Sunday, 16 June 2019
|Octavian was the son of Julius Caesar’s niece. Octavian was 20 years old when Caesar was assassinated. Caesar had adopted him as his son posthumously. In 43 BCE, he formed the Second Triumvirate with Marc Antony and Lepidus. They defeated Brutus and Cassius and divided the empire with Octavian holding most of the West and Antony the East.|
In 33 BC, the Second Triumvirate ended, leaving Antony without legal authority. Octavian then began a campaign against him, declaring war against Cleopatra.
Saturday, 15 June 2019
Friday, 14 June 2019
|Medusa was a Greek monster. She had the face of an ugly woman with snakes instead of hair; anyone who looked into her eyes was immediately turned to stone. She was a priestess of Athena, devoted to a life of celibacy; however as punishment for marrying Poseidon she was cursed.|
Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.
|The Banshee is a spirit creature originating in Irish folklore. She is said to scream when someone is about to die. The foretelling of death was seen as both a blessing and a curse. |
The Bean Sidhe or Banshee haunts only the families of authentic noble stock and it is with great dread when her piercing "caoine" or keening is heard. The Banshee scream is always a death omen.
|Mermaids. In ancient Syrian folklore there was a goddess named Atargatis. She was a fertility goddess whose cult eventually spread to Greece and Rome and was associated with water. Often depicted in mermaid form, Atargatis is perhaps the “original” mermaid. A Melusine, or siren, has two tails. This creature is from medieval legend. A Melusine was a beautiful woman that transformed into a serpent from the waist down while bathing. This always resulted in calamity.|
Thursday, 13 June 2019
|The ancient Egyptians believed their gods had skin made from gold. The Aztec word for gold, teocuitlatl, literally translates as “excrement of the gods.” Gold has always had a very special relationship with humans. We may find ancient views quaint, but scientists have also struggled to fully understand the origins of gold. It was a puzzle how gold came into existence in the first place.|
The answer only arrived in 2017 with the first ever detection of gravitational waves. Those waves were produced by the merger of two neutron stars in an event known as a kilonova.
|The source of the gravitational waves contained the signatures of gold and platinum in significant quantities. At long last, humans had discovered the cosmic deity capable of excreting gold.|
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Stater Of Pyrrhos I Nike Holding A Trophy 278–276 BC
|Bringing to vivid life the people of ancient Greece, the Onassis Cultural Center New York presented the exhibition "A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC – 200 AD."|
The exhibition brought together more than 130 ancient masterpieces.
Bronze vessel was made in Pharsalos about 370 BC.
Amphora with Scene of Achilles and Ajax Playing a Board Game 540 BC
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
|In 2016 researchers found a mass grave near Athens containing more than 80 skeletons. The wrists of the skeletons were all bound in iron shackles.|
Archaeologists believe they were part of a mass execution.
|The skeletons were found in the Falyron Delta necropolis, between Athens and the port of Piraeus. It’s believed the victims were part of a failed coup plot, supporters of Cylon, who attempted to take over Athens. Cylon was an Athenian noble who attempted to seize power in the city in 632 BCE, where his father-in-law, Theagenes, was tyrant.
The coup was opposed, and Cylon and his supporters took refuge in Athena's temple on the Acropolis. Cylon and his brother escaped, but his followers were cornered by Athens' nine archons and killed.
|The grisly find is a rare and extraordinary one. Greece’s Central Archaeological Council announced construction of an underground “shell” which will permanently protect and display the skeletons.|
Monday, 10 June 2019
|The first nearly complete dodo skeleton in more than 100 years was sold at auction in 2018 - more than 350 years after the bird's last confirmed sighting by humans. Known for their slightly comical, ungainly appearance, the flightless birds - most closely related to pigeons - were last seen on the island of Maritius, their sole habitat, in 1662. It's believed the presence of humans brought about their extinction in just 70 years.|
|Dodos stood around 1m tall and would have weighed between 10 and 20kg. This dodo skeleton comes from a private collector, who started collecting bones in the 1970s and bought the majority then and in the 1980s.|
Like most collectors, he spent years adding to his collection and it was only in the early 2000s that he realized he had enough bones (only lacking part of the skull and one set of claws - which have been reconstructed) to construct a skeleton. He then meticulously reassembled them to create as complete a specimen as possible.
|Any newly discovered bones from the Mare aux Songes swamp - where the vast majority of dodo bones were found in the 19th century – will not be for sale. The Mauritian Government has now banned all exports of dodo bones.|
Sunday, 9 June 2019
|Archaeologists have found a secret, underground room inside Nero’s palace in Rome. The Domus Aurea (Latin, "Golden House") was a vast landscaped palace built by the Emperor Nero in the heart of Rome after the great fire in 64 AD had destroyed a large part of the city.||The Domus Aurea complex covered parts of the slopes of the Palatine, Esquiline, Oppian and Caelian hills.|
Saturday, 8 June 2019
|The Tarpeian Rock, or Rupe Tarpea, suffered a mini landslide last year when chunks of the ancient cliff fell off.|
Long neglected, the legendary site lies overgrown and overlooked on the southern side of the Capitoline Hill.
The rock is named for Tarpeia, a Vestal virgin and daughter of a Roman commander. When Rome was under siege by the Sabines, the story goes, she offered to betray the city. Tarpeia was flung to her death from what would henceforth be known as the Tarpeian Rock. Later Romans would use the site to put to death their most notorious criminals, who would be thrown headfirst off the drop. The gruesome punishment was reserved for traitors, murderers and rebels to serve as a warning to others. |
'The Tarpeian Rock is close to the Capitol,' an old Roman saying went – in other words, even at the height of power, you're never far from a fall.