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The Year 1946 is the Two Thousandth Anniversary of the first historical event in our Island Story, the first Invasion of Julius Caesar ; 1947 that of the first appearance of the first British personality, the first man in England whose name we know, Cassivellaunus. It is fitting, therefore, that ANTIQUITY should choose the turn of the years for its own discussion of England's first ‘ bimillenary ’.
An Aetites may be defined as any hollow stone containing loose matter, a smaller stone or sand, which rattles when shaken. Such objects are of little interest to the modern geologist, who usually breaks them open in order to examine the interior for crystals or impressions of fossils. Their importance to the archaeologist and student of folk-lore may be gauged by the fact that they are mentioned by Dioscorides about A.D. 69 and in the fourteenth edition of Quincey's Pharmacopoeia, published in 1769. A series of at least a hundred references between these dates could be compiled ; only those necessary to elucidate the history of the Eagle-stone need be given.
The measures taken for the protection of the monuments and works of art of Europe during the recent war, besides saving an incalculable number from damage or destruction, have also made available for detailed study many that are normally difficult or impossible of access. One such has been the bronze lion of St. Mark, familiar indeed to every visitor to Venice but only at a respectable distance, from the loggia of the Doge's Palace or from the foot of its lofty column by the waterfront of the Piazzetta di San Marco. In 1941, together with its companion figure of St. Theodore, the four bronze horses from the facade of St. Mark's, the great equestrian bronze of Colleoni, and numerous lesser works, it was lowered to safety and stored throughout the war in the vaults of the Doge's Palace. Shortly after the liberation of Venice in 1945 it re-emerged to form part of a unique temporary exhibition in the courtyard of the Palace, after which it was replaced once more upon its column. The writer is indebted to Commendatore Forlati, Superintendent of Monuments for the Veneto, for permitting publication and for much courteous help in eliciting facts and photographs ; and to many colleagues in Rome for criticism and comment—helpful not least by its variety. While venturing some comment on what is evidently a provocative and controversial animal, it must be stressed that the primary purpose of this article is the presentation of a detailed description of the statue, accompanied by the known historical facts and by adequate illustration. These will at least enable others, better qualified, to pass long-overdue judgment on one of the select company of ancient works of art that have never been below ground since the day they were made.
Systematic excavations at Olbia, begun in 1896, from the very outset aroused much interest in all parts of the world. The collection of Olbian exhibits occupy a prominent place in the departments of the Hermitage, the Historical Museum in Moscow and many other museums of the USSR. Olbian collections, some of them of considerable size, are also represented in the largest museums of Germany, France, the United States and other countries.
In 1921, by decision of the government of the Ukrainian SSR, the territory of Olbia, located twenty miles from Nikolaiev, was declared a State preserve. A by-road, which branches off from the main highway leading to Odessa, brings one to Porutino village on the banks of the Bug river.