Preface: years and years ago, my first foray into ‘ancient history newsletters’ was a thing called The Ancient World on Television (AWOTV). It was very popular, but unfortunately over time, the stations which purported to be presenting ‘history’ documentaries (e.g. the History Channel) became more interested in ‘reality’ shows and it became increasingly frustrating trying to find material. Over the past while I’ve been toying with the idea of sort of resurrecting the AWOTV, but this time focusing on things like podcasts (note the list of podcasts on the title bar above this) and a variety of things from Youtube (documentaries, lectures, etc.). The initial idea — I’ll see how long this works — is to present links to podcasts which were updated that week (if possible), some ‘blasts from the past’ which might be of interest, and some video content. It’s not meant to be exhaustive, but should give you enough material to occupy your downtime as needed. Ideally this will be posted on a weekly basis (probably on Sundays). So without further ado, my initial foray into this project:
I think the gossip press gets all excited when one of their regular targets surprises them by quoting some famous dead white male. In this case, It’s Kourtney Kardashian commenting on Scott Disick’s recent hospitalization. Contact music was there and, inter alia we read:
[…] Although there have been reports that his relationship with 35-year-old Kardashian may be going through a rocky patch recently, Kardashian is apparently supporting her partner through his difficult time. It may not have been a coincidence that Kardashian posted a picture on Instagram, with a quotation from Socrates about change, on the same day the news of Disick’s hospitalisation broke. The quotation reads: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Right now I know there are thousands of Classicists in the wild saying to themselves, “That doesn’t sound like Socrates.” They’re right, of course, and even better, this is one of the quotes which one of our favourite blogs — Quote Investigator — dealt with ages ago in another context. Here’s the relevant chunk (again, inter alia):
[…]In 1980 the first edition of “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by the world-class gymnast Dan Millman was released. The book was a fictionalized memoir that explored the physical and mental challenges Millman faced in his early life and the spiritual growth he experienced. The main catalyst of his spiritual journey was an attendant at an all-night gas station who became his mentor in 1966. Millman gave this enlightened counselor the nickname “Socrates”, and the quotation above was spoken by the modern fictionalized character and not the ancient Socrates.
Read the Contact Music piece to find out who these ‘celebrities’ are, but more importantly, read the Quote Investigator item (which cites other uses of the quotation), because this will probably be important to know for the next fifteen minutes or so.