"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov

Ya ever seen my house?

Ya ever seen my house?
Neither have I Ted! You douchebag.
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Ghost Amphitheater


I seem to be addicted to Google Maps.
Pictured, the older, central portion of the city of Lucca in North-Central Italy.
First, most impressive to me are the extensive remains of the Renaissance era fortifications.
You've got the whole kit here.
Bastions, ravelins and tenailles.
Especially nice is the picture-perfect bastion on the Western edge.
A lot of the glacis still remains and is probably a nice place to hang out of a summer day.
But, cool as the battlements are what we're talking about is far older; over a millennium older.
Just above the center of the photo you'll see a small oval space surrounded by buildings.
This represents a vestige of the Roman era, an interesting little tidbit in these days of crumbling empire.

This oval is the sole survivor or Lucca's Roman era amphitheater.
It must not have been a very large city as the spot measures only about 50 X 100 feet.
Anyway, when Rome fell, the amphitheater was abandoned.
Squatters moved into the remaining structure which was gradually demolished and replaced with other buildings.
Over the years, as properties rose and fell on the site, the oval shape was maintained by the original property lines established as the area was redeveloped in the post-empire era.
Until recently the open space was filled with structures as well.
They were torn down when it was realized what they had.
My suspicion is that the first aerial view of the town made folks aware that they'd been living with this remnant for centuries.
Now, the space is maintained as a tourist attraction "The Ghost Amphitheater".

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