Pagan: “a follower of a rustic or provincial religion” from the Latin pagus, meaning a rural district.
The word “pagan” goes all the way back to the Greek root pagos meaning “that which is fixed”. “Fixed” as in “staying in position”, not like, your dog.
After crossing the Adriatic, the Romans used the word pagus to refer to a rural district. Pagan came to mean “country-dweller”.
Under Constantine, Christianity was not only tolerated, …Read more
At twenty minutes before eight, central time, Professor Farrell of the Mount Jennings Observatory, Chicago, Illinois, reports observing several explosions of incandescent gas, occurring at regular intervals on the planet Mars. The spectroscope indicates the gas to be hydrogen and moving towards the earth with enormous velocity.
We now return you to the music of Rámon Raquello, playing for you in the Meridian Room of the Park Plaza Hotel, situated in downtown New York.
If the earth were a single state, Constantinople would be its capital.
In the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire stretched from Transylvania to Ethiopia, from Algiers to the Caspian Sea.
By the end of the 19th century, France had chipped away at much of North Africa, the Ottoman Empire’s ‘ally’ Britain had assumed protective control of Egypt, Balkin republics were declaring their independence in Europe, …Read more
October 28, 2010 marks the 1698th anniversary of the Battle of Milvian Bridge, a battle of two Emperors that changed the course of history.
Maxentius and Constantine were brothers-in-law, both had valid claims to the throne thanks to Diocletian’s division of the Empire in 306, and both their fathers had been previous Emperors. In fact, Maxentius’s father had committed suicide after a failed rebellion against Constantine.
In 312 A.D. Maxentius held Rome; Constantine …Read more
…I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way…
from A Birthday Present, Sylvia Plath, 1962
There’s nothing like the poetry of Sylvia Plath to brighten up a birthday celebration. Today, October 27, is Sylvia Plath Day in Northampton, Massachusetts, where Plath attended Smith College. She was born on this …Read more
Today the small island nation of Nauru celebrates Angam Day.
Angam means “jubilation” or “homecoming”. The jubilation doesn’t refer to any election, battle, revolution, legislation, or victory. It celebrates a birthday. It’s the birthday of a woman named Eidaruwo, who was born on October 26, 1932. But Angam Day doesn’t celebrate anything she did. In fact, it was first celebrated on the very day she was born.
For nearly all of its 3000 year history, Nauru’s …Read more
“Over the centuries you will be remembered and praised, you, the officers and soldiers who have freed Transylvania.”
–General Gheorghe Avramescu, October 29, 1944
On this day in 1944 Romanian troops liberated Carei, the last German-occupied city in Romania. It is also the birthday of Romania’s last king, Michael I. (Pre-emptive answer: No, I don’t know why the there is a “I” if there won’t be a second.)
King Michael, or …Read more
“Millions of tongues record thee, and anew Their children’s lips shall echo them, and say— ‘Here where the sword united nations drew, Our countrymen were warring on that day!”
–Lord George Gordon Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
In 2009 the UN turned 63, the same age its leading proponent was when he died in April 1945, a month shy of Germany’s surrender.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt had spent his 63rd birthday …Read more