Author Archives: J. Shane Saxon


Coriolanus The Turncoat General in front of a large classical building with wide stairs and columns

Rome, 5th century B.C., is a kingdom at risk of complete collapse. Their previous king, the now exiled Tarquin the Proud, stands poised to invade and retake the Roman throne. Little does he know he also stands at the crossroads of history. A moment in which one of Rome’s greatest heroes, Gnaeus Marcius Coriolanus, is […]

Pompey Magnus: Butcher of Rome

a lithograph illustration of Pompey the Great in a circle graphic

The year was 67 BC. Roman seas and coastal towns faced the bloody terror of the Cilician pirates.The presence of pirates disrupted trade and halted agricultural development, and destroyed many Roman lives. The people knew something needed to be done and there was only one man for the job: Pompey the Great.   Pompey was […]

The Sacrificial Badge of Mercy

sacrificial badge of mercy

On a cold morning in Rome, a man came to deliver birds to the home of Tiberius Gracchus for use in a religious rite, but the birds refused to be shaken out of the cage. No matter how hard they tried, the birds clung to the side. The oddness of the event crawled under Tiberius […]

The Lasting Courage of Alexander the Great

The Lasting Courage of Alexander the Great

In the autumn of 324 BC, Alexander stood up and looked at the faces of his Macadonian army. He had seen these faces many times before. Seven years earlier before the battle of Gaugamela, Alexander saw in the faces of these same men a fierce love and a resolute spirit that led to a decisive […]

The Lasting Legacy of Goodwill

Pericles: The Lasting Legacy of Goodwill

One night, around 500 BC, a Greek woman in Athens, named Agariste, jolted out of sleep, shocked by what she had just seen in a dream. The historians Herodotus and Plutarch tell us that this dream portended great things to come. In the dream, Agariste screamed in pain as she labored in childbirth. But after […]

How Pride Ruined a Hero

How Pride Ruined a Hero

 He was a somewhat ignoble, half-bred Greek. He grew to be a prescient general, whose stratagem checkmated one of the ancient world’s most powerful villains. He was a hero of heroes, the opulent fortifier of a burgeoning empire. He grew to be a groveling outcast, whose final gulp was not the finest wine of […]

Should People Get What They Deserve

Every year, the people of ancient Athens would gather to write down the answer to one question: does the safety of the state require that we send anyone into exile? But only once did a man write down his own name. Today we’re talking about Justice in the story of Aristides the Just. Aristides was […]

How To Be Happy With Nothing

How to be happy with nothing

Most everyone knows that George Washington resigned from the US presidency after only two terms. Some might remember Cincinnatus, the Roman general who gave up power once he liberated his people and  returned to his farm in peace. And you might not know that Alfred the Great ended a dominant campaign in England and sought […]

The Only Great King

In the history of the British people there has only ever been one monarch called great. Alfred the Great reigned in Wessex from 871-899 A.D., but unlike other “great” rulers, like Alexander, Alfred is not known for how much territory he conquered. In fact, G. K. Chesterton immortalized Alfred’s reluctance to conquer more land in […]

“First In. Last Out. Laughing Loudest.”

First In Last Out

In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis summarizes the heart of classical education: “Augustine defines virtue as ordo amoris, the ordinate condition of the affections in which every object is accorded that kind and degree of love which is appropriate to it. Aristotle says that the aim of education is to make the pupil like […]