Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The doom that came to Florence

Where once had risen walls of 300 cubits and towers yet higher, now stretched only the marshy shore, and where once had dwelt fifty millions of men now crawled only the detestable green water-lizard. Not even the mines of precious metal remained, for DOOM had come to Sarnath. -- H.P. Lovecraft, "The Doom that Came to Sarnath"



Images courtesy Miguel Martinez


  1. Italica was a famous Roman Colony in Spain, where philosophers, emperors Trajano, Adriano & Teodosio I the Great, were born.
    Centuries after it was a ruin a famous Spanish poet visited the ruins and wrote a poem
    "las torres que desprecio al aire fueron
    a su gran pesadumbre se rindieron."
    The towers that despised the air
    to its great weight surrendered.

  2. Estos, Fabio, ¡ay dolor!, que ves ahora
    campos de soledad, mustio collado,
    fueron un tiempo Itálica famosa.
    Aquí de Cipión la vencedora
    colonia fue; por tierra derribado
    yace el temido honor de la espantosa
    muralla, y lastimosa
    reliquia es solamente
    de su invencible gente.
    Sólo quedan memorias funerales
    donde erraron ya sombras de alto ejemplo
    este llano fue plaza, allí fue templo;
    de todo apenas quedan las señales.
    Del gimnasio y las termas regaladas
    leves vuelan cenizas desdichadas;
    las torres que desprecio al aire fueron
    a su gran pesadumbre se rindieron.
    Este despedazado anfiteatro,
    impío honor de los dioses, cuya afrenta
    publica el amarillo jaramago,
    ya reducido a trágico teatro,
    ¡oh fábula del tiempo, representa
    cuánta fue su grandeza y es su estrago!

  3. These empty cities must be heaven for architecture photographer. Some art press should cut a deal with the Italian government, round up qualified photographers and start a series.

    I was blessed to experience NYC like this for a few hours after a near hurricane miss in the 1990's that had emptied the city. I sat tight in my employer's tower, waiting for the rain to stop. When I emerged around 1AM I had the whole city to myself! I walked home (a hour-long walk) and met only one cat and no human, whether on foot or in a car. I even got bold enough to walk down the middle of Park Avenue since there were no cars. It was magical.

  4. And the Phoenix arises from the ashes.

    Perhaps Humans were only a transitory life-form - terra-forming the Planet for the next inhabitants.

    Check out the American Movie - "The Hollywood Knights" to witness how things change over time. Remember - that even at one time - Florence was but a wilderness.

    "Nothing stays the same" and we all must learn to adapt.


    The latest video from "Master of Disaster" Roland Emmerich (RE) :D


  6. Real terrible what Italy's going through at present. Never imagined it would be that bad. Can only hope the wonderful people of Italy will pull through the present Inferno like Dante did.

    I once knew a certain Sister Raffaella Mantovanelli from Suore Canossiane, Verona. Haven't been in touch with her for a few years now. Wonder how she's doing. Can only hope all's well with her and will remain so...

  7. picture number 1 is a hideous cosmic abomination, a blasphemy to the gods of earth. so big a concentration of large animals in one place and in close proximity is an abhorance to entropy and attrition. of disease and decay. of the natural laws that govern the universe. those who worship at the altar of the false gods of eternal growth, progress and stability will call forth their inevitable DOOM and the tottering cyclopean towers of futility built to human hubris will totter and collapse into the eternal abyss, watched impassively by the gibbous moon and the grey toad. picture 2 is the glorious natural outcome of picture 1.



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)