Monthly Archives: June 2019

Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

On June 25, 1678, Venetian philosopher of noble descent Elena Cornaro Piscopia, was the first woman to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Elena Cornaro Piscopia‘s intellectual ability was noticed early, wherefore the local priest encouraged her family to enable Piscopia a formal education. She was then taught Latin, Greek, and Arabic starting at the age of seven. Later on, she also began learning mathematics, philosophy, theology, astronomy, and several other languages. In…
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Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

On June 24, 1519, Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, and Vannozza dei Cattanei, passed away. Lucrezia’s family later came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption alleged to be characteristic of the Renaissance Papacy. Lucrezia was cast as a femme fatale, a role she has been portrayed as in many artworks, novels, and films. The extent of her complicity in the political machinations of her family is…
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Pierre de Coubertin and the Idea of the Olympic Games

Pierre de Coubertin and the Idea of the Olympic Games

On June 23, 1894, French educator and historian Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Because of his initiative he is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games, the first one organized in Greece only two years later in 1896. Olympic Games in History The Olympic Games have a long tradition dating back to ancient Greece, where the games were both, a religious and an athletic festival held every four years…
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Wilhelm von Humboldt and the Reform of Prussia’s Education System

Wilhelm von Humboldt and the Reform of Prussia’s Education System

On June 22, 1767, Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt was born. He was a Prussian philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice of education. In particular, he is widely recognized as having been the architect of the Prussian education system which was used as…
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Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

On June 21, 1948, Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album, in short the LP, in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York, which soon was adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl “albums”. It all starts with the Player Piano To…
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Georges Lemaître and the Origins of the Big Bang Theory

Georges Lemaître and the Origins of the Big Bang Theory

On June 20, 1966, Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics Georges Lemaître passed away. He was the first person to propose the theory of the expansion of the Universe, widely misattributed to Edwin Hubble, and is best known for his proposal of what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe. “We want a fireworks theory of evolution. The last two thousand million years are slow…
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Around the World in a Balloon with Steve Fossett

Around the World in a Balloon with Steve Fossett

On June 19, 2002, American businessman, and a record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer Steve Fossett launched the 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom from Northam, Western Australia, for a journey around the world. Steve Fossett Background In his youth, Fossett’s career as an adventurer began when he joined the boy scouts. He began climbing his first mountains and through the years he seeked higher mountains, bigger adventures and longer distances. As an…
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Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

On June 18, 1815, a battle was fought near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, which should be Napoleon’s last. An Imperial French army under the command of Emperor Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. The defeat at Waterloo ended Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of the…
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The Phantastic Worlds of M. C. Escher

The Phantastic Worlds of M. C. Escher

On June 17, 1898, Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, better known as M. C. Escher, was born. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints, which feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations. “The ideas that are basic to [my work] often bear witness to my amazement and wonder at the laws of nature which operate in the world around us. He who wonders discovers…
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Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

On June 16, 1723 (June 5 according to the old Julian calendar), Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy Adam Smith was born. He is one of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment and is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) “Among civilized and thriving nations, on the contrary,…
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