Thursday, June 24, 2010
7 Things About Me
1) I come from a military family and grew up in America and England.
2) I am engaged to be married in July of 2011 (wedding planning has me under its thrall).
3) I just received my Master of Fine Arts degree in Costume Design this May.
4) My best friend and I live far apart and actually write letters more than we e-mail.
5) I used to enjoy fencing and was a sabreur.
6) I love opera and have worked with/for several companies.
7) I hope someday to be fluent in at least five languages; English (check), French, Modern Greek, Italian, and Russian.
Now to the fun stuff, the awards.
1) Lauren at American Duchess is a multi-talented blogger with great creative impulses. I never know what interesting tidbit she'll divulge next.
2) Marie-Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century while a mouthful, is also the blog of another amazing Lauren. If you haven't read this one you should. There is more information there than one can explore in one visit.
3) The Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century by Heather, is the sister-blog to the one above, and provides an ever-changing assortment of interesting information; from the humorous and whimsical, to the scholarly.
4) Antoinette's Atelier features the stunningly beautiful work of Kathleen Marie, who does everything from wigs to...well, everything!
5) Fashions of Time, formerly The Baroque Boutique, is chock-full of delightful and bravely personal stories about sewing and otherwise. It's always great to see what costume or project she's working on next!
So those are my five, and if you are not already familiar with them I encourage you to check the blogs out and see if you enjoy them as much as I do!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It is therefore not surprising that in Moregine, just south of Pompeii, also preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius on August 24th 79AD there is a fresco of the Emperor Nero as Apollo Citheroedus, the God who inspires aethetic and artistic gifts in man. The unsurprising part is that the fresco is found in the home of a weathy patrician family, which most likely would have supported the emperor in his early years. The surprising part is that Nero deviated so drastically from his predecessors and their focus on militaristic propaganda as to be depicted primarily as a peaceful, artistic archetype.
In a political climate in which it was almost mandatory that a proper roman leader endorse expansionistic policies, the military and diplomatic successes of Nero were overshadowed, or at least under-exalted, to the point at which the elite classes began to consider him weaker and "un-Roman". This eventually led to attempts to replace him with military leaders, and finally his own suicide.
Perhaps despite the historical accounts, his true failing was in being different at a time and place when that was not readily-accepted. We may never really be able to accurately judge.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
It was a suicide, or so history concludes. The reliability of some accounts has been called into question by historians, but one thing is for sure, death was coming for Nero because due to revolts in the provinces, disaffection amongst the Roman legions, and a drastic loss of favor with the senate he was declared a public enemy and was sentenced to be beaten to death.
Knowing full well the gravity of his disfavor Nero weighed the choices of fleeing to the provinces which may or may not have supported him, taking his own life, going into hiding, or appealing to the people to restore him to power. Waking at his palace during the night of June 8th he found that both his guards and his friends had deserted him, and he determined to flee with four loyal servants to a villa outside the city. There he ordered them to dig a grave for him, but lost the nerve to end his own life. When word of his sentence arrived he finally drove a dagger into his throat with the help of his secretary Epaphroditos. A pursuing horseman arrived and attempted to staunch the bleeding, but with the words "Too late, this is fidelity!" Nero died, bringing to an end the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
"Women cannot partake of magistracies, priesthoods, triumphs, badges of office, gifts, or spoils of war; elegance, finery, and beautiful clothes are women's badges, in these they find joy and take pride, this our forebears called the women's world."- Livy, History of Rome