antiquity

Mary the Jewess and the Origins of Chemistry

Mary the Jewess and the Origins of Chemistry

Mary the Jewess (also known as Maria Prophetissima or Miriam the Prophetess) is a figure who first appeared in the works of the Gnostic Christian writer Zosimos of Panopolis, whose sources for this are not clear. On the basis of Zosimos’s comments, she lived between the first and third centuries A.D. She is credited with the invention of several kinds of chemical apparatus and is considered to be the first true alchemist of the…
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Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

Hypatia of Alexandria The Neoplatonian philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, Egypt, was the first well-documented woman in mathematics. Her actual date of birth is unknown, although considered somewhen between 350 and 370 AD. She was the head of the Platonist school at Alexandria and additionally taught philosophy and astronomy. Hypatia was taught in mathematics and astronomy by her father, who was well known for his studies at the Alexandrian School. It is unknown,…
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The Codex Justinianus and the origins of Jurisdiction

The Codex Justinianus and the origins of Jurisdiction

Justinian I depicted on a mosaic in the church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy On November 16, 534 AD, the second and final revision of the Corpus Juris Civilis, also referred to as the Codex Justinianus, a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor, is published. The four parts of the Codex Justinianus constitute the foundation documents of the Western…
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Saint Augustine’s Confessions

Saint Augustine’s Confessions

St Augustine in his Study, Painting by Sandro Botticelli (1480) On November 13, 354 A.D., Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine was born. He was bishop of Hippo Regius located in the Roman province of Africa. As an early Christian theologian his writings are considered very influential in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue to…
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Augustus and the Foundation of the Roman Empire

Augustus and the Foundation of the Roman Empire

Augustus, 1st Emperor of the Roman Empire (63BC – 14AD), marble statue known as Augustus of Prima Porta On September 23, 63 BC, Gaius Octavius aka Imperator Caesar Divi F. Augustus, founder of the Roman Empire and first Emperor was born. The Roman Empire as a follow up of the former Roman Republic existed for almost four centuries, before it was divided up into Western and Eastern Roman Empire. While the western port…
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The Fate of Western Civilization at Stake on the Catalaunian Plains

The Fate of Western Civilization at Stake on the Catalaunian Plains

The Huns at the Battle of Chalons by Alphonse de Neuville (1836–85) On September 20, 450 AD, the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains also referred to as the Battle of Chalons took place. A coalition led by the Roman general Flavius Aëtius and the Visigothic king Theodoric I against the Huns and their allies commanded by their leader Attila faced each other in a decisive battle that should decide the fate of Europe…
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Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

Facade of Al Khazneh, Petra, JordanImage: Bernard Gagnon On August 22, 1812, Swiss traveller and orientalist Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, in the disguise of an arab traveller discovered the ruins of the ancient city of Petra, one of the most compelling archaeological sites in existence, in today’s Jordan. Petra is located east of the Arabah, half way between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. Its location caused several religious rumors, fact…
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