The Zeugma Story
Extraordinary Roman mosaics such as this image of a girl or perhaps a goddess once decorated wealthy houses in Zeugma in southern Turkey.
It wasn’t good policy that saved ancient Zeugma. It was a good story. In 2000, the construction of the massive Birecik Dam on the Euphrates River, less than a mile from the site, began to flood the entire area in southern Turkey. Immediately, a ticking time-bomb narrative of the waters, which were rising an average of four inches per day for six months, brought Zeugma and its plight global fame. The water, which soon would engulf the archaeological remains, also brought increasing urgency to salvage efforts and emergency excavations that had already been taking place at the site, located about 500 miles from Istanbul, for almost a year. The media attention Zeugma received attracted generous aid from both private and government sources. Of particular concern was the removal of Zeugma’s mosaics, some of the most extraordinary examples to survive from the ancient world. Soon the world’s top restorers arrived from Italy to rescue them from the floodwaters. The focus on Zeugma also brought great numbers of international tourists—and even more money—a trend that continues today with the opening in September 2011 of the ultramodern $30 million Zeugma Mosaic Museum in the nearby city of Gaziantep.
But Zeugma’s story begins millennia before the dam was constructed. In the third century B.C., Seleucus I Nicator (“the Victor”), one of Alexander the Great’s commanders, established a settlement he called Seleucia, probably a katoikia, or military colony, on the western side of the river. On its eastern bank, he founded another town he called Apamea after his Persian-born wife. The two cities were physically connected by a pontoon bridge, but it is not known whether they were administered by separate municipal governments, and nothing of ancient Apamea, nor the bridge, survives. In 64 B.C., the Romans conquered Seleucia, renaming the town Zeugma, which means “bridge” or “crossing” in ancient Greek. After the collapse of the Seleucid Empire, the Romans added Zeugma to the lands of Antiochus I Theos of Commagene as a reward for his support of General Pompey during the conquest.
Throughout the imperial period, two Roman legions were based at Zeugma, increasing its strategic value and adding to its cosmopolitan culture. Due to the high volume of road traffic and its geographic position, Zeugma became a collection point for road tolls. Political and trade routes converged here and the city was the last stop in the Greco-Roman world before crossing over to the Persian Empire. For hundreds of years Zeugma prospered as a major commercial city as well as a military and religious center, eventually reaching its peak population of about 20,000–30,000 inhabitants. During the imperial period, Zeugma became the empire’s largest, and most strategically and economically important, eastern border city.
However, the good times in Zeugma declined along with the fortunes of the Roman Empire. After the Sassanids from Persia attacked the city in A.D. 253, its luxurious villas were reduced to ruins and used as shelters for animals. The city’s new inhabitants were mainly rural people who employed only simple building materials that did not survive. Zeugma’s grandeur and importance would remain forgotten for more than 1,700 years. By MATTHEW BRUNWASSER
‘The Atlantic Charter’
Declaration of Principles issued by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
FDR President of the United States and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, have met at sea.
The President and the Prime Minister have had several conferences. They have considered the dangers to world civilization arising from the policies of military domination by conquest upon which the Hitlerite government of Germany and other governments associated therewith have embarked, and have made clear the steps which their countries are respectively taking for their safety in the face of these dangers.
Spalding’s Wizened Advise
“The President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future of the world.
First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other;
Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned;
Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;
Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all states, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity;
Fifth, they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement, and social security;
Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;
Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance;
Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea, or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT & WINSTON S. CHURCHILL.”
Hitler – then USSR – now the CCP
“A year ago today the Prime Minister of Great Britain and I, as representatives of two free nations, set down and subscribed to a declaration of principles common to our peoples. We based, and continue to base, our hopes for a better future for the world on the realisation of these principles. This declaration is known as the Atlantic Charter.
A year ago today the nations resisting a common barbaric foe were units or small groups fighting for their existence. Now these nations and groups of nations in all the continents of the earth have united. They have formed a great union of humanity, dedicated to the realisation of that common programme of purposes and principles set forth in the Atlantic Charter through world-wide victory over their common enemies. Their faith in life, liberty, independence, and religious freedom, and in the preservation of human rights and justice in their own as well as in other lands, has been given form and substance as the United Nations.
Freedom and independence are today in jeopardy the world over. If the forces of conquest are not successfully resisted and defeated there will be no freedom, no independence and no opportunity for freedom for any nation. It is, therefore, to the single and supreme objective of defeating the Axis forces of aggression that the United Nations have pledged all their resources and efforts.
When victory comes we shall stand shoulder to shoulder in seeking to nourish the great ideals for which we fight. It is a worth-while battle. It will be so recognized through all the ages, even amid the unfortunate peoples who follow false gods today. We reaffirm our principles. They will bring us to a happier world.”
My 60 year Boomer Bank account currently pays 0.15% APY on balances of $10,000 or more. Even if I switched to American Express at 1.7% I come up short.
The annual inflation rate for the United States is 2.1% for the 12 months ended November 2019, compared to 1.8% previously, according to U.S. Labor Department data published December 11, 2019.
The Individual Sovereignty Solution
In 1980 Gold was $594.90 ; 1981 $400; the Dow Jones around 3,000; bank interest rate in 1970 7% after Nixon closed the Gold window August 1971 bank savings account interest rate jumped to 12% in 1980.
Doug Casey the ACE of Spades: The Card of AMBITION now 73 and living in Estancia de Cafayate in Salta Province, Argentina.[3 goes by the moniker “International Man” and continues to practice what he preached on the 1981 Phil Donahue Show. Here he talks about the financial path to Individual Sovereignty.
After four years of living here, I like Antalya, Turkey
Why Turkey Jumped from 20th to #7
In terms of the data overall, among 163 countries Turkey was ranked seventh-best for expats, after Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and Australia.
The European Union wouldn’t let Turkey in ‘elhamdulillah’ meaning we ruled out Euro Greek Cyprus for the cheap seats in Turkish Lira Antalya. Until 2018 a dollar would buy 7/8ths of a Euro or 3.67 Liras,
Cyprus Tomato (1 lb) 0.84 € = $0.93 Antalya Tomato (1 lb) 2.00 TL = $0.34
That 44% currency devaluation has brought investors from Europe, Russia and Mideast to own more than half of the real estate in Antalya. However, the coming financial Apocalypse has encouraged the locals as well as resident expats open gold bank accounts.
‘Goat Farmer‘ Meetup
Currently billing my 3rd Life: ‘Fortuneteller’ upgraded on LinkedIn as a Astro-Psychometrician – A psychometrician is someone who practices the science of educational and psychological measurement, or in other words, testing. An Astro-Psychometrician is a 1st Life Architect- 2nd Life Goat Farmer who asks you: When’s Your Birthday?
Travailing to Houston with an expired driver’s license and without Jane Marie, meant I had to find a way to get from George Bush to Wharton. A 78 mile 1hr 23min one way taxi ride in Turkey might cost $50 versus $250 in America. MaryKarmen and Abundio the entire workforce of the Anala Goat Company, now living in Inez, saved me both ways, and better yet, hosting me at the best Mexican restaurant in Wharton.
The Loredo family and I share Expat status. After I flashed my Turkish Green Card (Kimlik), I inquired if they were still waiting for adoption by their 18 year old daughter? Claro que si!
Diego now 14 tells me in non-denominational Tejano English that he goes to a ‘white’ kids school in the little town of Vanderbilt, TX, plays on the football team and loves to fish.
Abundio gave up goats for hourly game warden duty on a deer ranch, where he camps out at night to shoot coyotes with his night vision rife. Getting paid for hunting sounds a lot better than milking fifty goats and three cows.
No sooner had I submitted this analysis than President Erdoğan of Turkey made the following remarks in response to a currency crisis in his country: “Those who keep dollar or euro currency under their mattresses should come and turn them into liras or gold.” – Jim Rickards
First day back home I went to see my July 2nd HSBC Turkish banker. The last time I had a face to face conversation with an American banker was with Tommy Schilling at our weekly Follett Lions club luncheons, catered by Grandpa’s quick stop.
I have spent November and 3/4 ths of December telling everybody on two cruise ships, as well as friends & family in Houston, Monterey, Sonoma and Iowa City, that Turkey is the only country in the world with Gold bank accounts.
Ms July 2nd advised me that now was a good time to buy dollars with gold since $$ were going up against the Lira. Last year, her HSBC Istanbul HQ currency account transfer tip garnered $145 on the swap.
You can play the FX market in Euros, Pounds, Dollars, Danish Krone, Gold or whatever fiat currency you want in your account. However, I used Toastmasters Speech 8: Get Comfortable with Visual Aids to share with Ms July 2nd “The Dollar MilkShake Theory.”
Auto Bound Therapy
The week before Thanksgiving until the first business day in January was my emotional demilitarized zone. Since 2008, first in Mainland China and the last four years in Antalya. Turkey, I had avoided crossing the Happy Holidays DMZ.
The Karmic gods finally caught up with me when Jane Marie and I were reunited with her ex and their oldest daughter, with the mission of driving the daughter-father gifted car from Santa Rosa California to Iowa City, Iowa.
To add spice to the journey there was to be a stopover in Salt Lake City to break bread with the ex’s son from an previous marriage.
The Siri GPS experience worked well all the way to Salt Lake and back on our I-80 East route to our next stop Sidney, Nebraska, except when Siri suggested an alternate route via Baggs, WY. A turn left at Howard Street led to a road closed November-May blockage and asking the Baggs-lady what do we do now?
Jane “The Caretaker” doged the deer to Craig, turned north to Steamboat in time to catch the night skiers and then passed the Siri baton to Willie “The Loner” for the Rabbit Ears Pass Challenge. As the recently gifted owner of the car – a 7th of August Leo SIX of Diamonds, the Card of “Financial Responsibility” and the only even numbered card of our auto bound therapy threesome, Willie “The Loner” got the call.
Even numbers do better in the mundane world, odd numbers weigh-in matters of the spiritual realm. Jane and I, both JACKS (the eleventh card), as well as definitely odd, prayed for Willie.
Willie proceeded with caution but ever upward – Steamboat Springs at 6,732′ already had enough snow to ski but neither Siri nor the locals knew what lie ahead. Not too worry, Willie took care of the ‘NOW’ and within an hour we were over the top and our way to Walden.
Willie, energized by passing the pass with flying colors, was eager to continue on to Ft. Collins for a hookup with I- 80 but for the grace of Walden, we were destined to spend the night..
There were four options on Main Street in downtown Walden. Jane Marie turned down the first three b/c of the $75 room charge. I, “The Avoider” got the 4th and last chance to get off the road. The clerk was not in a negation mood b/c the motels close down from Thanksgiving until May and he was leaving in the morning for Florida.
My Corps logo USAA credit card got me a 20% discount as the Millennial ‘Jarhead’ showed me this triple triangle tattoo representing the 37 brothers he lost in his tour of Afghanistan and participation in the documentary Combat Obscura.