Category Archives: History

Reaching for Infinity

Reaching for Infinity

It is the prerogative of the Christian to reach for unreachable things. The Christian teacher seeks to guide others toward a life of virtue. That virtue can be taught, or for that matter, that it cannot be taught, presupposes how our efforts relate to it. What is virtue, then, such that we may strive for […]

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 […]

Frederick the Great, Catherine the Great, & the Arts

Frederick the Great

The appellation “the Great” tends to be awarded to prominent figures who exhibit an extraordinary degree of military prowess or achieve outstanding success in political or intellectual endeavors. Indeed, two legendary eighteenth-century monarchs, Frederick II of Prussia and Catherine II of Russia, earned this appellation precisely for such reasons. But over time, the “greatness” of […]

Hilaire Belloc and the Humanizing Power of History

Hillaire Belloc

History … should above all explain: it should give “the how and the why.” It is the business of history to make people understand how they came to be; what was the origin and progress of the state of which they form a part; what were the causes which influenced each phase of change from […]

Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Lost Scrolls: Interview with Professor Brent Seales

Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Lost Scrolls

Can you explain what it is you do? Reading about you makes me think of Indiana Jones, except maybe without the chase scenes. Yes, well, certainly these things can sound more glamorous than they really are! As a computer scientist and a computer vision imaging specialist, I am interested in both increasing access to and […]

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