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Posts Tagged ‘Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

The detritus of empire…

As the USSR fell apart, many of its military outposts were simply abandoned.  Photographer Eric Lusito travelled from East Germany to Mongolia and from Poland to Kazakhstan in search of these former Soviet bases.   His photo essay– “After the Wall– Traces of the Soviet Empire“– is mesmerizing:

Parade ground, Mongolia. By the early 1970s, monuments to the Great Patriotic War became ubiquitous features of the Soviet landscape. A soldier named Alexei served as a model for one of the first, since then these monuments are nicknamed ‘Alyosha,’ the affectionate name form of Alexei. At the base of the statue an inscription reads ‘All that was built by the people, must be imperatively defended.’
The area in front of the statue was used for military parades. Around 10-15,000 soldiers, personnel and their families were based here.

See all of Lusito’s remarkable photos here.

As we contemplate Ozymandias, we might don our celebratory togas in honor of Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Roman poet better known these days as Lucan, born on this date in 39 AD in Cordoba.  The Grandson of Seneca the Elder and the nephew of Seneca, Lucan wrote in the time of Nero, with whom he feuded, and against whom he ultimately plotted– until (at the age of 25 ) he was discovered and forced, like his uncle Seneca, to commit suicide.  Of course, karma being what it is, history remembers Nero as a libertine and a tyrant; it remembers Lucan as an exemplar of the Silver Age of Latin poetry… indeed, Lucan comes in for not one, but two nifty mentions in Dante (in The Inferno and in De Vulgari Eloquentia)…


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