CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

The Roman Search for Wisdom

Department

Department of History and Political Science

Publication Date

10-21-2014

Publication Title

Metapsychology Online Reviews

ISSN

1931-5716

Volume

18

Issue/No.

43

Abstract

Excerpt

One of the reasons I chose to pursue an academic career was, I believe, the influence a certain kind of book had on me. The books I have in mind are the sweeping intellectual histories of the sort written by Will and Ariel Durant, John H. Randall, Jr., and Jacques Barzun. These were books not written for the scholar or specialist, but for a general audience. They were intelligent discussions written in elegant prose. They did a service to the reading public. They made sense out of complex ideas. They contextualized the motivations of various intellectual debates, showing how ideas developed from the past and how they evolved into a future. I would not include Kellog’s The Roman Search for Wisdom in the catalog of great intellectual histories with the Durants, Randall, or Barzun, but I would include it in the list of books that aspire to the same overall goal as those great works, to share with a general audience important cultural artifacts in order to inspire thinking about who we are and what matters.

Find in your library

Share

COinS