Plutarch’s Lives in Paint: From Theseus to Caius Marius

The Eclectic Light Company

Over the last six months, I have been summarising some of the biographies in Plutarch’s Lives (or Parallel Lives, if you prefer) and showing some of the great paintings which have been made in response. In this and next week’s articles to close this series, I include excerpts which tell some of the more memorable stories, with the very best of the paintings. I hope that you enjoy this small selection.

Theseus, founding father of Athens

Theseus was a swashbuckling hero who went through life with the aid of a series of murders and more than a couple of rapes too. He became a close friend of Peirithoüs, and when the latter married Deidameia, he invited Theseus to the wedding in the country of the Lapiths.

Unfortunately, Peirithoüs also invited some centaurs to the feast, and when they had too much to drink, they started to carry off Lapith women…

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Hieronymus Bosch: the life of a great Master

The Eclectic Light Company

We may have come to know a great deal about Bosch’s imagination and his imagery, but we know precious little about the man. It is thought that he was born in about 1450, and, although we know that he was buried on 9 August 1516, we do not know the date of his death.

braunshertogenbosch Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg, Panorama of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (1572), in Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Band 1, 1572 (Ausgabe Beschreibung vnd Contrafactur der vornembster Stät der Welt, Köln 1582), Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Germany. Wikimedia Commons.

He spent much of his life in the small North Brabant city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, known today more commonly as Den Bosch. Over the period of his life, the city was flourishing, although when he was still a boy, in June 1463, about 4,000 of its houses were destroyed in a catastrophic fire, an event which surely lived vividly in his memory.

lakenmarktshertogenbosch Unknown, The Draper’s…

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Special Service’s Agent: Attack On Russia is Being Prepared


While the Pentagon accuses Russia of fomenting false fears of a Daesh/ISIS threat in Central Asia – see Sputnik’s article on this — new reports of an American push to attack Russia militarily via Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and are now emerging.  We’re reposting here Catehon’s May 19 article on this topic by Andrey Afanasyev.

Sources in the Russian law enforcement agencies, citing data from closed communication channels with the Defense Ministries of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, say that the operation to prepare a large-scale hybrid offensive against Russia through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is in the final phase.

Reports of this have been received earlier, in particular, this was mentioned at a recent security conference held in Tashkent. Then the head of the Tajik Foreign Ministry Sirodzhiddin Aslov openly announced the activation of terrorists in the region:

The activation of terrorist groups, their advancement to the northern regions of Afghanistan…

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Russian Missile Tech has Made America’s Trillion Dollar Navy Obsolete


by Dmitry Orlov, via Russia Insider, April 21, 2018

Times have changed and America can no longer project its military power like it did in Iraq. Those days are over.

For the past 500 years European nations—Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, France and, briefly, Germany—were able to plunder much of the planet by projecting their naval power overseas. Since much of the world’s population lives along the coasts, and much of it trades over water, armed ships that arrived suddenly out of nowhere were able to put local populations at their mercy.

The armadas could plunder, impose tribute, punish the disobedient, and then use that plunder and tribute to build more ships, enlarging the scope of their naval empires. This allowed a small region with few natural resources and few native advantages beyond extreme orneriness and a wealth of communicable diseases to dominate the globe for half a millennium.


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Alexander Shulgin to the OPCW


The following is the unofficial translation of the statement made by Alexander Shulgin, the head of Russian delegation at the OPCW, at that body’s April 18 Executive Council meeting at the Hague.   The text is provided by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands.

Mr. Chairperson,

I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, “A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes”.

This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth.

The United Kingdom has entered this slippery path. We can clearly see all of this on the example of…

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The Rapidly Evolving Skripal Story: Evidence of the Destruction of an Anglo-American Plan


by James O’Neill

On 4th of March 2018 former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were found on a park bench in Salisbury England at 16. 15 hours in an unconscious state.

They were tended to by a number of passers by who included a doctor, an off duty nurse and some civilians. It was not known at that stage what had caused the Skripal’s illness. No one had any reason to believe that they were the victims of any nerve agent, and accordingly took no precautions against such a possibility. Despite the very well documented dangers of even casual contact with nerve agents, none of those helpful citizens suffered any ill-effects.

The Skripals were taken to hospital where they have remained ever since. The public were told that they were both in a coma and unable to communicate in any way. Yet on the morning…

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Victor Rothschild, Soviet Spy

Espionage History Archive

The mystery of Lord Victor Rothschild’s (1910-1990) connections to Soviet intelligence has vexed researchers for over a half century now. As the scion of an ultra-wealthy banking house and confidante to Winston Churchill, Rothschild was an influential figure in Britain’s power elite for decades, occupying key positions in counterintelligence, the energy sector and strategic policy planning. But was he also the notorious Cambridge Spy Ring’s “Fifth Man,” a spy for Moscow who could access the crown jewels of UK secrets?

The Cambridge network – consisting of Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross – has gone down in history as one of Soviet secret service’s most successful penetrations, to the shame of the British establishment. Long after their exposure, Rothschild was well-situated as a grey cardinal of UK politics, seemingly untouchable.

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WATCH: Vladimir Pozner reminds parallel universe inhabitants of a few basic realities


We are posting this mostly uninteresting pseudo-debate purely for what happens in the first few moment. Vladimir Pozner, journalist, tells the anchor man and two other guests some important realities and then leaves, refusing to participate further. The other two guests then proceed to ‘debate’ what are essentially invented issues in an invented reality. It’s a microcosm for the current struggle, which is becoming less about conflicting opinions and more about those prepared to deal with reality and those who refuse to do so.

Full video can be seen here. And thanks to our Twitter friend Bryan MacDonald from whose feed we grabbed this

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US boasts about interfering in sovereign nations while sanctioning Russia for allegedly doing the same


Imagine Vladimir Putin admitted on camera to telling President Nieto of Mexico “fire your state prosecutor or you don’t get the loan we promised you.” Imagine he joked about this overt interference in another sovereign country, imagine he revelled in it as a sign of his country’s power and supremacy. What would the mainstream media headlines be? How many times would the clip be played on CNN, the BBC and Sky News? How many people in the world would not be aware he had said these words? Proof at last that Russia is meddling in the affairs of other nations. Well, how many of those news outlets played this on a loop for their viewers? [starts at 51m]

Here’s the transcript:

BIDEN: I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they…

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