Persius

Persius, in full Aulus Persius Flaccus (/ˈpɜːrʃiəsˈpɜːrʃəs/; 4 December 34, in Volterra – 24 November 62), was a Roman poet and satirist of Etruscan origin. In his works, poems and satires, he shows a stoic wisdom and a strong criticism for what he considered to be the stylistic abuses of his poetic contemporaries. His works, which became very popular in the Middle Ages, were published after his death by his friend and mentor, the stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Cornutus.

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Pietas

Pietas, translated variously as "duty", "religiosity" or "religious behavior", "loyalty", "devotion", or "filial piety" (English "piety" derives from the Latin), was one of the chief virtues among the ancient Romans. It was the distinguishing virtue of the founding hero Aeneas, who is often given the adjectival epithet pius ("religious") throughout Virgil's epic Aeneid. The sacred nature of pietas was embodied by the divine personification Pietas, a goddess often pictured on Roman coins. The Greek equivalent is eusebeia (εὐσέβεια).

Cicero defined pietas as the virtue "which admonishes us to do our duty to our country or our parents or other blood relations." The man who possessed pietas "performed all his duties towards the deity and his fellow human beings fully and in every respect," as the 19th-century classical scholar Georg Wissowa described it. Cicero suggests people should have awareness of our own honor, we must always attempt to raise the honor of others by our dignified praise, such praise, admiration and honored actions must be beyond all our own desires, as Cicero said, we must choose our actions and words with respect to our friends, colleagues, family or blood relations. Cicero describes youth in the pursuit of honour: “How they yearn for praise! What labours will they not undertake to stand fast among their peers! How will they remember those who have shown them kindness and how eager to repay it!”.

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Gaius Maenius

Gaius Maenius (possibly Gaius Maenius Antiaticus) was a Roman statesman and general who was elected consul in 338 BC and appointed dictator twice, in 320 BC and 314 BC.

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Marcus Licinius Crassus

Marcus Licinius Crassus (/ˈkræsəs/; c. 115 BC or 112 BC – 53 BC) was a Roman general and politician who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. He is often called "The richest man in Rome".

Crassus began his public career as a military commander under Lucius Cornelius Sulla during his civil war. Following Sulla's assumption of the dictatorship, Crassus amassed an enormous fortune through real estate speculation. Crassus rose to political prominence following his victory over the slave revolt led by Spartacus, sharing the consulship with his rival Pompey the Great.

A political and financial patron of Julius Caesar, Crassus joined Caesar and Pompey in the unofficial political alliance known as the First Triumvirate. Together the three men dominated the Roman political system. The alliance did not last long, due to the ambitions, egos, and jealousies of the three men. While Caesar and Crassus were lifelong allies, Crassus and Pompey disliked each other and Pompey grew increasingly envious of Caesar's spectacular successes in the Gallic Wars. The alliance was re-stabilized at the Lucca Conference in 56 BC, after which Crassus and Pompey again served jointly as consuls. Following his second consulship, Crassus was appointed as the Governor of Roman Syria. Crassus used Syria as the launchpad for a military campaign against the Parthian Empire, Rome's long-time Eastern enemy. Crassus' campaign was a disastrous failure, ending in his defeat and death at the Battle of Carrhae.

Crassus' death permanently unravelled the alliance between Caesar and Pompey. His political influence and wealth had been a counterbalance to the two greater militarists. Within four years of Crassus' death, Caesar crossed the Rubicon and began a civil war against Pompey and the Optimates.

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American Historical Documents/Harvard Classics

The Harvard Universal Classics, originally known as Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909.

Eliot had stated in speeches that the elements of a liberal education could be obtained by spending 15 minutes a day reading from a collection of books that could fit on a five-foot shelf. (Originally he had said a three-foot shelf.) The publisher P. F. Collier and Son saw an opportunity and challenged Eliot to make good on this statement by selecting an appropriate collection of works, and the Harvard Classics was the result.

Eliot worked for one year with William A. Neilson, a professor of English; Eliot determined the works to be included and Neilson selected the specific editions and wrote introductory notes. Each volume had 400–450 pages, and the included texts are "so far as possible, entire works or complete segments of the world's written legacies." The collection was widely advertised by Collier and Son, in Collier's and elsewhere, with great success.

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The Persian Expedition/Anabasis (Xenophon)

Anabasis (/əˈnæbəsɪs/; Greek: Ἀνάβασις [anábasis]; an "expedition up from") is the most famous book of the Ancient Greek professional soldier and writer Xenophon. The seven books making up the Anabasis were composed circa 370 BC. Anabasis is rendered in translation as The March of the Ten Thousand and as The March Up Country. The narration of the journey is Xenophon's best known work, and "one of the great adventures in human history".

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Daring and Suffering/William Pittenger

Today we will be examining another piece of literature entitled Daring and Suffering: A History of the Great Railroad Adventures  from my library. It was written in 1863 by the American Union Army soldier William Pittenger who was a participant in the Great Locomotive Chase.

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Of Human Bondage/W. Somerset Maugham

Good morning! Today we will be accompanying the usual Morning Brief was an examination of another book from my personal collection - Of Human Bondage. This title was published in 1945 by W. Somerset Maugham.

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Samuel Gridley Howe - Social Reformer (1801-1876)/Samuel Gridley Howe

For today's blog, I am once again sharing some research that I performed on one of the many historical books in my personal collection. The book is entitled Samuel Gridley Howe - Social Reformer 1801-1876 and it is copyrighted 1956 by historian Harold Swartz.

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Barnes New National Reader 4/Alfred Smith Barnes

Good morning! Today we will be accompanying the usual Morning Brief was an examination of a recent gift from my friends Trey and Lisa West - Barnes New National Readers Number 4. This title was published in 1884 by Alfred Smith Barnes.

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Roman Republic

This morning we will be examining the Roman Republic - a fascinating culture from antiquity that is rich in detail and history. 

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Mark Antony

Marcus Antonius (14 January 83 BC – 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.

Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate. The Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, then ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.

Relations among the triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs. Their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.

With Antony dead, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.

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I Was Hitler's Doctor/Upton Sinclair

Today's entry will cover an unusual tome in my collection - "I Was Hitler's Doctor" by Kurt Krueger. Published in 1943, this volume includes a forward by Upton Sinclair.

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The Yearling

On this beautiful morning, we will be examining a book from my personal collection entitled "The Yearling" by Majorie Kinnan Rawlings and published in 1938. 

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Farshidenes/Yiddish

This morning I will be providing the usual Morning Brief followed by information related to a book in my personal collection entitled "Farshidenes". This volume was published in 1935 by Hyman Zaner and discusses various Yiddish subject matter.

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Tales from Shakespeare - 1807 - Charles and Mary Lamb

Tales from Shakespeare is an English children's book written by brother and sister Charles and Mary Lamb in 1807.

The book is designed to make the stories of Shakespeare's plays familiar to the young. Mary Lamb was responsible for the comedies, while Charles wrote the tragedies; they wrote the preface between them. Marina Warner, in her introduction to the Penguin 2007 edition, says that Mary did not get her name on the title page till the seventh edition in 1838.

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The Winston Simplified Dictionary/Holt McDougal

Today's item of research is the "Winston Simplified Dictionary" published in 1929 by the John C. Winston Company. We will also be examining Holt McDougal, the modern successor to the company as well as including the Morning Brief by NPR.

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About the Weather/Mark Walrod Harrington

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "About the Weather". Published in 1905 by Mark Walrod Harrington, this volume is part of the Appleton's Home Reading Books series.

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The Lady of the Lake - 1830- Sir Walter Scott

The Lady of the Lake is an enchantress in the Matter of Britain, the body of medieval literature and legend associated with King Arthur. She plays a pivotal role in many stories, including giving Arthur his sword Excalibur, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father. Different writers and copyists give the Arthurian character the name Nimue, Nymue, Nimueh, Viviane, Vivien, Vivienne, Niniane, Ninniane, Ninianne, Niviene, Nyneve or Nineve, among other variations. At least two different sorceresses bearing the title "the Lady of the Lake" appear as separate characters in some versions and adaptations since the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Le Morte d'Arthur.

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College of Cardinals

Today's blog entry is somewhat more involved than many I have previously posted. However, the subject matter - the College of Cardinals - in fascinating on many levels. 

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