Posts by Quintus Curtius

Why We Should Not Rely On First Impressions

Article originated hereIt is often said that a man should rely on is first impressions of things when trying to form a final judgment.  There is some merit to instinct; but it seems to me that reasoned deliberation will always provide more accurate results than the shifting sands of sense-perception.  We cannot know all things,…

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Carl Friedrich Philip Von Martius’s Daring Explorations In Brazil

Article originated hereMen undertake explorations and great journeys for many reasons.  Some expeditions–such as those undertaken by Denham, Burton, Burckhardt, and others like them–are primarily focused on expanding geographical knowledge, commercial information, and ethnographic data.  Others, such as those of Humboldt, Rondon, Lewis and Clark, and von Barth, are more interested in the collection of…

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The Wrath Of Least Persistence

Article originated hereEveryone has heard the tired phrase, “path of least resistance.”  It represents a principle that I have no objection to.  Of course there is no reason to make more work for oneself without good reason.  No one is arguing with this idea.  All things being equal, the shortest path to a goal is…

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John Lewis Burckhardt’s Travels And Explorations In Nubia

Article originated hereIn a previous article we have sketched the life of John Lewis Burckhardt.  He was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1784 of a prominent family.  At the age of 16 his father moved the family to Leipzig; and four years after this they moved again to  Göttingen.  His family was staunchly opposed to…

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David Mamet’s Film “Redbelt” (2008) (Podcast)

Article originated hereIn this podcast we discuss David Mamet’s 2008 film Redbelt.  This is a great movie, and a worthy addition to his long line of films that explore the moral and ethical problems that men face as they try to reconcile their personal creeds with the world’s corrupting influences.  How we resolve this struggle…

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David Mamet’s Film “Redbelt” (2008) (Podcast)

Article originated hereIn this podcast we discuss David Mamet’s 2008 film Redbelt.  This is a great movie, and a worthy addition to his long line of films that explore the moral and ethical problems that men face as they try to reconcile their personal creeds with the world’s corrupting influences.  How we resolve this struggle…

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The Boar And The Wolf Of Sant’ Antonio

Article originated hereI will turn again to Biondo Flavio’s geographical compendium of Italy called Italia Illustrata, which was published in 1453.  Flavio traveled all over the Italian peninsula and recorded historical information, anecdota, and local customs of the Italian countryside in the late medieval period.  During his tour of Tuscany, he found himself in the…

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The Boar And The Wolf Of Sant’ Antonio

Article originated hereI will turn again to Biondo Flavio’s geographical compendium of Italy called Italia Illustrata, which was published in 1453.  Flavio traveled all over the Italian peninsula and recorded historical information, anecdota, and local customs of the Italian countryside in the late medieval period.  During his tour of Tuscany, he found himself in the…

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What Were A Medieval Serf’s Feudal Obligations?

Article originated hereSometimes I think historians have exaggerated the misery of the medieval serf in Europe.  I would not want to exchange my lot for his, of course, but it is a useful exercise to examine in detail just what his feudal obligations were.  There is no strict definition of “feudalism,” as it varied in…

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What Were A Medieval Serf’s Feudal Obligations?

Article originated hereSometimes I think historians have exaggerated the misery of the medieval serf in Europe.  I would not want to exchange my lot for his, of course, but it is a useful exercise to examine in detail just what his feudal obligations were.  There is no strict definition of “feudalism,” as it varied in…

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