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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

 

tripolitana rimoamus est


medium's blog has me thinking about the little adventure that we've been throwing around. it probably comes as no surprise that i'm something of a historical romantic -- i've always found the ancients compelling. my first foray into europe was to rome. perhaps something in the duality of the immense gulf of time that separates them from us, and the immediacy of their writings, politics, rhetoric, philosophies and architectures -- so much of which underpins the western conceptions of those fields...

anyway, much of ancient roman history from the late republican period onward was played out in north africa -- from carthago delenda est to jurgutha to the destruction of the roman fleet in carthage harbor by the vandals in 467. and the remains of the roman empire there are some of the most spectacular in all the mediterranean.

Leptis Magna

the jewel of the trip would have to be leptis magna, i think, or perhaps sabratha -- but the truth is that i won't know unless i go there.

that's all become much easier, as of september 20, 2004, when the bush administration (in desperate need of some good news from points east) lifted all sanctions and travel restrictions to libya. this was much anticipated by the lonely planet set (to which medium must certainly belong), even though only participants of organized tours are granted visas. italians have been vacationing in tripoli for decades, and consider tripoli the civilized star of north africa; one only hopes to get there ahead of the rush of ugly americanism.

as drudge says, "developing...."


Two places to see more of the Roman ruins: The Dalmation coast of Croatia and Turkey. Personally, I'd try and do both at the same time due to proximity. Croatia from what I've heard wasn't as affected by the ethnic cleansing and breakups of the former Yugoslavia. Another wonderful case of post war country borders drawn without consideration to centuries of religious hatred. Iraq anyone? Kashmir? Off the soapbox.

 
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Citing the Drudge Report! Now this is one cool blog.

 
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if i had known that drudge would instantaneously make me cool, i'd have posted it sooner!

 
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