Monthly Archives: March 2015

The extreme right

“I am no enemy of the classics. I have read the Aeneid through more often than I have read any long poem; I have just finished re-reading the Iliad; to lose what I owe to Plato and Aristotle would be like the amputation of a limb. Hardly any lawful price would seem to me too high for what I have gained by being made to learn Latin and Greek. If any question of the value of classical studies were before us, you would find me on the extreme right.”

— C. S. Lewis, The Idea of an ‘English School’


Great Books Challenge Lessons 7-8

These lessons include books seven through ten of the Aeneid. We are now into the second half of this epic, which is as much like the Iliad as the first half was like the Odyssey: famous warriors boasting and battling until they fall, their armor ringing around them, while the gods watch and interfere, seeking their own advantage. The parallels between the books that I noted myself or that Wes Callihan reveals help make these lessons truly intriguing. Let me note a few. Continue reading Great Books Challenge Lessons 7-8

Every Speech in the Bible

I have worked through the Old and New Testament, trying to identify every speech in the Bible by reference, speaker, audience, and brief description. By my criteria, I found 235 speeches in the Old Testament and 278 in the New Testament, for a total of 513 speeches. This will be a useful tool as I work on writing a Rhetoric text. Some interesting notes:

  1. The gospel of Luke had the most speeches of any book (81)
  2. Moses delivers the longest single speech (Deuteronomy 5:1 through 26:19)
  3. The longest New Testament speech is, of course, the Sermon on the Mount.
  4. Jesus delivers the most speeches (214), followed by Moses (24), then David (13)
  5. Job, Peter and Paul all deliver the same number of speeches (11)

I am now working on the best way to make it available for others to use.

There are a lot!

I am currently working on identifying every speech in the Bible.

“And how do you define a speech, exactly?” Good question. Here is my criteria:

  • It must be spoken before an audience (or written with that intention); e.g. not a song without an identified audience
  • Spoken from man to man; not a prayer, nor from God, nor a prophet saying “Thus says the Lord”
  • Formal, self-contained, structured (not merely a conversation)
  • Not an epistle
  • Three or more sentences in length.

I will let you know when I am done.

Great Books Challenge Lessons 5-6

Books four through six of the Aeneid are some of the most fascinating and memorable of this epic tale! In these chapters we read of the tragedy of Dido, the funeral games of Achises, and the journey of Aeneas into the underworld. Wes Callihan once again brings to light many practical lessons and interesting insights from these stories, and I look forward to each new lesson from Old Western Culture, wondering what I will learn next.

Continue reading Great Books Challenge Lessons 5-6