My Dear Old Pooch

Dear Anonymous,

It is I, Juvenal here to give you some good advice on what to do with your aging pooch, you see life is a sweet thing, I believe it was meant to be enjoyed, not living it in pain. You must ask yourself this, why are you really prolonging your pooch’s life, is it because you want her to enjoy the rest of her days, or is it because you can’t stand to be parted from her? From the sound of it, I think you and I both know that prolonging her life wouldn’t be doing her any favor. You said it yourself, “her health has declined a bit: less energy, hearing loss, brief moments of apparent confusion and an as-yet-unexplained brief seizure.” Now what kind of fourteen year old Terrier would be happy experiencing this. If you read my book, Satire, lines 188-288, where I said that “what pleasure is there in music, even though the singer is superlative, or in Seleucus the lyre-player, or the pipers in the glittering golden cloaks? What difference does it make where he sits in the huge theatre if he can hardly hear the hornplayers or the fanfare of trumpets?” She is already experiencing hearing loss, and what of her brief seizure. This is exactly what I was talking about when “all types of disease dance around him in a troop.””But worse than any physical decline is the dementia.” Take my advice, you’re not doing her any good prolonging her life, it’s better to end it now.



MLA citation: Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Put Down My Aging Pooch?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Aug. 2016,®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=58&pgtype=collection.


Saving Grace

The image below is of Lucretia, a woman famous among the Roman tales for taking her own life after being raped by the then Prince of Rome. This version of her was done by artist Rembrandt van Rijn in 1664, the painting was done in a lot of earthy dark tones. In the painting her body, especially around her head seems to be creating a cast shadow, everything together seem to e blending the light and dark in the background which creates chiaroscuro. The reading extracts from Livy Book 1 mentioned that “at the arrival of her own family, tears welled in her eyes.” And in the portrait below there are no tear tracts on her face but her eyes are red which could be because she was crying before but wiped her tears and that “she took a knife that she had hidden in her garments and plunged it in her heart.” There is a knife in her hand that looks like it is aimed at heart. The description in the text is mostly consistent with the image, but there are some differences, for example how there are no tears in her eyes and the way she is holding the dagger. I suspect that the artist had these differences on purpose, the original description of the scene makes the sorrow so blatant, that it would be hard to miss, but in the artist’ version, you would have to pay attention to the details to understand what could the subject been thinking about as she tries to take to her life. Based on the details in her expression, I would say that the artist may have been more drawn to the emotional aspects of the event than the outcome.

Image result for lucretia 1664

MLA Citation: Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch. Lucretia. 1664. The National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Andrew W. Mellon Collection. Web. 12 Dec 2017.

Sherique, Team Artemis

The Fruit Basket

In 1893 still life portraits were considered to be one of the lowest type of subject form in the art academic world, but even so Paul Cezanne decided that still life was going to be his main focus, something he would leave his signature on. From that time in 1893 to now 2017, I can say that opinions regarding still life paintings have changed by much considering that there are many forms of still life portraits placed in museums today. One of the current assignment for my art class required I visit the Metropolitan Museum where I saw his painting and many other forms of still life portraits done by other artists. But even so, it so happens that Cezanne’s version of still life paintings are not only famous in museums but also appear frequently on the walls of many kitchens, for example mine. Purely by accident, my family decided to redecorate the house for Christmas, and among the items bought sat a lovely painting of a spread of fruits. In the painting a tea pot of some sort can be seen sitting in the back while the grapes are draped over the other fruits. One of the thing that drew my attention to the painting after comparing it with Cezanne’s version is that the lighting and shading the artist used looks more natural than Cezanne’s. The shadow of the teapot can be seen on the wall and the fruits in the back are darker than the ones in the front. Knowing what I do now, I am honored to know that in my kitchen hangs a version of the famous Paul Cezanne’s still life portraits.

Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses, Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence), Oil on canvas20171211_184605.jpg


The Square

While on Thanksgiving break my family and I were headed to New Jersey when I spotted this building in downtown Brooklyn. The specific location is unknown, but the reason I took a picture of this building is because it reminded me of Bernini’s St. Peter’s square. Although unclear, the building in the picture has a lot of columns, that sprouts tall and thick into the base of the building. Which is why I thought it resembled St. Peter’s square where the columns are so wide and tall they appear to be at the height of a 3 story building. Inside, or behind the column at the front, the arches seem to be creating different walk ways or passages where people can walk through to get across.



Altogether with the combination of the big columns and the goth ceilings, that space gives the walkers an illusion of being under a very tall space which replicates how someone would feel walking under the St. Peter’s square.

The Month of Augustus

From unit 7, chosen from the readings on the imperator, I chose two quotes that I thought best summarized who Augustus was and his mission in life. The author claimed that “the underlying motive of every campaign was that Aaugustugustus felt it his duty, above all, to avenge Caesar and keep his decrees in force.” I chose this quote because it explained a little about his motivations, it showed that he wanted to live up to or even to exceed Julius Caesar’s accomplishments. Another fact about Augustus is that he would not stand for people against him, in this quote he said that he “drove the men who slaughtered my father into exile with a legal order, punishing their crime, and afterwards, when they waged war on the state, I conquered them in two battles.” This shows that he is the type of man that is not afraid to punish others and also to eradicate anyone against him. The similarities between the two quotes is that the subject is about the death of his father and him avenging him. The difference is that the second quote is from Julius himself, which in my opinion was more graphic which showed his true feelings about his actions towards his father’s murderers, and the first quote was an overall statement about what drove him to be the man he became.


Through researching, I found that the month August was originally called Sextillis for being the 6th month in the Roman calendar,  it wasn’t until the 700th BC that it became the 8th month of the year when the months January and February were added. Then was later changed during the 8th BC after Augustus. I suspect that the month was renamed in honor of Augustus because the month was allegedly the month he conquered Egypt. This information does connect with how the two quotes described Augustus, he accomplished a lot during his time so he could live up to Julius Caesar’s accomplishments.

Sherique Vassell, Team Artemis

Whence came Victory

Right here in Manhattan, Grand Army Plaza, New York, the Sherman Monument named after the American civil war general, William Tecumseh Sherman can be found, it is a sculpture that depicts the scene of the general on a horse with the remake of the Greek Goddess of strength, speed and victory, Nike, standing next to him. The overall meaning of the sculpture is to show that the Union was victorious because the goddess granted the Union speed and strength which helped to defeat the Confederate. Despite the vast history behind the Union general Sherman, the focus will be on the Goddess standing next to him. This remake was done in 1902 in bronze, where the goddess can be seen holding a palm branch in her left hand as a sign of victory, she is also shown wearing a golden garment, which is very detailed, her wings are also shown outstretched as if ready for action. This remake resembles the Winged Nike that was done in marble around c. 190 BCE. That version of Nike is marked for being one of the key representation of a Hellenistic sculpture because there are a lot of emotion being conveyed, her garment looks like the wind is bowing in her direction, her pose or posture can be described as dramatic and more realistic. This Nike has a posture that looks to be contrapposto but not quite, it has more dynamic. Overall, although these sculptures were done in different time frames they show similarities such as the depiction of the goddess Nike shown with wings in a somewhat dramatic fashion. The symbol is also fairly the same which is victory.



The HSBC Bank on Bowery Street


It was on a cold day in October when my best friend and I decided to go on a hunt for the best chopped ice-cream in China town it just so happened that while we were on our hunt for ice-cream I was taking pictures of some of the buildings we passed. While we were there I started to take notice of the buildings around me, taking pictures of any that had any Greek or Roman influence in their design. As we were entering China town I noticed this bank and right then I knew I had to take a picture of it. The picture above is of a HSBC bank found on Bowery street. Some of the things that drew my attention to the building was of course the big golden dome on top, the arch above the entrance, the two statues on top of the dome and the base. The building has a noticeable large amount of Roman architecture style from the dome on the Pantheon to the signature style of the Roman arch. Even though the Roman style is apparent from just looking alone, there was still something about it that caught my eye, it was the structure of the building. The structure of the building reminded me of the structure of the Mausoleum at Helicarnassus, the base is fairly simple, but the real attention drawer is what’s on top, while the Mausoleum sports Greek Doric columns, statues on every corner, and steps on top the HSBC bank also has a simple base with the attention grabbing arch and dome.

Gracias Gracchi

It was during the 18th century France that he came to be, the leader of the peasants revolt, Gracchi Babeuf. Although it has been many years since his death his words and actions carry on through his ideas. In the article I chose to read a writer was examining an essay written about Gracchi Babeuf during the time he was on trial. Based on Babeuf’s circumstance, I would say that this article was written with the lower class in mind because the article mainly focuses on how Gracchi was accused of going against the Constitution of 1793 and how when he went in front of the High Court of Vendome his defense was not made like in silence like his partner but in logic. He had a revolutionary idea he thought would benefit the people and to see through he relied on the support of the peasants but was sentenced to death. The tone of the article seems to be supporting or in favor of having a superior argument to overthrow the government. The quote, “Babeuf pretends to be no more than an idealist dreamer, yet the inner nature of his speech is based on class conflicts and the practicalities of revolutionary organization,” I believe connects the two search terms “Gracchi” and “France” because during this time period France was going through changes that might have been the result of Gracchi’s attempt at a revolution.  The assigned reading relates to this topic because Babeuf was referred to as a “revolutionary communist” which if he had succeeded would have decreased the class barrier between the peasants and the rich. Which is what the Plebeians of Rome achieved, “with a series of legislation between 367 and c.287, plebeians gained access to the higher magistracies, entrance into the major priestly colleges, and finally their plebiscites became equivalent to laws”.

Sherique, Team Artemisgracchi

MLA : Alp, Al. “The redemption of the Gracchi and the class nature of the republic.” Journal of Contemporary Asia; Vol. 25 Issues 3, p 397-413, 17 p (1995). Web. 28 Nov. 2017.

Interview with the Fam


For the following interview, Donovan, my father age 42, Celina, my cousin age 17, and Diana, my mother age 48 will be participating. This interview took place at home.

Me: Do you know who Alexander the Great was?

Donovan: Yes, I think he was alive during the Roman Empire time.

Celina: Yes, he was a leader of the Corinthian League.

Diana: I don’t know

Me:What do you know about him?

Donovan: I think he used to fight battle, a gladiator probably

Celina: He was a king that died from Malaria and he was the most powerful military leader.

Diana: I think he was a lord or governor, or hold some type of position. Maybe in the Holy Crusade.

Me:Where did you learn about him?

Donovan: From watching tv

Celina: At school, but he wasn’t that interesting so I don’t remember much.

Diana: I was reading a book that mentioned him.


Greek and Roman Architecture in Upstate New York


While on a field trip in Upstate New York, in Albany to be specific I came across these beautiful buildings, at first that was the only thing I noticed but after taking Art 1010, I realized that these buildings were built using Greek and Roman architecture in mind. After doing some research I found out that back in the colonial-era the settlers or the people constructed to construct these buildings were heavily influenced by Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Which is why so many of these buildings can be found in places like Syracuse, Albany, and Utica, they are the remaining remnants of the pass.

Evidence of this can be found in all three picture above, the first image above depicts the Justice Building and the State Legislature of NY, the second is the NYS Capitol Building and the last is the State Educational Building. The Justice Building has Doric columns with windows built in the shape of an arch, a combination of Greek and Roman architecture. And while the Capitol Building doesn’t sport any columns, it has arches as the entrances which resembles the arches of the Roman built amphitheater and bridges. The building on the right, the State Educational Building is completely Greek, from the many Ionic columns to the frieze on top of the columns, which makes it look remarkable like the Parthenon.

And while it is true that all these buildings sport different styles, their purposes are very similar, these buildings are used for governmental purposes. The Justice Building is where legislators assemble to make decisions on laws. The NYS Capitol is also used to house the NYS Legislature where legislative sessions have also been kept. The State Educational Building was built for the purpose of serving as the headquarters for the New York State Educational Department(NYSED) but was also a museum and library. On the outside, these buildings have a lot in common with the ones found in Ancient Greece and over the Roman Empire but there purposes are dissimilar. However, it could be said that in some ways they have one thing in common and it is to gather large crowds.

-Sherique Vassell, Team Artemis

Trouble in Hong Kong


Alan Wong, the author of the article, “Three Young Democracy Advocates in Hong Kong Are Sentenced to Prison” reported trouble brewing in the political system in the city of Hong Kong. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow were sentenced to prison for six to eight months because of their involvement in Hong Kong’s democracy movement. These three argue that their city needs more political freedom and freer elections, their fellow protestors also agree that the Chinese government is becoming too involved in their political orientation. Before his sentencing to prison, the face of the democracy movement, Joshua Wong claimed interview that “the government wanted to stop us from running in elections, and directly suppress our movement.” His claims were later proven correct as originally they would have only received community service but after the local Beijing government demanded their sentencing be harsher they each got longer sentences. And even though because of their sentencing these three advocates won’t be able to run in elections, they still stand united that Hong Kong would be better suited with a democratic system.

This relates to our current reading in Classics about the Republic by Plato, because in both of these settings the individuals are looking for their ‘ideal society.’ The author of this article seemed more for democracy than against it, it could be argued that the  reason for this, could be that the author doesn’t believe that an ideal society could be under Communist rule. Which would mean that the author is highly in favor of a democratic rule. In this instance, I think that I live in a similar society as this person, where someone of higher power is in control of our freedom. I think that Plato would have argued that they are in need of rules or law to equivocate the stronger power, which in this case is China. From the perspective of Glaucon, found in book 2, page 37, “the ones who lack the power to do it and avoid suffering it-decide that it is profitable to come to an agreement with each other neither to do injustice nor to suffer it.”

Article Used:

  1. Wong, Alan. “Three Young Democracy Advocates in Hong Kong Are Sentenced to Prison.” New York Times, 18 Aug. 2017, p. A7(L). New York State Newspapers, Accessed 4 Oct. 2017



The ‘barbarian’ in the mirror.

the mirror

It was taught during one of our lectures, that the word ‘barbarian’ originated from the Greek word, ‘bar bar.’ It was a term they used for foreigners that didn’t speak their language, the Greeks as history portrayed, were not too keen on foreigners. As you can imagine, the word itself underwent some changes since then and now and may yet to change again. As an illustration, I will discuss two articles that mentioned the word ‘barbarian’ to decipher what it meant in that subtext.

The article, “Bow Down to the Tattooed Queen” is about the actress, Judi Dench’s role as Victoria in the saga,”Mr. Brown.”In her saga, her character became involved with a younger servant after the death of her husband. In the second addition to the saga, called “Victoria and Abdul,” she mourned the death of her Scottish lover, but was soon after involved with another servant. Her relationship with the second servant was especially controversial because of his race being Indian Muslim.  For instance, while filming the movie, they ran into some issues when a group of right wing Indian nationalist charged the set, they claimed that the movie wanted “to absolve our barbaric behavior in colonized countries.”

In the second article, “School Lunch Without Shame” was about the importance of keeping the lunch payment discrete so as not to humiliate the students that could not afford to pay. “Nationally, however, far too many school districts still employ barbaric policies under which children are openly humiliated when their parents cannot pay lunch bills”. This article was written to berate the cities or states that do no use this program.

The target audience for both these vary, for the first article, the issue regarding the first article was race. The building of the statue of Victoria was purely for the film production but the right wing Indian nationalist saw it as an act of disrespect considering that they were under the British rule. The target audience would be the film makers, actors, and any future acts. In the second article, it could be said that the target audience would be the parents, by making the parents aware of how of how their children might be feeling, it would also urge them to ensure that their children have these programs at their school.  These articles are similar in the way that they use the word ‘barbaric’, it was first used to describe the right wing Indian nationalist and then it was used as to describe an old law that no longer fits in with modern society. They are similar in the way that they are both used to describe people that are holding on to things of the past. In a way I think of the “the destiny of a man is in his soul” from Herodotus fitting of the word ‘barbarian,’ it will forever be changing based on what is the aim of the person.

Works cited:

  1. “School Lunch Without Shame.” New York Times, 8 Sept. 2017, p. A26(L). New York State Newspapers, Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.
  2. Dowd, Maureen. “Bow Down To The Tattooed Queen.” New York Times, 24 Sept. 2017, p. 1(L). New York State Newspapers, Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.




Defying Justice: Lapis lazuli

lapis lazuli

The story of Antigone was written as a tragedy, about a woman who had two brothers that were cursed to kill each other to become the King of Thebes. This resulted in several things of which one her uncle, Creon became the King of Thebes, he decided that Eteocles would be given a proper burial but denied the other brother, Polyneices a burial. On lines 35-36, Creon ruled that “for anyone who does one of these things, murder by public stoning in the city is ordained.” And with that in mind Antigone decided to bury her brother consequences be damned, as a result, she was imprisoned.

Lapis lazuli made her first appearance in the animated series, Steven Universe as a gem trapped in a magic mirror. After she convinced Steven, a half human, half gem to free her she attempted to destroy her captors, the Crystal Gems, who were also Steven’s guardians. After being subdued by Steven, a tentative bond grew between the two even as she kept her distrust of the Crystal Gems because she believed that they betrayed their home world, by protecting Earth and choosing to fuse. While investigating some of the technologies left on Earth by the gems of home world, the Crystal Gems found out that home world gems were heading for Earth. These gems included; Jasper and Peridot, who were sent by their leader to capture the Crystal Gems and along with them Lapis lazuli.  While on board the ship, heading for home world to be prosecuted Lapis accepted her fate while her other companions chose to fight. It was during the final battle between Jasper and the Crystal Gems that Lapis was freed but was shortly captured by Jasper, who then gave her the opportunity to exact revenge on the Crystal Gems for imprisoning her for thousands of years by fusing with her. While fused with Jasper, Lapis took the opportunity to capture her by imprisoning them both under the deepest depth of the ocean.

This reminds me of the story of Antigone because just like Antigone Lapis was caught in the middle of a war between two people she cared about, and if they had followed the wishes of their superiors, they would have been saved but instead they followed their judgement and as a result were imprisoned.

Aphrodite’s Glittering Bod

Among the legends of the gods and goddesses, Aphrodite is a very popular figure among them, one of the reasons for this is because she is the epitome of love and beauty and while I was reading the Hymn to Aphrodite by Homer, I deducted why her titles were connected, why she was known as not only the goddess of love, but also the goddess of beauty and fertility. In lines 58 to 92 of the Hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess was at her beloved temple in Cyprus where she was “anointed with oil” and “decked in gold”, all done in preparation for Anchises. This ritual that Aphrodite performed was simply a beauty ritual done in order to catch the heart of the mortal man, Anchises. After she conducted her ritual and approached the man of her interests, he was “filled with wonder as he took note of her appearance” which also caused him to be “seized with love” for her. After their initial introduction, they then proceeded to consummate their new found love of each other. The results, the birth of a son by the name of Aeneas.

While I was searching for an image that best summarizes how I feel about Aphrodite’s beauty, I found an image of a nail polish with a shade named after Aphrodite herself. Now, when we think about Aphrodite, some of the first things that come to mind would be of course her beauty and affinity for love, well duh, that’s because she’s the goddess of love and beauty. However, this relates to my chosen image because, when we think of love, often times beauty is not too far behind. As humans we are naturally social creatures, and as such we often spend our life time searching for someone to share our lives with. This being one of the most important occasion of our lives, many times we are groomed from birth to find that special someone. Some of the ways we are groomed to find this special someone is with the emphasis on beauty, wealth, and knowledge in our upbringings. However, the main focus is on beauty, women achieve it through multiple methods, one of them being the occasional visit to the nail salon. The idea of a woman going to a nail salon to me summarizes Aphrodite’s beauty regimen of wanting to look her best in order for her to catch the attention of Anchises.