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The New Year archival releases have produced an outstanding nugget this year in the shape of a purported letter sent by the Ulster Volunteer Force to Irish Taoiseach Charlie Haughey in 1987. The Guardian reports: The loyalist group claimed it... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
The Summa Theologica or Summa Theologiae by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is one of the best known philosophical works of the Middle Ages. Intended as a comprehensive guide to theology for beginning students, the first part of the work deals with God, nature and man, the second part with law and morality, while the third, unfinished part deals with Christ and the sacraments, seen as the route of humanity's return to God, thus giving the whole a cyclical structure. Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is a poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). In three canticles; Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, it describes Dante's progress on a mystic journey, through hell and purgatory, escorted by the poet Virgil, and through Heaven guided by Beatrice, an idealised portrait of the historical Florentine woman who was the object of Dante's unrequited love. Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem. While the only surviving manuscript is thought to date to around 1000 CE, the narrative reflects conditions in the continental homeland of the Anglo-Saxons during the Sixth Century. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
On Colors or On Colours (Greek Περὶ χρωμάτων, Latin De Coloribus) is a treatise traditionally attributed to Aristotle, but now sometimes thought to be by Theophrastus or Strato, who succeeded him in turn as heads of his philosophical school, the Lyceum. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, by Harold Bloom is a 1994 book defending the concept of a central canon of Western writers against various modern critical approaches that Bloom characterised as a 'school of resentment'. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The True History (Greek: Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα, Alēthē diēgēmata; Latin: Vera Historia) by Lucian (c.115-c80 CE) is a parody of traveller's tales which features journeys to the moon, and to the Isles of the Blest. Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Mahābhārata (Sanskrit: महाभारतम्, Mahābhāratam) is a Sanskrit epic, one of the longest in world literature, and along with the Ramayana, one of two considered sacred texts of Hinduism. Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Hecuba (Greek: Ἑκάβη) is a tragedy by Euripides thought to have been written around 424 BC. The plot examines the fate of King Priam's widow after the fall of Troy. Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Sappho (Greek: Ψάπφω) was an archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Little is known for certain of her biography, but she is thought to have lived from around 630 to 570 BCE. Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Prose Edda, also known as the Younger Edda or Snorri's Edda (Icelandic: Snorra Edda) is a compilation of Old Norse legends traditionally attributed to the the 13th Century Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Andromache (Greek: Ἀνδρομάχη) is a tragedy by Euripides, thought to have been first performed in the early 420s BC. It is one of a number of Euripides' plays to elaborate the fates of women associated with the Trojan War. Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Hippolytus (Greek: Ἱππόλυτος) is a tragedy by Euripides, first produced at the City Dionysia in 428 BC, when it won first prize. Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Heracleidae or the Children of Heracles (Ancient Greek: Ἡρακλεῖδαι) is a tragedy by Euripides, probably first produced in Athensvaround 430 BC, in the early years of the Peloponnesian War. Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Cross-posted from Patreon. Key people around the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were monitored by MI5 in the 1980s, according to remarks by former Director-General Stella Rimington, reported in several papers today. This is hardly surprising given that as Labour's spokesman... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
Medea (Ancient Greek: Μήδεια) is a tragedy by Euripides, first performed at the Athenian City Dionysia in 431 BC in which it came last. Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Alcestis (Greek: Ἄλκηστις) is the earliest surviving play by the Greek dramatist Euripides, having been produced at the Dionysia of 438 BC, where it won second prize. Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Wiltshire Police yesterday reported on a series of sexual abuse allegations against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, covering a period between 1956 and 1992. Their report concludes the evidence would have warranted interviewing him under caution if he were... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
The Women of Trachis, Trachiniae, tragedy, Sophocles Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
Ian Paisley Jr is one of ten DUP MPs one whom the survival of Theresa May's Government now depends, so it is not surprising he is coming under increasing media scrutiny in the new Parliament. On Friday, the Daily Telegraph reported that he had failed to declare £100,000 in holiday expenses paid for by the Sri Lankan Government. Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
In recent months, the Pat Finucane Centre has uncovered an array of new evidence pointing to the use of waterboarding and electric shock treatment by army and RUC interrogators in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
In the course of researching the Irish Troubles at the National Archives, I've come across a fair few stray references to the intelligence services, and I've compiled this document for my Patreon subscribers (currently 2,885 words) while trying to make... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
Electra (Greek: Ἠλέκτρα) is a tragedy by Sophocles produced probably between 41 and 410 BC, a similar date to Euripides' play of the same name, so that it is uncertain which of the two is earlier. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
In my recent post on Maxwell Knight's unionist connections, I noted how his links to the far-right had led some to suggest the term collusion could be applied to MI5 in the 1930s. I've since been re-reading Christopher Andrew's official history of MI5, as part of my research. Not a promising source on collusion, you might think but while Andrew covers relatively little ground in relation to MI5 in Ireland before the Troubles, he does include one particularly damning piece of evidence from the very earliest history of the organisation. Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
From my latest post at Patreon: The DUP-Conservative alliance that emerged from the 2017 election might seem like a natural one given the long history of the 'Orange card' as a Tory expedient at Westminster. There is however an equally... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at The Green Ribbon