Adventus kneeling as an act of conquest, not protest

The 62-year-old Nash was eminently qualified for his leading role in the events of the day. He was a Mississippian by birth, raised in Oktibbeha County. In 1908, he was widely regarded as “a representative man of Mississippi,” a prominent Starkville attorney who had served several terms in the state Legislature and one term as the state’s attorney general.

Imagine what Paul would have seen had he visited Aphrodisias. Imagine you are walking in the middle of that city on a busy street and turn in under one of the arches of a beautiful two-story marble monumental gate. You slow down for a moment in its shade, but soon rejoin the sun’s glare on a glistening east-west plaza, 46 feet wide, 40 feet high on both sides, and 300 feet long. It is like entering a roofless funnel as long as a football field.


To your left and right are parallel three-story-high galleria line with bulky Doric Columns on the bottom level, sleek iconic columns on the middle level, and ornate Corinthian columns on the third and upper level. Your eyes are drawn up along those columns toward the terra-cotta roof….[b]ut they are drawn more forcibly along the length of the plaza’s funnel to the temple at its far end….Walking toward the temple…you look up at those high galleries on either side and see something that is unique in all the Greco-Roman world. Between the columns on the upper two levels of both sides are 180 5-by-5 foot panels sculpted in high relief.

….On the middle level, history is absorbed into that mythical framework above it by a series of conquered peoples, personified as elegantly dressed female standing on inscribed bases, extending across the entire sweep of the Roman Empire and emphasizing military victories under Augustus. To your right, in the south gallery’s two upper levels, is the same celebration of war and conquest, the same absorption of history into myth, the same creation of Roman imperial theology.

A first panel is iconographically simple and still somewhat historical. It depicts an idealized world-conquering Julio-Claudia emperor, not armored but naked except for a black cloak, standing in the center. To his right is a battle trophy above a kneeling and weeping barbarian prisoner who hands are tied behind her back. To his left is a female figure, either the Roman people or the Senate, crowning him with an oak wreath. A second panel is iconographically more complex and much more cosmic.

That second panel depicts a nude Claudius (indicating, from Greek iconography, divine status) receiving a cornucopia from a female figure, indicating peace and prosperity (no war, plenty of food) and another female figure giving Claudius an oar, to indicate power over the sea (no more pirates). "It displays divine control of both Land and Sea."

Like, say, blacks in America, who should remain subjugated by whites. Monuments are placed by people in power to remind everyone who is in power, and why. There’s a reason the largest Confederate War monument on the Texas Capitol Grounds is placed directly in front of the Capitol building, and close to the entrance to the Capitol grounds on Congress Avenue (which leads directly away from the front door of the Capitol, ruler-straight down to the Colorado River). It is a statement of who is in power; that is the "history" some do not want to "erase."

“Just this past year, what did he call Hispanics?” he added. “He called Hispanics breeders, like they were animals, like they were dogs, like they were mules. We’ve seen it time and time again. So he uses that language, and what does it move to? It moves to a policy where infants are ripped from their mother’s breasts at the border, separated and possibly orphaned for life. There actually is precedent here.”