Roman Monkey Garden Tour

So, a few blogs ago Kongo let it slip out that he was now a docent at the Getty Villa in Malibu.  The Villa is part of the Getty Museum complex in Los Angeles.  The Villa houses the Getty’s collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts and the architecture is designed after a real Roman villa discovered beneath 100 feet of volcanic material in Herculaneum on the Bay of Naples in Italy.  Herculaneum along with Pompeii and a few other Roman towns were completely buried when Mt. Vesuvius blew its top on August 24 in A.D. 79. Anyway, back to…

Liver Reading for Dummies

Just when you thought it was safe to visit a museum, the Getty Villa in Malibu, California turned a bunch of Haruspices loose on an unsuspecting public.  A Haruspex, in case your mind has temporarily gone blank, is a person trained to divine the will of the gods in entrails — particularly sheep entrails.  In other words, a Haruspex is a liver reader.  (Kongo knows you knew that, right?)  Indeed, the word haruspex is a combination of two pretty old words:  haru, which means entrails and spec, which means to observe or to look at.  (spectacles — get it?)  You should remember these terms…

Monkey Docent

For the past few months the monkey has been pretty busy and hasn’t posted much on his blog.  It’s not that he’s a lazy monkey (well maybe a little lazy).  Instead he’s been cramming his simian head with facts and figures about ancient Rome.  He’s now a site docent at the Getty Villa in Malibu.  Yup, that’s d-o-c-e-n-t as in cultured monkey, Roman monkey, and well, scholarly monkey. Kongo has learned the ins and outs of Corinthian columns, Ionic columns, and doric columns.  He knows why acanthus leaves grace Corinthian capitals and can discourse on the nature of compluviums and…

Cooking at the Getty Villa

Kongo headed to the Getty Villa on the Malibu coast on Friday to dine with the gods.  No really.  He attended a culinary workshop titled “Dining with the Gods” based on a real menu that would have been served up at a villa on the shores of the Gulf of Naples early in the first century.  The Getty Villa is inspired by the floor plan of the Villa dei Papyri owned by Lucius Calpurnius Pico Caesoninus.  Getty’s villa was built to house Mr. Getty’s extensive collections of ancient Roman artifacts.  The original villa, now partially excavated by archeologists, sat about halfway…