Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Purpose of this blog

Welcome to Trojan Walls, a blog focusing on the ancient Mediterranean world. My names is Alex Leites, and I am an undergraduate studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in my junior year. I am 20 years old and majoring in history, economics and the classics. Why have I created this blog?

Since I was in elementary school, I have been fascinated by ancient civilizations. I remember my favorite childhood computer game - which I would play for hours and hours - was Sid Meier's Civilization II. As I grew older, my interests wandered elsewhere until my senior year in high school, when a philosophy teacher introduced me to Homer and Plato. As I entered university, I had discovered a set of questions which I could tirelessly ponder with joy. Naturally, these questions were about antiquity:
  • How did the ancient mind think? The ancient Greeks believed that in the harmonies of music one can discern a microcosm of the laws of the universe! What a fascinating idea and yet how foreign to our ears.
  • Who were the Hebrews? Who were the Greeks? Who were the Romans? Who were the Christians?
  • What should moderns recover that the ancients once knew and practiced? I have an inclination that despite his technology and material comforts, modern man has lost the vision of beauty, justice and design that sustained the ancient soul.
These are some questions that I often think about. Hopefully, with the help of this blog and the people that contribute to its discussions, I will attain some insight into those inquiries. Postings to this blog will be sparse, since I have neither time nor prowess for quick thinking. Also, I must mention that I am quite an amateur scholar. If one were to draw an allegory that compared scholarly knowledge of the ancient world to the colossal collection in the Library of Alexandria, I would know about as much as survived the great fire. I always hope to learn more.

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