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June 22, 2012     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 22, 2612 by Prof. Edmund Nostra Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE DINNER OF TRIMALCHIO (Continued) Last week I presented the first part of a detailed account of a sumptuous Roman ban- quet provided by "Trimal- chio," a boastful, pretentious and ignorant recipient of newly acquired wealth. I de- scribed the hors d'oeuvres, cooked dormice, hot sau- sages and European song- birds called "beccaficos." This week we are told that after eating their fat song- birds rolled in spiced egg yolk, the guests washed their hands with a good grade of unwatered wine. The wine, which was served for drink- ing came from Falernos Ager, a district in the north of Campania, which produced the "Falernian" wine, one of the finest in ancient Roman times. This particular wine was 100 years old. The next dish of the evening was a large round plate containing the 12 signs of the Zodiac. At each sign the cook had placed some food appropriate to the sym- bol. At Leo there was a large African fig, Cancer con- tained boiled crabs, Gemini contained a giant double mushroom, Taurus had a round of beef, at Aries there was a saddle of mutton, Pisces had red mullet, and over Aquarius there was a plump goose. Lobsters were placed over Capricorn, Sag- ittarius contained a bulls eye and Libra had a scale with muffins on one side and small cakes on the other. At the appropriate time a sign from the host brought in waiters who lifted off the Zodiac dish, to reveal a lower section which con- tained plump fowl, sows' bel- lies and cooked rabbits made to look like Pegasus, the cel- ebrated winged horse of Zeus. In the next course, each of the four corners of the dish contained a figure of Marsyas, the flute player from mythology. A sharp sauce poured out through the flutes onto cooked fish until they ap- peared to swim around in the liquid. Next came a wild boar with a palm leaf basket hanging from each tusk. The baskets contained dates from Turkey and from Egypt, that were passed out to the diners while bearded huntsmen entered to slash the side of the boar and release a flock of thrushes. Each bird was then caught in a net by the slaves and cooked for a guest. During a stretch period, fresh covers were spread on the couches and off they went again. This time the servants brought in a boiled calf on a huge dish and laid it on the table. A swordsman rushed into the dining room and attacked the calf with swinging saber. He then collected the slices on the point of his sword and served them to the aston- ished guests. A large roasted pig was next on the menu, and when the belly was opened, it revealed cooked sausages and puddings. The soiled tables were then taken, away and replaced by clean ones. Pow- dered talc and colored saw- dust were sprinkled about the floor. Then came the sweetmeats, and an assort- ment of other desserts fash- ioned from flour, raisins, nuts and pork. All guests then took a hot batk, after which they were led into another dining room where wine flowed in rivers and the serious drinking beglan. It is said that shortly there- after some of the guests slid off the couches and onto the floor while others called for their litters and quietly went home. The host just sat there in a drunken stupor mumbling something which sounded like ... I ate the whooooole thing. Next week: The roots of your Salami DIVORCE CRIMINAL 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO GENERAL PRACTICE OF LA W WILLS ESTATE PLANNING TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 ( Real Estate Matt6o Gallo Appraisals Sales & Rentals 376 North Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-2100 Fax (617) 523-3530 Res Publica by David Trumbull A FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM Intolerance -- official state-sponsored intolerance -- is on the rise in America to an extent not seen since the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s or even the period of the "Know Noth- ings" in the mid-1800s. America's Catholic bishops have characterized the Obamacare HHS mandate as unconstitutional. It is un- constitutional. On Friday, June 8 th, sev- eral hundred of us gathered on Boston Common to rally against the mandate's un- constitutional interference with the free exercise of re- ligion. We were Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and even a few non-believers who un- derstood that the issue is not the Church's teaching on sexuality, but our Constitu- tional freedom as Ameri- cans to practice religion, or no religion, unimpeded by unjustifiable government intrusion. The Catholic bishops have called for the 14 days from June 21 st to July 4 th to be dedicated as "fortnight for freedom." and have issued, the following Q & A to explain what is at issue. "What do we mean by religious liberty? "Religious liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in the First Amendment to our Constitu- tion. It includes more than our ability to go to Mass on Sun- day or pray the Rosary at home, It also encompasses our ability to contribute freely to the common good of all Americans. "What is the First Amendment? First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights states the following: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the free- dom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." "What does "shall make no law respecting an establish- ment of religion" mean? "This phrase, known as the "Establishment Clause, started out as a prohibition on Congress' either establishing a national religion or interfer- ing with the established reli- gions of the states. It has since been interpreted to forbid state establishments of religion, to forbid governmental prefer- ence (at any level) of one reli- gion over another, and to for- bid direct government funding of religion. "What does "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" mean? "This phrase, known as the "Free Exercise Clause," gen- erally protects citizens and institutions from government interference with the exercise of their religious beliefs. It sometimes mandates the ac- commodation of religious prac- tices when such practices con- flict with federal, state, or lo- cal laws." Obviously the bishops know the Constitution, which is more than we can say for our "constitutional scholar" President. RMVLowLOtterYNumberOffers CustomerSLicensea ChanCeplatesat Coveted :::i .......... :,!ii!iiii ............. The Massachusetts Department of August 13, 2012. Transportation (MassDOT) today announced that the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Division is now accepting applications for the 2012 Low Number License Plate Lottery. Applicants in this year's drawing will be vying for 124 of the most sought after Mas- sachusetts license plates, including plate numbers 73, 295, 449, 493, 7755, and 1Z. In addition to the application being avail- able at mass.gov/RMV, customers may visit any branch to obtain an application. All entries must be mailed and postmarked by The date, time and location of the September drawing will be announced on the Registry's website. It will occur prior to September 15, 2012. Only one entry per applicant. Postcard entries will not be accepted. Winners who do not register their vehicle with their winning lottery plate by December 31, 2012 will automatically forfeit their plate. All forfeited plates will be offered to a list of 25 alternate winners who will be chosen at the drawing. Boston Water and Sewer Is Coming to Your Neighborhood A Boston Water and Sewer Commission Community Services Department representative will be in your neighborhood at the place, dates, and times listed here. Our representative will be available to: V' Accept payments. (Check or money order only-no cash, please.) v' Process discount forms for senior citizens and disabled people v Resolve billing or service complaints. Review water consumption data for your property. Arrange payment plans for delinquent accounts. Need more information? Call the Community Services Department at 617-989-7000. Boston Water and Sewer Commission 980 Harrison Avenue Boston, MA 02119 www.bwsc.org