As I write, lead news stories are no longer about the growing severity of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but rather debates about “reopening” the economy. In the US, different states have taken varying approaches, with protests, demonstrations, pleas, and public service announcements against all of them. Media outlets frequently refer to easing of restrictions where infection rates have not declined as a “gamble” or even “rolling the dice.”
One of the mixed blessings of being human is the ability to formulate thoughts and make strategic decisions in response to circumstances rather than just react in an innate way. The “curse” aspect of this trait is the frustration of not knowing the future. We realize—often too late—that our plans may be thwarted by unforeseen … Continue reading Seeking Answers to an Unknown Future in the Distant Past
In these extraordinary times, it is hard to know where the world is going. But, as the children’s book title proclaims, Everyone Poops, so the world has to go somewhere. Apparently, this is innate knowledge to judge from the panic buying and hoarding of toilet paper (or “rolls” for the UK audience). But (pun possibly … Continue reading Life, B.C. (Before Charmin): Toilet Practices in the Roman World (Or “How I Learned to Love the COVID-19 Toilet Paper Crisis”)
This is actually a revised rerun of a post from a bit less than a year ago. I realized this date (15 March) was more appropriate for it and that the original was not tagged with my subsequently inaugurated occasional series, “Monuments to Dead Romans.” Also, since the COVID-19 scare has given everyone something else … Continue reading Beware the Ides of March: the Hazards of Tax Day & a Monument to a Dead Roman
I have always been fascinated by monuments or memorials to the deceased and the psychology behind them, as well as the physical structures themselves. This post initiates an occasional series on monuments to long-dead Romans and other figures of antiquity by looking at the Şekerhane Köşkü; very likely the platform for a temple of the Deified Emperor Trajan . . .