Decius

Trajan Decius (/ˈtrən ˈdʃəsˈdɛʃəs/; Latin: Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius; c. 201 – June 251) was Roman emperor from 249 to 251.

A distinguished politician during the reign of Philip the Arab, Decius was proclaimed emperor by his troops after putting down a rebellion in Moesia. In 249, he defeated and killed Philip near Verona and was recognized as emperor by the Senate afterward. During his reign, he attempted to strengthen the Roman state and its religion, leading to the Decian persecution, where a number of prominent Christians (including Pope Fabian) were put to death.

In the last year of his reign, Decius co-ruled with his son Herennius Etruscus, until they were both killed by the Goths in the Battle of Abritus.

Continue reading

Great Fire of Rome

The Great Fire of Rome (Latin: incendium magnum Romae), was an urban fire that occurred in July, 64 AD. The fire began in the merchant shops around Rome's chariot stadium, Circus Maximus, on the night of July 19. After six days, the fire was brought under control, but before the damage could be assessed, the fire reignited and burned for another three days. In the aftermath of the fire, two thirds of Rome had been destroyed.

According to Tacitus and later Christian tradition, Emperor Nero blamed the devastation on the Christian community in the city, initiating the empire's first persecution against the Christians. However, some modern historians, including the Princeton classicist Brent Shaw, have cast doubt on the traditional view that Nero blamed the Christians for the fire.

Continue reading

Silvae

The Silvae is a collection of Latin occasional poetry in hexameters, hendecasyllables, and lyric meters by Publius Papinius Statius (c. 45 – c. 96 CE). There are 32 poems in the collection, divided into five books. Each book contains a prose preface which introduces and dedicates the book. The subjects of the poetry are varied and provide scholars with a wealth of information on Domitian's Rome and Statius' life.

The Silvae were rediscovered by Poggio Bracciolini in the Library of Reichenau Abbey around 1417, along with the Punica of Silius.

Continue reading

Bradford-on-Avon Tithe Barn

Bradford-on-Avon Tithe Barn is a Grade I listed barn in Pound Lane, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, England. It was part of a medieval grange belonging to Shaftesbury Abbey and was built in the early 14th century, with a granary dated to about 1400. It is owned and protected by English Heritage and managed by the Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust.

Continue reading

National Roman Museum

The National Roman Museum (Italian: Museo Nazionale Romano) is a museum, with several branches in separate buildings throughout the city of Rome, Italy. It shows exhibits from the pre- and early history of Rome, with a focus on archaeological findings from the period of Ancient Rome.

Continue reading

Chthonic

Chthonic (/ˈθɒnɪk/, UK also /ˈkθɒn-/; from Ancient Greek: χθόνιοςromanized: khthónios [kʰtʰónios], "in, under, or beneath the earth", from χθών khthōn "earth") literally means "subterranean", but the word in English describes deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in the Ancient Greek religion. The Greek word khthon is one of several for "earth"; it typically refers to that which is under the earth, rather than the living surface of the land (as Gaia or Ge does), or the land as territory (as khora χώρα does).

Continue reading

Compitalia

In ancient Roman religion, the Compitalia (Latin: Ludi Compitalicii) was a festival celebrated once a year in honor of the Lares Compitales, household deities of the crossroads, to whom sacrifices were offered at the places where two or more ways meet. The word comes from the Latin compitum, a cross-way.

Continue reading

Paullus Aemilius Lepidus

Paullus Aemilius Lepidus (c. 77 BC – after 11 BC) was a Roman senator.

Continue reading

A Leap in the Dark/John Ferling

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic" which was published in 2003 by John Ferling.

Continue reading

Washington's Crossing/David Hackett Fischer

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "Washington's Crossing" which was published in 2004 by David Hackett Fischer.

Continue reading

The Winter Soldiers/Richard Ketchum

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "The Winter Soldiers" which was published in 1973 by Richard Ketchum.

Continue reading

Alexander Hamilton/Richard Sylla

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "Alexander Hamilton" which was published in 2016 by Richard Sylla.

Continue reading

1776/David McCullough

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "1776" which was published in 2005 by David McCullough.

Continue reading

Fever

Fever, also referred to as pyrexia, is defined as having a temperature above the normal range due to an increase in the body's temperature set point. There is not a single agreed-upon upper limit for normal temperature with sources using values between 37.2 and 38.3 °C (99.0 and 100.9 °F) in humans. The increase in set point triggers increased muscle contractions and causes a feeling of cold. This results in greater heat production and efforts to conserve heat. When the set point temperature returns to normal, a person feels hot, becomes flushed, and may begin to sweat. Rarely a fever may trigger a febrile seizure, with this being more common in young children. Fevers do not typically go higher than 41 to 42 °C (105.8 to 107.6 °F).

A fever can be caused by many medical conditions ranging from non-serious to life-threatening. This includes viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections—such as influenza, the common cold, meningitis, urinary tract infections, appendicitis, COVID-19, and malaria. Non-infectious causes include vasculitis, deep vein thrombosis, connective tissue disease, side effects of medication, and cancer. It differs from hyperthermia, in that hyperthermia is an increase in body temperature over the temperature set point, due to either too much heat production or not enough heat loss.

Treatment to reduce fever is generally not required Treatment of associated pain and inflammation, however, may be useful and help a person rest. Medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol (acetaminophen) may help with this as well as lower temperature. Measures such as putting a cool damp cloth on the forehead and having a slightly warm bath are not useful and may simply make a person more uncomfortable. Children younger than three months require medical attention, as might people with serious medical problems such as a compromised immune system or people with other symptoms. Hyperthermia does require treatment.

Fever is one of the most common medical signs. It is part of about 30% of healthcare visits by children and occurs in up to 75% of adults who are seriously sick. While fever evolved as a defense mechanism, treating fever does not appear to worsen outcomes. Fever is often viewed with greater concern by parents and healthcare professionals than is usually deserved, a phenomenon known as fever phobia.

Continue reading

Phrynichus (tragic poet)

Phrynichus (/ˈfrɪnɪkəs/; Greek: Φρύνιχος), son of Polyphradmon and pupil of Thespis, was one of the earliest of the Greek tragedians. Some of the ancients regarded him as the real founder of tragedy. Phrynichus is said to have died in Sicily. His son Polyphrasmon was also a playwright.

Continue reading

Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon (UK: /ˈpænθiən/, US: /-ɒn/; Latin: Pantheum, from Greek Πάνθειον Pantheion, "[temple] of all the gods") is a former Roman temple, now a Catholic church (Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres or Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs), in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). It was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa's older temple, which had burned down.

The building is cylindrical with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43 metres (142 ft).

It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history and, since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been in use as a church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" (Latin: Sancta Maria ad Martyres) but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda". The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda. The Pantheon is a state property, managed by Italy's Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism through the Polo Museale del Lazio. In 2013, it was visited by over 6 million people.

The Pantheon's large circular domed cella, with a conventional temple portico front, was unique in Roman architecture. Nevertheless, it became a standard exemplar when classical styles were revived, and has been copied many times by later architects.

Continue reading

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "the Bard"). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. They also continue to be studied and reinterpreted.

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. At age 49 (around 1613), he appears to have retired to Stratford, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; this has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until 1608, among them Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies (also known as romances) and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of Shakespeare's plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime. However, in 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays. The volume was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Jonson presciently hailed Shakespeare in a now-famous quote as "not of an age, but for all time".

Continue reading

Apocolocyntosis

The Apocolocyntosis (divi) Claudii, literally The pumpkinification of (the Divine) Claudius, is a satire on the Roman emperor Claudius, which, according to Cassius Dio, was written by Seneca the Younger. A partly extant Menippean satire, an anonymous work called Ludus de morte Divi Claudii ("Play on the death of the Divine Claudius") in its surviving manuscripts, may or may not be identical to the text mentioned by Cassius Dio. "Apocolocyntosis" is a word play on "apotheosis", the process by which dead Roman emperors were recognized as gods.

Continue reading

Henry Every

Henry Every, also known as Henry Avery (20 August 1659 – after 1696), sometimes erroneously given as Jack Avery or John Avery, was an English pirate who operated in the Atlantic and Indian oceans in the mid-1690s. He probably used several aliases throughout his career, including Benjamin Bridgeman, and was known as Long Ben to his crewmen and associates.

Dubbed "The Arch Pirate" and "The King of Pirates" by contemporaries, Every was infamous for being one of few major pirate captains to escape with his loot without being arrested or killed in battle, and for being the perpetrator of what has been called the most profitable act of piracy in history. Although Every's career as a pirate lasted only two years, his exploits captured the public's imagination, inspired others to take up piracy, and spawned works of literature.

Every began his pirate career while he was first mate aboard the warship Charles II. As the ship lay anchored in the northern Spanish harbour of Corunna, the crew grew discontented as Spain failed to deliver a letter of marque and Charles II's owners failed to pay their wages, and they mutinied. Charles II was renamed the Fancy and Every elected as the new captain.

Every's most famous raid was on a 25-ship convoy of Grand Mughal vessels making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, including the treasure-laden Ghanjah dhow Ganj-i-sawai and its escort, Fateh Muhammed. Joining forces with several pirate vessels, Every found himself in command of a small pirate squadron, and they were able to capture up to £600,000 in precious metals and jewels, equivalent to around £91.9 million in 2021, making him the richest pirate in the world. This caused considerable damage to England's fragile relations with the Mughals, and a combined bounty of £1,000—an immense sum at the time—was offered by the Privy Council and the East India Company for his capture, leading to the first worldwide manhunt in recorded history.

Although a number of his crew were subsequently arrested, Every himself eluded capture, vanishing from all records in 1696; his whereabouts and activities after this period are unknown. Unconfirmed accounts state he may have changed his name and retired, quietly living out the rest of his life in either Britain or an unidentified tropical island, while alternative accounts consider Every may have squandered his riches. He is considered to have died anywhere between 1699 and 1714; his treasure has never been recovered.

Continue reading

Campus Martius

The Campus Martius (Latin for the "Field of Mars", Italian Campo Marzio) was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about 2 square kilometres (490 acres) in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome. The IV rione of Rome, Campo Marzio, which covers a smaller section of the original area, bears the same name.

Continue reading