Workshop: Meet the Author: Christopher Brooke’s Philosophic Pride

On Friday and Saturday, 30 November and 1 December 2012, the Philosophy Department of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) will host a workshop entitled “Meet the Author: Christopher Brooke’s Philosophic Pride“.

This interdisciplinary workshop is of interest for philosophers and historians working on the 17th and 18th centuries. It is coorganised by the Universities of Berne (Department of General and Historical Educational Science), Lausanne (Department of Philosophy), and Fribourg (Department of Philosophy).

The workshop centers on themes from Christopher Brooke’s Philosophic Pride: Stoicism and Political Thought from Lipsius to Rousseau (Princeton 2012), with quite some interest in Rousseau.

Organising Committee:
lic.-phil. Lukas Boser (Berne),
Dr. Christian Maurer (Fribourg),
Prof. Dr. Fritz Osterwalder (Berne),
Prof. Dr. Simone Zurbuchen (Lausanne).

The workshop language is English. Participation is free, but please register by 23 November.

For registration, further information and a detailed program please contact the coordinator in Fribourg: christian.maurer(at)unifr.ch; or visit the conference website.

Noel Malcolm on “Philosophic Pride”

From this week’s TLS:

It is one of the many strengths of Christopher Brooke’s fascinating new study, Philosophic Pride, that he is aware of the multifarious nature of his subject; he knows that he is dealing with a fluid cluster of ideas and themes, not as a unitary philosophical movement. Not that he has set out, in any case, to write a history of (Neo-)Stoicism; his task is both narrower and harder than that. The subject of this book is the relationship between Stoicism and early modern political thought; since there was scarcely such a thing as a worked-out body of Stoic political theory (unless we count Seneca’s fanciful portrayal of the monarchical ruler – Nero, of all people – extending the empire of reason), this means that an already elusive subject is considered here from a variety of oblique angles…

It’s a long review, too, filling all of p. 5.

TCB: Lit Crit

Some of you will have seen this before–it appeared on Facebook a while ago–but I think it deserves a second outing: this is–I am afraid to say–Ptolemy’s reaction to my book, Philosophic Pride.

It’s been charitably suggested that he isn’t so much yawning as roaring his approval, but when the photo was taken the only vocalisation that Ptolemy could really produce was a still-surprisingly-kittenish “mew!” (though he now has a noise which I first thought meant, “I am dissatisfied”, but I now realise means, quite specifically, “I am disappointed in you”).

Philosophic Pride

One of the things I’ve been finishing off this Summer is the book project that’s been kicking around for far too long, Philosophic Pride: Stoicism and the Politics of Self-Love from Lipsius to Rousseau.

And for entertainment and instruction, here’s a slightly-squished Wordle of the full manuscript, so you can see what it’s about. (Click on it for the full-sized, less-squished version.) I like Wordles.

Pancake Day May Have Been British Values Day, But This Coming Tuesday Is Republic Day!

This just in. No idea who or what is behind it. Sounds fun, though.

Reminder: Republic Day – 17 March 2009

On 17 March 1649, Parliament voted to abolish the office of king, and England became a republic until 1660. We will be marking the 360th anniversary of that historic occasion, and reaffirming the current relevance of the issues raised then – the monarchy and House of Lords, democratic rights and civil liberties – with a rally in Oxford town centre.

Professor David Norbrook to speak

We are delighted to confirm that amongst the speakers will be Professor David Norbrook, Merton Professor of Renaissance English literature at Oxford University, and author of such works as Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance and Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627-1660.

Also speaking will be city councillors John Tanner (Labour) and David Williams (Green Party), as well as Bill MacKeith on behalf of Oxford and District Trades Union Council, and representatives from a variety of left and progressive organisations from the city. We will also read out a message of support we have received, from the Society for Robespierrist Studies, an association of French scholars who specialize in revolutionary history.

Event: Republic Day outdoor rally
Date: Tuesday 17 March
Time: 6pm to 7pm (approx.)
Location: Carfax

More on Hair, But This Time on Biblical, Seventeenth-Century Hair

Jasper Milvain buys the Saturday edition of the Guardian, and has very kindly forwarded to me a discussion of hair that appeared there yesterday, and which was curiously suppressed from the online edition. John Mullan was reviewing Alastair Fowler’s new edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Here’s Mullan:

“So if the longer notes at first appear digressive, they return you to the poem convinced that the editorial digression showed you the very by-ways of Milton’s imagination. Take the long paragraph of Fowler’s small print excited by Milton’s first description of Adam and Eve’s hairstyles — of Adam’s “hyacinthine locks” and Eve’s “wanton ringlets”. We start with Saint Paul’s strictures on when women should cover their hair, then wander through a mini-essay on the significance of hair in epic poetry, a parenthesis on Milton’s own hairstyle and hair-colouring, suggestive examples of the depiction of women’s hair in 17th-century painting and some speculation about Milton’s “special sexual interest in hair”. You might think this is like listening to an engagingly eccentric professor, free-associating, in the library of his mind, yet soon the clinching references to the ways the poem fixes on Eve’s “golden tresses” convince you otherwise. Her “dishevelled” hair signifies what is both lovely and vulnerable about here, and the poet is as fascinated as the devil who gazes at her from his hiding place.”

Here’s what Fowler wrote in the 1971 edition of his book (I think I’ve got a later edition at home, so I’ll post any of Fowler’s subsequent thoughts on hair before too long):

“iv.301-8. The hair-length proper for each sex follows directly from the statement of their hierarchic relation; for, according to St Paul, ‘a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man: for her hair is given her for a covering’ (1 Cor. xi 7, 15; cp. the A. V. marginal glass on 10, which explains the covering is a ‘sign that she is under the power of her husband’). hyacinthine locks] When Athene ‘shed grace about his head and shoulders’, Odysseus’ hair flower ‘like the hyacinth flower’ (Homer, Od. vi 231). If a colour were implied, it might be either blue, the colour of the hyacinth flower or gem (i.e., the sapphire; cp. l. 237n), or just possibly tawny (the hyacinth of heraldry, near to the colour of M.’s own hair), or black (Eustathius’ gloss on the Homeric passage) or very dark brown (Suidas’ gloss); in fact, almost any colour at all. But it is just as likely that a shape is meant (the idealized treatment accorded to hair in antique sculpture?), or an allusion to the beautiful youth Hyacinthus, beloved of Apollo but doomed to die. The elaborateness of the present passage lends some support to the theory that M. had a special sexual interest in hair. (In this connection cp. 496f, Lycidas 69, 175.)”

And here’s John Milton, Paradise Lost, iv.300-311:

“His fair large front and eye sublime declared
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She as a veil down to her slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet reluctant amorous delay.”

Early Modern Carnivalesque

Welcome to the latest Early Modern instalment of Carnivalesque, hosted for the first time at the Virtual Stoa, and with apologies for appearing a little later than I think I said it would.

Kicking off in Tudor England, we’ve got another entry in the Dead King Watch, conceivably inspired by a regular feature on this blog, who knows?, with this one devoted to Edward VI.

Something Earmarks saw on telly brought Thomas Wright�s 1604 The Passions of the Minde in Generall to mind.

Misteraitch over at Spamula has been considering the artist Jacques de Gheyn, 1565-1629.

And while we’re thinking about artists in the Low Countries, the Interesting Thing of the Day a few days ago was a discussion of the possible use of a camera obscura by Johannes Vermeer.

Crossing back over the Channel, Escalus is advertising the Early Modern English Ballad Archive and shares a favourite ballad, “A Looking-Glass for Lascivious Young Men: OR, THE Prodigal Son SIFTED”, together with a bit of discussion and an attempt to date it to the 1680s.

And it’s ballads ballads ballads at the Carnivalesque, with Blogging the Renaissance telling us all about “My Bird is a Round-head”, a fine ballad from 1642.

Continuing the Puritan theme for a short while, at least, Early Modern Whale interested in face patches, and in what puritans thought about them (not keen).

And moving towards the broad sunny uplands of the eighteenth century, David Davisson has helpfully reproduced the text of a 1773 Connecticut law against mountebanks and told us a bit about his proposed research on itinerancy in colonial America…

Brandon Watson has some valuable words and links about Moses Mendelssohn…

… and we end over at The Skwib with its presentation of lost power point slides of the Marquis de Sade…