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February 3, 2012

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY3, 2012 l Stirpe Nosh:a  ,, by Prof. Edmund Turiello  ,  A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. i COMMODUS ... THE BASTARD RULETH Commodus had not only developed the habit of drink- ing all night long but often wandered through taverns and brothels, squandering the resources of the Roman Empire. Even the selection of provincial rulers was made from among his crimi- nal companions, or was rec- ommended by them. He so detested the Senate that he vowed to destroy all of them, consequently, some senators formed a conspiracy against him. The fool who was sent to perform the assassination betrayed the plot by forecast- ing his intention before per- forming the deed, and was quickly overpowered. Need- less to say, this set off a round of executions. Meanwhile Saoterus, the lover of Commodus, became more powerful than the of- ricers could endure. He was escorted from the palace through a ruse and assassi- nated. Commodus, who was now angered more than he had been concerning the at- tempt on his own life, started a wholesale purge of the Praetorian Guard, exter- minated one entire family named Quintilii, and a number of high ranking of- ficials. After this incident, Commodus appeared in pub- lic infrequently, performed few, if any, of the duties re- quired of an emperor, and even processed written mes- sages through his secretary Perennis. The emperor was now easily persuaded to devote himself to pleasure while the secretary assumed all of the burdens of the gov- ernment, and of course the power that went along with those burdens. Commodus now living a riotous life in the palace amidst his drinking, gam- bling, banqueting, baths, and 300 concubines. Secretary Perennis gradually secured all of the power, carried on indiscriminate executions, plundered at will, violated all of the laws, and stuffed his own pockets. Mean- while back at the bedstead, Commodus debauched most of his sisters, conducted an affair with his father's cousin, and killed his wife because she cheated on him. He then became involved in the too, re exotic forms of entertainment, this consisted in having his concubines debauched before his own eyes while he became intimate with young men. Now, by a strange turn of fate, Perennis was declared an enemy of the state, was executed, and his office was presented to Cleander. This turned out to be just one more case where the cure was worse than the sickness and more crimes were com- mitted under Cleander than under Perennis. Prefects of the guard were being changed daily or hourly, and all positions of honor were sold for money. Once again, condemnations, plundering, and executions became the order of the day until by still another strange turn of events, Commodus caused the death of Cleander. It was at this time in his- tory, about 189 A.D. when Commodus pulled out all stops and went on a whole- sale killing spree which included (for fear of retalia- tion) the kin of most victims. Bellona was a mythical goddess of war, with an active cult of worshippers. In his passion for cruelty Commodus actually ordered each of the male worshipers to cut off one of his arms while devotees of another cult were forced to beat their breasts with pine cones to the point of death. He was fond of dressing as an Amazon and carrying a club. In this manner he fought lions in the arena but also struck at any men who came near him. Men with feet and leg deformities were dressed to look like giants, and then he stalked and killed them with bow and (Continued on Page 13) ROMNEY WINS BIG IN FLORIDA, Next Stop Nevada Mitt Romney carried the Florida Primary over Newt Gingrich with 47 percent of the vote to Newt's 31 percent. In this primary it was win- ner take all of the 51 del- egates at stake. The Romney forces see the result as a big step toward winning the party's nomination to chal- lenge President Obama in the November 6 elections. Many credit the big win to aggressive debate presenta- tions and big time negative campaigning. Supporters of Romney view this as a big win since Florida is viewed as a mini-America with its diverse population including Tea Party conservatives, by Sal G l arratani evangelical Christians and Cuban Americans. Newt Gingrich promised to carry the fight forward in the name of the conservative INCOME TAX PREPARATION Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette Financial Services Professional Tax Consultant Personal & Business Year Round Service M.P. & Co. TAX & FINANCIAL SERVICES GRACE PREVITE MAGOON, EA 617-569-0175 146 Maverick Street, East Boston, MA 02128 ESTABLISHED IN 1938 e-mail: movement saying a moder- ate Republican from Massa- chusetts seemingly cannot beat Obama in November. Also, in the middle of the good news from the election results was a recent poll of independent voters, a bloc the GOP needs in November shows 49 percent of indepen- dents look unfavorably at Mitt while only 31 percent hold him in high regard. Those numbers must change in a battle against Obama and the Democrats. Meanwhile the campaign moves forward, many think that Super Tuesday, March 6 could be the make or break date for Gingrich. I DIAMONDS 1 ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 Could Go Here For information about advertising in the Post-Gazette, call 617-227-8929. North End Historical Society Offers Free Events On FIBRUARY 8, NEHS President Alex Goldfeld will speak about Boston's earliest African-American community, located in the North End, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. David Lambert, an expert genealo- gist, and Joseph Carvalho III, a researcher and author on African-American genealogy in western Massachusetts, will also make presentations. All participants will receive free access to the NEHGS research library for the day, with time to research on your own! Registration required. Call 617-226-1226 to register. More details located here. On FEBRU.&RY 28 at 6:00 pm. (location TBA) Melissa Mannon, M.S., will speak about caring for your family's valuable informational materials. Mannon will sign copies of her The Unofficial Family Archivist: A Guide to Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia. She will discuss the basics about avoiding factors that can harm or destroy your materials; the best ways to ensure that your family history is documented and maintained for future generations; options for duplication, digitization and conservation of cherished family items; and considering your family's role in a wider community history. Mannon is the proprietor of and is an archivist and cultural heritage consultant with twenty years of experience. On MARCH 29, 6:00 pm, at Sacred Heart Church Hall, Lori Rogers-Stokes, Ph.D., a public historian and a mem- ber of the Board of Directors of the Arlington Historical Society, will discuss Arlington's role as a watch post along the spy road from Boston to the Provincial Congress in Concord. She will also elaborate on the mood of the coun- tryside at the time of the Revolution and the partnership between the town of Boston and neighboring communities. This event is cosponsored by the Arlington Historical Society, founded 1897. Please join us for these FREE events. If you would like to renew or buy a membership, please visit our website at Lastly, if you haven't already, please become a fan on Facebook at Facebook. com/ NorthEndHistory. WARD 3 DEMOCRATS TO HOLD CAUCUS Registered Democrats in Ward 3 of Boston will hold a caucus at the Nazzaro Community Center, (30 North Bennett Street) on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY, 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM to elect del- egates to the 2012 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Registration will begin at 10:00 AM. The Convention will be held on Saturday, June 2 n at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. Democrats from across the Commonwealth will gather during that day to endorse a candidate for United State Senate. The caucus is open to all registered Democrats in Ward Three. For caucus information please Ward Chairman Jason A. Aluia at or 617-447-4987. NORTH END00 ,,PcERIsT,N.TITNog00o0000 Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs I Books and Invitations Program Wedding Party Stationery Business Cards Menus Flyers Announcements Business Forms and Documents COMPETITIVE PRICES 617-227-8929