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Monday, February 11, 2013

Vladimir Putin and Julius Caesar


Here is something of a slightly lighter character for this blog.

A number of years ago, a traveling exhibit of Roman statuary came to one of the major museums in Houston.   Among many other beautiful statues, there was a long line of busts; the head and shoulders of many of the Roman emperors.  At the beginning of the line was Julius Caesar.

As I stared at the head of Julius Caesar, I had a strange feeling of familiarity about the face.  It was the face of someone contemporary, someone famous.  Finally I had it!  Julius Caesar resembles Vladimir Putin!  Or, alternatively, Vladimir Putin resembles Julius Caesar.

Take a look.
Vladimir Putin                       Julius Caesar
To me, there's a resemblance:  the high forehead, the slight hollow in the cheeks, the slight twist to the mouth, as if he is waiting for the right moment to say something.

The resemblance raises another question; whether people come in archetypes.  To me, it seems that certain patterns among people recur, perhaps controlled by groups of genes which are inherited together.  Sometimes, physical appearance, abilities, personality, attitudes and gestures occur as a correlated set.  We recognize these archetypes in our humor, in our dramas, in our cartoons.   We look at a new colleague and say silently to ourselves, "Oh, no, not again.  One of THOSE."

Perhaps evolution selected certain patterns which persist in populations today.  A small, near-sighted man, introverted, patient and clever with his hands, might have been a flint-knapper, making arrowheads and spear points for the clan.  Large and strong men, courageous and far-sighted, might have been the hunters.  A woman with sharp mind and memory, and fascinated with plants might have been a healer.  And ambitious, authoritarian leaders have been a part of mankind as long as people have organized themselves in groups.


2 comments:

  1. http://www.rferl.org/content/cossacks-putin-statue-as-roman-emporer/26909584.html

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  2. There is no such thing as evolution though. Evolution is a belief system based on presumptions. I believe in a creator God. For the rest I think your study makes sense. I was just watching a documentary about facts from the days of the old and new testament and I saw a statue image of Caesar and I immediately thought "that is Putin"...

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