Author Archives: Guillaume Durocher

Culture and Nationhood in the World of Herodotus: An Evolutionary Analysis, Part 4

Maladaptive Culture: Herodotus on Luxury, Effeminacy, and Decadence The ancients considered the maintaining of martial virtue and hardiness to be a supreme imperative—not surprising given that if any frailty led to defeat, one’s people could not only lose their self-government, but their very existence. Like Homer and Plato, Herodotus has much to say on the […]

Culture and Nationhood in the World of Herodotus: An Evolutionary Analysis, Part 3

Persian Virtue: A Persian Group Evolutionary Strategy? The people described in most detail by Herodotus are in fact not the Greeks, but their enemies the Persians, a fellow Aryan people. Herodotus speaks a great deal about Persian culture, often very positively. (For instance: “the Persians are normally the last people in the world, to my […]

Culture and Nationhood in the World of Herodotus: An Evolutionary Analysis, Part 2

“King Nomos”: The Power of Culture and the Universality of Cultural Chauvinism Herodotus had traveled far and wide across the Mediterranean, thus coming across nations with often radically different cultural assumptions and ways of life. Accounting for this astonishing diversity, he is much impressed by the social power of culture. As noted above, the historian […]

Culture and Nationhood in the World of Herodotus: An Evolutionary Analysis, Part 1

Herodotus (trans. Robin Waterfield), The Histories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) In defense of history, the Roman orator Cicero once said: “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain forever a child.” In history, we can find the past trajectory of human events and insights into the nature of human existence […]

Animal Conservation or Bison Supremacism?

I have a general rule in dealing with the politically-correct: look at what they do, not what they say. I was very struck when I recently came across the efforts to restore the “genetic purity” of North American bison, the overwhelming majority of which have been tainted by cattle DNA through cross-species interbreeding. While it […]

The Laws: Plato’s Sacred Ethnostate, Part 4: Greek Unity and the Federation against Barbarians

Go to Part 1 Go to Part 2 Go to Part 3 Greek Unity: Federation against Barbarians Beyond the family and city-state, the third concentric circle of kinship and loyalty is that of the league of cities or indeed the Greek nation itself. In the Republic, Plato had argued that Greeks should be gentle with […]