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May 25, 2012     Post-Gazette
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May 25, 2012

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, MAY 25, 2012 Stir00 Nostra CHOW The dining room in the house of the more affluent Roman citizen was called the "triclinium" and was usually twice as long as it was broad. The supervision or superintendence of this room was entrusted to a slave who was called the "tricliniarcha." He and his "tricliniarii" (assistants) were responsible for the maintenance and order of the room. The name triclinium was taken from the three reclin- ing couches which were a part of the normal furniture in any well organized dining room. Each couch was de- signed to accommodate three persons who dined, by tradition, in a reclining position. Nine persons were the designated number for a Roman feast, however, if the room was large enough ad- ditional guests might be in- vited and other groups of nine could be set up around a second or third table. In- vited guests usually arrived in a litter carried by their slaves. A "nomenclator" an- nounced the guests upon their arrival and showed them to their places on the triclinia in accordance with a system of protocol. At least one of the slaves at- by Prof. Edmund Turiello  A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. DOWN IN OLD ROME tended his master by first washing his feet and later by serving his food during the evening hours. During ear- lier times, women and chil- dren sat on stools near the couches, but in later years the women took their places beside their men on the triclinia. Dining in a reclining posi- tion was an oriental influ- ence and one to which westerners found it very dif- ficult to become accus- tomed. After being accepted, it was considered to be a mark of social distinction. Slaves were permitted to re- cline like their masters only on holidays. The "toga" was probably the most awkward and uncom- fortable garment to wear under normal walking con- ditions or in the daily rou- tine and it was virtually im- possible to wear during the cena. It is understand- able then, that for the pur- pose of this meal, taken in a reclining position, a spe- cial undress garment called the "synthesis" was devised. This synthesis was nothing more than a long tunic with sleeves; not good looking, but practical. The three reclining couches in the tricinium PART II were arranged in a U-shaped pattern around a central "mensa" or table. One side or approach to the table was left open for serving. All of the guests lay fiat on their stomachs, crosswise on the sloping couches, with their arms towards the food table. "Ministratores" (waiters) brought in the dishes which were placed on the tables and the guests shovelled in the food with a minimum of effort. They were furnished with knives, spoons and toothpicks, but forks were unknown. Most of the food was eaten with the fingers and this, of course, required that hands be washed before the start of the meal and af- ter each course. Slaves as- sisted by pouring perfumed water over the hands of the diners and then wiping them with a towel. Napkins were spread out in front of the diners so as not to soil the couches. It was quite common for a person to bring his own napkin in or- der to take home any of the food that he did not have the time or the strength to con- sume and also for gifts which the host freqUently gave. NEXT WEEK: Chow Down In Old Rome - Part Ill Ward 20 GOP Committee Elects New Board Members Several weeks ago, the Ward 20 Republican Com- mittee gathered at the West on Centre Street for their annual meeting. The com- mittee now has 13 elected members of the possible 35 ward seats available. Thir- teen doesn't sound like many but it is much better than just a few weeks ago. Ward 20 includes all of West Roxbury and much of Roslindale. Former GOP gu- bernatorial candidate Ed- ward F. King, who ran un- successfully against Frank Hatch back in 1978, showed up at this recent ward meet- ing. Ward 20 Chairman Brad Williams said 13 members is "a great turnout," because by Sal Giarratani when we started this three or four years ago there were five of us at a dining room table in somebody's house." Ed King addressed the group said, "The rejuvena- tion of the ward committees and the town committees and the city committees is vital to the two-party system. When you have one party in total control you're asking for corruption. If the Repub- lican Party was in total con- trol we'd probably have the same problem; we are not holier than thou .... let's have the Republican Party stand for something other than fixing what the other party has done. We need to have backbone, not what the Boston Harborside Home Joseph A. Langone 580 Commercial St. - Boston, MA 02109 617-536-4110 Augustave M. Sabia, Jr. Trevor Slauenwhite Frederick J. Wobrock Dino C. Manca Courtney A. Fitzgibbons A Service Family Affiliate of AFFS/Service Corporation International 206 Winter St., Fall River, MA 02720 Telephone 508-676-2454 J Democrats do, but get rid of it." King supports the elimina- tion of the EBT card program rather than placing restric- tions on use and he also sup- ports the privatization of the MBTA system. Charles Grillo, a member of this Ward 20 organization said he believes West Roxbury is more conserva- tive than it appears. Katie Regan, the new Ward 20 vice chairman added, "I think West Roxbury is very conser- vative, it's not a message issue for Republicans look- ing back to 1978, I had been rooting for Edward F. King getting the Republican nod because Massachusetts would have had Republican Edward F. King running against Democrat Edward J. King for governor that year. King versus King! Long live the King! co/umnists! and contr/butors are not necessarily the same as those of The Post-Gazette its publisher or editor, Photo S missions are accepted by the Post-Gazette provided they are dear, original photos. There is a 85 charge for each photo s mitted. Photos can be submitted via e-mail: posc.gazette@aoLcorrL If you want your photos re- turned, include a self-addressed, stamped enveape. Res Publica by David Trumbull Buy a Poppy for a Disabled Vet Each year I see fewer and fewer men on the street wear- ing remembrance poppies on Memorial Day, since 1971 celebrated on the last Monday in May. One year I couldn't even find anyone selling Buddy Poppies, the paper replica flowers that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell to raise money for disabled veterans. Ninety years ago, before Memorial Day in 1922, the VFW conducted its first poppy distribution, thus becoming the first veterans' group to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. In 1924 the VFW registered with the U.S. Patent Office the trademark right to the name Buddy Poppy. The VFW guarantees that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name Buddy Poppy. When you buy your Buddy Poppy to wear this Memorial Day you will be giving material aid to a disabled veteran. And when you wear your Buddy Poppy you will be, to every- one who sees you, a reminder of the meaning of Memorial Day. The American Legion also sells crepe paper poppies for Memorial Day. That is another fine organization worthy of your support. Although the United States Department of Veterans Affairs states "The wearing of poppies in honor of America's war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veter- ans Day" many of us do join our friends from the British Commonwealth nations in wearing the red poppy of remem- brance on November 11 TM as well. This Memorial Day remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion to cause of liberty. In FIanders fields the poppies grow Between the crosses, row on row That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The Torch." be yours to hold it high! If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. -- John McCrae (1872-1918) 00lorian's 00auses [ FUNDRAISER RAFFLE Florian's Causes, a North End based charity, is pleased to announce its 2012 fundraiser for wounded troops and families of fallen firefighters. This year's raffle prize is Florian's Causes' best yetI An ALL-INCLUSIVE TRIP FOR SIX people to the magnificent ISLAND of ST. JOHN in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Round trip airfare for six people Accommodations at Florian Villa, a three bedroom villa with a private salt water pool and spectacular ocean views Meals delivered daily to the villa Rental cars Private boat excursion Proceeds from this raffle are to sponsor a recupera- tive trip to St. John this fall for a seriously wounded Marine from our local Marine Reserve Unit. Tickets for the raffle are $I00 and only 300 will be sold. Tickets may be purchased at or by mailing a check to Florian's Causes, 8 Battery St. #12, Boston, MA 02109 (include your address and phone number so we can mail your ticket). The draw- ing will be held in the North End on June 23, 2012. Florian's Causes is a 501c3 Charitable Organization founded and run by North End residents, Scott and Deborah Wahlen. Scott is also the Captain of the ladder truck at the North End Firehouse and Deborah is a member of the North End Mothers Association. For more information about Florian's Causes and the raffle, visit I