Monthly Archives: January 2015

Horace III: The Epistles – Words With Friends…

In his Epistles, Horace discusses, in a series of verse letters addressed to friends, philosophy, virtuous and independent living, social behavior, and being a poet. This  third in a series of essays on Roman poet Horace looks at his verse … Continue reading

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Horace II: More Rambling, This Time About the Satires…

Horace uses satire in a gently amused (and bemused) way to point out the foibles of human nature. He’s not so much wanting to tear people a new one for being the way they are as he is interested in … Continue reading

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Volsungs and Nibelungs and Huns – Oh My…!

The Saga of the Volsungs and The Song of the Nibelungs share source material, to be sure, but it is the cultural ethos that they share that makes them fascinating – and appalling, in a heroic culture sort of way…. … Continue reading

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Horace: A Few Rambling Thoughts on the Odes…

One of the reasons Horace’s odes have been so admired and imitated is best described by one of his foremost admirers, Alexander Pope. Horace is a master of “what oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed…”  As I mentioned … Continue reading

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The Song of Roland – timeless is as timeless does…

Disagreements about whether The Song of Roland is about Roland’s heroic (and foolhardy) geste or about the ultimate triumph of Charlemagne over enemies within and without his empire seem less important with this re-reading than noting how many people die for … Continue reading

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Apologia and Apology: Edmund Morgan’s Puritan Dilemma

Edmund Morgan’s The Puritan Dilemma is an interestingly apologetic biography of Massachusetts Bay Colony’s leading figure, Governor John Winthrop. The other “outlier” from the 2015 reading list is a brief (less that 300 pages, a mere glance by scholarly biography standards) … Continue reading

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The Great War and the Need for Memory…Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August

Historian Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August clearly illuminates the truth of war: in any era it is what is done wrong as much as what is done right that decides conflicts…. The first book from the 2015 reading list … Continue reading

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