Applying to St. John's Campus Life St. John's College Santa Fe The Program

Discussing Thucydides’s Melian Dialogue

By Bilsana Bibic

It’s Winter Tour time here at St. John’s, Santa Fe. The whole campus is buzzing with new faces, promising an inflow of eager learners next Fall. I wish I could be here to see the new Freshman class because they seem great.

I just had a seminar on Thucydides’s Melian Dialogue with our visitors and Mr. Schneider—one of the coolest tutors ever. I’ve never had a class with him but we clicked from the very beginning. He brought so much insight and enthusiasm into the conversation. Not that enthusiasm was lacking; all of the prospective students who came to the seminar were very excited to be participating and had a lot of great and often opposing ideas to present. We started with the question of justice vs. self-interest and ended up discussing that as well as the principle that “might is right” and the idea of rebellion against it. We wondered about fundamental principles, their origins, implementation and whether or not they are worth fighting for. One new question that came up for me in this seminar is the question of scale and whether we should judge principles such as justice differently on the level of the individual and the level of nations.

These queries were just a small part of the conversation held on a Sunday night at St. John’s College. What I loved the most about it was the amount of questions we came up, and the reminder that we have so much to learn and examine in ourselves. That was a great way to end the weekend.


Thucydides, author of "History of the Peloponnesian War" .
Thucydides, author of History of the Peloponnesian War, in which The Melian Dialogue is contained.

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