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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.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Self-Quarantine…

by on March 14, 2020

People think we are a little crazy. After all, there are currently only 30 COVID-19 cases in the whole country of almost 45 million, so surely we are a little ‘paranoid’ to choose self-quarantine…everyone is out and about without a care in the world… Why should we act any differently?
Why Stay at Home?
Our reasons are numerous. There has just been an influx of returning holiday-makers from Europe in time for the new southern hemisphere school year, we have plans to see a friend next week who, while very healthy, is still in his 70s, and of course, the Argentines are very much like Italians… and we all know how tragic the situation is there.
But more than anything else, it’s simply because we can.

Emperor Commodus: Was He Really So Terrible?

by on March 13, 2020

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
The Roman Emperor Commodus (161-192 AD) is widely regarded as one of the ‘bad emperors’ and a bloody tyrant. This image has been perpetuated in several movies, especially the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) and Gladiator (2000).
His reign and life were extraordinary by even the standards of the Roman Empire. However, what was the legacy of Commodus and was he is evil and Emperor as is often made out?
Early life

The Life of Marcus Aurelius: Part III

by on March 11, 2020

Written by Katherine Kennedy, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Parthian Attacks
With barely enough time to get comfortable in the Emperor’s seat, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus’ minds were turned to a ghost that haunted their predecessor. As Emperor Antoninus Pius lay dying, his mind was often consumed by the actions of foreign kings. Such worries would turn out to not be unfounded, though Antoninus would (perhaps fortunately) not live long enough to see his fears justified.
In late summer or early autumn of 161, Vologases IV of Parthia invaded Armenia, removing and exiling its king before installing a king of his choosing, King Pacorus. The governor at the time, Marcus Sedatius Severianus, an experienced military man and Gaul, was, unfortunately, mislead by the prophet Alexander of Abonutichus.