Petreius

I'm totally disappointed that learned, waggish friends on social media are not talking more about Marcus Petreius. I mean the dude's name and his "career" suicide along with his proven military chops against insurgents and his open sympathies with the (lost) Republican cause are begging to be snark-mined. Facebook is just so hoi polloi these days. Sigh.As a concession to the masses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_PetreiusThose who don't learn history are bound to blah, blah, blah, an … [Read more...]

Fundanibleists and Fauxpologetics

This comment by tom (#23) at Dave Banack’s challenging post over at T&S sums up why I think the Nibley approach to apologetics and its reception have, in part, had long term and still expanding negative effects on church members:"Might not hurt to read a little Nibley along the way.. not exactly light reading, but take some time to examine the connections he makes with Enoch, Abraham, and ancient temple worship – through all the various non-biblical records that have come to light si … [Read more...]

Atheism vs Superstition

My man Plutarch is pretty awesome.  He is interested in all kinds of things, everything from discussing how young men ought to be taught how to properly and beneficially read poetry (lest they be sullied by the fake hocus-pocus crap and salacious stuff) to the parallel lives of Demosthenes and Cicero.  He is also an astute commentator on religious things.  He is a philosopher, in the sense that he lives a philosophy (an eclectic [Middle] Platonism), and he is a priest of Apollo at Delphi, a job h … [Read more...]

You can put this in the strange but true bin

These days I am reading for my comprehensive examinations and almost daily I come across something that makes me silently chant the refrain:  There is nothing new under the sun.  Well yesterday's discovery was a real head scratcher and one that might cause some blushing for those with tender ears and modest tongues.  So for those whose eyes cannot bear the sight of things unsightly I forewarn you: stop reading.For the titillated: read on.Sometimes you hear slang and you can sense that it is n … [Read more...]

Inspired Murder? Sure. How about Suicide?

For various reasons that I won't go into here, I find the Nephi-killing-Laban episode to be the most striking story from the Book of Mormon.  If it is read as a retrospective account, it seems that Nephi or some later hand has crafted the story to certify that the killing wasn't cold-blooded murder but an inspired killing that is beneficial both to Nephi and countless others.  In Nephi's internal dialogue about whether or not to kill Laban, it is the divine permission/command that tips the b … [Read more...]

Old Fashioned Philology: Dead? Useless? Not so fast…

So I haven't read this book and I am cherry picking a money-quotation but these words offer balm to my troubled soul."All the more reason that the sense of what is and is not a sound reading needs development in every historian who seeks to work with papyri--a sense that comes from reading a lot of texts and from working with the artefacts themselves, from bearing the editor's and critic's burden oneself.  It would be pleasant to be able to offer to historians in general the good news that all … [Read more...]

Lucretius on Walking Pornography

If you have been around the 'Nacle for a spell you can't have missed the oft discussed issue of men, women, and sexual response (one strap messenger bags, walking pornography, and thus and so).  Sometimes it seems that this anxiety is peculiar to modern day Mormons, but, as Qoheleth would point out, it is not new under the sun.  In the first century BCE Lucretius composed his De Rerum Natura setting forth versified Epicurean doctrine in an attempt to seduce Romans of the elite ruling class to e … [Read more...]

PhD Language Exam Exhaustion or Why I Am Looking Forward to Comprehensive Exams

These last 18 months have been brutal.  Since April of 2009 I have prepped and sat for 4 language examinations and I am two to four weeks away from sitting for my last one.  First French, then five months later Greek, then two months later Latin, then five months German, and now Hebrew.  I have actually enjoyed studying for each of the exams and I have relished adding further linguistic/academic implements to my tool-belt.  But I am getting a bit weary.  I stare at Hebrew words and my mind refu … [Read more...]


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