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Egyptian stelae 1,800 BC excavated in Malta in 1829 are from Egypt

Learning from Egyptian stelae from Malta Jeremy Young, Marcel Marée, Caroline Cartwright and Andrew Middleton Tuesday 01 August 2023 at 3:07 pm

In 1829, four Egyptian stelae dated 1,800 BC were found on Malta

During the excavations for the foundations of the hospital in 1829, four Egyptian stelae came to light. They were excavated by Mr J.B. Collings, who sent them to the British Museum in 1836, where they have registration numbers EA 218, EA 233, EA 287 and EA 299.

"Based on their far-flung findspot, some have suggested that the stelae were locally made by Egyptian colonists who had settled on the island during the second millennium bc. This contribution argues that the stelae offer no basis for such historical reconstructions. Style, content and petrology demonstrate that all four stelae were made in Egypt and that they originally stood in the necropolis of Abydos in Upper Egypt. Microfossils show that these stelae are made of Egyptian limestones, which are of a different geological age to limestones available on Malta" Egyptian stelae from Malta.

The British Museum stelae suggest that each was destined to be set up in Abydos, the cult centre of the god Osiris. The stela EA 233, the British archaeologists tell us, principal inscription addresses ‘those living on earth, every wab priest, every lector priest, every scribe and every ka servant who may pass by this eternal stela’. Those reading tell all that they should recite an offering prayer for the benefit of all those commemorated on the monument. The version of the prayer inscribed on EA 233 invokes the king and ‘Osiris, lord of Abydos’

On EA 233, between the two deities, the living king is also represented – through a cartouche. This contains the thronename of Amenemhat III, who is said to be ‘beloved’ of both gods; his mention dates the stela to c.1855–1808 bc

Maltese found Egyptian archaeology artifact 1800BC

Upper part of stela EA 233 from the Twelfth Dynasty, from the reign of Amenemhat III (1855–1808 BC) in British Museum

It has been suggested that the stelae came to Malta in Roman times or at some other point...

Read more Egyptian stelae 1,800 BC excavated in Malta in 1829 are from Egypt

How to Improve Audience Engagement. Learning from Ancient Greece

Learning from Fi Do Performance by Manifesto Poetico Tuesday 11 July 2023 at 10:18 am

Presented by Nataša Pantović 

Athenian culture was ‘cast’ directly through theatre, it was moulded, and remoulded now inhabit not only our dreams, but our history, or legal speeches, philosophical dialogues, love thoughts or the interior decor of houses. Internet culture is “cast” directly through Internet and Society still places a great premium on entertainers who fit the bill while the rest is badly paid or not paid at all.

Modern psychologists argue that the origins of theatre archetypal roles lie deep in human beings collective sub consciousness, manifested in the repertoire of every human culture at any point of time. When the travel was limited, theatre had the function of philosophers, prophets and historians. Aristotle suggests using feelings. Laughter, fear, was most commonly used: Gladiator fights, slaves with lions, etc. Exploiting the mood of the crowd.

Following own research, I was particularly interested in Ancient Greek Improvisation Triangle from The Theatrical Cast of Athens:

To use the Dicaeopolis actor’s words, “A ‘must appear to be’ B in the eyes the audience. In this triangular process, two parties exist and are present: A (the actor) and C (the spectator). But B - the role - is improvised. B could be an animal, a symbol, or a god. B could be dead, as yet unborn.”

The actors were called: Apollo-dorus (embedded with Apollo’s spirit). In Greek myth, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo (Sun), a virgin huntress, the Greek goddess of the Moon. At Ephesus, Turkey, we find remains of an Artemis (Ἄρτεμις ) Temple destroyed the very same day when Alexander the Great was born. When asked why wasn't she able to protect her own home, the temple in Ephesus, that was burnt by madmen in 356 BC, she said that she was in Pella, the capital of Macedonia (near Thessaloniki), assisting at Olympius and Philip son's birth. The Temple was so impressive that it was together with Egyptian pyramids listed as one of the 7 wonders of the world.

Aristotle tells us of star actors like Theodorus who travelled the Mediterranean world with great acts of Antigone, Electra, and Hecuba.

Theatre is perceived as being more about viewing. Or is it?

Theoros the one who leaves to participate in a religious or state rituals where participation is a must (singing to God or King). The theoros is an engaged witness of the political or religious life, an ambassador.

The idea of exploring the world through theatre, Plato uses to describe the audience chained to their chairs in the cave. Plato’s Republic excludes art.

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A Brief History of Poetry

Friday 19 May 2023 at 2:00 pm

Poetry as an oral form is the oldest form of expression

by Nataša Pantović

The use of rythm, repetition, and hypnosis by shamans and politicians from around the planet, in larger poetic units is common in both: religious and village people’s poetry. In Balkans, African or Asian cultures, performance poetry is accompanied by various local instruments.

The earliest poetry kept the memory of genealogy, or law alive. Poetry is closely related to musical traditions. The most famous because it was the oldest was written by Sumerian priestess Enheduanna, celebrating Goddess Moon, SiN, in the form of chant using a priest vs congregation response, blessings altered by all, etc. identical to today’s Christian liturgy. Chants are usually devoted to God / Goddess.

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To philosophize is to learn how to die

Learning from Lecture Notes on an Ancient Idea by Dr Kurt Borg Friday 14 April 2023 at 11:07 am

A few days ago I found myself in a lecture entitled: To philosophize is to learn how to die Notes on an Ancient Idea by Dr Kurt Borg

  by Nataša Pantović

"To philosophize is to learn how to die" this is how Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century French writer puts it, quoting Cicero, who is thinking of Socrates condemned to death.


The Death of Socrates by French painter Jacques Louis David in 1787, the story of the execution of Socrates as told by Plato in his Phaed located in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The founding figure of Western philosophy, Socrates (469-399 BC) left no writings, was the teacher of Plato and is best known for his style of teaching, asking question until his students arrived at own understanding. Socrates’ learning to die is bound with the question of the immortality of the soul. Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens and sentenced to death. He had to drink the cup of poisonous.

Socrates’ death is bound with the question of the immortality of the soul: how does one transcend it so as to come back resurrected, or immortal.

  Lecture: To philosophize is to learn how to die by Dr Kurt Borg

Michel de Montaigne’s “To philosophize is to learn how to die” was an essay he had published. Montaigne has lived through three tragedies in quick succession. His best friend died of the plague in 1563, not long after, his father and his brother died. Soon after he had a dangerous horse accident, Montaigne, who was a successful lawyer, retired from public life at the age of 38. Montaigne found himself terrified of his own death.

Montaigne says that he developed the habit of having death all the time with him. Montaigne tells us: “He who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”

In this view, a life lived well, is one that comprehends death.

T.S. Eliot said, we have to see the skull beneath the skin.

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Richard England

THIS HOLY EARTH Wednesday 05 April 2023 at 2:43 pm

  by Nataša Pantović

Yesterday, I was privileged to listen to FFA (a Maltese NGO: All for Environment) organised interview, with Richard England discussing his life and work, people he admired and learned from, and his need to create architecture with love.

One of the first anecdotes Richard has narrated was when he had returned home in 1962 after completing his studies at the University of Milan and an 18 month apprenticeship in the studio of Gio Ponti. When Richard showed his father (also an architect) the recommendation letter that he got from Ponti (the Italian architect was his father's favourite), praising his work, his father, has decided to entrust him with the commission of the Manikata Church. It was the small Parish Church of Saint Joseph in a village of Malta. The church was built by around 500 of the area’s farmers on a volunteer basis.

Manikata Parish Church designed by Richard England

Manikata Parish Church designed by Richard England

The farmers wished to build a church with a bigger dome than the village next door. The new church’s unorthodox form and the young architect’s new ideas have been published in the prestigious Architectural Review. The publication served as a sign of authority for the villagers and the Church to embrace it. “We cut the stone, one by one.” Recalled Richard. Now, to draw a building is easy but making a building is like fighting a war. Once you make a sketch, you are against so many forces: the client, builders, planners, and you have to present your ideas to the public.

The architect’s first project was followed by a string of important works – the Garden for Myriam in St. Julians, which is dedicated to his wife, an extension at the University of Malta, St Francis of Assisi Church in Qawra. He also worked in Baghdad and Belgrade.

'Mythopoli' series Richald England drawing

'Mythopoli' series Richald England drawing

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