Stephen F. Austin State University

I am currently in Texas visiting my close friend Rob (he of Trumpy Productions). Rob left our common home of South Dakota to move to Nacogdoches some time ago to prepare for a career in film. Now a graduate assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University, Rob has made everyone proud with his original, technically demanding, and often hilarious work.

In the middle of the University is a giant statue of Stephen Austin, the “Father of Texas” and the Republic’s first Secretary of State.

Interestingly, two nearby plaques appear to have been written by a tumultuous committee. Both are polite towards Secretary Austin, though the first refers to him as the one person whose vision and leadership led to [the Republic’s] creation and the other uses a somewhat more Leftist formulation

But whatever one thinks of the past, the present of the campus is beautiful. Read more, and see for yourself!

Like IPFW, which I saw while visiting my other friend Dave in Fort Wayne, SFASU has the mandatory anonymous pseudo-pagoda.

Samuel F. Austin also has something much more beautiful: a series of walking paths with a variety of flora known as the Arboretum.

The greenway begins, gorgeously, immediately behind the Film Department where my friend studies

Walking back to the main campus, the mandatory tall scary building (seen even at Peking University

A last reminder of Beijing: construction! SFASU’s new student union promises to be snazzy. For now, it’s only a headache.

Basileus Romaion v. Imperator Romaniae

Catholicgauze notes that 745 years, today, the Roman Empire was crushed by the Empire of the Romans. On that date Byzantine Emperor Michael VII defeated Latin Emperor Baldwin II, restoring Constantinople to Greek rule. Nowadays the Turks are in charge.

Catholicgauze also explains how that the end of the this civilizational wars between the Roman Emperors led to the fall of the Greek Empire

In a twist of irony Michael VII’s rise to emperor restarted the fall of the empire. He withdrew troops from Asia Minor to fight wars of reunification in Greece and against the Bulgarians. The lack of troops on his east flank allowed the Arabs to conquer more territory. Michael also refused to reform the government and bureaucracy of the empire which the term “byzantine” (number 4) comes from.

Wikipedia shows that the Latin Empire, at least in legal fiction, also survived its catastrophic defeat. The title of Empire of Rome was used until Emperor James, who willed the title to the Duke of Anjou — who never cared enough to use the title himself. Thus the Latin Empire fades into history.

(Unrelated, Enterra CEO Stephen DeAngelis adds his thoughts to an article that begins with Rome as a Multinational Enterprise…)