by Lydia Serrant, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
There is no doubt that the Romans drew a lot from the Greeks. This included their love of theatre.
Roman theatre took a while to take hold, but once it did, it was popularised across the Empire and evolved over the centuries. The Romans adopted many of the Greek gods, so the mythological plays of Attica were a natural choice for the Roman Theatre. However, the Romans had a bloodthirst that was unrivaled by the Greeks, and overall they preferred a violent comedy to the slower and more philosophical tragedies.
That was not to say that Roman theatre was void of popular tragedies. The earliest surviving tragedies by Ennius (239 – 169 BC) and Pacuvius (220 – 130BC) were widely circulated and therefore, preserved for later audiences.
by Bryan Maniotakis, Guest Poster, MindOfAStoic.com
One of the best ways to get a quick grasp on Stoicism and the principles it follows is through thousands of years of age-old quotations influenced by its teachings.
Across the centuries, many important people in history have made note of what has led them to success or failure.
Quotes attributed to famous celebrities can often be found dating back into antiquity. These provide guidance on almost every aspect of common human existence such as health, personal relationships, living harmoniously with others and with one’s self, family life, love and death.
I once knocked over a dwarf. It was an accident… sort of.
It happened back in my university days. My roommates and I would go to our favorite club every Thursday to dance. At first, it was the perfect level of ‘cool’ – good selection of dance partners, but not so crowded that you couldn’t move. Over the course of the year, however, it became much more trendy.
Us regulars were not happy about losing our floor space.
So, one fateful evening, the place was pumping. Seemed like the entire city was there. I was trying to lose myself in the music when I kept getting bumped into. This being a more common occurrence of late, I prepared my best elbows to make a bit more space.
By Ed Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
The Ancient Greeks are famed for their poetry.
Even today Ancient Greek poets such as Homer are widely read and remain influential. The Greeks especially revered lyric poetry, which was often performed accompanied by music or sung by choruses. Nine lyric poets became seen as canonical in Hellenistic Greece and these are known as the Nine Lyric Poets of Greece (or the Melian poets).
These poets lived in different areas of Ancient Greece, at different times; Hellenistic scholars grouped them together based on their brilliance, innovations, and influence. The choice of there being specifically nine canonical poets was to reflect the Nine Muses.
By Visnja Bojovic, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
The legacy of Cicero towers over the ancient world: philosopher and politician, enemy of Mark Antony, and the Roman Republic’s great defender. His writings remain some of the most celebrated in Latin literature, and today we look at one of his more overlooked works – the Paradoxa Stoicorum. But first, a little background….
Cicero was quite eclectic in his beliefs, but he mostly embraced the beliefs of Academic Skepticism. As the Skeptics believed that there is no philosophy that can be entirely true, they mostly criticized belief systems. However, Skepticism allowed for embracing certain philosophies, just as long as one makes sure to carefully examine them and leaves oneself open to change in the face of good arguments.
This was suitable for Cicero, as he could advocate for the philosophical systems he found most useful. For Cicero, philosophy was subject to politics, as it served his political beliefs and interests. He believed that the reason that the Republic was weakening was the moral decay of Roman politicians. Therefore, he advocated for Stoicism (among other schools of thought), since the Stoics believed that one must be politically involved, as it is his duty as a Roman citizen. They did not advocate for political involvement due to self-interest, but rather as a moral duty.