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#741
Yuli Ban

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#742
Yuli Ban

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Cicero:
Selected Letters
 



Introduction
 
The letters of Cicero are of a varied character. They range from the most informal communications with members of his family to serious and elaborate compositions which are practically treatises in epistolary form. A very large proportion of them were obviously written out of the mood of the moment, with no thought of the possibility of publication; and in these the style is comparatively relaxed and colloquial. Others, addressed to public characters, are practically of the same nature as his speeches, discussions of political questions intended to influence public opinion, and performing a function in the Roman life of the time closely analogous to that fulfilled at the present day by articles in the great reviews, or editorials in prominent journals.
 
In the case of both of these two main groups the interest is twofold: personal and historical, though it is naturally in the private letters that we find most light thrown on the character of the writer. In spite of the spontaneity of these epistles there exists a great difference of opinion among scholars as to the personality revealed by them, and both in the extent of the divergence of view and in the heat of the controversy we are reminded of modern discussions of the characters of men such as Gladstone or Roosevelt. It has been fairly said that there is on the whole more chance of justice to Cicero from the man of the world who understands how the stress and change of politics lead a statesman into apparently inconsistent utterances than from the professional scholar who subjects these utterances to the severest logical scrutiny, without the illumination of practical experience.
 
Many sides of Cicero's life other than the political are reflected in the letters. From them we can gather a picture of how an ambitious Roman gentleman of some inherited wealth took to the legal profession as the regular means of becoming a public figure; of how his fortune might be increased by fees, by legacies from friends, clients, and even complete strangers who thus sought to confer distinction on themselves; of how the governor of a province could become rich in a year; of how the sons of Roman men of wealth gave trouble to their tutors, were sent to Athens, as to a university in our day, and found an allowance of over $4,000 a year insufficient for their extravagances. Again, we see the greatest orator of Rome divorce his wife after thirty years, apparently because she had been indiscreet or unscrupulous in money matters, and marry at the age of sixty-three his own ward, a young girl whose fortune he admitted was the main attraction. The coldness of temper suggested by these transactions is contradicted in turn by Cicero's romantic affection for his daughter Tullia, whom he is never tired of praising for her cleverness and charm, and whose death almost broke his heart.
 
Most of Cicero's letters were written in ink on paper or parchment with a reed pen; a few on tablets of wood or ivory covered with wax, the marks being cut with a stylus. The earlier letters he wrote with his own hand, the later were, except in rare cases, dictated to a secretary. There was, of course, no postal service, so the epistles were carried by private messengers or by the couriers who were constantly traveling between the provincial officials and the capital.
 
Apart from the letters to Atticus, the collection, arrangement, and publication of Cicero's correspondence seem to have been due to Tiro, the learned freedman who served him as secretary, and to whom some of the letters are addressed. Titus Pomponius Atticus, who edited the large collection of the letters written to himself, was a cultivated Roman who lived more than twenty years in Athens for purposes of study. His zeal for cultivation was combined with the successful pursuit of wealth; and though Cicero relied on him for aid and advice in public as well as private matters, their friendship did not prevent Atticus from being on good terms with men of the opposite party.
 
Generous, amiable, and cultured, Atticus was not remarkable for the intensity of his devotion either to principles or persons. "That he was the lifelong friend of Cicero," says Professor Tyrrell, "is the best title which Atticus has to remembrance. As a man he was kindly, careful, and shrewd, but nothing more: there was never anything grand or noble in his character. He was the quintessence of prudent mediocrity."
 
The period covered by the letters of Cicero is one of the most interesting and momentous in the history of the world, and these letters afford a picture of the chief personages and most important events of that age from the pen of a man who was not only himself in the midst of the conflict, but who was a consummate literary artist.



Cicero was basically just a modern man living in ancient times. Which speaks more to how there really is no such difference between "ancient" and "modern." Just the effects of urbanization and education.
It's the same phenomenon that causes us to think of medieval times as being this alien period in history perfectly suited for tales of dragons and fairies— the lack of literacy and records from even high-ranking nobility coupled with later assumptions and puritanical ideas about what this time was like led us to think that the people of that era were basically living on Mars compared to the present. But having such an opinion just isn't possible with the Romans because they left behind their own thoughts on matters in thick detail. Very little about these letters feels out of place from what you'd read from someone today.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#743
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#744
RyderKellaway

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Hello everyone, I read a lot of cool and interesting things, thanks to everyone who posted. I really love history, now immersed and studying the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), very interesting. All success and good luck!



#745
RyderKellaway

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A Trip Through New York City in 1911 [4k, 60 fps] 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=hZ1OgQL9_Cw

 

Restored with neural networks 1911 New York footage taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to America: 

 

 

wow, that was interesting, thanks!



#746
Yuli Ban

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This is an astronomy book from 1869. It has hand written notes and some cool drawings!

975ett94qy451.jpg?width=576&auto=webp&s=


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#747
Yuli Ban

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#748
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“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#749
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“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#750
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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#751
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"During China’s Cultural Revolution, Mao sought to enforce his vision of Marxism and to erase history, culture, and memory. All contrary ideas and the objects representing them had to be destroyed."

 

https://twitter.com/...132229763862528



#752
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history-1.jpg

 

Cardiff Corpus Christi Procession, Cathays Park, June 1911


“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#753
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#754
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"After 3 years of failed attempts to seal a burning gas well the USSR detonated a nuclear bomb underground in September 1966. It worked so they did it again in July 1972 to another runaway gas well. Then failed at an attempt yet again in 1981."

 

https://twitter.com/...046909480816641



#755
MarcZ

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98 year old woman interviewed in 1979 about how communications and technology had changed since her youth:

 



#756
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“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#757
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US Native land loss, 1776–1930.

 

 

us-native-land-loss.gif



#758
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^ Fun fact, the red's expanding again. 

Supreme Court Rules That About Half Of Oklahoma Is Native American Land

_113323048_tribal_areas_oklahoma640-nc.p


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#759
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Is there any evidence of “theme park” type attractions in ancient civilisations?

The answer depends on how we interpret the question. What is a theme park?
 
If we're looking specifically for "something resembling water slides, slippery dips, rope swings, or anything else built solely for physical thrills," then the simple answer is no, there was nothing like this in Antiquity.
 
If you were an Ancient Greek looking for physical thrills, you'd go to the gymnasion (usually an enclosed field, maybe with some rooms for dressing down and oiling up) and try your hand at boxing, wrestling, throwing the javelin or the discus, running, or jumping with weights. The most daring would try to specialise in the pankration, a fighting sport that was regularly lethal. If you were rich, you might get yourself a racehorse - or nag your dad for a racehorse, which was enough of a theme in rich Athenian families for the comedian Aristophanes to make fun of it in his plays. Traditionally the most thrilling activity for the rich had been racing in two- or four-horse chariots, but by the Classical period this was generally outsourced to a sponsored charioteer for major competitions like the Olympic Games. Hunting was another classic thrill-seeking activity, and one that many authors considered good preparation for war, since it trained physical endurance and good reflexes as well as cunning and teamwork. The most common game was the hare.
 
Of course there were many activities that the Greeks engaged in that we would consider to be somewhere in the gray area between gambling, thrill-seeking and violent indulgence - dog-fighting and cock-fighting being the more civil varieties, raiding and piracy the more aggressive ones. Very rich Greeks of the Archaic period seem to have owned their own fifty-oared ships, which they used in the off-season of farming (May-June) to go out for raiding or trading, as the mood took them. A scene from the Odyssey, in which a recently landed ship's crew is warily asked whether they have come to raid or trade, shows that the decision could be taken on a whim. Later on, activities of this sort were mostly monopolised by the state.
 
During religious festivals, large parts of the territory might take on more of a "theme park" feel, with processions going from the urban centre to distant sanctuaries, and both urban and rural sanctuaries becoming the site of public offerings and feasts. The entertainment was largely in the parade, the ritual and the public meal, though certain festivals came with theatre performances of new plays (the Athenian Dionysia and Lenaia) or elaborate dance performances (f.ex. the Spartan Gymnopaideia and Hyakinthia). Since spaces like theatres and open-air altars were built for the purpose, you could argue that the Greek city itself had a significant entertainment element in it. Later on, the Romans would build their own amphitheatres (for gladiator shows etc.) as well as hippodromes for chariot races.
 
But we can find more interesting things if we stretch the concept of the theme park a little bit. If we interpret it not as a space with rides and physical activities, but as a purpose-built leisure area, there are many examples from the ancient world. The possibly historical Hanging Gardens of Babylon are a prime example; more reliably attested are the lavishly landscaped Persian gardens, which the Greeks called paradeisoi and from which the English language gets the word "paradise". These were walled spaces, carefully organised according to pre-drawn plans, filled with water features and rare trees, which were intended as a place of peaceful refuge for Persian nobility or as a way to seclude and beautify sacred spaces. Greeks who had seen these Persian gardens were always in awe of them, and several Greek authors lovingly described these recreational areas as an example of the power of humans to beautify their surroundings.
 
We also find ancient theme parks in another sense: places that redefined themselves as tourist attractions and changed local traditions to suit foreign visitors. While Roman Athens mostly continued its old traditions (like the ephebeia and the Eleusinian mysteries) as before, but simply allowed distinguished foreigners to take part in them, Roman Sparta effectively became a parody of itself in order to suit foreign tourists. They had long had a prominent ritual in which young boys tested their courage and cunning by attempting to get past older boys with whips to steal cheeses from the altar of Artemis Orthia. In the Roman period, however, the ritual became steadily more brutal, to show the Roman tourists what Spartans were supposedly like; by the 1st century BC, the ritual simply involved boys being whipped until they passed out, trying to prove that they could take it without screaming. The Spartans deliberately built audience seats around the altar so the tourists could get a good view.
 

 

In short, there were many different kinds of thrill-seeking, entertainment and relaxation available to peoples like the ancient Greeks, but nothing specifically like our modern theme parks. Those looking for physical challenges would do sports, sail boats, or go to war. Of course, the ones that had a thirst for such things would mostly be rich men; the poor had plenty of back-breaking labour to fill their days with, and were happier to be entertained with a free meal and a show than with more hard work and potential danger.

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.





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