Bhagavad Gita as Cultural Icon

Krishna as Arjuna's Charioteer One way in which a book can be termed a cultural icon is if its impact spreads out wide beyond its own particular context and the circumstances behind it's authorship, continuing on to cast its influence down long corridors of time and into unexpected and even unimagined domains of thought and … Continue reading Bhagavad Gita as Cultural Icon

Historian Carlo Ginzburg

A brief look his career and his seminal work The Cheese and the Worms. Bibliography for further reading included. A well known and often read historian examining witchcraft, art history, and peasant belief in early modern rural Italy, Ginzburg is often cited as a practitioner of the art of micro-history, a methodology where a larger … Continue reading Historian Carlo Ginzburg

Classics as Canon

Books as Cultural Vectors The so-called list of canonized books changes according to context, though some, without a doubt, are consistently represented across multiple milieus. There is, for example, a lot of overlap between the notional 'Western canon' and the 'Classical canon;' classical here being the smaller notion of Greek and Latin classics as opposed … Continue reading Classics as Canon

Classics by Commission: A (very) Brief History of the Septuagint

Book as Revelation From its inception the Septuagint was the result of an idée fixe, the Ptolemaic obsession with collecting and monopolizing the extant knowledge of the oikumene: the known civilized world. The problem with the Torah or Pentateuch, however, was that it wasn't written in a language the scholars of Alexandria's famous library could … Continue reading Classics by Commission: A (very) Brief History of the Septuagint

Classics as Source: Edward Gibbon’s Library

Books as Inspiration Edward Gibbon is perhaps one of the best known historians to ever write in the English language, and this more than 200 years after his death. Though many of his conclusions have been challenged, his methodology was surprisingly contemporary and he is sometimes considered the forbear of modern scientific historicism. The Oxford … Continue reading Classics as Source: Edward Gibbon’s Library