Given our mission of trying to know more things, we here in the DoD perennially rue things lost along the way through the vagaries of history. Philosophy, it seems to us, has contingent swerves, not unlike Lucretian atomic movement. A seemingly simple swerve in how a question is framed or in what question gets taken up or by whom, and the philosophical trajectory takes one shape rather than another. What sometimes fills our idle moments in the DoD is wondering how things might have shaped up if a swerve had gone some different way. And we get a touch of the wistful melancholy realizing we’ll likely never know. Some things are just lost.
Because of this, we decided some way to manage the chaos of unfulfilled curiosity was in order, so we have created a Department of Lost Things. So, here’s what we’re missing today.
Lost: What pregnant Roman women thought about Seneca’s rather martial counsel on death anxiety, with his many military and warrior-like exemplars. Did they laugh at this quaint, brave boy boldly scorning death? After all, their chances of dying in childbirth exceeded any Roman soldier’s chance of meeting death on the battlefield. And if they survived pregnancy, chances are they ended up burying some of their children anyway. Those women must have been tough as nails. Pregnant Roman women swerving philosophical death dialogue would have been something to behold, we’re sure. We wish we knew what they thought.