Friday, January 24, 2014

#7QT: Greek Week- Homer, Plato and The Didache

Head on over to Conversion Diary to see what Jennifer Fulwiler is taking on today.


I think if I could be a student forever and learn new things and get to talk to people who know way more than I do for the rest of my life, I would be a happy camper.

I think that's one reason that I love being a Catholic. There's always another layer to explore.

There is so much to know!

2. Homer

We're reading The Odyssey in Epic Poetry. And I had forgotten what a good story it is. You know sometimes, studying something closely takes the fun out of a story. But this is my second brush with Odysseus in my college career. I read a translation two years ago that clanked along like the ghost of Jacob Marley.

This one, however, (Penguin Classics, Fagles translation, Kindle Edition) is really nice.
It reads smoothly and well. Its true to the sense of the entertainment value of the story. I like it.

3. Plato

In Philosophy we're reading Plato's Republic. I have never read Plato before. And, with my newly acquired joy over finding "the story", I'm kind of enjoying Republic on a couple of levels.

1) For the brain exercise. My brain aches when I leave class. I think this is a good thing.
2) for the entertainment value of hearing a good tale, told well.

4. Justice

I have been wrestling with the word "justice" all year. It's kind of "the word of the year" at the University. The question they are asking is:

"Justice: How then shall we live?" 

(cue eye roll from me) I'll tell you: I grew up Catholic through the 1980's and the word "justice" has always left a sour taste in my mouth. I think in many cases it was misappropriated to defend things that are not just. But this week, I think I may I discovered why it bugs me so much: no one has ever defined it for me.

And more to the point, I've never defined it for myself.

That's the challenge of Republic. Socrates is tasked with defining Justice and then defending Justice over Injustice. Interesting reading ensues.

5. Jesus

Plato's description of the perfectly just man sounds a whole lot like Jesus in His Passion:
"Though he does no injustice, he must have the greatest reputation for it, so that his justice may be tested full-strength and not diluted by wrong-doing and what comes from it. Let him stay like that unchanged until he dies—just, but all his life believed to be unjust."
6. The Didache

The Didache is commonly considered to be some of the earliest writings on the Christian life and the Church. Believed to have been written sometime following the fall of Jerusalem and the mid -2nd century, it covers the basics of how to live a Christan life and the formula for administration of The Sacrament of Baptism and the Liturgy of the Eucharist - as well as an exhortation to confess your sins before receiving Communion. In addition there information about appointing Bishops and Deacons and evidence of Apostolic Succession.

It's straightforward, easy to find on the web and worth the time to read it.

We covered this on the day of The March for Life. The Professor got to the first spot where the Didache specifically prohibits abortion and infanticide and says:
"So, particularly on this day, when we commemorate so many deaths to abortion, for people who say, that Church made that up later: that's hogwash. Here it is: sometime between 70-150 A.D.".

Rock. On.

7. Back to that learning curve thing...

I've been doing a series on the science of music over at my other blog and I am really fascinated by some of the studies I've been reading. I have to be careful, though. I don't want to turn an art into a science with quantifiable benchmarks that determine its worth or efficacy.

While knowing some of the science behind why things behave the way they do is pretty cool, some things can't be (and shouldn't) be reduced to a formula.

And, as it is currently 0 Degrees outside at the moment
Even though I really love being a student, 
I'm currently wishing that they'd call off school this morning. 


  1. I've also been re-acquainted with Homer. There was a big sale at the bookstore so I bought a child's illustrated version of The Odyssey (illus by Neil Packer) -- WONDERFUL story!

  2. I think I've seen that version. I should see if I can find a copy for my grandson. Not that he'd appreciate it now, but later on...