Black Sea letters

There are two mysteries about the Roman poet Ovid. The first one is political. After 30 years of fame in Rome as a wildly fashionable poet, Ovid, aged 50, was exiled to Tomis in present day Romania, a port on the western shore of the Black Sea, spent his last 10 years there, and died … More Black Sea letters

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Foot of clay

Akhenaten, the Pharaoh who introduced worship of the Aten, the one god, and banished the rites of other Egyptian gods, left a revolutionary legacy that undermined the role of Pharaoh and led to the end of his dynasty. Akhenaten and his chief wife Nefertiti. These portraits might be in a naturalistic style, and the two … More Foot of clay

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Too fond a friend

In May 1593 the famous playwright Thomas Kyd was arrested in London by officials of the Privy Council, the executive government body of Queen Elizabeth. Kyd was the author of The Spanish Tragedy, a revenge play of European wide fame and influence and he had also written versions of King Lear and of Hamlet, both … More Too fond a friend

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Modus operandi

As a species homo sapiens sapiens has been prone to get its lines crossed and its ideas in a tangle. We have a modus operandi: what we still need is a modus vivendi (peaceful coexistence). We have four main areas of thought and activity: 1 Religion: relationship (or not) to god; 2 Politics: balance of … More Modus operandi

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Orwell speak

I think the political warnings given by George Orwell in his novels and essays are now of less importance than those he gave about misuse of language. We have totalitarianism. The media has been the message for some time and now often replaces it. Politicians and businessmen misuse language in virtually the same way no … More Orwell speak

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Wonderings

Have you ever noticed than when you take the English  word ‘apart’ (as it were), and separate it into two, ‘a part’, you change its meaning 180 degrees? The word ceases to separate, and now joins. A journey we all make goes along this axis, between ‘apart’, separate, individual, ourselves, and ‘a part’ belonging to … More Wonderings

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Guidelines

We all of us need guidelines to negotiate our lives, and most of us know it. If we’re not to be swept away by calamity or confusion, we need a map. A maze keeps us in and keeps us occupied, but doesn’t take us anywhere And, although not as obvious, we need guidance to deal … More Guidelines

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