Lady Liberty


Last summer, my mom and I had the pleasure of seeing the Statue of Liberty, with the courtesy of one of her good friends. In Classics, we recently learned that the translation of the word ‘Libertas’ means Liberty. Coins were made in the celebration of Julius Caesar’s assassination. They represented the overthrow of Caesar’s tyrant rule. On one coin, there is an image of the Roman goddess, Libertas who represents freedom. On another coin, there an image of a pileus alongside two daggers above the words “EID MAR.” “EID MAR” is the Ides of March and is referring to the actual day Caesar was killed. A pileus, known as a freedman’s cap, was worn by slaves after they were finally set free. The symbolism shows that Caesar’s death was a representation that the citizens of the Roman Republic were now free of his rule and no longer had to live in fear.


-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Augustus is more relevant than I thought

Life of Augustus

“Augustus now took command of the Army, and governed the Empire: first with Mark Antony and Lepidus as his colleagues; next, for nearly twelve years, with Antony alone; finally by himself for another forty-four years.” (Suetonius, 10)

Res Gestae

“In my nineteenth year, on my own initiative and at my own expense, I raised an army with which I set free the state, which was oppressed by the domination of a faction.” (27)

The first quote shows the power that Augustus was able to accumulate and maintain for decades. It indicates that he was very influential to his soldiers as well as to the Empire. He was able to clearly express his ideas and motives while having people follow his endgame plans. I chose this passage because it’s a written biography of Augustus and tells a story of how he was able to become powerful overtime.

The second quote indicates that Augustus discovered his independence and his leadership abilities only at the age of nineteen. The repetition of the words “own” and “I” in the underlined phrases indicates that Augustus did these actions on his own free will. He recognized that change needed to occur. By building an army with his own expenses, it expresses the determination that he possessed during a time of oppression. I chose this passage because it reveals Augustus’ personal experiences from his perspective. He writes about first-hand accounts of his accomplishments; from his multiple consulships to rebuilding the Capitol. These two quotes are similar because they convey how powerful Augustus became as a ruler and the impact he created in history.


This is a picture of my brother and I, who’s middle name happened to be Augustine. The name Augustine is derived from the name Augustus. When my brother was named, I don’t believe it was because it’s a derivative of Augustus; he was named after my grandfather. I think the second quote may connect with my brother because although he’s still young, he’s a person who likes to take initiative to certain situations rather than allowing to wait for something to happen.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Inception with paintings?!


I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the Thanksgiving break with a few of my teammates. We stumbled upon this painting in the European paintings section. I instantly thought about The Art of Painting painting by Johannes Vermeer. This work is called In the Studio and it was made by Alfred Stevens in 1888. According to the description in the artwork label, he includes an open portfolio and a mirror, as well as the picture within a picture concept, to express the relationship between art and reality. This is main similarity in both paintings. They share the depiction of  an artist creating a painting of a model. We know that in Vermeer’s work is a self-portrait creating  and was made from 1666 to 1669. A difference is that Vermeer makes the viewer see a sight they wouldn’t normally see by drawing the curtain back in the upper left corner. It is suggested that he wanted to make the viewer feel privileged to watch Vermeer creating his piece.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

NYC comes to Las Vegas


Earlier this year, I went on vacation with my family to Las Vegas, Nevada. As we were walking through the hotels, we had stumbled across this painting in an art gallery in The Venetian. The painting was made with the technique of linear perspective. The artist painted this from a high viewpoint to give more focus on the Empire State Building. It also gives the viewers the illusion that there are more buildings beyond to what they can see as they get smaller in the background. The Empire State Building acts as the vanishing point and the horizon where the sun is setting is the horizon line. The orthogonals would all be towards the Empire State Building.

This relates to the historical painting of the Holy Trinity that Masaccio created in c. 1427. He was the first artist to incorporate the technique of linear perspective into his work. The focus in his work was the body of Christ, as well as God as a man in the flesh. This focus on Christ makes him the vanishing point. In the background, Masaccio incorporates ancient Greece and Roman art by painting coffered barrel vaults and corinthian and ionic capitals. The horizon line is beneath the donors and the orthogonals would point upward towards the barrel vaults.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Mosaics in Las Vegas


Earlier this year, my family and I took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. As we were being tourists along the famous Las Vegas Strip, we walked into The Venetian hotel. I was taking pictures of almost everything and I knew I had to snap a photo of this display of the word LOVE. I found it beautiful how the letters lined up with the waterfall in the background. But the true focus is the mosaic artwork in the fountain in the front. I hadn’t paid much attention to the fountain when I was there, but I noticed it after I looked back at the photos I took. The mosaic in the fountain relates to the mosaic found in the San Vitale. The Justinian Mosaic is one of the most significant mosaic artworks in the San Vitale. It depicts Justinian with his clergy members on his left side while the members of the imperial administration are on his right side. He is wearing a halo, a crown, and a purple robe. Although it appears that the Bishop Maximianus on the right is stepping in front of him, Justinian’s hand is still in front of the the bishop. He’s holding a bowl associated with the Eucharist, which indicates that he is leading the procession.

This display also reminded me of Aphrodite from what we learned about in Classics. Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. She used her irresistible beauty in any manner that she wanted, no matter the cost. For instance, she made Zeus fall in love with mortal women. She was also caught having an affair with Ares, the god of war, and shamed in front of all of the gods. They were eventually left to and she later became the mother of his children.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Aphrodite in the Met?




This sculpture was found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Although it’s not Aphrodite, it reminded me of her. For instance, most sculptures of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and desire, are her standing in contrapposto, where her weight is on her right leg and the leg left is slightly bent. The woman in this sculpture is also standing in contrapposto, which indicates that they were both made during or after the Classical Period by the Greeks. The Greeks created naturalistic figures that they felt expressed the true beauty of humans. The sculpture in the photo indicates that she’s making dramatic movements by walking forward by the position of her feet and her arms. Also, by the way that her drape is positioned, the artist could’ve wanted to show that there may have been wind. In contrast, Aphrodite is typically depicted naked. This was common in Greek sculptures because it was considered the most ideal human form. In this quote from the reading Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, it states “Muse, tell me the things done by golden Aphrodite, the one from Cyprus, who arouses sweet desire for gods and who subdues the races of mortal humans.”  This indicates some of the power that this goddess possesses. She would make gods have offspring with humans by making them lose control of themselves. She was considered a symbol of beauty who often showed off her promiscuity to get what she wanted.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Egyptian history in the MET


About 2 weeks ago, I visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art, famously known as the MET, in Manhattan. I was walking around with one of my close friends and this sculpture caught my eye. It reminded me of the archaic period, which was from c. 600-480 B.C.E. Most of the archaic sculptures were made by the Greeks and influenced by the Egyptians. The Greeks were mesmerized that Egyptian artwork were made with stone so they began to do the same in order for their artwork to last longer. Whereas previously, they used wood that would break away easily. They also dedicated some of their artwork to higher figures. For instance, the kouros and kore were intended as votive offerings to the goddess Athena. Also both types of statues are stiff and non-naturalistic. But even though they were mostly similar, the Egyptians didn’t make nude statues. The Greeks glorified the human body, in particular to males.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Honorable Alexander

Emma, 17, Best friend, Her house

Do you know who Alexander the Great was?

I’ve heard of him before.

What do you know about him?

He’s from Ancient Greece. When I visited the Louvre in Paris I saw a statue of him.

Where did you learn about him?

From my global class sophomore year of high school.


Demir, 18, Close friend, Facebook Messenger

Do you know who Alexander the Great was?

“Yes, I do”

What do you know about him?

“I know he’s Greek and he might have conquered a few places”

Where did you learn about him?

“From a video game”


Angelina, 53, Aunt, At home

Do you know who Alexander the Great was?


What do you know about him?

“He conquered a lot of countries in a short period of time. I believe he died in his 30s.”

Where did you learn about him?

“From Church”


Alexander the Great was a powerful and strategic leader who lived from 356-323 B.C. Based on the answers I received, I noticed that Alexander the Great was well-known but the people who I asked weren’t aware of his many accomplishments. They had provided me with a very brief amount of information. For instance, the answers were similar because they revolved around him being Greek and being an important figure in history. This information relates to what we learned in class because Alexander was in fact Greek and was able to take control of different places. In this quote from the reading Alexander Romance, it states “if you give birth now, 0 Queen, the one you bear is a world conqueror.” Nectanebos said this to Alexandria indicating that her child, Alexander, is going to be dominant in the future. Alexander then lives up to this by building one of the largest Western empires while being a relatively young. He ultimately becomes king of Macedon and conquers many countries, including Persia, Egypt, and Greece. One strategy he used to seize control of Persia was by encouraging and enforcing mass intermarriage between his soldiers and Persian women. This legitimized his ruling and further spread Greek culture, even after his death. His reign came to an end when he died at the young age of 32 in Babylon due to illness. A sarcophagus dedicated to Alexander is located in Istanbul.  Although his empire collapsed quickly, his legacy is still alive till this day.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

“A Walden Two Experiment”

The utopian society, Twin Oaks, Virginia, was created and founded by Katherine Kinkade. Kinkade passed on July 3rd, 2016 due to breast cancer and was buried in her own society. The author, William Grimes, of the article “Katherine Kinkade, 77, Founder of Utopian Commune” describes the visions of Kinkade. She was “inspired by the ideal society described in Skinner’s book “‘’Walden Two’” and was determined to make the principles and ideas of the behaviorist into a reality. Kinkade began to set strict work schedules and gave everyone equal pay. She justified this with one of Skinner’s ideas of positive reinforcement, which means that the likelihood of an event recurring will increase from a subject if a motivating item is given.

Grimes states that “he fires of idealism faded somewhat with the years.” I think Grimes realized that the idea of living in a “perfect society” in Kinkade’s time period steadily became unpopular.I don’t live in the same society as Kinkade once did. My city doesn’t strive to be perfect. It has its laws and rules but it’s more laid back. Everybody has the opportunity to move up, or down, in their social class, depending on their salaries. Meanwhile, in Twin Oaks, if everyone is paid the same amount of money, it’ll be be a lot more difficult to become wealthy if you want to be. I don’t agree with Kinkade’s views that humans should be “about humans living in a hivelike egalitarian society.” It gives people boundaries and unable to live with the freedom to do as they please. They’re constantly restricted to do only do a certain set of opportunities and become less open-minded.

I don’t think Plato would’ve agreed with Kinkade. From the excerpts from Republic, it states that “The system they construct lies on Plato’s theory of the soul or mind, the seat of consciousness, emotion, desire, and decision-making.” According to Plato, a person’s set of desires vary depends on their own personal preferences. In Twin Oaks, a person wouldn’t able to do as they desire because they are being limited to how high they can achieve in that society.


Grimes, William. “Katherine Kinkade, 77, Founder of Utopian Commune.” New York Times, 27 July 2008, p. A24(L). New York State Newspapers, Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

A different side of Trump

One of the most horrific and devastating events in American history took place on September 11, 2001. 2,976 innocent lives were taken in total at the World Trade Center in New York City, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC and the United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The aftermath of that one day affected in the country, and the world, in a way we couldn’t have imagined. Donald Trump, the president of the United States, gave a speech in regards to the tragedy at the Pentagon during its memorial service. He gives recognition to millions of young men and women who have decided to join the military to “defend our country against barbaric forces of evil and destruction.” When Trump uses the word “barbaric,” he is referring to the terrorists who willingly carried out this inhumane attack.

The target audience for this article are American citizens. Throughout the article, the author, Gabrielle Levy, includes several quotes from the president, such as “In that hour of darkness, we also came together with renewed purpose” and “we are reminded of the timeless truth that when America is united, no force on Earth can break us apart – no force.” These quotes from the president give American citizens the motivation and strength to stay strong in times of crisis. The social value of unity is being affirmed as a shared value for American citizens. It allows citizens to come together and solve issues when in need rather than push each other away with hate. Although I don’t share the same views with the president, I do agree that those who are responsible for the attack are barbarians.

The use of the word “barbarians” is not the same as used in “Herodotus’ Histories.” In Herodotus, it states “For Asia, with all the various tribes of barbarians, that inhabit it, is regarded by the Persians as their own; but Europe and the Greek race thy look on a distinct and separate.” The Greeks referred to barbarians as people who were acted strange and were different from them. The Greeks thought this way because they thought of themselves as perfect beings.


Levy, Gabrielle. “Trump, First Lady Commemorate September 11 Attacks at Pentagon.” U.S. News & World Report, 11 Sept. 2017,

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Heartbreak: Will it make you or break you?

Image result for scandal

In the hit show Scandal, Olivia Pope, head of Olivia Pope and Associates, is a powerful, clever, and compassionate woman who runs her own crisis management and communication firm. She uses her skills to help those in immoral crisis’ to get justice for what she believes is right. Along with running her firm, she also works in the White House with the most powerful man in the country: the President. Olivia’s history with the President of the United States, Fitzgerald Grant III, dates back to before he even became president. She worked 24/7 to make sure he successfully became the next president, and she does so for 2 terms. Unfortunately for Fitz’s wife, Mellanie Grant, he had been having an affair with Olivia for years while he was office. Mellie eventually finds out about the affair and wanted to divorce Fitz but Olivia insists that she shouldn’t because it’d be in everyone’s best interest if she doesn’t follow through with it.

Flash forward to this important scene, Mellie is now running to be the first female President of the United States. She asserts to Fitz that she had earned everything she has on her own and implies that everything Fitz has was handed off to him. She emphasizes that he wouldn’t be the man his is today without the help of everyone around him, especially her. He had been complaining about the negatives of being the president, he forgot to appreciate it. Over the years of being neglected and cheated on by the man who was supposed to be the love of her life, Mellie was able to become independent and grow the confidence to run for the presidency despite the constant negativity around her.

I believe that this relates to the play Madea. Madea’s husband, Jason, had run off to marry Creon’s daughter and left his two children behind. Madea fell deeply in love with Jason and when she found out that he was leaving her for another woman, her heart turned bitter and it changed her entirely. Her thirst for revenge consumed her and led to her killing her own children. Both women experienced heartbreak but the way each of them handled it were complete opposites. Mellie allowed it to make her stronger while Madea made it break her down and bring out the worse.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Victoria’s Secret

21397514_1790321067664154_2096829124_nWhen you hear the two words, “Victoria’s Secret”, you think of lust, beauty, and love. It is no secret that Victoria’s Secret is one of the world’s best lingerie and sleepwear companies. The reason being, they use the best materials and the best models to promote their brand. The notorious Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the biggest event in the modelling industry. They combine their show with top performers like The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake, A$AP Rocky, and Drake just to name a few. How does all this correlate to Aphrodite? She is a sex symbol in Greek mythology and every god, not to mention mortals, who lays their eyes on her fall in love with her sheer beauty.

Victoria’s Secret’s branding revolves around Aphrodite’s values. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite translated by Gregory Nagy, it states that, “Immortal it was, giver of pleasures, and it had the fragrance of incense. Then she wrapped all her beautiful clothes around her skin.” Aphrodite is everything a man desires and everything a woman wants. She is naturally beautiful, her incense can captivate any man, and the way she presents herself will make any man lust. Victoria’s Secret advertises its products to young women all around the world to invoke the ideal woman, with a flawless body just like Aphrodite. However, Victoria’s Secret’s goal is to empower women whereas Aphrodite is seen as an adulterer shunned by the gods, despite her beauty.

In Poochigian’s Translation of Sappho “Hymn to Aphrodite”, its states, “She who shuns love will pursue it, she who scorns gifts will send them still: that girl will learn to love, though she do it against her will.” Aphrodite cheated on her husband Hephaestus with the God of War, Ares. She also had an affair with the God of Sea, Poseidon. This shows lust and love because Ares was better looking than Hephaestus and she loved Poseidon for his support of Ares and herself. Although Victoria’s Secret promotes love and lust, they do not support adultery.  Aphrodite is a beautiful but untouchable entity while Victoria’s Secret is modern reflection of a woman’s beauty.

(Picture taken in SOHO)