Roman poetry

Posted in Ancient World, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Seven Plagues of the Ancient Roman City Dweller

Evening traffic along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, near the Getty Villa
It's nothing new: Gridlock and bad air, A.D. 2009. Photo: Eric Demarq, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Think city living is a struggle today? The ancient Romans had it just as tough, giving their poets plenty to complain about Roman poetry is filled with entertaining rants against urban evils, which I revisited with glee while preparing for… More»

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      The Queen Who Wasn’t

      Louis XIV clandestinely wed his mistress, Madame de Maintenon, at Versailles on October 9 or 10, 1683. The marriage was much gossiped about but never openly acknowledged. She was never queen.

      Madame de Maintenon had been the {judgy} governess to Louis XIV’s children by his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Louis gave these children moneyed titles—such as the comte de Toulouse, who ordered the tapestries shown here for his residence outside Paris.

      Louis’s secret marriage ushered in a period of religious fervor, in sharp contrast to the light-hearted character of his early reign. Madame de Maintenon was known for her Catholic piety, and founded a school for the education of impoverished noble girls at Saint-Cyr in 1686 that stayed in operation until 1793. This engraving of the Virgin and Child was dedicated to her by the king.

      Virgin and Child, late 1600s, Jean-Louis Roullet after Pierre Mignard; Johann Ulrich Stapf, engraver. The Getty Research Institute. Tapestries from the Emperor of China series. The J. Paul Getty Museum


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