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MAGNA GRAECIA

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Author Topic: MAGNA GRAECIA  (Read 5115 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #135 on: June 09, 2009, 08:58:13 pm »

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« Reply #136 on: June 09, 2009, 08:59:48 pm »








                           
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« Reply #137 on: June 09, 2009, 09:01:12 pm »

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« Reply #138 on: June 09, 2009, 09:02:31 pm »

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« Reply #139 on: June 09, 2009, 09:03:32 pm »

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« Reply #140 on: June 09, 2009, 09:21:40 pm »



Small spaces:
Floral display in the southern Italian town of Lecce

Photo:
Simon Watson
/Getty











                                            Small spaces in Italy: loving Lecce's flowers



                                       We can all learn from Italy's small urban courtyards





 
Kate Weinberg
Telegraph.co.uk
03 Jun 2009

Italy is big on flower festivals.

One of the most famous is the Infiorata in Noto, a baroque town in Sicily: on the third Sunday in May, a mosaic of petals and seeds covers one of the main streets like a giant, stained-glass window. The following day, children are allowed to run barefoot through the flowers

(Organisers of Chelsea Flower Show, please loosen ties and take note).

So when I discovered that my visit to Lecce in southern Italy was to coincide with its annual flower competition,
I became rather excited. Lecce is known – at least by the locals – as the "Florence of the South". It is a dramatic baroque city that would surely host a spectacular floral show. Arriving late on the last day of the competition I rushed straight to the exhibition.

As I walked round the show, carefully studying one floral display after the next, my excitement curdled. Granted, the temperature was an arid 86F (30C), and after two days on their stands, the flowers were past their best. But even allowing for this, most of the entries were, well… pretty bizarre. In one, a spray of orchids and grasses emerged from a ceramic swan like an overambitious wedding hat, in another a string of plastic butterflies seemed to be tangled – along with a few petunias – in a fishing net.

Sucking on my disappointment, my travelling companion and I continued our passeggiata round the city. It soon became clear that large numbers of people were streaming into the entrances of private palazzi. Turns out, our visit to Lecce had also coincided with the day of cortili aperti: one Sunday a year when dozens of private courtyards in the old city are made open to the public.

As we followed the crowds I realised that here was Lecce's real flower show. Rather than contrived poesies wilting on plinths, the courtyards were a miracle of gardening in small, urban spaces: long beards of purple clematis dangled from wrought-iron balconies, glossy ivy carpeted the honey-coloured walls and bundles of tiny starlike jasmine twisted up columns. In one of the larger courtyards the fruit on tall orange trees clashed beautifully with tumbling pink and red geraniums. In another, slender ivory arum lilies were the only contrasting colour in an otherwise austerely evergreen space.

As we visited courtyards each more exquisite than the next, I became incensed that something like this was not done in England. Surely the best way to encourage pride and delight in gardens is to allow the best of them to be open to general appreciation and nosiness once a year? Why were we so uptight that we couldn't be more like the Italians, who let their children trample through flowers in a life-affirming Mediterranean manner and then threw open their courtyards to the public?

Returning home, I rang my friend Piers, gardener to the stars, and held forth on the subject of why Italy was better than England for a good few minutes. He listened to me patiently for a while before telling me to look up the National Garden Scheme (NGS), the gardeners' charity that is practically a national institution.

Tomorrow I will sit in the small un-Italian courtyard outside my house, and flick through the pages of The Yellow Book 2009, looking for private gardens around the country that I want to visit this summer and feeling proud to be British.

What's that great English expression again:
casa mia e` casa tua?

The Lecce open courtyards scheme in Puglia has been running for 15 years and each year open courtyards are combined with cultural events such as live classical concerts in the courtyards and churches. This year 19 palazzi and two churches were opened to the public.



The website is in Italian
www.leccenelsalento.it/cortili-aperti
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« Reply #141 on: June 26, 2009, 06:49:54 am »











                                                  Ancient theatre on show in Naples



                                       Actors' masks from Pompeii among works on display






 (ANSA) - Naples,
June 23, 2009

- Naples is celebrating the ancient origins of the performing arts with a new exhibition that opens Thursday showcasing Greek and Roman mosaics, frescoes and masks with a connection to the theatre.

Among the relics on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples are vases painted with scenes from the so-called Phylax comic theatre that developed in Greek colonies in southern Italy. The vases are the only evidence of the existence of this type of comic theatre, in which ordinary mortals mix with legendary heroes.

Also on show is a set of 15 life-size plaster masks found at Pompeii that is on show to the public for the first time in its entirety. Experts believe the masks would have provided the models for a craftsman creating terracotta masks for actors to wear.

Included in the group is a 'Bucco', a stock male comic character with a large nose and puffed-out cheeks who played a bragging fool in early Roman farces in the Campania region.

Mosaics and frescoes with theatrical scenes and reproduction masks that would once have decorated gardens and houses and which were found during excavations of Pompeii and other towns buried by the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius are also on show.

The final section of the show is dedicated to the ancient stone theatres in the Campania region, including the open-air theatre in Neapolis (now Naples) and the 5,000-seater theatre dated to the first century BC in Pompeii, where there is also a small Odeon theatre that seated 1,000 from the second century BC.

'Ancient Theatre and Masks' runs at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples until August 31.




Photo: Remains of a Roman theatre near Posillipo.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 06:52:02 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #142 on: July 25, 2009, 07:23:30 am »

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« Reply #143 on: July 25, 2009, 07:25:15 am »




               

               Amphorae from one of the Roman ships










                             Archaeologists find graveyard of sunken Roman ships in the Bay of Naples






         
Jul 23, 2009
ROME
(Reuters)

– A team of archaeologists using sonar technology to scan the seabed have discovered a "graveyard"
of five pristine ancient Roman shipwrecks off the small Italian island of Ventotene.

The trading vessels, dating from the first century BC to the fifth century AD, lie more than 100 meters underwater and are amongst the deepest wrecks discovered in the Mediterranean in recent years, the researchers said on Thursday.

Part of an archipelago situated halfway between Rome and Naples on Italy's west coast, Ventotene historically served as a place of shelter during rough weather in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

"The ships appear to have been heading for safe anchorage, but they never made it," said Timmy Gambin, head of archaeology for the Aurora Trust (www.auroratrust.com). "So in a relatively small area we have five wrecks...a graveyard of ships."

The vessels were transporting wine from Italy, prized fish sauce from Spain and north Africa, and a mysterious cargo of metal ingots from Italy, possibly to be used in the construction of statues or weaponry.

Gambin said the wrecks revealed a pattern of trade in the empire: at first Rome exported its produce to its expanding provinces, but gradually it began to import from them more and more of the things it once produced.

In Roman times Ventotene, known as Pandataria, was used to exile disgraced Roman noblewomen. The Emperor Augustus sent his daughter Julia there because of her adultery. During the 20th century, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini used the remote island as a prison for political opponents.

Images of the wrecks show their crustacean-clad cargoes spilling onto the seafloor, after marine worms ate away the wooden hull of the vessels.

Due to their depth, the ships have lain untouched for hundreds of years but Gambin said the increasing popularity of deep water diving posed a threat to the Mediterranean's archaeological treasures.

"There is a race against time," he said. "In the next 10 years, there will be an explosion in mixed-gas diving and these sites will be accessible to ordinary treasure hunters."



(Reporting by
Daniel Flynn;

Editing by
Jon Boyle)
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Bianca
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« Reply #144 on: July 25, 2009, 07:28:21 am »












                                               Diver finds ruins of ancient city


 
                                         Stone blocks may come from Scylletium






 (ANSA) -
Squillace,
July 24, 2009

- An amateur scuba diver has discovered what may be the ruins of an ancient city off the coast of Calabria, a local town council said Friday.

Alessandro Ciliberto, an architect with a passion for scuba diving, discovered a group of stone blocks around 3-4 metres under water while he was diving 15 metres from the shore near the town of Squillace on Calabria's east coast.

''Standing out against the sandy seabed there's a dark-coloured form of around two metres in length and a metre and a half wide which seems to be man-made,'' Ciliberto said.

''Continuing to explore the zone a few metres away, I found a white-coloured plinth half a metre high. Further on, there are a pair of stone blocks, one rectangular and of modest dimensions and the other an undefined shape,'' he added.

Squillace town council said it was possible that the ruins belonged to the ancient seaside city of Scylletium, founded when southern Italy was a Greek colony.

The town became a Roman colony in 124 BC and was the birthplace of 6th-century Roman writer and statesman Cassiodorus, who claimed that its founder was legendary Greek king Ulysses.

Ruins from the city have previously been found in the nearby town of Roccelletta di Borgia.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 07:32:35 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #145 on: July 25, 2009, 07:42:49 am »










                                                          S C Y L L E T I U M







Scylletium or Scolacium – also spelled Scylacium, Scolatium, Scyllaceum, Scalacium, or Scylaeium in Latin.

– (Greek: Σκυλλήτιον , per Steph. B. and Strabo, or Σκυλάκιον, per Ptolemy), and later, Minervium and Colonia Minervia, was an ancient seaside city of Bruttium, Italy.

Its ruins can be found at the frazione of Roccelletta, in the comune of Borgia, near Catanzaro city, in the southern Italian region of Calabria, facing the Gulf of Squillace.



Scylletium was situated on the east coast of Calabria (ancient Bruttium), situated on the shores of an extensive bay, to which it gave the name of Scylleticus Sinus.

It is this bay, still known as the Gulf of Squillace (Italian: Golfo di Squillace), which indents the coast of Calabria on the east as deeply as that of Hipponium or Terina (the Gulf of Saint Eufemia, Italian: Golfo di Sant'Eufemia) does on the west, so that they leave but a comparatively narrow isthmus between them.

According to a tradition generally received in ancient times, Scylletium was founded by an Athenian colony, a part of the followers who had accompanied Menestheus to the Trojan War.

Another tradition was, however, extant, which ascribed its foundation to Ulysses.  But no historical value can be attached to such statements, and there is no trace in historical times of Scylletium having been a Greek colony, still less an Athenian one. Its name is not mentioned either by Scylax or Scymnus Chius in enumerating the Greek cities in this part of Italy, nor is there any allusion to its Athenian origin in Thucydides at the time of the Athenian expedition to Sicily.

We learn from Diodorus that it certainly did not display any friendly feeling towards the Athenians. It appears, indeed, during the historical period of the Greek colonies to have been a place of inferior consideration, and a mere dependency of Crotona, to which city it continued subject until it was wrested from its power by the elder Dionysius, who assigned it with its territory to the Loerians.

It is evident that it was still a small and unimportant place at the time of the Second Punic War, as no mention is found of its name during the operations of Hannibal in Bruttium, though he appears to have for some time had his headquarters in its immediate neighborhood, and the place called Castra Hannibalis must have been very near to Scylletium.

In 124 BCE the Romans, at the instigation of C. Gracchus, sent a colony to Scylletium, which appears to have assumed the name of Minervium or Colonia Minervia.

The name is written by Velleius Scolatium; and the form Scolacium is found also in an inscription of the reign of Antoninus Pius, from which it appears that the place must have received a fresh colony under Nerva. (Orell. Inscr. 136; Mommsen, l. c.). Scylletium appears to have become a considerable town after it received the Roman colony, and continued such throughout the Roman Empire.

Towards the close of this period it was distinguished as the birthplace of Cassiodorus (Aurelius Cassiodorus), founder of the Vivarium, a monastery dedicated to the coexistence of coenobitic monks and hermits, who has left us a detailed but rhetorical description of the beauty of its situation, and fertility of its territory.

Cassiodorus' writings also make mention of production of highly priced terra cotta.



RETRIEVED FROM

wikipedia.org
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« Reply #146 on: August 15, 2009, 07:08:20 am »

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« Reply #147 on: August 15, 2009, 07:10:22 am »










                                             Puglia town ditches euro for ducat



                                        One- day celebration restores ancient coin






 (ANSA) -
Celenza Valforte,
August 13, 200

- The ducat, Europe's common currency for hundreds of years, made a brief reappearance on Thursday in this small town in the southern Puglia region. The euro is being temporarily shelved for one day, with stalls, bars and restaurants accepting only the ducat as Celenza Valforte residents celebrate their past. Visitors to the town will be able to exchange their euros to ducats at one of the town's five medieval gates, three of which have been specially reconstructed for the event. The initiative is part of a daylong event exploring the history of the town that aims to transport residents and visitors into a different world. Although people have lived in the area since prehistoric times, the town's current layout dates back to the Middle Ages. The celebrations encompass the many changes it has gone through since then: its years under Spanish domination in the 1500s, as part of the Austrian Empire in the 1700s and later under French rule towards the end of the 18th century, and eventually under the Bourbons in the 1800s. The monuments and architecture of the various eras are spotlighted in tours of the town and the coins are part of a broader initiative to recreate life as it was.

All the shops are closed for the day and the electric lighting around the town switched off, with the historic centre illuminated by burning torches when evening arrives. Over 100 of the town's residents have been officially tasked with helping recreate a historic atmosphere kitted out as knights, ladies, soldiers, brigands and traders, while medieval guards welcome new arrivals at the gates. From early evening, street artists, jugglers, fire-eaters, troubadours and jongleurs will wander the streets, while Medieval and Renaissance songs and music will be performed in different parts of the town.

The streets of Celenza Valfortore have been decked out in banners and heraldic signs of its various rulers from past centuries. The ducat, which was issued in both gold and silver, was Europe's common trade currency for centuries until World War I.

It is thought to have been minted for the first time in 1140 under Roger II of Sicily and soon spread across Europe, particularly after receiving official sanction in the mid-1500s.

The Celenza Valforte celebrations, Viva Il Borgo! (Long Live The Town!), are an annual event but this is the first year the ducat has been used as currency.=
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