Romulus and Remus in Art

Romulus and Remus are the two legendary founders of the city of Rome. This article explores how they’ve been depicted artistically throughout time. The header image is a mosaic “of Romulus and Remus, dated 511 CE, at the Museum of Maarat an-Nouman”.

Click here to view my commentary on the origins of the names Romulus, Remus, and Rome.

Sculptures:

The Capitoline Wolf. The wolf part has been dated to the 11th-12th centuries, while Romulus and Remus date to the 15th century.
Photo by Klaus Heese. “Romulus and Remus suckled by the she-wolf, discovered by shepherds (back side).” It was found in 1880 or 1881 and dates to 124 AD.

Coins:

[source, page 601]
[source, page 602]

Mosaics:

This mosaic dates to the 4th-5th centuries AD.

Paintings:

“Ludovico Carracci (1555–1619) and/or Annibale Carracci (1560–1609), She-Wolf Suckling Romulus and Remus (1589-92), fresco, dimensions not known, Palazzo Magnani, Bologna, Italy.”
“Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), Romulus and Remus (1615-16), oil on canvas, 213 x 212 cm, Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy.”
“Carlo Maratta (1625–1713), The Finding of Romulus and Remus (1680-92), oil on canvas, 263 x 394 cm, Bildergalerie (Sanssouci), Brandenburger Vorstadt, Germany. “
“Pietro da Cortona (1596–1669), Romulus and Remus Sheltered by Faustulus (c 1643), oil on canvas, 251 x 266 cm , Musée du Louvre, Paris.”
“Nicolas Mignard (1606–1668), The Shepherd Faustulus Bringing Romulus and Remus to His Wife (1654), oil on canvas, 148.5 × 145.1 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX.”

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Vitruvius

Vitruvius (c.80-c.15 BC) was a Roman author, architect, civil and military engineer.

It was believed for some time that Vitruvius was unknown during the middle ages until Poggio Bracciolini and Cencio Rustici found a text attributed to him in St. Gall’s monastery library in 1416. This belief has since been commonly discarded due to arguments that Vitruvius was indeed read prior to 1416. Here’s a list of the people who are now believed to have known about Vitruvius in the middle ages: Hermann the Paralytic of Reichenau (1013-1054), Hugo of St. Victor (c.1096-1141), Gervase of Melkley (c.1185-1219), Vincent of Beauvais (c.1184/94-c.1264), William of Malmesbury (c.1095-1143), Theoderich of St. Trond, Petrus Diaconus (1107-1159), Albertus Magnus (d.1280), maybe Filippo Villani (1325-1407), Jean de Montreuil (1354-1418), Petrarch (1304-1374), Boccaccio (1313-1375), Giovanni Dondi from Padua (1330-1388), Domenico di Bandino of Arezzo (c.1335-1418), and Nicola Acciaioli (1310-1365). I’m still foggy as to what extent these people are believed to have been familiar with Vitruvius.

Most of the lifespan dates on this article are from quick glances at wiki articles.

The first printed edition of Vitruvius appeared in 1486.[1, p.38]

The manuscripts:

The one found in St. Gall in 1416.[1, p.38]

One found in the Pavia library in 1431.[1, p.38]

Two found in the Medici collection in Florence.[1, p.38]

One that belonged to Florentine Francesco Sassetti (1421-1490).[1, p.38]

One copied in Naples in 1453.[1, p.38]

One with the arms of Alfonso of Naples.[1, p.38]

One that Cardinal Bessarion presented to the Venetian republic.[1, p.39]

One known to Francesco Maturanzio (1443-1518) and his friend, Antonio Moretto of Brescia.[1, p.39]

Ambrosiana A 90 sup., copied in 1474. This one is believed to have belonged to the procurator of S. Marco in Venice, Gerardo Sagredo.[1, p.39]

Ambrosiana A 137 sup., written in 1463 in Milan.[1, p.39]

A manuscript from 1463 in Budapest.[1, p.39]

Ambrosiana B 43 sup., once owned by Cardinal Federigo Borromeo.[1, p.39]

A MS that was in the Urbino Library in 1482.[1, p.39]

Vatican Chisianus H IV 113, owned by a member of the Piccolomini family.[1, p.39]

Two MSS owned by Duke Humphrey of Gloucester (1390-1447).[1, p.39]

Here’s a list of the extant manuscripts:

I numbered the MSS for easier reference.

Austria

1 – Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, MS. 54 (alias CLXVI and Ph. 60). Dated 15th century.[1, p.43]
Provenance: In the Imperial Library by 1725.[1, p.44]

2 – Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, MS. 310 (alias CCCVIII and Rec. 272). Dated 15th century.[1, p.44]

3 – Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, MS. 3113 (alias CLXVII and Ph. 103). Dated 1478.[1, p.44]

Belgium

4 – Brussels, Bibliotheque Royale, MS. 5253.
Dated 9th c., 9th-11th cc., 10th c., and 11th c..[1, p.44]

France

5 – Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Lat. 7227 (ex-5439 and 1439).
Dated 11th c., 11th-12th c., and 15th c.
Provenance: In Bibl. Nat. before 1744.[1, p.45]

6 – Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Lat. 7228 (ex-5438 and 1438).
Dated 1319.
Provenance: In Bibl. Nat. before 1744.[1, p.45]

7 – Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Lat. 7382 (ex-6047).
Dated 15th century.
Provenance: In Bibl. Nat. before 1744.[1, p.46]

8 – Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Lat. 10277 (ex-suppl. lat. 1009).
Dated 10th century.
Provenance: Owned by P. Pithou (1539-96).[1, p.46]

9 – Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Lat. 7382 (ex-6047).
Dated 15th century.
Provenance: In Bibl. Nat. before 1744.[1, p.46]

10 – Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Nouv. Acq. Lat. 1236.
Dated 11th century.[1, p.46]

11 – Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Nouv. Acq. Lat. 1422.
Dated 15th century.[1, p.47]

12 – Selestat, Bibliotheque et Archives Municipales, MS. 17 (ex-1153 bis).
Dated 10th century.
Provenance: 16th century.[1, p.47]

German Federal Republic

13 – Marburg, University Library, cod. Phillipps 3361 on deposit from Berlin Staatsbibliothek, where MS. was cod. lat. quart. 735. Dated 15th century.
Provenance: Berlin Staatsbibliothek since 1912.[1, p.47]

14 – Munich, Staatsbibliothek, CLM. 631.
Provenance: Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)?[1, p.48]

15 – Tubingen, University Library, MS. on deposit from Berlin Staatsbibliothek, where MS. was cod. lat. fol. 601.
Dated 9th-14th cc..
Provenance: Apparently Quaritch sold it to Berlin Staatsbibliothek in 1898.[1, p.48]

16 – Wolfenbuttal, Herzog-August Bibliothek, Gudianus 69 (ex-931).
Dated 11th or 13th century.[1, p.48]

17 – Wolfenbuttal, Herzog-August Bibliothek, Gudianus 132 (ex-932).
Dated 9th, 10th, or 11th century.[1, p.48]

Great Britain

18 – Dated 14th-15th cc..[1, p.48]

19 – Dated 12th-13th cc..[1, p.49]

20 – Dated 15th c..[1, p.49]

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References:

[1] – Krinsky, Carol Herselle. “Seventy-Eight Vitruvius Manuscripts.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. 30, 1967, pp. 36-70. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/750736. Accessed 7 Sept. 2020.

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Barlaam and Josaphat, Legendary Christian Saints

The legend of Barlaam and Josaphat is about the supposed events which led to the Christianization of India. It has inspired an incredible amount of literature and has been translated into many languages, such as but not limited to: Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Old French, Latin, Greek, Ethiopian, Georgian, Arabic, Slavic, Nordic, and English.

There are many, fuller versions, but here is a simplified and concise version of the legend:

Abenner (aka Avenier or Avennis), the Indian king, is told by his astrologers that his son, Prince Josaphat, would be converting to Christianity in the near future. Abenner hated and persecuted Christians, so in an attempt to prevent his son from becoming one, he builds a luxurious palace for his son to live in which was to shelter the prince from the dangers and miseries of life.

Eventually Josaphat explores beyond the palace gates. He sees a leper, a blind man, an old man, and a corpse. The prince has doubts as to what he’s seen and becomes agitated. God then sends Barlaam, a hermit. In one account, Barlaam is sent from Sarandip (Ceylon, Sri Lanka. In another account, he is sent from Senaar. Barlaam shows Josaphat a rare stone (which represents Christianity) and tells the prince numerous parables which always resulted in Josaphat concluded that the only way to salvation was through Christianity. Barleem then tells Josaphat that he was sent by God and that Josaphat would become a Christian, regardless of his father’s stance on it.

The king was not able to stop his son from converting, and chose to give half of the kingdom to Josaphat in a final attempt to win him away from Christianity. Soon-after, Josaphat converts his father, abdicates, and retreats to the desert wilderness to spend “his life as a pious ascetic”.[1, p.132]

The End.

“There is a great deal of speculation and controversy among scholars as to the model on which the Barlaam and Josaphat story is based.”[1, p.132]
~ Siegfried A. Schulz

Schulz (1981) commented that the core elements appear to be taken from “the detailed narrative of Buddha’s life”, the Lalitavistara, which is among the most sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism. Pitts (1981) also notes that Josaphat is based on Buddha. In his work, Pitts lays out the comparisons between the Christian and Buddhist legends concisely and clearly.

“The earliest Syriac and Arabic versions were responsible for the change in the names of the protagonists in the new versions. Because a scribe mistook the Pahlavi letter ‘B’ for a ‘J’, the Arabic story read, instead of ‘Budhasaf’ (from ‘Bodhisattva’), ‘Jus Asaf’, which became Joasaph’ in the earliest Greek version, and then ‘Josaphat’ in the Latin versions.”[1, p.133]
~ Siegfried A. Schulz

The origins of the legend are obscure. At some (unnamed) point, a monk Christianized the Buddhist (then Machinean) story. This Christianized story reached Jerusalem’s Sabas Monastery. It’s there where John of Damascus makes a scholarly treatise based wholly on Christian theology out of it.

Schulz makes note that it appears many Buddhist “exempla and topoi found their way into the New Testament”. He cites the parallels between the story in Matthew 18:9 and the story of the Buddhist nun in the Therigata. He also cites the parallels between Luke 2:25-32 and the Suttanipata‘s ‘Nalakasutta’.[1, p.134] Finally, he brings up the similarity between the story of Jesus questioning the Pharisees and the story found in Chapter 10 of the Lalitavistara, where the Boddhisattva questions the schoolmaster. Personally, I couldn’t help but note that the Lalitavistara has 27 chapters and the New Testament has 27 books.

“Anastasius’ full Latin translation, as well as the shorter Latin version by Vincent de Beauvais (a Dominican monk, 1190-1264), assured the Barlaam and Josaphat story a cordial reception by West European medieval writers.”[1, p.136]
~ Siegfried A. Schulz

Bishop Otto II of Freising wrote a German version of the story and published it anonymously around 1200. Rudolf von Ems, “one of the most learned and prolific writers of his time” wrote a German version around 1220 “replete with grammatical rhymes, anaphoras, alliterations, and sundry elements of ornamental style”.[1, p.137] Gui de Cambrai wrote a French version around 1240. Iacopo de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa wrote an Italian version known as ‘Golden Legends’ (Legenda Aurea) around 1290. Hilario de Lourinha wrote a Portuguese version in novel form known as Barlao e Josaphat in the 14th century. There were two French mystery plays based on it in the 15th century. There were two Italian dramas written by Socci Perretano and Benardo Pulci in the 15th century. The drama Barlan y Josafa was written by Lope de Vega in 1618. Jakob Bidermann, the German Jesuit, released a Baroque style drama in Latin titled Josaphatus, sive Drama de Josaphato et Barlaamo in 1619. Jacob Mason, another German Jesuit, staged his Baroque style drama in Latin (Josaphatus Tragicomoedia historica) “for the benefit of those Catholic delegates to the peace conference meeting at Munster in 1647”.

Although these two characters (Barlaam and Josaphat) are typically considered fictional today, people in the past (and possibly still today) did not always feel this way. Petrus de Natalibus included them in the Catalogus Sanctorum (Rome, 1380). They were also included in the official 1583 Martyrologium Romanum. They hold feast dates (Nov. 27th and Aug. 26) in the Eastern Orthodox churches.

“…in 1571, the Doge of Venice presented King Sebastian of Portugal with precious relics: a bone and part of the spine of St. Josaphat…”[1, p.138]
~ Siegfried A. Schulz

The historian Diogo do Couto, a companion of Marco Polo, in 1612 “thought that the Buddhist legend was an imitation of the Christian legend, or perhaps that Buddha was Joshua”.[2] In July 1859, in Journal des Debats, Edouard Laboulaye took the first serious steps to note the parallels between the two legends. Liebrecht, also in 1859, independently had done the same. H. Peri (Pflaum) made serious contributions to the study in 1959.

There is a non-Christian version of the story (The Prince and the Dervish) written in Hebrew by Abraham Ibn Chisdai. The abbot of the Dabra Libanos monastery completed an Ethiopian version in 1553.

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References:

[1] – Schulz, Siegfried A. “Two Christian Saints? The Barlaam and Josaphat Legend.” India International Centre Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 2, 1981, pp. 131–143. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23001850. Accessed 7 Sept. 2020.

[2] – Pitts, Monique B. “BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT: A LEGEND FOR ALL SEASONS.” Journal of South Asian Literature, vol. 16, no. 1, 1981, pp. 3–16. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40873618. Accessed 8 Sept. 2020.

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Over 200 Mammoth Skeletons Discovered Near Mexico City

A rare graveyard containing over 200 mammoth skeletons, about 25 camels, and 5 horses (all now extinct) was recently discovered at an army-led airport construction site located just north of Mexico City. The project is expected to turn up even more skeletons than what have already been found. This is now the largest known mammoth graveyard, knocking the one in Hot Springs, South Dakota (which has about 61 mammoths) down to number two.

“There are too many. There are hundreds.”
~ Pedro Sánchez Nava,
Archeologist with Mexico’s
National Institute of Anthropology and History

The experts reported that they believed these creatures died sometime between 8,000 and 18,000 BCE. Human presence has been detected as there have been many mammoth-bone tools discovered along with the skeletons. The cause of the herd’s death is not yet certain. There were artificial pits (traps made by humans for catching prey) found about 12 miles away, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that humans trapped this massive herd.

“What caused these animals extinction, everywhere there is a debate, whether it was climate change or the presence of humans. I think in the end the decision will be that there was a synergy effect between climate change and human presence.”
~ Joaquin Arroyo Cabrales, Paleontologist

The archaeologists working on the graveyard are hopeful that this find will shed more light on to the exact reasons why the large mammals went extinct. The airport construction is scheduled to continue regardless of the skeletons and is expected to be completed by early 2022, so keep your eyes out for more news about this dig.

Here are some images from the find:

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References:

[1] – https://apnews.com/29d8dd7da7b8bce72eee1fa3656e630a. Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[2] – https://www.businessinsider.com/200-mammoths-found-mexico-city-airport-2020-9. Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[3] – https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/mexico-citys-new-airport-site-becomes-mammoth-central/. Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

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The 29 Fundamental Points of Chronology

This article contains the list of 29 “Fundamental Points” of chronology given by Petavius.[1, p.46-48]

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Hearne communicated Petavius’ 29 points[2]. Below, the dates are marked directly after the point number. They begin in BC, and descend until 1 AD, at which point they continue on as AD.

Points 1-7 are a mixed bag of history, having a bit of every type of history aside from Islamic, which happens to be the very last point, #29. Points 8-16 are all Greek history. Points 17-28 are all Roman history.
The number of points for each type of history and the percentage they make up for the 29 points:
Roman: 13. 44.8%.
Greek: 10. 34.4%.
Persian: 3. 10.3%.
Jewish: 1. 3.4%.
Babylonian: 1. 3.4%.
Islamic: 1. 3.4%.

Greek and Roman history are just shy of making up 80% (4/5) of the 29 points.

The 29 points are:

1 – 38. The Sabbatical Year of the Iews. (Jewish)

2 – 776 BC. The beginning of the Olympiads. (Greek)

3 – 753. The building of Rome according to Varro. (Roman)

4 – 747. The Aera of Nabonassar. (Babylonian)

5 – 560. Cyrus lays the Foundation of the Persian Monarchy. (Persian)

6 – 529. Cambisis, Cyrus‘s Son, began to reign. 529-BC. (Persian)

7 – 521. Darius, Histaspes‘s Son, began to reign. 521-BC. (Persian)

8 – 480. Sea-fight betwixt Xerxes and the Grecians near Salamina. (Greek)

9 – 431. The beginning of the Peloponesian War. (Greek)

10 – 331. A Victory gain’d by Alexander the Great at Arabella; the end of the Persian Empire. (Greek)

11 – 324. The Death of Alexander the Great. (Greek)

12 – 312. The Aera of the Seleucidae. (Greek)

13 – 285. Ptolomeus Philadelpus began his Reign. (Greek)

14 – 181. Ptolomeus VI. or Philometor began to Reign. (Greek)

15 – 168. The Kingdom of Macedon ends in Perseus. (Greek)

16 – 168. Antiochus Epiphanes prophanes the Temple. (Greek)

17 – 45. The first Iulian Year. (Roman)

18 – 38. The Aera of Spain. (Roman)

19 – 31. The Battle of Actium, wherein Anthony is vanquished, and Cleopatra dies.
30. Whence the Egyptians began an Aera. (Roman)

20 – 1 AD. The Vulgar Aera, or the Birth of Jesus Christ, beginning on the Calends, or First Day of Ianuary, the middle of the 4th Year of the 194 Olympiad.Years of the Vulg. Aera. (Roman)

21 – 14. The Death of Caesar Augustus. (Roman)

22 – 41. Claudius succeeds Caius Caligula. (Roman)

23 – 54. Nero reigns after Claudius. (Roman)

24 – 96. Death of Domitian. (Roman)

25 – 284. The Aera of Dioclesian, or of Martyrs. (Roman)

26 – 325. The Council of Nice is held. (Roman)

27 – 337. Constantine the Great dies. (Roman)

28 – 364. Valentinian I. began to reign. (Roman)

29 – 622. The Hegira, or Flight of the false Prophet Mahomet. (Islamic)

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The Latin Text of Petavius’ Rationarium Temporum par. 2. lib. 1. cap. 15.[1, p.46-48]

Page 46

RATIONARII TEMPORUM

CAPUT XV.

Canonium epocharum aliquot, de quibus periti omnes inter se conveniunt.

Per Jul.Ante Christum.
4550164
4578136
467638

1 – Sabbatici anni Judaeorum ab autumno trium horum annorum certissime coepti sunt: ita ut sabbatismus horum trium annorum sinem & sequentium partem majorem occupaverit. Quocirca utcumque de primo Sabbatico post exitum ex AEgypto Chronologus statuat, debet ab ello positus annus tribus istis respondere, infra lib. 2. cap. 7.

2 – Primus agon Iphiti, five Olympiadum initium, contigit anno Per. Jul. 3938. ante Christi vulgarem natalem 776. lib. 3. cap. 1.

3 – Annus primus Urbis Varronianus, five Palilia Varroniana, quae in annum 3. exeuntem Olympoadis 6. conseruntur, congruunt in annum Per. Jul. 3961. ante Christum 735. Capitolinorum vero Fastorum Palilia, quae anno 4. Olympiadis ejusdem imputantur, cadunt in annum Per. Jul. 3962. ante Christum 752. lib. 3. cap. 2.

4 – Aera Nabonassari, qua Ptolemaeus, Censorinus, aliique utuntur, iniit Februarii 26. anni Per. Jul. 3967. ante Christum 747. lib. 3. cap. 3.

5 – Medorum imperium, ultimo in ordinem redacto Rege Astyage, translatum est in Persas, iisque primum regnavit Cyrus anno Per. Jul. 4154. vel 4155. ante Christum 560. vel 559. host est anno 1. Olympiadis 55. lib. 3. cap. 8.

6 – Cambyses Cyri silius regnare est orsus anno Per. Jul. 4185. ante Christum 529. lib. 3. capp. 8. & 10.

Page 47

7 – Darius Hystaspis silius iniit anno Per. Jul. 4193. ante Christium 521. Idem vero saltem ad 31. imperii pervenit annum, ibid.

8 – Xerxis navale cum Graecis certamen ad Salamina sactum est anno 1. Olympiadis 75. Per. Jul. 4234. ante Christum 480. lib. 3. capp. 10. & 11.

9 – Bellum Peloponnesiacum iniit anno Per. Jul. 4283. ante Christum 431. ibid. cap. 11.

10 – Alexandri M. victoria ad Arbella, & imperii Persici occasus, incidit in annum Per. Jul. 4383. ante Christum 331. lib. 3. cap. 12.

11 – Mortuus est Alexander M. anno Per. Jul. 4390. ante Christum 324. aut saltem anno Per. Jul. 4391. ante Christum 323. ibid.

12 – Seleucidarum aera, qua Macedones in Oriente sunt usi, quique anni Graecorum appelantur in libris Machabaeorum, coepit anno Per. Jul. 4402. ante Christum 312. sed in lib. 1. Machab. ejus initium a vere, in secundo libro, ab autumno sequente ducitur, lib. 3. cap. 13.

13 – Ptolemaeus Philadelphus regnare coepit anno Per. Jul. 4429. ante Christum 285. lib. 3. cap. 12.

14 – Ptolemaeus VI. cognomento Philometor iniit anno Per. Jul. 4543. aut 4544. ante Christum 181. vel 180. ibid.

15 – Macedonicum regnum clade Persei defecit in Europa anno Per. Jul. 4546 ante Christum 168. quo anno Paulus Aemilius Macedonas acie superavit, lib. 2. cap. 14.

16 – Antiochus Epiphanes templum prosanavit Hierosolymis anno Seleucidarum 145. Per. Jul. 4546. ante Christum 168. lib. 4. Part. 1. cap. 9.

17 – Annus I. Julianus coeptus est anno Per. Jul. 4669. ante Christum 45. lib. 3. cap. 14.

18 – Aera Hispaniensis incipit anno Per. Jul. 4676. ante Christum 38. ibid.

19 – Victus est ad Actium Antonius cum Cleopatra anno Per. Jul. 4683. ante Christum 31. Mortui sunt autem ambo anno sequenti, a quo & anni Aegyptio

Page 48

Aegyptiorum Actiaci coeperunt. Per. Jul. 4684. ante Christum 30. lib. 3. cap. 15.

20 – Aera Christiana vulgaris incipit a Calendis Januariis anni Per. Jul. 4714. Juliano anno 46. Olympiadis 194. anno 4. dimidiato, lib. 4. c. 1.

21 – Augustus Imperator obiit mensis cognominis die 19. anno Juliano 59. era Christianae 14. lib. 4. cap. 5.

22 – Claudius Nero Cajo successit anno Christi 41. ibid.

23 – Domitius Nero post Claudium imperare coepit anno Christi 14. ibid.

24 – Domitianus anno Christi 96. periit, ibid.

25 – Aera Diocletiani iniit anno Christi 284. lib. 4. cap. 9.

26 – Nicaena Synodus anno Christi 325. celebrata est, lib. 4. cap. 13.

27 – Obiit Constantinus M. anno Christi 337. lib. 5. cap. 11.

28 – Valentianus I. imperare coepit anno Christi 364. lib. 4. cap. 12.

29 – Anni Hegirae, quibus Arabes utuntur ex anno Christi 622. Julii 16. die, procedunt, lib. 4. cap. 15.

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References:

[1] – [Rationarium Temporum par. 2. lib. 1. cap. 15.]. https://books.google.com/books?id=MvxKeFXRmnIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed 4 Sept. 2020.

[2] – https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A43199.0001.001/1:6.1.2?rgn=div3;view=fulltext. Accessed 4 Sept. 2020.

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Magnificent Ancient Royal Estate Unearthed in Jerusalem

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced today the discovery a number of ancient stone artifacts that were once part of a magnificent royal estate that was unearthed on Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv (Commissioner’s Palace) Promenade. They have been dated to around 2,700 years old. The capitals (the crowning member of a column) feature a symbol which represents the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and the Bank of Israel even featured it on their five-shekel coin.

“Five-shekel coin against the background of the capital discovered at Armon Hanatziv. Photo by Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority”

Ya’akov Billig, the excavation director, believes the structure was originally built between the reigns of King Hezekiah and King Josiah, around 700 BC. The style of the capitals is called Proto-Aeolian and is known as one of the most important styles of the First Temple period (c.1000-586 BC).

“This is a first-time discovery of scaled-down models of the giant Proto-Aeolian capitals, of the kind found thus far in the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, where they were incorporated above the royal palace gates. The level of workmanship on these capitals is the best seen to date, and the degree of preservation of the items is rare.”
~ Ya’akov Billig

There were three column capitals found and two of them were discovered neatly stacked on one another.

“At this point it is still difficult to say who hid the capitals in the way they were discovered, and why he did so, but there is no doubt that this is one of the mysteries at this unique site, to which we will try to offer a solution.”
~ Ya’akov Billig

“Simulation of the royal estate that stood in Armon Hanatziv. Illustration by Shalom Kveller/City of David Archives”

Excavators also found luxurious balustrades and window frames. The rest of the structure appears to have been demolished. Archaeologists commenting on it believe that it was most likely destroyed in 586 BC, during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.

The owners and/or inhabitants of the estate have not been identified. Possibly a Judean king or a member of nobility stayed there, but nothing is yet certain.

“This discovery joins villas, mansions and government buildings outside the city’s walls, testifying to the relief felt by the residents after the Assyrian threat was over,”
~ Ya’akov Billig

This is one of many amazing finds from this year. In August, a Biblical-Era citadel was discovered 40 miles south of Jerusalem and also some teens found rare 24 karat gold treasure coins in Yavne, Israel. It will be interesting to see what surfaces next.

The findings of the excavation are to be discussed on September 8th, 2020 at the online Megalim archeology conference.

Here are some more images of the findings:

“Mini capitals that stood at the top of the columns revealed in the Armon Hanatziv excavation. Photo by Shai Halevi/Israel Antiquities Authority”
“The royal stone capitals unearthed at Armon Hanatziv. Photo by Shai Halevi/Israel Antiquities Authority”
“Excavation of the second capital uncovered. Photo by Yoli Shwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority”

Here’s the video from IAA announcing their discovery:

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References:

[1] – https://www.israel21c.org/rare-ancient-royal-mansion-unearthed-in-jerusalem/. Accessed 3 Sept. 2020.

[2] – https://www.breitbart.com/news/limestone-artifacts-from-ancient-royal-mansion-unearthed-in-jerusalem/. Accessed 3 Sept. 2020.

[3] – http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-09/03/c_139340157.htm. Accessed 3 Sept. 2020.

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Biblical-Era Citadel Unearthed In Israel

The unearthing of a Canaanite citadel dating to around 3200 years ago (12th century BCE) has recently been announced by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). It was discovered near the city of Kiryat Gat in southern Israel, about 70 kilometers (40 miles) south of Jerusalem. The experts working on the site believe it was built during the time of the events in the Bible’s Old Testament book of Judges and that it participated in epic battles.

The IAA reports that at the time it was built, the Egyptians ruled the area and they built it to defend against the Philistines. After the site was abandoned by the Egyptians, many Canaanite cities were destroyed, most likely by Philistinian forces.

“A sketch of a 3,200-year-old citadel unearthed near Guvrin Stream and Kibbutz Gal On, August 2020. (drawing by Itamar Weissbein/Israel Antiquities Authority)”

“The citadel we discovered offers a glimpse into the geopolitical reality described in the Book of Judges, where the Canaanites, Israelites and Philistines battle each other.”
~ Ganor & Weissbein

Saar Ganor and Itamar Weissbein, IAA archaeologists, reported that the building measured 18 meters long (59 feet) and 18 meters wide[1]. It has four lookout towers, one in each corner. A surviving doorstep weighed in at 3 tons and appears to have been carved from a single stone. The inside of the citadel has a brick-paved yard with columns and multiple rooms. They report that other, similarly styled citadels from the same era have been found in different parts of Israel.

Other reports claim the structure measures 26 feet by 26 feet[2] and 60 by 60 feet[3].

“Earthenware discovered in a 3,200-year-old citadel unearthed near Guvrin Stream and Kibbutz Gal On, August 2020. (Dafna Gazit/Israel Antiquities Authority)”

The excavations were conducted by students from the Eretz Israel Dept. at the multidisciplinary school in Beer Sheva and from the Nahshon pre-military academy. A number of artifacts were discovered during the dig, among which were a bowl and a mug believed to have probably been used for worship. Hundreds of pieces of pottery and many bowls were also retrieved.

“The Gal On Citadel was seemingly built as part of a Canaanite-Egyptian attempt to deal with the new geopolitical situation. …The citadel was built in a strategic spot, overlooking the main road along Guvrin Stream — a road that linked the coast to the Judean lowlands.”
~ Ganor & Weissbein

The archaeologists hope scholars will be able to shed more light onto the Bible. Relatively little is known about the period it has been dated to, but it is believed to have been a time of major warfare. It is popularly known for being the time when the Biblical Samson is believed to have lived.

The IAA has announced a multiple of discoveries recently. One such discovery was announced on the 24th of August, about some teenagers who discovered 450 24 karat gold coins dating to the 9th century.

The site has been open to the public and free of charge since the 25th August, 2020.

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References:

[1] – https://www.timesofisrael.com/3200-year-old-fort-site-of-epic-battles-in-biblical-era-found-in-south-israel/. Accessed 31 August 2020.

[2] – https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1328145/archaeology-news-book-of-judges-bible-christianity-latest-canaanite-fortress-israel-spt. Accessed 31 August 2020.

[3] – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8682809/Fortress-dating-12th-century-BC-Israel-matches-structure-described-Bible.html. Accessed 31 August 2020.

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Radiometric Dating

Radiometric dating was invented in 1905 by Ernest Rutherford.

The methods of radiometric dating are:

Argon-argon dating (Ar-Ar) was invented by Grenville Turner in the 1960’s (?).

Beryllium (Surface exporsure?) dating (10Be–9Be)

Chlorine-36 dating

Fission track dating

Iodine-xenon dating (I-Xe)

Krypton-krypton dating (Kr-Kr)

Lanthanum-barium dating (La-Ba)

Lead-lead dating (Pb-Pb)

Luminescence dating

Lutetium-hafnium dating (Lu-Hf)

Potassium-argon dating (K-Ar) was invented in the 1920’s and 1930’s.[1]

Potassium-calcium dating (K-Ca)

Radiocarbon dating was invented by Willard Libby in 1946.

Rhenium-osmium dating (Re-Os)

Rubidium-strontium dating was invented in the 1930’s and 1940’s.[2]

Samarium-neodymium dating

Uranium-lead dating

Uranium-thorium dating

Uranium-uranium dating (U-U)

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References:

[1] – https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-87895-4_1#:~:text=In%201935%2C%20Klemperer%20and%2C%20independently,4%20of%20the%20total%20K.. Accessed 29 August 2020.

[2] – https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-009-2611-0_4#:~:text=Campbell%20and%20A.,identified%20as%20the%20relevant%20radioisotope.&text=Otto%20Hahn%2C%20with%20E.,made%20by%20Hahn%20et%20al.. Accessed 29 August 2020.

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What is Civilization?

What is civilization? This question was the basis of the first lecture in the history class that I’m taking this semester (Fall 2020). It’s a good question, and one I’d been pondering for some time prior to taking the class and listening to the lecture. I’m writing this article to better organize my research and ideas on the question, and also to assist others if they ever want to explore the answer to this question.

What is civilization?

This question has received many conflicting answers. Some historians have chosen not to use the word at all, and I fall into that category except for when referencing the dawn of civilization. That is why right off the bat here I want to say that I don’t think my definition below is the end all for this discussion. Rather, it serves as my best attempt at creating an up-to-date definition for civilization that I would be comfortable using. I also explain my reasoning as to why I’ve chosen my definition, and I’m open to constructive criticism and extended discussion. Again, I typically will not use this word, but if I had to, what follows is my explanation as to what I mean and why I mean it.

The word civilization comes from the combination of “civil” + “-ization”[1]. The suffix “-ization” comes from the combination of the suffixes “-ize” and “-ation”[2], and is used to “form nouns from some verbs”[3]. The suffix “-ization” can be used to denote an “Action, process, or result of doing or making: colonization[4]. Therefore, in relation to humans, civilization can be defined as “the action, process, or result of civilizing a human population”. In other words, civilization can be defined as “the action, process, or result of introducing order to a human population”. I will return to this definition after going over the definitions for civil, civilize, civilization, and savage.

At the core of the noun “civilization” is the adjective “civil”. Here’s a list of definitions for civil from within the past thousand years:
Latin civilis: “”relating to a society, pertaining to public life, relating to the civic order, befitting a citizen,” hence by extension “popular, affable, courteous;” alternative adjectival derivative of civis “townsman””.[5]
Old French civil, 13th century: “”civil, relating to civil law”.[5]
late 14 century: “relating to civil law or life; pertaining to the internal affairs of a state”.[5]
1550’s: “not barbarous, civilized”.[5]
by 1610’s: “”relating to the commonwealth as secularly organized” (as opposed to military or ecclesiastical)”.[5]
1755: 1, “Relating to the community; political; relating to the city or government”.
2, “Relating to any man as a member of the community”.
3, “Not in anarchy; not wild; not without rule or government”.
4, “Not foreign; intestine”.
5, “Not ecclesiastical; as, the ecclesiastical courts are controlled by the civil“.
6, “Not natural; as, a person banished or outlawed is said to suffer civil, thought not natural death.
7, “Not military; as, the civil magistrates authority is obstructed by war”.
8, “Not criminal; as, this is a civil process, not a criminal prosecution”.
9, “Civilized; not barbarous”.
10, “Complaisant; civilized; gentle; well bred; elegant of manners; not rude; not brutal; not course”.
11, “Grave; sober; not gay or showy”.
12, “Relating to the ancient consular or imperial government; as, civil law”.[7]
1789: “Relating to the community, political; not foreign, intestine; not ecclesiastical; not military; civilized, not barbarous; complaisant, gentle, well bred; relating to the ancient consular or imperial government, as civil law”.[8]
1828: 1, “Relating to the community, or to the policy and government of the citizens and subjects of a state; as in the phrases, civil rights, civil government, civil privileges, civil war, civil justice. It is opposed to criminal; as a civil suit, a suit between citizens alone; whereas a criminal process is between the state and a citizen. It is distinguished from ecclesiastical, which respects the church; and from military, which respects the army and navy”.
2, “Relating to any man as a member of a community; as civil power, civil rights, the power or rights which a man enjoys as a citizen”.
3, “Reduced to order, rule and government; under a regular administration; implying some refinement of manners; not savage or wild; as civil life; civil society”.
4, “Civilized; courteous; complaisant; gentle and obliging; well-bred; affable; kind; having the manners of a city, as opposed to the rough, rude, coarse manners of a savage or clown”.
5, “Grave; sober; not gay or showy”.
6, “Compaisant; polite; a popular colloquial use of the word”.
7, “civil death, in law, is that which cuts off a man from civil society, or its rights and benefits, as banishment, outlawry, excommunication, entering into a monastery, etc., as distinguished from natural death”.
8, “civil law, in a general sense, the law of a state, city or country; but in an appropriate sense, the Roman empire, comprised in the Institutes, Code and Digest of Justinian and the Novel Constitutions”.
9, “civil list, the officers of civil government, who are paid from the public treasury; also, the revenue appropriated to support the civil government”.
10, “civil state, the whole body of the laity or citizens, not included under the military, maritime, and ecclesiastical states”.
11, “civil war, a war between people of the same state or city; opposed to foreign war”.
12, “civil year, the legal year, or annual account of time which a government appoints to be used in its own dominions, as distinguished from the natural year, which is measured by the revolution of the heavenly bodies”.
13, “civil architecture, the architecture which is employed in constructing buildings for the purposes of civil life, in distinction from military and naval architecture; as private houses, palaces, churches, etc”.[9]

“The word civil has about twelve different meanings; it is applied to all manner of objects, which are perfectly disparate. As opposed to criminal, it means all law not criminal. As opposed to ecclesiastical, it means all law not ecclesiastical: as opposed to military, it means all law not military, and so on.”
~ John Austin, Lectures on Jurisprudence (1873)

The association of civil with being “polite” entered the English language around the end of the 16th century. Since then, it has more so meant “meeting minimum standards of courtesy”. “Courteous is thus more commonly said of superiors, civil of inferiors, since it implies or suggests the possibility of incivility or rudeness” [OED].

Civil, literally, applies to one who fulfills the duty of a citizen; It may mean simply not rude, or observant of the external courtesies of intercourse, or quick to do and say gratifying and complimentary things. …  Courteous, literally, expresses that style of politeness which belongs to courts: a courteous man is one who is gracefully respectful in his address and manner — one who exhibits a union of dignified complaisance and kindness. The word applies to all sincere kindness and attention.”
~ Century Dictionary (1895)

Since civilization can be defined as a result of civilizing a population (making a population civil), it is worth reviewing some definitions for civilize before moving onto a list of definitions for civilization. Here’s a list of definitions for the verb “civilize”:
c.1600: “to bring out of barbarism, introduce order and civil organization among, refine and enlighten”.[10]
1755: “To reclaim from savageness and brutality; to instruct in the arts of regular life”.[7]
1789: “To reclaim from savageness and brutality”.[8]
1828: “To reclaim from a savage state; to introduce civility of manners among a people, and instruct them in the arts of regular life”.[11]
1868: “become civilized”.[10]

“We send the graces and the muses forth,
To civilize and instruct the North.”
~ Waller[7]

Here’s a list of definitions for the noun “civilization” from over the past few centuries:
1704: “law which makes a criminal process civil”.[1]
1755: Civilisation, “A law, act of justice, or judgement, which renders a criminal process civil; which is performed by turning an information into an inquest, or the contrary”.[7]
1772: “civilized condition, state of being reclaimed from the rudeness of savage life”.[1]
1789: Civilisation, “The law or act which renders a criminal process civil”.[8]
1789: Civilization, “The state of being civilized; the act of civilizing”.[8]
1828: Civilization, 1, “The act of civilizing, or the state of being civilized; the state of being refined in manners, from the grossness of savage life and improved in arts and learning”.
2, “The act of rendering a criminal process civil”.[6]
1857: “a particular human society in a civilized condition, considered as a whole over time”.[1]

Oxford Languages defines civilization as “the stage of human social and cultural development and organization that is considered most advanced” and as “the society, culture, and way of life of a particular area”. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a relatively high level of cultural and technological development, specifically the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained” and also as “the culture characteristic of a particular time or place”.

Dictionary.com offers 7 definitions for civilization[12]:
1, “an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached”.
2, “those people or nations that have reached such a state”.
3, “any type of culture, society, etc., of a specific place, time, or group”.
4, “the act or process of civilizing, as by bringing out of a savage, uneducated, or unrefined state, or of being civilized”.
5, “cultural refinement; refinement of thought and cultural appreciation”.
6, “cities or populated areas in general, as opposed to unpopulated or wilderness areas”.
7, “modern comforts and conveniences, as made possible by science and technology”.

National Geographic defined civilization as “a complex human society, usually made up of different cities, with certain characteristics of cultural and technological development”.

The lecturer from my class shared three definitions for civilization that they found in textbooks.

1 – “Civilization is a form of human culture in which many people live in urban centers, have mastered the art of smelting metals, and have developed a method of writing”.

2 – “The first civilizations began in cities, which were larger, more populated, and more complex in their political, economic, and social structure than Neolithic villages.”

3 – “…definition of civilization requires that a civilized people have a sense of history — meaning that the past counts in the present.”

It is unfortunate, but the lecturer did not provide citations to where they pulled the definitions from, and so seeking greater context for these definitions would require a bit of extra work. Maybe I will email them to see if they can remember or locate the sources.

As can be seen in the above list of definitions for civilization, it originally was related to law, but over time it became more related to human populations being or becoming civilized. I felt it useful to discuss the development of the meanings of civil and civilize prior to civilization because without an understanding of those two words it can be difficult to comprehend exactly how civilization can be defined. The word civil can be considered an antonym to the word savagery.

“To deprive us of metals is to make us mere savages; to change our corn for the old Arcadian diet, our houses and cities for dens and caves, and our clothing for skins of beasts: ’tis to bereave us of all arts and sciences, nay, of revealed religion.”
~ Richard Bentley (1662-1742)

Here’s a list of definitions for savage:
c.1300: (adj.), 1, “”wild, undomesticated, untamed” (of animals and places)”
2, “indomitable, valiant”[13]
mid-13th century: (adj.), “fierce, ferocious”.[13]
c.1400: 1, (adj.), “reckless, ungovernable”.
2, (n.), “wild person”.[13]
1789: 1, “Wild, uncultivated; uncivilized, barbarous”.
2, “a man untaught and uncivilized, a barbarian”.[8]
1799: (adj.), 1, “Wild, uncultivated”.
2, “Untamed, cruel”.
3, “Uncivilized; barbarous; untaught; wild; brutal”.
(n.), 1, “A man untaught and uncivilized; a barbarian”.
1828: (adj.), 1, “Pertaining to the forest; wild; remote from human residence and improvements; uncultivated; as a savage wilderness”.
2, “Wild; untamed; as savage beasts of prey”.
3, “Uncivilized; untaught; unpolished; rude; as savage life; savage manners”.
4, “Cruel; barbarous; fierce; ferocious; inhuman; brutal; as a savage spirit”.
(n.), 1, “A human being in his native state of rudeness; one who is untaught, uncivilized or without cultivation of mind or manners. The savages of America, when uncorrupted by the vices of civilized men, are remarkable for their hospitality to strangers, and for their truth, fidelity and gratitude to their friends, but implacably cruel and revengeful towards their enemies. From this last trait of the savage character, the word came to signify”,
2, A man of extreme, unfeeling, brutal cruelty; a barbarian.
3, The name of a genus of fierce voracious flies”.[14]

There are other forms of the word savage, such as savagize and savagization. Savagize is a verb meaning “To make savage; to cause to adopt a way of life regarded as primitive or uncivilized. Frequently in passive. Also without object: to become savage”[16]. Savagization is a noun defined as “the process of savagizing”[17]. However, given the information in the earlier part of this article about the suffix “-ization”, a better definition may be “the action, process, or result of savagizing”.

Civilization can be defined as “the action, process, or result of introducing order to a human population”. Cultures and societies are the components of a population. Every civilization is made up of cultures and societies, but not every culture and society is a civilization.

The lecturer named three people and the characteristics they attribute to civilization. The three people are: Vere Gordon Childe (1892-1957), Clyde Kluckhohn (1905-1960), and (I think) Robert McCormick Adams Jr. (1926-2018).

Vere Gordon Childe proposed this list as the hallmark “elements of civilization”:
– Plow
– Wheeled carts
– Writing
– Weights and measures
– Sailing
– Smelting
– Calendars
– Urban centers
– Food surplus
Others added onto Childe’s list:
– Taxes
– Privileged ruling class
– Centralized government
– National religion

Kluckhohn listed:
– Towns over 5000
– Writing
– Monumental architecture

Adams listed:
– Social institutions
– Class stratification
– Religious hierarchies
– Complex division of labor
– Soldiers & officials

McKay, Hill, et al., A History of World Societies, 2012, p. 36 has this to say about civilization[18]:
“In the ancient world, residents of cities generally viewed themselves as more advanced and sophisticated than rural folk – a judgment still made today. … Beginning in the 18th century, European scholars described those societies in which political, economic, and social organizations operated on a large scale, not primarily through families and kin groups, as “civilizations”. Civilizations had cities; laws that governed human relationships; codes of manners and social conduct that regulated how people were to behave; and scientific, philosophical and theological ideas that explained the larger world. Generally, only societies that used writing were judged to be civilizations, for writing allowed laws, norms, ideas, and traditions to become more complex. … The idea of a civilization came to mean not simply a system of political and social organization, but also particular ways of thinking and believing, particular styles of art, and other facets of culture.”

The above quote is also on page 5 of A History of Western Society (2017), by McKay, Hill, et al.. Page 5 also provides a concise definition, that being, civilization is “A large-scale system of human political, economic, and social organizations; civilizations have cities, laws, states, and often writing”.

Duiker & Spielvogel, World History, 2016, p.8 identify these characteristics of civilization[18]:
1 – “An urban focus. Cities became the centers for political, economic, social, cultural, and religious development”.
2 – “New political and military structures. An organized government bureaucracy arose…armies were organized to gain land and power for defense”.
3 – “A new social structure based on economic power“.
4 – “The development of more complexity in a material sense. Surpluses of agricultural crops freed people to work in occupations other than farming. … as urban populations exported finished goods in exchange for raw materials from neighboring populations, organized trade grew substantially”.
5 – “A distinct religious structure“.
6 – “The development of writing“.
7 – “New forms of significant artistic and intellectual activity. For example, monumental architectural structures”.

Stearns, World Civilizations: A Global Experience, 2017, p.22 reads[18]:
“After the rise of agriculture, the introduction of civilization as a form of human organization was a crucial step for many people. Civilization first developed in Mesopotamia, after about 3500 BCE on the heels of several changes in technology and communication. Human organization along civilization lines did not emerge everywhere at the same time, and many regions – even some successful agricultural economies – avoided it altogether, at least until much more recently. Hunting-and-gathering and nomadic societies lacked the economic surplus necessary to develop civilization and often actively disliked the constraints they saw in civilization as well.
Civilizations normally demonstrated four distinctive features, operating powerfully in combination. First, they developed greater amounts of economic surplus, beyond subsistence needs, and they distributed this surplus unequally. This provided funds for new kinds of monuments. It also heightened social inequalities compared to other “noncivilized” kinds of societies. Second, civilizations developed formal governments with at least small bureaucracies. Leadership thus became more specialized than in simpler agricultural or nomadic societies. Third, almost all civilizations, including all the early ones, had writing. This facilitated trade over long distances by facilitating standardized communication; it enhanced recordkeeping. And fourth, they developed larger and more important urban centers as cities emerged as concentrations of populations.”

In my opinion, the only two fundamental characteristics of civilization are the development of sciences and arts by humans. Pure sciences include subjects such as physics and chemistry, while pure arts include anything created by humans. Applied sciences are where technology comes from, and applied arts provide aesthetics to practical items. There are also subjects that are a mix of art and science, such as agriculture and architecture. Wheels, plows, smelting, sailing, food surpluses, calendars, etc., are all the results of pursuing the development of the sciences and arts. These pursuits demand some level of discipline and order, and because of that, I would not call them savage, but civil pursuits.

Not all civilizations developed at the same time, and due to this there can be some confusion when asking “when was the dawn of civilization?”. This question can be reworded as, “when was the dawn of the first human civilization?”. This question has been the center of lively debates for hundreds of years.

“How would you define [civilization]? How does it differ from culture or society?”. These are basically two of the questions for the first discussion forum in the class that I’m taking this semester. I answer them here to record my answers outside of the forum itself.

I define civilization as the “action, process, or result of introducing order to a human population”. The result of order being introduced can be seen in populations that have developed sciences and arts. Civilization differs from a culture or a society in that civilization is a result of a mix of cultures and societies. They are fundamental requirements for civilization, but civilization is not a fundamental requirement for a society or a culture.

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References:

[1] – https://www.etymonline.com/word/civilization. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[2] – https://www.dictionary.com/browse/-ization. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[3] – https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/ization. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[4] – https://www.yourdictionary.com/ization. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[5] – https://www.etymonline.com/word/civil. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[6] – http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/civilization. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[7] – https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_nCJWAAAAcAAJ/page/n391/mode/1up. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[8] – https://archive.org/details/completedictiona00sher/page/n162/mode/1up. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[9] – http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/civil. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[10] – https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=civilize. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[11] – http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/civilize. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[12] – https://www.dictionary.com/browse/civilization. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[13] – https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=savage. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[14] – http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/savage. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[15] – https://archive.org/details/dictionaryofeng02john/page/n524/mode/1up. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[16] – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/savagize. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[17] – https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/savagization. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[18] – https://www.bpi.edu/ourpages/auto/2017/9/8/40836638/Civilization%20Defined.pdf. Accessed 28 August 2020.

[19] – https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/civilizations/. Accessed 29 August 2020.

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Viking Settlement Discovered in Instanbul

The discovery of a viking settlement 20km west of Istanbul, near Lake Küçükçekmece has recently been announced. A team of 75 experts headed by Şengül Aydıngün were on the search for evidence of the Vikings in Istanbul, and they successfully found it.

“Vikings lived in Istanbul between the 8th and the 11th centuries in different periods. We have found their exact settlement area to be between the 9th and 11th centuries in the Bathonea excavations.”
– Şengül Aydıngün

Typically, vikings are considered to have been Norse people from Scandinavia who broadly traded and raided across Europe throughout the 8th and 11th centuries. They are believed to have first arrived in the Byzantine Empire as merchants. In 988, Emperor Basil II assimilated them into an Imperial guard made up of Varangians from Kievan Rus’.

The settlement has been called a “viking neighborhood” and is believed to have been built due to vikings visiting Istanbul (then Constantinople) but not being allowed to live in the city. The ruling class at the time feared the vikings potential to take over the city, and this is the reason why the vikings were forced to settle elsewhere. They settled outside of Constantinople at an international port in Bathonea. They were only allowed to enter Constantinople under special conditions. For example, the vikings couldn’t enter the city in groups larger than 35, and they had to be out of the city by sunset.

“We found a cross made of ambergris, which was only found in northern Europe at that time, where Vikings firstly originated. And a necklace on which a snake is drawn. In Vikings myth, the snake is Jörmangandr, one of the symbols of Viking King Ragnar, Lodbrok.”
– Blazei Stanislawski, Polish Viking expert on the team

Bathonea was discovered in 2007 when a drought caused the lake to lower. Since then, it has been the site of many archaeological excavations. It will be interesting to see what they dig up next.

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References:

[1] – https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/archaeologists-unearth-viking-neighborhood-in-istanbul-157658. Accessed 26 August 2020.

[2] – https://www.heritagedaily.com/2020/08/viking-neighbourhood-found-near-istanbul/134855. Accessed 26 August 2020.

[3] – https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/science/istanbul-yields-a-treasure-trove-in-ancient-bathonea.html. Accessed 26 August 2020.

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