I had the pleasure of reading what was a brain busting and delightful book over the weekend.
You’ll have heard of Quintus Curtius and probably read one of his essays on Return of Kings or RVF. He’s an accomplished and articulate writer who well is versed on philosophy, ancient wisdom and civilisation through the ages. The description Quintus gave for his book was:
The unifying theme is the nature of masculine identity. The nature of human wisdom, courage in adversity, language acquisition, character in history, mysticism, human folly, barbarism, and the fickleness of Fate are just some of the varied themes treated in the author’s passionate and probing search for truth. Erudite, thoughtful, and frequently moving, these essays have been described as “inexplicably inspiring.
I can say it truly follows this path from the start of the book, a few of these essays have appeared on Return of Kings in a shorter format and the Prologue kicks off with a gripping short story about the folly of a young boy that leads you into how as man you should express your opinions. Throughout the ages great writers, polymaths, scientists and philosophers have fallen due to their statements at the time, Quintus as within every essay of the book explains the actions and words of these men and gives you an opportunity to make changes in how you speak and operate in the modern world.
My favourite part of the book was the essay On Stoicism. I’ve read works by Cicero in the past but I’ve been unable to really grasp what they mean in as most translations I found were of an older era. Quintus brings life to what Cicero wanted you to know and it really is enjoyable reading. I also really enjoyed reading the Education essay. Seeing how Vergerio’s proposition of education could actively be applied to the modern world and how it could promote masculine virtue was eye opening. Personally I had no knowledge of the fellow before reading this book and Quintus’ conclusions and commentary matched the same thoughts that I had whilst going through every point that Vergerio proposed should be the ideal way for every man to be educated.
From ancient wisdom to modern thought, from H.G Wells to Plutarch, Quintus covers an astounding amount of material in a short and effective manner. Rational thought and logic are at the core of every essay and his conclusions give you a real understanding of what each of these great men thought at the moment that they penned their thoughts or engaged in courageous acts (Mallory and Irvine on Everest). I feel like I’ve enhanced my knowledge and gained a true understanding of some the great thinkers that have lived through the ages, their knowledge is there, sometimes difficult to divulge. Quintus has made that easier and I’m glad he’s penned this book; I thoroughly recommend it for men of all ages. He has put a lot of work into this and I for one am glad he did. I can end my review of Thirty Seven by saying that this book really shows the virtues of masculinity that are slowly being removed from modern society.