The Ptolemies, like philosopher kings, endowed Alexandria, with the Royal Library and the Mouseion. They also supported gifted men and women bursting with curiosity and ambition to conduct research in the fields assigned to the nine Muses over three hundred years.
Ferdinand Gregorovius (1821–91) the renowned historian of that era documented the importance of the pioneering work undertaken in Alexandria.
“The Royal Library and Mouseion of Alexandria,” he wrote, “diffused a splendor over the civilized world which lasted longer than any other university, whetherParis, Bologna, or Padua. Long after the creative power of Greek genius was exhausted, encyclopedic knowledge and Greek sophistry were to be found in the Mouseion of Alexandria.”
The late Professor Carl Sagan (1943–96), was more specific.
Continue reading “Hypatia’s Feud”
(C) Nicholas Fourikis
As it takes me one to three years to write a book, I want to consider many issues before deciding what to write. The worst scenario I can imagine is to rush into a story and abandon ship after six or twelve months.
I don’t want to even think of ‘whodunit it’ stories and I’m not a romance writer. My heroes fall in love and I chronicle the occasional lovemaking scene but I don’t want to fill a book with bed hopping heroes enjoying the delights of the flesh.
My book should be a hero’s journey for without heroes nothing changes and the world we live in becomes a depressing place. Reading the lives of the saints fascinated me, I rejoiced every time Ulysses escaped from yet another near death experience and I cried the day Martin Luther King was assassinated but I’m not into biographies of well-known heroes. I want to write about the unsung heroes you and I would chronicle.
Continue reading “Breaking the rules of writing”
The more I think of man, the more I love the cows.
Our Singapore Airlines flight followed the kangaroo route. In Rome, we headed to the Umberto Hotel and rushed to bed after a shower. Being in Helen’s arms for twenty hours, I couldn’t last any longer. I shouldn’t tell you this but I even suggested the obvious during our long flight but all I got from her was, ‘I love you when you are that eager.’
As she talked, her almond shaped eyes sparkled and danced under her strait eyebrows.
Tall and slim she always wore fashionable clothes and expensive perfumes. Warm, well proportioned and sensuous she turned heads wherever we went. Continue reading “Anthropomorphic visions of god”
My last memorable dinner party
Most of us know the format of conventional dinner parties. A gracious hostess invites four or five couples to her mansion and after the introductions, over drinks, the guests are ready for the first course of a four-course dinner.
During dinner the hostess encourages her guests to change places so everyone gets the chance to chat to everyone else. In my experience, the women network during the party while the men posture like peacocks to impress. The food is delectable, the wines are well-chosen and the party ends when the last drop of wine is consumed.
Continue reading “My last memorable dinner party”
We were ready to merge but she stopped me.
‘I haven’t finished looking at you,’ she said.
Dazed in her aura
She saw her image stamped deep
On my molten heart.
Caught licking my dry upper lip
She caressed my burning cheeks.
I was like a rock in the sea beaten
By the waves of desire from every side.
Defenceless I was thinking that
All things are susceptible to Love:
Fire, water even the polar caps.
You might think I’m weak but am not.
Because no one ever has and no one ever will
Escape love not while there is beauty
And not while eyes can see.
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I was a sphinx gazing at
The desert of my discontent
Before I tasted your lips.
After you kissed me
The desert is a savanna now
And I sing the fandangos of our love.
“Only the written kisses
Survive the brief
Of human passion,”
The poets claimed
But that is not true
‘Cause when you look at me, I burn,
You touch me, and I’m caught.
Poets, what do they know
But I can excuse them
Because they cannot hear
The fandangos of our love.
And never tasted
The nectar of your soul.
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