“Life of St. Benedict” by St. Gregory the Great

Brother and Sister His twin sister Scholastica, who was consecrated to God from her very childhood, used to come once a year to see him; unto whom the man of God was wont to go with his brethren to a house not far from the gate, within the possession of the Monastery. On one occasion, his sister, entreated him saying: “I beseech you, leave me … Continue reading “Life of St. Benedict” by St. Gregory the Great

“The Wars of the Jews” by Flavius Josephus

The Religious Sects Among the Jews The first are the Pharisees; the second, the Sadducees; and the third sect, which pretends to a severer discipline, are called Essenes. The Pharisees are those who are esteemed most skillful in the exact explication of their laws. These ascribe all to fate, and to God, and yet allow, that to act what is right, or the contrary, is … Continue reading “The Wars of the Jews” by Flavius Josephus

C. S. Lewis on Unscrupulous God

A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere – ‘Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,’ as Herbert says, ‘fine nets and stratagems.’ God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous. –C. S. Lewis “Surprised by Joy” All the books were beginning to turn against me. Indeed, I must have been blind … Continue reading C. S. Lewis on Unscrupulous God

“The Rise of the Roman Empire” by Polybius

The Roman Constitution The Roman Constitution has three interdependent elements: monarchy (The Consuls), aristocracy (The Senate) and democracy (The Tribunes of the People). Their respective share of power in the whole state are regulated with a scrupulous regard to equality and equilibrium. This, according to Aristotle, is the golden mean of the form of government. Polybius attributes the original conception of this type of constitution … Continue reading “The Rise of the Roman Empire” by Polybius

“Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans I” by Plutarch

The Laws of Lycurgus Long before Adam Smith developed the idea that commerce was necessary for the accumulation of wealth, Lycurgus, the legendary Spartan lawgiver, had used this principle to curb the avarice of his countrymen, and laid down a constitution for one of the most eminent commonwealths in the ancient world. The Spartan Constitution, according to Plutarch, was also the model for Plato’s Republic, … Continue reading “Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans I” by Plutarch

“The Civil War” by Julius Caesar

Two of the greatest generals of Rome, Caesar and Pompey, war against each other for life, glory, honor, dominance and, above all, the fate of the Roman Republic. The Gallic War lasted 8 years (58 BC – 51 BC), but the Civil War, from the very beginning till the decisive Battle of Pharsalus and death of Pompey, a year and a half (49 BC – … Continue reading “The Civil War” by Julius Caesar

“The Conquest of Gaul” by Julius Caesar

The people of Gaul were the inveterate enemies of Rome, having once before captured the City. The Roman historian Livy observed that the Gauls could not endure heat and physical exertion, and tire quickly in battles. They were impetuous, abounding in ingenuity, but lacking in fortitude, according to Caesar. The Commentaries on the Gallic War (58 BC-51 BC) are an intriguing account of war through … Continue reading “The Conquest of Gaul” by Julius Caesar