|Ruins of port at Acre (Akko|
|Street of Sephorris (Tzippori)|
|The Mona Lisa of the Galilee (Sephorris)|
|Street in Sepphoris|
How can Israel be at the center of civilizations (Roman and Babylonian, Crusader and Ottoman) and at the edges at the same time? How can a land command so much attention from so far away? The Romans were here so often and so long that the wheels of their carts wore the grooves that you can see here in the cardo of the city.
|Crusader-Ottoman fortress above Sephorris|
OK - mundane departure: we saw The Eagle last night with dear friends, and I'll confess that I came for the over-the-top Roman historical action (enhanced greatly by two beautiful young male actors involved in their own complex dynamics of desire, unfamiliarity and intimacy), but I stayed for the British nostalgia for empire as expressed by the woman, Rosemary Sutcliff, who wrote the book the film was based on in 1954. To this day, as we found out dashing to a bookstore after the film, her books are listed under "Teen Fantasy" (decode that!) and were written, it seems to us, to remind good British boys of what It (Empire, or the rapidly fading memory of Empire) was all about: honor, certainly; freedom, for some; glory, tons. The story of The Eagle also takes place at the edges of empire: in the wilds of Britain north of Hadrian's Wall. Master becomes slave, slave becomes master, and the eagle standard of Rome is recaptured from Briton Barbarians to save Fathers' honors. The stuff of imperial fantasy, not just teens. I'll be speaking about the morality of pushes for empire (and other frameworks of Orientalism) at a Really Big Honor lecture in mid-April - I feel like I'm thinking all the time about these moral strategies for empire (without reading or writing nearly enough) - even when I'm out at the movies where I really should just be enjoying a bunch of guys huddled together in one of the best testudo scenes I've ever witnessed.
|Iced Columns at DePauw|
|Calvin and Hobbes snowman|
|Cool straw from (where else?) MOMA|