His Every Defense (For His Pleasure, Book 10)

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And Hermeias of Methymna , in the third book of his History of Sicily , says that Nicoteles the Corinthian was a man greatly addicted to drinking. And Phaenias of Eresus , in the book entitled, The Slaying of Tyrants out of Revenge , says that Scopas the son of Creon, and the grandson of the former Scopas, was throughout his whole life very fond of drinking; and that he used to return from banquets at which he had been present, sitting on a throne, and carried by four bearers, and in that way he used to enter his house.

And it was very seldom, says he, that he transacted the affairs of his kingdom when he was sober, but much more frequently when he was drunk; on which account there were two men about him who managed all the real business of the state as they pleased, namely Aristus and Themison , Cyprians by birth, and brothers; and they were both on terms of the greatest intimacy with Antiochus. And very often, having a plaited garland of roses on his head, and wearing a golden embroidered robe, he would walk about alone, having stones under his arm, which he would throw at those of his friends who were following him.

And he used to bathe also in the public baths, anointed all over with perfumes; and, on one occasion, some private individual, seeing him, said, "You are a happy man, O king; you smell in a most costly manner:" and he, being much pleased, said, "I will give you as much as you can desire of this perfume. And if," says Polybius, "he heard that any of the younger men were making a feast anywhere whatever, he would come with an earthen bowl, and with music, so that the greater part of the feasters fled away alarmed at his unexpected appearance.

And very often he would put off his royal robes, and take a common cloak, and in that dress go round the market. And when a great many people came, he anointed them all in the gymnnasia with ointment of saffron, and cinnamon, and nard, and amaracus , and lilies, out of golden vessels: and then, inviting them all to a feast, he filled sometimes a thousand and sometimes fifteen hundred triclinia with the most expensive preparations; and he himself personally attended to waiting on the guests.

For, standing at the entrance, he introduced some, and others he placed upon the couches; and he himself marshalled the servants who brought in the different courses; and, walking about among the guests, at times he sat down in one place, and at times he lay down in another.

And sometimes he would put down what he was eating, and at other times he would lay down his cup, and jump up, and change his place, and go all round the party, standing up himself, and pledging different people at different times; and then, mingling with the musicians, he would be brought in by the actors, entirely covered up, and laid down on the ground, as if he had been one of the actors himself; and then, when the music gave the signal, the king would leap up, and dance and sport among the actors, so that they were all ashamed. To such absurdities does a want of education, when joined with drunkenness, reduce miserable men.

Accordingly, when he was slain, he says that Arsaces, when he buried him, said- "Your courage and your drunkenness have ruined you, O Antiochus; for you hoped that, in your great cups, you would be able to drink up the kingdom of Arsaces. At all events, he, being smitten with love for a girl of Chalcis, was very anxious to marry her at the very time that he was engaged in this war, being a man very fond of drinking and delighting in drunkenness. And she was the daughter of Cleophanes, one of the nobles, and superior to all the maidens of her country in beauty.

For His Pleasure Series

Accordingly, he celebrated his marriage in Chalcis, and remained there all the winter, not once giving the smallest thought to the important affairs which he had in hand. And he gave the girl the name of Euboea. Accordingly, being defeated in the war, he fled to Ephesus , with his newly-married bride. And the same historian says, in his twenty-ninth book [ And he says, in the thirty-third book of his History [ And he also, in his thirty-second book [ But that a man, when he arrives at forty years of age, may feast in large banquets, and invoke the other gods, and especially Dionysus , to the feasts and amusements of the older men; since he it is who has given men this means of indulgence, as an ally against the austerity of old age, for which wine was the best medicine; so that, owing to it, we grow young again, and forget our moroseness.


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And it is a well-known fact that all the race of women is fond of drinking. But among the Romans, as Polybius says, in his sixth book [ 6. However, they drink what is called passum ; and that is made of raisins, and when drank is very like the sweet wines of Aegosthena and Crete , on which account men use it when oppressed by excessive thirst.

And it is impossible for a woman to drink wine without being detected: for, first of all, she has not the key of the cellar; and, in the next place, she is bound to kiss her relations, and those of her husband, down to cousins, and to do this every day when she first sees them; and besides this, she is forced to be on her best behaviour, as it is quite uncertain whom she may chance to meet; [] for if she has merely tasted wine, it needs no informer, but is sure to betray itself. But Heracles, who was standing at the door, and heard all this, praised her husband very much, but advised him to go indoors himself and look at the cask.

And when he had gone in, he found that the cask had become petrified. And this fact is proved by the conduct of the women of the country, among whom it is reckoned disgraceful, to this day, to drink wine, on account of the above-mentioned reason. And so on. Now listen. You must offer? A dark-coloured raisin for the dogs and huntsmen.

Accordingly, Baeton, the measurer of distances for Alexander , in his book which is entitled Stations of the March of Alexander , and Amyntas also, in his Stations , says that the nation of the Tapyri is so fond of wine that they never use any other unguent than that. And Ctesias tells the same story, in his book Concerning the Revenues in Asia. But that is to miss the point fundamentally. I think it has to do with nature of information.

Information has value, and the right information has enormous value. For all of human history, we have lived in a time of information scarcity, and having the needed information was always important, and always worth something: when to plant crops, where to find things, maps and histories and stories — they were always good for a meal and company. Information was a valuable thing, and those who had it or could obtain it could charge for that service. According to Eric Schmidt of Google, every two days now the human race creates as much information as we did from the dawn of civilisation until The challenge becomes, not finding that scarce plant growing in the desert, but finding a specific plant growing in a jungle.

We are going to need help navigating that information to find the thing we actually need. Libraries are places that people go to for information. Books are only the tip of the information iceberg: they are there, and libraries can provide you freely and legally with books. More children are borrowing books from libraries than ever before — books of all kinds: paper and digital and audio. But libraries are also, for example, places that people, who may not have computers, who may not have internet connections, can go online without paying anything: hugely important when the way you find out about jobs, apply for jobs or apply for benefits is increasingly migrating exclusively online.

Librarians can help these people navigate that world.

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Patricia Lockwood reviews ‘Novels, ’ by John Updike · LRB 10 October

I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is.

Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them. They belong in libraries, just as libraries have already become places you can go to get access to ebooks, and audiobooks and DVDs and web content. A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives every citizen equal access to it.

That includes health information. And mental health information. What the libraries of the future will be like is something we should be imagining now. Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.

Libraries really are the gates to the future. So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realising that they are stealing from the future to pay for today.

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They are closing the gates that should be open. Or to put it another way, our children and our grandchildren are less literate and less numerate than we are. They are less able to navigate the world, to understand it to solve problems. They can be more easily lied to and misled, will be less able to change the world in which they find themselves, be less employable. All of these things. And as a country, England will fall behind other developed nations because it will lack a skilled workforce.

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told. I think we have responsibilities to the future. Responsibilities and obligations to children, to the adults those children will become, to the world they will find themselves inhabiting.

All of us — as readers, as writers, as citizens — have obligations. I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing. We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries.

If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.

The Problem of Evil: Crash Course Philosophy #13

We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of.

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To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Latin, as Gardini points out in the early chapters, is used in science, law, and formal documents—and in religious worship, which is where Gardini first heard the language when his mother recited the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and other prayers. He emphasizes the influence that Latin literature had on figures as diverse as St.

McClatchy, Margaret Atwood, and others. Gardini is passionate about his subject and tends to be wordy. Wishing to inspire passion in his readers, he repeats himself several times, each time becoming metaphorically louder. He seems fond of alliteration and points out that this figure of sound as well as repetition were favorites of Roman poets. He seems to prefer the Roman poets over its prose writers.

Gardini begins with a discussion of Old Latin authors, mentioning the playwright Plautus — B. Gardini also notes that Cato the Elder — B. Gardini admires the poet Catullus 87—54 B. Although Gardini mentions the inspiration of goddesses, the only woman quoted here is Sappho, whose poetry influenced the father of Latin and all poetry, Ennius B. Seneca teaches me happiness. More articles. Previous articles. A priest touches an old book of the gospels, written in Latin, at San Gregorio dei Muratori in Rome, in Most Popular. By Mairead McArdle. The early Trump administration batted down warnings from career U.

Some diplomats, including those at the U. Embassies in Read More.

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