Roots Of Knowledge Column I

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Instructed By Reason

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The glories of Classical Antiquity are showcased in this column, from the mathematician Thales of Miletus who charged men to “Know thyself,” to the orator Cicero addressing the Roman Senate, and to the Lighthouse of Alexandria lighting the way for ships approaching the Hellenistic city of learning. Although this was an age often defined by military conquest, the teacher’s pen could prove mightier than a soldier’s sword, as attested by the Roman poet Horace: Exegi monumentum aere perennius (I have made a monument more lasting than bronze).