I’ve been reading a lot about the Roman Empire on Wikipedia lately. While surfing the internet the other day, I stumbled across this little anecdote from the first century A.D. which I found especially timely and applicable to a similar current event from Provo culture:
“In the year 2 A.D. there lived a pair of poets in the town of Provicus, a village right next to Rome. Provicus was so close to Rome, in fact, that they were only separated by a small pathway, Universidad Viae.
One of these poets was named Lepidoptera, the other was named Flamma. They often recited their EPIC poems together at the Velourius Theatre, which was on the North edge of the Provicus Forum.
Velourius, along with its neighboring establishment, Muse Musicus, was the cultural hub of Provicus, and since they were located just 100 paces outside of the center of the Forum, the district was dubbed Centum Viae (or 100 road) by poets, musicians, and philosophers of Provicus.
In the beginning of that year, there was no small commotion in Provicus in anticipation of the new EPIC poem from Lepidoptera and Flamma, which was to be recited on February 2nd at Velourius. To proclaim the event through all the land, Flamma got some stone tablets from his father’s company, Garbett Villas, on which to engrave the date for the recital of their EPIC poem. Patrons of Centum Viae were at once elated and mystified when they saw the tablets throughout the Forum, with only this engraved on them:
Shortly after the announcement of their recital, however, Lepidoptera and Flamma were angered to see that a nearby tavern, Sammicus Broganium, conveniently announced that an EPIC toga party would be held on the same night at the bath right next to the tavern (this was especially odd, since at the time everyone wore togas all the time anyway).
Sammicus Broganium was known to attract students from the nearby school, Zoobius Maximus, which emphasized study of the gods and whose students were know for the wearing of a wool cloth between the feet and the sandal. The students of Zoobius were especially drawn to Sammicus Broganium because of a popular drink in which baked bread was fermented into wine. Sammicus Broganium didn’t invent this drink, but nevertheless they were angered whenever other taverns in Provicus “stole their idea”.
Back to our friends the two poets, imagine their surprise the following day when they began to see tablets all over the forum with “II.II.II” engraved in large strokes on the top of the tablets, with small writing on the bottom directing people to the EPIC toga party at the bath by the tavern!
When the Centum Viae community confronted Sammicus Broganium about this obvious attempt to distract from Lepidoptera and Flamma’s poem recital, Sammicus brushed it off, saying that the similarities in the tablets was a mere coincidence. Besides, he said, the tablets were engraved by Vivinticus, a local merchant known for swindling elderly Romans out of their money by selling them “Invisible Pillars” to protect their Villas.
January came and went, and the night of February second arrived. As the line outside of Velourius wrapped around the Forum borders, they could hear the screams of elation coming from the students of Zoobius at the bath. It was then that they realized that their anger was in vain, for there were truly two EPIC events happening that night in Provicus, and neither group could care less about the other.”
Now I don’t know a lot about Ancient Rome, but I know a thing or two about present-day Orem. Surely it’s no coincidence that on 11.11.11 in the year of our Lord, an EPIC event is happening at Velour Live Music Gallery to celebrate the album release of my good friends, THE MOTH AND THE FLAME.