Volume 29, 2018
Letter from the Editors
“For a More Perfect Communist Revolution”: The Rise of the SKWP and the Twilight of “Unitary Socialism”
I will trace the early history of the Southern Korean Workers' Party and examine how the rise of the SKWP ensured the coming of a twilight for "Unitary Socialism" and led to the death of any possibility for non-ideological unification prior to the outbreak of the Korean War. I will show that the two events under examination were simultaneously linked with each other that the former not only determinied the latter but also ensured a synonymous relationship between the Southern Left and the party, thereby laying the cornerstone for Communist supremacy in southern Korea. This would serve as the groundwork for the Left-Right clash in southern Korea that would last from 1946-1948 and inspire north Korea to make the ultimate decision to launch war on June 25, 1950.
Niccolò Machiavelli is best rememebered today for penning the political treatise The Prince, a version of which was originally distributed in 1513. This text is influential in part because it is one of the earliest sources discussing Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI. Machiavelli observed Borgia during his military campaigns in the Italian Romagna, and used him in his text as one of the models of how a prince should behave. Beyond this, however, Machiavelli also made specific authorial choices in order to construct a narrative of Borgia in the style of a Greek tragedy. Reorienting ourselves to this fictionalization of Borgia sheds light on the parallels Machiavelli saw between their respective tribulations and his own ultimate vindication.
Since its chance discovery in 1983 at the site of ancient Nea Paphos, the proper interpretation of the “House of Aion” mosaic, a 4th-century floor pavement located in the triclinium of a wealthy Roman villa, has confounded scholars. While ostensibly depicting a simple assortment of traditional scenes from Greco-Roman mythology, several scholars have claimed to see in the layout of work’s pagan motifs a veiled anti-Christian polemical message. Although investigation of the mosaic has heretofore probed exhaustively the work’s own symbolic imagery, little attention has been paid to how the tumultuous religious history of Cyprus might illuminate its meaning. This paper seeks to remedy that lack of contextualization by reconstructing the religious atmosphere of 4th-century Nea Paphos through a range of historical, archaeological, and artistic evidence, with an eye toward how such evidence might be made to support the “Christian” interpretation of the mosaic. I conclude that, given such a background, it is highly likely that the commissioner of the mosaic intended the work as a subversion of Christianity.