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March 20, 2015

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f-/ / Page2 ...... - POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 20, 2015 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. Publica by David TrumbuU Return to Sender I Last week's column high- lighted Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. This week your attention is directed to Venus, the Roman counter- part. Prior to her identifica- tion with Aphrodite, Venus was the goddess of gardens and spring, one of the least important of the Roman dei- ties. She was also wor- shipped as "Calva" (The bald), a cult which was started about 625 B.C. by Ancus Marcius, the third Sabine king of regal Rome, because his wife was losing her hair. Some historians attributed the name Calva to the fact that on her wedding day, each Roman bride cut off a lock of her hair and sacri- ficed it to Venus. "Paetus" was another name often used in Rome. It identified a person who squinted in one eye. The Latin expres- sion was "Venus paeta" (Ve- nus-eyed), because it was regarded as an added dimen- sion to one's beauty. In later years, the worship of Venus became more closely associated with that of Aphrodite, consequently, new dimensions were added. During the third or second century B.C. the worship of Venus Erycina was intro- duced from Sicfly's Mt. Eryx. A temple in her honor as Venus Verticordia (from the Latin vertex or vortex}, the goddess who turns the hearts of men, was built in Rome after a Vestal Virgin was killed by lightning. Even Julius Caesar caused the construction of a temple VENUS Bronze figurine of Venus, Lyon (Roman Lugdunum} called Venus Genetrix (Venus the Mother), because he claimed that, as mother of Aeneas, she was the ancestor and guardian of the entire Roman race. Aphrodite and Venus were worshipped as one and the same more often than any other deity in mythology. Also, more often than not, the location of a statue or. painting of this goddess de- termined whether she was called Aphrodite or Venus. Here again, as in the case of Apollo, there is hardly a famous artist from the past who didn't take a turn in pre- senting his own version of this queen of beauties, ac- cording to some particular story or legend that he wished to portray. Her most celebrated statue, of course, just has to be the "Aphrodite of Melos" or as it is more popularly known, "Venus de Milo". It was found on Melos, the most westerly island of the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea, The island became an Athenian colony sometime around 400 B.C., however, there appears to be no infor- mation about the master- piece, other than the fact of being found among some ru- ins, in the year 1820. It was purchased by the Marquis deRiviere, who presented it to Louis XVII and it now stands in the Louvre. Another well known statue of this goddess is the "Medici Venus." For those who are not familiar with the Medici family, please let me add that the family greatness started with Cosimo de Medici in the 15th century. He was known as "The Great Merchant of Florence" who spent his immense wealth liberally for the ad- vancement of art and sci- ence. About fifty years later, Lorenzo di Medici became the greatest patron of litera- ture and art that any prince had ever been, with a collec- tion of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and carved gems, available to all artists and (Continued on Page 7) The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Invite you to attend the fifth public meeting on the CENTRAL ARTERY RAMP PARCEL STUDY Wednesday, April 15, 2015 6-8 PM at the BRA (Boston City Hall, 9th Floor, BRA Board Room) MassDOT is required to consider options for covering the open ramp portions of Central Artery/Tunnel Parcels 6, 12 and 18 along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, resulting from environmental commitments made as part of the Central Artery/Tunnel project. MassDOT and BRA officials are continuing to study options to define potential cover alternatives for the ramp portals. At this next public meeting, staff from MassDOT and the BRA, along with their consultant team will present refined ramp parcel cover concepts that have been developed based on feedback received from four (4) prior public meetings including formal comments received after the most recent January 8th public meeting. We would like to invite interested parties to attend for a study update and a discussion on the next steps in the process. Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette Visit our project website at If you have any specific questions, please contact: John Romano Lauren N. ShurUeff Legislative Liaison, MassDOT Senior Planner, BRA emaih email: This meeting space is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation (such as American Sign Language Interpreters, assistive listening devices, handouts in alternate formats, etc.) and/or language assistance to fully participate, please contact John Romano at MassDOT at 857-368-8905 or before April 8th. Such accommodations will be provided free of charge. Feeling lonesome, forgotten? Just once give money to a political cause, or subscribe to a magazine with an ideo- logical bent and you'll never again want for mail to read. Months go by with no letters from my family. Friends never write. But everyday my box overflows with appeals to become a "charter member," respond to an important "survey," or learn that "help is here!" And that's just from the enve- lopes of recent political mailings. Envelopes -- large, small, brown, white, colored, self- mailers -- when it comes to messages, political mail houses know how to stuff it. Only amateur outfits use plain white number ten envelopes. The big boys of the fundraising racket have graduated to oversized six-by-nine inch enve- lopes -- or even bigger, up to a foot long. For Official Use Only "Postmaster: Deliver to Addressee Only," says the large print on the package. Now that begs the question, "What does the postmaster usually do? Hand my marl out to random strangers? Each piece bears all the marks of official corre- spondence, entrusted to the care of the U.S. Postal Service (even if only at the reduced bulk rate), expedited for my immediate action. Do I agree that "students should be sent home from school for saying grace silently over lunch?" asks a conservative religious group's "official survey." Surely the tally on that question will be close. The Republicans want to know if I think that "Tax cuts that benefit all Americans, not just the Democrats' special interests" are important. I bet congressional Republicans are even now waiting for my answer. Then again, given some of their cave-ins on tax cuts, maybe they think there actually is a Republican con- stituency for tax cuts for Democrats' special interests. Once, I answered a questionnaire as if the sender actu- ally wanted my answers. The organization, National Right to Work Committee, lobbies for issues -- mainly the right to choose one's own associates -- which I support. Still, it is not a group that I choose to join. To the survey question "do you consider yourself a member of the NRWC?" I responded "No," and wrote in that I would, nevertheless, like to receive their newsletter. I also enclosed, to help pay for mailing the newsletter, a small contribution, well below the indicated membership fee. Back comes a form letter thanking me for renewing my membership. Enclosed was a membership card. Gold cards, cards in every hue, all made to look like credit cards, complete with card numbers and expiration dates -- I gotta slew of 'em. Over a three-year period I received nearly 50 of these cards from the Republican National Committee, the Massachusetts Republican Party, The Heri- tage Foundation, and several other organizations, most of which I have not given money to. Presidential election years are the best. One year I got 11 membership cards just from the Republican National Committee. I can hardly wait to see what 2016 brings. Recently one Christian organization sent me a solicita- tion for a real credit card -- a Visa at the usurious rate of 17 percent. Usually rates that high are accompanied by complementary leg-breaking ff you fall behind on payments. Perhaps they'll repossess my soul. Giving your name to these vultures just to get more mail is a Faustian bargain to be sure. But, I'll always have my genuine color photocopy of a photo of Ronald Reagan and my secret decoder ring with the combination to the safe in Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office. Keep those cards and letters coming. 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