Who Is My Neighbor?

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/article/2017/04/peter-brown-late-antiquity

“Nevertheless, Brown’s productivity continues. Every day, he wakes up at 4 a.m. He then studies up to three languages, each for an hour, using books and recordings… Language learning constitutes Brown’s main hobby. He dismissed his familiarity with over 20 languages as “not so difficult,” given the numerous cognates involved. “I speak as many as I need for traveling,” he said.”

WOW

[also:

“His profound interest in others, whether now or in the past, equips him to reconstruct social relations. Brown helps countless people by listening to them, talking with them, and sending them feedback with an exceptionally fast turnaround, according to Reimitz.

Tannous said Brown closely reads the books of even complete strangers, then emails them with compliments and suggestions. Some of the recipients have fixed the messages on their walls, to reread when overcome with despair about their prospects in academia.”

and

“Brown impressed upon his students that they needed to learn by traveling, not just reading. He taught them to understand history from the perspectives of the people involved, rather than from a supposedly omniscient Western historian’s viewpoint, Michelson said.”

and

““I had to make a real effort to understand, often, my own next-door neighbor,” he said. “So I was constantly aware — and I think this is important, because this is one of the primary things a historian can really teach people — that people are different, and that it’s your duty to understand them.””]

what a truly fascinating man… incomplete and piecemeal a picture as it may be, it brings me delight to imagine a warm, kindly old genius of a man who loves learning and loves people. it is one thing to be a supreme academic, and quite another to use your marvellous mind to encourage and uplift other budding brains around the globe.. :–)

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