William Cullen Bryant explains why America is freaking out

In his classic poem “Thanatopsis,” William Cullen Bryant ponders death. The title means “the gaze of death” in Greek. A long tradition in poetry and art holds up the genre of thanatopsis, reflecting on what it means to die.    To him who in the love of Nature holds   Communion with her visible forms, she speaks   A…

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Did Troy collapse because of a quarantine, not a siege? Coronavirus food for thought.

The March 26 headline on Newsweek stated that the US military would not reveal data about how many COVID-19 cases have occurred among the troops. This brought to mind a few plagues that shaped history in the past, simply as a point of reference. The Trojan War Thanks to nineteenth-century archaeological discoveries in Turkey we…

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Americanus Rex: We’re Living a Sophoclean Tragedy like Oedipus and Antigone

Locked in, like most Americans, I have spent more time than usual with my thoughts and memories. My otherwise silly degrees in Political Science, English, and Classics, have boosted my spirits during the current tribulations. I’ve studied narratives and historical moments that deal with plagues. So as I retreat into my bookshelf I get reminders…

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