Journal like the Stoics – @DonJRobertson

A short and fascinating read from cognitive psychotherapist, author and Stoic Donald Robertson.

Journaling for self-improvement is nothing new. Daily reflection as moral self-examination goes all the back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was first described in a poem called The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, based on the doctrines of the famous sixth century BCE philosopher. Later, journaling became a key part of Stoicism.

The famous Stoic thinker Seneca wrote…

We know we ought to. Here’s the reason and inspiration.

Read the rest, here.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Bread and Circuses

Cultural Offering’s Kurt Harden set me on an adventure in pursuit of bread and circuses, via this site, AmericanDigest.org.

The original phrase, panem et circenses, was coined by Roman poet, Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis, 1st – 2nd Century CE) in his Satire 10:

And what does the mob of Remus say? It follows fortune, as it always does, and rails against the condemned. That same rabble, if Nortia had smiled upon the Etruscan, if the aged Emperor had been struck down unawares, would in that very hour have conferred upon Sejanus the title of Augustus. Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things—Bread and Circuses!

Continue reading “Bread and Circuses”

Shires, counties, counts and sheriffs – @InkyFool

Now you know…

Once upon an Old English time there were shires: Hampshire, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire etc. The Anglo-Saxons lived in these and kept the Hobbit population under control. 

Each shire was ruled for the king by a shire-official, or shire-reeve, or scir-gerefa, or sheriff

The Inky Fool explains all about shires, sheriffs, counties, counts, marches and marquises, here.

His book on rhetoric, The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth, is one of my favourite references for words, speech and writing.

Photo by Andy Newton on Unsplash

On foreign language translation…

“The best translations into English do not, in fact, read as if they were originally written in English. The English words are arranged in such a way that the reader sees a glimpse of another culture’s patterns of thinking, hears an echo of another language’s rhythms and cadences, and feels a tremor of another people’s gestures and movements.”

— Ken Liu, Translator’s Postface to The Three Body Problem (via as-if-falling)

I love this. It goes straight to the heart of language and highlights why so much translation is so poor.

Hat-tip to Je t’aime / N’arrete pas.

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

Echoes through time: I accord you the privilege

Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land and accord you the privilege to return to yours.

Chief Joseph (1840 – 1904), Speech from 1876 rejecting demands to lead his people onto a reservation.

Image: Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress