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I recently stumbled across an interesting article, sent to me by my dear brother-in-law. The title, ‘Why the Pantheon Hasn’t Crumbled’ immediately caught my attention, as does anything to do with ancient Rome. My wife and I have visited Rome a number of times and upon our first trip, we made a pit stop at the famous Pantheon to take in its breathtaking architecture as well as its incredible historical significance to 2nd century A.D. Rome. The Pantheon literally dominates the plaza before it where beautiful sculpted fountains and buildings stand before it, as if blessing it with reverence. It’s towering columns, intricate capitals and domed roof all reflect the beauty of Roman design, echoing with the shadows of history amongst the bustle of tourists. If you have not seen the Pantheon, I do hope that you will include this in your visit, should you ever venture upon Italy’s shores.
By Peter J. Fast
(Pictures taken by Peter J. Fast)
For the article ‘Why the Pantheon Hasn’t Crumbled’ by Colin Schultz of Smithsonian.com, I have included the link below, so click and enjoy the read.
So, I came across one of the most bizarre, yet amazing articles the other day which involves a very unique look into a 1,600 year old piece of 4th century Roman art. This is a kind of “archaeology meets modern science” and I know each and every one of you will thoroughly enjoy reading this article published by Smithsonian.com. If the picture below doesn’t intrigue you enough to click on the article link, then please take your temperature…you may have come down with a life threatening disease…maybe the Black Plague. Anyway, enjoy the article and be prepared to get blown away by the incredible mystery of the Lycurgus Cup and the many secrets it will unveil.
By, Peter J. Fast
Recently, artifacts have been unearthed near Robinson’s Arch which is located at the south-western end of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The artifacts, which contained three cooking pots and a ceramic oil lamp, were discovered in a hidden cistern beneath the ground near where the famous arch once stood 2,000 years ago. This testifies to the extreme conditions during the siege where Jews found themselves with limited food and in desperate situations. The discovery of the cistern and the cooking pots also confirms the evidence Josephus gives in his “Jewish Wars” where he describes the starvation of the people and how many would hide out in cisterns built beneath their homes in order to eat what little food remained. The discovery of the cistern, also confirms that people could not trust their fellow neighbors or the rebels for fear that their food would be seized, and so they would eat in secret.
The period of the Roman siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. is a dark period in Jewish history and culminated in the city being destroyed and the Temple burned. Today, this destruction can be viewed at the Davidson Archaeological Center with the massive stones that lay at the foot of the Temple Mount having been hurled onto the streets below by the Romans who pried them apart in search for melting gold from the Temple. One can also view the burnt foundations of a priestly home in the “Burnt House Museum” which is located in the Jewish Quarter not far from the Kotel (Western Wall). Both of these archaeological discoveries, including the cistern with the cooking pots, attest to the desperate struggle between the Jews and Romans in the first century A.D.
By, Peter J. Fast
To read more of the recent discovery click on the link below.
The months of February and March were exciting times for me as a published author. I was able to hold two private book signing parties for close friends in the humble atmosphere of my abode. It was a wonderful time of good wine, cheese, discussion, and celebration. I was able to extend many “thank you’s” to those who made it possible for the publication of my first historical/fiction novel, 70 A.D. A WAR OF THE JEWS.
The party included a brief synopsis of the history leading up to the First Jewish Revolt against Rome, an explanation of the Jewish and Roman world in the First Century, a description of the book, and a public reading of the prologue. Then, for those interested, I signed purchased copies and we all finished the celebration with some wonderful champagne. I am pleased to say that both parties had a warm, friendly, cherished group of people who took part in this important achievement in my life, and they were able to toast further books and future endeavours.
Peter J. Fast
*To purchase a copy of, “70 A.D. A WAR OF THE JEWS” click here, on the link and you will be sent to my page dedicated to the release of my novel. Once there, simply click on the preferred tab of your choice of online stores.
70 A.D. A WAR OF THE JEWS is available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through the publisher, AuthorHouse.
So, recently I came across this stunning article concerning an enormous 1600 square foot Roman mosaic that has recently been uncovered this year in southern Turkey. It is the remnants of a huge bathhouse, which includes a large swimming pool. The mosaic includes some of the most intricate geometric designs and has been well preserved from the sands of time. I invite you to read the article written by Stephanie Pappas of LiveSceince and you can do so by clicking on the link below. Enjoy.
Comments by, Peter J. Fast
An interesting discovery has just been made near the suburb of Tel Aviv called, Herzliya. This find has turned out to be one of the largest caches of gold treasure (100 pieces of gold worth over $100,000.00). The treasure, dates back to the period of the 11th century when the coins were minted in Egypt, and then buried later in the 13th century during the later half of the Crusades. They were discovered buried in a large vessel near the Crusader fortress of Apollonia, which saw much action during the time of England’s king, Richard the Lionheart and most likely around the time of the Battle of Arsuf (1191 AD- Third Crusade) which was between King Richard and the Mameluk ruler Saladin. Also uncovered were the remains of weapons including, stone catapult missiles and a large hoard of arrow heads which all attest to the brutal siege and battles that were fought in this area.
Apollonia has also revealed connections to the Roman, Phoenician, and early Islamic periods which archaeologists have made extensive finds. The discovery of the gold and other artifacts is being carried out by a joint effort between the Tel Aviv University and the Nature Parks Authority of Israel.
I have attached a link to the website which was posted by Arutz Sheva 7 which is a major news outlet in Israel. So, if you wish to read the entire article then just click on the link http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157609 and it will open in a new window for you. Enjoy.
By, Peter J. Fast