When in Rome…Cheat on Your Wife

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Talk to My Dad About His Affair.” The New York Times Magazine,  13 Dec, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/magazine/can-i-talk-to-my-dad-about-his-affair.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

Dear Anthony Kwame Appiah,

What vapid advice. Do not encourage this young person to seek justice when the rest of the human world is unjust. Do not seek controversy. Settle! Settle for the truth and the comfort of adultery. In fact, this is what I would tell your anonymous submitter: While your concern for your parents is sweet, and the strain on your relationship with your father is troubling, there is truly nothing for you to worry about. Your parents will grow old and die, and someday so will you. Keep your mother’s word, keep the affair a secret, and live happily! There is no end to seeking the truth and ignorance is, in my experience, the most rewarding path. Your father was bound to cheat on your mother. What is the use of stability in marriage? What is the use of fidelity. Do not be faithful- explore the world for surely your husband will to. Humans were not created for monogamy- enjoy the world. Why even that bastar- I mean wizened ruler Julius Caesar kept five to six concubines at once. Life is full of the little pleasures we can salvage. Fidelity is for the weak minded, and monogamy is futile. Drink your fill, reap your bread, indulge in he circuses of life. After all, a sound body is a sound mind and no mind can be sad with the weight of an adulterating father upon it. In peacetime and in war, people ask for things that will do them damage. So ignore your human qualms and choose to remain a bystander instead! It’s what we all do. If you want my advice, you’ll let the gods themselves estimate what will suit us and benefit our circumstances: you see, the gods will bestow gifts that are the most appropriate rather than nice. They care more about people than people do themselves. While we are led by our blind emotional impulses and by empty desire to seek marriage and children from a wife, it is the gods who know who our boys will be and what kind of wife she’ll be.

very serious response from Yours Truly,

Panagiotis Savas.


Clas9, DearRomans, Juvenal, Marcus Aurelius,

How don’t you know? Bruh


I interviewed about eight people from different ethnicity and chose the most informed answers to include in this blog post, even though they aren’t well informed.

Noor Fawak, Libary Laguardia Room, Monday afternoon

This girl is a Muslim American woman of Syrian heritage but she was born here. When she was younger, she traveled back to Syria and attended school for four years. During that time, she discovered that Syria was being led by ignorant oppressors. She considered the hero to be the everyday people who wake in the morning and challenge the oppression. Syrians has been controlled by the Asahd family for a long time and finally people decided to speak up against this form of control. So the lesson she learns from this is never give up, pursue what you believe in. “Even though its not worth it because we’ve lost a lot of blood, we can’t stop now, we cant let it go to vain right now.”

Anastasiya Lyubimova, Library 2nd Floor, Monday afternoon

This girl is Slavic born in Russia. She reads books and watches documentaries about Russia on her free time. As to Russian leaders, she says they didn’t have any prominent rules or law givers. However, there was the sar regime family that was well respected by the people. Also, she respects Dostoevsky as a hero because he captures the Russians souls in his writing and suffering of the people. According to her, there were many stories of him being a great author, maybe the best of his time and he was non comparable. The stories that she hears of him inspires other people and allows them to understand the mentality of the Russians. She has learned that expressing yourself is a good way of living.

Samantha Blafford, Library 2nd Floor, Monday afternoon

This girl is third generation Italian-American. She learned little of Italian history in her language class. Although she doesn’t know anyone specific, she knows that people from the Renaissance, artists, and musicians basically shaped the culture that she has now. I was kind of disappointed with her answers because i expected someone from Italy to know their history and tell me about few common stories, but nope.


I expected a lot from the Italian girl because some of the great artists that we learned in Art1010 were Italian such as Michelangelo, Masaccio, Caravaggio and etc. Roman culture was reflected their arts. For example, change in culture meant change in style therefore, as culture advanced so did their statues, paintings, and architectures.

Roman empire made up parts of Europe such as Spain, France, and Italy. Roman was a place of power where their army conquered a lot of land and empires. To compare this to Russia, Russia was once known as the U.S.S.R. it had many countries as one. Now that each country has succeeded from the ‘union’ making up their own country, following their own rules, and have their own freedom, Russia is now a single country under the rule of one president, Putin. Romans were similarly ruled by one man, the King. Every leader of a country has their duty and they are pressured to accomplish it. For example, in the reading it says “But Aeneas, duty-bound, his mind restless with worries all that night, reached a firm resolve as the fresh day broke.” This even Syrian people as they’re to fight for their freedom, they have to if they want to live freely. They wake up everyday not knowing what might happen that day, in constant fear.

-Amir, Team Juno



Fairy Slipper

“Beware the Frozen Ides of March. Beware

the self-betrayal of a little knowledge poorly

applied. Next time he rolls towards you in the hour

before dawn, you will say yes no matter what

he has or hasn’t done. You will listen to gesture,

not word…”

Context of the quote

The quote appears in a poem entitled “Fairy Slipper”. Similar to it’s use in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar (and other such works) it cautions the audience against a downfall. Rather than referring to a physical downfall- in Caesar’s case, his assassination- it refers to a betrayal of the heart.

Why does the author use this reference? What does she expect the reader to know about the phrase? Is it portrayed as good or bad?

The author refers to “the Ides of March” in narrative about heartache and self-fulfilling habits. She warns us to beware a certain prophesied coming. “Beware the Ides of March”, as used in this poem, can be translated to “beware the man who comes”. In using the phrase the author expects us to understand that Ides of March refers to the date on which Caesar is stabbed. The author interprets the phrase as a bad thing- beware heartache, beware the man you will ultimately let back in.

Quote from Cassius Dio and justification

“And when the right moment came, one of them approached him, as if to express his thanks for some favour or other, and pulled his toga from his shoulder, thus giving the signal that had been agreed upon by the conspirators. Thereupon they attacked him from many sides at once and wounded him to death, so that by reason of their numbers Caesar was unable to say or do anything, but veiling his face, was slain  with many wounds”

This account justifies the “Fairy Slipper” author’s interpretation of the Ides of March. The Ides of March refer to the date of Caesar’s assassination, which is portrayed as brutal and treacherous. This also seems to be the context in which “Ides of March” is used in “The Fairy Slipper”.


Goodman, Henrietta. Hungry Moon. University Press of Colorado, 2013.

Gracci demogauges Russia

The return I chose for my search “Gracci demagogues Russia” was an academic book called Contemporary Populism: A Controversial Concept and its Diverse Forms

The intended audience of this text is most likely scholars studying populism as a phenomenon. It lends theoretical and empirical perspective and serves as a good reference for scholars in this field.


There is little connection between this book and the search term.

“From the Gracci brothers in Ancient Rome to the Peruvian Raul Victor Raya de la Torre during the inter-war period, populists can be regarded as tribunes who held the power (sometimes considered to be magical) of catalyzing the will and actions of the masses through words.”

“This boils down to promoting the pleasureable at the expense of the good or, in other words, to promising monetary wealth and comfort to the detriment of good, which amounts to an elevation of the being in time. Demoguages evince this facile complacent behaviour or indulge in the spontaneous expression of desire.”

Gherghina, Sergiu, et al. Contemporary Populism: A Controversial Concept and its Diverse Forms. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

Empire Without End?

c4wJ0mFThe clear purpose of this article is to serve the audience whose intentions are to enrich their knowledge on Empires in World History. The article portrays an ironic ambition, hence the title, to prove the rule of empires– they always fall in the end. Though the author, Charles S. Maier, doesn’t draw a direct connection between Polybius and Thomas Jefferson, she shows the similarity in their political outlooks. For instance, Polybius is referred to as the Greek living in Rome who made himself to be a preeminent political interpreter. Comparably, Thomas Jefferson envisioned an empire of liberty securing the Mississippi and Missouri regions. The idea of imperial power facing a short-life can also be joined by the quote in the reading, “That all existing things are subject to decay and change is a truth that scarcely needs proof; for the course of nature is sufficient to force this conviction on us.” Maier supports the belief of ‘all existing things are subject to decay’ by following empires chronologically from their rise to their fall. The most familiar empires to us would be the Aztecs, Incans, and the Mayans, which at the time were considered powerful empires amongst the western hemisphere. Yet again, another imperial powers facing their expected outcome.

Maier, Charles S. “Empire without End.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 89, no. 4, 2010, pp. 153-159, Social Science Premium Collection, https://login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/docview/577070717?accountid=7286.

-Amir, Team Juno.

Everyone ‘Knows’?

Marshall, coworker, 45, and Atlas Steakhouse (BEST IN BROOKLYN, COME VISIT)

Do you know who the Alexander the Great was? Alexander the Great I believe was a Greek leader… I don’t know exactly what period of time he was from maybe like 1100-1200, don’t know if I’m right about that but I think he was a Greek leader.

What do you know about him? I don’t know that much about him as you can tell because I’m not really sure about my dates but I know he was like a crusader … he was somebody that made a difference in his time period. I know he is a leader of some substantial … I know he has definitely made his mark on the world at some point, but I believe he was a Greek leader, I want to say from like between 1000-1200… I think – I could be wrong – I’m probably totally wrong.

Where did you learn about him? It’s more through hearing other people talking about him … I don’t think I was ever given lesson on him.

Julia, a friend, 18, Caesars Bay parking lot

Do you know who the Alexander the Great was? Uhm I know who … I have a general idea of who he is.

What do you know about him? I know that he was … uhm … a king? Maybe in Greece, he conquered Persia…Egypt, and Mesopotamia which is why he was so great, he is referred to Alexander the Great for a reason – he was able to conquer a lot of land.

Where did you learn about him? I learned about him in AP World History.

Nadeen, a friend, 18, Rocca Café

Do you know who the Alexander the Great was? Yes I do know of him …a bit

What do you know about him? I know that he is an ancient Greek King

Where did you learn about him? I learned about him in 7th grade

All of the answers that I received are fairly similar; they all mention Alexander The Great being a conqueror. Although some information that Mr. Marshall provided me with was incorrect, such as the dates, he does have a general idea of Alexander and his legacy as a leader. However, he is absolutely correct on Alexander The Great leaving a mark in the world, even after his death. Alexander introduced the Persian idea of Absolute Monarchy to the Greco-Roman world and also influenced culture and language. To solidify his mark on the world, he built number of cities named “Alexandria”. One specifically instructed by the Gods, that the city was only for Alexander where other Kings would gift and admire him as the one who has become a god. “Not one of the Greek kings has entered Egypt except Alexander; and he did this not for making war but in order to ask an oracle of the gods as to where he should build a city to immortalize his name.” [144].

Julia and Nadeen had a clear understanding of Alexander The Great, a king and a god. In the reading Sarapis says, “and when you die, you shall be revered as having become a god” [93] clarifying his god-like status amongst the people. We can also assume his relationship with the gods when he is given birth by Olympias. For example, “And when the boy fell to earth, there was an earthquake and thundering; and frequent lightning flashes appeared on the earth, while nearly the whole world trembled.” [27]. King Philip refers to him “seed from the gods” and takes on the responsibility to being the father of Alexander.

-Amirjon, Team Juno

Alexander the Not So Great

alexander-the-great1xI interviewed my sister, friend, and father for this assignment. My sister Frankie, aged nineteen, was interviewed in my home. In response to my inquiries she claimed that she did know who Alexander the Great was and had learned about him in her ninth grade history class but had no opinions of him. My friend Tatyana, aged eighteen, was interviewed at Barnard College. She too claimed that she knew of Alexander the Great, and like Frankie felt that he was “very accomplished and impressive but too far removed from contemporary history” for her to reserve any legitimate opinions on him. My father, aged 54, also knew of Alexander the Great, having learned about him through literature he had read in his youth. He too had no strong opinions on the emperor.

The answers I received through my interview process were all strikingly similar: my interviewees knew of Alexander the Great but little about him. Why is this? Most likely because contemporary history does a poor job of attributing Alexander’s feats to the lasting impacts we see today on Western culture. Namely among these are his military conquests and prowess, spread of Christianity, establishment of cities, and pioneering of the modern day coin. While his accomplishments are great and many, the most profound appear to be his military prowess and facilitation of Christianity through the West. These, above all else, have had the most profound impact and have irrevocably shaped Western civilization and culture. The fact that my interviewees knew so little about him took me by surprise and seemed disconnected from his significance as it was stressed during lecture. Evidently, history curricula must seriously consider Alexander the Great’s inclusion; his conquests and accomplishments have shaped much of history as we understand it today. One fact provided from my interviewee Tatyana, however, was undeniable: he was extremely accomplished, so much so that he was regarded as a god in literature. This is apparent in Theocritius, Idyllis 15 and 17 in which Alexander sits beside Ptolemy, “destroyer of the Persians, a god, wearing his colorful diadem.” Alexander is notably accomplished in his military conquests, something that can be noted even by someone (Tatyana) who carries no decisive opinion of him. Notice here he is also referred to as “destroyer of the Persians”, a reference to his military feats. He sits beside Ptolemy, son of Zeus, believed to be directly descended from the thunder god himself.

Ideal Is Not Real

What do you value the most in life? Some say money, family, love, luck, but students from Al Noor school may want something different, perhaps idealistic. Susan Sachs, author of The 2 Worlds of Muslim American Teenagers, states, “Their ideal society would follow Islamic law and make no separation between religion and state.” In other words, the ideal life the author is portraying has no boundary between religion law and state law. Contemporary society is so diverse that incorporating religion into our law would be spurious because the United States is a melting pot of different people with different traditions. The society where racism is still a big factor is no help to keep peace with other regions of the world. I have similar views and experiences as these students where they confronted racism through out their days. Being a Muslim teenager in the United States is pretty easy, only if you accept the fact that people will ALWAYS have something negative to say against the religion you follow.

Based on the reading, I can conclude that Plato would not tolerate such hate living inside our communities. The hate that lives upon the people are created by the people themselves, the racism we face today is enforced by the people and nobody else. For example, “So, since gods are good, they are not—as the masses claim—the cause of everything. Instead, they are a cause of only a few things that hap- pen to human beings, while of most they are not the cause. For good things are fewer than bad ones in our lives. Of the good things, they alone are the cause, but we must find some other cause for the bad ones, not the gods.” In other words, humanity is the cause of such dark emotions not the gods; separation of people based on their culture and tradition is just an effect of these long-lasting negative emotions. I don’t think that all persons consist of these negative emotions, but majority of the society fear Islamic communities. Pointing fingers at the Islamic nations for every catastrophic events the United States faced cannot help ease the ongoing conflict with the society—government and Muslims.

Sachs, Susan. “The 2 Worlds of Muslim American Teenagers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Oct. 2001

-Amirjon, Team Juno


Blunt Coworkers and Unjust Solitude: Barbaric?

In the article, “Dalio Book Lays Bare Bridgewater Culture”, the word ‘barbarian’ is used in a context that describes the methods of a controversial CEO. In this article, Book has a set of principles that seemingly justifies rude behavior between his employees. He gave them a platform to freely express whatever opinions they have about each other without sugarcoating in order to promote growth within his company. Any employee reading the article would be shaken to know that he even published a book to encourage other heads of companies to adhere to his outlandish ideals. Harsh criticism makes for an uncomfortable atmosphere that would stifle even the most opinionated of employees if they knew all their coworkers would bully them after. His principles are counterproductive if everyone is too scared themselves and the ones that remain in his company knowing he runs it like this are most likely similar in character, which makes for a lack of diverse thinking. The article states, “Mr. Dalio’s critics — and there are many — say his principles offer permission to be verbally barbaric,” which emphasises how extreme his techniques are by calling them barbaric.

The article, “Evolving Attitude on Solitary for Juveniles” explains the effect solitary confinement has on young prisoners. The prison system strips these kids, some of which are even in there unjustly, of their humanity by locking them up in lone cells without contact for as long as they deem fit. The confinement is usually counterproductive being that it messes with their mind and drives them slowly insane, resulting in an increase of the behavior that put them in there. “The barbaric conditions of solitary may cause or worsen depression, paranoia and outbursts of anger that often result in even more time in isolation.” There had been actions put forth to remove this cruel form of punishment.

These situations uses barbarian in ways different to both each other and the ancient uses of it we all discussed in class, showing how in different contexts the definition changes. In the first article it uses it an exaggeration while the second article uses it to describe the despicable treatment of young prisoners. Herodotus once said “force has no place where there is need of skill” and this applies to both unique situations because their wouldn’t be the barbaric acts if they skillfully handled their issues.




By: Samentha

Barbarism Today

According to our everyday life, we can conclude that living in the United States is relatively safe and peaceful. I always questioned and still do, why educate students on ancient history and conflicts encountered throughout that era? I believe it is of our best interest to educate the students with the battles we are fighting in the current world, internally and externally.

In article one, we are given an insight on being a sex slave victim of ISIS. ISIS, a violent militant group conquering chunks of Iraq and Syria terrorizing civilians, has been a major issue in our society for years! Farida Khalaf, only 19, has fallen into the hands of Islamic Terrorists when her village, Kocho was taken over. Separated from her family and a long way from home, she is now on her own. ISIS uses the women they capture as sex slaves or even trade, but the men are usually shot and killed. The writer of the article refers to this trade as the “barbaric trade,” to grab the attention of readers to such outrageous and sickening topic. As she shares her experience being imprisoned, I realized that this is a cry for help, for the slave trade that many people still do not acknowledge. In Herodotus, Cyrus has second thoughts of killing Croesus, until a divine warning stretched into his mind from the lips of Solon, “No one while he lives is happy.” It similarly relates to the victims of ISIS or soon to be victims because they won’t find peace or happiness until a community as strong as ours does something to prevent it.

“In a radio interview with LBC, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, called the attacks barbaric,” referring to the acid attack. According to article two, these attacks have caused severe damages to the victims; in fact, it is an ongoing issue in the city of London. There were many incidents, particularly, the two Muslim women in London that were badly burnt by a white man who attacked them with acid, splashing it on their faces. This specific attack interests me to a certain extent. I believe this attack was hate-motivated. With all the terrorism taking place in our world today, especially when Muslims are to blame, it points at the xenophobia that is still alive in many people.


(1) “My Hell as an ISIS Sex Slave Iraq Girl Relives Evils of Fiends’ Barbaric Trade.” New York Post , 17 July 2017.

(2) Rod Nordland. “Men on Scooter in London Throw Acid in the Faces of 5 People .” The New York Times , 15 July 2017.

-Amirjon, Team Juno

Blinded: figuratively and literally

In this specific scene from Spider-Man 2, it’s clear that Harry Osborn, the son of Norman Osborn, has an unhealthy relationship with Spider-man, soon to be revealed as Harry’s best friend, Peter. Harry, unable to understand the truth, is strongly convinced that Spider-man murdered his father. Although Norman Osborn was portrayed as a gifted, inspirational, and successful man to society, in secrecy he was the city’s villain–the Green Goblin trying to destroy Spider-man. In trying to do so, the Green Goblin’s advanced technological glider mistakenly kills himself. No other to blame but the city’s hero, Harry begins to grow hatred strong enough to blind his judgments. Unaware of his surroundings, Harry willingly makes a deal with the city’s new villain, tritium for Spider-man’s capture.

Similar turn of events arise in Oedipus the King, where the country’s savior, Oedipus, becomes a slave to his emotions eventually leading him to his downfall–the loss of his family, sovereignty, and eyesight. As the play progresses, we can picture the city of Thebes being darkened by sickness. The only way to free the people of such ill is to banish or expiate the murderer of King Laius. Oedipus, desperate for answers, interrogates Teiresias to find himself a victim of accusations. Teiresias states, “I say with those you love best you live in foulest shame unconsciously and do not see where you are in calamity”(422-424). His argument with Teiresias ignited spite and fury resulting in Oedipus’s constant blame on Creon and Teiresias; simultaneously, his actions portray the dangers of too much passion. For example, instead of analyzing his position very carefully, Oedipus –figuratively blind– ignored the truth and ultimately became a catalyst to his demise.

This perfectly reflects North Korea’s perpetual hatred of the United States. During the Korean War, North Korea suffered twice as much compared to South Korea because of constant attacks enforced by U.S. troops. Since then, our interference sparked North Korean propaganda against the United States. Propaganda eventually progressed into threats of nuclear attacks that still persist today. These set of emotions enforced by the North Koreans endanger millions of lives, including their own. Blinded by aversion, led by ignorant leaders, and brainwashed by demagogues, North Koreans have looked away from the truth to whatever fits their agenda.

  • Amirjon, Team Juno


Break Ups: Transcending Time and Universes

Steven Universe takes place on a Earth that allows for different kinds of relationships to be explored without emphasis on the fact that in our reality it may be strange. While full of many queer characters, this scene tackles the usual awkward break up in the simplest way ever, taking away from the fact that these two characters are male and dives deeper into the feelings that they share and the love that was between them. Obviously hidden underneath the guise as just an act, the characters are heavily implied to have once shared a romantic relationship. The “ambiguity” of their relationship only highlights this universal experience- no matter what century we’re in or who we’re into, there will always be exes. Relationships that just can’t work out no matter how much you’d like it to might as well be the circle of life. It may not be the biggest issue in the world we live in, but effect all of us at some point or another unless we’re the few lucky ones.

This scene is comparable to the feelings Medea held for her husband Jason. In essence, he had stepped out of a relationship that was no longer working and she held on to the feelings of heartbreak. While he was over the relationship, he displayed a respect for her as a former lover and as the mother of his children. Their complex situation wasn’t working for her and she sought the cruelest form of revenge to amend her broken heart. While we won’t murder our own children (hopefully not) in the name of lost love, there are many feelings attached to former relationships and both forms of media explore the aftermath of it.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Free will, prophecies, and fate- themes that seem to transcend time and weave themselves into our stories and literature, begging the questions of whether they truly exist and where they come from. Shakespeare’s Macbeth explores the three in a tale of trying to “play God” to one’s fate and, in doing so, meeting it tragically. In the play our protagonist Macbeth encounters three witches (shown above) who prophesy that he will one day claim the throne. Intrigued by this prospect, Macbeth informs his wife who then manipulates him into murdering the current king, Duncan, and framing another. Although Macbeth’s ploy is successful, Macbeth and his wife grow mad with guilt- the former slew in battle and the latter driven to suicide.

We see a similar turn of events in Oedipus. Born to Jocasta and Laius, the infant Oedipus is prophesied to one day murder his father and wed his mother. In an attempt to avoid this fate, the king and queen exile Oedipus and sentence him to death. Through what can only be fate (wink wink) Oedipus avoids this untimely death and grows up far from his home and parents. Once a man, he travels far and away to Thebes- unaware that this is his home- accidentally slaying Laius and later marrying Jocasta- unaware that these are his parents. Upon realizing his sins Oedipus gouges out his eyes, physically and metaphorically blinding himself. Where Macbeth tries to achieve his fate, Oedipus runs from it. Still the fate of both men is met- each shrouded by carnage and tragedy.

The scene I have chosen from Macbeth addresses the contemporary yet not-so-contemporary issue of free will. In the scene Macbeth is, literally, approached by his fate: the three witches (to which we can draw the parallel of The Fates who appear as three witches in Greek lore). The witches then tell him his fate of kingship, raising multiple questions: Was this always his fate, or has the act of them telling him this prophecy created this fate for him? Had he not been told this would he become king? Would he be murdered for his treachery? Would Lady Macbeth kill herself? Similarly, in Oedipus we can ask ourselves whether any of the events would transpire had the prophecy been withheld from Jocasta and Laius. Does the act of telling the prophecy set it into motion? Or has it always been in motion, with the act of telling simply a means of propelling it? Can we escape from our fate once we have become aware of it? Or will we always find our way back to it as we run away? These questions are simultaneously ancient and contemporary; we have been pondering these truths since civilization began and continue to do so today. We have sought answers through religion, philosophy, and literature. The question of free will versus fate is one that is explored both in Oedipus and Macbeth. It is one that continues to plague us today as we must each ask ourselves whether we are the commanders of our own minds or if there is another- a greater, incomprehensible thing which permeates us completely and decides the past, present, and future. These are questions to which we have infinite answers and no answers, and questions we must continue to explore through Shakespeare, through Sophocles and through those few and far between.

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #Sophocles #Oedipus #TeamJuno, SophieShnaidman #Macbeth