Name the classical connection and get on the honor roll.

There’s a connection here to the classics.  Is it familiar?  Be the first to send a reply message in and get on the Ancient Rome Refocused Honor Roll. 

Anybody?

Update…The winners.

Steven Lee who brought the answer in on the Ancient Rome Refocused blog at 10:20 a.m.

Jesse Walker who followed up on the FACEBOOK page at 11:57. 

 The Charles Addams Cartoon from 1974 is a spoof from the Laocoon and his sons being strangled by serpents.  As you recall Laocoon was suggesting to burn the Trojan Horse and Poseidon sent a serpent to get rid of him.   

http://youtu.be/WxHcoBtjiXM

Rob’s Rant

(The following is an excerpt of Rob ranting on Episode Nine.  He calmed down eventually and brought out his guest.  For now on, he is going to have a beer before his podcast so that he will come out a little more mellow.)

So…what if you wanted to start your own empire?  Emperor James, Darko, Jordon and William, look to the Romans to get what you need.

Niccolo Machiavelli looked to the Romans.  He even wrote his own HOW TO book, titled ‘The Prince’.  In Machiavelli’s world the gods are not involved in the determining the outcome of politics.  In Machiavelli’s world men are the same no matter what the time or age, and each person in Greek, Roman, and Medieval, renaissance or today’s modern man has the same passions that lead to the same decisions, acts and results.  The book, ‘The Prince’ exploits the lessons of history in politics to teach a prince how to rule.  You might even say an aspiring emperor.  If you want to start your own empire, here’s your book, but it is nothing new – completed in 1517, the prince was based on his musings of the ancient world.  Machiavelli’s world was undergoing political agony, 30 years of French incursions subjugated Italy, and kings and popes fought for possessions.  Frankly, I don’t think it was much different than the world of the Caesars.  I wonder if it was much different than today.  It is a book that gives you, the aspiring emperor, advice in what a prince should or should not do.  Such as:

IT IS FAR BETTER TO BE FEARED THAN LOVED.

Interestingly enough you can find a similar quote from Caligula who said:

“Let them hate me as long as they fear me.”

Machiavelli’s book, The Prince, has been criticized for its amorality, but this is a 15th century guidebook for princes on how to survive the present day world of the 15th century.   These are observations he took from the classical past to present to the emperor of his age, Lorenzo di Medici, a prince…that he must sometimes…caress, hurt, forgive, punish, benefit, suppress and upon a policy chosen – wait for it – ACT.

Machiavelli said, “The common people are impressed by appearances.”  So to start an empire you must make a connection with Rome consciously or subconsciously.  Take a look how Napoleon was depicted to the French people.  Paintings of the little colonel in satin robes – and the key word here is purple.

You can’t look at any of Paul Louis David’s paintings and NOT say he saw himself as an emperor painted in the roman ilk.

Napoleon is quoted as saying: “I wished to found a European system, a Europe and code of laws, a European Judiciary, there would be but one people in Europe.” 

Let’s look at Napoleon’s coat of arms.  The eagle is centered on the crest.  The eagle is associated with military victory, and the day after his coronation napoleon set the eagle at the top of every flagpole of every flag of his army.  In 1804 imagine the English parliament, imagine Wellington upon hearing the news of what now led the legions, and I will make you a bet that they instantly knew Napoleon’s intentions – if they did not know already.  Symbols speak power, and Rome was on the march.

Let’s look closer at Napoleons coat of arms.  Look at the top of the crest to the right and left of the crown, Charlemagne holds a scepter, and you can see a hand – the fingers formed in the sign of benediction – both symbols borrowed from the Holy Roman Empire.  This was another symbol to set the psyche of Napoleon’s new Europe that he is the continuation of what came before, and thus giving himself – Napoleon – legitimacy. 

Anyway look at Napoleon’s coronation – check out the paintings of the period…Especially get a look at Jacques Louis David’s painting at the Louvre in Paris.  GOOGLE IT.   It reeks of Roman influence.   

Check out the coronation medal that was struck with the profile of Napoleon, very Caesar like, with the opposite side of Napoleon being raised up on a shield – supported by a Roman senator and a representative of the military  — very Roman  as well.

I will accept the argument that maybe the time of emulating the Romans have passed.  After all, great men in their efforts to be seen as egalitarian are not painted or photographed in Roman Toga anymore.  The psyche of public upon seeing Bill Gates dressed in a toga, or Bill Clinton, would think more TOGA PARTY then the tenets and principals of the ‘early’ Republic.  The idea of Roman influence has passed…could be true…but I doubt it.  A toga, a mere garment, is one thing, but power is another.  We are in the age of corporations, of companies that take in more funds greater than some governments.  The office of emperor has now been replaced by the term CEO.  I will take a bet that in some future time, that a company may operate in some instances like a republic – like Microsoft with a benevolent First Citizen named Bill Gates; in some instances may operate like an empire – like Apple with an dictatorial emperor like Steve Jobs; in some instances like a corrupt imperial governor intending to fleece the provinces like Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sax and their making money on money schemes that flattened our economy into its present state.    And who can forget the worst spendthrift who can only be compared to Caligula in all his glory – the company called ENRON.  

Like the villas that crowd the southern coast of Italy, a new elite of Neros are building their own versions of golden palaces such as Gatsby homes lining the Hampton coast and the symbols of excess such as forty five million dollar checking accounts, and the fifth avenue New York Duplex.  It is not that there are successful, it is not that they made all the right choices, it is that they think they deserve everything and it’s theirs BY RIGHT.   

I am less cynical then you think.  I believe that the Roman influence, the tenets of republic and philosophy have not simply converted into an economic corporate power structure. 

I believe the rise of European democracies spells the spirit of the early Roman Republic lives on, I believe that western influence and western ideals have touched the democracy movements of China.  What’s more, if the worst happens, and society fell, and another dark age descended upon the earth…that somewhere on the plans of Kansas or Colorado or whatever territory or state that was able to lift the fog of darkness and light the fire of renaissance, a group of founding fathers will begin again with copies of the following…

Definitely; 

The Bible,

Possibly;

The Constitution,

Possibly;

The Republic by Plato

And definitely;

The writings of Cicero.

ROME WILL LIVE ON. 

Thank you India

“…I’m curious about things people aren’t suppose to see — so, for example I like going to the British Museum, but I would like it better if I could go into all the offices and storage rooms, I want to look in all the drawers and — discover stuff.”

–From the book Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

This quote says so much about me…it’s scary.  This is what I want to do.  I want to see the basement of the Chicago Art Museum.  I want to be invited into the backrooms of the Oriental Museum at the University of Chicago.  I want to find a dusty artifact wrapped in linen. 

One time I ordered a pencil box from India.  Oh, what a modern age we live in…I ordered it off of ebay (big deal…right?).   BUT it arrived like it had traveled far (well it had…I say “it had traveled far” with a touch of poetry.  It was how it was packaged that gave it mystery).  It was wrapped in rough linen (wool?), the address drawn on with a marker, tied with tape and rope, and it  had tons of postage…no box, and no bubble wrap.  You could smell the distance it had traveled, and somehow…somehow it looked like it began its travels in 1848 on the back of a donkey.    It took an hour to unwrap, and somehow it made the pencil box (with hidden compartment) more beautiful.    Don’t get me wrong…I am not making fun of it…I am in debt to the seller who I am sure runs quite a modern shop. 

He made the experience…magical.   

(Whom better than a Greek to sing of Ithaca?  Does anyone else have a poem that helps you time travel to the past and illuminate the present?)

Ithaca

By Constantine P. Cavafy

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

The Roman IPAD

Meet the Apple Ipad – an easy way to take notes during the day.

The IPAD is a convenient and portable device to take notes.  However, so was the Roman Wax Tablet with its convenient stylus. AT THE TIME THIS WAS HIGH TECHNOLOGY.  Things are connected.  Ideas, philosophies, and handy devices span the centuries.  I’m not saying this is an heavy thought, but notice the similarities in each of these technologies.  They are similar because they share being used by the human specie.  How do you think the average patrician gentleman was looked upon when he whipped out his wax stylus for his ‘slave’ to take good and proper notes of the meeting, or record the number amphoraes that came off the ship?    I am sure an envious eye turned towards this device.  In fact, how many meetings have I attended, where there is always one man or women who whips out their IPAD, and looks about the room to see who has noticed?   By the way, something to think about…one day, one day mind you, the IPAD will be considered old hat. 

“Oh, what a nice piece of technology you have there.”

“Oh, just a little something I picked up down at the market.  It was on sale by a merchant named Stevious Jobicus.”

A copy of a Antonio Conova bust

My wife and I were in Restoration Hardwire.  Everything was half off because this particular store was clearing out its inventory and was moving to a ‘better’ location.  This did not mean much for half off at Restoration Hardwire means a $2000 item is now a $1000 item…whoopie [sarcasm] Anyway most of the stuff already had a SOLD sign on it.   I happened to notice that on top of this large piece of furniture was a bust of a man wearing a laurel and the shoulder straps of a lorica segmentata.   Nancy saw where I was staring and said, “I bet you can tell me who that is.”

OK, a challenge.   Before we left the store I was going to figure it out.  It was NOT Caesar.  I would know that face anywhere.  It was NOT Pompey.   Pompey’s bust usually has the feel of looking at a photo of good old Uncle Fred.  It was not the youthful visage of Augustus.  To my understanding Augustus was depicted as youthful even into old age.  For some reason I stopped concentrating on the face.  The Laurel around his head seemed slightly stylized, and the straps on his shoulders seemed more ‘cloth-like’ than made from metal.  I went back to the face and imagined it with black hair.

“Nancy,” I called out.

“Yes?”

“It’s Napoleon.”

After all, the guy wanted to rule the world didn’t he?  Why wouldn’t he be depicted as a Caesar?

Title – “Caesar By Any Other Name is Still a Caesar.” Mr. Cain travels to the time of Alaric the Visigoth. This warrior chieftain sacked Rome and we explore the temptations of Rome and whether he would of considered the ‘imperial purple.’ Mr. Cain has a rant about the symbols of empire and modern day Neros. After he calms down he interviews Mark Schauss of the podcast RUSSIAN RULERS HISTORY on connections between the Czars and the Caesars. Listeners call in and are highlighted on the show. Archaeologist William Glover tells us about the Ninth Legion that mysteriously disappeared.

MP3 File

In response to BAE Systems attempting to defame former Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer Ancient Rome Refocused awards him with the CORONA CIVICA.  It seems his former employer wanted to sell better equipment to Pakistan then the ‘outdated’ equipment being offered to our own troops.  He sent an email to his supervisor expressing his ‘disapproval.’    For that they  attacked his character. 

In ancient times the CORONA CIVICA, a crown of oak leaves, were awarded to public figures who had been of great service to Rome.  Quite often on my podcast I talk about how we have fallen into the failings of empire, but Dakota Meyer has shown all the strength and ‘backbone’ of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.  Meyer is of the old vein; a time when a Roman’s word was his bond. 

He is the type of Roman, the type of AMERICAN that shows virtue. 

However, it seems BAE Systems are the type of individuals that would have opened up the gates for Alaric the Visigoth if there was enough GOLD in their pocket.     

BAE can’t touch Meyer, they never will.  Meyer respects God, Country and his fellow servicemembers.  

BAE only worships…GOLD.

BAE you owe him an apology.  Give it to him, pay him damages, and decide which side you are on.

 http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/medal-honor-recipient-sues-defense-contractor-15047937

More to the story.  ARR contributor Fred Kiesche provided this tip.

Meyer drops defamation lawsuit against BAE

The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Dec 16, 2011 9:45:14 EST

  SAN ANTONIO — A Medal of Honor recipient has dropped a lawsuit against his former employer in which he accused the defense contractor of ruining his chances of landing work at another company by saying he was mentally unstable and a poor worker.

Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer said in a statement Thursday that he is dropping the defamation claim against BAE Systems OASYS and a former supervisor, Bobby McCreight, because they settled their differences amicably.

The company says it is pleased the matter is resolved. No terms were disclosed.

Meyer filed the lawsuit in San Antonio last month alleging the company undermined him after he expressed disapproval that it had pursued selling certain weapon components to Pakistan.

Meyer received the Medal of Honor for his actions during a 2009 battle in Afghanistan.

Rob Cain’s Commentary:

Good.  I mean it — good.  In the article its says they “settled their differences.”  I will make the following assumptions.  BAE told this so-called supervisor to “apologize” and shut his ‘flapping’ mouth.  Dakota Meyer by dropping the suit has once again proved himself the better person.   They don’t call it the Medal of Honor for nothing.

To my Italian and American Friends

Ai miei amici italiani ed americani,

vi prego di perdonare questa traduzione approssimativa nella vostra lingua.

Ho intenzione di fare un podcast per il perso pittura ad encausto di Cleopatra.

Speravo che qualcuno in Italia potrebbe aiutarmi a trovare le seguenti informazioni.

L’ultima persona ad avere proprietà che sembra essere stato il Barone De Benneval a Sorrento, e c’è un modo per individuare la sua discendenza?

Chi ritiene che migliori arte antica Roma?

Se state cercando informazioni su questo dipinto, quale persona o istituzione potrebbe chiedere?

Essere un detectivo nella mia ricerca, e nessuno che mi può aiutare MI presenta una corona civica virtuale sul mio sito, intaglio il tuo nome nel mio blog in sito grazie per il vostro aiuto.

Se vuoi ulteriori informazioni, vedere il suo libro (sul web) LA SCOPERTA ANTICA IMMAGINE DI CLEOPATRA AD ENCAUSTO.

Email: rob@ancientromerefocused.org

To my Italian and American friends,

Please forgive this rough translation into your language.

I intend on doing a podcast on the lost Encaustic Painting of Cleopatra.

I was hoping someone in Italy would help me find out the following information.

The last person to have owned it seems to have been the Baron De Benneval at Sorrento, and is there a way to locate his descendents?

Who do you consider that best ancient art authority in Rome?

If you were looking for information on this painting, what person or institution would you ask?

Be a detective in my quest, and anyone that can assist me I shall present a virtual civic crown on my website, carving your name into my blog site in thanks for your help.

Email: rob@ancientromerefocused.org

If you want additional information see the book (its on the web) THE DISCOVERED ANTIQUE PICTURE OF CLEOPATRA IN ENCAUSTIC.

History for the Brave!

Have you seen this painting?

Missing. 

Painting of the Queen Cleopatra. 

"Cleopatra engraving in steel after the Encaustic Painting of Sorrento." John Sartain (c.1880) Illustration from the book "On the Antique Painting in Encaustic of Cleopatra Discovered in 1818"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found in the ruins of Roman Emperor Hadrian’s villa outside Rome.    The queen is depicted as Macedonian.  The last recorded location was with Baron de Benneval in Sorrento in the 18th Century.    If found this painting might settle the debate on what the queen actually looked like.

Check basements, wine cellars and attics.  If you see it in the collection of an Arab prince please report its location to this web site.  This might be hanging in a  Japanese business man’s apartment right now, or  sitting in a farm house boxed and stored away.  It might be hanging on YOUR wall, and you had no idea what you possess.   Did your granddad or father bring it home from the war? 

Clues can be sent to:  rob@ancientromerefocused.org

Be part of the search!