A reference to the Odyssean image also appears in the late c. AD epic poet Nonnus :.
The 'Inconvenient Truth' about the ivory trade
Virgil borrowed the image of the two gates in lines — of Book 6 of his Aeneid , describing that of horn as the passageway for true shadows  and that of ivory as that through which the Manes in the underworld send false dreams up to the living. Two gates the silent house of Sleep adorn; Of polish'd ivory this, that of transparent horn: True visions thro' transparent horn arise; Thro' polish'd ivory pass deluding lies. Of various things discoursing as he pass'd, Anchises hither bends his steps at last.
Then, thro' the gate of iv'ry, he dismiss'd.
His valiant offspring and divining guest. Why Virgil has Aeneas return through the ivory gate whence pass deluding lies  and not through that of horn is uncertain. One theory is that it refers to the time of night at which he returned. Another explanation is that Virgil is thus indicating that what he has recounted is not to be taken as literal fact. In John Wesley 's last sermon, preached on 17 January , he spoke of how uncertain even the best conjectures about the invisible world were without revelation: "The most finished of all these accounts, is that of the great Roman poet.
Where observe how warily he begins, with that apologetic preface, — Sit mihi fas audita loqui — 'May I be allowed to tell what I have heard'. And, in the conclusion, lest anyone should imagine he believed any of these accounts, he sends the relater of them out of hades by the ivory gate, through which, he had just informed us, that only dreams and shadows pass, — a very plain intimation, that all which has gone before, is to be looked upon as a dream! Because most of the elephants with the longest tusks have been killed, their genes are no longer passed along.
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That is one of the reasons authorities are confiscating shorter and thinner tusks every year. Another reason: Since most of the oldest bull elephants have been poached for their longer tusks, poachers now are going after the females and the younger males. This spells disaster for breeding herds. One of the largest tusks ever found was about 10 feet long and weighed over pounds. Tusks can grow up to seven inches a year. Kilimanjaro Tusks, ca.
Like humans, elephants have a preference over which tusk they use for their primary jobs such as breaking branches, digging for water, ripping bark off trees. You can tell which tusk is dominant by looking at it- the most-used tusk will be shorter and rounder at the tip. In fact, a broken tusk, which is common, can lead to a life-threatening infection. But poachers use darts, poison and high-powered automatic rifles with night scopes to take elephants down and, while they are dying, the tusks are gouged out of from the living elephant's skull.
The elephants die an agonizing, slow death from hemorrhage. Only two thirds of the elephant's tusk is made of ivory and is visible while the elephant is living. The base of the tusk is embedded in the skull and made of pulp, blood and nerves -like the roots of our own teeth. Ivory can be taken from hippos, walruses, sperm whales, horn-billed birds and even from fossilized mammoths.
What makes elephant ivory so prized is its softer carvability. Though many have proposed solutions like this, they are impractical as elephants would have to be darted with anesthetic or their watering holes infused with dye. Darting is far from an exact science and can kill or maim an elephant. Surface scars into the ivory could be repaired by sanding or, if they are too deep, could cause infection. Placing chemicals in the water supply risks poisoning the elephants and other smaller animals who use the same source, but also doesn't solve the problem of making future growth of the tusk undesirable.
A palm-like tree called Tagua gives us " nuts that can be carved like ivory and are used for everything from jewelry to umbrella handles-an inexpensive and renewable alternative. A piece made from synthetic ivory. Steve Coogan. Rugby union. Motor racing. US sports.
PR stunt hides a brutal truth about the ivory trade
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PR stunt hides a brutal truth about the ivory trade
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