The Roman Goddes Luna

Today, March 31, in ancient Rome, the foundation of Luna’s temple, the moon goddess, on the Aventine Hill, was remembered. It was destroyed by the Great Fire of Rome in the year 64 C.E. Luna, was Roman goddess of the Moon, animals, and hunting. Varro and Virgilius describe her as one of the twelve fundamental divinity for agriculture. The Romans recognized three aspects of her, also called the triad. As the Moon-goddess, they called her not by chance Luna, italian for Moon while, as an underworld deity of magic Hekate,…

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Worm Moon: March full moon

As we already know, the full Moon names come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, but also European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, and not only to the full Moon. As the Northern hemisphere begins to warm and the soil begins to stir, so rises the Worm Moon, this year on March 28, 2021. Also called Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon, Sugar Moon, Seed Moon, Chaste Moon, or Lenten Moon, this is traditionally…

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Happy Birthday Venice, 1600 years!

As story goes today, 25th March 2021, Venice turns 1600 years old. But Venice, was it really founded on March 25th 421 AD at noon? Actually no. Venice has a history spanning almost 16 centuries that involves numerous intrigues, 120 doges, several oppressors such as Napoleon and the Austrians, as well as many battles amongst others with the Turks, even though it’s not always possible to differentiate the historical facts from the legends. In short, the foundation of the Serenissima’s city is traced back to the legendary laying of the…

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Hilaria: the roman festival that commemorated the worship of the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her devotee Attis

In the last several centuries before the fall of the Roman Empire (476 A.D.), Roman devotees of the goddess Cybele celebrated a festival of laughter and rejoicing on this day, March 25. Known as Hilaria, it was considered the day of the resurrection of the god Attis, who had died three days earlier. As the god of vegetation and beloved son and lover of the goddess Cybele, he represented the god-sacrifice who, after dying, rises again (by the hand of the Goddess) as the spirit of spring. Scholars believe that…

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March 17 | Liberalia: an ancient rite of passage

On March 17 the Romans celebrated Liberalia with sacrifices, processions, ribald and gauche songs, and masks which were hung on trees. After the abolition of the Bacchanalia, from the following year these celebrations were established, wild parties (but much less than the previous ones) in honor of the God Libero and his consort Libera, deities linked to wine, to the joy of living and crowned with ivy, such as Bacchus (the Roman version of the Greek god Dionysus). It was not uncommon for a deity to be split into masculine…

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Bacchanalia: the festivals of Bacchus, Roman God of Wine and Fertility

Bacchus was a Roman agricultural god who was associated with the harvest, particularly that of grapevines. The son of Jupiter by a human woman, Semele, he was raised by nymphs after her mother burned to ashes, overwhelmed by the splendor of Jupiter in his true form. Once he grew up, Bacchus wandered the earth learning about the culture of the vine and the mysteries of winemaking. He studied the religious rites of the goddess Rhea, and began sharing the good news far and wide. When Bacchus returned home from his…

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The Ides of March and the celebration of roman goddess Anna Perenna

Julius Caesar was warned by a seer that harm would befall him before the end of the Ides of March, on March the 15th. The seer was right, as he was assassinated on that day. His assassination on 15th of March 44 BC, was a turning point in Roman history. Centuries later, the expression “Beware the Ides of March” was found in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in 1601 in the soothsayer’s message to Julius Caesar, warning of his death. Since then, the Ides of March became notorious as being associated with…

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March 14: Mamuralia

In ancient Roman religion, the Mamuralia or Sacrum Mamurio (“Rite for Mamurius”) was a festival held on this day, March 14 or 15, named only in a couple of sources from late antiquity. Apparently an old man wearing animal skins was beaten ritually with sticks. The name is connected to Mamurius Veturius who, according to tradition, was the craftsman who made the ritual shields (ancilia) that hung in the temple of Mars. Because the Roman calendar originally began in March, the Sacrum Mamurio is usually regarded as a ritual marking…

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Fukushima disaster: what happened 10 years ago at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Exactly ten years ago, on a Friday afternoon, March 11, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan struck off the country’s eastern coast. The 9.0-magnitude quake was so forceful it shifted the Earth off its axis, triggered a tsunami which swept over the main island of Honshu, killing more than 18,000 people and wiping entire towns off the map. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture (on the country’s east coast, about 220km north-east of the capital Tokyo), the gigantic wave surged…

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Salii: the jumping priests of Rome

In ancient Roman religion, the Salii were the “leaping priests” (from the verb saliō “leap, jump”) of Mars supposed to have been introduced by King Numa Pompilius. They were twelve young patrician, dressed as archaic warriors: an embroidered tunic, a breastplate, a short red cloak called paludamentum, a sword, and a spiked headdress called apex. They were charged with the twelve oblong bronze shields with two recesses on the sides, called Ancilia. Among them, there was the authentic shield that Mars dropped from the sky as a gift to king…

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Navigium Isidis: the festival of Isis in Rome

March 5 was the date of an annual, ancient Roman, nautical religious festival called Navigium Isidis, literally “Vessel of Isis”, which was dedicated to Isis, an ancient Egyptian goddess who had been reinterpreted by and for the Greco-Roman world. In the Roman Empire, Isis was identified with various Greek and Roman goddesses, such as Aphrodite, Demeter, Artemis, Tyche, and Fortuna. These complex theological associations were often expressed pictorially, and she was occasionally depicted as a syncretistic deity with the attributes and iconography of one or more of these goddesses. Along…

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Ancient celebrations of March 1st

March, spring month par excellence, marked the beginning of the Roman year, which did not end in winter, like ours. Nothing gives the idea of a new beginning better than the blooming of the first flowers, used to adorn the altars of Juno Lucina, the goddess who protected childbirth and brought light and fertility. March is named after the god Mars: according to the legend, Romulus chose to call the first month of the year this way in order to honor his divine father. The first day of March in…

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#TodayInHistory – March 31

March 31 – Some Important Events on this day 1146 👉🏼 Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade. Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade. 1492 👉🏼 Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon issue the Alhambra Decree which expels Jews from their kingdoms 1521 👉🏼 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan takes possession of Homohon, Archipelago of St Lazarus, Philippines 🇵🇭 1657 👉🏼 English Parliament makes the Humble Petition to Military and Political Leader…

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#March 30, 1282: when Sicilian’s bells rang out for freedom

On this day, March 30, 1282 Sicilians decided that they had had enough and in a brutal uprising known as the War of the Vespers turned on their oppressors: the result was a conflict lasting 20 years and a balance of power shift that went on for 400 years. French King Charles I invaded the Italian island of Sicily in 1266 and through conquest became the King of Sicily. As a result, the French imposed a rule of iron with high taxes and the Sicilian population were constantly insulted and…

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#TodayInHistory – March 30

March 30 – Some Important Events on this day 240 BC 👉🏼 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet ☄️ 1282 👉🏼 The people of Sicily rebel against the Angevin king Charles I, in what becomes known as the Sicilian Vespers. ✔️ Read the article! 1796 👉🏼 Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, discovers the construction of the heptadecagon. 1814 👉🏼 Napoleonic Wars: Sixth Coalition forces march into Paris after defeating Napoleon. 1856 👉🏼 Russia signs the Treaty of Paris, ending the Crimean War. On that year Treaty of Paris settled…

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#TodayInHistory – March 29

March 29 – Some Important Events on this day 1461 👉🏼 Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton. Duke Edward of York defeats the Lancastrian army, deposes King Henry VI and Queen Margaret of Anjou and proclaims himself as King Edward IV. 1549 👉🏼 The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, is founded 🇧🇷 1673 👉🏼 English King Charles II accepts Test Act: Roman Catholics excluded from public functions 1792 👉🏼 King Gustav III of Sweden dies after being shot in the back at a midnight…

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#TodayInHistory – March 28

March 28 – Some Important Events on this day 37 👉🏼 3rd Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Caligula (which means “little soldier’s boots), accepts the titles of the Principate, entitled to him by the Senate. 364 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Valentinian I appoints his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor 845 👉🏼 Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving. A 5,000 strong fleet of Danish Vikings invaded Frankish lands in this year and only retreated after…

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#March 27, 1887: Prince Albert Memorial’s architect died on this day

Sir George Gilbert Scott (in Photo), the English architect who designed the Albert Memorial, located in London’s Hyde Park, died on this day, March 27 1878. Queen Victoria was described as an “utterly broken-hearted and crushed widow” when in 1861 her beloved husband, Prince Albert, died in their Windsor Castle at the age of 42. In his honour, she had the Albert Memorial built at a cost of £120,000 – about £10.5 million ($17 million) in today’s money. Standing 54 meters high and featuring a huge seated gilt bronze statue…

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#TodayInHistory – March 27

March 27 – Some Important Events on this day 1513 👉🏼 Spaniard Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first sight Florida. The explorer first arrived in the Caribbean with Columbus’ 2nd voyage in 1493. In 1502 he served under the new governor of Hispaniola, Nicolás de Ovando and was involved with the massacre of the local population of Taínos. Later he became the governor of the eastern part of Hispaniola. In 1508 he founded the first European settlement in Puerto Rico, Camparra. Eventually, in 1513 with a royal contract…

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#March 26, 1726: one of the most grisly murder cases in English criminal history

A report on this day, March 26 1726 that a dismembered body had been discovered in London led to what was one of the most grisly murder cases in the annals of English criminal history. In short, a wife had arranged her husband’s death. Born in 1690, Catherine Hall married carpenter John Hayes when she was 16. They set up home in West London where, in 1725, Thomas Wood, a butcher, and Thomas Billings, a tailor, came to live with the couple. The promiscuous Mrs Hayes, by then the mother…

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#TodayInHistory – March 26

March 26 – Some Important Events on this day 127 👉🏼 Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy begins his observations of the heavens (until 141 AD) ✨ 1027 👉🏼 Pope John XIX crowns Conrad II Holy Roman Emperor, founder of the Salian dynasty. 1726 👉🏼 one the most grisly murder cases in the annals of English criminal history. ✔️ Read the article! 1812 👉🏼 Earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale destroys 90% of Caracas, Venezuela and kills an estimated 15,000–20,000 people. The Caracas earthquake occurred at 4:37 p.m. Two major…

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#TodayInHistory – March 25

March 25 – Some Important Events on this day 31 👉🏼 1st Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus 🐣 421 👉🏼 Friday at 12 PM – city of Venice founded 🇮🇹 1199 👉🏼 Richard I, Lion Heart, King o f England, is wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leads to his death on April 6 1436 👉🏼 Florentine cathedral Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore with dome by Filippo Brunelleschi consecrated by Pope Eugene IV 1609 👉🏼 Explorer and navigator Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch…

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#TodayInHistory – March 24

March 24 – Some Important Events on this day 1545 👉🏼 German Parliament opens in Worms 🇩🇪 1603 👉🏼 Scottish King James VI son of Mary Queen of Scots, becomes King James I of England in succession to Elizabeth I, thus joining the English and Scottish crowns 👑 1603 👉🏼 Tokugawa Ieyasu is granted the title of shogun, officially establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate which would rule Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also one of the three unifiers of Japan. 1664 👉🏼 Theologian and colonist Roger Williams…

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#TodayInHistory – March 23

March 23 – Some Important Events on this day 1490 👉🏼 1st dated edition of Maimonides “Mishneh Torah”, a code of Jewish religious law is published 1775 👉🏼 Patrick Henry proclaims “Give me liberty or give me death” in speech in favour of Virginian troops joining US Revolutionary war 🇺🇸 1808 👉🏼 Napoleon’s brother Joseph takes the throne of Spain 🇪🇸 1857 👉🏼 Elisha Otis installs his 1st elevator at 488 Broadway in New York City. Founder of the Otis Elevator Company, he invented a safety device that prevents elevators…

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#TodayInHistory – March 22

March 22 – Some Important Events on this day 1622 👉🏼 First American Indian (Powhatan) massacre of Europeans in Jamestown Virginia, 347 victims. 1765 👉🏼 Stamp Act passed – 1st direct British tax on American colonists, organized by Prime Minister George Grenville. 1778 👉🏼 Captain James Cook sights Cape Flattery, now in Washington state 1784 👉🏼 The Emerald Buddha is moved with great ceremony to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand. Built in the 18th century, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew, is situated…

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#March 21, 1152: Eleanor and the most expensive divorce in History!

In the 12th Century Eleanor, the Duchess of Acquitane, controlled about a quarter of all France and was by far the richest woman in Europe. She had been married to King Louis VII of France for nearly 15 years, probabably a great love, but that was about to end. Louis, in fact, wanted a son, but under Salic law no woman could inherit the throne of France and Louis desperately wanted a male heir. So desperately, in fact, that he was willing to let Eleanor go, along with her vast…

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#TodayInHistory – March 21

March 21 – Some Important Events on this day 1152 👉🏼 In what was the most expensive divorces in history, French King Louis VII is granted an annulment from Eleanor of Aquitaine on the grounds of consanguinity (being from the same kinship as another person) ✔️ Read the article! 1349 👉🏼 Between 100 and 3,000 Jews are killed in Black Death riots in Erfurt, Germany 🇩🇪 1804 👉🏼 Napoleonic Code adopted in France, stresses clearly written and accessible law 🇫🇷 1826 👉🏼 Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 13” in B flat…

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#TodayInHistory – March 20

March 20 – Some Important Events on this day 1345 👉🏼 Saturn, Jupiter and Mars-conjunction: thought “cause of plague epidemic” 🪐 1616 👉🏼 Walter Raleigh released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana. Known for popularising tobacco in England and for his expedition to South America in search of a “City of Gold”, explorer Walter Raleigh published an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of “El Dorado”. A favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, he was distrusted by Elizabeth’s successor, King James…

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#TodayInHistory – March 19

March 19 – Some Important Events on this day 1279 👉🏼 A Mongolian victory at the naval Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China 1452 👉🏼 Frederick III of Hapsburg crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Nicholas V in Rome 1644 👉🏼 200 members of Peking imperial family and court commit suicide in loyalty to the Emperor 🇨🇳 1859 👉🏼 Opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premieres in Paris 🇫🇷 1863 👉🏼 Confederate cruiser SS Georgiana destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, and medicines then…

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#March 18, 1662: the first public buses began to run in Paris, probably 200 years ahead of its time.

The first public buses began to run on this day, March 18, 1662, even if it was an idea probably 200 years ahead of its time. The service, introduced in Paris, was abandoned in 1675 and public transport did not return to the streets of any major city until 1895, exactly 233 years later. The idea was promoted by Blaise Pascal who was a man of many talents: physicist, philosopher, mathematician, inventor, author – and more. The Governor of Poitou, the Duke of Ronanes, thought it was such a good…

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