rail. As usual, when I stop in Sinaia, I go into the small bookstore in the Center. A long narrow room, suffocated by walls full of books. The history it is on the right, at the entrance, facing the altar where the librarian Juna, also the cashier, officiates. History, History books, it’s theoretically speaking. The volumes of History are mixed with those of Religion. On the shelves reserved only for History, there are no, as in any bookstore in Wallachia, Romanian, as Nae Ionescu called it, a distribution by themes or periods. The criterion is the height of the books. To find the Romanians, I have to do the exercise of bending over and reading the spines from left to right.
Every time I do this experience, I have the chance to discover why people enter this bookstore in a tourist town, where they come with their family and most of the time with their group. Right now, when I was looking for something about the Romanians, leaving aside the History of Poland, an eminently wrong decision (who knows when I will need such a book and have to buy it from Okazii.ro) families pass by me, because I’ve rarely heard of a single intellectual entering here, looking for a certain book, sitting in the bookstore with the puppy in the tourist shopping through Sinaia. They line up all the shops on the main Boulevard and buy all kinds of nonsense. The Bookstore is entered exclusively for the little one, either to get a toy or a storybook.
But now a guy enters who is interested if they keep playing cards. Playing cards? I wonder, amused and convinced that the bookseller will answer that not in an eminently bewildered tone, like, here we keep books – books, books to read and not playing books. The bookseller is not surprised. He answers that yes, they have playing cards, and just then I discover on the bottom shelf, sent there because it is tall, the volume Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. Presentation of the rulers of the Roman Empire reign by reign by Chris Scarre, Romanian version, from RAOof the volume Chronicle of the Roman Emperors, The Reign – by Reign Record second of the Rulers of Imperial Rome from Thames&Hudson LTD. I notice that our translation is printed in Singapore. I have this volume, I consulted it in the case of Tiberius, but I don’t know where I put it, so I took it from Sinaia, and I even read the 10 pages as a reading norm for everything I read now except daily chores. It is a book in a very useful series. Without falling into the sin of vulgarization, she presents in a didactic manner reign by reign. I have never been able to go through all the Roman reigns from Augustus to the last emperor Romulus Augustulus, especially since Edward Gibbons has dealt extensively in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on this side, the most interesting as a history lesson, because it shows how empires also pass. From the first pages I remember this quote about the role of women in the battle for power in Rome. I was concerned about this too, especially when I realized that Livia or Agripinna preferred a certain son not because she loved him more than the others, but because she hoped to manipulate him so that she would rule. The Roman Empire brings into the history of women’s will to power the business of mothers, as ruthless as wives, as ivovnice when it comes to surviving in power:
“Another important theme treated here is the complex role assumed by the women who lived at the palace: mothers, sisters, wives and mistresses. Many were important figures. Livia, the wife of Augustus, is said to have poisoned a whole series of potential successors to the imperial throne, to make way for her son, Tiberius. Agrippina tried to rule Rome through Nero, her son. At the beginning of the 3rd century, two Syrian princesses took care of state affairs, the emperor Elabagal indulged in religious and sexual excesses.”
NOTE: This editorial is taken in its entirety from cristoiublog.ro
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