January 24th, 2004

Good publicity

Predictably, the press attention brought on many helpful responses: new volunteers, book donors, and plain positive feedback. It also got Alex Ansky to kindly mention the project in his radio program in Galey-Tzahal this morning (has anyone heard it? I'm curious to know what was said.), thereby generating even more publicity for the project. I'm very pleased.

Time is a problem, as ever.
  • Current Music
    Wagner -- Die Walküre -- Act II

Are the classics relevant today?

Reading Aristotle's Athenian Constitution (Athenaiwn politeia), I am struck by this passage:
Pericles was also the first to institute pay for service in the law-courts, as a bid for popular favour to counterbalance the wealth of Cimon. The latter, having private possessions on a regal scale, not only performed the regular public services magnificently, but also maintained a large number of his fellow-demesmen. Any member of the deme of Laciadae could go every day to Cimon's house and there receive a reasonable provision; while his estate was guarded by no fences, so that any one who liked might help himself to the fruit from it. Pericles' private property was quite unequal to this magnificence and accordingly he took the advice of Damonides [...] which was that, as he was beaten in the matter of private possessions, he should make gifts to the people from their own property; and accordingly he instituted pay for the members of the juries.
--The Athenian Constitution, ch. 27, tr. by Sir F. G. Kenyon
Does this have any relevance today? Is it at all like what certain elected officials do today? Surely not.
  • Current Music
    Wagner -- Die Walküre Act III

Eighteen

What is the reason for eighteen being a meaningful age in social contexts in many human cultures, from Classical Greece to many modern states? Why eighteen?
  • Current Music
    Handel -- The Messiah [Ton Koopman]