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December 2, 2016     Post-Gazette
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December 2, 2016

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d PAGE 2 POST-GAZE'IrE, DECEMBER 2, 2016 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. AT HOME IN OLD ROME, THOSE FABULOUS ROMAN ROADS A Roman road may be defined as a way made for traveling between places or for the trans- portation of beasts and vehicles. From the days of antiquity to the present time, the condition of roadways was a barometer or yardstick which measured the civil advancement of a com- munity. Historical records show that as far back as 2000 B.C. in the city of Babylon, there were broad straight streets crossing at right angles, and also that roads were built in ancient Egypt to transport building materials for the pyramids. The earliest roads that were constructed in Greece were called Sacred Ways. These were unpaved and led only to the im- portant religious centers. Growing nations seem to have drawn upon past civilizations when developing their cultures and technologies, but the fin- est work in building long-lasting roads was done by the Romans. They might have copied other constructive arts from the Etruscans and the Greeks, but in the building of roads they had no equal. During the height of power in the Roman Empire, there were about fifty thousand miles of roads. These roads were con- structed mainly for military pur- poses and they served to connect Rome with all of the conquered provinces. They were laid out in a straight line whenever possible. High spots were cut away, low areas were built up. Hills and mountains were cut or tunneled through. Streams were bridged over and valleys were crossed by viaducts. There were twenty-nine great roads leading to and from Rome. The Via Appia, the great south road, was the first one built. It is named after Appius Claudius Caecus, a consul and praetor, who started the construction about 312 B.C. It began at the Porta Capena in the Servian Wall and ran about one hun- dred thirty miles to the ancient city of Capua, about eighteen miles north of Naples. The Via Appia has often been called the "Queen of Roads" and was wide enough for two broad wagons to pass each other. The engi- neers of those early days chose their routes so wisely that the present road to Naples follows very nearly the same track. The Via Flaminia was known as the great north road and was constructed about 220 B.C. It began at the old Porta Ratu- mena near the present Capitol and ran along what is now the Via del Corso, then across the Tiber to the Apennines and to Rimini. It was by this Via Flaminia that the Roman legions went to conquer Gaul, Spain, Germany and Britain. Some of the other roads were the Clodia, Aurelia, Latina, Popilia, Egnatia and Labicana. The Roman legions made their conquests and, with cap- tive labor, they built a great system of rock-paved roads all around the Mediterranean Sea. It is important to emphasize that this was the only great road system that was ever built up to modern times. They started their roadways by digging two parallel trenches which marked out the desired width, and then removed the earth between these trenches down to firm soil or stratum. The first operation was to spread a layer of sand, which they called the pavimentum or floor. The second layer was formed of large stones held in place with clay or cement. Then came the third layer which was compressed gravel, and then this was followed by a layer of well-tamped sand, chalk, earth, and broken brick. Finally they applied the top course of pebbles or stones, which was called the summa crusta or the main shell. This summa crusta was pitched for good drainage. The total thickness was usually between thirty- six to fifty inches, and was increased overmarshy land or decreased over rocky soil. Additionally, there were hun- dreds of bridges that were built. Traveling long distances was made a little easier by the establishment of posting houses where horses were changed, and by the use of way stations or resting places. The cost of (Continued on Page 10) LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE OF SALE Notice is hereby given by TODISCO TOWING OF 94 CONDOR STREET, EAST BOSTON, MA pursuant to the provisions-of Mass G.L. c 255, Section 39A that they will sell the following vehicles. Vehicles are being sold to satisfy their garage keeper's lien for towing, storage and notices of sale: 2005 FREIGHTLINER M2 BOX TRUCK VIN #1 FVACWDC85HU45747 2012 FORD MUSTANG VIN #1ZVBP8AM6C5211163 2006 DODGE RAM VIN #1D7HU18276S625565 2010 HONDA CIVIC VIN #2HGFA1F56AH317716 2007 SUZUKI VIN# JS1GR7KA772100057 2013 MITSUBISHI LANCER VIN #JA32VZFW9D0022738 2004 NlSSAN MURANO VIN #JN8AZ08TX4W223162 2008 VOLKSWAGEN JETrA VIN #3VWRZ71K48M035569 2006 CHRYSLER 300 VIN #2C3KK53G76H109864 2008 HONDA ACCORD VIN #1HGCS12378A028325 2003 FORD EXPLORER VIN #1 FMZU73K23UB40030 2006 HONDA CBR600 VIN #JH2PC37016M305402 1999 UD 1200 TRUCK VIN #JNAUXV1JXXA300105 2005 VOLVO XC90 VIN #YV1 CZ911X51137523 1999 UD 1200 TRUCK VIN #JNAUXV1JXXA300105 1987 CHEVROLET CAPRICE VIN# 1GIBU51H3HX210795 1995 FORD ECONOLINE VIN #1FTJE34H2SHB76883 2000 MERCEDES E-CLASS VIN #WDBJF65J2YB139018 2004 BMW 7-SERIES VIN #WBAGL63414DP70436 2004 JEEP LIBERTY VIN #1JSGL48K64W293692 2007 HYUNDAI ACCENT VIN #KMHCN46C57U098506 The above vehicles will be sold at auction at 94 CONDOR ST. EAST BOSTON, MA MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2016 at 10:00AM Run dates: 12/2, 12/9, 12-16, 2016 What Next for Cuba ? by Sal Giarratani On Thanksgiving night, the Cuban community was dancing in the streets, especially in Miami. For Cuban exiles here in Florida, it was a day many had been waiting for for decades. When Fidel Castro overthrew the pro-American dictator and took over the reins of government at age 32 in 1959, he promised much, but delivered little in his near 57 years of power. A few years back, he handed over the government to his younger brother Raul (now 85 years old). Since assuming power, Raul has proved himself less a leader blinded by ideology and more of a political realist. What happens now in Cuba is still anyone's guess. Will post-Castro Cuba be able to communicate better with their neighbor to the North? Will the total control on the island ease up and will forms of capitalism ease their way into the Cuban economy? Time will tell, but this is a moment in history dreaded by pro-Castro forces and welcomed by the Cuban people, especially exiles in Florida waiting the day they can return home to a free Cuba. Now is an important moment in the history of the Western Hemisphere, where everyone really needs to be working with each other. Not just for economics, but for liberty, too. The exiles here in our country hope the future of their homeland is positive. For them, it has been a long night of oppression. I hope that President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump do not waste the opportunity to reach out; a window has opened and it needs to stay open. Should the United States attend Castro's funeral? Should we move beyond the nearly six decades of raw relations and seek an opening dialogue bridging our differences? This latest news can be a'n important moment for President-elect Trump and for President Raul Castro. It can be an opening between the two nations. Out of the ashes of Fidel Castro, can we find a new place to stand? I think we can and I think we should. Cuban exiles in Miami have waited this moment for generations. Many long to travel freely to their homeland. Many in Cuba wish the very same thing, traveling here to see their distant relatives. A free Cuba is a dream that now seems moments away if it can just get past old politics. People always trump politics. Saint Radegund by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Saint Radegund was born about 520 to Bertachar, one of the three kings of the German land Thuringia. Her uncle, Hermanfrid, killed his brother, her father, in battle, and took Princess Radegund into his household. After allying with the Frankish King Theuderic, Hermanfrid defeated his other brother Baderic. However, having crushed his brothers and seized control of Thuringia, Hermanfrid went back on his agreement with Theuderic to share sovereignty. In 531, Theuderic returned to Thuringia with his brother Clotaire I and together they defeated Hermanfrid and conquered his kingdom. Clotaire I also took charge of Princess Radegund, taking her back to Merovingian Gaul with him. He sent the child to his villa of Athies in Picardy for several years, before marrying her in 540. Radegund was one of Clotaire I's six wives. She bore him no children. Radegund was noted for her almsgiving. By 550, Princess Radegund's brother was the last surviving male member of the Thuringian royal family. Clotaire had him murdered. Radegund fled the court and sought the protection of the Church and the bishop of Noyon. She helped establish the monastery of Sainte-Croix in Poitiers in 560, where she cared for the sick. She ate nothing but legumes and green vegetables: neither fruit nor fish nor eggs. Radegund was widely believed to have the gift of healing Living under the Rule for Virgins of Caesarius of Arles, the nuns were cloistered and required to be able to read and write, and to devote several hours of the day to reading the scriptures and copying manuscripts, as well as traditional tasks such as weaving and needlework. Her abbey was named for the relic of the True Cross that Radegund obtained from the Byzantine Emperor Justin If. Although the bishop of Poitiers, Maroveus, refused to install it in the abbey, at Radegund's request King Sigebert sent Eufronius of Tours to Poitiers to perform the ceremony. To celebrate the relic and its installation into Sainte-Croix, Venantius Fortunatus composed a series of hymns, including the famous vexilla regis, considered to be one of the most significant Christian hymns ever written, it is still sung for services on Good Friday. Radegund was a close friend of Junian of Maire, Saint Junian, who was a 6th-century Christian hermit and abbot. He was the founder of Mariacum, Abbey at Mair6-Levescault in Poitou, France, and is the patron saint of Poitou farm laborers. Junian and Radegund are said to have died on the same day, August 13, 587. The Feast of Saint Radegund is celebrated on August 13th.