Western Odyssey Series

Tacitus and the Germans

By |2019-09-06T22:53:48-06:00September 6th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, History, Senior Contributors, Western Odyssey Series|

One of our earliest examinations and appraisals of the Germanic peoples—those tall, blonde or red-haired, light-eyed barbarians to the North—comes from the Roman republican, Tacitus. Tacitus, to be sure, wrote with distinct bias. He wanted to show the Germans as natural republicans while implying that the Romans had lost their republican simplicity and manners [...]

The Hebrews Take a King

By |2019-08-27T12:38:20-06:00August 26th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Conservatism, History, Israel, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Odyssey Series|

Jealous of the political systems of their neighbors, the Hebrew people begged for a king, despite God’s warning against taking one. Given the chaos that ensued, it is well worth considering that there always remained the Hebraic love of law; indeed, it is from the Hebrews that America inherited an understanding of the sanctity [...]

Burning Bushes, Smoking Mountains, and the Law

By |2019-08-19T22:16:59-06:00August 19th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Civil Society, Education, History, Natural Law, Senior Contributors, Western Odyssey Series|

While much has been made of the “Ten Commandments” in recent history, men for centuries have accepted these commandments as deeply rooted in the order of the universe and of creation—as an overt expression of the Natural Law. They are one of the ways God has continued to maintain His love for His people. [...]

The Mysterious Origins of the Roman Republic

By |2019-08-19T17:57:39-06:00November 14th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civil Society, History, Plato, Rome, Western Odyssey Series|

To believe a republic is immortal is to destroy one’s own republicanism… Exactly how the Roman republic came into existence remains shrouded in mystery. Critically so. As with our tradition of English common law and the necessity of knowing that its origins are “beyond the memory of man,” from “time immemorial,” “ancient beyond memory [...]

The Ciceronian Republic

By |2019-09-10T16:34:51-06:00November 9th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Culture, Socrates, Western Civilization, Western Odyssey Series|

Habits, mores, manners, and customs should prove more important in a republic than the law… “With Cicero fell the republic.”—Russell Kirk As one of my grand Hillsdale colleagues, Dr. Stephen Smith, once said to me, there has never been a serious reform or renaissance in Western Civilization since the fall of the Roman Republic [...]