13 July 2010

Books 'n' things

Gidday world.

It's a pretty nippy world down here now - we've had a series of beautiful, clear winter days, but of course that means serious frosts too. Yesterday it was -3degC, today -4degC, tomorrow.... probably another frost, although there was a slight breeze at sunset so maybe not. One can hope. The biggest problem about the frost is having to leave before sunrise - it took 6L of water to defrost the front and back windscreens of the car this morning, and it took me nearly an hour and a half to get into Wellington because there were three fender-benders on State Highway 2... that's three times longer than usual. However, it was really beautiful - there were even patterns on my windscreen from the frost, which I've never seen like that before, and the Rimutakas at the head of the Hutt Valley are covered in snow. Gorgeous against the peachy sunset sky on my way home tonight!

I've been pottering around doing a mix of university study and pursuing some of my own reading (always something on the go!). I decided in the weekend that it was time to dip into some of my love of history, particularly ancient history, again, and when we raided the library I came away with an armful of interesting stuff. The one I started last night is called God's Gold: the quest for the lost Temple treasure of Jerusalem (Dr Sean Kingsley). I'm always a sucker for a good treasure hunt, whether real or not, but this book attracted me because it was written by an archaelologist and specialist in this field - yes it's written for a slightly less scholarly market, but still by someone who works in the field. My jury is still out: it's an entertaining read and some very interesting stuff in there, but I'm waiting to see how well he backs up his conclusions.

The question he's trying to answer is fascinating: what happened to the treasure of the Second Jewish Temple after the sack of Jerusalem in 70AD? We know that it was taken to Rome by Titus and displayed as part of the Triumph, but after that? Where did it go? Was it melted down? Was it used to finance the rebuilding of Rome (the author suggests that quite a bit of the specie may have been used to pay for the building of the Colosseum)? Or did it go somewhere else entirely?

I'm itching to find out, so I'll love you and leave you to your own quest for knowledge and truth!

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