Severinus of Noricum

Severinus of Noricum (c. 410 – 8 January 482) is a saint, known as the "Apostle to Noricum". It has been speculated that he was born in either Southern Italy or in the Roman province of Africa. Severinus himself refused to discuss his personal history before his appearance along the Danube in Noricum, after the death of Attila in 453. However, he did mention experiences with eastern desert monasticism, and his vita draws connections between Severinus and Saint Anthony of Egypt.

Saint Severinus of Noricum is not to be confused with Severinus of Septempeda, the brother of Saint Victorinus of Camerino, and a bishop of Naples.

Continue reading

Fiscus

Fiscus, from which comes the English term fiscal, was the name of the personal chest of the emperors of Rome.

The word is literally translated as "basket" or "purse" and was used to describe those forms of revenue collected from the provinces (specifically the imperial provinces), which were then granted to the emperor. Its existence pointed to the division of power in the early era of the Empire between the imperial court and the Senate.

Continue reading

Trajan

Trajan (/ˈtrən/ TRAY-jən; Latin: Caesar Nerva Traianus pronounced [ˈkae̯.sar ˈnɛr.wa t̪raːˈjaː.nʊs]; 18 September 53 – 8 August 117) was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Officially declared by the Senate optimus princeps ("best ruler"), Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death. He is also known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world.

Trajan was born in Italica, close to modern Seville in present-day Spain, an Italic settlement in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica. Although misleadingly designated by some later writers as a provincial, his Ulpia gens came from Umbria and he was born a Roman citizen. Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by the old and childless Nerva, who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, culminating in a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard, he was compelled to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. Nerva died in 98 and was succeeded by his adopted son without incident.

As a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left numerous enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column.

Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, creating the province of Arabia Petraea. His conquest of Dacia enriched the empire greatly, as the new province possessed many valuable gold mines. Trajan's war against the Parthian Empire ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon and the annexation of Armenia and Mesopotamia. His campaigns expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent.

In late 117, while sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and died of a stroke in the city of Selinus. He was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under the Trajan's Column. He was succeeded by his cousin Hadrian, whom Trajan supposedly adopted on his deathbed.

Continue reading

Epitome

An epitome (/ɪˈpɪtəm/; Greek: ἐπιτομή, from ἐπιτέμνειν epitemnein meaning "to cut short") is a summary or miniature form, or an instance that represents a larger reality, also used as a synonym for embodiment. Epitomacy represents "to the degree of." An abridgment differs from an epitome in that an abridgment is made of selected quotations of a larger work; no new writing is composed, as opposed to the epitome, which is an original summation of a work, at least in part.

Continue reading

Himalayas

The Himalayas, or Himalaya (/ˌhɪməˈləhɪˈmɑːləjə/), (Sanskrit: himá (हिम, "snow") and ā-laya (आलय, "abode, receptacle, dwelling")), is a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many of Earth's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest, at the border between Nepal and China. The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia (Aconcagua, in the Andes) is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall.

Lifted by the subduction of the Indian tectonic plate under the Eurasian Plate, the Himalayan mountain range runs west-northwest to east-southeast in an arc 2,400 km (1,500 mi) long. Its western anchor, Nanga Parbat, lies just south of the northernmost bend of the Indus river. Its eastern anchor, Namcha Barwa, is just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River (upper stream of the Brahmaputra River). The Himalayan range is bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush ranges. To the north, the chain is separated from the Tibetan Plateau by a 50–60 km (31–37 mi) wide tectonic valley called the Indus-Tsangpo Suture. Towards the south, the arc of the Himalaya is ringed by the very low Indo-Gangetic Plain. The range varies in width from 350 km (220 mi) in the west (Pakistan) to 150 km (93 mi) in the east (Arunachal Pradesh).

The Himalayas are inhabited by 52.7 million people, and are spread across five countries: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The Hindu Kush range in Afghanistan and Hkakabo Razi in Myanmar are normally not included, but they are both (with the addition of Bangladesh) part of the greater Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) river system.

Continue reading

Serapis

Serapis (Koinē Greek: Σέραπις, later form) or Sarapis (Σάραπις, earlier form, originally Demotic: wsjr-ḥp, Coptic: ⲟⲩⲥⲉⲣϩⲁⲡⲓ Userhapi "Osiris-Apis") is a Graeco-Egyptian deity. The cult of Serapis was pushed forward during the third century BC on the orders of Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy I Soter of the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm. A serapeum (Koinē Greek: Σεραπεῖον serapeion) was any temple or religious precinct devoted to Serapis. The cultus of Serapis was spread as a matter of deliberate policy by the Ptolemaic kings, who also built the immense Serapeum of Alexandria. Serapis continued to increase in popularity during the Roman Empire, often replacing Osiris as the consort of Isis in temples outside Egypt.

Serapis was depicted as Greek in appearance but with Egyptian trappings, and combined iconography from a great many cults, signifying both abundance and resurrection. Though Ptolemy I may have created the official cult of Serapis and endorsed him as a patron of the Ptolemaic dynasty and Alexandria, Serapis was a syncretistic deity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis and also gained attributes from other deities, such as chthonic powers linked to the Greek Hades and Demeter, and benevolence linked to Dionysus.

There is evidence that the cult of Serapis existed before the Ptolemies came to power in Alexandria: a temple of Serapis in Egypt is mentioned in 323 BC by both Plutarch (Life of Alexander, 76) and Arrian (Anabasis, VII, 26, 2). The common assertion that Ptolemy "created" the deity is derived from sources which describe him erecting a statue of Serapis in Alexandria: this statue enriched the texture of the Serapis conception by portraying him in both Egyptian and Greek style.

In 389, a Christian mob led by Pope Theophilus of Alexandria destroyed the Serapeum of Alexandria, but the cult survived until all forms of pagan religion were suppressed under Theodosius I in 391.

Continue reading

Caristia

In ancient Rome, the Caristia, also known as the Cara Cognatio, was an official but privately observed holiday on February 22, that celebrated love of family with banqueting and gifts. Families gathered to dine together and offer food and incense to the Lares as their household gods. It was a day of reconciliation when disagreements were to be set aside, but the poet Ovid observes satirically that this could be achieved only by excluding family members who caused trouble.

Continue reading

Marcus Furius Camillus

Marcus Furius Camillus (/kəˈmɪləs/; c. 446 – 365 BC) was a Roman soldier and statesman of patrician descent. According to Livy and Plutarch, Camillus triumphed four times, was five times dictator, and was honoured with the title of Second Founder of Rome.

Continue reading

Esther

Esther is described in all versions of the Book of Esther as the Jewish queen of a Persian king Ahasuerus. In the narrative, Ahasuerus seeks a new wife after his queen, Vashti, refuses to obey him, and Esther is chosen for her beauty. The king's chief adviser, Haman, is offended by Esther's cousin and guardian, Mordecai, and gets permission from the king to have all the Jews in the kingdom killed. Esther foils the plan, and wins permission from the king for the Jews to kill their enemies, and they do so. Her story provides a traditional background for Purim, which is celebrated on the date given in the story for when Haman's order was to go into effect, which is the same day that the Jews killed their enemies after the plan was reversed.

Continue reading

Panagia Trypiti

Panagia Trypiti (Greek: Παναγία Τρυπητή) is a historical sacred shrine of Theotokos in the town of Aigio, Greece. It is one of the most important orthodox shrines of pilgrimage in Greece. The shrine is dedicated to the Mother of God of the Life-giving Spring. It is built on a steep cliff almost 30 meters high, near to sea. The many and impressive miracles which occur through the intercessions of the Virgin Mother have consecrated the church in the conscience of the faithful as a national shrine. Thousand of believers, from all over Greece, arrive at Aigio on bright Friday every year, to get Panagia's grace and to get Her blessing. In the 14th volume of the French monthly magazine Revue des deux Mondes of the year 1876 it is mentioned that it was a big fest for the people of Aeghion "grande fête locale à Aigion ... Dès le matin, tous les habitans, hommes, femmes, enfans, s'y rendent en pèlerinage; puis tous reviennent ensemble au milieu des fusillades et des détonations des varellota (petit baril)". It even mentions the use of firecrackers that day. This day every year there is a procession of the Holy Icon through the streets of Aigio and it is an official religious holiday (recognized as an official holiday by a Royal decree of 8 May 1933). The name Trypiti comes from the Greek word tripa (Greek: Τρύπα) meaning hole, cave, because the miraculous icon of Panagia was found in a hole in the rock. In the narthex of the church (which is on the ground floor) there is a spring of water (Greek: Αγίασμα).The faithful drink this water as a blessing since it is believed that it works miraculous cures.

Continue reading

Tomyris

Tomyris (/ˈtɒmɪrɪs/; from Eastern Iranian: Tahmirih "Brave"), also called Thomyris, Tomris, Tomiride, or Queen Tomiri, reigned over the Massagetae, an Iranian people from Scythian pastoral-nomadic confederation of Central Asia east of the Caspian Sea, in parts of modern-day Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, western Uzbekistan, and southern Kazakhstan. Tomyris led her armies to defend against an attack by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire, and, according to Herodotus, defeated and killed him in 530 BC.

Continue reading

Baker

A baker is a tradesperson who bakes and sometimes sells breads and other products made of flour by using an oven or other concentrated heat source. The place where a baker works is called a bakery.

Continue reading

Hinton on the Green

Hinton on the Green is a village and civil parish in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire in England. It is situated at the foot of Bredon Hill about two miles south of Evesham.

At a little over three square miles, the land is largely agricultural - most of the 101 houses and 254 residents are grouped in a small area between the church and what used to be the railway station. The River Isbourne valley divides Hinton into the "East Village", near to the church, and the "West Village".

Most of the houses in the East Village date from the 19th century; many of the properties to the West of the Isbourne are much newer. Most of the land, and many of the properties in the East Village, are leased from a charitable trust.

The building that formerly housed a village school has been converted into houses. The single shop in the village is specialised in the sale of agricultural machinery.

The main A46 from Evesham to Cheltenham passes through the parish and is crossed by the Broadway to Pershore Road (formerly The London Road) at Hinton Cross but the majority of the houses are located on a quiet loop..

The Isbourne is three or four metres wide and less than a metre deep, and occasionally floods. The most notable recent flood was in July 2007 when the small river became a torrent about a hundred metres wide and five metres deep. Two houses built on the river bank suffered serious damage, but the rest of the village is well above the flood plain and avoided the devastation that hit nearby Sedgeberrow just a mile upstream.

Continue reading

Bess Truman

Elizabeth Virginia Truman (née Wallace; February 13, 1885 – October 18, 1982) was the wife of President Harry S. Truman and the First Lady of the United States from 1945 to 1953. She also served as the Second Lady of the United States in 1945.

She had known her future husband since they were children attending the same school in Independence, Missouri. As First Lady, she did not enjoy the social and political scene in Washington, and at the end of her husband's term in 1953, she was relieved to return to Independence. She currently holds the record of longest-lived First Lady and longest-lived Second Lady, at 97 years, 247 days. She died in Independence, Missouri.

Continue reading

Yanartaş

Yanartaş ([janaɾˈtaʃ], Turkish for "flaming stone") is a geographical feature near the Olympos valley and national park in Antalya Province in southwestern Turkey. It is the site of dozens of small fires which burn constantly from vents in the rocks on the side of the mountain. Directly below the fires are the ruins of the temple of Hephaistos, the Greek god who was associated with fire through his role as the blacksmith to the gods. To see the fires and the ruins, visitors must first go to the entrance at the foot of the mountain. The site is at the top of an easy one kilometre climb. Most people visit at night, when the fires are at their most spectacular.

In ancient times sailors could navigate by the flames, but today they are more often used to brew tea.

Continue reading

Harvest

Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper. On smaller farms with minimal mechanization, harvesting is the most labor-intensive activity of the growing season. On large mechanized farms, harvesting utilizes the most expensive and sophisticated farm machinery, such as the combine harvester. Process automation has increased the efficiency of both the seeding and harvesting process. Specialized harvesting equipment utilizing conveyor belts to mimic gentle gripping and mass transport replaces the manual task of removing each seedling by hand.[2] The term "harvesting" in general usage may include immediate postharvest handling, including cleaning, sorting, packing, and cooling.

The completion of harvesting marks the end of the growing season, or the growing cycle for a particular crop, and the social importance of this event makes it the focus of seasonal celebrations such as harvest festivals, found in many religions.

Continue reading

Rush Rehm

Rush Rehm is Professor of Drama and Classics at Stanford University, California, in the United States. He also works professionally as an actor and director. He has published many works on classical theatre. Rehm is the artistic director of Stanford Repertory Theater (SRT), a professional theater company that presents a dramatic festival based on a major playwright each summer. SRT's 2016 summer festival, Theater Takes a Stand, celebrates the struggle for workers' rights. A political activist, Rehm has been involved in Central American and Cuban solidarity, supporting East Timorese resistance to the Indonesian invasion and occupation, the ongoing struggle for Palestinian rights, and the fight against US militarism. In 2014, he was awarded Stanford's Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education.

Continue reading

Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri (Italian: [ˈdante aliˈɡjɛːri]), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to simply as Dante (/ˈdɑːntˈdæntˈdænti/, also US: /ˈdɑːnti/,; c. 1265 – 1321), was an Italian poet. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa (modern Italian: Commedia) and later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, is widely considered the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language.

Dante is known for establishing the use of the vernacular in literature at a time when most poetry was written in Latin, making it accessible only to the most educated readers. His De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the Vernacular) was one of the first scholarly defenses of the vernacular. His use of the Tuscan dialect for works such as The New Life (1295) and Divine Comedy helped establish the modern-day standardized Italian language, and set a precedent that important later Italian writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio would follow.

Dante was instrumental in establishing the literature of Italy, and his depictions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven provided inspiration for the larger body of Western art. He is cited as an influence on Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton and Alfred Tennyson, among many others. In addition, the first use of the interlocking three-line rhyme scheme, or the terza rima, is attributed to him. He is described as the "father" of the Italian language, and in Italy he is often referred to as il Sommo Poeta ("the Supreme Poet"). Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also called the tre corone ("three crowns") of Italian literature.

Continue reading

Castel Sant'Angelo

The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo (Italian pronunciation: [kaˈstɛl sanˈtandʒelo]; English: Castle of the Holy Angel), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The structure was once the tallest building in Rome.

Continue reading

Northern Renaissance

The Northern Renaissance was the Renaissance that occurred in Europe north of the Alps. From the last years of the 15th century, its Renaissance spread around Europe. Called the Northern Renaissance because it occurred north of the Italian Renaissance, this period became the German, French, English, Low Countries, Polish Renaissances and in turn other national and localized movements, each with different attributes.

In France, King Francis I imported Italian art, commissioned Italian artists (including Leonardo da Vinci), and built grand palaces at great expense, starting the French Renaissance. Trade and commerce in cities like Bruges in the 15th century and Antwerp in the 16th increased cultural exchange between Italy and the Low Countries, however in art, and especially architecture, late Gothic influences remained present until the arrival of Baroque even as painters increasingly drew on Italian models.

Universities and the printed book helped spread the spirit of the age through France, the Low Countries and the Holy Roman Empire, and then to Scandinavia and finally Britain by the late 16th century. Writers and humanists such as Rabelais, Pierre de Ronsard and Desiderius Erasmus were greatly influenced by the Italian Renaissance model and were part of the same intellectual movement. During the English Renaissance (which overlapped with the Elizabethan era) writers such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe composed works of lasting influence. The Renaissance was brought to Poland directly from Italy by artists from Florence and the Low Countries, starting the Polish Renaissance.

In some areas the Northern Renaissance was distinct from the Italian Renaissance in its centralization of political power. While Italy and Germany were dominated by independent city-states, most of Europe began emerging as nation-states or even unions of countries. The Northern Renaissance was also closely linked to the Protestant Reformation with the resulting long series of internal and external conflicts between various Protestant groups and the Roman Catholic Church having lasting effects.

Continue reading