Gladius Romanus Formosus

Many reproductions of this type of weapon represent it with a special shape: wide at the tip, closer to the center and back to the same lar length near the hilt. May it be true?
From a field experience has been seen that sharpening costantly a sword with parallel edges to remove dents caused by the impact of other weapons, these are gradually shrinking at the center until they assumed that particular form. We might also think that for the Roman soldiers have a sword with this particular form was a source of pride in what could amount to having fought many battles and killed many enemies.

Gladius Romanus Formosus

The Greek Alphabet: Hellenic Invention or Phoenician Invasion?

By: George C. Chryssi

The question whether the Greek alphabet is an invention of the Hellenes, or it is a modified import of the Phoenician alphabet, has long been debated by linguists, scholars and historians alike.
The web site “writingsystems.com” states that “although Greek has traditionally been considered to be the mother of alphabets, the first to represent vowels as well as consonants, scholars are now divided on whether Greek was in fact the ancestor of all others or whether some [letters] came from Phoenician in other ways.”
In addition, in the book “The World of the Bible” the author, Roberta Harris, writes that “to the Greeks also belongs the credit for the invention of the vowel system… when the Greeks founded colonies in Italy, the alphabet was taken up by the peoples there… and has come down to us via the Romans…”
This article is based on extensive (but, by no means exhaustive) research that the author has done on the subject, in an attempt to show that ancient, as well as recent evidence, point to a favorable conclusion that the alphabet is indeed a Hellenic invention, albeit its final form, as we know it today, is the result of refinement and iterations of Hellenic writing systems through millennia of usage in the Aegean basin and the Levant.

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Venus and Adonis

Venus, playing one day with her boy Cupid, wounded her bosom with one of his arrows. She pushed him away, but the wound was deeper than she thought. Before it healed she beheld Adonis, and was captivated with him. She no longer took any interest in her favorite resorts—Paphos, and Cnidos, and Amathos, rich in metals. She absented herself even from heaven, for Adonis was dearer to her than heaven. Him she followed and bore him company. She who used to love to recline in the shade, with no care but to cultivate her charms, now rambles through the woods and over the hills, dressed like the huntress Diana; and calls her dogs, and chases hares and stags, or other game that it is safe to hunt, but keeps clear of the wolves and bears, reeking with the slaughter of the herd. She charged Adonis, too, to beware of such dangerous animals. “Be brave towards the timid,” said she; “courage against the courageous is not safe. Beware how you expose yourself to danger and put my happiness to risk. Attack not the beasts that Nature has armed with weapons. I do not value your glory so high as to consent to purchase it by such exposure. Your youth, and the beauty that charms Venus, will not touch the hearts of lions and bristly boars. Think of their terrible claws and prodigious strength! I hate the whole race of them. Do you ask me why?” Then she told him the story of Atalanta and Hippomenes, who were changed into lions for their ingratitude to her.

Glaucus and Scylla

Glaucus was a fisherman. One day he had drawn his nets to land, and had taken a great many fishes of various kinds. So he emptied his net, and proceeded to sort the fishes on the grass. The place where he stood was a beautiful island in the river, a solitary spot, uninhabited, and not used for pasturage of cattle, nor ever visited by any but himself. On a sudden, the fishes, which had been laid on the grass, began to revive and move their fins as if they were in the water; and while he looked on astonished, they one and all moved off to the water, plunged in, and swam away. He did not know what to make of this, whether some god had done it or some secret power in the herbage. “What herb has such a power?” he exclaimed; and gathering some of it, he tasted it. Scarce had the juices of the plant reached his palate when he found himself agitated with a longing desire for the water. He could no longer restrain himself, but bidding farewell to earth, he plunged into the stream. The gods of the water received him graciously, and admitted him to the honor of their society. They obtained the consent of Oceanus and Tethys, the sovereigns of the sea, that all that was mortal in him should be washed away. A hundred rivers poured their waters over him. Then he lost all sense of his former nature and all consciousness. When he recovered, he found himself changed in form and mind. His hair was sea-green, and trailed behind him on the water; his shoulders grew broad, and what had been thighs and legs assumed the form of a fish’s tail. The sea-gods complimented him on the change of his appearance, and he fancied himself rather a good-looking personage.

 
Copyright 2007 Melita Insula