Victor Davis Hanson’s blog

A friend tipped me off to the blog of Mr Victor Davis Hanson. I am grateful and eager to pass on this excellent recommendation to anyone with an interest in the classics, foreign affiars, and military history.

Quoting from Victor Hanson’s bio, he is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor emeritus at California University, Fresno, a columnist for Tribune Media Services, and teaches military history and classics at Hillside College.

Hanson is a breath of fresh air from the staleness indicative of all that I personally find unpalatable with leftist ideology and propaganda. His observations on the upcoming U.S. elections are full of (clearly non-common) common sense.

Also, for readers in Europe, Euromania? Some Thoughts from Ground Zero should be an eye-opener to everything that’s wrong with Euro-anti-Americanism.

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Ancient Greek Astronomical Dial Keeping Track of the Olympics

An interesting article in the Scientific American on an astronomical device, known as the Antikythera mechanism, complete with graphics and a slideshow, throws light into how the ancients used instruments to predict eclipses and keep track of recurrent (sports) events.

Lessons Learned from Thucydides

 

I keep coming across a lot of classical references recently with relation to the domain of politics, grand strategy and strategic thinking in general.

Here is a most engaging chapter

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from a book Theory of War and Strategy, published by the U.S. Army War College. The author, R. Craig Nation, has served as Professor of Strategy and Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies with the Department of National Security and Strategy, U.S. Army War College, since 1996.

In his analysis of the relevance of Thucydides‘ History of the Peloponnesian War to contemporary strategic thinking and planning, he identifies several aspects anyone involved in strategy development, whether military or civilian, would greatly benfit from reading. The gist of the argument is that while Thucydides’ work may not be of much use on the tactical/operational level since the tools and methods of waging wars have changed considerably, nevertheless, on a strategic level all has remained more or less static.

Further, he examines a topic not often covered when talking about Thucydides, namely the cultural dimension of war. While much of the History deals with detailed descriptions of major fleet actions, pitched battles, sieges, unconventional operations, plague, revolution, atrocity, massacre, and political confrontations, a sizable portion of the work is dedicated to examining the causes and nature of the Peloponnesean War and war in general, including the cultural opposition between Sparta – an agrarian oligarchy and Athens – a culturally innovative democracy.

Here is a (more) modern translation (1881) of Thucydides’ work by Benjamin Jowett and the very first English translation (1628) by the British philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

Read here the full publication Theory of War and Strategy. It is open source, non-subscription based publication of the Strategic Studies Institute, which produces excellent analytical work on various security topics.