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April 18, 2014     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 18, 2014 I by Prof. Edmund TurieUo A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. VERGIL During the past few weeks we have been discussing Roman scholars who were prominent during the Cicer- 6nian portion of the Golden Age. These greats were Lucretius, Cicero, Sallust, Julius Caesar, and Varro. This week we pass into the second half of the Golden Age or Augustan Period. This is the age which boasts of the famous poets Vergii, Horace, and Ovid, the popular histo- rian Titus Livy, and of course, Vitruvius, the author of a volume called "The Ten Books Ol J-krt;illLeE LUl e. Our scholarly Roman for to- day is Publius Vergilius Maro, the great national poet, and also the most famous of all Roman poets. He was born in 70 BC in a village in Cisalpine Gaul. There is no doubt about the spelling of his name since inscriptions clearly spell out Vergilius and never Virgilius. He was educated at Cremona, Mediolanum (Milan), and Neapolis (Naples), and from engraving. Some of his early unimpor- tant work included short poems about past national heroes, instructional poems, and a poem called "Catalep- ton," which provided facts about his life that were not otherwise available. Some- time around 37 BC Vergil completed his first work of major importance. These were ten pastoral poems called "Eclogues" which car- ried on a dialogue between two shepherds. The fourth of his ten Eclogues tells of the birth of a child and an ensuing period of peace and prosperit'y. This was regarded, of course, as a Virgil reading the Aeneid to prophecy of the coming of Oetawim, 19th-centu~y steel Christ. He also wrote "The Georgics" Or "Georgica." An his writings there is no doubt that he received an excellent education: His health was al- ways quite delicate ,and con- sequently he never sought to increase his popularity through a military career. Yappy Ead ,! Sal LaMattina & Family Boston City Councilor - District 1 Congressman MIKE CAPUANO agricultural poem in four books, on the life and occu- pation of farmers. It also glorified country life and told of the beauties of Italy. The Georgica is said to have exhibited a high artistic per- fection in Latin poetry and is claimed to be the literary work which confirmed his position as the foremost poet of that era. The last great work of Vergil was of course his "Aenid," an epic poem in 12 books which were composed between 29 and 19 Be. Being mythologi- cal in nature it was modeled after the Homeric poems, and told of the adventures of the hero "Aeneas" after the fall of Troy. The theme of the Aenid is founded upon an old Roman tradition that Aeneas and his Trojan warriors settled in Italy and founded Rome. This poem became the great national epic of the Roman people. Its objective was to" praise ~he glories of Rome, and to instill a patriotic feel- ing along with a religious sentiment for the god's and heroes of their ancestors. The work of Vergil, the great national poet of ancient Rome, is said to have influenced Dante Alighieri, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton and Tennyson, to name a few. NEXT ISSUE: Horace r J.M. MECHANICAL SERVICES, INC. Plumbing * Heating Gas Fitting * Fire Sprinklers Backflow Preventers COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL INDUS TRIAL (617) 561-4733 24-Hour Emergency Service LICENSED & INSURED I II I I I R Publica by David Trumbull "Listen, my children and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five." New England's original "On the Road" man looms large in these parts -- life-sized; in fact, in bronze, in Boston's North End. There, as well, yoU'll find his house preserved, just as his ride is preserved in the Longfellow poem. "You know the rest. In the books you have read, How the British Regulars fired and fled --" And that morning of April 19th officially marks the begin- ning of the American War of Independence. We celebrate it as Patriots' Day, and, like Revere, take to the road -- a renowned 26 miles of road from Hopkinfon to Boston. At the original Marathon, 26 miles from Athens, Greece, free, Democratic, Western civilization faced and defeated the forces of absolutism. It is a battle that has been fought many times. It will be fought many more times. Freedom must always be prepared to fight just to be free. On September 11, 2001, after the unprovoked terrorist's attacks on thousands of innocent, unsuspecting civilians. President George W. Bush spoke of why we were attacked, and why we shall prevail: "America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and oppor- tunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining." Our free and open society was again attacked last Patri- ots' Day. This Patriots' Day celebrations will be colored with the dark hues of mourning for those killed or injured by the diabolical actions of two wicked men. Our patriot forefathers (and every America is a Son of Liberty, regardless of when your people came here) knew that freedom is worth fighting for. This Patriots' Day let's reflect on the cause of freedom, and thank the brave American men and women who, in every war from the Revolution to our current military engagements in the Middle East, have made it possible for us to enjoy this April 2Pt as a free people. r- I J3uona Pasqua "Promoting Italian culture and the preservation of Italian heritage." 35 Bennington Street East Boston, MA 02128 Tel: (617) 561-3201 Fax: (617) 569-2898 Italia Unita, Inc. Email: ItaliaUnita @ verizon.net www.italiaunita.org uona asqua STATE REPRESENTATIVE 1sT SUFFOLK DISTRICT .... Happy Easter Emanuel