Most of our bloggers, those who have opened a book in their lives anyway, will know quite a lot about Greece already; cradle of civilization, founders of democracy, one of the great classical languages etc. If, alternatively, they open a newspaper occasionally, they will also know that modern Greece has been in every kind of trouble recently, because of poor government and even poorer knowledge of the science of economics.
The Bible is the sacred book of Christianity. There are many Christian churches, but all accept the two sections of it: the Hebrew scriptures, which we know as the Old Testament, and the Christian writings, known as the New Testament. Roman Catholics, among other Christian churches, accept a third section known as the Apocrypha. This was included in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint).
We are now well launched into the year two thousand and eleven – eleven years after a change of century. As the infamous 20th gradually diminishes in our memory, with its two World Wars, the tentacles of Socialism and the mostly blind grasp of Capitalism dulling our minds, it is satisfying to know that according to U.N. statistics, 200,000 persons will be lifted out of extreme poverty during each day of 2011. What is classified as extreme poverty? Living on $1.25 or equivalent per day. Which is all very well for the rest of Europe and the world, but what about a country where more than a million and half people have no income whatsoever?
Arnhem is the sixth largest city in the Netherlands. It was the scene of fierce and remorseless fighting between 17 and 26 September, 1944, following the successful invasion of Normandy in June, by allied troops, ships and airforces.
The idea for a parachute/glider-mounted attack in the Dutch Netherlands is said to have been General Montgomery’s, though it was backed by General Eisenhower, supreme commander of the allied forces, and Winston Churchill, Britain’s prime minister. The idea was a very good one, strategically speaking, but it failed to take heed of local advice about cleverly hidden German tank regiments between Nijmegen and Arnhem. In fact the allies decided to take no notice whatever of clear and accurate intelligence. Clearly, in the minds of the planners lay the idea that if Arnhem should prove successful, it would raise the morale of the inading allies tremendously – as indeed it would have – had the Arnhem plan worked.
Anti-clericalism is not the same as anti-Christian movements. Most Roman emperors tried to stamp out Christianity from the death of Christ under Tiberius until Constantine the Great decided to adopt Christianity as an official religion within the Empire, thus ceasing the practice of pitting Christians against lions and other wild animals, such as hyenas, in the ring.
The name anti-clericalism applies in modern times to any policy bent on destroying the moral and political power of the Christian Church, and subordinating its non-spiritual functions within the State. Though there have been many instances of anti-clericalism at the expense of the Orthodox Church (Russia and Turkey), and even now in Moslem countries (see recent massacres of Christians in Iraq and Afghanistan), the term is usually restricted to aggressive hostility towards the Roman Catholic Church, its Pope, bishops, priests, monks and nuns. (more…)
Countless times as you read books and learned pamphlets on history, you will meet the French words Ancien Régime. It is an easy bet that many of us only half know what these two simple words signify. The translation is easy: in English – traditional method of government by royalty; in Spanish – el antiguo regimen.
All records of Alexander by his own contemporaries have disappeared. We have to depend, all of us, including historians, historical novelists, and teachers, on histories compiled three or four centuries later from the material that was not then lost. In them references appear, sometimes not. Arrian’s chief source was King Ptolemy, who, though a little older, was a companion of Alexander’s, and was there, close to him, from boyhood. Arrian’s work only begins at Alexander’s accession after the semi-mysterious death of his father King Phillip. Historian Curtius’ early chapters have all vanished. Diodorus, who covers the correct time and tells us a lot about Phillip as well, says little of Alexander. For these first two decades (nearly two thirds of Alexander’s life) we have to depend on Plutarch. But Plutarch does not cite Ptolemy during most of his History of Alexander. He was also a bit of a novelist and sensationalist.