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March 9, 2012     Post-Gazette
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March 9, 2012
 

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 9, 2012 Stir by Prof. Edmund Turiello Nostra of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE THREE R'S PART Classes were in session every day except the eighth- day market pause called Nundae, a five day religious festival called Quinquatrus, and the summer holidays. The school life began at the age of seven. Schools often started their day before dawn and children brought their own lamps. There was a break for "prandium" (lunch) and then schooling contin- ued. Each student was ac- companied from home to the school by a "paedagogus" or slave who acted as a guide, carried the books, and some- times assisted in the tutor- ing. Sometimes the lazy little master was accompanied by two slaves, one as the guide and assistant tutor and the second or inferior slave called a "capsarius" who carried the books -and tablets. The sole ambition of the school master was to teach his students to read, write and count. Several years having been allotted for this purpose, there were those poorer instructors who made no attempt to improve their miserable teaching methods or to brighten their dreary routine. Arithmetic was of great importance in Rome. By the edict of Diocletian, a "calculator" (arithmetic in- structor) was paid a higher salary than other teachers. Many classrooms were adorned with busts of fa- mous poets and the walls were covered with maps. The philosophy of the time was that the students should always have before them on the walls, all lands and seas, all cities and people compre- hended under the empire, for the name and position of places, the distances be- tween them, the source and outflow of rivers, the coast- line with all its seaboard, gulfs and straits, are better taken in by the eye than by ear. After the elementary school came the school of the grammarians where they studied the work of the great poets. In this school, the stu- dent first had to learn to read the poet with understanding and correct emphasis. Great stress was placed on elocu- tion, for eloquence under the Roman Republic was the only avenue to power. The II magister first read a passage and made the class repeat it. Then the passage was thor- oughly thrashed out as to its meter, geography, history, mythology and ethics. Stu- dents were forced to memo- rize many of the passages, the Latin authors most read in the first century were Vergil, Horace and Lucan. Vergil's most famous work was the Aeneid which told of the origins of Rome and praised the deeds and achievements of the Ro- mans under Augustus. Horace was contemporary with Vergil and exhibited a particular gift for irony, wit, and rhythmical expression. Lucan's work told of the war between Caesar and Pompey and was considered to be the foremost Latin epic after Vergil's Aeneid. The roots of our literary and cultural education go back at least two thousand years. They are strong, they are beautiful, and they must not be permitted to perish. Not infrequently, our attention is called to the (Continued on Page 12) Flea Market & Bake Sale for St. Francis Homeless Shelter ...... The Nazzaro Community Center will hold and sausage sandwiches. Homemade baked a Flea Market & Bake Sale for the St. Francis Homeless Shelter on Friday, March 16, 2012 from 9:00 am-6:00 pm and Satur- day, March 17, from 9:00 am-l:00 pm. We will have Mamma Romano's Famous Eggplant Sandwiches, as well as meatball goods, pastries and other goodies from bak- eries in the North End; as well as tons of treasures at our Flea Market. We will also be collecting SPARE CHANGE and new white tube socks for men and women. Help us, help the homeless! Boston Water and Sewer Commission 980 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA 02119 (617) 989-7000 BWSC Contract 10-308-003 Commercial Street Sewer Linin9 Project The majority of the sewers on various streets in the North End have been cleaned and televised to determine their condition. A section of the Commercial St. sewer between Cross and Richmond Streets will be lined the week of March 19, 2012. The BWSC has contracted Albanese D&S to perform this work. Residents can expect minimum noise and parking impacts. The work is expected to take 3 to 5 days to complete. A police detail will be on hand to facilitate traffic. Access to the sewer system may necessitate a reduction in available parking spaces in the project area. Separate notices will be delivered to impacted customers. Any questions regarding this project please contact; Mr. Bang Nguyen, Project Engineer, at (617) 989-7460. Res Publica by David Trumbull Whose Ox is Being Gored "The numerous academies in New England have been established substantially in the same manner. They hold their property by the same ten- ure, and no other. Nor has Harvard College any surer title than Dartmouth College. It may today have more friends; but tomorrow it may have more enemies. Its legal rights are the same ... They are founded by private persons, and on private property. The public cannot be charitable in these institutions. It is not the money of the public, but of private persons, which is dispensed. It may be public, that is general, in its uses and advantages; and the State may very laudably add con- tributions of its own to the funds; but it is still private in the tenure of the property, and in the right of administering the funds." The quotation above is from Daniel Webster's 1818 argument before the United States Supreme Court in the Dartmouth College case. At issue was whether the government, in this case the State of New Hampshire, could tell a private corpora- tion, Dartmouth College, what to do. I thought of this celebrated case recently when I read that the United States Conference of Catho- lic Bishops plans to pursue both "legislative and judicial efforts to restore respect for religious freedom in the nation." The points-at-law raised successfully by Webster in the Dartmouth College case -- the constitutional prohi- bition of ex post facto laws and the inviolability of con- tract -- differ from the First Amendment freedom of re- ligion and speech argu- ments likely to be used in the bishops' brief, however, the parallel in the implication of the cases is forceful. The Obama Administra- tion demands that Catholic institutions bend to the will of the state and violate their consciences by either (1) paying for what they find morally impermissible or (2) abandon corporal works of mercy such as hospitals. As they can do neither 1 nor 2 and remain Catholic, Obama is, in essence, attacking the very existence of the Catho- lic Church in America. It is much as when the legisla- ture of New Hampshire acted to dissolve Dartmouth College and reconstitute it along lines more conform- able to the state's notions for the organization of a college. Honest liberals of all reli- gions or no religion who cherish their liberties should be as concerned as Catholics now are over the Obama Administration's threat to religious liberty. As I wrote here two weeks ago, if Obama can do this, then any President, liberal or con- servative can force anyone to do anything he wants. To paraphrase Webster, other institutions (perhaps some dear to liberals now applaud- ing the Administration's health care ruling) may to- day be stronger and have more friends than the Catholic Church, to-morrow they may have more en- emies. To-day it is the bish- ops' ox. If this state over- reach into the private realm is successful, who knows whose ox will be next. INCOME TAX PREPARATION 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: gmagoon@aol.com The Agency for all your Insurance Coverages Richard Settipane AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference SPECIALIST in RESTAURANT and BUSINESS POLICIES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 - Fax 617-723-9212 1 Longfellow - Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 Conveniently located with.Free Parking