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Artifacts of Material History

Sacred Ships and Stormy Seas 

  Giotto’s Navicella, ca 1305, Vatican (see below) public domain By Timothy Demy – Consider the things one might expect to see in chapels, churches, and cathedrals—stained glass windows, altars, pulpits, pianos, pipe organs, Bibles, hymnals, prayer books, missals, vestments, candles, pews, embroidered kneelers, and a score of other items. […]


Character is Destiny

By Walter Borden, M.D. – “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Thomas Jefferson  “Character is destiny”, seemingly simple, yet enigmatic, written in the 5th century BCE by the Pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus. It is a powerful message for all peoples. […]


Unstoppable Redheads in History

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – Hair color should never be considered responsible by itself for determining character and destiny, nor have more redheads per capita likely been any more statistically dynamic than brown-, black-, blonde-haired folk. But the number of redheads who have been unstoppable in history may come as […]


Prado Museum Madrid Favorites

By P. F. Sommerfeldt –  A day at the National Prado Museum in Madrid is never enough, but there are always my landmark works of art to see when there. More Titians than one can easily count, and the Velazquez portraits are a Spanish Baroque force majeur, and the Goya […]



By Walter Borden, M.D. – Before the beginning there was mythology, mysticism, a miasma of beliefs.  Might was right, savagery ruled.  It was truly dark. Then, in the 6th century BCE, a burst of light, a blossoming, a cultural epiphany, the birth of the first Enlightenment in classical Greece.  The light was the […]


Temple of Zeus at Aizanoi, Turkey

By Jess Taylor – In late summer 2007 we decided to drive due south from Istanbul to Antalya. On day three, driving deep into central Turkey from Iznik – the modern name for ancient Nicaea but later famous for its Iznik ware porcelain in the Ottoman period – we detoured […]


Madeline Miller’s CIRCE : A Review

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – I’ve always found the Homeric sorceress Circe in the Odyssey to be fascinating in her power that transcends the feminism of any era. Having looked at many artists over five hundred years in their attempts to depict Circe, I was generally frustrated with nearly all […]