Italy and its wonders essay

The building, completed around AD, was architecturally revolutionary and many years ahead of its time. As anybody who has visited the Pantheon can confirm, its entrance is another of its awe-inspiring features. Originally five marble steps leading from the pavement to the porch marked the entrance, but due to a rise in land levels they are no longer visible and the pavement meets the porch.

Italy and its wonders essay

Turner inwell before modernization of the area obliterated most traces of its Roman past. The Fields are part of the caldera of a volcano that is the twin of Mount Vesuviusa few miles to the east, the destroyer of Pompeii.

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The volcano is still active—it last erupted inand once possessed a crater that measured eight miles across—but most of it is underwater now. The portion that is still accessible on land consists of a barren, rubble-strewn plateau.

Fire bursts from the rocks in places, and clouds of sulfurous gas snake out of vents leading up from deep underground. The Fields, in short, are hellish, and it is no surprise that in Greek and Roman myth they were associated with all manner of strange tales.

The painting can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery. She had once been young and beautiful—beautiful enough to attract the attentions of the sun god, Apollowho offered her one wish in exchange for her virginity. Pointing to a heap of dust, Amalthaea asked for a year of life for each particle in the pile, but as is usually the way in such old tales failed to allow for the vindictiveness of the gods.

Virgil depicts her scribbling the future on oak leaves that lay scattered about the entrance to her cave, and states that the cave itself concealed an entrance to the underworld.

The best-known—and from our perspective the most interesting—of all the tales associated with the sibyl is supposed to date to the reign of Tarquinius Superbus —Tarquin the Proud. He was the last of the mythic kings of Rome, and some historians, at least, concede that he really did live and rule in the sixth century B.

She offered the set to the king for a price so enormous that he summarily declined—at which the prophetess went away, burned the first three of the books, and returned, offering the remaining six to Tarquin at the same price. Once again, the king refused, though less arrogantly this time, and the sibyl burned three more of the precious volumes.

The third time she approached the king, he thought it wise to accede to her demands.

Italy and its wonders essay

Rome purchased the three remaining books of prophecy at the original steep price. What makes this story of interest to historians as well as folklorists is that there is good evidence that three Greek scrolls, known collectively as the Sibylline Books, really were kept, closely guarded, for hundreds of years after the time of Tarquin the Proud.

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Secreted in a stone chest in a vault beneath the Temple of Jupiterthe scrolls were brought out at times of crisis and used, not as a detailed guide to the future of Rome, but as a manual that set out the rituals required to avert looming disasters. They served the Republic well until the temple burned down in 83 B.

Sulfur drifts from a vent on the barren volcanic plateau known as the Phlegraean Fields, a harsh moonscape associated with legends of prophecy. So it is scarcely surprising that archaeologists and scholars of romantic bent have from time to time gone in search of a cave or tunnel that might be identified as the real home of a real sibyl—nor that some have hoped that they would discover an entrance, if not to Hades, then at least to some spectacular subterranean caverns.

Over the years several spots, the best known of which lies close to Lake Avernushave been identified as the antro della sibilla—the cave of the sibyl. None, though, leads to anywhere that might reasonably be confused with an entrance to the underworld.The latest travel information, deals, guides and reviews from USA TODAY Travel.

A Photo Essay: Florence, Italy. Posted at h in Blog, Europe, Italy, Photo Essay by Jenna Kvidt 36 Comments. On our last free day in Bologna, we had plans to explore the city. While I desperately wanted to climb the towers and walk to the Santuario di Madonna di San Luca via the long Portico, we ended up abandoning those plans and on a whim.

The fact is, I never had a single doubt about having children. Not one, since the day I could understand how families were made.

And pregnancy was the glorious beginning of that vision. 7 Wonders Of The World The Taj Mahal For centuries, the Taj Mahal has inspired poets, painters and musicians who have tried to capture its . "The art of making a pair of spectacles was an achievement of monumental significance for mankind that has had an incalculable impact.

Although it has been relatively unknown to the general public, the evolution and development of spectacles over the past seven centuries qualifies as a long, significant, and quite fascinating journey through history, whose impact deserves to be better.

As a follow-up to Tuesday’s post about the majority-minority public schools in Oslo, the following brief account reports the latest statistics on the cultural enrichment of schools in Austria. Vienna is the most fully enriched location, and seems to be in roughly the same situation as Oslo. Many thanks to Hermes for the translation from

The Unsolved Mystery of the Tunnels at Baiae | History | Smithsonian