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July 18, 2014

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 18, 2014 Stirpe Nostra by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of ou r ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. SUETONIUS, MARCELLINUS, AND CLAUDIAN This is the last issue in the entire series honoring the Latin literati. Last week we brtefly examined the work of Florus, Gaius, and Apuleius, the first three greats in the Age known as the Late Empire. Today we honor the three remaining scholars. It is probable that SUETONIUS was born in Rome about 69 A.D. into an equestrian family. There is very little information about his early life except that he started his career as a law- yer, and shortly thereafter became a private secretary to Emperor Hadrian (magis- ter epistolarum). Suetonius was a scholarly man with comparable tastes and habits. He wrote in Greek as well as in Latin. His biographical works include The Lives of the Caesars; also brief accounts of illustrious men in literature, writings on famous courtesans and on many kings. He also wrote, on Roman antiquity, their manners, customs, feasts, clothing, and public office. Additionally, his work in- cluded the reckoning of time, nature, bodily defects, and grammar. Considering all of his writings, the lives of the Caesars (Vitae Duodecim Caesarum) has come down to us in more complete form than any other of his works..Although it overflows with scandalous anecdotes, this is the publi- cation which gave him uni- versal recognition. It is cer- tainly the most celebrated today, and also the most au- thentic reference source for anyone who wants to write an X-rated movie. AMMIANUS MARCEL- LINUS was born in Syria of Greek parents, was edu- cated in Rome, served in the Roman Legions, and retired about 390 A.D. He wrote a history of the Roman Empire in 31 books which covered the period of time from Emperor Nerva in 96 A.D., to Valens in 378 A.D. Marcellinus followed the writing style of Tacitus, and although he was a heathen, he was fair in his assess- ment of the Christians. Latin was not his native tongue, therefore his expression was crude and clumsy, however; he is considered to be the last Roman historian of any worthwhile importance. CLAUDIUS CLAUDIANUS, known to us as Claudian, was born in Alexandra, moved to Rome in 395 A.D., and soon became famous. He was familiar with Greek and Latin literature, was poeti- cally gifted, and was a mas- ter of language and meter, Most of his poems were writ- ten in praise of the Emperor Honorius, and of the notori- ous General Stilicho. In spite of their flattery, the poems have an important histori- cal value. His work is of high quality and reflects impor- tant historical matter. The best work of Claudian is said to be Raptus Proserpinae (Rape of Proserpine). He also wrote epistles, epic, and mis- cellaneous poetry, and is considered to be the last important poet of this Late Empire. FINIS. NEXT WEEK: Mythology The Martyrs of Compiegne by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Throughout history, heroic Christian men and women have died for their faith. One of the most inspiring examples of sacrifice is that of the Martyrs of Compiegne. The Martyrs of Compihgne were 16 members of the Car- mel of Compi4gne, France, they included, 11 Discalced Carmelite nuns, 3 lay sisters, and 2 tertiaries of the Order, who performed the community's needs outside the monastery. During the French Revolution (1789), the nuns refused to renounce their Vows in order to obey the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of the Revolutionary govemment, which mandated suppression of their convent. Sister Henriette of the Di- vine Providence, in the court- f room at the Revolutionary Tri- bunal, on the day of their execution, boldly challenged the Tribunal's notorious pub- lic prosecutor, Antoine Fou- quier-Tinville, to explain why they were being condemned to death. In response to her repeated demands that he stop avoiding her question and answer it, the prosecu- NOBILE INSURANCE ALBANO F. PONTE, CEP Financial and Estate Planning Email Phone 617-320-0022 MICHAEL F. NOBILE, CPCU mnobile @ BOSTON 30 Prince Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-6766 Fax (617) 523-0078 MEDFORD 39 Salem Street Medford, MA 02155 (781) 395-4200 Fax (781) 391-8493 J tor finally said their "attach- ment to their religion" made them criminals and dangers to public freedom and for that reason the members of the community should be put to death. The blatantly false charges also included "hiding weapons in their convent." In answer, the 41-year old pri- oress, Mother Teresa of St. Augustine, lifted her cru- cifix from her bosom and held it up to the presiding judge saying, "The only weapon we've ever had in our convent is this. You cannot prove we have ever had any others." The revolutionary govern- ment had confiscated their convent and ejected them in September 1792 and every- thing in it had been sold. On the day of their execu- (Continued on Page 4) I DIAMONDS 1 ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 Res Publica by David Trumbull You Are Now Free to Move About the City Last fall Mayor Menino released a Taxi Consultant Report commissioned by the City of Boston and prepared by inde- pendent consultants. It confirmed what every taxi customer in Boston knows -- Boston does not have enough taxis, the ones we have are in poor repair and smell bad, the fares are exorbitant and unpredictable, and there is no accom- modation for riders with disabilities. Now that we have Uber and Lyft in Boston I never take Boston taxis. Uber and Lyft are so much better. 1. There is room for me in the back seat so, unlike a Boston taxi, I don't feel like I need a chiropractic adjust- ment after the ride. 2. The car is not a junk heap. 3. The car doesn't smell bad, nor does the driver. 4. The driver understands English. 5. The driver doesn't insist that all destinations require a trip through the Ted Williams Tunnel. 6. I pay by credit card (in Boston taxis either the card swipe is broken or the driver lies and says it is broken, and even if it does work the taxi driver grumbles and gives you a nasty look for using it.) 7. Three to five minute wait time even in busy times versus 20 minutes in non-busy times for a Boston taxi. 8. The driver won't be rude to me like a Boston taxi driver. 9. The driver will take the route I request. Actually, the Boston taxi driver doesn't actually refuse my request, but that is only because he never heard it over his own very loud foreign language mobile phone conversation that lasts the duration of the trip. 10. I can relax and talk to fellow passengers or on the phone in Lyft or Uber, in a Boston taxi I must watch the road because if I take my eyes off the road for a moment the driver will take me some wildly out of the way route that adds to the time and cost of my trip. 11. Boston taxi drivers complain because you inconve- nience them by making them push the button to open the tnmk so you can load your bags; Uber and Lyft drivers cheer- fully help you load you bags. One final observation. Women taxi drivers are rare, un- derstandably so in a job that involves letting strange men in your car. With Uber and Lyft the identities of both driver and passenger are logged into the smart phone app and women can feel safe both as a passenger and as driver. It is not at all rare for women to drive for Uber or Lyft. Real Estate Matt4o Gallo Appraisals Sales & Rentals 376 North Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-2100 * Fax(617) 523-3530 NORTH END H I STORtCAL SOCIETY Boston's North End The full length documentaD, on the hismD T of the Italian North End is almost complete. Help make it happen by contributing to the Indiegogo Campaign to raise $25,0001 For details, please go to and search by "North End DocumentaD'." Help Make it Happen!