Category Cultural Issues

Charlemagne’s DNA and Our Universal Royalty

An interesting article on the ancestry of the European peoples to a single common ancestoy: Charlemagne Charlemagne’s DNA and Our Universal Royalty. Advertisements

Numa Pompilius: Agent of the gods

At its height the Roman Empire was vast. It reached from northern England to the Sahara desert; from the straits of Gibraltar to Mesopotamia. We have inherited a great deal from the Romans including language, religion, science, and the remains of their gargantuan architecture. However, modern interest in Roman history is focussed primarily on the […]

The Origin of the Easter Bunny and the Easter Egg

At the time of writing we are half way through Holy Week as the Lenten period comes to an end and we approach Good Friday and Easter Sunday. For some time now we have been inundated with images of chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies that are part and parcel with this holiday. The etymology of […]

Was Japan’s First Emperor a Chinese Refugee?

Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇 Jimmu-Tenno), whose name means “Divine Might” is the legendary founder of Japan’s Imperial House and a direct descendent of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. His rule is said to have been between 660 and 585 BC. Today, Emperor Akihito can claim, through an unbroken line of succession, direct descent from Jimmu. Jimmu himself is […]

The Honjo Masamune: A Lost Japanese Treasure

The katana, or samurai sword, is famed throughout the world for being the perfection of sword design. It has become the symbol of the samurai class, and Japan as a whole, to the outside world. To the Japanese the katana is also a symbol of their culture and national pride. During the Meiji restoration at […]

A Review of Moses and Monotheism

A few weeks ago I came across a book by Sigmund Freud called Moses and Monotheism, his last completed book. The subject of this book is an attempt to delve into the origins of Judaism and make sense of the story of Exodus. The story of the Exodus is one of the most important in the Judaic […]

Fakes and Facsimiles

Last week CNN produced an article headlined Great Fakes: Top Tourism Replicas. This article was highlighting a number of replications of famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Michelangelo’s David, mostly in China. Among the “fakes” were several facsimiles of the tombs of Tutankhamen, Thutmose III, a Caravaggio painting, and the cave paintings at Lascaux. However, […]

The Story of the Jack-o-Lantern

This is the time of year when the weather has started getting progressively worse, when the first of salvos the annual bombardment of Christmas adverts begin, and of course when people dress up as miscellaneous undead and carve Jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. In the liturgical calendar Halloween is a time to remember the dead, in particular […]

The Pigna and the Apollo Belvedere: Two Treasures of the Vatican

Publius Cincius Slavius, whose name appears on the base of the sculpture, built the Pine Cone statue that now resides in the Court of the Pine Cone (Cortile della Pigna) in the Vatican, in the 1st century AD. The piece was originally a fountain that resided in the Temple of Isis in Campo Martius next […]

666 Porticos to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca

Two days ago some friends and I decided to make the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca, on the outskirts of the city of Bologna. The route extends from the gate of the old city walls, the Porto Saragossa, all the way up the hills surrounding the city and on to […]