I chose Akbar the Mughal Emperor, Procopius, and Thomas Aquinas as my three to attend a dinner party. I knew I wanted to write about knowledge. Originally, I wanted to include the Queen of Sheba as a member of the dinner party, but I questioned whether I would be able to include enough about this character. My first choice was Thomas Aquinas, because he focused on reason as a way to acquire knowledge. This means that knowledge is internal for him. One section in the Summa Theologica is the “Gift of Knowledge”. I also wanted to play with Aquinas’ writing style. I chose Akbar because he invited so many diverse scholars to speak about a wide array of topics. I use his character to discuss the ways we use knowledge. My final choice was Procopius. I chose Procopius instead of the Queen of Sheba, so I could bring up how we present our knowledge and how our knowledge evolves. Procopius wrote The Secret History and the History of the Wars. These works have alternate views of Justinian, that evolved with events during that time period. My goal is to find a conclusion from these about the value of knowledge, how knowledge is used, and how knowledge is presented.
Thomas Aquinas was born the 13th century in Italy. At fifteen, Thomas Aquinas was sent to the University of Naples. During this time, he was exposed to Aristotle. Although Aquinas did not agree with many of Aristotle’s arguments, he fell in love with his style of argument. It was also during this time he learned to use this method to preach, with other Dominicans. He went on to study with other friars in Cologne. Then, he was sent onto Paris where he settled the strike between the papal authority and the professors who taught Aristotle. In 1260, he wrote his masterpiece the Summa Theologica. A few months after the text was published, Thomas Aquinas died .
Akbar took the throne of the Mughal empire in 1556. What is the most important about Akbar is his tolerance for other religions. This was beneficial because although he was Muslim, many of his followers were Hindu. One of his main goals was to combine the world’s religions, because the teachings of all the combined religions would be better than that of one. To do this, he invited Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians to his courts to debate about religion.
Procopius was a historian for Emperor Justinian and Belisarius in the 4th Century. He studied law in Beirut and by 527 became the political advisor to Belisarius. Belisarius was a Roman commander. Procopius witnessed and recorded the events in Africa and Rome. One of the most notable events that he wrote about were the Persian Wars. He is known for his three major works Buildings, The Secret History, and Secret of the Wars. Each of these works provides a very different view of Justinian from the next .
Part 1: At Krispy Kreme
I was driving down Patton Avenue when I had an insatiable craving for coffee and donuts. So, I pull into the Krispy Kreme. I walk into the donut...