The Fables of Aesop is out now!

The Enduring Art of the Commonplace Book; the ballast of the self

Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Laura Councell
Jonathan Councell

A Six Week Intensive. January 11 – February 15.

*This class has already started but you can still sign up until January 25th.

Can’t make it live? All sessions will be recorded and available in a Canvas classroom.


The use of the hypomnemata (commonplace book) by the ancient greeks served to nurture one art which is above all others, self-rule. What are its various formats, and why have they endured and served so many great minds so well?

This course explores the rich history of the commonplace book, its purpose, nature, practice and various practical applications.

We will discuss the commonplace book’s usefulness in private, scholarly, and professional life. While its purpose has shifted across time, the commonplace book remains an essential external and artistic memory device and dialogue partner; an enforcer, preserver, and reminder of what you find valuable throughout the different seasons and years of your life.

This practice is the optimal way to engage with any material studied because the participant learns to take full responsibility for their own education, self-management, and relationship with the knowledge and wisdom they collect.

Six Sessions:

  • Wednesday January 11th: Introduction to the Art of the Commonplace book
  • Wednesday January 18th: Memory and the Commonplace
  • Wednesday January 25th: Virtue and the Commonplace
  • Wednesday February 1st: The Scholarly Life and the Commonplace
  • Wednesday February 8th: Applications of the Commonplace and Discussion
  • Wednesday February 15th: Why the Art of the Commonplace Matters?


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