Monday, July 18, 2011


According to an AP article from Yahoo news, In Israel, diggers unearth the Bible's bad guys, by Matti Friedman (Jul 8, 2011), the city of Gath (later, the Arab village of Tel el-Safi; now a national park) lay between the Israelites and their enemy, the Philistines, almost 3000 years ago. The Philistines are probably most familiar from the story of the future king David slaying the giant Philistine Goliath with his sling.

This summer's annual archaeological excavations there, under Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, are revealing aspects of the lifestyle of the Philistines. Pottery remains suggest the Philistines had come by sea from the Aegean in about 1200 B.C. This is about the time the Trojan War would have taken place. They ate lentils, like the Greek people of the Aegean area, as well as such animals as pigs and dogs. Evidence from the next five centuries -- a time at which the city was razed, probably by an Aramaean king named Hazel in 830 B.C. -- suggest their worship included Greek-named gods. It wasn't until two centuries later that the other Philistine cities were destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, in 604.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reading Will

Chapter 3

For my purposes (I’m not an educator, so perhaps I’m not appreciating some of the writer’s observations; it seems obvious to me that the functions required would influence the overall choice of a blog hosting), I didn’t pick up very much from this chapter.

Again, I like the Portfolio aspects of this capability, but even with this concept there MIGHT be other preferable tools about which I have yet to learn.

Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Monday, September 6, 2010

wild 99 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

The Widow and the Sheep

A certain poor widow had one solitary Sheep. At shearing time, wishing to take his fleece and to avoid expense, she sheared him herself, but used the shears so unskillfully that with the fleece she sheared the flesh. The Sheep, writhing with pain, said, "Why do you hurt me so, Mistress? What weight can my blood add to the wool? If you want my flesh, there is the butcher, who will kill me in an instant; but if you want my fleece and wool, there is the shearer, who will shear and not hurt me."

The least outlay is not always the greatest gain.

The Wild Ass and the Lion

A Wild Ass and a Lion entered into an alliance so that they might capture the beasts of the forest with greater ease. The Lion agreed to assist the Wild Ass with his strength, while the Wild Ass gave the Lion the benefit of his greater speed. When they had taken as many beasts as their necessities required, the Lion undertook to distribute the prey, and for this purpose divided it into three shares. "I will take the first share," he said, "because I am King: and the second share, as a partner with you in the chase: and the third share (believe me) will be a source of great evil to you, unless you willingly resign it to me, and set off as fast as you can."

Might makes right.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

state 992.sta.003 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Ostorius was living at the time on a remote estate on the Ligurian frontier. Thither a centurion was despatched to hurry on his destruction. There was a motive for promptitude arising out of the fact that Ostorius, with his great military fame and the civic crown he had won in Britain, possessed, too, as he was of huge bodily strength and skill in arms, had made Nero, who was always timid and now more frightened than ever by the lately discovered conspiracy, fearful of a sudden attack. So the centurion, having barred every exit from the house, disclosed the emperor's orders to Ostorius. That fortitude which he had often shown in fighting the enemy Ostorius now turned against himself. And as his veins, though severed, allowed but a scanty flow of blood, he used the help of a slave, simply to hold up a dagger firmly, and then pressing the man's hand towards him, he met the point with his throat.

Even if I had to relate foreign wars and deaths encountered in the service of the State with such a monotony of disaster, I should myself have been overcome by disgust, while I should look for weariness in my readers, sickened as they would be by the melancholy and continuous destruction of our citizens, however glorious to themselves. But now a servile submissiveness and so much wanton bloodshed at home fatigue the mind and paralyze it with grief. The only indulgence I would ask from those who will acquaint themselves with these horrors is that I be not thought to hate men who perished so tamely. Such was the wrath of heaven against the Roman State that one may not pass over it with a single mention, as one might the defeat of armies and the capture of cities. Let us grant this privilege to the posterity of illustrious men, that just as in their funeral obsequies such men are not confounded in a common burial, so in the record of their end they may receive and retain a special memorial.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

afterwards 3992.aft.002 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Cneius Pompeius was then for the third time elected consul to reform public morals, but in applying remedies more terrible than the evils and repealing the legislation of which he had himself been the author, he lost by arms what by arms he had been maintaining. Then followed twenty years of continuous strife; custom or law there was none; the vilest deeds went unpunished, while many noble acts brought ruin. At last, in his sixth consulship, Caesar Augustus, feeling his power secure, annulled the decrees of his triumvirate, and gave us a constitution which might serve us in peace under a monarchy. Henceforth our chains became more galling, and spies were set over us, stimulated by rewards under the Papia Poppaea law, so that if men shrank from the privileges of fatherhood, the State, as universal parent, might possess their ownerless properties. But this espionage became too searching, and Rome and Italy and Roman citizens everywhere fell into its clutches. Many men's fortunes were ruined, and over all there hung a terror till Tiberius, to provide a remedy, selected by lot five ex-consuls, five ex-praetors, and five senators, by whom most of the legal knots were disentangled and some light temporary relief afforded.

About this same time he commended to the Senate's favour, Nero, Germanicus's son, who was just entering on manhood, and asked them, not without smiles of ridicule from his audience, to exempt him from serving as one of the Twenty Commissioners, and let him be a candidate for quaestorship five years earlier than the law allowed. His excuse was that a similar decree had been made for himself and his brother at the request of Augustus. But I cannot doubt that even then there were some who secretly laughed at such a petition, though the Caesars were but in the beginning of their grandeur, and ancient usage was more constantly before men's eyes, while also the tie between stepfather and stepson was weaker than that between grandfather and grandchild. The pontificate was likewise conferred on Nero, and on the day on which he first entered the forum, a gratuity was given to the city-populace, who greatly rejoiced at seeing a son of Germanicus now grown to manhood. Their joy was further increased by Nero's marriage to Julia, Drusus's daughter. This news was met with favourable comments, but it was heard with disgust that Sejanus was to be the father-in-law of the son of Claudius. The emperor was thought to have polluted the nobility of his house and to have yet further elevated Sejanus, whom they already suspected of overweening ambition.

Two remarkable men died at the end of the year, Lucius Volusius and Sallustius Crispus. Volusius was of an old family, which had however never risen beyond the praetorship. He brought into it the consulship; he also held the office of censor for arranging the classes of the knights, and was the first to pile up the wealth which that house enjoyed to a boundless extent.

Crispus was of equestrian descent and grandson of a sister of Caius Sallustius, that most admirable Roman historian, by whom he was adopted and whose name he took. Though his road to preferment was easy, he chose to emulate Maecenas, and without rising to a senator's rank, he surpassed in power many who had won triumphs and consulships. He was a contrast to the manners of antiquity in his elegance and refinement, and in the sumptuousness of his wealth he was almost a voluptuary. But beneath all this was a vigorous mind, equal to the greatest labours, the more active in proportion as he made a show of sloth and apathy. And so while Maecenas lived, he stood next in favour to him, and was afterwards the chief depository of imperial secrets, and accessory to the murder of Postumus Agrippa, till in advanced age he retained the shadow rather than the substance of the emperor's friendship. The same too had happened to Maecenas, so rarely is it the destiny of power to be lasting, or perhaps a sense of weariness steals over princes when they have bestowed everything, or over favourites, when there is nothing left them to desire.

Next followed Tiberius's fourth, Drusus's second consulship, memorable from the fact that father and son were colleagues. Two years previously the association of Germanicus and Tiberius in the same honour had not been agreeable to the uncle, nor had it the link of so close a natural tie.

At the beginning of this year Tiberius, avowedly to recruit his health, retired to Campania, either as a gradual preparation for long and uninterrupted seclusion, or in order that Drusus alone in his father's absence might discharge the duties of the consulship. It happened that a mere trifle which grew into a sharp contest gave the young prince the means of acquiring popularity. Domitius Corbulo, an ex-praetor, complained to the Senate that Lucius Sulla, a young noble, had not given place to him at a gladiatorial show. Corbulo had age, national usage and the feelings of the older senators in his favour. Against him Mamercus Scaurus, Lucius Arruntius and other kinsmen of Sulla strenuously exerted themselves. There was a keen debate, and appeal was made to the precedents of our ancestors, as having censured in severe decrees disrespect on the part of the young, till Drusus argued in a strain calculated to calm their feelings. Corbulo too received an apology from Mamercus, who was Sulla's uncle and stepfather, and the most fluent speaker of that day.

It was this same Corbulo, who, after raising a cry that most of the roads in Italy were obstructed or impassable through the dishonesty of contractors and the negligence of officials, himself willingly undertook the complete management of the business. This proved not so beneficial to the State as ruinous to many persons, whose property and credit he mercilessly attacked by convictions and confiscations.

Soon afterwards Tiberius informed the Senate by letter that Africa was again disturbed by an incursion of Tacfarinas, and that they must use their judgment in choosing as proconsul an experienced soldier of vigorous constitution, who would be equal to the war. Sextus Pompeius caught at this opportunity of venting his hatred against Lepidus, whom he condemned as a poor-spirited and needy man, who was a disgrace to his ancestors, and therefore deserved to lose even his chance of the province of Asia. But the Senate were against him, for they thought Lepidus gentle rather than cowardly, and that his inherited poverty, with the high rank in which he had lived without a blot, ought to be considered a credit to instead of a reproach. And so he was sent to Asia, and with respect to Africa it was decided that the emperor should choose to whom it was to be assigned.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

tacitus 772.tac.001 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

We need not delay over a writing entitled the "Acts of Pilate", which must have existed in the second century (Justin,"Apol"., I, 35), and must have been used in the pagan schools to warn boys against the belief of Christians (Euseb.,"Hist. Eccl.", I, ix; IX, v); nor need we inquire into the question whether there existed any authentic census tables of Quirinius.

A. Tacitus

We possess at least the testimony of Tacitus (A.D. 54-119) for the statements that the Founder of the Christian religion, a deadly superstition in the eyes of the Romans, had been put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate under the reign of Tiberius; that His religion, though suppressed for a time, broke forth again not only throughout Judea where it had originated, but even in Rome, the conflux of all the streams of wickness and shamelessness; furthermore, that Nero had diverted from himself the suspicion of the burning of Rome by charging the Christians with the crime; that these latter were not guilty of arson, though they deserved their fate on account of their universal misanthropy. Tacitus, moreover, describes some of the horrible torments to which Nero subjected the Christians (Ann., XV, xliv). The Roman writer confounds the Christians with the Jews, considering them as a especially abject Jewish sect; how little he investigated the historical truth of even the Jewish records may be inferred from the credulity with which he accepted the absurd legends and calumnies about the origin of he Hebrew people (Hist., V, iii, iv).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

certain 339.cer.00 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing


Perhaps someday Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will grant – and perhaps the first to grant -- a degree in ‘Biological Prognostication’ by use of genetic testing? Between now and then, however, it is worth considering the ethics of marketing such tests and representing that commercial genetic testing can foretell the development of maladies. I was and am generally aware of science fiction stories and movies involving genetic testing -- and even manipulation -- and the subsequent categorization of people as a result of same. More recently, I have seen media references to pre-natal genetic testing, as well as advertisements for genetics-based ‘ancestry’ tracing and even for-profit tests which purport to predict the likelihood of the development of certain genetically-based weaknesses. I doubt real-world humans will be able to keep this genie in its bottle and, therefore, I am comfortable with my assumption that this industry will be with us as long as civilization survives. I‘m attracted to this field as it seems to be a growing industry requiring advanced skills (and thus, hopefully, less boredom) and affording premium remuneration with at least some potential of being a particularly beneficial service to others. However, I was also generally aware that there were licensing issues vis-à-vis the state of California which involved the tests’ accuracy and, implicitly, the ethics revolving around any such open questions.