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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, MAY 6, 2011 by Prof. Edmund TurieUo A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. CLAUDIUS' OLD ROMAN MUSIC Not unlike his predeces- sors, and common to a char- acteristic that goes hand-in- hand with imperial power was his brutal attitude to- ward persons of lower rank. In time Claudius developed a very cruel and bloodthirsty disposition. Criminal wit- nesses were always exam- ined by torture and during gladiatorial shows he gave orders that even those who accidentally fell should be slain. He liked to watch the faces of persons who were being tortured or were dying. During the noon lunch break in the Colosseum, he would often remain in his seat, and if any of the ser- vice crew did not adequately perform their duties that morning he would hastily match them up for combat in the arena. He even forced one of his pages to enter the arena for combat while wearing a toga. He put his father-in- law and two granddaughters to death on unsupported charges, and gave them no opportunity for defense. He did likewise to his son-in- law Pompeius and also the fiance of his youngest daugh- ter. He is reported to have sentenced to death more than 35 senators and 300 Roman knights with easy in- difference. Claudius was also notori- ous for his timidity and sus- picion. He never attended a banquet without his guard and personal servants. The entourage included at least one official taster. He never visited a sick friend without first having the room in- spected for hidden weapons, and even the sick person's bedding was searched. Those who visited his palace for a morning call were subjected to the strictest search, and even women were grossly mishandled. The dinner parties of Claudius were frequent and very luxurious. He often en- tertained 500 or 600 persons at one meal. Because of the enormous amount of food that was consumed, and which of course was done in the re- clining position, there was more than just a casual con- cern for the inevitable flatu- lence (stomach gas). With most eastern cultures as well as with the Romans, the good old after dinner belch was considered a politeness and a compliment to the host. Even the most learned felt that the greatest wisdom was to follow these dictates of nature. Claudius sup- ported this philosophy to the extent that he came very close to enacting a law per- mitting any emission of wind in public places. Doctors suggested to their patients that they take full advantage of the attitudes and liberties favored by this well-mean- ing but effervescent em- peror and just throw caution to the winds. As I sit here before my trusty Underwood upright I can't help but won- der what the "sound of old Roman music" must have been like with 500 or 600 banqueting and contributing guests. Claudius had an almost in- satiable appetite for food and drink. He never left the din- ing room until he was fully stuffed and half "crocked." He went to sleep immediately after dinner, lying on his back and with his mouth open. It was standard operat- ing procedure for his atten- dant to bring in a feather and a bucket to prove that "relief is just a tickle away." NEXT ISSUE: Claudius, A Summation NE Friends of St. Francis Deliver $18k to Homeless Shelter On Wednesday April 27, the North End Friends of St. Francis House delivered $18,000 to the Homeless Shelter. "We are over- whelmed by the support of friends and family in the North End, although nothing in this wonderful neighbor- hood surprises me," stated Friends co-founder John Romano. We would like to name some of the busi- nesses that donated baked goods or allowed us to put a can in their store: Mangia Mangia's, Mike's Pastry, Bova Bakery, Dr. Anthony Bova, Lyndell's Bakery, Bos- ton Common Coffee Shop (donated coffee), Joe Pace and Son, Maria's Pastry, Contrada's Coffee Shop, Hanover Smoke Shop, Green Cross Pharmacy, Hanover Wine & Spirits and the Salem Market. A special thanks goes out to Anthony Virgilio of Old North Construction one of our major sponsors. Also, Mary and Frank Romano not only made and sold 280 of their world famous sand- wiches, but also baked 11 homemade banana breads as well. They are unbeliev- able! We also would like to thank everyone who donated items to our flea market, everyone who baked home- made goodies and Janet G., Josie, Laurie and Nichoias for helping set up. We also want to thank -Diane Armstrong who helped us tre- mendously both days. We would especially like to thank Lillian Ferullo and Maryann Tordiglione for all of their help both days run- ning the bake sale, not only are they a great help but they made us laugh all dayI I would also like to thank the Regional Review, Post Gazette, North End/Waterfront.com and Boston.com/My Town for their gracious support by running articles and free ads to help publicize the event. We would be remiss if we didn't thank Carl Ameno and Clark Hazelwood from the Nazzaro Center and Ida DePasquale and the North End Seniors for the use of their club day. The way we got to $18K is we actually raised 88,257.37 and our anonymous donor rounded it off to $9k, then matched it. This is truly a neighborhood wide event, from kids buying baked goods to the NBSS students lining, to buy lunch to all of the seniors coming by to buy some great treasurers, it is amazing! Both schools pitched in -- St. John's ran a special Tag Day and the Eliot School made a nice do- nation. Also non-profit agen- cies like North End Against Drugs, Nazzaro Center, Knights of Columbus # 1513 and the NEAA contributed, as well. "God Bless everyone who helped us this year, we are already getting geared up for next year, our goal is $20,000." stated Olivia Scimeca another co-founder of the event, along with Kathy Carangelo. LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO GENERAL PRACTICE OF LA W DIVORCE WILLS . ESTATE PLANNING . TRUSTS CRIMINAL * PERSONAL INJURY * WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY * CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 Publica by David Trumbull SEALs Seal the Deal "I believe that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is to arrange the meeting" -- General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., 2007 And in the early hours of May 2nd a Navy SEAL (SEa, Air and Land) Team settled the meeting arrangements, at least for Osama bin Laden. The Almighty was not available for comment, but a Vatican spokesman said that bin Laden will have to answer to God -- now that's an understatement! It took nearly ten years to get him, but We got him! I've never doubted that we'll win the war on terrorism. As I wrote in this space in 2004 in my column Ten Thousand Reasons Why We'll Beat bin Laden, the West will always triumph because only the West has a self-sustaining culture. Hatred of the West may motivate men to fly airplanes into build- ings, but it will never sustain itself. They hate us because we have freedom. They hate Israel because Israel is an outpost of Western freedom. The history of the West reads like a novel. It has a plot; it has development. The history of most non-western civilizations is like reading the telephone directory. In a battle between a dynamic western civilization and a stag- nant civilization, we win. In 401 B.C. an expeditionary force of ten thousand Greeks marched into the heart of Persia, then the greatest empire the world had known. There, in what is now Iraq, the ten thousand defeated a vastly larger Persia force. Xenophon, an Athenian, was one of the ten thousand. In his first- hand account, the Anabasis, you see the vast servile Persian host. You'll also meet the Greeks, a band of brothers, obedient and disciplined, but also each a free man think- ing for himself. After the battle, when the Greeks and Persians meet, under the assurances of truce, to discuss terms for an armistice, the Persians break their word and murder the Greek commanders. The ten thousand are now stranded, a thousand miles from home, surrounded by the enemy, with no one to lead them. Or so the Persians think. But the ten thousand are not Persians; they are Greeks- Westerners. They simply hold a New England-style town meeting and elect new leaders. The Persians are dumb- founded. They cannot grasp the idea of free men electing leaders. And as for the Greeks? Well, they never really wanted to conquer Persia anyway. They marched to Babylon just to put on the Persian throne someone who would be less a pain-in-the-neck to the Greeks. Having taught the Persians a lesson about Western power to effect a regime change, they simply, and quietly, marched back home. Saddam Hussein, hung by the neck until dead, Decem- ber 30, 2006 Osama bin Laden, shot through the head, May 2, 2011 More meetings yet to be arranged. Friends of are invited to remember and celebrate his life Sunday, May 15th, 2011 3:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M. Ristorante Lucia 415 Hanover Street, North End, Boston Bring your stories R.S.V.P to janekad @ yahoo.com or 617-742-5061 RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine Donato Frattaroli 415 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113 617.367.2353 -- Open for Lunch and Dinner Daffy -- Private dining rooms for any occasion donato@luciaboston,com www, luciaboston,com WWW.BOSTON POSTGAZETTE.C( )M J