Written by Visnja Bojovic, Contributing Writer, Clasical Wisdom
Surely, we are all familiar with the term “catharsis.” A significant number of us have probably used it from time to time to describe an experience, such as when we leave a movie saying “That was cathartic!”
Yet, how many of us know what it really means, who came up with it, and, most importantly, why? It is quite possible that no one does, but let’s not take this pessimistic approach, and let’s try and see what we do know.
This peculiar term is what Aristotle’s theory of tragedy, discussed in his Poetics, revolves around. What is strange about it, though, is the fact that it appears only once in the entire treatise, yet is at the core of the definition of tragedy!
At first glance, it may appear to be one of the biggest differences between the ancient world and now. Back then, they didn’t even aim for grand notions like ‘equality’, right?
Of course, ‘inequality’ in ancient Greece and Rome looked a lot different from what we think of today.
A slave, for instance, could be of any race, religion, education or economic background. With the exception of the Spartans and Helots, our more modern examples of multi-generational communities of slaves was simply not the common form of bondage. Slaves were spoils of war, teachers taken to instruct, or unlucky persons captured by pirates. If there was any correlation between a minority group and their slavery status, it was more likely to be the light eyed red-heads and blonds, clear barbarians from the north, that would be suspect.[Classical Wisdom Members can learn more about ancient slavery in this Podcast with Professors Episode here]
Written by Saad Saeed Ph.D., Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
2020 started with a bang on January 30, 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the outbreak of Coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and on March 11 the WHO declares the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. In the days that followed, Global stock markets crashed due to continued concerns over COVID-19, the effects of which are visible in every part of life.
Within a few months, the entire political and monetary framework of the modern age was called into question. Many people in the 21st century are dependent on external things for their mental and spiritual peace. This is especially prevalent in the capitalist countries of the Western world.
In the Western countries people dealt with the fear of the pandemic by buying and stockpiling essential supplies. We are brought up in a world and culture where if something goes wrong we buy stuff, it has been hardwired in our minds that buying and hoarding things will save us and give us peace of mind. In other words, we consume in order to manage our emotional states. Philosophical and rational thinking, on the other hand, are in scarce supply.
Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
There are many great Romans whose names are still honored to this day. None has been more feted down the centuries than Cicero. He was perhaps Rome’s greatest author and one of its greatest orators and philosophers. Cicero was also one the last defenders of the Roman Republic, inspiring democrats and those who oppose tyranny to this day.
Early Life of Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) was born into an aristocratic family in Arpimium, not far from Rome. He received a good education in Latin and Greek and oratory, the art of public speaking, which was essential for a life in politics and law.
It’s hard to accept. We don’t live in a risk free world. Not now, not ever.
How risk averse we are, however, differs wildly.
In many places the world over, children pile up on or in the back of bikes, trucks, and taxis with nary a care in the world.
Seatbelts? What are those? Heads sticking out the window? Sure! Just hold on dear while we thread this insane traffic.
Written by David Hooker, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Derived from the Latin discipulus, “discipline” has several shades of meaning. It can mean a branch of knowledge or learning, or “a training that develops self-control, character, or efficiency,” or submission to an authority and a system of rules, such as those for military purposes, or a monastic order, to name a few.
Today I’m going to focus on the kind of discipline that instills in us those methods and practices that help to increase our personal self-control and efficiency, with the aim to make us better human beings and improve our psychology. Moreover, as we discipline ourselves in these ways, we become better at our chosen endeavors in life; maximizing our personal abilities, achievements, and productivity.
Discipline is one aspect of human life that is SO necessary, and one I believe is the bedrock characteristic of every successful human being. It is that aspect that helps us – both individually and corporately – get through very tough times, such as we are experiencing now with a dangerous pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.