History Lost

Each exhibit was special, but we had some collections which were so valuable that we didn’t even display it except on a special occasion. There was one specimen, a partially melanine black tiger skin which came to us in 1987-88. It had been confiscated by the Customs department. It was the only one-of-its-kind in the country. There were extinct animals, like a cheetah head which some British lady had donated to the Zoological Survey of India and they had given it to us. All this is lost to the future generations now as it is impossible to build this collection again.

Seneca: Stoic philosopher and Nero insider

Notwithstanding the murder of Britannicus, the first five years of Nero’s reign were an era of relative stability. This period—which the Roman emperor Trajan labelled the quinquennium Neronis—matches up almost exactly with the time of Seneca’s greatest influence over Nero.

And what looks even worse is that Seneca grew rich from Nero’s crimes. Following Britannicus’ murder, the boy’s wealth was divvied up, and Seneca, it seems, got a piece. By the end of the decade, the philosopher owned property not just in Rome but also in Egypt, Spain, and southern Italy.

from “Such a Stoic” by Elizabeth Kolbert (The New Yorker)

David Lynch’s Dune