Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Teaching, Libanius and Augustine

It's the last day of summer intensives at last, and something of a Coda for "Patriarchal Conventions and Convictions in Greece and Rome." Leaping forward centuries from republican Rome and the Rome of the Claudian and "Good" Emperors, we arrive at the crisis of a Christianized Rome in works separated by roughly fifty years, Libanius, friend of Julian the Apostate, defender of Greek sophistry and paganism, and Augustine's contemplation of the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410. One fears and decries a silencing of culture, figured through the inaugural trauma of the silencing of Socrates, another contemplates the ruin of the earthly city of Rome and discerns an eternal city of spirit and renews the philosophical contemptus mundi to which the vita contemplativa will remain devoted until the Renaissance.

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