I have this fantasy of "filling the holes" in my education. For example, recently I audited a seminar on Augustine's Confessions. Which has led me to a biography of Augustine. Last night I read about the Sack of Rome. It percolated into my dreams.
This morning I thought I'd sharpen a few pencils before I began "work." I thought I'd read about the Sack of Rome. Naturally the Wiki entry is chock full of hyperlinks.
In 410 Rome was not the capital of the Roman Empire any more. Mediolanum (link) was: the city "in the middle of the plain"; ie Milan. I had no idea. Long reading about Milan in the first four centuries of our era. Link to
1) the Arian Controversy, named after a, it appears, divisive theologian called Arius. I resist the temptation to click on the Arius link, though really I'd like to know Arius's connection, if any, to a more recent Arian controversy. I don't resist the link to
2) the Council of Nicaea (325). Am I reading? No, I'm just skimming froth off the top of the pot (to tap a metaphor, which could lead to an exploration of metaphor as illumination / obfuscation /shortcut to things we can't otherwise kid ourselves we understand, but I won't go there...it's really murky territory...)
The First Countil of Nicaea must have been fascinating, I'm thinking, reading about a couple dozen bishops arguing, with citations from Holy Writ, round a big seminar table about whether God the father preceded or came after God the son--the bishops came to blows, literally, and for a moment I expect to find a link to a YouTube of something like Wendy Murdoch throwing pies in court.
If I don't scatter a few crumbs in this forest I'm going to get completely lost. I'll never find my way back to the Sack of Rome. But how to understand the SR without all this context? This is how Tristram Shandy took so long to get born.
I'm reminded of our neighbour in the Vaucluse. Brigitte spent her evenings darning her son's socks by a frugal light. She was proud of her handiwork--socks that were more darn than sock. I'm not sure what this has to do with the above, but I feel it is relevant. Somehow.