Sicily 9: Greek Doric Temple at Segesta (plus a shameless statue)

This never finished Greek Temple is a good example of Greek Doric (as opposed to Greek Ionic and Corinthian) architecture. The Doric is characterized by massive columns and bases. The temple dates from the fifth century BCE. The Parthenon in Athens is a combination of Doric and Ionic.

Sicily 8: Segesta, Province of Trapani

Segesta is in the northwest section of the island of Sicily. A common story of its origins is that it was founded by Trojans who settled there after their lost war with the Greeks.  Segesta is the site of a famous Doric Temple, but we’ll get to that in my next post (Sicily 9).  MeanwhileContinue reading “Sicily 8: Segesta, Province of Trapani”

Scorning Expertise: A Review of “Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason” by William Davies (Norton, 2018-19)

Davies navigates the rise of Enlightenment rationalism and the weakening hold it has had on our politics with remarkable clarity. He begins with the split Descartes established between the thinking subject and the body.  The Cartesian body, with all its neurological and emotional states, is a thing to be analyzed by the thinking mind, asContinue reading “Scorning Expertise: A Review of “Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason” by William Davies (Norton, 2018-19)”

Sicily 5: From Monreale via Agrigento (and the Mediterranean) to Catania

The reason for stopping at specific towns and cities in Sicily is because each features one or more sites popular with tourists (the Cathedral of Monreale, for example, or the Greek temples at Agrigento). I found myself enjoying the Sicilian landscape in between the cities (the places to eat, drink, and shop along with theContinue reading “Sicily 5: From Monreale via Agrigento (and the Mediterranean) to Catania”

Sicily 4: The Benedictine Monastery and the Cathedral at Monreale, Sicily

A short bus ride from the city of Palermo is the mountain town of Monreale. The first site you see except for the mountain in the background is The Cathedral, a combination of Norman and Byzantine architecture dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary and famous for a mosaic of Christ looking downward atContinue reading “Sicily 4: The Benedictine Monastery and the Cathedral at Monreale, Sicily”

Sicily 3: Public Squares in Central Palermo

Mary and I did lots of walking on our own around Palermo before we left the city for our tour of Sicily.  Two of the squares we found most intriguing were the Piazza Verdi, site of the Opera House, and the nearby Piazza Olivella, site of the Baroque Church of Saint Ignatius. The Opera HouseContinue reading “Sicily 3: Public Squares in Central Palermo”

Sicily 1: The Streets of Palermo

Sicily, located south of Italy, is nevertheless autonomously governed. Ill spent money due to the corrupting influence of the Mafia on government and vice versa is noticeable in some run down buildings, especially outside of town. Masterpieces of painting that have not been restored and hang loosely on crumbling church walls indicate similar corruption. AndContinue reading “Sicily 1: The Streets of Palermo”

An Underrated Way of Making a Difference

For over thirty years of my academic life I was a writer of scholarly essays and a book on the 19th-century British poet and religious philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. To people who may have become acquainted with Coleridge as part of their high school or college English curriculum, he was the “Romantic” poet who wroteContinue reading “An Underrated Way of Making a Difference”