When it comes to the solving of ancient mysteries, there is still one which remains unresolved in an ancient Roman town, Campania, in Italy’s West, just southeast of Naples. Here, the once thriving city of Pompeii has lied within a settlement of homes and villas, buried under about twenty feet of radio-active soot, 79AD. Since Napoleon’s initial excavation in 1748, most of the city’s foundations have remained intact; its walls reveal wondrous frescoes and mosaic tiled images that betray an agricultural culture fond of family, music, and festival. Although much of what remains at this site relays a culture of peace, its walls give many clues about its past as repeated struggles for power over the State by political entities.

     The Oscans, a race related to the Alba Longa, and descendants of the Trojan warrior, Aenas, established this settlement in 753BC. We know that the catastrophe occurred just hours before a spontaneous explosion of ash and lava from Mount Vesuvius. But no one knows what excruciating panic these Roman citizens must have endured before they suffocated from heat and lack of oxygen and became permanently petrified. The path leading away from the brick Via dell’ Abbondanza, once Pompeii’s main street, stretches long and empty. The Pompeii ampitheatre supports Rome’s history of aggressive struggles, a deadly brawl occurred between Pompeiians and Nucerians during the games, C. 59 AD.

     The ruined, centuries old Schola Armatorum, House of the Gladiators, provides evidence for the Romans’ intense military propaganda, which lived on long after the Roman empire’s decline. Many mosaic images display warriors in combat positions, engaged in military training. Their attire included shield, helmet, mail vest, and sword. But the tenets of this declined, yet magnificent context should not be studied in retrospect of its glorified past, but in anticipation of a culture that thrived on aggressive tactics for survival and finally disintegrated. The character of the ancient Romans still lives on through idealized tales of heroism, yet their world bore little similarity to today’s, where co-operation and compromise rather than aggression are the foremost traits of peaceful countries united in goals to assist and befriend.

     Lesson plans based on the history of divided nationalities are best harmonized with that of younger countries with limited past struggles. Canada is an example of a country formed through peace and co-operation rather than intense military operations. Our celebration of Canada’s one hundred and fiftieth birthday should set an example for many generations to come, to stay free, to be strong.

     Though often at debate, 1867 symbolizes the start of a constitution and dominion between three separate regions: Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. They became united under the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. That act was signed by John A. Macdonald in 1867 and became effective right on July 1st.

     Since Canada has been around since 9000BC and earlier, it offers much in the way of study. Unlike ancient Rome’s agricultural economy, in 7000 BCE, Canadian west coast culture was based on salmon fishing and whaling. In 6000 BCE, the buffalo and Plains Indians settlements became prominent, where Indians hunted and herded buffalo off cliffs. In 1000AD, Viking communities emerged in Newfoundland and Labrador. All these unique cultures faced similar issues European countries did.

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