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Tag: History

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

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February 3, 2023

Thanks to Chad Greene, a 2023 HMU Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post.

The tradition of utopias in imaginative literature – whether in a dialogue by Plato, a comic by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, or a movie by Ryan Coogler – is an attempt to answer some of the most essential “big questions” at the heart of the humanities. What is justice? What would a just society look like?

 » Read more about: Read Classics, Then Watch … Wakanda Forever  »

November 11, 2022

Thanks to 2022 HMU Fellow in Ideas David Kirichenko for today’s review.

The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

There are defined patterns to how humans behave. Being social creatures, it is important to understand our own behaviors and motivations to grasp the reality of the world around us. In his book The Laws of Human Nature, Robert Greene attempts to weave together an appreciation of how humans operate through the lenses of history,

 » Read more about: BOOK REVIEW: The Laws of Human Nature  »

November 4, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

For the October Quarterly Discussion, we read Plutarch’s “Coriolanus” and a speech by David McCullough titled “Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are.” I was not really sure if this combination would work because of the great differences between the two pieces. Plutarch’s biography portends to be history, but is simultaneously a commentary on culture,

 » Read more about: Plutarch Meets McCullough  »

September 2, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Years ago, under the pressures of student life, I read the full volume of Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (often referred to as Parallel Lives). Honestly, I was dreading it because I harbored assumptions about some of these ancient texts. (And we all know what a mistake it is to assume anything.) At that time,

 » Read more about: Plutarch Is My Favorite  »

July 30, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

In the History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides spends a few pages describing a conflict between the island of Melos and the Athenian superpower. After the unsuccessful attempt at diplomacy, the Athenians surround the island. The story ends with the Athenians annihilating the entire Melian population. In what is commonly referred to as “The Melian Dialogue,” Thucydides writes:

“Meanwhile the Melians in a night attack took the part of the Athenian lines opposite the market,

 » Read more about: The Melian Dialogue  »

April 9, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Today’s post is a brief look at translation and word choice in Thucydides. Both small sections from The History of the Peloponnesian War, Book IV, Chapter XII, furnish a glimpse of the author’s opinion. Though Thucydides set out to write a history of the war, and very conscientiously presents two balanced sides of the story, he cannot avoid opinion.

 » Read more about: The Opinion of a Historian  »

March 12, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

The Federal Artists’ Project was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which started during the Depression. This program allowed artists, writers, musicians, and actors the ability to earn money at a time when jobs and money were scarce. Writers, for example, collected oral histories from across America in an attempt to understand the country, document hardships and successes,

 » Read more about: Defining Work  »

January 22, 2021

Thanks to Turkay Gasimova, a 2020 Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post.

In his book, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, Timothy Mitchell challenges traditional knowledge of the history of the Middle East, energy sources, and environmental politics.

Mitchell who had previously written a remarkable book on the colonization of Egypt, for some years spent time in the Middle East,

 » Read more about: BOOK REVIEW: Carbon Democracy by Timothy Mitchell  »

January 15, 2021

Thanks to Turkay Gasimova, a 2020 Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post.

Writing history is a challenging and equally important task, and it is even more so if the historian aims to write the history of marginalized, underrepresented, and disadvantaged members of the society. The reason for this issue is obviously due to the fact that history almost always is written by the strongmen, the successful and the privileged members of the society.

 » Read more about: Challenges of Writing the History of Women  »

December 18, 2020

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

During this pandemicky year, a friend of mine has taken to writing me a letter every day. She usually includes details about the workday, family responsibilities, emotions of being at home, etc. A few times, she has included an old postcard, written more than a century ago, as part of the letter. These post cards have created an intense curiosity in me.

 » Read more about: Post Card Greetings  »

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