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October 23, 2015     Post-Gazette
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October 23, 2015

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 23, 2015 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE TEMPLE OF VESTA (The Best Little Virgin House in Old Rome) Last week we dis- cussed the origin of the sacrificial fire, the candle-lit vigil, and the etemal flame. This week we continue with a re- minder that the sacred fire, the source of all life and power in ancient Rome, was kept alive in a structure known as the Temple of Vesta. It was constantly tended on by a group of virgin priest- esses that were called Vestals (Latin, Virgines Vestales). They resided near the temple in the Forum Romanum. The whole concept goes back into antiquity when the Vestals represented the daughters of the primi- tive tribal chief, and they kept alive the State-fire in their father's hut. The public worship of this goddess was maintained in the Temple of Vesta during later years, but her private worship was preserved in every domes- tic hearth. After she was recog- nized as a personal deity, it then became necessary to have her attendants live in guarded seclusion in a structure that we now call "The House of tLhe Ves- tal Virgins" or "Atrium Westae." The temple was a fount/struc- ture, probably reminiscent of the tribal chiefs hut. This edi- fice was the most venerated of Remains of the Temple of Vesta. all temples in Rome. Tradition tells us that the first temple to Vesta was built by Numa Pompilius, the successor to Romulus, and the first of the Sabine kings of Rome. He intro- duced the worship of this god- dess, and devoted to her a space of ground just in front of his own house. It is also interesting to note that at this time in history, about 700 B.C., the king was the high priest, and in this office he was known as "Pontifex Maximus" or "Pontiff." There were at least five successive temples that were built in Rome to honor the goddess Vesta. They all adhered to the same style of ar- chitecture. It was always a small circular edifice with a domed roof that was supported on col- umns. This design was thought to typify the round earth and the vaulted sky. The interior contained a low circu- lar altar, upon which burned the perpetual fire. The maintenance of this fire was the chief duty of six vestals. Numa's temple stood for about three centu- ries until the Gauls burned Rome in 390 B.C. It was soon rebuilt and the second edifice stood for about 50 years. The third temple to Vesta stood until the great fire under Nero, and the fourth lasted for about 100 years. The remains which now mark the conse- crated site belong to the last re- building by Septimius Severus (about 200 A.D.) and this work is contemporary with the great arch of Sep~nius Severus at the opposite end of the Forum from Vesta's temple. NEXT WEEK: Virgines Vestales (The Best Little Virgins in Old Rome) BOSTON WATER AND SEWER (BWSC) IS COMING TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD Meet with BWSC staff to: Let's protect Boston's waterways FOR INFORMATION 617-989-7000 Pay your water bill with a check or money order-- no cash, please. Talk about any problems you may have with your bill or your service. Find out how much water is being used on your property. Plan to make payments on bills that are past due. Receive help applying for a senior or disabled person's discount. Learn more about BWSC customer programs. i m pie TIMES... by Girard A. Plante Recently, I strolled inside my neighborhood grocery a block from my home. It's a cozy cor- ner spot in a village setting that brings in local folks, laborers of all manner, and college stu- dents. The issues of the day are discussed and debated there. The discussion already in full throttle was immigration. And scurvy. Years have passed since I last heard the word uttered in jun- ior high. Listening to three pa- trons argue whether scurvy would be brought into America by migrants from a few nations at war in our chaotic world, I held back instead of jumping in. Most patrons add her or his two cents. Because I thought it impossible that scurvy exists anywhere in the 21st century, I knew research would satisfy my interest in knowing. So I kept that thought until I returned home to conduct a sort of "refresher course" on the his- tory, cause and effect on its un- fortunate victims, and the year its name was born. I do know that scurvy is historically asso~ ciated with sailors away at sea centuries ago. Yet I never knew what exactly caused the disease, nor what scurvy did to the body once contracted. Thus, I set out on my own voyage in this era of powerful search engines that spit out a vast amount of information at lightning speed. One source,, offers this account of the disease's original name, "Scorby." The source con- tinues: "Scurvy is the disease that is the consequence of a prolonged deprivation of Vitamin C." Now that I established the ori- gin of the word, as well as its cause, the following further depicts scurvy's havoc of the hu- man body. "After ten or more weeks at sea, men began to experience general pain and stiffness, while the lower body became covered with large purple spots. Their gums would swell and grow over their teeth, which became loose; and old wounds would reopen. Finally, sufferers would die suddenly. This is explained as the conse- quence of impaired protein synthesis, with connective tis- sues weakening, so that the wall of a major artery would burst." The discovery of prevention arose in the late sixteenth cen- tury. I also wondered which foods saved countless misery before death from scurvy. The same source explains: "It soon was discovered that the disease could be prevented, and even cured, by sailors consuming fresh fruit and vegetables." But lengthy time at sea would rot the food, the source added. "Sailors preferred oranges and lemons." Yet years would pass before discovering ways to preserve these fruits. "Sailors in the British navy were required, from early in the nineteenth century, to take a portion oflimejuice in their brandy and rum." Potatoes also cured scurvy, but had to be cooked daily. Scurvy even consumed people on land after years recogniz- ing that bacteria plays a direct role in onset of the hideous illness. Again, the scoop from encyclopedicccorrc "At the end of the nineteenth century, it became a practice in some cit- ies to sterilize cows' milk. Children's deaths from summer diarrhea were reduced greatly as a result of this practiceF Scurvy struck anyway as the sterilizing process killed Vitamin C. New remedies retain Vitamin C and save potatoes from rot. There you have it. A brief over- view of the damage to the body and ultimate death caused by scurvy and the cure-all foods that saved lives. Does scurvy exist today?. You can find that answer in a few taps of your iPhone or Android or laptop or tablet or desktop computer. My research quickly came from Google at my desktop. I thought back to how many hours Were exacted at my junior high school's library, neighborhood branch library; or the glossy full-volume set of World Book Encyclopedia at home in researching scurvy. No doubt a couple hours. But the activity proved enjoyable with- out the availability of the myriad options of twenty-first century technology. LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Middlesex Probate and Family Court 208 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No. MI15P5668EA Estate of FLORENCE C. LINN Also Known As FLORENCE LINN Date of Death June 23, 2015 CITATION ON PETITION FOR FORMAL ADJUDICATION To all interested persons: A Petition for Formal Probate of Will with Appointment of Personal Represen- tative has been filed by Sylvan A. Linn of Newtonville, MA, requesting that the Court enter a formal Decree and Order and for such other relief as requested in the Petition. The Petitioner requests that Sylvan A. Linn of Newtonville, MA, be appointed as Personal Representative(s) of said estate to serve Without Surety on the bond in an unsupervised administration. IMPORTANT NOTICE You have the right to obtain a copy of the Petition from the Petitioner or at the Court. You have a right to object to this proceeding. To do so, you or your attorney must file a written appearance and objection at this Court before 10:00 a.m. on the return day of November 13, 2015. This is NOT s hearing date, but a dead- line by which you must file a written appear- ance and objection if you object to this proceeding. If you fall to file s timely written appearance and objection followed by an affidavit of objections within thirty (30) days of the return day, action may he taken with- out further notice to you. UNSUPERVISED ADMINISTRATION UNDER THE MASSACHUSEI"rs UNIFORM PROBATE CODE (MUPC) A Personal Representative appointed un- de" the MUPC in an unsupervised adminis- tration is not required to file an inventory or annual accounts wRh the Court. Persons interested in the estate are entitled to notice regarding the admlnistrstion directly from the Personal Representative and may peti- tion the Court in any matter relating to the estate, including the distribution of assets and expenses of administration. WITNESS, HON. EDWARD R DONNELLY, JR., First Justice of this Court. Date: October 16, 2015 Tara E. DeCristofaro, Register of Probate Run date: 10/23/15 WWW. B OSTO N PO,( ;TG AZ ETTE. CO M