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Christianity and the Rise of the Hospital in the Ancient World

by on March 27, 2020

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Most of us are lucky enough to be within driving distance of a major hospital. It is often the case that we take our medical services for granted. In the Classical era, things were very different. Though the Greeks and Romans made many innovations, they failed to provide any public healthcare. The establishment of the first hospitals was a result of Christianity.
Hospitals Before the Coming of Christianity
Before the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, healthcare was left to the individual and the family. There had been some charitable hospitals in existence in Rome in the 1st century BC, and even by the 1st century AD  there were only private hospitals accessible to the rich.

Democracy’s Fatal Flaw: Us

by on March 25, 2020

Written by William Giovinazzo, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
When I was a kid, I was taught by the good sisters of Saint Joseph that democracy is a wonderful thing, something ordained by God. In the United States in the early 1960s, it was seen as God’s gift to man, the bulwark against godless communism.
Kennedy was telling us that we needed to spread democracy throughout the world as a radical idea that would free humanity from the shackles of oppression. We all stood proudly before the American flag, chest out, arms akimbo, defenders of truth, justice, and the American way which was decidedly democratic.
That is what we were taught. As with many things the good sisters told me, reality is a bit more complicated.

Are current policies Draconian? Do we Need them?

by on March 23, 2020

We were ‘outside’ all of five minutes, at best… and I use inverted commas because we still hadn’t left the building.
You see, our comfortable little apartment, while nestled in a beautiful old french building, has only an internal courtyard view. ‘No noisy traffic sounds!’, we had initially rejoiced… but then we noticed we didn’t get any direct sunlight either.
This is not usually a problem, since we live near parks and cafes and often spend time walking between them… ah, those were the days.
And so yesterday I brought my young daughter to the direct light, to get a good dose of vitamin D, when the doorwoman approached.

Man: The Political Animal

by on March 20, 2020

Written by David Hooker, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
The Tragic Road to Tyranny 
Imagine your leader is a brilliant and bold military genius who, through multiple conquests, has expanded the borders of your country by orders of magnitude.  He does it because he and some of your leaders have ambitions of empire, need of new wealth, and access to more slaves (to keep building the domestic economy and staffing the army).   His campaigns are tremendously successful as a result of a crack military.
Your leader also gets his way at home,  manipulates the politicians, is a serial adulterer who sleeps with some of the wives of prominent men of your country, and is generally feared. Having shared power earlier in his career with two other leaders (as a “Triumvirate”), his military successes as Imperator (supreme military commander) fuel his ambition to consolidate his power and rule the country by himself.

Quarantine in the Ancient World

by on March 18, 2020

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
The World Health Organization has declared the COVID 19 outbreak a pandemic. This has caused something of a global panic and has led to a great deal of economic dislocation. This has led to many governments imposing an obligatory system separating many people that may be carrying the virus. People have been obliged to self-isolate in case they inadvertently spread the influenza-like virus.
Quarantine is a series of measures that are taken to isolate those who may be carrying a communicable disease. The concept of social distancing was known to the ancients, and they were aware that it was potentially hazardous to come into contact with infected people. They knew that some diseases are contagious and that measures were needed to protect the healthy population from those who were infected.
Lack of Medicine 

The Essential Greeks… For FREE

by on March 16, 2020

Issac Newton was a student at Cambridge when the Great Plague of London hit. His university canceled classes and just like many of us today, he was forced to stay at home. Fortunately for us all, he used that time wisely. It was during his self-quarantine that he developed the foundations for calculus, optics and gravity.
So, too can we make good use of this time, if we are willing and able, to learn, to read, to philosophize.. . And we here at Classical Wisdom want to contribute in any way possible, to do our part to help.