Of Hunks and History

Well, Ro’mama has been in a bit of a quandary, my little doves. Y’all know how much I love me some good old-fashioned pictures of attractive gentlemen, often taken in close proximity to water — beach shots, bathtub shots, caught-in-the-rain shots, and the ever-popular just plain sweaty shots.

But alas, it has been rather strongly brought to my attention that I was being a bit fast and loose with the sources of those lovely pictures. I had been hanging my little hat on the fact that I was not using the shots to make money and on my taking down any picture upon being asked. Fair use, and all that. And, with my steel-trap legal mind, I still think all that is a good argument against an allegation of copyright infringement.

BUT … (and, like my own, it’s a big but) If I want people to respect my hard work and creativity, I can’t very well go around poaching on theirs. What goes around, comes around, karma is only a b!tch if you are, and so forth. I can imagine my reaction if some book pirate was handing out free downloads of Proof of Love and he tried to tell me it wasn’t technically violating my copyright.

So, I am declaring a moratorium on the hot, wet photos of current celebrities, unless I am sure they are in the public domain or I have permission to post them. I know, but try to cope. Henceforth, I will be picking up on the theme established by my Sizzlin’ Sister, Ms. Rita Bay, and will bring you a more historical approach to hot guys. (Oh, seriously, you didn’t think I wouldn’t be talking about hot guys? This is Ro’mama you’re dealing with!) I will be trying — and maybe occasionally succeeding — at telling you about some of the legendary hot men of history. Not competing with Sister Rita, but more a complement to her posts. I mean, the more we can talk about attractive gentlemen, the better, right?

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Today, August 1, 2012, is an important date in history, though I doubt you will hear much about it. This is the 178th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in most of the British Empire, which in many ways was a watershed moment in Western Civilization. The British had built their empire, after all, on the “Triangle Trade” which hinged on slavery and sugar/rum. Oh, Lord, how the money poured into Merry Olde England while the slave ships were sailing! In spite of determined, often violent, opposition, however, the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade achieved their goal with the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which became effective August 1, 1834.

So that’s the history. What about the hunk?

I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite figures from British history, a merchant’s son from Yorkshire named William Wilberforce. Mr. Wilberforce took his conversion to Christianity seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he became the driving Parliamentary force in freeing his fellow man. Now, in my book, a gentleman who can tell right from wrong (even though everyone seems to disagree with him) and who will go to extreme lengths to protect the less fortunate is a hero. William Wilberforce is the epitome of the passionate English gentleman. And his relationship with his wife, Barbara Spooner, is a true-life romance. His story is told, much more effectively, in the movie, Amazing Grace, which you should watch as soon as possible.

And once you realize that Amazing Grace showcases the — ahem — talents, shall we say, of Ioan Gruffudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rufus Sewell, Youssou N’Dour and Ciaran Hinds, I think I have the “hunk” part of this post more than covered. Here’s a link to the IMDB page, which does have plenty of pictures of the gentlemen in question:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454776/

note: this image in the public domain: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:William_wilberforce.jpg

A bientot, my loves!

Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History: Zeus on Olympus

This  Moonday begins the celebration of the Olympics. Zeus (Roman name – Jupiter) was the king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus.  He was the god of the sky, thunder, weather, law, order, and fate. His symbols included the thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, scepter and scales. He was depicted as a regal, mature man with a sturdy figure and dark beard. His attributes included the royal scepter and the lightning bolt. His sacred animals were the eagle and the bull.

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia in Greece is one of the Ancient Wonders of the World. The sculpture was considered the most famous artistic work in all of Greece and the pagan Greeks believed the statue of Zeus on Olympus was the god himself. It was created by the famous Greek sculptor Phidias circa 450 BC.  The statue was located at the site of the Olympic Games where once every four years since 776 BC truce was declared across Greece to give safe passage to the athletes to travel to compete in the holy games.In the 2nd century AD, Pausanias wrote a very detailed description of the sculpture and its throne. Images of the statue survive on ancient coins.  The seated statue of Zeus itself was about 43 feet tall and 22 feet wide. The technique by which the statue was constructed is chryselephantine, where gold-plated bronze and ivory sections were attached to a wooden frame. The figure’s skin itself was of ivory and the beard, hair and robe of gold.  Zeus’ cedar wood throne was adorned with gold, ebony, ivory and inlaid with precious stones. Zeus held the figure of crowned Nike, the goddess of victory and his left hand held a scepter with an eagle perched on the top. Carved into the chair were figures of Greek gods and mystical animals.

The statue was damaged by an earthquake in 170 BC and repaired. In the early 4th century AD, the Emperor Constantine ordered that all gold be stripped from pagan shrines. One story claims that after the Olympics were abolished in 392 AD by a Theodosius, a Christian Emperor who viewed the games as a pagan rite, it was taken to Constantinople where it was destroyed by fire in 475 AD.  Others claim that it burned with the temple in 425. In the 1950s, the workshop at Olympia was discovered where Phidias sculpted the statue.  Among the tools and moulds, a cup was discovered inscribed “I belong to Pheidias.”

Next Moonday, More Heroic Hunks on the Olympics   Rita Bay

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