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What’s the Lupercalia? Roman holidays – Religion

By |2017-09-04T15:43:30+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The decorated ceiling of the cave where people may have celebrated the Lupercalia, under the Palatine Hill in Rome. In the time of the kings of Rome, about 600 BC (and maybe even earlier), when the people of central Italy were all shepherds and farmers and lived in villages, they got cold and bored during the rainy winters and wanted to have [...]

What is a Christian priest? History of Religion

By |2017-08-23T09:57:31+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Priest blessing people who have the plague Very soon after the crucifixion of Jesus, by around 40 or 50 AD, the early Christians began to choose leaders from among themselves. The Christians called these leaders presbyters, or "elders" in Greek. That's where we get our word priest from. The congregation - the people who went to the [...]

What does it mean to be Pope? History of Christianity

By |2018-04-24T23:11:02+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Peter and Paul, in a mosaic from Ravenna (500s AD) In the later Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, the Pope was the leader of the Catholic Church. Whenever there was a question about whether God would like something or not, people could ask the Pope, and he would tell them what God wanted. According to [...]

Byzantine Iconoclasm and Iconodules: History of Christianity

By |2018-05-17T00:21:35+00:00August 22nd, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Icon of St. Nicholas (Russia) Byzantine iconoclasm By the early 700s AD, the Roman Empire had seen four hundred years of religious arguments about what or who Jesus Christ was. The Arians believed that Christ was all god. The Catholics believed that Christ was entirely and inseparably both god and man. (More about Arianism) And people had fought over every [...]

Pope Gregory the Great – Early medieval Christianity

By |2018-04-13T11:21:23+00:00August 22nd, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Pope Gregory the Great writing, carved near Strasbourg, about 875 AD. That's under Charlemagne's grandchildren. The Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) sits on his shoulder and dictates to him. The elephant ivory is probably from Kenya. (Now in Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum) Gregory was Pope in Rome beginning in 590 AD. That's just after [...]

Renaissance Science in Europe

By |2017-08-07T21:36:38+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

Copernicus, a Renaissance astronomer Starting in the 1200s AD, as Europe got richer, great universities got started there. In the later Middle Ages, West Asia and India suffered from the Mongol invasions. West Asian people were too poor to send their children to the old university at Baghdad. In the 1300s, the Black Death killed so many people in Egypt that the old university at Cairo also didn't have [...]

Jesuits after 1700 – History of religion

By |2018-04-08T21:33:36+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

Jesuit teachers in Brazil By the 1700s AD, the Jesuits owned a lot of farms and mines in countries all over the world. The governments of these countries started to worry that the Jesuits were too powerful. Also, the governments wanted to get their hands on all the money the Jesuits were making. The Enlightenment was making a [...]

History of the Jesuits – Catholicism

By |2018-04-24T09:23:19+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

History of the Jesuits: Ignatius of Loyola, who started the Jesuits Ignatius of Loyola In the early 1500s AD, the Protestants were the new thing in Europe. Protestants were getting more and more popular. A few students at the University of Paris in 1534, led by Ignatius of Loyola, wanted to make it cool to be a Catholic again. [...]

Niccolo Machiavelli – The Prince – Florence

By |2018-04-08T11:14:28+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Niccolo Machiavelli Around 1500 AD, Machiavelli was working for the government in the city-state of Florence. Florence was smack in the middle of the Renaissance, which meant that everybody in Florence was thinking and talking about how cool ancient Rome was. After the Medicis tortured him and pushed him out of power in 1513, Machiavelli began writing books [...]

Raphael – Biography – Renaissance art

By |2018-04-23T09:44:15+00:00August 4th, 2017|Art, Modern Europe|

Raphael's early selfie as a teenager Raphael, Titian, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci were the four greatest painters of the Renaissance in Italy. Raphael was born in 1483, when Michelangelo was eight years old and Leonardo was already grown up; Titian was a little younger. With their new Chinese compasses, the first European ships were just beginning to sail south to Congo and Angola. Columbus reached the Caribbean when Raphael was nine [...]