On This Day: 27 August 1953

In 1953, ‘Roman Holiday,’ starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, had its premiere in New York (27 Aug.)

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Post-lockdown opera performed in Greece’s Herodes Atticus theatre | AFP

The Greek National Opera plays at the Herodes Atticus theatre – an ancient Roman theatre built on the slopes of the Acropolis in Athens. Greek and international opera stars took part in the show which was performed under strict virus safety measures.

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Italy unearths Roman mosaic after century-long hunt | AFP

Archaeologist Gianni De Zuccato discusses the findings after a team of excavators discovered an exquisitely preserved Roman mosaic under a vineyard in northern Italy after a century of searching. The brightly coloured geometric design, partly unearthed outside Negrar di Valpolicella near Verona, is thought to have been part of a villa archaeologists first started looking for in 1922.

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Pompeii archeological site reopens to the public | AFP

Italy’s world-famous archeological site of Pompeii reopens to the public. The country’s second most visited tourist destination after Rome’s Colosseum, Pompeii lays bare nearly perfectly preserved remains of an ancient Roman city covered in volcanic ash nearly 2,000 years ago after the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. IMAGES

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What’s the buzz? Happy locked-down Roman bees to tell all | AFP

While most Romans found Italy’s coronavirus quarantine a real buzz-kill, the city’s bees had a field day. Even as Rome endured a recently ended two-month lockdown, some lucky bees residing in hives atop the headquarters of Italy’s forestry unit of carabinieri were thriving.

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What’s the buzz? Happy locked-down Roman bees to tell all | AFP

While most Romans found Italy’s coronavirus quarantine a real buzz-kill, the city’s bees had a field day. Even as Rome endured a recently ended two-month lockdown, some lucky bees residing in hives atop the headquarters of Italy’s forestry unit of carabinieri were thriving.

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Today in History for August 24th

Highlights of this day in history: Mount Vesuvius erupts, burying two Ancient Roman cities; Hurricane Andrew hits Florida; British troops burn Washington in War of 1812; Pluto demoted as a planet; Pete Rose banned from baseball for life. (Aug. 24)

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How Vespa Scooters Are Made | The Making Of

Vespas are more than just scooters. Over the years, they have become an icon of Italian culture and of the made in Italy itself. They have been featured endlessly on the big screen in movies like Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” or “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn.

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Emotions run high as Holy Staircase reopened in Rome

Emotional pilgrims climb the Scala Santa or Holy Staircase on their knees, for the first time since 1723 when the steps were covered in wooden planks to preserve them. The marble staircase of 28 steps is believed in the Roman Catholic tradition to have been the staircase Jesus Christ walked before his judgement before the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. The steps are open to pilgrims for a short time only, and in two months will once again be covered in wood to protect the soft marble.

Italian far-right party supporters demand deportation of illegal migrants

Hundreds of supporters of the far-right Forza Nuova rallied in the streets of Rome on Sunday. Celebrating National Unity and Armed Forces Day, the far-right party supporters carried banners and smoke flares as they demanded the immediate repatriation of undocumented immigrants. Several Forze Nuova supporters were seen giving the Roman or Nazi salute at the rally.

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Today in History for August 24th

(24 Aug 2018) Highlights of this day in history: Mount Vesuvius erupts, burying two Ancient Roman cities; Hurricane Andrew hits Florida; British troops burn Washington in War of 1812; Pluto demoted as a planet; Pete Rose banned from baseball for life. (Aug. 24)

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Morocco’s ancient city of Volubilis rises again

Situated in a fertile plain at the foot of Mount Zerhoun, the sprawling remains of Morocco’s oldest Roman site — Volubilis — have survived pillage and long periods of neglect. After decades of decay, however, custodians of the now closely guarded ancient city have turned the page and are bringing back the tourists.

The Origins Of The US Military Salute

We are all familiar with the most common form of the US military salute, a respective gesture from a military personnel raising her right hand to eye level. But many may not know where it comes from. In fact, the origins of the US military salute isn’t a clear-cut case. Editor of Army Officer’s Guide and Acting Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, Robert J. Dalessandro, shares his insight about the complicated history of the military salute. Following is a transcript of the video.

Robert J. Dalessandro: The origin of the military salute that we use in all the armed services of the United States is really shrouded in mystery. We really don’t get a good look at what the quote, unquote customs, and traditions are until the Army spells them out around World War I.

In the Army, we say that the tradition certainly goes back to Roman times. If you’ve ever seen any of the Roman movies, the Romans would sometimes slap their chest and put their arm up in the air as a matter of salute. And they say that that salute had an origin to show allegiance from your heart and then to show that you didn’t have a weapon in your fighting hand — that your hand was open and that you’re a friend. That’s one of the very early origin stories.

There’s a second one. One is that in the times of the knight. A knight who saw a friendly knight or to pay tribute to a king would raise the visor of his helmet, to let that person see their face. And then, show an open hand, again that they didn’t have a sword in their hand.

If you think about the act of grabbing the visor of your helmet and lifting it up to show your face, and you think about today’s salute where the right arm is taken up and touches the brim of your headgear, helmet, or soft hat, that is very similar to this medieval era days of knights.

I would say those are the two most common origin stories of the salute. We know that all of these legends and myths that have been passed down to us on how the salute started — they have in common the idea of showing that you are not hostile to the person you’re approaching, that you don’t have a weapon in your hand, and that you are in fact a person that wants to speak with, and perhaps honor the person you are approaching.

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Israel uncovers buried section of Western Wall

Israeli archaeologists in Jerusalem’s Old City unveil a newly unearthed section of the Western Wall and the first Roman public structure ever discovered in the city, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Russia puts Crimea on new bank note

Russia on Thursday presented a new bank note that shows images of Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014. The note, worth 200 rubles ($3.50), shows a naval memorial in the city of Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based, and UNESCO-protected Greek and Roman ruins at nearby Chersonesus. The design also includes a map of the peninsula.

Marble Helped Scholars Whitewash Ancient History (HBO)

Polychromy in ancient statues and the whiteness of marble without paint has made both the Roman and Greek antiquity seem like they were all white. This was done on purpose by scholars in the 18th and 19th century who purposefully whitewashed those periods and pointed to the whiteness of the marble as proof that those worlds, which had people from all “races” (the term wasn’t really relevant back then) were also white. VICE News Tonight walks through the Art Institute with polychromy expert Sarah Bond.

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Mafia made money from migrants but we’re cleaning up the system – Rome mayor, Virginia Raggi

At the forefront of Europe’s refugee crisis, Rome is struggling with growing numbers of migrants. Arriving at Italy’s shores, they head north into the capital – in search of work and refuge, but instead face the Roman mafia, aiming to profit from their misfortunes. The city’s administration has promised an overhaul of the system – but is it succeeding? Can the Five Star Movement win the war against Rome’s criminal gangs? We ask the first woman to head one of Europe’s most important capital cities – the mayor of Rome and member of Italy’s Five Start Movement Virginia Raggi is on SophieCo to talk about this and more.

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Good Friday in Mexico: Volunteers join ‘Engrillados’ ceremony w/ cacti thorns stuck into their limbs

The men volunteered to cover their faces with masks, put a crown of thorns on their heads and have cacti thorns stuck into their limbs, to join ‘Engrillados’ ceremony – celebrations of Good Friday – the first Friday before Easter, which marks the date of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion by the Roman authorities.

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Drone buzzes Palmyra as Syrian army fights to retake nearby mountains (EXCLUSIVE)

Exclusive RUPTLY drone footage captured Friday showed the liberated city of Palmyra, taken back from self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), backed by Russian Air Force on Thursday. The city is now fully cleared of IS militants and government troops have seized strategic heights south of the city, carrying on with their offensive eastwards. Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, fell to IS in 2015. The Syrian government liberated the city from IS terrorists in March 2016 but lost it again several months later. After seizing the city for the second time, IS destroyed part of the Roman theater and legendary Tetrapylon.

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