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Tom Cox from grammaticus.co explores Plutarch’s Parallel Lives to introduce you to antiquity, encourage you in your education, or refresh your perspective on people and politics by stepping outside the news cycle. Biography invigorates the study of history by bringing it to life. Plutarch was the first master of this form, examining in a person the relationship between fortune, virtue, and excellence. Whether you just want to study antiquity from your armchair, sit at the feet of the greates ...
 
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Alcibiades fought and strategized for Athens, Sparta, Persia, Athens (again), and Thrace, proving that he fought the entire time only for himself. Was it vanity or pride? Enjoy the first truly negative portrayal Plutarch tries to give, though Plutarch in all his humanity can still defend Alcibiades from his most malicious detractors. Parallel: Cori…
 
Nicias helps us understand why losers are still worth studying. Like Cassandra, he prophesied for the Athenian people that they could not defeat Syracuse and then when selected as a leader for the expedition, he comes quite close to overturning his own prophecy. See the full show notes here. Parallel: Crassus Important People Cleon - The first dema…
 
Obscure and under-rated, Cimon gives us a personal look at the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, also called the Pentecontaetia. Important People Aristides - The Athenian politician and general famous for his integrity. Main political rival of the cunning Themistocles. Themistocles - Mastermind strategist behind the tactics of Salami…
 
Themistocles saved Athens in its darkest hour, yet he dies in the Persian empire, the inveterate enemy of Athens. Is Themistocles a patriot or a traitor? Important People Aristides - Themistocles's main political rival and a man he has to recall from exile to help him fight Salamis. Plutarch considers Aristides to be one of the noblest Athenians wh…
 
We're wrapping season 2 with a bonus episode looking back at Plutarch's Parallels. We discuss the six biographies of the men who laids the foundations for Greek and Roman greatness. We'll also answer a couple questions that come up, like "Why are the comparison essays so much shorter than the biographies?" and "Why compare the Greek and Roman life …
 
Valerius Publius, aka Publicola, topples the tyrant Tarquin with Brutus and founds the Republic on better justice than the Roman kings had exercised. Like his parallel Solon, his obsession with justice makes him seek the happiness of his own people all the way to his death. Remembering Solon's examples of happiness, does Publicola die a happy man? …
 
It is the happy fate of all good and just men to be praised more after they are dead than when they lived Plutarch, Life of Numa 22 Parallel - Lycurgus Important People Pythagoras - the Greek philosopher and mystic mathematician who lived on the southern Italian peninsula and started a school of philosophy obsessed with simple living, observation o…
 
The Agōgē (ἀγωγή) [16-19] Those Laconic Spartans [19-21] Military Maneuvers [22-24] Education never stops [24-25 Blessing of scholē Freedom and restraint Political Setup How someone elected to Gerousia [26] Over 60 Group of candidates selected Assembly called, and votes decided by length of shout and volume of shout Burying the dead [27] NO injusti…
 
Lycurgus was once asked why Sparta had no defensive wall around its perimeter. He responded, "A city is well-fortified with a wall of men instead of brick." Parallel - Numa Important Places Sparta Crete Asia Minor Egypt Important People Homer Alcander Lysander Outline Uncertain origins: second son of King of Sparta Expected to become king when fath…
 
Parallel - Theseus Origin Stories Rome: What's in a name? From Aeneas to Alba Longa Romulus and Remus: Childhood Left to die by a river Wolf and woodpecker Romulus and Remus: Off to Found a City Rome is for runaways! Open the gates and seize the...day? Location, location, location! Vultures? 6/12? First/Second? Walls and Ditches – death of Remus Pl…
 
Although Theseus never actually existed, Plutarch, in documenting his life, wants to cull important lessons for Greeks and Romans. Just as Theseus wrestles with villains threatening civilization, Plutarch forces his readers to grapple with the role of virtue in politics, or, less abstractly, the role the virtuous man has to play in his polis: i.e. …
 
We are not born for ourselves alone; a part of us is claimed by our nation, another part by our friends. De Officiis, I.22 Parallel - Demosthenes Cicero lived and died as a political failure. In what ways, then, is his failure worth studying. In what ways did he succeed? In many ways, he and Vergil become the teachers of Western Europe all the way …
 
Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise. —Plutarch “Cato the Elder” Para. 9.4 Parallel - Aristides Sometimes called Cato the Censor or Cato the Elder because he is the great-grandfather of the more famous Cato the Younger who resisted J…
 
ῥᾷστον ἁπάντων ἐστὶν αὑτὸν ἐξαπατῆσαι: ὃ γὰρ βούλεται, τοῦθ᾽ ἕκαστος καὶ οἴεταιNothing is easier than self-deceit, for what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.—Demosthenes “Third Olynthiac” 19 Parallel - Cicero OUTLINE Introduces both Cicero and Demosthenes Learned Latin Late A good city for research Why stay in a small town? Rise to…
 
Aristides acts as a great introduction to the wars that made Athens great, the defensive wars against the Persian invaders, occurring between 490 and 479 BC. Plutarch admired Aristides immensely, so he serves as a great introduction to the standards Plutarch holds up for the other leaders he studies. The outline of his life pretty much follows the …
 
In this podcast, I introduce you to Plutarch, the man and the biographer. We answer questions like: Who was Plutarch? An ancient biographer who wrote almost 50 biographies comparing Greek and Roman heroes. While his focus in on virtue, his characters are all human and their vices appear alongside their virtues. Why should I read him? He gives three…
 
Solon was not only the wisest man to be found in Athens, but the most profound political genius of antiquity; and the easy, bloodless, and pacific revolution by which he accomplished the deliverance of his country was the first step in a career which our age glories in pursuing, and instituted a power which has done more than anything, except revea…
 
We talk about Rodney's movie My 5 Wives and SPOILER ALERT describe the entire plot and how many knives it deserves. Every now and then we whisper stuff into the microphone. On So Much This we talk about comments on a YouTube video about unicorns. Then in Cool Don's Three Bags Full of Trivia we go more than three rounds for fun. Finally we end it by…
 
We talk about catfish, wasps, bees, alligators, snakes, and stray dogs. Then we give some updates on Birthday presents. Finally we do three rounds of trivia that no one likes, eat pickled okra and pimento cheese, and then read reviews about the Birthday present we were talking about.על ידי Athens Public
 
Welcome back. We start the year off right by talking about our New Year's Resolutions. We share some success stories from previous resolutions, and come up with new ways to challenge the rules of The New Year. In the segment section we do some Disney trivia and everyone gets a question about Ellen wrong, then we eat a BBQ chicken leg and talk about…
 
We talk about Clark Griswald jokes from other podcast episodes. In Cool Don's 3-Bags-Full of Trivia we discuss Babe: Pig in the City. In Dr. Sharpe's snack shack we eat a pickled green bean. On So Much This, we read the Yelp.com comment of the day and speculate about Vera P.'s life. Finally, we talk about Christmas lights, Garfield, Santa Clause, a…
 
We're back with an all new episode! Today we are joined by the former King Dank Meme-r Vic the Viper. We talk about Meme-Lords, Alaska, and food. On Cool Don's 3-Bags-Full-o' Trivia we all make it to the second round. Then in Dr. Sharpe's Snack Shack we each talk about a candy or cookie or something. Finally in So.Much.This. we examine comments fro…
 
Welcome back to Santa's Hat, Rhonda Carrots returns with her son and new sometimes boyfriend in this epic radio play. Selma Lynn Johzen cleans some teeth and encounters a sinister person from the past. The Bashers and the Slatterlys duke it out over control of the town. Nobody can escape the magnitude of the VOID.…
 
The radio play from 2017! Rhonda Carrots returns in this Think Tank Original Radio Play. We learn about her sister's child DeWalk and her lover Gary Gasoline in this epic spookfest. Another creepy tale from the town of Santa's Hat. Special thanks to freesound.org user Kyster for the "Inside car ambience" sound effect.…
 
We banter about some stuff then eat some apple pie. In Cool Don's Three Bags Full of Trivia we all fail the first round. On So.Much.This. we talk about comments from Google Maps about Big Family. Then we review that apple pie we ate in Dr. Sharpe's Snack Shack. Finally we talk about creepy dolls and haunted children's toys.…
 
A Bonus episode of the podcast for your ears! Here it is in all it's glory the original story from Santa's Hat. We recorded this on Thursday, October 27, 2016. It was preformed live and without interruption that week. We were joined by voice expert Ash Rickli. We go on to the final snap segment and do some of the more tradish-banter at the end.…
 
It's our annual campfire episode and we are fired up about it. First we take a swig of vinegar in Dr. Sharpe's Snack Shack. Then Meg gets to the final round in Cool Don's 3-Bags-Full of Trivia. Then on So.Much.This. we talk about online gaming hate. Finally, we weave another spooky tale from the world of Santa's Hat. Rhonda takes a heel turn. Meg c…
 
It is October and time for some spooky episodes! First we tell the tale of Mr. Butts, then, in Cool Don's 3-Butts-Full of trivia Eddie goes on a streak. In Dr. Sharpe's Snack Shack, Meg talks about black-and-white cookies, and on So.Much.This. we read a YouTube comment by someone named Boubert. Our topic this week is a tale for children to keep the…
 
We're back with a bonus partially spooky episode of Think Tank. In Cool Don's 3-Bags-o-Trivia we all get to the second round. Then in Dr. Sharpe's Snack Shack she delivers on a recipe from her mom. Then in So. Much. This. we read comments by anonymous BabyCenter.com users who are mad about Big Dairy. To kick off the spookiness Eddie reads the legen…
 
We talk about funky music that gets played later, edging, blue balls, and Thai food. Then in Cool Don's 3 Bags Full of Trivia, Eddie makes it to the final round! In Dr. Sharpe's Snack Shack AKA 3-Bags-Full-of-Snacks Meg talks about chocolate covered crickets. Then we talk about eating roaches. Then on So. Much. This. we talk about people having fun…
 
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