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A Short History of Ideas – Evil

As Christianity spread its influence over Rome’s old empire, with its promise of immortality for those who repented of their sins, the concept of evil and what it represented became a subject of vital importance. In my last post on Sin, Saint Jerome is noted as having...

A Short History of Ideas – Sin

Sin, as a concept, stands in opposition to virtue. Aristotle examined both these concepts in his writing on Ethics. But he drew the line between deliberate acts of vice and ‘passionate’ ones, saying that there was a difference between a sin committed with intent, and...
A Short History of Ideas – Heaven

A Short History of Ideas – Heaven

As the Greek world died away the Roman Empire became the principal power in Europe and the Mediterranean basin.  With its blend of military might and relative barbarity, it broke the spirit of creativity the Hellenic world had generated. It made people fear the future...

Greek Philosophy Boiled Down – Part X

In his History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell writes, “Until the Punic Wars, the Romans had been a bucolic people, with the virtues and vices of farmers: austere, industrious, brutal, obstinate and stupid.” It was only when they came into contact with the...

Greek Philosophy Boiled Down – Part IX

In the second century BC, while the Roman Empire was stocking its legions and perfecting its drills, the outlook of Greek philosophers was becoming more and more individualistic. They began to abandon ideas that no longer had a place in the chaos and uncertainty of...