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March 21, 2014     Post-Gazette
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March 21, 2014

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 21,2014 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interes ling aspects of ou r ancestry., our lineage.., our roots. Publica by David Thtmbull Crimea River IMPERATOR JULIUS CAESAR i~:~~ ~ ~ ~ ...J~....! ~.'~ .!.[ ~... Ji....!~ ~ .!:~... J L...!7_8. }.~_ J, ...~.~'~...iL..~'~ ~ ~]~-~2~-J ~x~ IL...~.~.!.~.~....]I...~!.]~.~ i-~--!!-~--F--o~---F ~ ~li~ i~i ~-Fi ~ ~i ~qf i~ ~8r-i!~ i~~ ~ r-iF~ i ~ ~-IP ~ ~ ~ ~ r~i ~~ ~,~~ ~i .... -~:-_ !L...~L'__L ................ ~.~!.._J! ................ I_..!:~3_'J&_{ ...... ./JJ.L~ L.iL.. ~.~?L.Ji ................... iJ....~?~=~?L..[ ................. ![...~t~...} The Roman calendar be- came quite hopelessly con- fused after much tampering by officials for various rea- sons, such as prolonging their terms in office, also to hasten or delay elections. Caesar consulted with the Egyptian astronomer Sosi- genes to fix the normal year at 365 days plus leap year. This we call the Julian cal- endar and it was in use until 158 when the Gregorian calendar corrected the error of eleven minutes and four- teen seconds per year. He reduced a welfare list for grain handouts from 320,000 to 150,000 and es- tablished colonies for jobless Romans. Citizenship was conferred on all foreigners who practiced medicine in Rome, and this offer was also extended to teachers of the liberal arts. He placed new controls on the pay- ment of debts, increased penalties for crimes, and ad- ministered justice with the utmost conscientiousness and strictness. He enforced laws against extravagance and had agents penetrate public mar- kets and dining rooms for compliance. He also made available to the public, the great possible libraries of Greek and Roman books. Among the honors be- stowed upon Julius Caesar were dictatorship for life, the forename of Imperator, the surname of father of his country, his statue was placed among those of the early kings of Rome, he was given a raised couch in the orchestra at the theater and a golden throne in the Sen- ate house, and lastly of course, naming the month of July after him. He is said to have been quite tall with a fair com- plexion, shapely limbs, full face, keen black eyes, and excellent health. He was meticulous about the care of his person, always well trimmed and cleanly shaved. He combed his hair forward to hide a bald spot, and often used the privilege voted him to wear a laurel wreath at any time. He usually wore a senator's tunic with fringed sleeves He completed a country estate at great cost and then tore it down because he was not exactly satisfied with it in every particular. He was always a most. enthusiastic collector of gems, carvings, paintings, and exceptionally well built slaves. His inva- sion of Britain was done in hopes of obtaining a fortune in pearls. When in the provinces, he usually gave banquets in two dining rooms, one for his officers or Greek com- panions, and the other for Roman civilians and distin- guished provincials. He man- aged his household very strictly, even putting his baker in irons for serving him one kind of bread while guests were served an infe- rior quality. It is the general opinion that he had an eye for good looking women regardless of their marital or social status. It is particularly in- teresting to note that two of his close female friends were Servilia and Tertia, the mother and sister of Brutus. The top of his list was reserved for at least two queens -- Eunde, a Moorish queen, and of course Cleo- patra, with whom he often feasted until daybreak. At one time there was con- sideration given to present- ing a bill in the Senate mak- ing it lawful for Caesar to marry as many wives as he wished for the purpose of be- getting children. The bill did not pass because it was felt that this would beget Caesar "troppo stanco" (pooped). NEXT ISSUE: Exitus Julius Caesar BOOK TALK: Child Labor in Greater Boston Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm -- Free at the West End Museum 'Forward, the Light Brigade!' Was there a man dismay'd? Not tho' the soldiers knew Someone had blunder'd: 7heirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. When can their glory fade? 0 the wild charge they made! All the world wonder'd. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred! The above stanzas are two of the six that make up Alfred, Lord Tennyson's celebrated poem, "Charge of the Light Brigade," a romantic account of Britain's blunders in the Battle of Balaclava, fought 160 years ago this October, as one important encounter of British and Russian forces in the Crimean War. Once again the West views with apprehension Russia incursion into crimea. Once again, war, a major European land war, is a real, if remote, possibility. In the Nineteenth Century Crimean War (October 1853--February 1856) Russia lost to an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. The causes of the war, and its effects on later history are too complex for this short essay. However, some things came out of the Crimean War that we live with every day. The modern nursing profession is generally regarded as having been birthed in the Crimean War out of the efforts of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), popularly known as "The Lady with the Lamp." Russia, with heavy war debts, and doubting her ability to hold onto its North American, territory should the British seek a fight over it, sold Alaska to the United States. To this day we keep our faces warm when skiing (or hidden when robbing banks) by weai ing a knitted cap that pulls down to cover most of the face, in other words, a balaclava, from the Battle of Balaclava, topic of Tennyson's poem, and the first place they were widely used. What will come out of the current conflict over Crimea? Well, in the words of an America general of about the same time as the Crimean War, William Tecumseh Sherman (1820 - 1891), "War is Hell." I'm sure the noble six hundred would agree. We Buy Diamonds, Gold and Silver lewelry~ We Buy Gold and Silver Coins J~ - 345 Broadway, Revere -- EXTRA SPENDING MONEY-- Hours lO-5:3O pm every day. Saturdays until 3:3O pm From its earliest days, Boston decreed that its chil- dren be taught to read and write English and under- stand the laws. In 1826, free and compulsory education was introduced. The wish to educate the young conflicted with the great need for unskilled labor in the fields and factories. With adult wages low, schoolchildren helped their families by sell- ing newspapers, shining shoes, hawking goods or scavenging. On reaching 14 years of age, many children left school to find full-time work. Fearing that these children would end up in low-paying, dead-end jobs, Boston Public Schools added 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 web site: e-mail: ESTABLISHED IN 1938 CELEBRA TING 76 YEARS IN BUSINESS trade schools to teach craft skills -- carpentry, printing, and metalwork for boys; dressmaking, cooking, and embroidery for girls. The national struggle to ban child labor began in the mid-19th century and ended with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Pre-registration required. Please note: Event may be subject to cancellation if mini- mum enrollment numbers are not met. The West End Museum is located at 150 Staniford Street, Suite 7, Boston, MA. For more details on this event or upcoming events call 617-723-2125 or visit thetheirwebsiteathttp:// (DRIVERS: Home Nightly!) I Boston Flatbed!- Great Pay, Benefits! 1 CDL-A, 1yr. Exp. Req. 1 Estenson Logistics / Apply: ~,. 1-866-336-9642 All the glory that was Rome ..... Pompei ~q 0 R't'H ( '1'--/D ~O~TO~x,I, ~A 02113 TEL. 617-227-1~62 FA3