Posts tagged Pompeii


pompeiiSometimes it reads like a travelogue.  I don’t care.  It’s one of my favorite books AND IT HAS TIME TRAVEL (mix time travel and Ancient Rome and you got me.)  To be honest it takes more than that:  great writing, a good story, and a great analysis between ‘then’ and ‘now’ – add a love story and I’m yours.  I’ve read it twice.  Is that recommendation enough?

The main character is named Miranda.  The name itself has meaning.   It is derived from the Latin, Mirandous, meaning admirable, wonderful.  Ms. East’s protagonist fits the bill.  She is a great time traveler, knowledgable, flexible and can read people in what to her is a familar (because she studied them) but still ‘alien’ world.  I have always wondered what would happen if ‘modern man’ was thrust back to that time how he would survive.  The number of cooks, bakers and candlestick makers have depleted in the modern world.  Miranda survives because she is a storyteller.  Imagine what the Romans would have thought of Shakespeare, Dickens, and Hans Christian Andersen?

I have no doubt I will read this story again.

Name that Classical Connection (8)

In the last Name that Classical Connection I asked readers to identify the classical connection of the Tribune Tower in Chicago, Illinois.  Steven Lee was kind enough to point out the meaning of  the name ‘Tribune’ itself.  He is right – I give him that.  Yet, there is more.  Much more.

95866948_ncnGZkc7Imagine a place in Chicago that you can travel about the world, time and space all within fifteen minutes.  Yes, you can visit antiquity and place your hand upon it.  The secret is in the foundation and the stones of the Tribune Tower located at 435 North Michigan Avenue. It looks like a cathedral done in Neo-Gothic style.  If your a visitor to the city, its just over the river heading north on Michigan (There is a great Starbucks just a block away if you need to fortify yourself and an Argo Tea is at street level in the same building). I strongly suggest you get your favorite brew and take some time to walk around the building.  Don’t hang back, get in close and bring your camera.

Reporters at the height of the power of the Tribune Newspaper traveled the world.  The record of their travels is in the walls not ON the walls.  TheyTribune-Tower-rock-Sibyls-Cave-Naples-Italy-1024x768 Tribune-Tower-rock-Roof-tile-Roman-Ruins-Birecik-Turkey-1024x768brought back a record of man’s achievements. In one section is a stone from the Parthenon.  A wall tile from Pompeii can be seen embedded in another part of the wall.  Look for it and you will find a slab from the Colosseum, and a building tile from the Stabian Baths in Pompeii.  Reporter after reporter brought the world back to Chicago.  Each of these stones were embedded into the wall of the Tribune Tower to add to the luster of this news organization.    No one will bother you if you stop and stare. tribune-tower-great-pyramid

Low angle view of a tower, Tribune Tower, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Low angle view of a tower, Tribune Tower, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Aesop's Fables carved above the door.  These are tales that gave moral lessons, and what better inspiration for reporters that are on their way to work?

Aesop’s Fables carved above the door. These are tales that gave moral lessons, and what better inspiration for reporters that are on their way to work?

Take the time to walk around the building and you transverse other times and places other than the classical world.  A stone from the Great Wall of China.  A building stone from Remagen Bridge, and ornate piece of tile from the Forbidden City, even a piece of steel from the World Trade Center can be seen.

This is a history buff’s dream, travel without travel, stones from history itself — touchable and available to the public.

Welcome to the Ancient World

roman-art-cool-reliefWelcome to Ancient Rome Refocused.  

This blog is devoted to the open and free discussion of Ancient Rome.   Most entries will be based on podcasts that will be available on itunes.   I have just completed my first podcast, and my time frame to post it on itunes will be in January 2010.  Those of you that don’t subscribe, I will place a partial transcript on this site for your comments.     On occasion, I will post a commentary or an observation not related to any podcast.    

Remember, I am not an expert, but a fan of that era.  I believe there are many more fans out there as well.   Feel free to comment on the posts that I make.  If there is something you disagree with…I want to hear about it.  If there is something we have not considered…let’s hear about that as well.  I am willing to listen to your ideas, but please respect those who participate on this site.  As I said in the ‘house rules’ Attack ideas not people.  

If you have any questions about this site, or any suggestion on future blog entries or future podcast subjects email me at    

I hope you enjoy my observations and flights of the imagination.  I may not always be right, but I will promise you that my intent is to educate while at the same time entertain. 

I can promise you that I will always respect the facts. 

Join me for the journey.