Author: patrick


Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Text and Music

By Patrick Hunt  After more than three centuries, Henry Purcell’s (1659-95) sole opera Dido and Aeneas remains a treasure.  Considered the greatest operatic achievement of 17th century England [1] and the first great English opera, [2] even though a performance only takes little more than an hour, it is often justified as […]


Turing’s Cathedral

  By Staff George Dyson is a rare bird, descended from a long line of creative genius, rendering him more than merely sympathetic to genius as an historian of science. His new book almost out, Turing’s Cathedral: Origins of the Digital Universe (Pantheon 2012) is an insightful paean to a […]

Short Takes

Rhine Valley Gems: Swiss White and Red Wine from Sax

By Patrick Hunt Converse with almost any native Swiss person about Swiss wine, and you should engage justifiable national or regional pride, since wine cultivation has been continuing since the Roman era, nearly 2000 years, especially in the Rhine Valley. One of the loveliest Swiss wine districts is in the […]


King Solomon the Chakam or the Wizard?

by Patrick Hunt Solomon is one of the huge enigmas of biblical legend, larger than life yet still mostly mysterious, although a brilliant new book distills much of the lore. This book by Steven Weitzman, Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom (Yale, 2011) carefully explores the conundrum of what we can […]


Monreale, The Golden Temple

By Staff High above Palermo near Monte Caputo is one of Christendom’s jewels: Monreale Cathedral. It has been called the “Golden Temple” for centuries, at least since the poet Bartoldo Sirilli published these lines in 1596: “Like a crown on the distant mount on marble base a golden temple lies…” As […]

Short Takes

Wine in Bolzano Under the Alps

By Patrick Hunt Why are the crisp Alto Adige wines not more well-known? In June I spent a week around Bolzano (Bozen in German), tasting and drinking great local wine. In the Alto Adige under the Alps, Bolzano is that wonderful combination of the best of both Italy and Austria. […]

Short Takes

Dante’s Paolo and Francesca in Ingres’ 1819 Ekphrasis

 By Patrick Hunt Jean A. D. Ingres (1780-1867) painted Dante’s story of Paolo and Francesca as an ekphrasis in similar settings multiple times, beginning in 1819 and through at least to 1856. (1) This article summarizes Ingres’ Paolo and Francesca (48 cm x 39 cm), 1819, Angers, Musée des Beaux-Arts. According […]


The Muse of History

By Staff What intellectual “postcard” should we choose to send ourselves from any great repository of history? Several of our Electrum Magazine staff-members (Patrick Hunt, A.C. Williams, P.F. Sommerfeldt and Melissa Guertin) were at the British Museum this past week (late March 2011) – and some of us for five […]

Photo Essays

Mary Harrsch’s Classical Photo Essay

by Mary Harrsch Mary Harrsch has a love for Classics going back several decades, which she juxtaposes with her work as a professional photographer and media wizard. The images in this photo essay span at least a decade, but Mary’s presence, alongside her sharp eyes  and keen eye provide many […]