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guy last won the day on July 24

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    SouthWest USA (345 miles from Las Vegas)
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    Ancient Roman history, The Dutch Golden Age of Art (16th-17th century), Poker, blues guitar, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (My birthplace), Reggio Emilia, Italy (My ancestral home), Las Vegas, Nevada (My Mecca), One wife, two kids, one dog, two cats

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  1. “In a time and place that offered few career opportunities for women, the job of the priestess of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi (called the Pythia) stands out. Her position was at the centre of one of the most powerful religious institutions of the ancient Greece.” https://greekreporter.com/2021/07/28/pythia-delphi-oracle/ Excellent video about the Oracle of Delphi. I had never heard this anecdote before: ”67 ADEdit In 67 AD, Emperor Nero, who was just 30 years old and had killed his own mother in 59 AD, when visiting the Oracle was told: The incensed emperor had the Pythia burned alive.[23] Nero thought he would have a long reign and die at 73. Instead, his reign came to a short end after a revolt by Galba who was 73 years of age at the time.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oracular_statements_from_Delphi ”And after consulting the oracle at Delphi and being told that he must look out for the seventy-third year, assuming that he would die only at that period, and taking no account of Galba's years, he felt so confident not only of old age, but also of unbroken and unusual good fortune, that when he had lost some articles of great value by shipwreck, he did not hesitate to say among his intimate friends that the fish would bring them back to him.“ https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/suetonius/12caesars/nero*.html (Suetonius Life of Nero 40.3)
  2. The mystery of the ancient Roman dodecahedron continues. Ancient measuring device, sewing tool, gambling piece …? “The first Roman dodecahedron to intrigue archaeologists was found almost 300 years ago, buried in a field in the English countryside along with some ancient coins. "A piece of mixed metal, or ancient brass, consisting of 12 equal sides," read the description of the egg-sized object when it was presented to the Society of Antiquaries in London in 1739. The 12 faces had "an equal number of perforations within them, all of unequal diameters, but opposite to one another … every faceing had a knobb or little ball fixed to it." The 1739 dodecahedron was far from the last discovery of its kind. More than 100 similar objects have since been found at dozens of sites across northern Europe dating to around the 1st to 5th centuries CE. Ranging in size from about a golf ball to a bit larger than a baseball, each one has 12 equally sized faces, and each face has a hole of varying diameter.“ https://www.grunge.com/471518/the-unsolved-mystery-of-the-ancient-roman-dodecahedron/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/514246/are-roman-dodecahedrons-worlds-most-mysterious-artifact
  3. An interesting find: “A 500-year-old wax sculpture attributed to Michelangelo might hold the famed artist's fingerprint, a new analysis finds.“ https://www.livescience.com/michelangelo-fingerprint-found-statue.html
  4. An interesting theory: “The ancient Greeks may have built sacred or treasured sites deliberately on land previously affected by earthquake activity, according to a new study by the University of Plymouth.” “Fault lines created by seismic activity in the Aegean region may have caused areas to be afforded special cultural status, and as such, led to them becoming sites of much celebrated temples and great cities.“ https://greekreporter.com/2021/07/25/did-ancient-greeks-deliberately-build-their-temples-in-earthquake-stricken-sites/ We have discussed before the use of natural phenomena to create a mystical environment: I’m
  5. An interesting article from last year: “Long-running improvement works on a section of the A1 have uncovered rare traces of how contact with the Roman Empire transformed a northern Iron Age settlement at a key routeway junction. Carly Hilts reports.” ”In the early 1st century AD it was home to a flourishing settlement whose indigenous inhabitants enjoyed access to luxurious goods imported from across the Roman Empire.“ https://archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/contact-conquest-and-cartimandua.htm
  6. The position of the paleobeach ridge in the Treporti Channel in Roman times (in yellow in transparency over the current satellite data) and the alignment of Roman stone remains and levee road (red dots and lines), buildings (green squares) and brick walls (white pentagons); the pink solid line indicates the position of the structures reconstructed by Madricardo et al. Image credit: Madricardo et al., doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92939-w. http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/treporti-channel-road-09892.html
  7. guy

    Assertion of Power

    Despite the frequent turnover and turmoil in leadership, the Empire did survive. I think this relative stability can attributed to Intact institutions (extended family, a patronage system, religious organizations, etc) and a well-entrenched bureaucracy. In Italy there have been 36 (and counting) Prime Ministers since 1946. Despite these frequent changes of government, daily Italian life is barely affected by these transitions. Similar to Ancient Rome, people merely meet the challenges of life, supported by their local family, relationships, religious affiliations, etc. This might explain why distant communities would continue living a Roman lifestyle long after the Empire and the city of Rome “fell.”
  8. Better article on find: Here, a reconstruction of the Treporti channel road in Roman rimes. The Venice lagoon would have been to the left of the road and to the Adriatic Sea to the right. (Image credit: Antonio Calandriello and Giuseppe D'Acunto/Scientific Reports,) “The submerged remains of a Roman road have been found on the seafloor of the Venice lagoon, along with archaeological structures that are thought to be what's left of a dock and settlements.“ https://www.livescience.com/submerged-roman-road-venice-lagoon.html
  9. I’m always skeptical about these stories, but it is interesting, nevertheless: ”In fact, the sweet little fruits were an essential part of the diet of Spartan athlete Charmis. Fascinatingly, records of Charmis’ diet provide us with the earliest details regarding what ancient athletes consumed in Greece. When they did eat meat, which was much more rarely than most contemporary Olympians do, ancient athletes ate different types of meat according to their own sport. According to ancient sources, boxers ate bull meat, wrestlers pork, and runners goat.“ https://greekreporter.com/2021/07/21/what-did-ancient-greek-athletes-eat-the-diet-of-the-olympians/
  10. “An archaeological mapping project has located a Roman road submerged in the Venice Lagoon, that suggests extensive settlements may have been present centuries before the founding of Venice in the fifth century.“ https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.heritagedaily.com/2021/07/archaeologists-discover-roman-road-in-the-venice-lagoon/139722
  11. It’s good to see that things are “returning to normal.” “Exeter City Council’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum will host a cohort from Legio Secunda Augusta, one of Europe's pre-eminent Roman re-enactment groups on Saturday 24 July 2021.” https://news.exeter.gov.uk/army-of-roman-soldiers-and-civilians-will-descend-on-exeter-this-saturday/?amp=true&__twitter_impression=true
  12. Professor Worthington’s arguments against the tomb’s belonging to Olympias are persuasive: “ Ian Worthington, a professor of ancient history at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, expressed doubts that this is the tomb of Olympias. Ancient sources, Worthington noted, were clear that Cassander did not allow Olympias a proper burial; and since Cassander was afraid of rebellions, he would have barred such a tomb that could be used to rally Cassander's opponents. By the time Cassander died in 297 B.C., almost 20 years had passed since Olympias' death; Worthington said he doubts that someone would go to the trouble of building an elaborate tomb by that point. Additionally, Worthington notes that just because the tomb is large does not mean that whoever was buried in it was noble. In fact, he said, a large tomb could be had by anyone with enough wealth to build it. "You could be wealthy but not necessarily noble," said Worthington. Another problem is that Olympias was originally from Epirus, in northwestern Greece. If someone wanted to give her a proper burial, Worthington thinks that it's more likely they would have brought her home to Epirus rather than bury her close to where she was killed.“ https://www.livescience.com/alexander-the-great-mom-olympias-tomb.html
  13. “The stone is dated to the age of Emperor Claudius in 49 AD, and as Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi explained the pomerial stone, a huge slab of travertine that was used as a sacred, military, and political perimeter marking the edge of the city proper with Rome's outer territory. In ancient Rome, the area of the pomerium was a consecrated piece of land along the city walls, where it was forbidden to farm, live or build and through which it was forbidden to enter with weapons.“ https://www.ancientpages.com/2021/07/18/rare-stone-discovered-outlining-ancient-romes-city-limits/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ancient_native_americans_encounter_with_the_star_people_ankou_breton_angel_of_death_ancient_secrets_of_the_ukrainian_stonehenge_that_is_older_than_the_giza_pyramids_of_egypt_and_much_more_july_16_20_2021&utm_term=2021-07-20
  14. guy

    Assertion of Power

    Interesting point. Military brutality can only maintain an extensive and diverse empire so long. It was the enculturation and assimilation by the “conquered” non-Romans and the adaption of outside “foreign” ideas by these “ruling” Romans that proved to be the cement that held the empire together. I don’t like venturing into modern politics, but the contrast of the USSR and the British Empire might be appropriate here. One empire frayed apart despite modern methods of surveillance and repression after less than a century. Another empire has persisted (albeit in a diminished role) after four centuries.
  15. An interesting attempt to replicate meals of Ancient Rome. Patina Cotidiana, a tomato-less predecessor to lasagne, is one of the signature dishes at Hostaria Antica Roma (Credit: Paolo Magnanimi) “To recreate this [tomato-less] 2,000-year-old dish, Magnanimi started with a recipe from the 1st-Century AD Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria, the only surviving recipe book from ancient Rome, which is attributed to Apicius, a wealthy gourmand once described by Pliny the Elder as "the most gluttonous gorger of all spendthrifts’.”To recreate this 2,000-year-old dish, Magnanimi started with a recipe from the 1st-Century AD Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria, the only surviving recipe book from ancient Rome, which is attributed to Apicius, a wealthy gourmand once described by Pliny the Elder as ‘the most gluttonous gorger of all spendthrifts’.” https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20210719-what-did-the-ancient-romans-eat