October 26, 2005

Books! 10-30-5

      I'm about a quarter of the way through Augustine's City of God.  It hearken's back to Plato's works about the utopia society, and also several of the Roman writers' works on society and government.  It deals with many societal issues and is actually very relevant to many of the questions that people have been asking down through the ages.  He hits on such interesting topics as what might be termed Christian Hedonism, and Predestination.
     Thirty Eight volumes of the Church Fathers recently appeared on my doorstep.  I got them on sale, and it was a good sale!  Now I'm going to have to rearrange my bookshelves to fit them all.
     I've also recently acquired The Book of Coffee, by Francesco Illy and Riccardo Illy.  These coffee pioneers have created such a great book for understanding coffee, that this is definately a must read for caffeiniacs.  There is another super technical book by the Illys, which I'll probably end up getting eventually.

"For under torture no one lost Christ by confessing him, no one presserved his gold except by denying it." 19
"Now purity is a virtue of the mind.  It has courage as its companion and courage decides to endure evil rather than consent to evil.  A man of purity and high principle has not the power to decide what happens to his body, but only what he will mentally accept of repudiate." 27
"The story is that when he [Theombrotus] read Plato's book which discusses the immortality of the soul, he hurled himself from a wall and so passed from this life to a life which he believed to be better  There was no kind of misfortune, no accusation, true or false, which led him to do away with himself under an intolerable load.  It was only greatness of spirit which prompted him to seek death and to 'break the pleasant bonds of life.'  But Plato himself, who he was reading, is witness that this showed greatness rather than goodness.  Plato would have been first and foremost to take this action, and would have recommended it to others, had not the same intelligence which gave him his vision of the soul's immoratlity enabled him to decided that this step was not to be taken - was indeed, to be forbidden." 33
"Where were they, when another dangerous plague broke out, started it was believed by Roman matrons, of whom an incredibly large number were revealed to be in a moral condition more dangerous than any plague." 113
For it was a witty rejoinder which was given by a captured pirate to Alexander the Great.  The king asked the fellow, 'What is your idea of infesting the sea?'  And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, 'The same as yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I'm called a pirate: because you have a mighty navy, you're called an emperor.'"  139

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