Bring Ancient Wisdom to your Modern Mind
War, plague, inflation... the rise and fall of nations, the collapse of empires. There is nothing that is happening today that history hasn’t already borne witness to.
Cancel culture isn’t anything new. Men were ostracized or made to drink Hemlock for much less than today’s Twitter warriors will act on.
Likewise propaganda war and mis-information tactics were employed by future emperors and their beautiful adversaries (I’m talking about Cleopatra there).
Coin clipping, empire expansion and prominent citizen take-downs have lined the pockets of those in power for literally millennia.
The truth of the matter is that we humans haven’t really changed that much. What Cicero has to say about grief is as relevant today as it was in the first century BC. The wise words of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius still ring true and can help us with anxiety, anger and gratitude...while Aristotle illuminates us today on the ideas of friendship, love... and well, just about everything else.
History doesn’t repeat itself, as the old saying goes, but it does rhyme.
Those who are clued into this know it’s very worthwhile learning from the past.
The Classics are a toolbox, a colossal resource that can provide a humbling perspective on our society and ourselves. It is priceless wisdom on how to be a better person, a family member, a citizen. It supplies us with infinite relevant historical examples that can shed essential light on current events and help us prepare for the future.
The tragedy is that few realise that this vast untapped wealth of knowledge is at our fingertips, just waiting to be read, discussed, appreciated... and applied.
This is our mission here at Classical Wisdom, to bring this ancient wisdom to modern minds.
And if you are one of those who still believe in the value of history, philosophy, mythology, literature and learning - then this is the newsletter for you... and I’m very glad you are here.
Why the Classics?
The Classics - with a capital C - can be defined narrowly or broadly, depending on what you like. I prefer to encapsulate it with the history, philosophy, art and literature from around 3,500 BC to 476 AD. I bookend it with the Minoans at the beginning and the fall of the Roman Empire at the end... with a bit of wiggle room to include the Eastern Roman Empire (all the way up to 1453).
History deplores neat boundaries, clearly.
On that note, territory wise, while the Classics concentrate on Greece and Rome, it actually expands to both the largest of the empires as well as their contact to the various tribes and peoples of their time period. This means up to Scotland in the north, down through North Africa and across all the way to India.
As you can see, this is already a HUGE chunk of both geography and chronology. From a purely practical standpoint, this is enough of a ‘niche’ to cover.
But the Classics are more than that. While it’s an interesting time period in and of itself, it has also been immensely influential in subsequent time periods. Indeed, right up to the beginning of the twentieth century one could not be considered an educated person without being fully steeped in the Classics.
As such, if you want to understand just about any Western art, literature, philosophy, psychology or even politics... you have to study the Classics.
A walk through the Louvre or the Prado will be vastly richer with even a basic understanding of the history and mythology of this time period. A reading of Nietzsche or Shakespeare will be lost without a clear knowledge of the symbolism evoked. An appreciation of the American constitution and what the founding father tried to accomplish will only be multiplied with a base in the Classics.
The Classics are a key to understanding not just ancient history, but modern history as well...it is a foundation.
Classical Wisdom Society
“As it is not one swallow or a fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.” — Aristotle
Excellence, as they say, is not an act but a habit. Our love of learning, of history, of the Classics is best developed every day, not just one day.
As such, we encourage you to join our growing Classics community and become a Member of the Classical Wisdom Society.
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