Category Archives: John of Salisbury

John of Salisbury on Pride and Death

“Pride is truly the root of all the evils that feed mortality.  Streams become dry if the source of the flow is cut off; a tree will not thrive with severed roots.  Vices languish if passion banished; yet if manure … Continue reading

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John of Salisbury on Virtue and Happiness

“That purpose towards which all rational creatures turn is true happiness.  For in fact there is no one who does not wish to be happy; but those who desire this do not all advance along a single path.  A single … Continue reading

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The Remedy of Human Infirmity

“Although pleasurable in many ways, the pursuit of letters is especially fruitful because it excludes all annoyances stemming from differences of times and place, it draws friends into each other’s presence, and it abolishes the situation in which things worth … Continue reading

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John of Salisbury on the Liberal Arts

“While there are many sorts of arts, the first to proffer their services to the natural abilities of those who philosophize are the liberal arts.  All of the latter are included in the courses of the Trivium and Quadrivium.  The … Continue reading

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The Necessity of Historians

“Triumphal arches add to the glory of illustrious men only when the writing upon them informs in whose honor they have been reared, and why.  It is the inscription that tells the spectator that the triumphal arch is that of … Continue reading

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Eloquence and Wisdom

“It is a well known fact that ‘Eloquence without wisdom is futile.'(citing Cicero, Orator 4. 14) Whence it is clear that eloquence derives its efficacy from wisdom.  The utility of eloquence is, in fact, directly in proportion to the measure … Continue reading

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Grammar is our Mother

“Grammar is the cradle of all philosophy, and in a manner of speaking, the first nurse of the whole study of letters.  It takes all of us as tender babes, newly born from nature’s bosom.  It nurses us in our … Continue reading

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Memory and Reason

“Memory is, as it were, the mind’s treasure chest, a sure and reliable place of safe-deposit for perceptions.  Reason, on its part, is that power of the soul which examines and investigates things that make an impression on the senses or intellect.” … Continue reading

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The Soul of a word

“A word’s force consists in its meaning.  Without the latter it is empty, useless, and (so to speak) dead.  Just as the soul animates the body, so, in a way, meaning breathes life into a word. Those whose words lack … Continue reading

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Teachers and Students

“Though I have spoken in some detail of the duties of the teacher, I shall for the moment confine my advice to the learners to one solitary admonishment, that they should love their masters [teachers] not less than their studies, and … Continue reading

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