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June 20, 2014     Post-Gazette
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June 20, 2014

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 20, 2014 Stir ep_00 Nostra by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. PLINY THE ELDER Gaius Pinius, called Pliny the Elder, was born at Novum Comum {now called Como}, in northern Italy, and moved to Rome at an early age. When he was twenty-three years of age he entered the military forces and served as a cavalry commander under Emperor Claudius, then as a Provincial Governor under Vespasian, and lastly as Fleet Commander under Titus. His fleet was stationed at Misenum (near Naples) in 79 A.D. when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. His deep interest in such scientific phenom- enon caused him to sail across the bay to the doomed city of Stabiae for a closer inspection of the volcano. He evidently had gotten too close and died by suffocation from the strong volcanic fumes. During most of his life, Pliny was occu- pied in his military or civic duties; however, he was able to carry an extensive scientific study which occupied all of his leisure time. He wrote many books on military, grammatical, rhetorical and biographic sub- jects. About two hundred manuscripts of this work are still in existence. He also com- posed two great historical works. The first of these was a history of the Germanic Wars in twenty books. The second history is his masterpiece, and this is the "Historica Naturalis" (Natural History) in thirty-seven books. The last history was originally dedicated to Titus and published in 77 A.D. but he continually worked to improve it right up to the time of his death. We are told that he prepared his encyclopaedia of natural history from approximately twenty thousand notices or facts, and these were taken from about two thousand published works or writings by more than four hundred authors. His work ran the full gamut of subjects which included astronomy, physics, geography, ethnography, anthropology, zoology, pharma- cology of vegetables and animals, mineral- ogy, and commentaries on the history of art. Some minor defects in his work are excused or quickly dismissed due to the enormity of his accomplishments and the short amount of time he required to finish it. The facts and information contained in his work are a gold mine and storehouse of inestimable value, and a monument to the industry of this great scholar. Pliny the Elder was a good soldier, states- man, and outstanding author. He has often been referred to as the Roman representa- tive of encyclopaedic learning, and the most knowledgeable man in the Silver Age of Roman literati. NEXT ISSUE: Seneca Res Publica by David Trumbull David Trumbull Licensed by the Department of Homeland Security David with his Wife Mary and Port Director Helen Sterling. In a ceremony Tuesday at the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building in Boston Post-Gazette columnist and international business consultant David Trumbull received his Customs Broker license from Helen T. Sterling, Direc- tor of the Port of Boston. Ms. Sterling congratulated TrumbuU on passing the Customs Broker Examination -- which, with a success rate of just 5%, is said to be more difficult than the bar exam -- and said, "This significant accomplish- ment authorizes you to conduct Customs business on behalf of others, and empowers you to uphold the regulations set forth in 19 CFR 111 [the section of U.S. law governing imports]." After the income tax, the largest source of revenue for the U.S. government is the duty collected on imported mer- chandise. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, relies on its partnership with the approximately 11,000 licensed Cus- toms Brokers nationwide to further its mission of facilitat- ing legitimate trade and to ensure compliance with the Priority Trade areas of Ant.idumping and Countervailing Duties, Import Safety, Intellectual Property Rights, Textiles, and Trade Agreements. Call 617-387-5110 to speak with a member of our business development team today[ Member FDIC EQUAL HOUSIN6 LENDER Member DIF AGLEBANK I 800-BANK-EAGLE The North End's Community Bank