Aquinas's Commentary On The Metaphysics

#163- Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Part 2

This week, Scott and Karl finish their discussion of Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire which follows the Roman Empire over thirteen centuries – its rulers, wars and society, and, of course, the events that led to its collapse.

Towards the beginning of the show, Karl asks, “how do lasting emporiums last?” The duo unpacks thought-provoking questions about the idea of an empire whose history touches on nearly any imaginable type of human occurrence and serves up parallels for modern events.


Scott Hambrick 0:09
Welcome to the online great books podcast brought to you by online great where we talk about the good life, the great books, a great conversation, and great ideas

Brett Veinotte 0:30
Hello, dear listener, and welcome back to the online great books podcast. This is Brett and today we continue Scott And Karl’s discussion of Edward Gibbons the history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Do you as a listener, Ever wonder what kinds of statements or dialogue might not make it into the finished product of an online great books podcast? As one of the very few people in the world privy to such information? I will tell you one. In the latter half of the show, one of the two participants says, I don’t like this. I don’t think this is a good show. You can guess as you’re listening which participant there are many clues left in the recording the other participant response? No, I have learned you can never tell what’s a good show. And you know what one of them was wrong. This material might be familiar territory, at least a general story might be familiar territory for a lot of us. But I found this to be such an eye opening conversation in both parts. And even though it can feel especially right in this moment in history, kind of torturous to go back and look at the unlearned lessons from another era. This conversation gets my full endorsement. Please remember to visit online. Great join the mailing list. And don’t forget about Scott And Karl’s other fantastic podcast, music and ideas. You could start listening to that as soon as you’re done with this. As always, thank you so much for your time and attention. And here is the history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Part two.

Karl Schudt 2:13
If you are successful in hamburger Stand and you establish the metropolis at the center of hamburger Stand, what would that be called?

Scott Hambrick 2:25
Scotsman Sylvania.

Karl Schudt 2:27
Okay. So Scott Sylvania starts to grow and get prosperous, and it has nightclubs now and coffee shops and

Scott Hambrick 2:37
won’t happen under my role

Karl Schudt 2:39
is secondhand clothing stores we can get fashionable denim with rips in it.

Scott Hambrick 2:45
You can’t have coffee shops, because that’s where the subversives hang out. We might have state run ones that are really traps. You know, so people show up at the coffee shop to talk their weird politics. And then I push a button and a trapdoor opens and alligators eat them.

Karl Schudt 3:01
Don’t think and you could have it like beef. Five cents a cup. This is the way the coffee shops should be. Okay. Remember there’s old paper cups with the little paper handles that would come out yeah, you can go and you get your your five cent coffee. And there’s no place to sit

Scott Hambrick 3:15
and no chairs out Karl, by the way. Did you hear about the alligator? They caught in our lake? I did. Actually they didn’t catch it. They killed it. I’m here in Northeast Oklahoma. Yeah, and in the municipal water source there was a nine foot six inch alligator This is not Louisiana. We don’t have alligators up here. There are some down in the southwest corner or southeast corner of the state but not up here. This just makes it more exciting. It’s kind of like haraam bay around here now, though, because that you know they killed they killed this alligator. And our teeth people are wearing T shirts about the safe the alligator. It’s kind of like this is an event that will mark time for everyone like the death of her own Bay. You know, when they killed her on Bay? That’s

Karl Schudt 4:06
what it’ll be the new dating. Yeah. What’s the name of the alligator?

Scott Hambrick 4:10
I don’t know yet. I don’t know. I’m sure somebody’s already named in the year

Karl Schudt 4:14
of our alligator 43 Yeah. So anyway, so Scott Sylvania becomes real prosperous, and you have gone on to your eternal reward. You’ve had your apotheosis, you know, amongst the gods. But Scott Sylvania is getting real, real prosperous. And nobody who lives in Scotts Slovenia wants to go off to the frontier to defend it.

Scott Hambrick 4:37
Do we have cruise missiles? No, no, you went back in time. Okay. Okay, let’s rethink this.

Karl Schudt 4:44
Yeah, cruise missiles and drones are a way to solve this problem for creating it. Yeah, that problem being the increasing distance between the affluent in your society and those who protect the borders you Because the more affluent you get, the less people are going to want to go do it

Scott Hambrick 5:03
protect the borders. I know all those words, but when you put them in that order, I don’t understand

Karl Schudt 5:10
the borders protect.

Scott Hambrick 5:11
What do you what do you mean? Yeah, borders

Karl Schudt 5:13
are these borders are these lines around countries.

Scott Hambrick 5:19
They’re like the cell wall, I thought they were just the people that like ranted.

Karl Schudt 5:21
When the cell wall can no longer maintain homeostasis, the cell dies. I just there were a lot of thoughts that I had reading this about the way the Romans tried to solve this problem. So they would hire out all of these so called barbarians and given promises of citizenship, that worked pretty well. But they’d had to get them. They had to get them invested in the thing. That was their solution, because you weren’t going to get Romans from Rome.

Scott Hambrick 5:47
And you’re not going to get Romans by their plan, either. Like the later emperors weren’t even Roman, right? Like Kennedy’s

Karl Schudt 5:54
Diocletian never entered the city. God help us. So you know, decline and fall of the Roman Empire. At some point, I was reading this, I think, you know, at some point, is this even Rome anymore? It’s like, a gradient, if I have a gradient on my screen, from blue to green, at what point is it blue? And then cease to be blue and become green? You know, when did Constantine ever go to Rome? How much time did he spend there? And so yeah, it’s the Roman Empire. It’s the Roman Imperium. But it’s not the original Romans anymore after a while.

Scott Hambrick 6:28
Yeah, if you never go farther than 20 miles from the Sella. You know, how American is that?

Karl Schudt 6:36
Now the the way in which it endured was to get people to adopt the traditions of Rome. But it’s not the same people after a while. Yeah, I love the stuff about the Roman camp. Roman camps are so cool. I was thinking about building one. Yeah, the square of about 700 yards. If isn’t for the encampment of 20,000. Romans. I was trying to do the math on that. I think I failed. Yeah, let’s see how big is that on a side?

Scott Hambrick 7:08
2100 feet, right. Which is 4.4 million feet? That’s about 10 acres? No, I’m sorry, about 100 acres. Excuse me about 100 acres. Oh,

Karl Schudt 7:18
can’t do it, then. Yeah. So anytime you had a camp that the legions are really neat, though. This first, this first real professional army were really neat. They would carry everything they needed. And the commander would say, here’s where the camp is, and everybody started digging. And you would get walls around this camp and fortifications and the streets would be the same no matter where you marched the cat you’re bringing home with you.

Scott Hambrick 7:47
The streets were broad, and perfectly straight. In a vacant space of 200 feet was left on all sides between the tents and the rampart. The rampart itself was usually 12 feet high, armed with a line of strong and intricate Palisades and defended by a ditch of 12 feet in depth as well as in breath. These guys are shovel operators man. The important labor was performed by the hands of the legionnaires themselves. To him the use of the spade and the picket Axe was no less familiar than that of the sword of the pilum. pylon. pilum Act of Valor may often be present of nature be the president of nature but such patient diligence can be the fruit of only habit and discipline. On the trumpet gave the signal of departure the camp was almost instantly broke up, and the troops fell into their ranks without delay or confusion. Yeah, the legendary scarcely considered as an encumbrance. They were laden with their kitchen furniture, the instruments of fortification, the provisions of many days under this weight they would, which would oppress the delicacy of a modern soldier. They were trained by a regular step to advance in six hours near 20 miles.

Karl Schudt 8:52
Come on. Yeah, it’s pretty impressive.

Scott Hambrick 8:54
Yeah, the peace establishment of Hadrian in his successors was composed of no less than 30 of these formidable formidable brigades, and most probably formed a standing force with 375,000 in instead of being confined within the walls of fortified cities, which the Romans considered as the refuge of weakness, and pusillanimity. The legions were encamped on the banks of the great rivers and along the frontiers of the barbarians.

Karl Schudt 9:20
Well, that’s one reason for it. Leave an exercise for the class. Why would you want your most competent men, your most violent men, far away from the Capitol?

Scott Hambrick 9:33
Mean Richmond?

Karl Schudt 9:36
Well, I met Rome, but competent men skilled in violence tend to end up being in charge of things. And if you have them camped right around your capital, you know, they might just start ignoring you. And realize they don’t need you like the last. The last emperor and 476 When the Germans said, you know, we’re done with you. We don’t need you anymore.

Scott Hambrick 9:57
No, no. I’m gonna try to be good

Karl Schudt 10:03
Yeah, saturate the arts of war by which the Roman emperors defended their extensive conquests and preserved a military spirit at a time when every other virtue was oppressed by luxury, and despotism. civilizations are made by different sorts of people than the ones that live in it. That was the thought that I had. So, you know, here I am in Illinois, Illinois frontier country, we had Indian Wars here. The alumni, there aren’t any anymore. They’re gone. Why are they gone? Cuz hard mended violence, and established a place where you could have this kind of civilization. And the people that live in the remnant of that civilization are not the sorts of people that would have fought to make it.

Scott Hambrick 10:51
Lonesome Dove?

Karl Schudt 10:53
Yes. Yeah, yeah. So Lonesome Dove, you have these two Texas Rangers that, you know, were there and made it possible for school teachers and bankers to come to Texas, but nobody wants them anymore. I mean, that I have mixed feelings about that book, bought some talks a good book, but I have mixed feelings, but I dislike it more and more. But these two guys that have no place anymore. Well, the Romans tried to solve that problem by keeping by giving them a place to have, it’s useful to have constantly disputed borders, where you can put those people that’d be kind keep them away. Because they’re probably not nice.

Scott Hambrick 11:35
We need to have a Lonesome Dove Follow Up Show.

Karl Schudt 11:39
That’s to read it again.

Scott Hambrick 11:40
No, I can’t read it again. There’s not enough virtue in that book.

Karl Schudt 11:45
Yeah, I read it twice. I know it’s, it’s pretty good. But I don’t I don’t think McMurtry likes people very much. No, I don’t know. Maybe he does. But I want better people. I want some better people. I want something better than you know, finding another horror in the next town. There’s a lot of talk about carrots in that book. And now, you know what I mean? You know, he

Scott Hambrick 12:11
read the last picture show that you know that. Yeah, he wrote the screenplay adaption for Brokeback Mountain. The I knew that. Yeah, he’s busted. You know, he’s busted broken person. You know, but it’s interesting, you know, you can write a, a book about the American West. And it’s that That era is so romanticized, that he can get away with making those heroes really terrible. And I think that we kind of project this romantic image of that time on to those men onto those characters, and they don’t deserve it. Yeah.

Karl Schudt 12:51
Meaning you don’t think they were as terrible as the book makes them?

Scott Hambrick 12:56
Well, I mean, no, I mean, the book makes them really to be terrible. But you know, we want to believe good things about about the man who settled the West. So that, you know, when we read about these awful people, McCall and and, Gus, you know, when people read it, they don’t they don’t see them for as awful as they’re written. It’s right there on the page in front of you. But we just want you know, we want it to be an awesome Western, we want them to be John Wayne, and they’re not they’re terrible people. We want a new Western. You know, we want a new epic, a new Western epic, and we want it so bad, that we’ll say that that’s it. And it’s not. Yeah, it’s essentially saying that the people that colonized America were awful. I mean, it’s just it’s more of that. And it’s saying that America was colonized by killing and hunting people down, not by agriculture, and building churches and Tarrant digging up stumps and tillage, and whatever, right, it doesn’t it has the wrong notion, in my opinion of how it was all done. It’s just it’s just more of the same shit, right? Oh, you know, we’re oppressors. Bah, bah, bah, blah, blah. For

Karl Schudt 14:17
me, that’s not the biggest problem. I mean, it wasn’t Colin McRae that, you know, built cities. No, to the extent that they were people like that. But you know, for me, it just it bothers me that people live in areas that are the way they are because there were people who were willing to do it, and then the moderns will crap all over. Well, where do you think you live? Have a little respect. You know, I had a student once said, filial piety seems really important to you. Yeah.

Scott Hambrick 14:49
McMurtry could have written anything. And if he wanted to have that filial piety, piety if he thought that society should have had respect for McCall and so he could have written respectable characters, but he didn’t. He didn’t. And so that that’s my problem. Now I’m waiting.

Karl Schudt 15:08
That’s where it’s a modern book. Right? You know? You can’t have these guys. In the end to be anything. Yeah. Should we get to give an add on writing this Roman Western, I thought this was a perfect sentence on he’s talking about geography. It’s fun to read about the geography of Europe from the point of view of 1776. On that celebrated ground, the first consuls deserve tribes, their successors adorn villas, and to their posterity have erected convents, and you can kind of hear the scorn. And they’re his thoughts on religion. Now, apparently, the big thoughts on religion are in chapter 15, we didn’t get anywhere near that far. He has this idea of classical religion, I wonder if it’s true that they had this kind of skeptical polytheism, where nobody really cared about your gods, if you had gods, that’s great. We’ll have we’ll have our gods, they’ll have coffee, you know, we’re not going to have wars of religion, then for him is a good thing. Trying to get to the quotes. The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world are all considered by the people as equally true by the philosopher as equally false, and by the magistrate as equally useful. So, Jupiter, myth or whatever, doesn’t matter. The use of religion is in its use, not in the belief.

Scott Hambrick 16:45
Yeah, gosh, he says the thin texture of the pagan mythology was interwoven with various but not discordant materials. As soon as it was allowed that saga, sages and heroes who had lived or had died for the benefit of the country were exalted to a state of power and immortality. It was universally confessed that they deserved it not the adoration, or at least a reverence of all mankind, the deities of 1000 groves and 1000 string possessed in peace, their local representative, respective influence. So he goes on to say that, Oh, okay, the Romans would conquer this territory. And those pagan peoples, like us are all pagans, but those barbarians would have their pantheon of whatever it may be their druids, you know, whatever. And the Romans would then just, you know, add their folk, their their religious figures to their polytheistic pantheon of gods. There is some evidence that they did that. But it seems like my interpretation is that of this text is that Gibbon believe that this was done overtly and on purpose by the Roman leadership. I don’t think that’s the case. So he has a, like a cynical view, that that the Roman leadership didn’t really believe any of this stuff. And they used the polytheistic system to ever expand into put more people in the big religious tent of Rome. Yeah. I don’t think that’s true. We still we see remnants of this today, when you listen to the zero effect podcast with Sam Harris, where they talk with you know, the atheists will say, Well, you know, Easter is really a pagan, pagan, spring ritual with the rabbit and egg and so on. And it was then rolled up into Christianity and the Christmas tree and you’d like you hear this shit. But that’s, I don’t believe that’s how it happened. I believe you have pagan people who had folkways and social weighs wrapped up in some of these traditions. And they continued them. There you go. They continued them. There’s no conspiracy to dilute the religion or to take the religion less serious. And then, you know, pervert it by dropping the word pasta, and calling it Easter, which is the pagan term. It’s just really, really hard to get the druids to use your word when they’ve been using Easter and their grandparents did to their great parents, great grandparents did. What do you think Karl?

Karl Schudt 19:29
Okay, so the contention was given thanks, it’s by design, that they would let this stuff happen that they would, they would tolerate all these religions. And your contrary story is that they just couldn’t do anything about it.

Scott Hambrick 19:44
Well, maybe they could do something about it. But perhaps they chose not to. AND, OR, AND OR, it’s one of the problems with polytheism. Like if you’ve got all of these, all of these gods Like, what’s to say? There aren’t two more, you know, theologically, they can’t keep the other ones out. Particularly if you have God’s have, you know, this thing or that thing. Like, you know, this God has got governs romantic entanglements and this God is the God of War. And this is the God of the harvest, and so on. Like, how can you, you know, how can you theologically then exclude other ones? I don’t think they could I think it’s a problem of the polytheism.

Karl Schudt 20:29
I think you learn more about given on the writings on religion here than necessarily about the Romans. I’m not so sure they didn’t care. I’m not so sure that the magistrates didn’t care.

Scott Hambrick 20:39
Right. I think they cared

Karl Schudt 20:43
in the things that he does not speak of very much at all, would be the, the violent persecution of the Christians. Why would you have to violently persecute the monotheistic Christians unless you thought that was damaging to, to something? You know, that it was an offense to the gods, I believe we had this discussion with because we read City of God, which is this enormous book by this really smart guy named Agustin where the claim had been that the Roman Empire fell in the West, or that it had, they’d had some barbarian incursions, that the reason that the city was sacked was because they hadn’t been making their sacrifices to the gods. And Augustine writes his book as if everybody actually believes in the gods. And, you know, we had a seminar, we had some people saying, Oh, I don’t really think I don’t really think they actually believed all that stuff. I mean, who is he writing the student? Well, apparently, they actually believed it. I think given might be wrong here.

Scott Hambrick 21:49
Given can’t imagine belief. He just can’t.

Karl Schudt 21:53
Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s a problem for secular historians, writing histories of religious people. It’s, you can’t flip the switch, and see what it means to actually want to get to check the augers and know whether Jupiter smiles on your expedition, they can’t conceive of that. Yeah, that somebody could actually believe that. And so they have to have to come up with well, it’s, well, it’s a policy to have, you know, this this indifferent polytheism I saw somebody complaining about religion writers, because I read that sort of stuff that they don’t understand any of it. You know, like, if the New York Times has a really rock gonna hire a practicing Catholic or even a practicing Baptist are not going to hire somebody who actually leaves all that stuff to write about religion.

Scott Hambrick 22:47
Yeah, the chaplain at Yale is an atheist. You know, like those priests at Vatican two, you know? Hey, oh, sorry.

Karl Schudt 23:02
I saw what you did there. Yeah. So he’s got this, this idea that pagan religion was somehow better, it seems to me, he says, Rome gradually became the common template for subjects and the freedom of the city was bestowed on all the gods of mankind. You know, and we’re not going to have, we called it the mild spirit of antiquity, that the nations were less attentive to the difference than to the resemblance of their religious worship, then you can hear in the subtext to me is, you know, unlike Europe, where we just came out of the, those wars of religion, where, you know, Protestants and Catholics and everybody are fighting over, whatever they were fighting over those silly Christians in this seems to me to be the subtext here.

Scott Hambrick 23:44
Perhaps. I don’t see the silly Christians. I think he just, I just don’t think he understands. I think he understands. Anything’s that he does. I mean, you know, we were talking about the military. Or we just read that, that post there, and he, it just says it outright, that religion is one of the things that was used to create an allegiance to the state from these among these new converts to Romanism. Um, whatever that was, you know, so he sees religion as a tool for manipulating people.

Karl Schudt 24:21
Yeah. Again, it just rebounds back to, to your thinking of modern times is when you bring other people into your Imperium into your political. Imperium is a better word. It means the part where you can impose law. If you’re going to bring other people into it. They have to have allegiance to it. How do you get allegiance to it? Religion would work. You have to do it somehow. So he talks about Athens and Sparta trying to take up the quote, the narrow policy of preserving with out any foreign mixture, the pure blood of ancient citizens had to check to the fortune and hasten hastened to the ruin of Athens and Sparta. Yeah, that might be true. They had demographic problems, especially in Sparta, they just weren’t any Spartans. And so Rome is doing something different. Rome is extending citizenship. This is the thing that Rome did that other cities didn’t, or at least not to this extent, which is extending citizenship. Everyone in Italy becomes a citizen of Rome. Paul of Tarsus was a citizen of Rome. You know, when have you ever been to Rome? Before they brought him there to chop his head off? But if you’re going to do that, you have to make them Roman somehow. Somehow? Well, yeah. Whenever whatsoever, the Roman conquerors he inhabits. And so seeing things start to change.

Scott Hambrick 25:51
Well, and for him, religion is one of the some house that’s how you one of the ways you control people.

Karl Schudt 25:57
Yeah. And so this, I mean, this takes like three or 400 years, but you end up with he says, After the legions are rendered permanent by the emperor is the provinces where people by race of soldiers. Yeah, it’s this point. I’m like, I’m thinking to myself, so how is this still Roman? Yeah. It’s Roman, that Rome was the seed from which it came out of. But I don’t know. You’re just hiring other people to do it.

Scott Hambrick 26:21
Yeah. This is all so difficult for me. I can’t hardly sit still striving me nuts. What do you want to say? So many things. It’s just overwhelming.

Karl Schudt 26:34
Okay, so sitting here in the ruins? How do lasting Imperium is last? I really liked that word, Imperium. I think I’m gonna use it more closely. What political system who cares about a political system? Right. But how does it last? Well, it might last better if people thought about it. But then again, why would you want it to last? You know, what’s the point of having something like a Roman Empire that lasts for if you squint at last for 1500 years? The last 1000? That’s pretty much this Greek. But

Scott Hambrick 27:08
yeah, I don’t know. You know, if if you believe that, that these Imperia, that these, that these political systems that come together and regions, are emergent properties of the people that inhabit them, or emerge from the properties of the people that inhabit them, like I do, like the American Constitution. I believe it’s just a written record of how those people treated each other. You know, I don’t think that there was much in the Constitution for the former British inhabitant of North America to chafe against, I think it’s a I think it’s mostly an accurate representation of how they thought that they shouldn’t be treating each other. Yeah.

Karl Schudt 27:52
I have a kid that’s been doing a bunch of reading of, like, city documents from before the Constitution, and I have to help her and and there’s a genuine, there’s a genealogy of the Constitution. It’s,

Scott Hambrick 28:08
it’s like the things that were before. Yeah, Virginia, that idea of it is, yeah, yeah. So as a record of the way that people are, yeah, it’s a picture of the political mores of those people at that time. And if you are descended from those people and share those mores, and you share those ways of being in that polity, then you want to preserve it. mean, that’s why you would want that, that particular Imperium to persist. Now, if you say, Well, I’m not Roman, I don’t care about Rome, you know, who did? What difference does it make whether it lasted 1500 years, or 2000 years or 167 years? Well, that’s right. It wasn’t ours. But if it is yours, and it’s how you would like to act, the government of that, that society, the rules in that society, the ways of that society, or how you believe that you would like to act and how you would like to represent ways in which you would like to be treated. You’re desperately interested in that thing to continue. So there

Karl Schudt 29:15
and so if you think it’s a good thing, there are things that you can do when you have an Imperium that has some people that actually love it.

Scott Hambrick 29:24
What can you do?

Karl Schudt 29:27
Well, you can build Aqueducts, okay. You know, you can undertake long term projects, you can think in terms of centuries and not in terms of the next election cycle. Okay. But all of that stuff that led to the very high standard of living in the Roman Empire compared to everyplace else in ancient writers will say Athens stank. People are throwing their, their chamber pots out in the street. It’s probably true. Rome did not as big as it was Rome did not and a Roman city in the province. CES might have been one of the more pleasant places to live in the world in his ever.

Scott Hambrick 30:03
Yeah. Well, but Karl, I think that I mean, you build the aqueduct, you carry that long term vision. But it’s still it’s still the problem of the conservative. You know, how do you actively actively do the same thing, you have to develop an ideology that describes why you do that thing and why it’s correct. You have to have a proper understanding of human nature. And then you have to develop a method for protecting those things that you have a logical reason for holding. Now, it can be the logic for holding those views and adhering to that political system. They have to be internally consistent, like not everybody has to believe your argument, but they have to be internally consistent. And in being internally consistent, it will allow you to make more decisions about it. If you’re just like, well, this is the way we’ve always done it won’t work.

Karl Schudt 31:02
No, who cares? Who cares? That’s the way we’ve always done it. Right? And

Scott Hambrick 31:06
then you have all these invaders. And they’re like, well, that’s not how we always did it. And I don’t care how you always did it. I’m here now. Like, I wanted to come here because of the way you always did it. But I’m here now we’d like to shit in the streets. So here we go.

Karl Schudt 31:21
Yeah, which is a thing by the way about the the barbarian invaders the reason they came to Rome was not because they wanted to destroy it. It’s because they wanted to be it of course. Yeah. So I think I think Givens probably wrong about the way the Romans thought about their own religion, I think you get you get a distorted picture. By reading the poet’s I don’t think we quite understand. Maybe somebody has written a book on this. I don’t think we quite understand Roman religion. I don’t think it’s about Jupiter. With the rape of Europa or something. I don’t think it’s like, it’s not off it. It’s each house you would have, you would have Laura as and pinata as I remember learning this in my Latin class. And these are the ones that do not make the storybooks, the Laras that’s a plural are the ancestral spirits. It’s like the genus of your family or the genius of your family. So if you’re there would be the Hambrick little temple in the house, the tree would have to serve that to honor the ancestors. And then you had the pinata as which are, I don’t think they have personalities are the gods of the pantry,

Scott Hambrick 32:32
so that you beat him with a stick and candy comes out.

Karl Schudt 32:36
I think it’s more that you are making offerings to them to hope that your pantry doesn’t run out. So that you have the food for your family. And you honor the people that go before you. And you know, all of the poet, I think that’s really, I think, if you want a good understanding of what Roman religion was, like, you should find an old pious Catholic lady, the old style, you know, you go in her house, and you don’t know you’re going to look on on Mrs. Rosati. You know, she’s old and her husband died and, and you know, you’ve known her for years, and you’re gonna go check on her and you go in her house, and she invites you in and there’s like, there’s like, all kinds of plaster statues of Jesus in the saints all over the place, mixed in with her family. And how does she spend her time while she’s saying her rosary? And she’s lighting candles. And she’s just keeping memories alive. And she has a patron saint for everything. You tell her that? Well, you know, my foots hurting a little bit? And she says, Well, st Paragons for that, or I don’t know, right? She’ll come up with a saint for you. And then she’ll feed you. You know, I’ve been cooking pasta sauce all day or whatever. This is remnants of Roman religion.

Scott Hambrick 33:55
Yeah. They didn’t care about that. It was that tells her how to live each day was a cynical tool used by the Praetorians. To, you know, Governor, whatever.

Karl Schudt 34:06
I don’t think so. I mean, I know you’re, I think that’s what kept them going. I think they actually believe that stuff. When they ceased to believe that stuff. That’s when it ended, you know? Yeah. Christianity did not get rid of that it transformed it.

Scott Hambrick 34:23
Right. So the cynical modern says, well, Christianity isn’t anything except what people decided is they adopted the Christmas tree as part of their tradition and then the Easter Bunny as part of their, like, you know, that it’s think it’s, you know, whatever we decide it is they don’t understand that these people had these ways of worship. And it was natural for them to continue those ways. But change the deity and accept a valid theology that makes sense, because they don’t want Listen, there’s no Roman theology that mean There’s not quarrel I mean, there’s not.

Karl Schudt 35:03
I know but there was Roman religion, for sure, right. And religion, as Thomas Aquinas tells us is to tie yourself back really Gauri, that’s his etymology of religion. It binds you together, it binds you in a way of life and gives you something to defend, which then allows you to build awkward ducks, you know, these these 100 year projects, because you have faith that the thing that you you know, lowercase, have faith that the thing that you you’re a part of will endure. Yeah, this is like half about Gibbon and half about our preoccupations.

Scott Hambrick 35:35
Yeah, I can’t help it. That’s all right. Oh, my gosh, there’s a there’s a nice section in here about agriculture, which I enjoyed, talks about the difficulty of raising grapes, which they finally figured out a little bit. During the Age of the anti nines. The olive in the western world follow the progress of peace, of which it was considered the symbol. Two centuries after the foundation of Rome, both Italy and Africa were strange furs to that useful plant, it was naturalized in those countries and at length carried into the heart of Spain and call the timid errors of the ancients that required a certain degree of heat, it could only flourish in the neighborhood of the sea was insensibly exploded by industry and experience, etcetera, etcetera. Then he says, the use of artificial grasses became familiar to the farmers, both of Italy and the provinces, particularly the Lucerne, which derives its name and origin from media. We call that alfalfa, I think proteinaceous login, so it fixes nitrogen and improves the soil, it’s high protein. Then Then he says, The assured supply of wholesome and plentiful plentiful food for the cattle during winter, multiply the number of the docks and herds, which in their turn contributed to the fertility of the soil. So they they figured out, you know how to use these nitrogen fixers, and then they with that, or high protein, and then their cat, then they could carry more cattle. And that gets you more poop. And it’s a virtuous cycle. It’s wonderful. That’s what I’m trying to do over here. Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to do.

Karl Schudt 37:11
Yeah. Yeah. Can you grow olives in Oklahoma?

Scott Hambrick 37:14
I don’t know. I’ve got figs.

Karl Schudt 37:18
Yeah, we took a tour, Melissa, and I took a tour before the children arrived of Spain. And I remember the tour guide was pointing out all the olive trees, and he said these are from the Romans. They planted them. And so what that tells you is not I know Spain hasn’t wasn’t entirely peaceful there with the Muslim conquest and the Reconquista. But it means that it was peaceful enough that nobody thought to go and chop down the olives. Because all this take, how long do they take to bear fruit? They take a long time. Yeah, forever. I planted I planted apple trees, I’m hoping to have apples in three years. You planted all of you’re not going to have all this. Your children may have all this, which is again, that thing you have the idea of the permanence of the Imperium in which you live the way of life in which you live, you think you go shopping at Fedko and say, Well, I’m gonna buy a tree. Well, you have to have an extended horizon of time anyway to think of fruit trees. But to think of an olive, it needs to be really extended planting stuff for your kids. Well, that means you hope that they’re still going to be close enough around you that then go get your get to that tree.

Scott Hambrick 38:26
Need a government that will protect that property and that you know that at least somebody that’s not your enemy might get to pick us all up. So I just looked it up 65 to 80 years to reach stable yields for an olive tree. Traditionally, olive groves are handed down from father to son one ancient tree in the French Riviera is estimated to be about 2200 years old. All of his Hardy in the US Department of Agriculture zones eight through 10. I’m in seven a so I’m out of all of business.

Karl Schudt 38:57
Can’t do it. Yeah.

Scott Hambrick 38:59
What do you say? 60 to 85 year 65 to 80 years?

Karl Schudt 39:02
Yeah, dear listener, is there any project that you would think of undertaking that’s not going to bear fruit for 6065 years? We are ruthless. And timeless? Yes. Terrible. Can’t even think of doing something that takes that long. Heck, my refrigerator that I just bought I got a five year warranty on it. It’s gonna break in year six. Yeah. Can’t even make a I just want the 40 year refrigerator. Like my mom had, right. I love that thing. It’s gone. I should have grabbed it. Oh, gosh. We didn’t even get to Commodus. I mean the stories are great. The so Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius is the emperor that everyone likes because he wrote that book, the meditations and but you read about his son, and think Marcus really is was not a good guy.

Scott Hambrick 40:02
Yeah, his son is Commodus, Commodus river. And commode if you think of where we get the name como IB, if you think of something horrible, double it, or so or so at a zero. And he’s that guy. Before we get that, Carl, gosh, I’m still back here at 2% of the book. The influence of the clergy in an age of superstition might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind. But so intimate is the connection between the throne and the altar that the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people. He does that shit all the time. It’s the first paragraph of Chapter Three for one.

Karl Schudt 40:43
Yeah, yeah, I had that marked too. It’s an interesting concession, it might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind. And then he makes a factual claim that it’s been very seldom on the side of the people, which presumes, given cares about the people? Who are the people which people? That’s not quite true. I don’t think it’s true. I mean, church, the church fighting for the church’s rights is also fighting for the people. But that would be, I don’t know, historical project

Scott Hambrick 41:13
by the enlightenment, the notion that the government is supposed to be improving of the people is gone. So if the church says you shouldn’t do that, that might be improving of you to prevent you from doing that. But the Enlightenment man says you’ve infringed on my rights in my liberty, which shares a REIT with libertine. And he can’t possibly see that restricting someone’s behavior might be good for them. He can’t possibly understand that QBD too long don’t read legalize weed.

Karl Schudt 41:52
Yeah, the banners of superstition go the banner, the church,

Scott Hambrick 41:57
the stupid Claudius, brother of Germanicus was already in their camp infested with the Imperial purple and prepared to support his election by arms. The stupid Claudius.

Karl Schudt 42:07
That’s a good line. Yeah. So Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher king, the the one that the stoics all have, because of that book. The monstrous vices of the Sun have cast a shade on the purity of the Father’s virtues. He goes on, he sacrificed the happiness of millions to a fond partiality for a worthless boy. So Commodus was given imperial powers at 15 or so. In my note there, does this discredit meditations? Of course, my answer is, yeah, of course it does. Or, at least it discredits the guy who wrote it, maybe his book is better than he is.

Scott Hambrick 42:48
Well, you know, there are people that you know, do these deep dives on stoicism, which I have not done. I have read Epictetus and I’ve read Seneca, not all of Seneca but I’ve read Seneca and I’ve read quite a bit and I’ve read a religious and it is not a philosophy. I believe that proper philosophies have a metaphysics and epistemology and ethics of politics and an aesthetic. And he doesn’t have any of those things. He doesn’t a rational disconnection, from circumstance does not tell people what proper action is.

Karl Schudt 43:32
Right? Right. So for me, stoicism, its benefit is, is that detachment, that you can you can learn. But you don’t need to be a stoic to get that you can just be a monk and get that, you know, the holy apathy that the Eastern writers talk about?

Scott Hambrick 43:53
Socrates had it right.

Karl Schudt 43:56
Yeah, but you need to know what the good is. That’s the important question. You need to know what to tell us is and if you don’t, then what? If you don’t, your virtues become vices? Okay, if you have courage, and temperance, and fortitude, and I don’t know the name some other virtues if you have all of those, but your end goal is not good. That just means you’re very very good at working towards a bad goal.

Scott Hambrick 44:25
Yeah, so what would what would the stoics goal be?

Karl Schudt 44:28
Well, that’s where it gets frustrating. If you’ve had me in seminar for Marx is a really aside my steam comes out of my ears because he keeps saying live according to nature and like What is nature right? What does he mean by nature? We need more than that. It’s like a religion that doesn’t. That’s never consummated, you know.

Scott Hambrick 44:50
Got religious blue balls from

Karl Schudt 44:57
well, I want to read this paragraph on commode This because, you know, we’re kind of crapping on given a bit, but I don’t mean to. I love it. This is a marvelous book. Yeah. I want to keep reading it and get, maybe get to the end in 2035. It takes you so long to read it as it takes them to write it. It’s marvelous. It’s great fun, but in heat. And you know, I kind of like that. I like that. He’s a so the thing that historians will do you as a historian, and you can do this on purpose, you can you pick the events to talk about, and you pick the way you’re going to talk about them in order to present a certain picture. And that but then you tell everybody, this is an objective history of Thomas Jefferson, right? Meanwhile, you’ve only focused on certain aspects. And you’ve given Okay, well, the fun of Gibbon is, you pretty much can tell where he’s coming from. And I like that if your be as opinionated as you want, then write your history, you know, and then I know, I know what you think, and you don’t present your opinions as facts. Right? Then you can enjoy the book. And it is really enjoyable. The monstrous vices of the Sun have cast a shade on the purity of the Father’s virtues. It has been objected to Marcus that he sacrificed the happiness of a millions of millions to a fond partiality for a worthless boy, and that he chose a successor in his own family rather than in the Republic. Nothing, however, was neglected by the anxious father, by the men of virtue and learning whom he summoned to his assistants to expand the narrow mind of young Commodus, to correct his growing vices, and to render him worthy of the throne for which he was designed. But, but the power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous. The distasteful lesson of a great philosopher was in a moment obliterated by the whisper of a profligate favorite. And Marcus himself blasted the fruits of his labor education by admitting his son, the age of 14 or 15, to a full participation of the imperial power. He lived, but for years afterwards, but he lived long enough to repent, a rash measure, which raised the impetuous youth above the restraint of reason, and authority. There is another perfect paragraph by giving that middle sentence the power of instruction seldom have much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it’s almost superfluous. You can’t educate somebody out of his nature, which is probably a big mistake that we tend to make.

Scott Hambrick 47:39
Oh, yeah, the tabula rasa, blank slate thing is one of the dumbest and most horrendous things that we have to contend with in the realm of ideas. So they’re right, the conformable to his nature, right? That’s what the that’s the claim of the stoics. Right, that, you know, to proper action would be that which is conformable. To your nature? Well, if you believe that the nature of man is that he’s a blank slate. Now, that would change how you would act when you were raising a child. If only

Karl Schudt 48:09
we could have educated Commodus, well enough, he would not have kept his 300 male and female slaves that to debauch himself with, he would not have killed people in the gladiator ring. What other bad things? Did he do all of

Scott Hambrick 48:24
them? I mean, just think he killed 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of people.

Karl Schudt 48:29
Yeah, we’ve only we could have educated him better.

Scott Hambrick 48:32
Yeah, no, no, I put the tabula rasa thing in Gibbons mouth there, though. I think he hopes that for you. He does say he’s a worthless boy, why is he worthless. And then he says that the instruction of whereas it by men of virtue and learning who he summoned to his assistance to expand the narrow mind of young competence to correct his growing vices, you know, he says that failed. And he says that that kind of instruction is seldom of much efficacy. So, you know, I don’t know if he believes in the blank slate thing or what, but the stoic can’t tell you what the proper education of a young person would be, except in that sort of rational detachment that they espouse.

Karl Schudt 49:13
Yeah, the mistake of Marcus a really is it would have been in picking his son, when the sun was not worthy. Maybe we can absolve them a bit. It’s not your fault that Commodus was a degenerate, if his nature was such, so depending on how strong you lean on the nature nature thing, so Commodus was going to be Commodus. In a more just Imperium, the Emperor wouldn’t have picked this guy because he was his son. He would have I don’t know what you would have done with him.

Scott Hambrick 49:43
Well, we read about the horrors of this guy. And I didn’t outline I didn’t line those out like I should have. I should have made a bit of a list of them. He’s just raping and it’s just the worst stuff you can think of You know, people are like, Oh, my Hitler. I mean, come on this guy’s unbelievable. The depths of the depravity in the extent of it is just mind boggling. Like, how does that even happen? I’ve been walking around since 74 of the last century. And I’ve seen bad people. I’ve been reading the news, like the kind of badness that this guy has is boggling. And he’s not the last one either. In this given book, how does it happen?

Karl Schudt 50:35
The specific mechanics have it as he has a Praetorian Guard.

Scott Hambrick 50:39
Well, if you had a Praetorian Guard, I don’t think you would be this way, Karl.

Karl Schudt 50:45
I hope not. You know,

Scott Hambrick 50:46
I see a nastiness here that I wonder what I just wonder, what is the? What is the genesis of it? Like? How does that happen? You know, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Like, is it the power? How did it happen? I don’t understand it.

Karl Schudt 51:07
If you don’t have all the virtues, you don’t have any of them. This is a an Aristotelian claim, you need all of the virtues. Because that one that you don’t have, is going to command all the others.

Scott Hambrick 51:20
Right. That’s why prudence is the chief of every virtue.

Karl Schudt 51:25
Yeah. And so if you, and if you have these flaws, and you become emperor of the Roman world, see a lot of our our vices that we have, dear listener are masked by our lack of opportunity to pursue them.

Scott Hambrick 51:45
Oh, is this by? Will you the ring of Karl, right? You

Karl Schudt 51:49
don’t have enough money to do the things that you want? If you were given infinite money, or infinite power, do you think you would pass that test? Right? Would you be Aragorn and say, No, it’s okay. I don’t want the ring. Most of us would take it. Most of us would fail the Ring of Honor. Well, that’s a claim I’m going to be on given I think most of us would fail, but Commodus certainly fail. And so the he could have just been like a nasty kid. Well, okay, he likes torturing puppies, or whatever. But he gets the means to torture lots more. And becomes much worse.

Scott Hambrick 52:28
There are many, many rulers, whether they’re kings or whatever, of Rome. They don’t all do this. You know, I’m getting crazier by the minute. And I read this and I’m just like, you know, this is just the empire that never ends, you know, we can’t get rid of these people. And they keep bubbling up.

Karl Schudt 52:54
McKay had a podcast on this the the tendency of sociopaths and psychopaths to end up with power. Yeah. You know, it’s why pedophiles all work at the youth group where the kids are, right? Yeah. How would you prevent it? I don’t know. I mean, that superstition, you know, where I stand on this, that superstition that kibin thinks could possibly be of use? Well, maybe maybe it ought to be of use, you know, that. I think genuinely, religion is a restraint on the badness of kings. And the badness of people in

Scott Hambrick 53:30
power. There’s a check and balance there.

Karl Schudt 53:33
Yeah, and if you’re a skeptical secular person, and you’re not a fan of religion, fine, but keep it private. Keep it, you know, you tear it. It’s like Nietzsche said, Nietzsche says this, you tear this down and you think that your everything’s gonna be fine. No, you’ve tear it, you’ve torn all the values down, everything goes away. You better put something in its place. You need to have ultimate value in order to keep Commodus from being Commodus. It might still not work. But there’s a P. Conte sentence here. After Commodus die. He’s what is he gets rat he gets killed by a wrestler. His his domestics kill him. Such was the fate of the son of Marcus and so easy was it to destroy a hated tyrant, who by the artificial powers of government, how depressed during 13 years, so many millions of subjects, each of whom was equal to their master in personal strength and personal abilities. Which is an interesting comment on government by by Gibbon, he calls it artificial, but the artificial powers of government would or are what enable a loser like Commodus. How many years 13 years to do the things that he did? Yep. Which if you’re on the playground, he would have gotten knocked on his butt. And in five seconds

Scott Hambrick 55:01
Yep, that’s what ends up happening. You know, this sort of mediocracy is governed government by mediocrities, or worse. It’s unbelievable. It’s an indignity,

Karl Schudt 55:13
the diet, the dialogues of mediocrity, yes.

Scott Hambrick 55:15

Karl Schudt 55:17
How would that go? It’d be like, well, actually,

Scott Hambrick 55:20
what if Biden on his way out appointed? A hunter? What would happen? Like, I don’t care where you are politically, virtually, does anybody think that he’s a great guy? Like, whatever your politics are, if you were going to go for a swim, would you let Hunter hold your wallet? Holy shit.

Karl Schudt 55:42
That point about having all the virtues that’s a that’s the thing that when I read it first, you know, way back in grad school, probably I thought, I hope that’s not true. Right? Got that, and you want it not to be true. And then you think about it, and you look at the people around you and yatse It’s hard to be good. Goodness requires a completeness of character, and any flaw makes it makes it bad. And add that flaw with opportunity. And you get, you get really, really horrible things. I read a bit more after this, that the person X is installed after Commodus. He last 88 days, he gets killed by the Praetorian Guard, because this is interesting, because he cut their benefits, Commodus for all his vices he knew to keep the Praetorian Guard happy to keep the armed people in the heart of the government happy is what he did. So pertinax gets killed. And then there’s, I forget his name Julius, who buys the thing. Who buys the they, the Praetorian Guard sells the Empire

Scott Hambrick 56:48
message they have an auction.

Karl Schudt 56:50
At least that’s honest. Yeah. But then we get set. Septimus Severus comes from the provinces and says this is no this is no good. And puts a stop to

Scott Hambrick 57:03
that. And he seems to have been a great man. Easier to stay

Karl Schudt 57:07
in the provinces and you know that who would want to be emperor? At this point,

Scott Hambrick 57:12
after this point in the book, it starts to be a lot like the Silmarillion. It’s just names and names and names and names like it just it becomes really overwhelming, or the Iliad even you know, there’s a lot of stuff to take on and to organize in your mind as you read this thing. Very difficult. No, it’s a great book. It’s worth reading. I’m going to I’m going to continue. Oh, here you go. Here’s a little bit on monarchy Carl. Let’s see here. The true interest of an absolute monarch generally coincides with that of his people. Their numbers, their wealth, their order and their security are the best and only foundations of his real greatness and were he totally devoid of virtue, prudence, might supply its place, and would dictate the same rule of conduct. Severus considered the Roman Empire as his property, and it no sooner secured the possession that he bestowed His care on the cultivation and improvement of so valuable and acquisition. salutary laws, executed with inflexible firmness soon corrected most of the abuses with which since the death of Marcus, every part of the government had been infected. In the administration of justice, the judgments of the emperor were characterized by attention, discernment and impartiality. And whenever he deviated from the strict line of equity, it was generally in favor of the poor and oppressed, not so much indeed, from any sense of humanity as from the natural propensity of a desperate to humble the pride of greatness, and to sink all his subjects to the same common level of absolute dependence. His expensive taste for building magnificent shows and above all, a constant and liberal distribution of corn and provisions were the surest means of captivating the affection of the Roman peoples. The misfortunes of civil discord were obliterated the column of peace and prosperity was once more experienced in the provinces and many cities restored by the munificence of Severus seeing the title of his colonies and attested by pebble public monuments their gratitude and Felicity hmm. Yeah, having a monarch gives the government I property right in the thing and that’s, that’s good. A free market property rights guy can think Marquis is best. If you go down that route, if you go down that route,

Karl Schudt 59:29
if you have no stake in it, then why are you going into the halls of power?

Scott Hambrick 59:35
Just to make a grab. That’s weird.

Karl Schudt 59:37
You know, why would you want to dominate other people? Why would you want to be the head of the Ministry of Information? You know, what sort of person would want that job? Much to chew on from given and the good thing about this is it’s all finished. In Rome, is finished, right? For me, this is the benefit of history. It’s a laboratory. There’s no laboratory for politics except history. You can’t say, well, price controls. How would that work? Would that be good or bad? Well, you don’t know. Yeah. But you can go back and look at Diocletian putting price controls in causing famines.

Scott Hambrick 1:00:25
debasing the coin? If the realm.

Karl Schudt 1:00:29
Yeah, so you can look at what has been done in the past? Is it? Does that mean that it’s going to happen in the future? Not necessarily, but it’s the best that you’re gonna get. It’s like, which program? Should I put my weightlifting client on? Should I do a modified modified 531 or a four days? minimum effective dose, but I don’t know, I can’t run the experiment to see which one will run better.

Scott Hambrick 1:00:56
You don’t have a double blind dude. Right? I

Karl Schudt 1:00:59
can’t do that. What I can do if I have an understanding of the history of training, is I can say, well, this worked for this guy pretty well. And you can make some inferences from that, that in this situation, it will also work pretty well. But you don’t get because there’s too much variability in human activity. You don’t get what you don’t get rock solid stuff. But you can say, Gosh, this shirt didn’t work out for the Athenians.

Scott Hambrick 1:01:23
Yeah. It’ll be different this time, Karl. They didn’t do it. Right.

Karl Schudt 1:01:28
They didn’t have the right people.

Scott Hambrick 1:01:30
They have the right people

Karl Schudt 1:01:31
doing it. If only you have the right people. Go well.

Scott Hambrick 1:01:35
Oh, God, I’m not proud of this show. So there you go. The next one. I think we’re going to be reading Indian Country. Is that right, Carl?

Karl Schudt 1:01:45
If I can find it. Oh, my gosh. Oh, it’s back. It’s an Oklahoma. Yeah, I can find it.

Scott Hambrick 1:01:49
Now. We’re gonna read. Indian country. Our friend Marsha Enright said you need to read this. It’s by Dorothy M. Johnson. It’s a collection of short stories. 181 pages. It contains the short story, a man called horse made a Dustin Hoffman movie about it. And it contains the short story, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. There you go heard of that one. So this ought to be this ought to be very good. I’ve not read it before but Marcia is not steered me wrong, despite being Randian. So it’ll be awesome. It’ll be good.

Karl Schudt 1:02:24
What are we going to read Rand ever?

Scott Hambrick 1:02:26
Marsha and I were texting about that I would really like to read. What is an introduction to objectivist epistemology? Have you read that?

Karl Schudt 1:02:37
Probably in my radical youth. Oh, come on. I read a bunch of stuff.

Scott Hambrick 1:02:42
Yeah, Introduction to objectivist epistemology. I think that’s a really great book. It’s been a while since I’ve read it. It’d be really interesting to read it now. After having read so much Thomas and so much Aristotle. The good about air Oh, Rand is Aristotelian. The bad about Rand is Rand. And it’d be interesting to see. Yeah, read about her epistemology again after after Aristotle.

Karl Schudt 1:03:07
I have affection for her. Yeah, though I am not a Randian. She’s a bomb thrower.

Scott Hambrick 1:03:13
Yeah, she’s, you know, she doesn’t understand the nature of man.

Karl Schudt 1:03:17
No, but she’s not afraid to call out crap when there’s crap. No, no, she’s not when it’s garbage. And I appreciate that. Yeah, so Indian Country we can do that. Given is worthwhile, super fun. It will make you tear your hair out. As you start thinking about. Somebody said History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. seems right, which is a reasonable way to put it and so come read it and get frustrated.

Scott Hambrick 1:03:48
You and I were talking about in the last show we did on Aquinas is commentary on Aristotle’s metaphysics. You and I were talking about scholastic epistemology. And there’s a there’s a big somehow in scholastic epistemology. Right, like somehow we different. We we determine what these universals are? And Marsha said, Well, you guys need to talk about the rant book on epistemology, because she resolves this somehow. And I believe that’s true. I buy it. It’s probably been 15 years since I’ve read it. I think she does. And I think it’s consistent with Aristotle and being consistent with Aristotle means you’re going to be mostly consistent with Thomas to it’s a shame she’s such such a jerk. In such a polemicist that she can’t be taken seriously as a like a NEO Aristotelian. So maybe, maybe this maybe we can rehabilitate her in that way. I don’t know. But we’ve got a whole lot to read a whole lot. Do you remember everything we’ve got on the list?

Karl Schudt 1:04:55
No. I can’t see farther than four days from now. Though you know, I will be there for Verizon has shrunk a bit. I hope Thank you.

Scott Hambrick 1:05:05
Yeah, we’ll be there. Let’s see here we’ve got a list here in Slack. Let’s look at it because this is how we do housekeeping you guys get to listen in. We talked about Little House on the Prairie. We talked about the anti Indian Country, Asimov foundation stuffs. Michael Shear has Killer Angels, his historical novel about Gettysburg. We talked about what a BEC the elementary particles, talked about that a little bit. I don’t know if I’ll do that. And Albert J not Memoirs of a superfluous man. But you know, we have our friend John Pascarella spoke on the stack to write about arysta tilian economics, which could be really good. Yeah, help. I hate it. It would be so much fun.

Karl Schudt 1:05:50
I read the last page and I liked it. I think I just might do that. I’ll just skip everything else. No, John. I won’t. Yeah,

Scott Hambrick 1:05:57
we’ll read it. We’ll read it.

Karl Schudt 1:05:59
I’m looking at a portrait of Edward Gibbon. He was not his fifth. I’m doing a physiognomy check.

Scott Hambrick 1:06:04
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. He’s like, he looks like he eats soy for every meal. Yeah.

Karl Schudt 1:06:13
Not a flattering fixture.

Scott Hambrick 1:06:16
No. Well, anyway, there’s that.

Karl Schudt 1:06:18
So anyway, go listen to our other podcasts, music and ideas. We are doing fun things there. Go listen to Scott’s podcast with that other guy. What’s it called?

Scott Hambrick 1:06:32
Growing? Not tatertot? zillions. Yeah. A tighter talk joint.

Karl Schudt 1:06:38
I’ve listened. I’ve listened to the first three. It’s good stuff now.

Scott Hambrick 1:06:41
Thank you. Thank you.

Karl Schudt 1:06:43
Come join us at all my great books, go to the store and buy stuff. Keep the lights on. I know, times are tough. And you have to make choices. But I have found that keeping an active intellectual life in difficult times makes it less bad.

Scott Hambrick 1:07:00
It might be that the contemplative life is a good.

Karl Schudt 1:07:06
Yeah. Yeah. So come on, and join us. Love to have me.

Scott Hambrick 1:07:10
Yeah. Thank you guys so much for listening. That’s all we’re going to talk about today. Go to the website, get on the mailing list. Pass it on. leave a review. Yeah, I look forward to the reviews after this show because I made a bunch of stupid people mad I’m sure. So bring it on.


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