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
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
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.
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.
Empires of the Silk Road, by Christopher I. Beckwith separates the history of civilization into trade by land over the Silk Road from the Bronze Age until Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. After the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English colonized the entire world. everything went by sea, and the Ottoman Empire ceased to be.
Well, for more than 65 years, Coney Island and its Sunlite Pool had been a riverside playground for most of the people of Cincinnati; it boasted cleanliness, thrilling rides, a place to swim and dance, a whisper of bygone days. But it was closed to blacks. The pool, even longer. That a place of public accommodation would remain a pocket of segregation as long as it did — especially in a Northern, industrial city — surprises many, astounds others. After all, the Supreme Court had ordered schools desegregated in 1954. The park finally opened its gates to blacks in 1955, and by the time the pool was integrated — May 29, 1961 — the civil-rights struggle was well under way, punctuated by sit-ins and demonstrations around the country.
I was a Baby Boomer enjoying my childhood midway through Act I (1943-1964) of Neil Howe’s 4th Turninga four-generation live action, socio-political-psycho-economic histo-drama, I call, “Apocalypse Soon, Armageddon Later.” Starring fellow Boomers; George ‘W’ 1946, Hillary 1947, Bill Clinton 1946, Trump 1946, Xi Jinping 1953 and Putin 1952.
On my street, Mooney Avenue, we had 70 kids in an approximate 60-40 split between Protestants and Catholics. As children of a fervent Christian Scientist mother, my sister and I tried to hide under the Protestant umbrella. The Catholic kids went to Saint Mary’s and the rest of us attended Hyde Park elementary. So, in my 1955 life experience, no black kids here, no black kids there and no black kids anywhere except for that kid on the ‘Dogems.’
Marion always bought ugly used cars like this ’53 Nash Ambassador – ‘Greg’ as Esther called him, drove us to Sunday school at the 1st Church of Christ Scientist Norwood then came back an hour later to pick us up. Norwood was a future Trump country neighborhood where everybody was white and wore blue collars to work at the GM Fischer Body plant.
Two Sundays a month, after Marion got paid, we went to Frisch’s Big Boy on Duck Creek and ate in the car. Whether it was a payday Sunday or a fried chicken at home Sunday, I’d come back with a headache from my hour-long lesson in Mind Over Matter and the evils of materia-medica. My physical remedy for this meta-physical problem, was holding a cold wash cloth to my left temporal.
My second wife gifted me with Louise Hay’s book Heal Your Body A-Z to teach me what I failed to learn in Sunday School.
RELIGION was my number one childhood complaint – “can’t we all just be normal kids like everybody else on the block” – number two was Marion shaming us with the only non-GM or Ford vehicle in Hyde Park, and used at that.
RACE RELIGION POLITICS SEX & MONEY
However, after Labor Day 1955, Marion drove me half way across town – to the east/west dividing line – to my first day at Walnut Hills High School. The school was smack dab in the middle of EVANSTON and from outward appearances an all-black community. I read recently that Cincinnati was the 8th most segregated city in the USA. Just looking out the window I couldn’t tell if they were Protestant or Catholic but they were the same color as that kid I bumped into at Coney Island.
But, oh Lordy, Lordy the halls of the 2,000+ 7-12th grade students at Walnut Hills High School were populated with black kids and white kids, but half of the white kids were Jews. Marion had warned me that, “if I didn’t learn anything from the Jews, I would never learn anything.” The first thing I noticed was that all the Jewish girls had breasts.
Secondly, while the Coney Island pool wouldn’t be integrated until the year I graduated, at WHHS all the boys swam naked. In my swim class everyone had more pubic hair, than I had hair on my head. Walnut Hills was an academic melting pot, my class of 305, had kids from every neighborhood in the city – places I had never heard of, let alone visited. What WHHS didn’t have was ‘greasers or hoods.’ Well, we did have Marty until he dropped out in the tenth grade. Marty wore ducktails and tried to act tough-cool but the only status symbol at WHHS was your grade point average.
My favorite WHHS grad was Miller Huggins, Class of 1897 pictured with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Miller’s father was a Methodist and prohibited his son from playing semi-pro ball on Sundays. Huggins graduated from law school and his professor, none other than William Howard Taft advised him that he’d make more money playing baseball.
Huggins set an MLB record on June 1, 1910 with six plate appearances but no at bats, with four walks and two sacrifice flies. Huggins, was short but WHHS smart and managed the Yankees from 1921-29. The Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series. This team became known as Murderers’ Row, and is considered the one of the greatest teams in baseball history.
My favorite famous WHHS grad was Jerry Rubin who went off to Berkley to found the ‘Yippies’ and protest the Vietnam War.
I passed the reading/math test to gain admittance to WHHS but Latin, Trig, Physics and Chemistry left me intellectually challenged in a very competitive environment. That, plus suffering from a severe case of homework avoidance syndrome, left me at the back of the pack on graduation day in 1961.
Of the 305 graduates, the top 100 went off to Harvard, Princeton, Yale and beyond. The middle third headed for Prairie League universities especially the hometown favorite the University of Cincinnati. My application to UC’s school of Architecture was rejected because I had not graduated in the top 10% of my high school class.
Tom Thacker along with Tony Yates were our most famous classmates in the ’61-’62 year.
I was happy to just be a poly-sci guy at Miami or Antioch but Marion, the hard knocks engineer, wasn’t about to pay for any of that monkey business. So, Howard, Eddie and I entered UC’s Ding-Dong, two-year, associate’s degree program. I did so well relearning 7th grade Algebra, English and History that I was granted admission to the 1962 class of Architecture.
Cincinnati was 85% German Catholic, home to Hebrew Union College and Rabbi Silver founder of Reformed Judaism. Thus, Cincinnati was blessed with a pragmatic German education culture. This meant that even though I missed out on Harvard I was going to be a University of Cincinnati Co-Op student and go to work for a living from my Freshman year on.
The University of Cincinnati was the first university in the world to offer cooperative education. A bust of UC co-op founder Herman Schneider stands outside Baldwin Hall.
Herman Schneider (1872–1939), engineer, architect, and educator, concluded that the traditional learning space or classroom was insufficient for technical students. Schneider observed that several of the more successful Lehigh graduates had worked to earn money before graduation. Gathering data through interviews of employers and graduates, he devised the framework for cooperative education (1901). However, in 1903 the University of Cincinnati appointed Schneider to their faculty. In 1905 the UC Board of Trustees allowed Schneider to “try this cooperative idea of education for one year only, for the failure of which they would not be held responsible.” The cooperative education program was launched in 1906, and became an immediate success.
RACE RELIGION POLITICS MONEY & SEX
My Coop Job ’61 to ’67 was as an architectural “Apprentice” above the Colony theater on Shaker Square
I spent Spring and Fall quarters 1961-1967 working as an architectural co-op student in the offices of Outcalt, Guenther, Rode, Toguchi and Bonebrake, the biggest architectural firm in Cleveland. Thanks to Marion’s big sister, who got me the job after high school and Herman Schneider, I was able to pay my way through seven years of university and learn firsthand that architects don’t make any money.
Walnut Hills, the Harvard of Cincinnati’s Public Education System
Marion, was hell bent on sending me to the best high school in Cincinnati, but he wanted me to make the decision. My options were Withrow, three blocks away, Indian Hills or Country Day, private schools in an aristoi neighborhood a few miles further east. The fourth consideration was Walnut Hills, where I had received an invitation because I had passed the entrance test. At Hyde Park elementary I sat behind Steve Hussey and in front of Bob Yeager, my future classmates. I didn’t copy Hussey’s answers and I’m sure Yeager, our de facto class leader, would never look my way.
What to do? When Esther asked me, now that I was twelve, did I want to join the church? I gave a near instant response, NO, I want to be a Presbyterian! But, three doors down Bob Shirley, older brother of Kathy Shirley, my Drexall drug store cherry coke first date, gave me his Walnut Hills sales pitch.
Tom, the homework’s not that bad. It’s easy to get there, you catch the 69 Madisonville at the end of the street, transfer at Peebles Corner to the 31 Vine Woodburn, walk 3 blocks in the rain, sleet or snow and you’re there.
In 1935 the Board of Education confirmed the status of the school as “an institution specialized for college preparation.” Again in 1972, the Board of Education reaffirmed the position of Walnut Hills High School as a six-year, college preparatory school. As early as 1926 a systematic method of pupil selection was adopted. Today all students enter the school after passing a special college preparatory examination.
The Recipe for Saving Public Education
Municipal (free) Six Year (get ’em when they’re young) College PreparatoryHigh School (everybody’s going to college) open to all (swim with every fish in the sea) qualified elementary students city wide.