02 august 2007


For some reason that I can not explain, I am drawn towards the old, antiquity, via Aurelia rather than Autostrade della Sole, and so on. But I am not alone: Mr. Thayer has a site with several thousand pages (hand edited HTML!) dealing with old "things". He writes:
I wonder what Professor Diller would say today, where the "tendency in some quarters" has expanded considerably: many people (and far more than in 1935, too) regard the works of antiquity not even so much as monuments of ignorance, but rather - the thought of whether something might be true or not apparently never crossing their horizon of concerns - as curiously quaint but inconsequential stuff; that comes in handy, however, for dressing up their speech or their writing. Thus theaters become amphitheaters because the word sounds neat, and an axiom of Vitruvius' cribbed from some tertiary source who got it from a 17c translation is used for its "quaintness", and after all none of this matters: in a world where the most serious news of our age is boiled down to entertainment, why should anything else be different?
I need a structured approach to learn about the vast number of old things that occupy every hilltop and every town that currently frames my life.
In particular, I need to understand if I should approach this task in space or time. That is, via Francigena and via Aurelia are both within a few kilometers from Origo but in time they are about 1.500 years apart. Should they be approached separately or together?

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