Boundaries and Divine Law

A Baseball Metaphor For those who don’t know much about baseball, here are three things that might help you understand the metaphor I’m about to relate. First, it’s “a game of inches”, because the difference between success and failure, safe and out, home-run and foul ball is literally inches apart. Second, there is no time constraint in baseball, unlike some other major team sports. In … Continue reading Boundaries and Divine Law

“Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

This Roman play by Shakespeare is based on Plutarch’s “Lives of the noble Grecians and Romans” (Caesar and Marcus Brutus). One might call it an adapted stage play, since the majority of the plot and dialogues in the play have been incorporated directly from Plutarch. But I noticed a significant difference when comparing the two renditions: Shakespeare failed to capture the complexity, magnificence, and more … Continue reading “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

“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

“Philippics” by Cicero

[Volume XV of Loeb Classical Library’s 28-volume series] Peace, Slavery and War The name of peace is sweet, and the thing itself wholesome, but between peace and servitude the difference is great. Peace is tranquil liberty, servitude the last of all evils, one to be repelled, not only by war but even by death. Although all decent men desire peace, especially peace between fellow countrymen, … Continue reading “Philippics” by Cicero

“The Jugurthine War; The Conspiracy of Catiline” by Sallust

With a few changes in names, the whole story of “The Jugurthine War” can perhaps be transplanted from 110 BC Rome to the 20th century, or any other period in history, when there are global/central super powers, local tyrants/warlords and puppet governments. “The Conspiracy of Catiline” is a tale of political intrigue and class struggle instigated by lust-crazed individuals. It complements Cicero’s account of the … Continue reading “The Jugurthine War; The Conspiracy of Catiline” by Sallust

“Letters to Atticus IV” by Cicero

A collection of letters written by Cicero to his close friend Atticus during his declining years, i.e., the period between the death of his daughter and his own murder, which is also a period of crisis in Roman history, from the fall of the Republic to the rise of dictatorship and the Roman Empire. The letters provide rare insights into Cicero as a person, friend, prolific … Continue reading “Letters to Atticus IV” by Cicero