Category Archives: 1

A Spanish Pompeii?

Sort of. At least it was a real Roman city with all the fixings and it was buried and lost to history for a thousand years. The difference is that Pompeii was covered up all at once by volcanic dust … Continue reading

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Cellini Insults a Great Lady

From one of the world’s great books: The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini Cellini’s great statue of Perseus in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence (public domain photo by Jrousso) Benvenuto Cellini, goldsmith and sculptor, gets invited to France by its very … Continue reading

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A Legendary Speaker by Mark Twain

This is Mark Twain’s unforgettable description of an Iowa “erratic genius” and the legendary speech he gave to an audience in Keokuk.  It begins: Keokuk, a long time ago, was an occasional loafing place of that erratic genius, Henry Clay … Continue reading

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What You Can Learn From Hannibal

1. Take the initiative, keep the initiative. This gave Hannibal a tremendous advantage. His enemy had constantly to try to guess his intention and defend himself against several alternative attacks. The enemy Roman consul was forever on the defensive, waiting, … Continue reading

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The Great Hailstorm

One day when we found ourselves a day’s distance from Lyons (it was nearly two hours before sunset), we heard the crackling of thunder and noticed how very clear the sky was: I was a bow’s shot in front of … Continue reading

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How Horses Run

Horses don’t run like rabbits—they don’t hop; but you wouldn’t think artists knew that, even real horse lovers and good observers like Leonardo da Vinci. Or George Stubbs, an eighteenth-century specialist, who showed his race-horses scampering over green English lawns … Continue reading

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What Rome Learned from Hispania

Rome picked up all kinds of tricks and useful knowledge from the peoples it conquered. While fighting the native Spaniards, for instance, the Roman officers saw the virtues of the short sword they carried. Both its edges were sharp and … Continue reading

Posted in 1, archaeology, Numancia, Romans, Spain, sword, warfare | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments