Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ellicott City

February 26, 2020 Peace and Good, I have unexpectedly hit a bit of a road block. I am in Ellicott City, and I have to take care of a medical problem before I get back on the road. It is not super serious, but it is better to take care of things here before something happens in the middle of Asia or Africa. I got to the doctor tomorrow to get marching orders and will probably put something about it all in the next page of this blog. This has given me a chance to catch up on a couple of small projects. One of them is to do some filming for the Companions web site. I have done about 30 short segments in these weeks that will be edited and posted at various times. The other is to begin a translation of a book on spiritual discernment for my publisher. I had intended to work on it after Easter when I was going to be in Emmaus, outside of Jerusalem, for five weeks, but it seems as if that trip has been scrapped. I finished some books: The Republic of Venice by Charles River Editors This is a short account of the history of the Venetian Republic. It was founded as a refuge for those fleeing from the barbarians at the end of the Roman Empire. It gradually grew to be a center for trade in the Mediterranean Sea. Its downfall was due to the discovery of other trade routes, the series of defeats at the hands of other powers, especially the Ottomans, and a failure to keep up with modern developments. The republic was abolished under Napoleon, and after his wars given to Austria, only coming to be part of Italy after more warfare between it and Austria. The Vikings by Kenneth Harl This is a Teaching Company course that speaks of the Vikings from their earliest days until the time that they became the modern states of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The presenter is excellent, and he gives both the history and indications on culture and the international influence of the peoples we call the Vikings. The Cambridge Medieval History: Book 1 Part 2 From the Rise of Constantine to the Death of Julian This is a series of essays about the latter part of the end of the Roman Empire and the rise of the power of the Church. The topics are academic, and thus at times a bit dense, but the information they contain is invaluable. The Mycenaeans by Charles River Editors This is a short book on the history of the Mycenaeans, the predecessors of the Minoans and the ancestors of the classical Greek civilization (along with various tribes that moved into Greece over the centuries). They lived around the time that Homer wrote about in his epic the Iliad. The Franco-Prussian War by Charles River Editors This is a short but thorough overview of the Franco-Prussian war, especially dealing with the unification of Germany under Bismarck (who used war as a tool to bring together the many German states). It deals a bit with the French side of the story, but not at length. This war in 1870 ended the reign of Napoleon III and brought in the republic which lasted until World War II. Pandemic by Robin Cook This is a very good book about a quirky but brilliant Medical Investigator who is looking into a sudden death due to a total pulmonary collapse of a woman on a subway (who had entered the subway healthy). It also has to do with genetic engineering, etc. The medical investigator’s wife is the chief of that department. Cook also deals with the family situation and the inner turmoil of the hero of the story. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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