Property and the Pursuit of Happiness: Xenophon, Cyropaedia 8.2.14-23

With thanks to Jonathan Culp At times, ancient texts outdo our self-help gurus. Aristotle’s Ethics: “Read this book, be happy!” Plato’s Republic: “Learn justice while building a powerful city!” Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus (Cyropaedia): “Become a great general and near invincible ruler. Get the education Cyrus had today!” It is true Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus […]

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On Crispin Sartwell’s discussion of “kalos:” What does knowing have to do with nobility or beauty?

1. Encountered Crispin Sartwell’s “Six Names of Beauty” at the bookstore. Saw that he had a chapter on kalos, the ancient Greek word meaning “noble” or “beautiful.” Started to give his chapter a read, thinking it dissertation relevant, and encountered this: The Greek words for beautiful (kalos) and beauty (to kalon) have moral as well […]

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Quatrain: “Xenophon’s Anabasis”

Bought William Baer’s Writing Metrical Poetry: Contemporary Lessons for Mastering Traditional Forms for $6 at Half-Price Books. It’s not that I want to write terribly metrical poetry. Right now, just want the haiku to be stronger. Have a more refined ear, more command of language, more compelling and thoughtful imagery. I want something to get […]

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Xenophon and Gratitude

The revealing keynote of the education in virtue is struck by Xenophon’s description of the law on education to justice and to gratitude (understood as a subdivision of justice). The boys learn justice, Xenophon explains, by indicting and convicting one another on many charges but especially on that charge “for which humans hate one another […]

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