Home >> Europe
Italy & the Roman Empire
Lessons and reflections on Rome
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 11/16/2011
Just some few days ago, the Italian political capital, Rome, once again became capital of world for those obsessed or even merely interested in world politics. The occasion, for the very few that may have missed it, was the fall of the Silvio Berlusconi government. Like him or loath him, any observer will admit that Silvio Berlusconi has dominated the Italian political scene and become a house hold name in Europe and by extension world politics in the last seventeen years.
The Italian Festa
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 6/13/2011
Our notes will be incomplete if we do not pause to invite some reflections upon some of the events that took place beyond our shores last week. For whilst we were following the state organized inauguration ceremonies of newly elected officials across Nigeria, with some wondering if the spectacles were worth the tabs, and others speculating on who will be nominated by the elected, Italians were partying across their cities and giving the world some useful lessons on what democracy is all about: the primacy of people.
Italy will Kill the Euro - Not Spain or Portugal
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/24/2010
Berlusconi's restive and anti-European coalition partners are mulling a contingency plan to pull out of the eurozone and reinstate the lire. Italy is in worse shape than most members of the European Union (EU): at 6% of GDP, it has an ostensibly sustainable budget deficit, but its external debt (now close to 120% of GDP) is higher than that of the most egregious wastrels in the bloc, Greece and Ireland included. Italy's banking sector is over-exposed to borrowers in Central and Eastern Europe, a region habitually pendulating between recovery and economic calamity. If Italy goes Greece's and Ir...
EU Mideast Policy: Morality and Enlightment or Fear and Greed?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/1/2008
The Italian government, it has just come to light, let Palestinian terrorist groups operate freely in its country from the 1970s onward as long as they promised not to attack Italians. As former President Francesco Cossiga explained, the agreement with the PLO and PFLP was that if you "don't harm me... I won't harm you." Thus, these groups could move terrorists and equipment destined for use in murdering [non-Italian] civilians in and out of Italy-protected by Italian security agencies.
Life of Leonardo da Vinci
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/4/2005
Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, cartographer, engineer, scientist and inventor in the 15th century. Yet, despite his genius, he referred to himself as "senza lettere" (the illiterate, the man without letters). For good reason: until late in life, he was unable to read, or write, Latin, the language used by virtually all other Renaissance intellectuals, the lingua franca, akin to English today. Nor was he acquainted with mathematics until he was 30.
The Roman Family
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/28/2005
The father in the Roman family (paterfamilias) exercised absolute and lifelong power. He ruled over all other family members (patria potestas): his wife, children, and slaves. If the father's father was alive - then he was the supreme authority in the household. Fathers were even allowed to execute their grown sons for serious offenses like treason.
Nero Sets Rome Ablaze
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/21/2005
According to the historian Suetonius, Emperor Nero (37-68), fifth Emperor of Rome from AD 54 to 68, was a fan of murder. Clad in disguise, he assaulted passing pedestrians in back alleys, stabbed them repeatedly, and dumped the bodies into the sewer. When he was almost killed by one of his would-be victims, he surrounded himself with armed bodyguards who overcame any unexpected resistance.