Losing my Marbles

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By walking through the passageway between the Times Square hub and Port Authority Bus Terminal you can notice an adorable art piece by Lisa Dinhofer.

Her work Losing my Marbles showing an unusual perspective of seeing objects. As artist points out that: “ Every object I paint actually exists; I work from life. The space I create is believable – but not real. Because I design my own space, I call myself an ‘illusionist’ painter rather than a ‘realist’. The space in my work is invented. It’s flattened – like the space we see on a television or a computer screen.” So her work can be considered as abstract modern art. It really differ from other paints, mosaics from past centuries where painters focused on realism and humanism but here we see real objects but in unreal positions with incorrect linear perspective.

This masterpiece reminded me of another great work by Cezanne and his “ Basket of apples”. Similarly, those works show still life but in different space. Meaning that they were created not from one point of view but from different points because we move as we see.  Also, important to notice that apples, as well as marbles, look like they are about to fall down which also creates an illusion. In the reading about “ The Basket of Apples,” it says that Cezanne began the purposefully started destruction of a single image.

-Yuliya K.

Best Tem – Minerva

View on Brooklyn Bridge


By scrolling down my camera roll, I found a great photo of Brooklyn Bridge that I took last summer and I realized that it reminds me of a linear perspective. In class, we learned that linear perspective is when geometric lines and a vanishing point give the illusion of depth and space, basically a three-dimensional object converted onto a two-dimensional surface by the use of lines.

On a bridge, depth effect is achieved through the use ropes that play role of 

Orthogonal and transversals, so it seems to extend out into the distance. We can also see a vanishing point on the top center where ropes from left and right sides narrowing to a center. I believe a creator of Brooklyn Bridge used ideas of  Brunelleschi during modeling a bridge.


From my point of view, it seems like those ropes are created not only to support a construction of a bridge but also to make it visually longer and create some sort of illusion.




What about orthodox church?



This is a church at 359 Broome Street between Elizabeth and Mott Streets in Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1901 as the Church of San Salvatore and was designed by Hoppin & Koen in the Romanesque Revival style. It is now the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church. (Source: From Abyssinian to Zion (2004))

Romanesque Revival it is a mix of Roman and Byzantine architecture which are harmonically combined. From Roman architecture, there are some columns(looks doric)which are used as small additional decorations, and three front arches for entrances which reminded me of the Arch of Constantine(315 BCE).

Also, this building looks similar to a Roman basilica, they both are elongated, rectangular buildings, divided into 3 parts  The middle main nave is higher than the other ones. If to look at the inside picture, we will see that in the back there is a semicircular ledge (covered by a semi-dome).

Trinity church represents Byzantine architecture as well. Inside there are mosaics all around, the altar throne, the iconostasis, the pulpit and the baptismal font. Looks like the outside walls building was made of stone and marble (at least covered by marble). Many Orthodox churches use Byzantine style because Orthodox religion originated from there.

-Yuliya K, team Minerva

Great land reformer!

For this blog I was looking for “Gracchi “land reform” “United States” and I was curious how Gracchi could be related to the US or vice versa?

In the article “The Antebellum American Textbook Authors’ Populist History of Roman Land Reform and the Gracchi Brothers”, author  McInnis, Edward points out how American books showed Tiberius Gracchus in different lights depending on a period of time. While during 18-19th centuries our country had slavery and Gracchi was a reformer who supposed to stop a free labor in Rome: “After 1830, these textbooks featured modified and abridged versions of the Gracchi episode for nineteenth-century readers, which cast Tiberius and Caius Gracchus in a favorable light…the Gracchi brothers as concerned with the rise of wealthy slaveholding patricians throughout Rome and the decline of small freeholders. Authors describe the Gracchi as individuals who wanted to provide land to poor Romans and support Rome’s “middle class” even though the patricians opposed this idea. They never characterize the Gracchi as demagogues.”


The audience for this article are American people, historians and of course, classics students in Brooklyn college)))

Correct MLA citation: 

Mcinnis, Edward. “The Antebellum American Textbook Authors Populist History of Roman Land Reform and the Gracchi Brothers.” Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 2015.

Authors wanted to alert readers to threats to republicanism such as inequality and slavery, even if their history divided Americans.They reinforced the nineteenth-century idea of a republic founded on a middle class rather than the eighteenth-century idea of a republic reliant on elite citizens.

If to compare this article to the reading to fragments on Tiberius Gracchus, we can see that there are some similarities. At first, people thought about Gracchi as a good reformer: “The people showed favor to him {Gracchus}, not only when he took up the office, but when he was a candidate, and even before then. Upon his return from Sardinia, the people went out to meet him, and his landing from the boat was greeted with blessings and applause.  [25] Gracchus in his speeches to the people urged them to overthrow the aristocracy and establish a democratic government; and after winning the favor of all classes, he had them not only as supporters but even as instigators of his bold objectives. For every citizen, lured by the hope that the proposed laws would be in his own interests, was ready to risk any danger to ensure that they were adopted.”

But later everything changed when he started to lose supporters. People realize that he is a demagogue and half of the tribes turned against him: “Gracchus gave the lower classes power over the nobles, and by breaking the harmony that existed previously between the Senate and the equities, he made the populace a serious rival to both those classes. By setting all the classes at variance, he built up personal power for himself;” And in the article, it says: “TheUnited States president John Adams, for example, regarded Tiberius and Caius Gracchus as demagogues seeking to stir up the Roman masses in a bid to increase their own power in republican Rome.” which shows how American president as many other people were against Gracchi reforms and his ideas



A Great Conqueror

I did not realize before  that  my family members and majority of people  are so distant from the History knowledge, well just as I am. I asked  my Dad(Mr.Knoweverything), cashier in Supermarket and my friend Tanya about Alexander the Great. I gave them all  3 simple questions:

  1. Who is Alexander the Great?
  2. What facts do you know about him?
  3. Where did you learn about Alexander?

Dad( age 51, at our home):

Alexander of Macedonia was a great conqueror and commander. He conquered land from Greece to India, if I am not mistaken. Oh, he invited  a new style of battle with spears and shields, you know… He also built many large cities named in his honor – Alexandria.

Well, I actually studied about Macedonia when I was your age but also there were a lot of TV programs and documentaries about him.

Tanya(19, John Jay college):

Alexander the Great? Hmm…You know I skipped History classes in High School…I believe he was a King of something? I remember we definitely learned about him in 10th grade…

Hanna(22, at NetCost market)

Oh my God, I learned about him in school..He conquered half the world, died at age of 30. He founded the city of Alexandria, which was famous for its library. A good commander, but was severely beaten by the Scythians. Why you asking? Google it!

Their answers were really similar, they all learned about Alexander at the early stage of their life. By asking people  about Alexander, I noticed that everyone talked about him in a positive tone, like  he was a hero. Nobody said anything bad about a commander. This suggests that Alexander was really a prominent person that should  be remembered.

In our class we discussed about Alexander’s achievements, role in history, growth of his empire and his life overall.  While reading “The Romance of Alexander the Great by Pseudo-Callisthenes” I found a quote that proofs statement about Alexander’s success:

“He conquered many nations, twenty-two barbarian and twelve Greek. And he built twelve cities which still remain today, rich and complete and populated by countless people: Alexandria, which he built on the bullheaded horse…”(185,p 158)

-Yuliya K.


Did you ever thought that the school can be used to brainwash children’s minds? That the Government provided an educational system just  to manipulate people in the way that will be beneficial for rulers?  I personally still think about it! Just think about it, all your childhood you heard so much about Democracy, Liberty, Freedom of Speech etc. Endless history classes made you believe that all of those things are good and that the things you should like and support. But isn’t it brainwashing?

When I was in High School we learned so much about Slavery and how African people fought for their freedom, how white people are bad and offensive. We focused on these so much that I don’t even remember other topics that we were studying. I believe that school goal was to change our minds,  make us believe in what the teacher or the Government thinks is correct and right. However, everybody have a freedom of speech and all students have a right to express their own opinion to other students and a teacher( that is a way to void brainwashing).

In the article : “At Columbia, the Classics’ Olympian Reign Is Challenged” author Mervyn Rothstein mentions a well known Greek  philosopher-  Plato and his work “Republic” to argue either Plato used brainwashing in his texts. “Plato,” he told students, “believed that justice and model behavior could be taught, that you could change human nature through education. But the Platonic attitude also dominates in totalitarian systems. Lenin found in the Platonic way that through education you could shape the way people think. The Nazis did the same thing. It was brainwashing.” He paused. “This course is constantly being attacked as a brainwashing course,” he said. “A brainwashing course for American democracy. Do you think this course is brainwashing?” So the question here  is how “republic” is brainwashing but a republic here now it is our country – USA.
Plato in his first book discussed a theme of justice. Character named Thrasymachus argues that justice is a interest of the stronger.Thrasymachus here trying to say that the person who controls society define what justice is, and they will inevitably define it to further their own interests. Justice is just a social construct that society brainwashes its members into believing.

And then Plato starting to argue with him to prove that he is not correct: “Now, I said, you are on more substantial and almost unanswerable ground; for if the injustice which you were maintaining to be profitable had been admitted by you as by others to be vice and deformity, an answer might have been given to you on received principles; but now I perceive that you will call injustice honourable and strong, and to the unjust you will attribute all the qualities which were attributed by us before to the just, seeing that you do not hesitate to rank injustice with wisdom and virtue. “

Thus. in both texts: article by Mervyn Rothstein and Plato’s “Republic”, we can see that Plato want the audience to believe in what he believes. He is giving a sort of  definition of  justice that in his opinion is a correct one. But in addition, I will say that you will be brainwashed if you will allow people to do so.

Rothstein, Mervyn. “At Columbia, the Classics’ Olympian Reign Is Challenged.” New York Times, 10 Oct. 1992. New York State Newspapers,  Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.



-Yuliya Kmit


Greeks always liked to put themselves above any other nationality and culture. So called “barbarians” were the non-Greek people, and the word barbarian actually means “muttered/babble”- those  who can not speak Greek clearly.  Greeks seemed their language as true human tongue. All strangers, foreigners were considered as uncivilized men. But were barbarians worse or weaker than Greeks or Romans?

In the absence of any technological advantage, the conflict between Rome and the barbarians was almost entirely a purely physical and moral struggle, between a physically and morally enfeebled Empire, and more vital, healthy, prolific tribes. In comparing Rome to the West today, what is striking is the noticeable lack of any ideologies of self-hatred among the Romans (although some like historian Edward Gibbon have argued that Christianity fulfilled that role), as well as of any unusually pronounced hatred of Rome by the barbarians. “(Wegierski, Mark. “Sixteen years since “9/11” – the “Fall of Rome” and the “Decline of the West””. Quarterly Review (UK).September 11, 2017)

In this article, author use the word “barbarian” to name the Rome Empire’s enemies, people who wanted to invade to the territories of the Rome. He describe them as a powerful force that is able to attack and take over the city or the whole Empire. By writing this article Weigierski comparing the events that happened in Roman Empire, the fight between Rome and Germanic tribes(barbarians), with a 9/11 events to show how those strangers, “others” negatively impact already formed, huge and powerful society. And I believe it was written for American adults audience to make them think about how to avoid the collapse of a country.

However, if to read the historical article from actual Ancient time: “Herodotus”, there are some differences and similarities between the sense of the word “barbarian”. Herodotus described war between Greece and Persia, and he states: “The Asiatics, when the Greeks ran off with their women, never troubled themselves about the matter; but the Greeks, for the sake of a single Lacedaemonian girl, collected a vast armament, invaded Asia, and destroyed the kingdom of Priam. Henceforth they ever looked upon the Greeks as their open enemies. 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 they look on as distinct and separate.”(1.4 p.3)

Again, here the barbarians are invaders but in the article they are described with a negative tone which shows an objection towards them.

-Yuliya,  Team Minerva