And Gutenberg Lived Here: The Ides Plus Four

Now that I finally have the stalker off my blog,

I hope,

and the soul-searching to help a bud is done,

it’s time for a blog again about the good people of Gutenberg Land.


today is the ides plus four.

Yup, that’s right.

But since the Roman calendar was divided into kalends-the first of the month

nones, the seventh

and ides, the fifteenth

and everything was counted backwards and forwards from there

(by the way, did they run out of names for the twenty-first and twenty-eighth?

Wiki sayeth nought.)

So anyway, back to the ides.

Which, being three days off from modern times,

Wiki not saying in which direction,

may or may not actually be today.

Or a week ago.

Which would make it a nones not an ides

Still, since wiki says the fifteenth,

and we never mess with wiki,

the fifteenth it shall be.

A truly historical date,

for it was exactly at that historical moment that:

Duncan died in 1040-

you remember him-

Sweet Will Shakespeare’s old buddy.

And his successor Macbeth,

also a friend of Will’s ,

entered the happy hunting ground  in 1057

So sayeth wiki

Who knows such things.

So what does that have to do with Gutenberg land-

I can now hear you asking impatiently.

First of all, the ides is, or rather was, the feast of Minerva

The roman goddess of war.

And since there were a lot of romans here-

roman walls,

roman gates

a series of roman fortifications,

including a roman castellum

(and a theater, baths, an Isis temple, and a couple of ancient roman brothels)

as far as I can tell, all still in operation today,

not to mention the fact that the name roman is very popular here as a first name…

Yes, Gutenbergers live their history…


(why else would they constantly be digging up the streets except to keep all the cars from driving in the city- tradition, ta da)

or is it to prevent actual expansion of anything that might look like a rapid transit system

not that Cologne did so well as an example,

except for how to collapse an ancient church

and the entire rare books section of the city archives

while digging a subway-

So anyway,

here we are in Gutenberg land.

On the ides plus-four-day of August.

And thinking of sitting outside,

like the romans,

and drinking wine (or watered apple juice)

from the traditional local water glasses

(easier to hang on to when you have had a couple)

under a huge Elm or Linden tree

on a warm summer night,

eating “Roman bones”

(the largest of the spare ribs)

chatting with a few Romans-

and Hokans, and Kangs, Simseks and Pietros-

(we are international here-

and as outside table space is short, it is the local custom to share tables.)

And celebrate the final fall

(on 9 November 1989)

of the wall that separated the two peoples of Germany,

a wall built in 1961


the ides of August.

copyright 2016

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