For a president possessed with aspirations of grandeur, Trump proves he is not an imperialist with his America First campaign, as his view is actually an isolationist’s.
The Romans were imperialists, moving outward, layering their achievements and impositions, particularly cultural, on top of those they vanquished. So, things at the bottom survive, and I learned of many when I was in Tarquinia, on the western shore of Italy, north of Rome. Tarquinia was the centre of the Etruscan culture, around 600 years prior to that of the Roman. The Romans ‘absorbed’ the Etruscans, expanding their empire which, in the northern direction, reached Scotland.
Well, one of the most striking artifacts of that Roman roll resides at the Met, in the Etruscan gallery, at the far end of the Greek and Roman sculpture galleries to your left, as you enter. Walk, keep walking, and eventually you will find a rising staircase to your right that will take you to a mezzanine. A few glass cases in and there it is! An almost fully realized Etruscan bronze chariot, wheels and all, in sublime glory. An Aston Martin, under glass.
This parade chariot is unique. I’ve never seen another, even in Tarquinia, so I recognized its specialness immediately.
Its diminutive size was probably of no consequence to the horses that pulled it, seeming to them as light as the plume atop their driver’s helmet.
One wonders if a chariot like this so inspired the Romans that they set their sights even further afield.