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PAGE 2 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 11, 2017 by Prof. Edmund Turiello Nostra A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. CHICKEN NERO Blessed Duns Scotus By Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Duns Scotus is generally con- sidered to be one of the three most important philosopher- theologians of the High Middle Ages. Scotus has had consider- able influence on both Catholic and secular thought. The birthplace of Scotus has been the subject of much debate, with claims made by Scotland, Ireland and England. But it is believed with some certainty he was born in 1266 at Duns in the county of Berwick, Scotland. Scotus was born into a wealthy farming family. He received the habit of the Friars Minor at Dumfries, where his uncle Elias Duns was superior. After novitiate, John studied at Oxford and Paris and was ordained in 1291. More studies in Paris followed until 1297, when he returned to lecture at Oxford and Cambridge. Four years later, he returned to Paris to teach and complete the requirements for his doctoral degree. He began lecturing on Peter Lombard's Sen- tences at the prestigious University of Paris towards the end of 1302. Later in that academic year, however, he was expelled from the University for sid- ing with Pope Boniface VIII in his feud with King Philip IV of France over the taxation of church property. In 1307, Duns Scotus was appointed professor at the Franciscan school in Cologne, Germany. The traditional account of his appointment states that Duns Scotus received the minister general's letter while walking with his students and set out at once for Cologne, taking little or nothing with him. Duns Scotus lectured at Cologne until his death on November 8, 1308. Father Charles Balic, O.F.M., the foremost 20~-century authority on Scotus, has written: "The whole of Scotus' theology is dominated by the notion of love. The characteristic note of this love is its absolute freedom. As love becomes more perfect and intense, freedom becomes more noble and integral both in God and in man" John Duns Scotus, known as the "Subtle Doctor," was beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 20, 1993. "The Martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul" c.1527-28, Cre Trento, Antonio da; (Italian; c. 150B-after1550} After Parmigianino, Franceseo Mazzola; (Italian; 1503-1540) Some astrologers predicted a long reign for Nero and some even described the re~_rn of all of his former fortunes. These dreams were soon shattered by the news of uprisings and revolts in the provinces. He immediately formed many wicked plans of monstrous proportions. He planned to degrade and assassinate the commanders of the armies along with the governors of all of the provinces; to massacre all exiles as well as all men of Gallic birth then in the city of Rome; to direct the armies to ravage the provinces; to poison the entire Senate at banquets; and then, as a "piece de resis- tance," he planned to release all of the wild beasts that were held in captivity so that they could roam the streets while he set fire to the city. Needless to say, these plans did not make him the prime candidate for the "Man of the Year" award. Meanwhile, realizing that the end might be near, he put some poison in a golden box and sent his most trustworthy servants to Osfia to get a fleet ready. After evasive answers and outright refusals, he put off further decisions until the following day. He awoke about midnight to find that he had been completely deserted with the exception of two or three freedman, and is reported to have cried, "I have neither friend nor foe[" He ran out to throw himself in the Tiber but stopped when his feet hit the cold water, thereby providing inspiration for the culinary concoction of later generations called "chicken Nero." This is where the chicken is served in a standing position with its feet in borsch. He accepted an offer to use a villa about four miles away and traveled part way by horse and the rest of the way by walking or crawling through the brambles. Word was soon received that he was declared a public enemy by the Senate and that they had ordered punishment in the ancient fashion. This kind of punishment consisted of being stripped, secured by the neck in a kind of fork, and then beaten to death with rods. Thoughts "w .... of this kind of execution along | with the sound of approaching horsemen forced him to say, "What an artist the world is losing!" Then with the help of the freedman he drove a dagger into his throat and he was gone. It is said that in death his eyes protruded from their sockets in such a fashion that all who saw him shuddered with terror. Funeral rites were conducted and his ashes were deposited in a family tomb. In retrospect; it should be noted that while history should regard Caligula as the most grotesque figure ever to serve as emperor of the Roman Empire, Nero certainly finished a close second. He was degenerative in his habits and shameless in his personal appearance. He longed for immortality and everlasting fame. He achieved his immortal- ity through his deeds though, of course, not through his person. His depravity and cruelty certainly live in the hearts of Christians for all of the time that they remain on earth. The manner in which he attempted to achieve everlasting fame was exactly what made him one of the most infamous persons to ever draw breath. He and he alone was responsible for the persecution of St. Peter and St. Paul. The huge obelisk in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome should serve as a constant reminder of two of the most brutal men that this world has ever known. The obelisk was brought to Rome from Heliopolis in old Egypt and was transported via a special boat that was constructed by Caligula. It was later placed on the spina (median strip) of Nero's circus, and it was at the base of this obelisk that St. Peter and count- less numbers of Christians were martyred. It was moved from its original position to its present location by Pope Sixtus in 1586. Caligula died at the age of twenty-nine after four years of reign and Nero died at the age of thirty-one after fourteen years of reign. Oh how history would have been changed if these two cruel and evil men had never walked upon the face of this earth! NEXT ISSUE: The End of the Line Stardust Returns for City Hall Plaza Disco Night Music of the disco era and beyond will come alive as the Stardust dance band returns to the Dorothy Curran Wednesday Night Concert Series at City Hall Plaza on August 16th at 7:00 p.m. Led by bandleader Keith Kostick and singers Cecilia Colucci and Charles Clark, Stardust is a local super-group featuring some of New Eng- land's most talented and experienced musicians. Stardust packs the dance floor where revelers of all ages get to get up and boogie under the sum- mer sky. Stardust's popularity at private events means that public appearances are limited, so this Disco Night is a rare treat for both the band and its fans. For more information, please call {617)-635- 4505 or visit www.boston.gov/departments/ parks-and-recreation.corn or facebook.com/ bos- tonparksdepartment. (= fill i = ..... ii iiiiiiii) Vinyl Groove The Reminisants Keep It Real Band Friday, August 11th 6 pm: Stands Open 6:30 pro: Procession from the Italian-American Citizens Club - Pearl St. 7-11 pm: 'Vinyl Groove' performs live Sunday, August 13th 1 pm: Stands Open 2-4 pro: Procession with the statue of St. Rocco 5-9 pm - 'Keep it Real Band' performs live Saturday, August t 2th 6 pro: Stands Open 7-11 pro: 'Reminisants' performs live