Some things never change… lesson of the day fresh from the lecture halls:


There once was a time back in the 1300’s when they covered the walls of the hall where decisionmakers met with frescos to remind them of their purpose. Ambrogio Lorenzetti painted two huge frescoes for the Palazzo Publico where the nove, a/k/a nine decision makers, met. These frescos detailed the Effects of Good Government, where the allegorical figure of “Security” floats over the landscape, women dance calmly in the streets, school is orderly, and business flourishes. The figure of Securitas carries a banner that reads “Without fear every man may travel freely and each may till and sow, so long as this commune shall maintain this lady, Justice, sovereign, for she has stripped the wicked of all power.”


Then there are the Effects of Bad Government where the nasty figure of fear hangs overhead, women are attacked, there is no school, buildings are falling apart, and soldiers are sent into the fields rather than merchants and farmers. “Fear” carries a banner that reads “Because each seeks only his own good, in this city, Justice is subjected to Tyranny; Wherefore, along this road nobody passes without fearing for his life since there are robberies outside and inside the city gates.”


These were painted in 1338-1339. Some things never change…maybe if we had frescoes like these painted at the Capitol…..

In this last image, the one with the horns represents Tyrany, and Avarice, Pride, and Vainglory surround his head.


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