Slut-Shaming Helen of Troy
April 26, 2014
If we blame Helen for the Trojan War, what does it say about us?
The Trouble With Speeches
April 27, 2013
Demosthenes was the greatest orator in classical history. He also stoked the flames of the Greek pride that persists to this day.
The Origins of Foreigners
August 24, 2012
Rethinking the Other in AntiquityBy Erich S. Gruen (Princeton University Press, 415 pp., $39.50) MITT ROMNEY, along with other Republicans, has worked hard over the last few months to present Barack Obama as something other than a genuine native-born American. He has stopped short of the absurdities of the “birther movement,” but he has insisted that the president, in all the ways that really matter, is somehow less American, and more foreign, than he and the members of his party.
July 28, 2011
C.S. Lewis’s Lost Aeneid: Arms and the Exile Edited by A.T. Reyes (Yale University Press, 208 pp., $27.50) In 1945, in a famous lecture called “What is a Classic?,” T.S. Eliot described Virgil as the most truly classical of all poets, on the grounds that his work supposedly exemplifies a supreme “maturity of language,” which involves a total exclusion of individual personality.
July 19, 2011
The questions raised by The Golden Mean will be familiar to readers of The New Republic and The Book. What is the relationship of intellectuals to pol
Stoicism and Us
March 17, 2010
Marcus Aurelius: A Life By Frank McLynn (Da Capo Press, 684 pp., $30) A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy By William B. Irvine (Oxford University Press, 314 pp., $19.95) Barbara Ehrenreich’s latest book, Bright-Sided, offers a damning indictment of the ideology of positive thinking, which she sees as the fundamental flaw in American life.
June 11, 2008
The Roman Triumph By Mary Beard (Harvard University Press, 434 pp., $29.95) Everybody over the age of four knows how important it is not to be a "sore loser"--and how difficult. When you lose your whole fortune to your sister at Monopoly, you are not supposed to burst into tears, accuse her of cheating, call her a greedy old moneybags, hit her, tear up the paper dollars, hurl the pieces across the floor, or run screaming from the room. You are supposed to be gracious in defeat: congratulate the winner, allow her to enjoy her victory, stifle your sorrow, and pretend not to mind too much.