Category Archives: history

Augustine on the Use of History

“Whatever the subject called history reveals about the sequence of past events is of the greatest assistance in interpreting the holy books, even if learnt outside the church as part of primary education.” Augustine of Hippo, On Christian Teaching II. XXVll., trans. … 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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Thomas Jefferson on History

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.  But as we have employed some of the best materials of the British constitution in the construction of our own government, a knowlege of British history becomes useful to the … Continue reading

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What did Thomas Jefferson Read on Government?  In 1807 President Thomas Jefferson responded to the questions of John Norvell Washington regarding the study of civil government and history.  The letter is dated June 14, 1807.  Jefferson answered plainly: “I think there does not exist a good … Continue reading

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History and the Orator

“He [the orator] should also be acquainted with the history of the events of past ages, particularly, of course, of our state, but also of imperial nations and famous kings….To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is … Continue reading

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A Good Prince Must know Geography & History

“Although the writers of antiquity divided the whole theory of state government into two sections, war and peace, the first and most objective is the instruction of the prince in the matter of ruling wisely during times of peace, in … Continue reading

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Luther on History as Example

“The renowned Roman Varro says that the very best way to teach is to add an example or illustration to the word, for they help one both to understand more clearly and to remember more easily.  Otherwise, if the discourse … Continue reading

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History and Education of a Prince

“It is not enough just to hand out precepts to restrain the prince from vices or to incite him to a better course—they must be impressed, crammed in, inculcated, and in one way and another be kept before him, now … Continue reading

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Philosophy, History and Eloquence

“For to the truly noble mind, and to those who are obligated to involve themselves in public affairs and human communities, knowledge of history and the study of moral philosophy are the more suitable subjects. The rest of the arts are called … Continue reading

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Bringing Back What Happened

“It is a noble exercise to recount accurately the deeds of princes.  To do so is to consider generously all that is subject to time, to celebrate the dead, to entertain the living, and to set out a past life … Continue reading

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