428 – The Romance of Stoicism: The Meditative Journal of Marcus Aurelius

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Date: November 9 – December 14, 2022
Time: Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. ET
Instructor: Tracy Lee Simmons

Why are so many of us in the modern world so soft and sensitive to the touch? Why do so many young people require “safe spaces” where their feelings might be preserved from assaults of reality? Why has our culture lost its virility? Which character traits have we lost in recent times that allowed those who went before us to endure not only the grand inevitabilities like sickness and death with equanimity, but also to shoulder common burdens that accompany ordinary living and learning? Might Stoicism, one prevailing philosophical outlook of the classical world, point a way out of this dilemma and help to restore our dignity as human beings? These questions and many more we shall address as we read and discuss the informal journal entries of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the “Five Good Emperors” of ancient Rome from the 2nd century A.D.
Required text: The Emperor’s Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations by C. Scot Hicks and David V. Hicks. ISBN-13: 9780743233835.