A great story of Robert Schuller, the Crystal Cathedral, and it’s current state – as a Roman Catholic cathedral. Cults of personality never last – one of the most important reasons I’m a Roman Catholic today.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s book Spiritual Passages, which reduces (self-admittedly) convert motivation to the One, the Good, the True, or the Beautiful spoke to me. Despite what you might think (I’m an art historian – don’t I love the Beautiful?), I am closer to those called to the One. Schism offends me. All that reciting of “the holy catholic church” as a child, partly because of all the footnotes and explanations that “catholic” mean “universal, world wide” rather than Roman Catholic, sank in. I mean, was the Southern Presbyterian Church either universal or world wide in any serious way? I had acquaintances who were children of missionaries in Zaire – but that was about it.
Presbyterianism is a beautiful system: local deacons and elders, near-regionally elected representatives (presbyteries), regional synods, and a national general assembly. But one of the things a man like me learns during his graduate course work is that, pace Jean Calvin, this is not what the evidence shows us about what we can discern about the Church in the brief apostolic period, let alone by 100 A.D. So don’t go claiming that this is Jesus’s preferred model.
There’s lots of room for argument, but I gave it all a lot of thought and submitted to Holy Mother the Roman Catholic Church. All the rest has been clear enough for the last 25 years, if not always easy to live up to. I mean, I’m a big ol’ sinner – but then, I reassure myself, so are those parents of one child headed up to receive.
One of my happy places – and I understand it so much better now after this spring!
. . . and he finds a coin hoard with 55 Roman golden solidi. That’s a hobby purchase that paid for itself. Great photos – including one of the shopkeeper who sold the metal detector. You know his shelves are bare, now!
Cairenes have asked me about the crowds at Luxor as a barometer of Egyptian torism. The temple of Amun at Karnak seemed plenty crowded to me, and this is considered late in the season!
I spent most of the day moping about the weather and reading an oldish (1899) book about Rome that I’ve used forever but never actually READ. So after a long walk late in the afternoon I watched Strictly Ballroom (1992) . . . after which Netflix suggested Flashdance. Yes, I watched Flashdance (1983). Michael Nouri was so young!
The Mithraeum under the Baths of Caracalla will reopen soon – and with a Michelangelo Pistoletto site sculpture involved. Talk about layering Rome!
And guess who will be teaching in Rome Spring of 2014?
By the way, read the whole article. Skylights are ALWAYS a problem. Always. If an architect suggests skylights, fire him. If you’ve always wanted skylights, you’re wrong.
A previously unknown Constantinian basilica has recently been excavated in Sofia, Bulgaria. No meaningful photos at link. If I hadn’t already made and distributed the take-home final I would turn this into a question for Arth 270: Art and Architecture of the First Christian Millennium. Something like:
The deputy mayor would like the discovery of this substantial basilica to mean that Serdica (Roman Sofia, Bulgaria) was in the running with Byzantion to be Constantine’s Nova Roma. Examining our list of the buildings Constantine did build while turning Byzantion into Constantinopolis (and don’t forget the walls!), evaluate this claim.
Oh well, lucky them!
This is encouraging. The Dallas Museum of Art is returning looted art to Turkey even before the Turkish government asked for it (click and see – there’s an ok photograph of the mosaic in question). Compare that to the Met, which is still stonewalling. In exchange, Dallas hopes to get some good loan materials. I hadn’t noticed that Max Anderson is now the director at Dallas – his first director position was at Emory’s Carlos Museum.
Fresh concern over ancient Pompeii after new collapse | Reuters.
When Pompeii shows up in my news feed the pictures are almost never good.
Last week I was talking to the colleagues who are leading the Rome program this spring about Herculaneum vs. Pompeii. This kind of mess is part of what helped me decide to take the 2011 crew to Herculaneum. Pompeii is too big to take care of properly.
New finds under the Temple of Anubis in Saqqara. Sorry that it’s video – you can click for the transcript. The ancient Egyptians may have been sacrificing and mummifying new born puppies, too.
Yay, I get to teach the Pantheon today! This is the best picture I’ve ever taken there.
I’ve been digging through more of my summer photos. Doesn’t she look like she’s having fun?
Good art, bad man. Caracalla was a mess! The high point was killing his own brother in their mother’s presence!
I posted a marble version on Flickr, too, click and see!
I’m giving my Art 101 class an exam today. I’m sure they think I look something like this, monstrous!
Bronze ornament from one of Caligula’s pleasure barges on Lake Nemi, Museo Nazionale Romano: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.