Roma Aeterna– Final Part


Much of southern Italy qualify as being in a semi-tropical climate. Thus plants like the bougainvillea seen above from Pompey can grow all year round without fear of frost. It is not an accident then that the 'beach resorts' of the rich and famous in ancient Roma were also in the southern part of Italia-- in places like Pompey, and Herculaneum (or as it is called today Ercolano). The Italians have a word for ruins--scavi, and thus those who pick over or regularly wander through ruins are … [Read more...]

Rolls vs. Codexes– The Story Continues


Here's a helpful post from Larry larryhurtadoReading a book for review recently on another topic altogether, I came across a casually proffered claim that is frequently asserted/assumed but flatly incorrect: That a major reason early Christians initially turned to the codex as their preferred book-form was that the codex could accommodate a larger body of text than a roll. Wrong on all counts.First, let's be clear about chronology. Sure, by the fourth century CE … [Read more...]

Arrivederci Roma!


What a fantastic week it was in Italy, and lots of good memories created. In this final post, I offer a few parting shots, of a positive sort....Here's a nice spooky shot from within the villa of mysteries at Pompeii.Or here's Yuliya at Trevi Fountain holding her autograph card of Pope Francis... And then a family shot of us there taken by a vendor..And for those who want a wider angle shot of the whole fountain....Or how about a shot of more of Raphael's work in the … [Read more...]

From the Butler to the Book Thief


The movie maestros have decided, in their wisdom, that good dramas which might have a chance at awards shall be showed at the end of the summer or in the Fall, preferably near the peak season between Halloween and the end of the year, presumably because those who decide the Oscars and other awards have short attention spans.These movies tend to be based on best-selling books of one sort or another (see e.g. the Book Thief-- a terrific novel reviewed on this blog a good while back), but of … [Read more...]

Roma Aeterna–Final Chapter, More Herculaneum Scavi


In some ways, Herculaneum is a more impressive site, not in terms of size, but for its location and what is there. This site was discovered when someone was drilling a well in the early 19th century, and came across ruins. This led to the excavation of a huge section of land near the sea. Herculaneum was period in 40 plus feet of molten mud. It has taken a long time to excavate this site--- over 150 years, as with Pompeii. I some ways Herculaneum is more unspoilt, less tourists, and less … [Read more...]

Second Thanksgiving???


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Happy Thanksgiving!


I'm thankful for all the wonderful cartoonists who make life so much fun... like these artists. … [Read more...]

Roma Aeterna Part Nine— More Pompeii Scavi


There is so much more to see and take in at Pompeii than a few blog posts can relate. While the city seems likes a ghost town if you are there without the crush of tourists, it is still very much alive during the tourist season. Even in late Fall, Naples and environs can be warm. It was over 80F when Yuliya and I were there Oct. 23rd. I was wishing I had brought my shorts. And things were still growing. Here for example is a Pomegranate tree near the Villa of MysteriesAnd of course … [Read more...]

Bella Italia– Part Nine— St.Maria Maggiore


It was a beautiful crisp morning, Wednesday, and Yuliya and I were heading to Pompeii and Herculaneum by the fast train, but there was a famous church she wanted to see, which conveniently was right next to the train station--- Santa Maria Maggiore is the name of this multi-domed cathedral. Even the flowers were still blooming in late October...Here is a brief summary about the cathedral, which is yet another papal basilica (a church built by popes), taken from the church's … [Read more...]