News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

March 12, 2013

RONN MOTT: Catching up

Who would have thought my story of ancient Rome and the use of Roman numerals in my lead in would lead to such a hubbub.

It was really something. I guess it goes to show if you write about something people are interested in, they will respond. But who would have thought it would be about Roman numerals?

Obviously, I don’t know as much about them as I thought I did. And many of you discovered it when I wrote the article. My knowledge of Roman numerals was restricted to a first semester Latin class in high school where it was touched on briefly.  

The only thing I was interested in during that Latin class was how to get out of it alive. (That is to say with a passing grade.)

I was in my sophomore year and for some strange reason had made the baseball team and we had ball games in the afternoon about the same time this Latin class met. That did not help my grade point at all.

But I struggled through it and did manage to get out of the class by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. We took a little bit of time in that class to study Roman numerals, but it was no more than three or four days.

I want to thank all who sent emails to the Tribune-Star, wrote me letters and, in general, were showing that people do read the local paper, for which everybody at the paper, including me, are grateful.  

I still wonder about the Roman Empire. It was a two-sided coin; law, literature, history, architecture, and buildings and arenas that are still standing. The other side of that coin is death in the arenas and death to those who defied the Roman legions at the village gate. I suspect they may say the very same thing about us, if we last as long as Rome. There is some uncertainty in the matter.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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