Sunday, February 04, 2007

History Repeats Itself

In the "The more things change, the more they stay the same" department, we have news out of Italy which reminds us (sadly) of an incident from the ancient Roman world.

CNN reports that a riot between the fans supporting the rival soccer teams from Catania and Palermo has resulted in the death of a police officer and the arrest of 29 brawlers outside the stadium. The officials in the Italian soccer federation have canceled all soccer games for the weekend (Feb. 3-4, 2007) and may consider longer suspension of Italy's most popular sport.

How different is this news from the scene illustrated on the picture above? This fresco shows the fighting between the inhabitants of Pompeii and the nearby town of Nuceria in AD 59. This conflict resulted in the suspension of gladiatorial contests in the town for ten years.