In Honor of Tomorrow
In 75/74 BC a merchant vessel was taken by Cilician pirates while sailing past the island of Phamacusa, located off the coast of Asia Minor (Turkey). As the captain of the pirates boarded the ship, he immediately noticed amid the frightened passengers a young aristocrat, one clothed in the latest of Roman finery, who sat reading nonchalantly among his servants and slaves. Standing before the young man and demanding his name, the pirate received only the briefest look of disdain from his captive, who otherwise turned back to his reading, ignoring the infuriated bandit.
The Cicilian Pirates, by George du Maurier (1834–96)
After learning his captive’s name from the young Roman’s personal physician, the pirate conferred with his second-in-command, asking how much ransom he thought should be asked for the party. Sizing up the somewhat effeminate Roman and his group, ten talents was voiced to the captain as a realistic sum. Not exactly pleased with his captive’s behavior, he shouts that he now wants 20 talents. This caused the young aristocrat to raise his voice in insult, explaining that 20 was a joke, after all, he was worth at least 50. The stunned pirate chose to take the man at his word. Sending messengers to relay terms for ransom, he transported the prisoners to his stronghold to await a reply. During that time, the somewhat foppish young Roman entertained his captors with tales of his plans to return upon being released and crucify most of them. They, of course, listened to the threats with much laughter.
Once the ransom was received and his party freed, the young man proceeded to Miletus, where he borrowed several warships and soldiers. Returning to the stronghold of his former captors, he not only recovered his 50 talents but apprehended around 400 of his former hosts as well. Arriving at Pergamumm he went to Iuncus the governor of Asia. When Iuncus postponed a decision on the matter, he went to the prison let the most of them be executed. Reserving the promised fate of crucifixion for 30 of the principal leaders. As a show of compassion for their previous hospitality, however, he granted them the favor of cutting their throats before the crucifixion.
The young man’s name you ask? Gaius Julius Caesar.
** The press says California is experiencing the worst drought in 1,200 years.
** Full disclosure, I’m not a big pemmican eater, but BRM has an excellent blog post on the subject. I tend to store the jerky from Costco in sealed bags in the car in case I’m stranded, but I may need to widen my vision.
** There is this poster from the 30s that was once England, but it’s simply not that way anymore. The last time that I was in London the people in evidence were mostly Muslim. Elegant proof of a successful invasion, but not much to entice me to return. The kabob was even second-rate.
** Sex Scandal – yet again.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Santa Rosa filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, citing unknown millions of dollars in anticipated liabilities related to pending child sex abuse claims filed in court over the past three years.
The petition, filed in U. S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of California, sets off a yearslong process Bishop Robert F. Vasa said is the best way to settle the cases “in a fair and equitable manner” while allowing the diocese to carry out its ministries. Otherwise, he said, the claims would overwhelm the diocese’s resources.
The Santa Rosa Diocese said in its bankruptcy petition it has unidentified assets valued between $10 million and $50 million. It estimated its liabilities in the same dollar range.
They should liquidate the diocese completely including all real estate holdings. It’s not as if this was the first sex scandal that the Catholic Church has faced. Failure to regulate the activities of priestly pederasts should be severely punished by the court.
** DeSantis on Ukraine – “While the U.S. has many vital national interests — securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness with our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.”