To convey his thoughts and ideals, Quintus brings to light anecdotes about great men of the past: Their struggles, successes, losses, victories, deaths and eternal glory.
Like his other works, Thirty Seven bridges the gap between the world of academic, erudite studies and the culture of masculine self-development. The essays are highly engaging and entertaining, yet convey a tremendous amount of knowledge that is passed onto the reader.
The essays collectively span from ancient civilizations to the present. From language learning to stoicism, to films and Machiavelli’s artistic side.
A Few Choice Essays and Quotes
As the content of the book is a collection of essays, I prefer to tackle the content with a broad overview of the various essays, than trying to pin down a theme or two. Here are some quotes and the essays that accompanied them that really stood out to me:
Essay 1: How A Wise Man Should Reveal His Opinions
Take heed, for sharing our thoughts can often have negative repercussions.
For the active intellect alone is immortal, and man’s highest purpose should be to achieve some degree of union with this cosmic mind; achieving this can elevate man to godlike status.
The wise man will take care to conceal his unorthodox opinions from the unlettered masses, who have neither the time nor the inclination for speculative thought.
Essay 4: On Myths
An excellent explanation of the importance of myths in society.
Man cannot live on food and drink alone. He also needs myths to sustain him, to console him in his bereavements, to provide a code to anchor his life, and to impart a sense of meaning to this mortal existence. Snatch away his mythos, rob him of his ideal, and you banish his spirit to a rudderless drifting in life’s drama.
And I thought to myself, the myth is the last thing to die. When that goes, so goes the man.
Essay 5: The Fate of Boethius
Tyrants will seek to suppress those who question or threaten their authority:
We see a familiar theme played out here. A man of ability and substance, confident in his mastery of his environment, brought down by the malevolence of a tyrant and the spider-webs of court intrigue. A man of virtue should be as far away from a tyrant as possible.
Essay 6: I Am The Isthmus
The false song of technology is alluring:
Wells believes that
Man + technology = Utopia.
Whereas the real equation is;
Man + technology = 0
Meaning that man and technology combine to form: nothing. Nothing, basically. Man plus technology equals man with more technology. We change our means, but not our purposes. Technology can help us travel faster, reshape the earth, and do a thousand other things. But in the end, it provides us no moral advancement. It is neutral. Everything cancels out to nothing. And there you have it. All our technological development of the past hundred years has brought us no corresponding advance in moral development.
Essay 12: The March of Worldly Wisdom
Great explanation of the path we go through on our journey to self-mastery.
Essay 13: On How To Distinguish A True Friend From A False One
A crucial concept to understand.
Essay 20: Illusions And Delusions
On modern witch hunts:
Has human nature advanced at all since 1597? Or have we only shifted our prejudices from witchcraft to other fantasies, like a “rape culture”?
Essay 24: Clash Of Steel And Wills: The Story Of The Battle Of Lepanto
An excellent tale of little-known, yet crucial historical battle, as well as it’s implications for man and history:
In war, as in the struggle of life itself, boldness and decision count for more than a hundred debates and discussions.
Essay 31: The Art Of Speaking And Writing Well
He believed that the aspiring orator should study music and dance to give himself balance and rhythm; athletics to cultivate his physique; literature and philosophy to mold his character and reasoning; and science to sensitize himself to physical reality.
Like his other essay collections, Thirty Seven will make an excellent addition to your bookshelf. The quality of writing and content is engaging and entertaining for readers for all backgrounds.
Click here to get your copy of Thirty Seven by Quintus Curtius on Amazon.
Below you will find my reviews of Quintus’ prior works:
- Pantheon by Quintus Curtius (Review)
- Pathways by Quintus Curtius (Review)
- Stoic Paradoxes by Cicero (Translation from Quintus Curtius) (Review)
- On Duties By Cicero (Translated by Quintus Curtius) (Review)