Cincinnatus and the EU: Continuing Relevance of the Classics

This week I was able to go into one of my freshman survey classes and triumphantly proclaim the continuing relevance of the Western cultural heritage to contemporary politics.

I showed them this article from the latest issue of the Economist which compares Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, to Cincinnatus, the Roman farmer who became dictator when Rome was threatened by enemies in the 5th century B.C. and then voluntarily laid down his power once the crisis had passed.

Knowledge of the classics gives us a common vocabulary with which to understand the issues that face us today. It’s not a popular message in the day of the “multiversity,” but we need the classics now more than ever.

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About Dr. J

I am Professor of Humanities at Faulkner University, where I chair the Department of Humanities and direct online M.A. and Ph.D. programs based on the Great Books of Western Civilization. I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy and a member of the faculty at Liberty Classroom.
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