Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – Essay #37 – Essay XI by Brutus – Guest Essayist: Mr. Robert Frank Pence, Founder, the Pence Group

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He was crying from all six of his eyes. Tears gushed together with a bloody froth. Within each mouth, with gnashing teeth, he tore to bits a sinner so that he brought much pain to three at once. The first was Judas Iscariot; the second is Brutus; and the other is Cassius.

In the Ninth Circle of Dante’s Hell are punished traitors against their lords. Judas, the principal offender against religious/ecclesiastic law, is being chewed by Lucifer for having betrayed Christ. Cassius and Brutus are ground down by Lucifer for having murdered their temporal lord, Julius Caesar (who, by the way, merits only a passing mention in Inferno 4 wherein he reposes with other virtuous pagans).

It ought to strike us as strange that the leader of the Roman Empire will remain forever in Limbo while several other pagans were placed by Dante in purgatory or paradise. Cassius and Brutus are not excused by Dante for having killed the tyrant who subjugated all of Rome, Read more

Monday, February 25, 2013 – Essay #6 – On the Commonwealth by Marcus Tullius Cicero – Guest Essayist: Robert Frank Pence, Founder, The Pence Group

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Cicero’s De Republica
by Robert Frank Pence

Cicero’s De Republica

Robert Frank Pence

Gone, gone for ever is that valour that used to be found in this Republic and caused brave men to suppress a citizen traitor with keener punishment than the most bitter foe.[1]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.E.) had a decision to make. Catiline and his fellow conspirators were going to assassinate Cicero and other Roman senators within hours.  What should he do?  Knowing that Rome had its enemies, domestic as well as foreign, Cicero immediately had several of the conspirators arrested, taken to prison, and executed, all without extending to them the right of trial.  Cicero announced their deaths to the crowd with the word vixerunt (“they had lived,” meaning, euphemistically, “they are dead”). Read more