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June 30, 2017     Post-Gazette
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PAGE 2 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 30, 2017 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. CLAUDIUS, a Summation Claudius appeared very majestic and dignified when he was sitting or standing still, but his weak legs removed that dignity when he walked. When angry, he would develop disgusting foam in the corners of his mouth and his nose would drip. He had a moderate stammer and his head was shaky at all times. He appeared to be in good health with the exception of an occasional stomach pain. There is no doubt in the minds of historians that Claudius was poisoned, but when it was done and by whom is disputed. Some say that he was poisoned by his taster Halotus while banqueting with some priests. Others claim it was done by his wife Agrippina, who served the drug mixed with mushrooms. One report tells of his excruciating pain all night and his death before dawn. Others say he vomited the entire contents of his overstuffed stomach and was given a second dose of poison mixed with some gruel. He died on October 13, 54 A.D., at the age of 64 in the 14th year of his reign. His death was kept a secret until all arrangements were made for his successor to assume command. He was buried with regal ceremony and enrolled among the gods along with his predecessors. Bust 0f Claudius at the Naples National Archaeological Museum. Once again, we come to the subject of omens concerning famous leaders. In the case of Claudius, it is claimed that the first omen predicting his death was the appearance of a comet shortly before he expired. His father's tomb was struck by lightning and many magistrates died during the year of his death. He made many appointments to public office, but for some unexplained reason their terms in office were never scheduled to last beyond the month in which he died. Lastly, it is said that when sitting on the tribunal, he declared several times that he had reached the end of his career. In retrospect, it appears that he was scholarly, an antiquarian, and one of the few people in Rome at that time who could read Etruscan. His major claims to fame are said to be the final conquest of Britain in 43 A.D., thereby accomplishing what Julius Caesar failed to do, and also his great public works in Rome. He made Mauritania a Roman province, his armies fought successfully against the Germans, and magnificently in victories against the British. He completed the Anio Novus, the longest of all of the aqueducts -- about 60 miles in length with some of the supporting arches over 100 feet high. He constructed a harbor at Ostia, including a great tower or lighthouse to guide the course of ships at night. He distributed money to the people on many occasions and gave splendid theatrical and gladiatorial shows for the public. Considering all of the stories about Claudius and his accomplishments, one fact must be accepted as true beyond any reasonable doubt ... there was never a shortage of gas during his term of office. NEXT ISSUE: Nero i With a Gift Subscription to the Post-Gazette, your generosity will be remembered every week of the year. [ ~One-year Gift ~qubscription~ We'll send the recipient an / POST-G. ETTE announcement of your gift. ............................... Their subscription will gi ....................................................... be n with the current issue ................. o_ ..... and continue for one year. ................ Fill out co_upon below and mail with paYment to: Post-Gazette, PO Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113. m m nu mmm mm m mm EN m m.m n m I m n n m i I would like to send a one year Gift Subscription of the Boston Post-Gazette to the following person(s). I have enclosed $35 per subscription. Recipient Name Giver Name Address Address City State __.Zip City State __ Zip Phone Phone by Girard A. Piante Passengers riding the MBTA's in push dumpsters. He harbors trolleys through the oldest subway in America see the Eastern European man wearing a sleeveless lime green vest cleaning floors and platforms below Boston's busy streets. Pushing a galvanized steel bucket while gripping a mop, we witness his nonstop work that varies in tasks aplenty. Early mornings to midday are his usual schedule weekdays and occasional weekends. The older areas of the subway are dark, dirty, and stifling as air hangs heavy in high humidity during warm-weather months. Yet he wears a smile carrying a broom with dust pan, sweeping trash scattered across America's fourth largest subway. You can see him at the Arlington Street and Park Street T stops. Pushing a galvanized steel bucket on four wheels with mop in hand and plastic trash bags strung to the side of his vest, he cleans dust or snow and dirt from well-worn floors. Deep within the bowels of Boston, a cleaner atmosphere exists because his earnest work ethic shines through the grime left by the bevy of people in frenetic motion. People nod to him as they scurry to screeching trolley cars. He smiles and continues his job. No matter the litter or who dropped it as passengers move about the subway clatter, he swiftly sweeps it clean. I have observed him pulling bloated black trash bags from large metal cans, tossing each a surefire technique that never slows movement of his broad shoulders and thick forearms. Women pushing strollers looking lost frantically seek the nearest elevator. He responds sympathetically to their plea. Aging folks slowly shuffling to the escalator or elevator ask his assistance with their packages or suitcases or to hold the heavy elevator door before it shuts. When tourists shout questions about trolley arrivals; he points to the light- board hanging from the ceiling. They and he have found fast friends mutually moving in our collective hustle and bustle of the day's schedule. In the 16 years using the subway, I never asked his name while we briefly share a stuffy elevator to street level. His booming voice is heard deftly instructing hundreds of passengers to step aside without bumping them. He's no doubt Eastern European. We're strangers hailing from different heritages, nations, life experiences. We both move towards a destination, albeit different in purpose and place. I recognize -- as he may, too --that we humans are in relationship to each other because we inhabit the same planet. Mere name- sharing matters not. He represents a nation teeming with immigrants searching for peace, harmony, prosperity, freedom, and a better, safer life. Happy Independence Day, America! Saint Abigail by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari St. Abigail, who is also known as St. Gobnait or St. Deborah, was a medieval Irish saint born around the 6th century in County Clare, Ireland. According to tradition, Abi- gail's family was always feuding. This caused her to run away from home and settle on Inis Oirr in the Aran Islands. After some time, an angel appeared to Abigail and told her this was not her place of resurrection. She was to head inland to find the place she would spend the rest of her life. The angel told Abigail this place would be marked with the pres- ence of nine white deer. Abigail set off in search for the deer throughout the south- ern coastal counties of Ireland. Her journey is now marked by churches and holy wells which are dedicated to her along the way. She finally found the herd of deer in Ballyvourney, County Cork, now known as St. Gob- net's Wood. Abigail would spend the rest of her earthly life dedicated to pastoral service and Christian charitable work. Her brother, St. Abban, is believed to have joined her to help set the foun- dation for a convent, placing Abigail as its abbess, or mother superior of the community of religious women. Abigail also went on to spend much of her time caring for the sick. According to early Celtic folk- lore and religious symbolism, the soul departs from the body in the form of a bee or but- terfly. So, it is not surprising that, given her deep Christian faith and belief in the Resur- rection, Abigail also became a beekeeper. It is said that she developed a powerful relationship with the bees and would use their honey to treat illnesses and heal wounds. Abigail is also credited with saving Ballyvourney from the plague. She remained settled in Bal- lyvourney until her death where she was laid to rest. St. Abigail is the patron saint of beekeepers. She is often depicted surrounded by bees or carrying a honeycomb. Her feast day is celebrated on Feb- ruary 11% WWW.BOSTONPOST(iAZETTE.COM