly became a spirited debate… after all, there is a lot on the line and it’s certainly not a point to be conceded without a fight. 
We were discussing the concept of free will… and whether we have it… or not. 
My interlocutor was steadfast and impassioned. 

The Healing of Athens

by on May 7, 2021

Written by George Theodoridis, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Once a year Athens went to the theater to heal herself. 
Once the two Persian attacks were done, once the last barbarian soldier left Plataea and Mycale, once the last Persian ship was driven out of the waters of Salamis, a burgeoning epidemic of arrogance overtook Athens.
The Athenians had established the Delian League, an alliance which incorporated some 300-odd cities, all paying tributes of either money or men or ships as a means of boosting Greece’s military and build an adequate protection against a possible further revenge attack from Persia.