Monthly Archives: September 2013

Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey(1855 – 1925) On September 10, 1855, famous German architect and self-trained archeologal historian Robert Johann Koldewey was born. He is best known for his discovery of the ancient city of Babylon in modern day Iraq, where he excavated the foundations of the ziggurat Marduk, and the famous Ishtar Gate. Robert Koldewey studied architecture, archeology, and art history in Berlin, Munich and Vienna but dropped out without graduating. Koldewey…
Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Aloisio Galvani(1737 – 1798) On September 9, 1737, Italian physician, physicist and philosopher Luigi Aloisio Galvani was born. He is best known for his discoveries in bioelectricity. In particular, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs legs twitched when struck by a spark. As a legacy, Galvani’s name survives in the Galvanic cell, Galvani potential, galvanic corrosion, the galvanometer and galvanization. Moreover, his reports also heavily influenced famous…
Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

Ludovico Ariosto (1474 – 1533) On September 8, 1474, Italian Renaissance Poet Ludovico Ariosto was born. He is best known for his romance epic Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando), which describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens. Ariosto studied Latin in Ferrera and enrolled at the city’s university to study law. However, his interest remained in other fields, like humanism, wherefore…
The Virgin Queen – Elizabeth I.

The Virgin Queen – Elizabeth I.

Queen Elizabeth I in younger years(1533 – 1603) On September 7, 1533, queen regnant of England and Ireland Elizabeth I. was born. Also referred to as the ‘Virgin Queen’, the daughter of Henry VIII was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. Elizabeth’s reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare, and for…
Moses Mendelsohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

Moses Mendelsohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

Mendelssohn, Lavater and Lessing, in an imaginary portrait by the Jewish artist Moritz Daniel Oppenheim On September 6, 1729, German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn was born, who inspired the Haskalah movement of Jewish Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th century. Haskalah was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew…
Neuschwanstein Castle – The Impossible Dream of a Mad King

Neuschwanstein Castle – The Impossible Dream of a Mad King

Neuschwanstein Castle, photo: Tauno Räsänen (wikipedia) On September 5, 1869, the foundation stone of the most prominent fantasy castle in the world was laid, Neuschwanstein. Commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat, the 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace is located on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany, and served as an inspiration for for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Intended as a…
The End of the Roman Empire

The End of the Roman Empire

Thomas Cole: The Course of Empire Destruction, 1836,thought to be painted after the sack of Rome On September 4, 476 AD, Germanic soldier and military leader Flavius Odoacer, who led the revolt of Herulians, Rugians, and Scirians soldiers entered Rome and deposed the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus. Odoacer proclaimed himself as ruler of Italy and thus, by convention, the Western Roman Empire is deemed to have ended… Of course,…
Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

Dr. Ferdinand Porsche  (1875-1951)© Bundesarchiv On September 3, 1875, Austrian-German automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche was born. He is best known for creating the first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the first of many Porsche automobiles. Porsche designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first race car with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. “If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” (Ferdinand…
The Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London

Illustration of the Great Fire of London by an unknown painter From Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666, a major conflagration swept through the central parts of the English city of London, destroying the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. The social and economic problems created by the disaster were overwhelming. Evacuation from London and resettlement elsewhere were strongly encouraged by Charles II, who…
Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One Hit Wonder

Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One Hit Wonder

Extract from Johann Pachelberg’s work“Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden” On September 1, 1653, German Baroque composer, organist and teacher Johann Pachelbel was born. It was Pachelbel, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle…
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