antiquity

Ernst Curtius and the Excavation of Olympia

Ernst Curtius and the Excavation of Olympia

Olympia, draft by Friedrich Thiersch, 1879 On September 2, 1814, German archaeologist and historian Ernst Curtius was born, who directed the excavation of Olympia from 1875–1881, the most opulent and sacred religious shrine of ancient Greece and site of the original Olympic Games. Ernst Curtius was born in Lübeck, Germany, and entered the University of Bonn in the 1830s. In this period, it is assumed, that Curtius discovered his interest in the…
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Marius and the Battle of the Raudine Plain

Marius and the Battle of the Raudine Plain

On July 30, 101 BC, the Battle of the Raudine Plain took place, which resulted in the Roman victory of Consul Gaius Marius over the invading Germanic tribe of the Cimbri near the settlement of Vercellae in Cisalpine Gaul. The entire tribe of the Cimbri was virtually wiped out and the plans of the Germanic tribes of an invasion of Rome was put to an end. Well, then raise your hands if you have…
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The Antikythera Mechanism – an Ancient Analog Computer

The Antikythera Mechanism – an Ancient Analog Computer

On May 17, 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer, designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. The famous mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck near the Greekisland of Antikythera. In October 1900, a group of sponge divers discovered the wreck and retrieved a great number of artifacts dating back to the end of the second century BC, which included bronze and marble statues, pottery,…
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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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