The Peloponnesian War, Stupidity, and Imperialism

[Part of an occasional series of free books based on previously published essays by yours truly. You can find all other free downloads here.]

The book you are about to read is concerned with one of the most fascinating episodes in the history of ancient Greece, featuring larger-than-life characters like Socrates, Pericles, Alcibiades, Brasidas, and, of course, Thucydides, who told the story for posterity. We have much to learn, even today, from a deep dive into the history of that war that forever reshaped the Mediterranean world and led to the destruction not just of Athens, but of the entire Hellas, paving the way for the conquest of Alexander the Great. As the title of this book anticipates, it is a story of imperialism and stupidity on both sides. But it’s also a very human story of bravery and resilience. (download E-pub here)

Stoicism, Epictetus Style

[Part of an occasional series of free books based on previously published essays by yours truly. You can find all other free downloads here.]

Epictetus was a first century slave, born in Hierapolis, modern day Pamukkale (Turkey). He eventually became one of the most successful teachers of the Roman Empire, as well as a Stoic philosopher we still read and learn from today, almost two millennia later. This is a collection of essays on various aspects of Epictetus’s philosophy that I think are both of general theoretical interest and have very practical implications. We’ll discuss how to be a Stoic, Epictetus-style; the famous “dichotomy of control,” which Epictetus labeled “the fundamental rule of life”; the three disciplines in which we need to train ourselves to become better human beings; the notion of “role ethics;” Epictetus’s conception of freedom; his attitude toward suicide; and his criticism of other schools, such as the Epicureans and the Academics. (download E-pub here)