Cato the Younger 小加图的自杀

大选结束看完罗马共和国后期那些书后就想,千万千万不能有内战啊!否则共和就死定了。
可是看看这一个星期,这一个周末,就觉得对Cato的对抗,自杀有了更深刻的感动。真的面临这种选择,怎么可能不选择战争呢?也许我原先的设想是错的,一旦选出了暴君做共和首领,那么内战就是必然的。一切都太晚了。

Robert Harris 那西塞罗三部曲最后一部里描写庞贝大军全军覆灭后,罗马统一到凯撒手下:

For the first time we tasted life under a dictatorship: there were no freedoms any more; no magistrates, no courts; one existed at the whim of the ruler.

这就是现在我没法继续读”Wolf Hall”的原因,那种全部朝廷大大小小都赔小心取悦一个国君的情形太震撼了。

Cato是元老院里理想主义的领袖。虽然出生贵族但是布衣素食,一丝不苟,坚决不肯为任何事情妥协,不向任何人低头。他只认共和国的原则。西塞罗是个政客,他出身卑微,但是个政治天才,总是想找到两全其美的法子和平解决问题。 在凯撒如日中天的时日里,Cato是唯一敢当众和他叫板的。一度西塞罗曾经私下羡慕又无奈的说Cato只为自己的理想活,不为共和国的将来着想,不是不自私的。

凯撒跨过卢比孔河后,庞贝带着元老院逃离罗马,后来节节退败。庞贝死后。Cato 在北非带着一队反抗军继续和凯撒纠缠,最后战败自杀,Cato选择了特别残忍的剖腹。很多人不解,认为Cato疯了。但是西塞罗不这么想。

Cicero disagreed. “He could have had an easier death. He could have thrown himself from a building, or opened his veins in a warm bath, or taken poison. Instead he chose that particular method –exposing his entrails like a human sacrifice — to demonstrate the strength of his will and his contempt for Caesar. In philosophical terms it was a good death: the death of a man who feared nothing. Indeed I would go so far as to say he died happy. Neither Caesar, nor any moan, nor anything in the world could touch him.”

熟知凯撒性情的西塞罗明知会激怒大首领还是给Cato写了悼词,最后一句总是能让我流泪。

Sinewy in thought and person; indifferent to what men said of him; scornful of glory, titles and decorations, and even more of those who sought them; defender of laws and freedoms; vigilant in the public interest; contemptuous of tyrants, their vulgarities and presumptions; stubborn, infuriating, harsh, dogmatic; a dreamer, a fanatic, a mystic, a solder; willing at the last to tear the very organs from his stomach rather than submit to a conqueror –only the Roman Republic could have bred such a man as Cato, and only in the Roman Republic did such a man as Cato desire to live.

带着小人去游行

最开始本来有去华盛顿游行的念头。后来不了了之。旧金山的游行也是想去但是没有准备。直到两天前小人同学的妈妈跟我说她们和另外一家也是小人同学要一起去,问我有没有兴趣。我问了米粥,当即决定去。于是上赶着也跟妈妈们一起印了招牌,约好了时间地点。跟小人说要去反川普游行他也欲欲跃试。

小人第一次尝到行使公民权力的滋味:Civil Disobedience!

跟其他地方的游行不同,旧金山的游行下午三点才开始。一早起来看到各地游行的照片和口号,感动又期待。本来下过一夜大雨的早上阳光灿烂,到了三点多开始下雨。而且越来越大,但是游行人群人山人海,比上海的南京路还要挤。这是后话。

我们一早去海湾边的Exploritarium 玩,三点多开始往市政广场走。去Ferry Building的坐地铁的路上看到一群群反向走的举着Pro-life牌子的人。小人问我他们是不是也去反川普游行。我只好搪塞他说也许,带他匆匆离开。后来才知道,旧金山的游行推迟到三点就是因为这个pro-life的游行两点半才结束,不想造成冲突!往市中心赶的人群明显比离开的要多的多的多的多!本来三五分钟三站地的车程足足磨了近半个小时。车上挤满了带着粉色帽子的游行人员,一路欢声笑语。小人跟着一起傻乐。在地铁上就听到广播说进市政广场那站的车是被限制的。我还纳闷为什么,既然大家都下车,但是下了车就可以走,为什么要延迟。到了站才明白因为月台上挤满了人,根本没有多余的立足之地,上楼要排长队!

我们终于走上第二个楼梯后拍的地铁站的盛况:

出了地铁站傻了眼,约好见面的游乐场正好在市政广场演讲台边上,是中心的中心,而面前的人墙根本没有缝隙可以钻。我们绕了一个大圈,跟着很小一队也要奋力去中心地带的人慢慢的挪,本来一个街区的路挤了整整半个小时才到。人多的吓人。我怕极了小人会被挤丢挤倒,所以不时的把他抱起来或者驮在肩头。这时雨开始越下越大,于是我驮着小人,小人打着伞。小人不时跟我汇报他看到的趣事,“房顶上都站着人!”“房顶上的人在唱歌!”“有人举着一个Angry poop的牌子!” 最后总算是挤到了游乐场,这里居然还有空地,各种爬高的架子上居然留给小朋友玩,没有站满了人!
小人站在游乐场的游戏架上俯视众生。听米粥说他居然站在上面喊口号“No Trump!”


雨密密的下,经常瓢泼,每次大雨一来,所有游行的人就好像唱山歌一样欢呼,小人开心的跟着一起喊一起唱。后来Rally结束终于开始游行,大家慢慢往海湾边走。依然是人山人海,几乎没有什么自主权,只能跟着人流走。大家喊喊口号唱唱歌,小人有样学样,湿得滴滴答答也没有抱怨。


应该不仅仅是旧金山市民倾城而出,不少坐轮渡火车进城来的。据据这个报道,湾区奥克兰的游行人群最大是十万,旧金山五万,圣荷西两万五。

旧金山市政厅开了粉色的灯

更多图片在”游行相册“里

网上看来喜欢的标语牌,IKEA Cabinet那个旧金山也看到很多人用。今天看到的另外一条推很喜欢,“一个76岁的老奶奶被问到新年决心是什么,她说要天天去健身房,好健康活到四年后把川普选下去!”

美第奇,文艺复兴,和十五到十七世纪的意大利史

美国大选结束第二天,豆瓣朋友毛樱桃安慰我说,

文艺复兴时期的佛罗伦萨是一个多么动荡的地方,战争、黑死病、宗教狂烧书烧画、政府一年换一届,There must be more hateful characters seizing power, but arts and sciences flourished despite that. Let’s find solace and inspiration in this.

当时看得我很感动,今夜重读依然忍不住流泪。心里记下有机会要去读一读那段历史。

然后一个星期前Netflix开始放”美第奇家族“第一季。我兴冲冲去看。结果只是一盘眼睛糖果的快餐。据说跟历史几乎没有任何关系。按说美第奇这么充满传奇的家族,跟着历史拍应该素材足够。不知道为什么反而大段大段的抄袭”教父“!

medici经朋友介绍开始读Paul Stratherrn的美第奇家族这书。好看的放不下。一个星期早晚班车上加上偶尔晚上不用工作的时间读完了。意外之喜是把我看过的狼厅里的亨利八世的种种狗血事件和1453那本关于康斯坦丁堡陷落的事件都连贯起来。心里开始对十四十五十六世纪的欧洲历史有了一个模糊的轮廓。

一边看书一边把七年前去意大利的照片和地图翻出来对照着看。疯狂的想念意大利。值得一去再去!

小时候历史课上肯定背过文艺复兴的定义。但是长大后也只看过一本Iring Stone的米开朗基罗传记(The Agony and The Estacy )。所以脑海里只记住了文艺复兴对艺术的影响。看完这书才明白,几乎我喜欢热爱的一切都要感谢文艺复兴,从绘画,雕塑,建筑,到人文主义(Humanism),到严谨的科学研究方法,到现代天文学,到歌剧,古典音乐,统统都是文艺复兴的产物。而如果没有美第奇家族的庇护和金钱,这一切都可能被扼杀在摇篮里!人类是有多么的幸运!除了家喻户晓的达芬奇,波提切利,米开朗基罗,伽利略,鲁本斯,拉斐尔,布鲁内莱斯基 (Brunelleschi), 皮科。看了这书还知道两个历史学家也跟这个家族息息相关:马基雅维利(Machiavelli) 和奎齐亚迪尼(Guicciardini)。

心潮澎湃,挑几条印象深刻的说几句。

1。金融和赋税

书开篇讲当时的银行业如何运作就看得我很嗨。十五世纪而已啊!已经有了现在金融业依赖的”交易中心“(exchange) 和信用的概念。然后那么多的银行倒闭因为借钱给皇家,数额太高结果自己资金无法运转等等,这么多有趣的细节,电视剧不去拍多可惜啊!更不要提美第奇在翡冷翠执政后开始推广的财产税(catasto “register of property”)这种有趣的赋税制度前因后果,多么好的素材!

2。中世纪(“黑暗时代”)

Dark Age这个词我虽有听说,但是并没有甚解。Strathern这书言简意骇的讲述了它的前因后果。中世纪的黑暗成因有二,一是罗马帝国的突然陷落造成了文化断层。然后基督教的崛起选择性的限制了整个欧洲的视野(简直是明朝下令全民不得下海一个做派阿!所以基督教下面的欧洲也算是某种大一统吧?)。我这才明白为什么写“哈德良回忆录”的尤瑟纳尔 说哈德良的时代人们还是自由的。”This Second Century appeals to me because it was the last century, for a very long period of time, in which men could think and express themselves with full freedom. ” 而文艺复兴成为可能最大功臣其实是阿拉伯学者!

During the Dark Ages, much of this ancient learning [of Ancient Greece and Rome] had simply vanished from Europe; it was preserved only in the Middle East, where it would be enthusiastically taken up by Arabic scholars. In its early years, Islam encouraged philosophical and scientific speculation: to know how the world worked was to know the mind of God. In this way the works of Ancient Greek philosophers, especially the natural philosophers (that is, early scientists), spread throughout the Arabic Empire, which by the eighth century even extended far into Europe– occupying the whole of the Iberian peninsula, reaching into southern France and Italy. When in the thirteenth century great Arabic centres of learning, such as Cordoba and Seville in southern Spain, were retaken by Christian forces, many previously unknown works of the ancient philosophers were rediscovered by Christian scholars.


…translations of Arabic interpretations of Aristotle by such Muslim philosophers as Averroes and Avicenna had cast doubt on the accepted Christian version of Aristotle. ..ironically the unimpeachable authority of Aristotle was being undermined by his own works.  But the rediscovered works of the ancients for the most part included many other Ancient Greek and Roman authors – philosophers, poets, rhetoricians and historians – and these caused some to understand that there had once been an age that far outshone their own, one that emphasised the humanity of humankind, rather than its spirituality. As a result, there was now a new humanism in the air, which began to emphasise freedom of thought, rather than the selfless submission demanded by medieval philosopher-theologians. This humanism encouraged the exploration of human potential, and the expression of humanity, especially in literature, philosophy and all forms of art.

 

3。萨佛纳罗拉 (Savonarola)的”虚荣之火“

我一直以为前进一步退两步的循环式历史是中国特色。看到萨佛纳罗拉才震惊的发现原来世界大同。古今中外的人民都热衷于这种暴力革命,而且一而再再而三,乐此不疲。有历史的教训在前依然飞蛾扑火,损人不利己的狂热总是非常的有感染力。连处在文艺复兴高潮的翡冷翠也会突然抽这种疯!最后弄得民不聊生,本来雄霸Tuscan的翡冷翠丢领土丢商业,饭都吃不上了。

在1497年,他和一群跟随者们在佛罗伦斯市政厅广场点起一堆熊熊大火,萨佛纳罗拉称之为“虚荣之火”。他派遣儿童逐家逐户搜集“世俗享乐物品”,包括:镜子,化妆品,画像,异教书籍,非天主教主题雕塑,赌博游戏器具,象棋,鲁特琴和其他乐器,做工精细的衣着,女人的帽子,和所有古典诗作,然后把搜集起来的这些东西一并扔进火里烧掉。很多文艺复兴时期伟大的艺术品都被这堆火永远的烧掉了。曾经热爱异教主题的著名文艺复兴画家桑德罗·波提切利,晚年也沈溺于萨佛纳罗拉的布道,亲自把很多晚期作品扔进火里。

维基百科萨佛纳罗拉 条目

这难道不是”破四旧“的老祖宗?判依萨佛纳罗拉狂热教的波提切利不就是很多文革时艺术家的先例?

4。马基雅维利(Machiavelli)

又一个耳熟而且大概知道意思但是读了这书才知道他到底是怎样一个人,他的理念又是如何形成的。比方纸牌屋的评论里经常会看到这个词被用来形容男女主角。”为达目的可以不择手段。““政治里面没有道德可谈。” 支持川普希特勒的选民和共和党们应该都是他的理论的信徒吧?”Make Italy Great Again!” 不过虽然实际的不能再实际的马基雅维利都说”… no prince is ever benefited by making himself hated.” 再看今天的美国“President-elect” …

书里还引了马基雅维利一句话,我看到赶紧画下来。

Machiavelli would later remark of these events in his History of Florence: ‘Let no one stir things up in a city, believing that he can stop them as he pleases or that he is in charge of what happens next.’

看Robert Harris的西塞罗三部曲里面,他也引用了一句西塞罗的话,大意是”暴民可以载舟亦可覆舟。“跟这个异曲同工。看得我心里总是略有安慰。领着暴民烧杀抢掠的都没有好下场,罗马共和国时有P. Clodius Pulcher,十四世纪的翡冷翠有第一代美第奇Giovanni的表兄”Salvestro de’ Medici”。横横!

5。歌剧的诞生

Most notably, the musicians of Florence were responsible for the birth of opera, which arose from two distinct sources. On the one hand, there was medieval liturgical drama: holy plays enacted publicly at various times in the Church calendar. Quite separate from these were the classical Greek dramas, with their choric interludes, which were revived and staged by the Florentine humanists. When these two forms were combined, the result was opera: non-religious work incorporating music and drama. The term takes its name from the Italian expression opera in musica (work in music); and the settings of these early operas were usually either legendary or mythical, requiring a new freer musical form such as that favoured by Vincenzo Galilei.

这个Vicenzo Galilei就是伽利略的爹!没错,伽利略的爹是个音乐家!而且对歌剧的诞生有贡献!

6。向意大利学习的法国
虽然当时国力最强的是法国,而翡冷翠在美第奇家族手里越来越破落。但是出自美第奇家族的两个法国王后凯瑟琳和玛利亚教会了法国人享受美食,使得法国菜系得以诞生。巴黎我喜欢的两个花园(Tuileries和Lexumbourg)原来都是她俩建的,仿照翡冷翠的贵族官邸。

7。文艺复兴
这段简短的总结真好。

Renaissance of ancient science showed how this humanism could realise itself in practical application. Renaissance humanism had created a new way of seeing ourselves, Renaissance science would create a new way of seeing the world.