Today is Ferragosto in Italy: it is a public holiday celebrated on 15 August, coinciding with the Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary. The modern Italian name of the holiday comes directly from the Latin name: ” Feriae Augusti” (Holidays of Emperor Augustus), which were introduced by emperor Augustus in 18 BC. All the… Read More 15 August: “Feriae Augusti”
August 13 is the International Left-Handers Day . It was created in 1976 as a way to celebrate left-handers, but also to raise awareness of the inconveniences they have to face in a predominantly right-handed world. In the past left-handedness was viewed with suspicion, and in the Middle Ages, left-handed writers were thought to be… Read More 13 August: International Left-Handers Day
The “Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore” (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower) is the main church of Florence, Italy. “Il Duomo di Firenze”, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 and completed in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the… Read More 7 August 1420 – Construction of the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore begins in Florence.
From 1562 to 1598, France saw a series of bloody wars between Catholics and Protestant Huguenots, called “the French Wars of Religion” , which ended with the Edict of Nantes, issued in 1598 by King Henry IV, a treaty that fostered religious tolerance. Nine years earlier, “le bon roi Henri” (the good king Henry)… Read More 25 July 1593: “Paris is worth a Mass”
24 july 1911 – Hiram Bingham re-discovers Machu Picchu, “the Lost City of the Incas”. Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated in the middle of a tropical mountain forest on the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes, in the Cusco Region. In the Quechua native language, “Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” or “Old… Read More 24 july 1911: H. Bingham discovers Machu Picchu
Today, Rastafarians mark the birthday of Haile Selassie I, former Emperor of Ethiopia, who is regarded as God. Haile Selassie I (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), was Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and emperor from 1930 to 1974. He also served as Chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity . The Rastafari… Read More Haile Selassie
Mary Magdalene was the Jewish woman who, according to texts included in the New Testament, travelled with Jesus as one of his followers. When all the men abandoned him , Mary of Magdala was one of the women who remained. She was present at the Crucifixion, and at the tomb, and she was the… Read More 22 July: St. Mary Magdalene’s feast day
In 1799, during Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovered a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different languages, which were three versions of the same decree, issued at Memphis, Egypt in… Read More 15 July 1799: the Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta
Ludi Apollinares (6 – 13 July) The Ludi Apollinares were games organized in Rome in 212 BC, which , at first, were not meant to become a traditional part of their religious calendar. But four years later in 208 BC, the Romans passed a law, according to which they became a celebration held annually… Read More Ludi Apollinares (6 – 13 July)
Among the first Spaniards to venture into the Yucatán Peninsula, the Franciscan friar Diego de Landa owes his fame, and infamy, to two distinct but related actions: 1. He is the author of the “Relación de las cosas de Yucatán” (Account of the Things of Yucatán,) : a document providing a vivid, detailed description of… Read More 12 July, 1562: Fray Diego de Landa burns the sacred books of the Maya.