Watson and the Shark, by John Singleton Copley, 1778. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Volume VI, Number 3 | summer 2013
Suetonius, a biographer of Roman emperors, claimed that the violent ruler Tiberius had a clifftop location in Capri from which he liked to watch his victims thrown into the sea. “A party of marines were stationed below,” Suetonius wrote, “and when the bodies came hurtling down, they whacked at them with oars and boathooks, to make sure that they were completely dead.”
Seaward ho! Hang the treasure! It’s the glory of the sea that has turned my head.—Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883