Dear Reader, PRAY NOT FOR WEALTH!

Dear Reader,

After reading your letter and Prudence’s response to the situation, it pains me to say that you are both in the wrong. The problem is not your pretentious and arrogant attitude toward people of lesser incomes. Or the fact that poor Mary can’t afford an appetizer at one of your fancy restaurants. No. The problem is you. Or more so, your wealth. Did it ever occur to you that if you hadn’t acquired so much money over time, that this issue would never have arisen, to begin with? If you were poor like Mary, you wouldn’t be able to afford so many pointless house parties. You’d be eating pizza out of the box and sipping Pepsi out of a can like the rest of us. If you were dirt broke like Mary, I’m sure you’d be the best of friends.

However, because this is not the case, I’m entirely sure that the gods have something particularly unpleasant in store for you. Your wealth will be your undoing. Mary’s poverty and your disinviting her to your get-togethers may lead her to do unexpected things. One night she may break into your house and steal your pearls. She might hold you up at an ATM. Juvenal writes, “But you won’t drink poison from earthenware. That you only need fear when you are handed a goblet studded with jewels,
and when Setian wine glows in your golden bowl.” You are a constant target because you are wealthy.

But of course, the solution is simple. Throw your finest jewels into the nearest river. Board your helicopter and jettison bags of your hard earned money to the ground. Parachute out of said helicopter and let that fine chopper crash in a fiery explosion. “A traveler who is empty-handed can sing in the mugger’s face.”

In other words, no one will bother to hurt you if you’re broke.

Ortberg, Mallory. “Different Strokes.” slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2017/12/dear_prudence_my_friend_wants_to_bring_a_poor_person_to_my_dinner_party.html

-Cassia, (a.k.a. Carrissa, Team Hestia)

Painting Patterns

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I found this painting at the Clinic in Roosevelt Hall. I’d categorize it as abstract. It’s similar to the works we discussed in class in that the image is ambiguous and conveys emotions through the use of color and, shapes and brush strokes

Following Venus

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“Reaching this haven here, where now you will see the steep ramparts rising, the new city of Carthage…” – Aeneas meets his Mother, Vergil’s Aeneid Book 1

The drawing by Perino del Vaga depicts the scene from Vergil’s Aeneid where Venus shows her son Aeneas the way to Carthage. Carthage is shown in the distance atop a hill with all figures in the drawing facing toward it to symbolize its importance. Aeneas is drawn as a soldier much like in the literary version, with a helmet. He is also accompanied by his men. In the top right hand corner, a mass of clouds build in the sky much like the clouds that formed in the literary version when Venus made her departure after Aeneas discovers her identity.

However there are several reasons why the image differs from the text. Venus is not dressed like a huntress like she is in the poem. She doesn’t wear strapped shoes nor does she carry a bow. This is a significant difference as Venus is attempting to use her disguise to fool Aeneas like she did Achises.

The artist includes the people ahead of Aeneas traveling to Carthage to further draw attention to the city. He presents it in a divine way, the clouds hag over the city as if it is symbolically connected to Olympus. Like in the the literary version, the artist’s main focus is the city of Carthage.

 

 

Perino del Vaga. Venus directing Aeneas to Carthage. early 1530s. British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/. http://library.artstor.org/asset/AGERNSHEIMIG_10313160280. Web. 6 Dec 2017.

-Carrissa, Team Hestia

AUGUSTINE

E09B7AD9-3735-4425-A765-57C3FFE2B69C.jpegThe people who live in the apartment next to me (aka my lovely neighbors who weren’t home at the time) have the last name, Augustine. I’m making an educated guess when I say Augustine is a feminine derivative of the name Augustus. Because the name Augustus means venerable which means accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character, I don’t believe there is a correlation between the quotes and my speculation. Augustus’s name was meant to honor him but he faced the same bitterness Caesar did.

“You are shameless: a glutton and a gambler.” Catullus 29

“Indeed, when once they had voted to him on a single day an unusually large number of these honours of especial importance, — which had been granted unanimously by all except Cassius and a few others, who became famous for this action, yet suffered no harm, whereby Caesar’s clemency was conspicuously revealed, — they then approached him as he was sitting in the vestibule of the temple of Venus in order to announce to him in a body their decisions.” Cassius Dio Book 44.7-20

The first quote is describing Caesar as an amoral man, unworthy of his title. This is very similar to the second quote because although the information given leads one to believe that he is being praised, there is an underlying bitterness toward Caesar from Cassius and others.

I picked these two quotes because they characterize Caesar in two different ways. Caesar receives many honors and is known for his clemency, characteristics that are expected of a benevolent ruler. But in Catullus’s poems, readers are exposed to a negative portrayal of Caesar. He is a selfish, disgusting man-whore. Readers are left with two different opinions of this imperator and because we weren’t there to draw our own conclusion, we don’t know what to do with them.

Carrissa, Team Hestia

Fasces, Fasces Everywhere!

DD079E57-07A7-40D9-9600-C76882DB55E1We learned about Fasces on our field trip. They are a symbol of authority usually found on ancient coins and even on present day works such as the Lincoln Memorial.

They were used by prominent figures such as Augustus to show political power. However, this past Sunday after watching a movie at BAM in Downtown Brooklyn I discovered fasces on lamp posts. Having passed these buildings often, I know their architecture is inspired by that of Ancient Rome. But what boggles me are the placement of this fasces. They are supposed to be political symbols, why are they outside a place known for the performing arts?

The question persists…

Carrissa, Team Hestia

He’s Got Ethos…

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Here I am in a Starbucks in Manhattan taking a selfie with “ethos” water and trying to avoid stares from random people.

When Herodotus accounts the conflict between the Persians and the Greeks I’m fairly certain that he uses ethos, to convince the audience of his credibility. His ethos is shown within his authoritive voice in these sentences from Herodotus on The Persians “she herself (Io) they say, having formed an intimacy with the captain, while his vessel lay at Argos, and perceiving herself to be with child, of her own free will accompanied the Phoenicians on their leaving the shore, to escape the shame of
detection and the reproaches of her parents. Whether this latter account be true, or whether the matter happened otherwise, I shall not discuss further.” By assuring the audience that he is unbiased, he is displaying his accountability, that he is ethical in relaying this information to the audience.

Whether or not Herodotus is actually a reliable source, I shall not discuss further… 😉

Carrissa, Team Hestia

If You Tilt Your Head A Little…

F0AB6BD9-2D3B-4233-B744-F086F8C75F17After first learning about it, I was under the impression that linear perspective was limited only to works of art that portrayed the interior of a building. It occurred to me that if someone were to take the scene above (outside of the Met) and draw it, they’d have to use the technique in order to get the correct proportions and to convey depth, creating a three-dimensional scene on a flat surface.

-Carrissa Normil, Team Hestia (20)

Trinity Church

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This is the Trinity church in lower Manhattan where we took our field trip. It is visually similar to the basilicas we discussed in class. It has a central nave and aisles on either side. I was very interested in the iconography craved into the walls near the alter but what grabbed my attention most was the stained glass windows. It reminded me of the mosaic of Justinian in San Vitale. Although the mosaic and the stained glass are made from different mediums, the windows look as if they were put together piece by piece so that the image resembles a mosaic.

 

-Carrissa, Team Hestia

50% OFF! Cleopatra!

 

 

It’s that time of year again! Halloween stores pop out of thin air, grown ups go out in cliched costumes and at some point you are bound to be stalked home by some clown. It’s Halloween and one of my favorite costumes would have to be Cleopatra. She wears a golden headpiece, white robes and is adorned with gold jewelry. Not to mention she is depicted as the beautiful queen we all know her as. However, historians are unsure of how she truly looked like but know for a fact she didn’t look anything like this. In actuality Cleopatra was known for her intelligence rather than her beauty. In the busts and coins that were made depicting her, she is shown as having a strong jaw and manly features. Also Egyptian clothing was never as intricate as people believe. It was often made solely of white cloth with little stitching.

I think the movies and shows who watch have a great part in our perception of what the Egyptians looked like, inevitably causing costumes to become manufactured ideals of the real thing. When someone picks up a costume like this its because they want to be noticed in a room. For a couple hours they want to be Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen, who in her intelligence and knack for leadership differed from what the Greeks perceived Egyptians to be. The stereotype is seen in Theocritus Idylls, “Nowadays no criminal sneaks up to you Egyptian style as you’re walking alone and does you a mischief like those tricks those deceitful scoundrels used to play…”

 

Carrissa, Team Hestia

 

What Is Ideal in the School System?

The author of “SCHOOL DISASTERS” in the New York post confronts the flaws of the educational system. More specifically the difference between the performance of black students and white students. His ideal school system is one where each race of students achieve at the same level whether or not they reach high scores. This way there is no one to blame for the lack of achievement. Not the teachers who are unable to raise the grades of their students, or the students who refuse to put in an effort. Their parents won’t be blamed for not preventing the issue and lastly, society won’t be blamed. In a world where everyone worked at the same pace and achieved the same way, there is nothing to make a comparison to. The educational system would be equal.

“While “educators” are quick to seize upon the defects of students, parents, and society, as if that automatically vindicates the schools, the fact is that if our public schools had perfect students, perfect parents, and a perfect society, these schools would still be failing… ”

However, I don’t agree with the claims made by Sowell. If every student in the society were to achieve at the same rate it would not equal a perfect society. I don’t think that Socrates or Plato would be satisfied with this form of perfect society. According to the philosophers, a Utopia can only be a Utopia if its members are happy which can only occur through “ethical intellectualism”. Limiting ourselves to only performing as well as our peers will not allow us the intellectual freedom to be happy.

 

Sowell, Thomas. School Disasters 

New York Post, 2003.

 

 

 

Ooh, Shiny!

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When is it appropriate to label someone a barbarian? When they eat with their hands? When they speak a language that is not your own? Well, in Greek society a person was considered a barbarian because they were different and to the Greeks, anything that wasn’t Greek was beneath them. In modern culture we are somewhat similar. Anyone who does not share our moral standards is a barbarian.

Greed has the capability of turning the most civilized of people into total barbarians. Such is the case with illegal poachers and the Ivory trade. In Los Angeles, the sale of Ivory products is now illegal under the new law filed on September 6th, by Attorney Mike Feur. Three men charged with the illegal sale of Ivory products are being regarded as barbarians.

“The Ivory trade is barbaric. It jeopardizes many animals that are at risk or on the verge of extinction,” Feuer said.

This article is most likely centered towardenvironmentalist and those who advocate against cruelty toward animals. These men, through their actions are characterized as selfish and greedy and are now depicted as barbarians because they do not share the same sympathy toward endangered animals, and animals in general, that the law or public does. This barbaric Greed is similar in the case of Croesus us whomever forced the Greeks to pay tribute to him and “conquered the Aeolians, Ionians and Dorrance of Asia.”

And though Croesus had succeeded in doing these many things, he was still referred to by Greeks as a lowly barbarian.

http://www.dailynews

September 6, 2017

-Carrissa, Team Hestia

Golden Aphrodite

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Photo taken at Grand Central Library.
Quote taken from Song of Demodocus.

“So he pressed and her heart raced with joy to sleep with War and off they went to bed and down they lay…”

The carving on the entrance of Grand Central Library portrays Aphrodite as an image of beauty; long gorgeous hair and rising out of water as her Seafoam origin story would imply. She is literally golden and is meant to be an object of admiration. The image complements her reputation as the adored goddess of love and beauty.

The quote from the Song of Demodocus however, gives an alternate portrayal of the deity. Rather than being admired, Aphrodite is ridiculed for an act of adultery by the other gods. She is caught in a less than graceful position and suffers humiliation at the hand of her husband Hephaestus. It is revealed that the goddess of love, ironically, had no love for her husband and would much rather offer her affection to the god of war, Ares. Which in my opinion is also very ironic.

It seems to me that the two different portrayals come from two different places. The “perfect” Aphrodite is the image that is displayed for mortals, while the gods are well aware of Aphrodite’s less-than-perfect nature. After reading the hymns and plays I think it’s safe to say that none of the gods are worthy of the extremely high pedestals people at the time had put them on. However, people who don’t take Classics probably wouldn’t know of Aphrodite’s multiple affairs and acts of trickery. Despite not truly deserving the title, I think she’ll remain the Golden Aphrodite for a very long time.

-Carrissa, Team Hestia