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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 15, 2014 Stirpe Nostra by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. HEMERA, AETHER AND CHARON Primordial goddess of the day Hemera (181). By William-Adolphe Bouguereau Last week we discussed two of the most famous poets in ancient Greece, Homer and Hesiod. They were responsible for giving us more information on the folklore of mythical gods and legendary heroes than all other writers combined. We identified Chaos, the yawn- ing abyss which marked the beginning of all things. Out of Chaos came the "Primary Beings" Nyx (Night); Erebus A 19'h-century interpretation of Charon's crossing. (Primeval Darkness), and Gaea (Mother Earth). Today our discussion of the Primary Beings continues with Hemera (Day); "dies," or "dies civilis" as the ancients referred to it. This was the time in which the sun com- pleted a course around the earth, including both day and night. In Athens the civil day began with the setting of the sun, in Rome it began at midnight, and in Babylon it began at sunrise. During the time of the Homeric poems, the natural day was divided into three parts. The first part began with sun- rise and it included that whole time in which the light seemed to be getting brighter. The second was what we call mid-day, dur- The Last Judgement by Michelangelo covers the wall behind the alter in the Sistine Chapel. The work depicts the second coming of Christ and, although the artist is clearly inspired by the Bible, it is his own imaginative vision that prevails in this painting. 0@@@@@O@00@@00@@@@@00@@00@@0@O@0 Murphy Painting Co. @ Indoor / Outdoor Free Estimates * Fully Insured Daytime * Nighttime * Weekends - "e, 617 .312 .7os4 Boston and North Shore Areas By Alexander Litovchenko ing which time the sun appeared to be standing still. The third part, of course, was the remainder of the daylight hofirs. Many years later the first part was subdivided into early and late morning, while the third part was sub- divided into early and late afternoon. Hermea was followed by Aether, the pure light that is imagined to be in the highest reaches of the atmo- sphere, and what we now call outer space. This was con- sidered to be the light of the gods. Charon was also a god of the lower world, but he ruled in a much different capac- ity than Erebus. Charon con- ducted the souls of the dead across a river called "Styx" (or Acheron) by boat to the infernal regions that we imagine to be Hell or Purga- tory. A fee of at least one obolus (minor value) but never more than three was extracted from each shade or ghost, as it entered the boat. A coin was generally placed under the tongue of the deceased for this purpose because the soul of any per- son who was not honored with a proper funeral, or was without the required fare, was not permitted to enter Charon's boat without first wandering along the shore for one hundred years. Charon is usually repre- sented as elderly but robust, with white bushy hair and eyes glowing like fire. He usually wore a short tunic- like garment that was stained with the dirty water and mud from the river, and he always carried a long pole or oar. The next time you visit the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican be sure to notice the lower right-hand corner of Michelangelo's Last Judg- ment. It shows Charon per- forming his daily duties as only the great master could have depicted. During ancient times, the defeated gladiators were dragged from the arena by a person disguised as Charon, while in ancient Greece this same image was given the name of Charontas or Charos, and portrayed as a large black bird who carried its victims to the lower world of the dead -- brrr. NEXT ISSUE: Saturn Absentee Ballots Now Available for September 9 th Primary Election Absentee ballots are now available for the State Primary Election, which will take place on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Absentee voters are required to fill out a new application each calendar year. Applications may be obtained by call- ing the Election Department at 617-635-3767, or through the Department's website: www.cityofboston.gov//elections. If a voter is unsure as to whether or not an absentee ballot request is up-to-date, he or she should contact the Depart- ment directly. All voters are urged to file their applications as soon as possible in order to expedite the mailing of the actual absentee ballots. As September 9 th is a primary election, prospective absentee voters who are currently listed as "no party/ unenrolled" must indicate, on their application, a party pref- erence so that the correct ballot will be sent. Absentee ballots are also available for those who wish to vote in person at the Election Department. At this time, any person voting absentee can only do so if health rea- sons prevent the voter from getting to the polls, the voter is out of the City of Boston all day on September 9 a, or reli- gious reasons prevent the voter from participating on pri- mary day. Early voting in Massachusetts will not take place until 2016. To vote absentee in person, visit the Election Department in Room 241 at Boston City Hall, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 am until 4:00 pro. Additional times are available by appointment only; to make an appointment, please contact Mary Ann or Joe at 617-635-2211. The last day to register to vote, change one's voting address, or party affiliation for the primary is August 20, 2014. The Election Department will be open until 8:00 pm that evening to accommodate registrants and those wish- ing to make changes. Those who wish to register or make changes by mail should make sure that their request is postmarked no later than August 20 th. Massachusetts Law does not currently allow these changes to be made via email. Questions about voti.ng status can be directed to election@cityoJboston.gov. . NATIONAL GRID LAUNCHES "Recycle & Win/" Contest End of Summer Promotion Encourages Residents to Recycle Old Refrigerators Residential electric custom- ers of National Grid in Massa- chusetts have the opportunity to win a $250 prepaid debit card, just by recycling an out- dated refrigerator or freezer in August or September. The new offer is in addition to an exist- ing National Grid program that pays $50 to Massachusetts home-owners who schedule a free pickup of an old, ineffi- cient, second refrigerator or freezer. "With the end of summer fast approaching, it's a good time to consider ways to save energy this fall and winter and get rid of that outdated, energy-wasting fridge in your garage or basement," said Edward White, vice president of Customer Strategy and Environmental, National Grid. General Electric "National Grid is committed "Monitor-Top" to helping customers save refrigerator, introduced money and energy, so we're in 1927. offering a program that allows customers to recycle an inefficient device and potentially start saving for a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR appliance at the same time." National Grid residential electric customers in Massa- chusetts can schedule a free recycling appointment by call- ing 1-877-545-4113 or by visiting www'ngrid'cm/marecycle" Refrigerators and freezers must be working and measure between 10 and 30 cubic feet (standard size for most units). A maximum of two units per household per calendar year will be accepted. Upon recycling, participants will be auto- matically entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of four $250 prepaid debit cards. Checks for the $50 rebate will arrive by mail six to eight weeks after the appliances are picked up. Recycling refrigerators and freezers creates many ben- efits for participating customers, the environment and com- munity as a whole. Customers can save as much as $150 a year by having an older refrigerator or freezer hauled away. Old refrigerators contain more than 188 pounds of materials such as foam, glass, and metal that can be used in new products. Additionally, recycling just one refrigera- tor prevents up to 10 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking two cars off the road for an entire yea.