For many years, I have been fascinated by the early Romans.  Geez.  They beat up everyone;  created state-sanctioned marriage in order to encourage people to have children (to strengthen the empire); built huge structures, especially aqueducts.

The climate was one of war-mongering, slavery, and assimilation.

Another fascination is with the Ancient Egyptians.  OK, they were builders and intellectuals.  Why can’t I travel in time to see both the Library at Alexandria  and the Pharos Lighthouse?  That lighthouse was around 450 feet tall!   That took a lot of slaves because who would pay a living wage for that kind of labor?  As a young child, (early 1960s) I cut out pics from the National Geographic of the fantastic sculptures–I think a dam was being built and would flood ancient structures.  (Can’t remember.)  My impression is that the Egyptians stayed home and hosted guests from out of town such as Antony and Caesar, etc.  However, there was plenty of slavery, so I must be wrong about the stayin’ home.

Then there’s Alexander the Great.  Dang, what a guy!  Warmonger and traveler.   I even named my long-ago doggie companion after Alexander–called him Iskander.

Fascination with warmongers?  I’m one who was preparing in the late 1970s to register as a conscientious objector if the draft began to include women.  In the late 1960s, I protested the Vietnam War, even tho’ I was only a kid.   On and on I could go about war, but I do see that it is what we do.  We are a horrible species, I’m just sayin’.

OK, then, Italia.   Have you seen the movie “Gladiator”?  There is a particular scene where our hero is walking up a dusty lane lined with Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), with groves of olive trees on either side.  When I see that picture, I get the scent of that dry air, dusty, and a little rosemary-ish.  How is that possible to have an olfactory experience from a place I haven’t been?  An aside, my family lived in southern Italy, Taranto, from 1960 to 1962.  Did my parents take us to the countryside where that pungent air swirled into my memory banks?

All that studying of Latin, beginning when I was 7, with Mom at the kitchen table.  I still have that workbook.  Studied Latin in college because I wanted to (along with my dearest Mal), and even had to sing Gaudeamus Igitur.  Yikes!

I have to go to Italy.  How can I not go?  Something apart from me is drawing me there.  As I study Italian right now, I keep hoping I’ll stumble into the cache of Italian language left from my toddler-hood in Taranto.  I know it’s in there!

The northwest corner of the country is my goal–on the water or in the mountains.  Close to France.  (Studied French, too; we lived in Toronto, Canada around 1970.  That’s a whole other story.)

©  No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bagnidilucca
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 15:11:10

    Yes, you really do have to go to Italy.


    • lahgitana
      Jul 25, 2011 @ 15:37:12


      Sounds like both of us know I have to go back to Italy! Thanks for writing. I had actually found your blog recently and kept nodding at the photos in some kind of recognition (or need!).


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