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October 7, 2011     Post-Gazette
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October 7, 2011

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 7; 2011 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. TRAJAN, During the month of March, 101 A.D., Trajan as- sembled his legions and headed for the Danube where he built roads and for- tifications. The region of Transylvania was north of this area and it included the territory of Decebalus, a cel- ebrated king of the Dacians, to whom Domitian had agreed to pay an annual trib- ute. Under Trajan, this Dacian king was defeated, forced to destroy his for- tresses, surrender his weap- ons and prisoners, and to mate's new peace treaty with Rome. The Dacian chief did not honor his treaty for long and Trajan soon found it necessary to pre- pare for a second Dacian campaign. This time the HIS ACTIVITY AND IMMORTALITY Dacians fought harder and gave up their ground only inch by inch, but before long their army literally bled to death, and Decebalus com- mitted suicide. The captured territory became a Roman province, was peopled by set- tlers that were taken from other Roman provinces, and thus, Trajan's wars extended the Roman Empire to its greatest extent in history, and left a lasting mark on the history of that territory. In the midst of his cam- paigns and long absences from" Rome, Trajan still found time to direct a great deal of construction. He enlarged the Circus Maximus, re- paired highways, built a new aqueduct, drained much of the Pontine Marshes, and built his Forum complete with basilica and libraries. Late in the year 113 A.D. Trajan left Italy to make war in the East in order to pro- tect the East-West trade routes. This, however, is where he tasted the bitter- ness of defeat in the field for the first time. It happened when he attacked the desert city of Hatra. The scarcity of drinking water made it impossible to maintain a large force of foot soldiers in an attack on the city, so cavalry was used. The brave Arabs routed the Roman cavalry; and Trajan himself, who narrowly escaped being killed, was forced to with- draw. Additional Roman cam- paigns in Cyprus, Cyrene, and Alexandria, were suc- cessful, but Trajan died in August 117 A.D. before he had an opportunity to avenge the defeat at Hatra. Meanwhile, after Trajan left Italy in 113 A.D.. the Senate, in their proud affec- tion for him, added the grand- est decoration to his Forum ... the Column of Trajan, which stood between the two libraries in his Forum. This column was dedicated to the emperor in 114 A.D. as a result of his victory over the Dacians. Eighteen hun- dred years later it is still in Happy Columbus Day/ excellent state of preser- vation. Tile tructure con. & Celebrate Italian Heritage Month/ sists of eighteen blocks of marble which were hollowed out so that the internal portion formed a winding staircase to the summit. An CARLO ornamental frieze covers the entire exterior face of BASILE the column. This frieze is in low relief and in the form of a spiral band three and one- STATE REPRESENTATIVE half feet wide and six hun- st 1 uffolkDistrict dred feet long. A total of twenty-five hundred carved figures give us a treasury of information on the religion, military science, habits, and dress of the early Romans, which is far more valuable rlappg Coeumbus than thousands of pages of descriptive writing or end- (Continued on Page 11) ftappg Columbus ag Italia Unita, Inc. "Promoting Italian culture and the preservation of Italian heritage." 35 Bennington Street East Boston, MA 02128 Congressman MIKE CAPUANO Tel: (617) 561-3201 Fax: (617) 569-2898 Email: ItaliaUnita @ Publica by David Trumbull Columbus and the Last Hope of Mankind ~Ve do not read even of the discovery of this continent, without feeling something of a personal interest in the event; without being reminded how much it has affected our own fortunes and our own existence. It would be still more unnaatral for us, there- fore, than for others, to contemplate with unaffected minds that interesting, I may say that most touching and pathetic scene, when the great discoverer of America stood on the deck of his shattered bark, the shades of night falling on the sea, yet no man sleeping; tossed on the billows of an unknown ocean, yet the stronger billows of alternate hope and despair tossing his own troubled thoughts; extending forward his harassed frame, straining westward his anxious and eager eyes, till Heaven at last granted him a moment of rapture and ecstasy, in blessing his vision with the sight of the unknown world." --Daniel Webster, First Bunker Hill Monument Oration, 1825 As this column goes to press I am on business in the City of Washington in the District of Columbia, our capi- tol city, named for the first President of the United States, that indispensable man in the early years of our Republic. The city is located within the federal district authorized by the Constitution, formed by Congress in 1790, and named for the Italian discoverer of America who sailed under the flag of Spain. When I return home to Boston I shall be surrounded by the familiar sights of the Old North Church, the Old State House, Old South Meeting House. and the other stops on the Freedom Trail that remind us of Boston's unique Revolutionary War history. At 236 years distance from 1775. we are nearly two-and-a-half centuries removed from the beginning of the American War of Independence. In like manner, 1775 was a bit more than two-and-a-half- (Continued on Page i i) )lu " from Andrea J. Cabral and: e, :: :.:EmploYees Of the :: Suffolk County Sheriff's DePartment . Happy Columbus Day AARON STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 3 na BOSTON CITY COUNCILOR DISTRICT 1