Wednesday, October 30, 2013

History mystery: Anyang Chinese capital in the Bronze Age -1


Anayang -1
Masterpieces of sculptured bronze attest to the brilliant civilization of the Shang dynasty. Another Shang legacy – a collection of bones etched with questions for the ancestral gods – reveals clues to the birth of the Chinese language. Towards the end of the 19th century, Chinese peasants tilling their fields near Anyang, in the northern province of Henan, unearthed hundreds of ancient bones inscribed with strange writing. They sold their discoveries to apothecary shops, believing that they were dragons’ bones charged with magical healing powers.

Scholars soon realized that the bones were of great historical interest, but serious excavations in the area did not begin until 1928. Under the direction of Dr. Li Ji of the Academia Sinica (a Chinese research institute, now based in Taipei), archaeologists unearthed thousands more of the inscribed bones, which had been carefully stored in chronological order. The inscriptions were questions for the ancestors of the mighty Shang kings, who ruled from 1750 to 1027 BC.

Anyang-2
They were the only written records of a vanished civilization. In the 14th century BC, the warrior-king Pan Geng had initiated a new era in the Shang dynasty when he moved his capital north from Yan – a place not yet identified – to the site of Anyang. He called his new city Yin, and historians refer to this second Shang era, which lasted until 1027 BC, as Yin, and to its rulers as Shangyin. Little was known about the period until the excavations at Anyang. By 1937, more than 100,000 objects had been unearthed, and the inscribed ‘bones’ – including ox shoulder-blades and the lower shells of turtles – were recognized as tools of divination.

Yin spread across several sites near present-day Anyang. At the nearby village of Xiaotun, the foundations of 53 large buildings were excavated, including those of a single-storey royal palace built on several large terraces. The buildings had evidently been part of an important ceremonial complex – following an earlier tradition hundreds of human sacrifices had been placed beneath them.

Anyang-3
The victims may have been prisoners, captured in the wars waged against neighbouring communities by Shang kings such as the great Wuding of the 13th century BC. The palace itself was the heart of Yin, the last capital of the Shang dynasty. The 20 buildings which made up the palace had been built along both sides of a central street.

The larger buildings were about 40 m (131 ft) long and 10 m (33 ft) wide, and – on the evidence of the marble sculptures, woodcarvings, and bronzes discovered in the royal tombs – richly decorated. Space, light, and luxury were the exclusive privileges of the royal family and the court. The ordinary people of Yin lived in holes in the ground, in pits and dugouts of many shapes and sizes. The pits, which were probably roofed with thatch, were between 3 m and 4 m (10 ft and 13 ft) deep. Steps led down to a rammed earth floor, in which smaller pits were dug for storage purposes.

Anyang-4
The inscriptions on the bones found at the site offer the most important evidence about life under the Shang dynasty. These inscriptions preserve the earliest known Chinese writing and confirm the historical basis of some legends; they also record everyday life in Yin. Many inscriptions seek predictions for the day’s hunting. This pastime seems to have been a royal sport – to provide animals for sacrifice rather than for food. The Shangyin were essentially farmers. Questions inscribed on the bones reveal their staple crops:

 ‘Is this a year to grow rice?’
‘Is this a year to grow millet?’

Back came the answers inscribed by diviners:
‘This year is a good year for sorghum.’
‘Go out and harvest the wheat.’

Some inscriptions show that the Shangyin knew how to breed silkworms and make silk fabrics. Traces of silk wrappings have been found in one of the Yin tombs, around a bronze vessel. Of the hundreds of bronze vessels discovered in the tombs, more than half were used for wine. Alcohol played an important role in the social life of the city, and in its religious rituals. Wine made of fermented cereals was used in sacrificial rites, and libations were poured onto the ground after burials.

Anyang-5

The royal burial chambers lay at Xibeigang, north of Yin. Each tomb contains several bodies, and is surrounded by subsidiary tombs. On the death of a Shang king, his intimate followers and servants were buried with him – as many as 500 people were sacrificed at each royal death. In most of the tombs, the skeletons of dogs were found next to the royal sarcophagus, guarding their master against the evils of the spirit world. In one area, an entire company of soldiers and four charioteers with horses and vehicles had been buried.

The Origin of Clothes

According to the bible, Adam and Eve walked around naked, and they did not become ashamed of their nakedness until they ate from the Tree of Knowledge. We are not born wearing clothes, and our ancestors didn't have clothing brands or preferences, and yet today the clothes we wear are a firm part of our identity. Even the least fashion conscious people among us have clothing that they wear for work and more casual outfits for weekends and days off. Who invented clothes, and when did they become such an important part of our lives?
Neanderthal Fashion

According to Rebecca Wragg Sykes, an archaeologist at the University of Bordeaux, there is evidence to suggest that Neanderthals wore clothes. The oldest preserved fragments of garments are just 8,000 years old, but "ghost impressions" of clothing have been found in the graves of Homo Sapiens from far earlier than that, and scraps of dyed fabric have been found at a 30,000 year old cave site in Georgia. So, not only did our ancestors from tens of thousands of years ago cover themselves to stay warm, they cared, to some extent, what those cover-ups looked like.

From Cover Up to Comfort

Early garments were made of fur, rough fabrics, beads and teeth from animals. It wasn't until much more recently that our ancestors started to think about comfort. The first records of silk garments can be traced back to ancient China, about 10,000 years ago. Interestingly enough, Chinese legends claim that silk was invented by the Empress Si Ling Chi just 5,000 years ago.  The Empress stumbled upon the properties of silk entirely by accident, when a cocoon from a silk worm fell into her cup of tea. After seeing the cocoon unravel, she had the fine strands spun into threads, and that accidental process formed the basis of silk making for millennia to come,

Silk making stayed a Chinese secret for thousands of years. It was not until 200BC, when many Chinese people migrated to Korea, that the practice of making silk spread, and it took more than 1,000 years after that for silk to become commonplace in other parts of the world.

Becoming Fashion Conscious

While the idea of the rich wearing one type of garment and the poor wearing another was common throughout history, fashion as we know it today took much longer to develop. In the late 13th century, dyeing and wool-working technology advanced significantly, allowing for a wider variety of garments to be made more easily. It was those advances that gave rise to fashion in the modern sense of the word. Fashion conscious people would request curved seams (instead of the traditional straight steams) or have hose with different coloured wool for each leg.

Over the next few hundred years, fashions became more distinct and outlandish. The most well-off people would import new styles and textiles from foreign countries, and decorative lace and needlework became popular as ways to distinguish garments. A few decades after the industrial revolution occurred, mass production of clothing became a reality, and this meant affordable garments for all.

Modern clothing is comfortable, durable and highly customizable. We are lucky to live in a world of technical fabrics, natural silk and rugged denim. Our ancestors suffered for their love of fashion, wearing animal skins and uncomfortable woollen garments. Spare a thought for the Neanderthals and their bone necklaces next time you wrap up in a light and comfortable sarong.

We are all aware that clothing is a necessity, it’s very touching to think that everything we are taught today like sewing was once ‘discovered’ by the humankind. The discovery of new fabrics and new textiles allowed for more creativity and influenced the way people were dressed back than just like it is now. This post was written by Gozde who is currently working with Patra on a guide to the history of clothing and different clothing eras.   

The Institute of Marriage of Ancient Romans

Ancient Roman Marriage -1
The Romans considered marriage as the fundamental institute and looked upon it as something sacred. There were different forms of marriage and the most convenient and traditional type was reserved for Patricians known as Confarreatio which was presided by the Flamen Dialis and involved the eating of wheat bread loaf which was part of the ceremony. The ceremony involved the transferring of the father’s authority over the bride, to the new husband. The second form of marriage was the coemptio which involved a contract. The third form of marriage was called Usus which was equal to a man taking the woman after spending an uninterrupted year of living together. Eventually, a fourth form of marriage developed which left the authority over the bride with her father – patria potestas and this form of marriage enabled to free the woman once her father died and though the authority at first passed to the husband this eventually weakened and woman became free to do as she wished with their inheritance. The three forms of marriage had different degrees of rights as well as different difficulty in divorce.

Ancient Roman Marriage -3
Unlike Usus, which is appropriately named was common particularly with the plebeians. After marriage the Roman woman would leave her father’s home and family to enter the home of her husband and once married, she was almost equal to her husband though not of the same legal standing with regards to the state. The Roman woman had the liberty to visit the city and go shopping or visit friends unlike the Greeks. Once the woman was married, she would take charge of her husband’s household, its slaves; look after the children’s education, especially the girls and take control of the family treasury. It is said that fathers would look after the education of their sons especially in the early ages till the Republic.

The ancient marriages ceremony also differed according to class and rank and the privilege of the ful shebang was for the noble Patricians. With regard to clothing, the bride would wear a particular type of hair-do; probably a wig which was similar to the style of the Vestal Virgins and the hair was split into six parts each of which was plaited. The splitting of the parts had to be done with a spear as a symbol of the warrior culture where the bride was marrying.

Ancient Roman Marriage -2
She would wear a long dress with a veil along with garlands of flowers while the dress was tied at the waist with a special knot and the groom would wear a formal dress, a plain Toga. Their wedding ceremonies began in the morning and a lamb was offered as a sacrifice in consultation with the augurs. They had the exchange of rings like the present times which in the beginning was of iron but later they used gold. They entered into a contract in the presence of a number of witnesses along with the Pontifex Maximus or a high rank priest. The priest in his turn would ensure that the couple joining in matrimony had to make certain their intention of marriage and that there was no reason where they might be prohibited from entering into marriage. The ceremony would proceed thus where the couple would sit holding their right hand together with the sacrificial lamb’s skin across their knees and would then eat the loaf of bread made from primitive unselected wheat which had been prepared especially for the bride for this special occasion. The wedding ceremony was then preceded by dinner at the bride’s father’s place with lavish food and drink followed with singing of songs called thalassius or thalaossi with music played on the flute and other musical instruments. The bride and the bridegroom, after dinner would be accompanied to their new home by their guest in a lively procession accompanied by a lit torch from the father’s home to light the hearth of their new home.

Ancient Roman Marriage -4
Then as a sign of leaving all childish things behind, those gathered would throw walnuts since nuts were very common in a child’s game. The bride would then oil the door’s hinges with melted Tallow in order to keep the sorcery away and the groom would lift the bride over the threshold which is also done in present days. Carrying the bride over the threshold was probably something to do with the threshold being sacred or it could done in remembrance of what the early Romans did while abducting the Sabine virgins, or probably done to avoid the stumbling of the bride while crossing the threshold since the stumbling was considered as a bad sign. Once the couple had entered their new home, the husband would hand over the key of the door, together with water and fire as a symbol of chastity and purity and then proceed to take her to the nuptial bed.

Roman proccession
Their family and friends would then have to wait until a matron who herself had been married said the necessary prayers and then the gathering leaving amidst joyful singing of songs in jest leaving the married couple wherein the bridegroom performs his task of untying a special knot of the bride’s belt to enjoy a happy married night. All are once again invited back the following morning to the new house for lunch with the bride formally being the new member of that family followed by her first sacrifice to her husband’s family spirits known as lares. 

wedding

That day the groom would also get engaged with his friend on a drinking match known as repotia during which a rule maker would be elected who was called the arbiter binendi. The Plebeian ceremony on the other hand resorted to a simpler style of marriage which was a contract between the groom and the father of the bride. Earlier it involved weighing and documenting the dowry which was to be handed over to the groom but later this became more of a formality than the actual marriage. Besides this all other marriage ceremonies remained the same including the dining and lunching.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What does a Hydraulic Filter Do?

Hydraulic Filters
Hydraulics uses the mechanics of how fluids behave to create mechanical power. This has allowed for a lot of compact, complex and powerful devices and mechanical equipment. The use of basic hydraulic systems has been around since ancient times, from the creation of irrigation systems to canals to the water wheel. As technology developed so do did the refinement of type of mechanics into pneumatics and now even whole power systems can be created and finely tuned using fluid power transfer and hydraulic systems. By using these pressurized fluids we have built smaller and more powerful machines than would be possible with solid mechanics. However these systems are vulnerable to contamination and corrosion, as solid matter enters into them they become less effective and can even become damaged which is why most systems have a filter.
Mechanics of a Filter

Hydraulic Filters from places like Hydrac.co.uk  are built around the properties of liquid to move and flow, solid matter even small bits and pieces can cause clogging or sluggishness, interrupting the core physics that make these systems work in the first place. By adding a filter stage to these systems you can help keep them running at optimal efficiency longer and help prevent the mechanical parts themselves from becoming damaged. Filters are rated in microns; a micron is short for micrometer or a space of one-millionth of a meter. Now measurements in that size seem insanely small, even 20 microns is a fine enough filter that most people would think nothing can get through. But this is all about flow, even particles small enough to be measured in this scale can cause gunky build up, clogs, and lower effectiveness of your systems. Most factory issued filters are around 10 microns. In general the lower the micron numbers the finer and more effective the filter will be.

Filter ratings
Hydraulic systems vary in application and design and so filters have different rating to help you fit the right filter to the right system. We already covered micron rating, the smaller the micron rating the small particles the filter can grab. The burst rating is the pressure a filter can take before it deforms and fails to work anymore, usually you want a minimum burst rating at twice the pressure of the system you are using so even if it gets pushed hard the filter will still stand up. Another important rating is flow rating, this indicates how much liquid the filters can process over a given period of time, the more that a filter can remove the slower the flow rate is going to be, you want to select one that has a flow rate that is effective, and can keep up with the pressure and speed of the rest of the system.

The Filter for You
The key to maintaining an optimal hydraulic system is preventing contamination of solid particles in the pressure flow. By understanding this, and looking at the needs of your system compared to the ratings of the filters you have chosen. Doing so will provide you with the speed and pressure you need while providing the protection from contamination and other damage and issues that contamination can cause. This will maximize the effectiveness and longevity of your hydraulic system so it is ready to perform as reliably for you as it did for the ancients that first started using water for power.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Science Mystery: Interesting Facts About The Golden Ratio

Golden Ratio -1
The Golden Ratio is often referred as God’s fingerprint and is also the twenty first letter of the Greek alphabet. It appears in nature and is also the universal law of the divine number showing the interrelations in life and is the only number which adds as well as multiplies simultaneously. Phi or the Golden ratio is also called by other names like the Fibonacci numbers, divine, mean, golden mean, golden section or golden spiral and is the main source code applied to all intelligent divine creation as well as number assigned to man. It can also be applied to anything in the world like shells, water, sunflowers, roses, snowflakes, art, planets, animals’ symbol of man, DNA and much more. The Golden Ratio, the most ancient sacred principle known as the Divine Proportion is expressed by the Greek letter phi and is often found in designs of icon down the ages and around the world from Chartres Cathedral to Stonehenge to the Great Pyramid.

Golden Ratio -2
Famous personalities like Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Fibonacci used the Golden Ration in order to create their genius work and the credits on the beauty of the piece of art of Mona Lisa goes to the ideal proportion of the Golden Ratio. Earlier it was considered that the Golden Ratio could only be applied to arts and architecture but through the innovative medical professionals who have come to the realization that the immense benefit in improving the health can come through Golden Ratio with regards to health and the well being of humans. Based on Friedman’s intuition and supported by a variety of scientific studies, the British Medical Journal in December 2009 published a study informing that the Golden Ratio could be an important predictor of heart attacks. According to the study’s lead author from Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, Professor Hanno Ulmer states that a healthy hearts exhibits the harmonious golden ratio. Professor Ulmer, after analyzing blood pressure readings from people over 160,000 in number, found that those with a ratio of 1.6180, which is the mathematical value of the Golden ratio, between the maximum and the minimum blood pressure, had a lower chance of having a fatal heart attack.

Golden Ratio -3
What is the Golden Ratio – When 2 quantities demonstrate divine proportionate the Golden Ratio and if the ratio of the sum of the 2 quantities or number to the large quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one, the Golden Ratio’s mathematical value arrived is 1.6180339887 and for most of us, this can be understood better with diagrams than with words or numbers. The number of man in the human body is 5 which is based on Phi and in the occult world is symbolized as an upright pentagram having two feet on the ground, with two arms extended to the side and the head in ascendant position to the heavens – AS ABOVE. This upright pentagram denotes the spiritual man or Christ who is in control and the pattern of the number 5 corresponding with the 5 elements in nature as SO BELOW. Throughout the physical body, the Golden ratio is expressed in various ways inclusive of bone structure, in the proportion of the section of each finger of our hand and the toe of our feet as well as the proportion of our face which are just the beginning of the numerous ways in which the Golden ratio governs the formation and functioning of our bodies.

Golden Ratio -4
It is therefore essential to understand the principle in order to achieve ideal health and help in the overall improvement of health. According to Dr. Friedman, the Golden Ratio throughout the human body with regards to physiological, anatomical, and molecular levels is an incredible code to be embedded in the structure and function of the body and the more one could apply this principle, life tends to get more effortless and efficient. With our 5 limbs consisting of the legs, arms and the head, each of which contains 5 appendages of fingers and toes which operate with the 5 sensory organs of our head , our two eyes, ears, and the mouth which in turn activates the five sense organs of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. As humans we operate efficiently when we use the Golden Ratio to handle how to learn and sense with the use of math of 5 ^ .5 * .5 + .5 = Phi and when we live by the Golden Rule, the philosopher turns the DNA lead into DNA gold. Mathematical construction here means that 5 ^ .5 means that 5 raised to the power of ½ power, is the square root of 5 and is then multiplied by .5 to which is added .5. Our DNA comprises of our looks, intelligence and the ability to excel in any given environment depending on the history of knowledge present in the blood that runs in our veins. In simple phrase the DNA is you and you are your DNA. It is here that the mathematical order takes shape in organizing the order that is within, to operate effectively on the outside with the world according to a particular DNA.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

History mystery:The Intriguing Roman Tale of Eros and Psyche

A king and a queen, the rulers of an unknown city had three daughters of great beauty while the youngest, Psyche, was born with exceptional beauty who was admired by men both far and near. According to some it is believed that she was the second coming of Venus or the daughter of Venus from an unusual union of goddess and mortal The intriguing story of Eros and Psyche is a folktale of ancient Greco Roman world which is written in Roman style though Psyche retains her Greek name. Psyche according to Greek Mythology, was the deification of the human soul and is portrayed in ancient mosaics as the goddess with wings of a butterfly since psyche in ancient Greek means butterfly and according to Greek word psyche is related to life or animated force, spirit, soul and breath, Eros and Aphrodite are called by their Latin names – Cupid and Venus where Cupid is portrayed as a young adult instead of a child. The story relates the struggle for love and trust between Eros and Psyche and Aphrodite became jealous of the mortal princess’s beauty when her altars were left barren while men worshiped a mere human woman instead and made offerings and prayed to her. Hence she commanded her son Eros who was the god of love, to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest person on earth.


Eros and Psyche 2
On the contrary, it turned out that Eros himself fell in love with her and was completely mesmerized by her beauty. The two sisters of Psyche who were married were envious of her though Psyche was yet to find the love of her heart. Her father suspecting that they had incurred the wrath of the gods consulted the oracle of Apollo who informed the king that he should not expect a human son in law, but a dragon like creature whose face she would not see. This news was not what her parents had expected and they were very sadden over it, but all the same, they proceeded with the arrangement of the marriage of their daughter with the beast. After the wedding, Psyche could be with her husband only at night and his tenderness and immense love for her, made Psyche extremely happy and her expectations beyond her dreams. She often longed to meet her family and one fine day Eros relented and invited her two sisters to his palace. Psyche confided with her sisters and informed them of the sadness she felt on not seeing his face. The sisters on seeing the sight of the palace and all the richness it contained were filled with envy and maliciously informed her that she was being fooled by her husband and he was a fearsome monster from whose clutches she should escape.

Psyche’s bliss got ruined by the visit of her jealous sisters who caused her to betray the trust of her husband who seemed to be not only an ugly beast but one day would kill her and that she should kill him in order to save herself. It took Psyche some time to get convinced on what her sisters told her since she had not faced any kind of dread or fear at the hands of her husband. Psyche finally decided to take their advice and she decided to betray her husband by plotting to kill him one night. Taking the knife in her hands and an oil lamp she set out with her plan to murder her husband and when the light of the lamp fell on the face of her husband, she sought the face of the handsome god Eros with two white wings.

On seeing him she was not at all afraid but taken by surprise and in confusion, she spilled the oil from the lamp on his face and Eros seeing the knife and the lamp in her hand flies away on his two white wings, informing Psyche that he had been betrayed and wounded by her and that their relationship which is ruined will never be the same again/ Eros leaves his wife Psyche who in turn is very upset over the whole episode and is filled with grief over what she had done. She goes in search of her lost love wandering all over the earth. She is so filled with despair that at one point of time she runs to a river and throws herself in the water but Pan the god of shepherds saves her and pulls her out of the water.




While searching for her lost lover, she is advised to beg Aphrodite who has imprisoned Eros in the Palace for an opportunity to meet him and Aphrodite suggests her three impossible tasks to be performed to prove her love for Eros. With all intent and purpose to meet her lover she fearless undertakes to accomplish the two tasks given to her. The third task to be performed was to go to Hades or underworld and bring along the box with the elixir of beauty back to Aphrodite with the instructions not to open the box but instead of the elixir it was Morpheus, the god of sleep and dreams which was hidden in the box. Psyche being curious opened the box and fell into a deep slumber. When Eros her lover got to know of what had happened he approached Zeus and begged him to save his love Psyche. Zeus in his turn was amazed by their love for one another, relented and permitted them to meet once again. He even went further by making Psyche immortal in order that the two lovers could be together forever.






They are happily joined together once again and together they have a daughter by the name Voluptas or Hedone which means physical pleasure or bliss. This is the story of two unusual beings that come together in an unusual situation and their love story is filled with mysteries which are gradually unraveled bringing about a happy ending of a love that is true though each of them undergo a trail of different form to prove the depth of the love they have for each other.

One Giant Struggle - The First Space Walk; 1965

By the sixties the main space agencies had realised there is nothing like stretching your legs after a long drive. The race was on to conduct the first walk in space. The Soviets were so determined to complete a successful spacewalk that they boldly pushed Alexei Leonov out of the airlock in March 1965. Going where no man had gone before proved easy enough – but getting back into where man had just been proved somewhat harder.
The live TV feed of Leonov’s bold, slightly stilted steps, was abruptly cut, officially due to transmission difficulties. The reality on the final frontier was that scientists had not accounted for the effects of space on the suit Leonov was wearing, or the technicalities of keeping him alive for any longer than forty five minutes. The result was that Leonov was running out of air and his space suit had become rigid, making it difficult (very nearly impossible) to manoeuvre sufficiently to open and then re-enter the airlock.

In what can only be described as sheer bravery (Leonov himself used the word "desperation") he persisted in his efforts, eventually beating the odds, squishing his bloated and rigid suit back head first into the airlock. By some miracle Leonov vented just enough oxygen from his suit to continue breathing while not actually raising his body temperature boiling point – all of which he achieved alone.

The mission was successful although even the re-entry was plagued with problems; the capsule's automatic guidance system failed. This required the crew to manually land the ship, avoid hitting China (harder than you might think from a height) and inadvertently starting a war, whilst also avoiding any major population centres. On re-entry the module began to spin wildly and went into free-fall which resulted in them landing so far off course that nobody was quite sure if they had landed – at least in one identifiable piece. The authorities assured their families that they had landed safely and were 'resting' which, depending on your interpretation of the word, was kind of true.

Stranded in Siberia, surrounded by aggressive wolves and bears in temperatures as low as 30C was something of a walk in the park for Leonov and his colleagues. However, issues with the capsule's doors (again) made the night uncomfortable. Unable to shut the door, the cosmonauts had to endure the temperatures, a fact which was not helped by the sweat that had pooled inside their spacesuits. Proving that even space explorers can be down to earth, practical types, they stripped, rung out their wet clothing and pulled the space suits apart to access the layers of softer, warmer material. More or less respectably dressed once more they were rescued the following day when a passing cargo plane picked up their signal. The nine kilometre ski to the nearest rescue helicopter probably made the whole experience seem like a holiday. No doubt the sort of experience that you laugh about later; much later.

While the first spacewalk didn't go entirely to plan and the landing didn't go much better, with a wish.co.uk experience everything should run much more smoothly.
Space Travel Infographic
Freelance writer Chris Hoole is fascinated by the bits of space exploration history that nearly went wrong.  Here he explores the near-disaster of the first spacewalk.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

History mystery: Ruthless Historical Figure, Queen Valeria Messalina



Messalina
Messalina was the daughter and the second child of Marcus Valerius Messalls Barbatus and Domitia Lepida the Younger, who also happened to be his first cousin. Messalina’s grandparents Claudia Marcella and Anthony Major were half sisters and there was a large amount of inbreeding from her paternal and maternal side of her family. She was the third wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the paternal cousin of the Emperor Nero, a second cousin of Emperor Caligula and the great grandniece of Emperor Augustus and not much is known about Messalina before her marriage to her second cousin Claudius.

While she was young she was quite popular in the court of her cousin Caligula and may have picked up most of his habits in his debaucheries hall which have resulted in her adulteress way of living. After marriage to her cousin Claudius, she bore two children, a daughter, Claudia Octavia and son Tiberius Claudius Germanicus also called Britanicus. When Emperor Caligula was murdered, Claudius and Messalina became the new Emperor and Empress.

With this rise to power, Messalina entered history with a reputation of a ruthless and as an adulterous woman. Her husband on the other hand was easily manipulated by her and in the beginning was unaware of her many follies. She is said to have used her influence which affected a large number of prosecution in her country. She used her influence and power during her tenure as imperial wife especially on Narcissus, as accomplice, who was the foremost of Claudius’s secretaries.

According to some sources, she allied herself with Claudius’s freedman, Narcissus to dominate the emperor and to fulfill her own desires. Her first victim happened to be Appius Junius Silanus who had been in command of the three legions in Spain before he was brought to Rome and married to Messalina’s mother with the intention to lessen any threat that his military authority provided him with.

Valeria Messalina-2
Messalina was powerful and influential and was known for various notorious behaviors and used her complex manipulations which resulted in murders and exile of her proposed enemies. She had a long list of enemies which included a philosopher, Seneca, who was exiled under her order, Claudius’s niece, Julia who was first exiled and then murdered; Marcus Vinicius was also poisoned by her along with many other political who were rivals to her son Britanicus.

The version of the story relates that according to Messalina and Narcissus, each in turn dreamt that Appius had intentions of assassinating Claudius and one day Appius’s sudden entry into Claudius’s chamber for an early morning appearance seemed to confirm that their dream could be true and he was executed for a crime which he had not committed. Some are of the belief that Claudius himself could be instrumental in planning the execution to get rid of his enemy and Messalina and Narcissus may not have even been involved in the plot.

In the ancient world whenever woman had any role in the affairs of the state, they became part of the story and used their power and influence according to their means and purpose. Messalina used her power in enticing many men towards her bedroom chamber and was considered to be an unchaste woman. She would boast that she could take many men at a stretch against her rival and according to Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, she is said to have challenged a popular prostitute in a contest which lasted for twenty four hours and she won with a score of twenty five men.

In another incident she created a brothel where she along with her other aristocratic members anonymously serviced men in her city and though these incidents could be exaggerated by the enemies, the influence of women in power is not something that is unheard of and her connection with Vettius Valens and Plautius Laternaus show evidence since they are documented.

Using her promiscuity was evident in many reports of her political manipulation and sometimes she also used her power to save people especially her lover in a particular instance and saved a German Sabinus from being executed in the arena. Being a powerful and an influential woman with a reputation for promiscuity it is said that she conspired against her husband Claudius but her plot was discovered. Her story goes on to say according to Tacitus who describes that she met her end when her final affair was with Silius the handsome young nobleman and the husband of Junia whom she had ordered to be exiled and later murdered.

One day in autumn, she unilaterally pronounced herself divorced from Claudius and in an odd private yet proper ceremony married Gaius Silius. Tacitus states that he was unaware that this incident could be a fiction but credits it all the same saying that Silius had earlier divorced his wife in order that he could be with Messalina. He further states that Messalina had been transferring possessions belonging to the imperial family, to him and while Claudius was away from Rome, a grand party was organized to celebrate the event.


Many got to know of this secret marriage though Claudius was ignorant about the same but when he learned of it his fearful reaction indicated that he seemed to recognize it as coup attempt to destroy him, intended to punish her severely. He sought the help of his trusted freedman Narcissus who had apparently worked closely with Messalina earlier, had now turned against her when she became the cause of the death of Polybius, another freedman secretary of Claudius.

 Narcissus seemed to be careful in ensuring that Messalina did not make attempts to soften Claudius resolution of punishment. It is said that Messalina after being caught in her act of a secret marriage retreated to the gardens of Lucullus for safety, the garden belonging to Valerius Asiaticus whose persecution she had once influenced and she was urged to make an honorable end by suicide. Messalina did not have the courage or the will to kill herself and so the centurion in charge of the execution helped her by executing her along with Silius and a number of many upper class members.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

History mystery:The Mysterious Shugborough Inscription


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History is full of many intriguing incidents and monuments, arousing the curiosity of the minds of many, who tend to make great attempts in unraveling the puzzles and find solutions to the hidden mysteries. The Shugborough Inscription is one such mystery which is both puzzling and intriguing. The monument, Shugborough inscription which seems to be a carved inscription attached on a large manor house in England is a mystery yet to be unraveled.

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It is on the grounds of Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, England, portraying a replica of Nicolas Poussin’s masterpiece namely The Shepherd of Arcadia. This was commissioned by Thomas Anson and and was fashioned by Peter Scheemakers, the Flemish sculptor. The monument is set within stone arch and looks like the entrance of a cave which is natural and wild with carved inscription of D OUOSVAVV M. Many are clueless to the meaning of these inscriptions and the unknown facts of the mysterious inscription of ten letters which has not yet reached any satisfactory explanations and has been known as one of the world’s unsolved cipher texts. This monument according to various writers dates back to the years during 1748 to 1767 and over a period of time, many solutions to the random letters have been selected.

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Admiral George Anson for instance, famous for his navigation of the globe may have encrypted a brief Latin poem in memory of his late wife, the translation into English reads as – Best wives, best of sisters, a most devoted widower dedicates to your virtues. Some state that the inscriptions in Latin could be for particular biblical verses while others suggest that the letters may represent the initials of some renowned residents belonging to the Shugborough Hall and its surroundings. A majority of them speculate that these inscriptions once decoded could tell the location of the Holy Grail while still others think that the code could be in Norwegian language and the option of using the English or Latin language to unravel the code would be futile.

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There are still many more who believe that the mysterious inscriptions may not represent any letters at all and that it could only be a string of numbers. According to others the cryptic inscriptions etched on marble tablet could indicate the trail of The Holy Grail where Nicolas Poussin is believed to be the grand master of the Knight Templer, an order which captured Jerusalem at the time of the Crusades who were the keepers of The Holy Grail which according to the Christian mythology was the vessel used by Jesus Christ at the time of His Last Supper and before his death on the Cross is said to have miraculous powers.

 For many years the Shugborough Inscriptions has been churning the minds of great theologians, historians, scientist, including Charles Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and the recent Second World War code breaker, Bletchley Park, but the same has not yet been solved and hence the mission of unraveling the mystery of the carved inscription code continues intriguing all with many still speculating to get the answers and solve the mystery of this intriguing inscription

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Forbidden Love Of Pyramus And Thisbe

The Ovidian version of Pyramus and Thisbe is a story of two ardent lovers who dwelt in the city of Babylon and occupied adjoining houses which was separated by a wall. Pyramus was a handsome youth while Thisbe was one of the fairest maiden in the whole of Babylon. The proximity of their dwelling place brought these two individuals together which started with acquaintance and ripened into love but due to the rivalry of their parents, they were forbidden to take this relationship to a permanent settlement in marriage.

As love has no boundaries and can cross any limitation, these two lovers could not stop loving one another and their love blossomed and grew with each passing phase of life. They would converse with signs and glances and with the boundaries and restriction laid out by their parents their love intensified all the more for one another. The wall that separated them in the house had a little crack which came up due to some structural fault and the two lovers used this crack in the wall as a means to communicate with one another and whispered their love for each other.

They would send tender messages forward and backward through this crack or gap in the wall as Pyramus stood on one side of the wall while Thisbe stood on the other side. Often they would blame the cruel wall for their separation while at the same time were also grateful to it with the little crack or gap which provided a means of communication and interaction between the two lovers. Those were the precious moments they could share with one another in spite of all the restrictions placed on them by their parents and they made the most of the moments they got to share with one another with the obstruction of the wall between them.

One day they arranged to meet one another at sundown, near Nimus tomb, a well known edifice without any city boundaries, beneath a mulberry trees to declare their love for each other with the instructions that one who arrived first would wait for the other under the mulberry tree and they planned their rendezvous under the white mulberry tree which stood near a cool spring. The meeting was agreed upon and they waited for the appointed time to meet and share wonderful moments with one another.

When the appointed time arrived, Thisbe cautiously stole away unnoticed by her family members with her head covered with a veil and made her way to the scheduled spot to meet Pyramus. She was the first to arrive and so she sat under the tree waiting for her lover to arrive. As she waited in the dim light of the evening she sees a lioness with her mouth covered with blood from her recent hunt and horrified and frightened, she flees away from the spot. In her confused flight to safety, she drops her veil she had worn on the wayside.

The lioness seeing the veil by the wayside tosses and rents it with her bloody mouth leaving it on the trail. When Pyramus having being delayed, arrives at their meeting place, sees the blood rented veil of Thisbe fallen down, presumes that she had been devoured and killed by the wild beast. In his anguish and grief of losing his love, he blames himself for tempting his love to a secluded spot and not being around to guard her in moments of distress and being the cause of her death. He takes up the veil and carries it to their appointed spot of meeting covering it with kisses and tears saying that his blood will also stain the texture of her veil and drawing his sword plunges it into his heart.

His blood from his wound is splashed all around the white mulberry leaves and the mulberries fruits, turning them red while by this time Thisbe trembling with fear though eager to meet him and not wishing to disappoint her lover, arrives at their meeting spot. At first she is perplexed on seeing the white mulberry leaves turned to red and is further aghast on seeing the Tyramus lying in a pool of blood beneath the tree. She shudders and cries in pain and sorrow seeing her lover dying before her eyes and helpless to do anything to save him and hearing her voice, Pyramus momentarily opens and closes his eyes. 

Thisbe notices her blood stain veil and the missing sword from its scabbard and understands the cause of his death. She in her turn blames herself for being the cause of his death through the trail of the veil left behind during her flight to safety. She vows to follow him even in death and taking the sword she kills herself joining her lover Pyramus even in death. The scenario here is full of love, pain, helplessness and the desire to be one even in times of death showing the power and strength of love in life as well as in death.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Briar Rose, An Intriguing Fairytale Of All Times



Far away in fairyland, lived a king and a queen, who were blessed with great wealth and riches but sad to say were not blessed with a child. They had practically everything that money could buy, with plenty of fine clothes, good food to eat and drink and an awesome mansion to live in together with fine coaches to transport them wherever they would go. They had been married for many years now and were longing for a child of their own and were very much grieved with this thought. One day as the queen was strolling by the side of the river at the further end of her garden, she came across a fish lying by the wayside gasping and almost dying near the bank of the river.

The queen took compassion on the little fish and gently placed it back in the river to save its life. The little fish was very thankful to the queen and before swimming away, lifted it tiny head out of the waters and informed the queen that her wish would be fulfilled and in due course she would soon have a daughter in return for the kindness shown and swam away. What the little fish had foretold the queen came to pass and she was soon blessed with a daughter who was exceeding beautiful so much so that the king could not cease looking at her with joy and decided to hold a great feast to make merry and show his beautiful daughter to all. And so he held a grand feast for his daughter by calling all his noblemen, kinsmen, friends and neighbors while the queen decided to call the fairies too, so that they could bless their child with kindness and goodness.


There were thirteen fairies in that land and the king and the queen had only twelve golden dishes from which the fairies could eat from and hence the queen was forced to leave one fairy out from her list of invitees. So the great day of celebration dawned and all those invited came for the grand celebration. The twelve fairies came along each wearing a high read cap on her head with high heeled red shoes on their feet, carrying a long white wand in the right hand. The palace was filled with fun and music, food, laughter and merriment. As the feast was drawing to an end, all the fairies gathered around the child to give their best wishes to the little princess. Each fairy came forward bestowing their good wishes to the little infant while one blessed her with goodness, the other with beauty and another with riches, with each of them blessing her with all the goodness of life.

While the eleventh fairy was almost done with her shower of blessings to the child, a little chaos rook place in the palace courtyard and the word spread that the thirteen fairy who was not invited had come along fuming with rage. She made her entry donned with a black cap on her head with black shoes on her feet and a broomstick in her hand. Since she was not invited she was filled with rage and set out to take revenge for this act. She cursed the princess saying that in her fifteenth year, the princess would be wounded by a spindle and fall down dead. The royal parents were very much upset over this curse but the twelfth fairy who had not yet granted her blessing to the princess intervened and lightened the curse saying that the princess would be wounded but would not die. Instead she would only be drawn in a deep sleep for a hundred years. The king, deep down in his heart hoped to save his little princess from the curse and so he ordered all the spindles of the land to be brought up, burnt and destroyed thus ensuring that there were no spindles in his kingdom.

The little child grew up to be a beautiful princess with the blessing of the fairies and turned out to be very beautiful, well behaved and loved by all the people of that land. On the day the princess turned fifteen years of age, it so happened that she was left alone at the palace and the king and the queen were not around and the little princess wandered around the palace curiously looking into all the chambers of the palace till she finally came to an old tower with a narrow staircase at the end of which was a little door. Still curious to know what lay beyond the door, she advanced in the direction of the door and found a golden key on the door. When she turned the key, the door opened and she saw an old lady spinning busily at the spindle. The princess ventured further into the room and got interested in the spindle asking the old woman what she was doing. Spinning was the reply combined with humming and the buzz of the wheel.

The princess was fascinated and asked the old woman to teach her the spindle who obliged her to teach her. Scarcely had the princess touched the spindle, the prophecy of the fairy took place and the spindle wounded her and she fell down lifeless on the ground. As foretold by the twelfth fairy, the princess had fallen into a deep slumber. The king and the queen who had just returned also fell into a deep sleep along with all the courts men and the horses and all the people of that kingdom. It was like time stood still and each one at that point of time remained rooted in the act they were indulged in. when the princess got wounded and fell into a deep sleep. While the princess and all the inhabitants of the kingdom slept, a large hedge of thorns gradually grew around the palace and with each passing year grew higher and higher till the palace was hidden completely and could not be seen.

There was a report about the beautiful sleeping, Briar Rose, as she was named by the king and several kings and princes made attempts to break through the thicket to get into the palace. As years passed by, and the hundred years drew near, a young prince got to know about the Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose and made way to reach the palace. On completion of the hundred years the spell was broken and the prince could pass through beautiful flowers right through the palace to the place where Briar Rose laid. He was spellbound and mesmerized by her beauty that he kissed her and the spell was completely broken and the princess awoke along with all the people in the kingdom that had fallen asleep. The prince and the princess had a new beginning with the blessing of the king and queen together with all the people of that land and they lived happily thereafter.

Excite Instead of Offending: How to Pick the Perfect Gift for Someone Who's Religious

Whether it's an old friend, your uncle or a new work colleague, we all have people in our lives who are religious. And while you may be religious yourself, it's normal to not know every detail about all other religions. Knowing that information would require studying over 40 different systems of faith!

Because that's a task that's simply too large for most people to tackle, the good news is it's not necessary in order to bond with someone who has a different religion. It's also not necessary if you want to give them a gift on a special occasion. The reason you don't need to go through that entire process is you're about to read a streamlined guide to finding great gifts for people of different religions:
Judaism
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Estimates show that the global population of this faith is around 14 million. While that's smaller than other belief systems like Buddhism, the Chinese Religion, Islam, Sikhism and Taoism, Judaism is still a very influential religion. Even though many of its members had to endure unimaginable horrors, the faith has stayed strong and continues to guide millions of people's paths through life.

If you want to show someone who's Jewish that you care about them, a piece of sterling silver evil eye jewelry is the way to go. Because texts say that the evil eye is capable of causing harm to people who aren't protected, a set of earrings, necklace or bracelet is the best way for an individual to get the protection they need to ward off all the evil that goes along with this powerful look.

Atheist or Agnostic

Many people are surprised to learn that there are over a billion people around the world who are either atheist or agnostic. Because that's a full 20% of the world's population, chances are you know at least a few individuals who fall into either of these groups. Speaking of multiple groups, it's important to clarify the difference between atheism and agnosticism. The former believes there is no God, while the latter believes humans can't know for sure if God exists.

A great gift for someone who's atheist is Bill Maher's movie Religulous, or his stand-up special But I'm Not Wrong. The reason either gift will be thoroughly enjoyed is even though Maher doesn't consider himself an atheist, he's not afraid to dive deep into the subject of religion and really examine it with a critical eye. Each DVD is available from Amazon for less than $15.

For someone who's agnostic, a gift that's related to that fact may not be necessary. Unless a person specifically identifies themselves as agnostic on a regular basis, chances are the best gift will come from getting to know what they're passionate about and then finding a present that's a great fit with what they care about most.

Christianity

Because it includes Catholicism, Protestantism and more, Christianity is the world's biggest religion. When it comes to finding a gift for someone who's part of the two billion people around the globe that practice Christianity, it's worth finding out their specific group. The reason is members of different Christian groups can have significantly different tastes in terms of what they like best.

For example, someone who's Catholic will likely love a gift like rosary beads or an item that honors the Virgin Mary, while an individual who's Methodist will probably be more fond of a gift that's a reverent depiction of just the cross.

How Much Should You Spend On This Gift?
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Although the gift you buy for someone who's religious may be different than the gift you buy for someone who just considers themselves a secular individual, when it comes to how much you spend, the rule of thumb is the same. It still makes sense to spend more on someone who's truly close to you than an individual who's a new friend or even just an acquaintance. That means you'll probably put more into buying a gift for an aunt who's always been there for you than a co-worker you just started collaborating with a few months ago.
At first, the task of finding an awesome gift for someone who's very committed to their religion may seem like a tough task to complete. But, as you can see from everything we just covered, you don't have to worry about accidentally offending someone with your gift. Instead, you just need to get on the right track and then you should be able to find the perfect gift in no time!

Ephram Benski has written both online and offline for the last twelve years. During those rare moments when he's away from his keyboard, he enjoys looking for the next vinyl album he plans to add to his record collection.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

History mystery: Serpent in Ancient Mythology



Serpents or snakes in the ancient world had two different meanings, namely heaven and healing and evil and the underworld. The serpent first emerged in ancient Egypt with the god Atum who was depicted as a snake and was associated with the creation and considered to be the finisher of the world. As per the Book of the Dead, Atum rose from the water of chaos taking the form of a snake and in conversation with Osiris, informed that he would turn back to snake form when the world would be destroyed. From this reference it is presumed that the serpent is connected to rebirth and eternity. Serpent is derived from the origin Latin word serpens or serpentis which creeps and is commonly used in mythic or religious rituals and have been used for some of the most oldest rituals performed by humans. As per Egypt mythology namely Wadjet or the Green One, was one of the ancient goddess of the city of Dep and considered to be the patron and protector of lower Egypt and unification of Upper Egypt, a joint protector as well as the patron of the whole of Egypt.

The portray of the Green One or Wadjet with the sun disk is known as the ureaus, and it become the emblem of the crown of rulers of Lower Egypt and was also considered as a protector of kings and rulers as well as women in childbirth. The patron goddess who was associated with land was depicted as a snake headed woman at times like an Egyptian cobra, a venomous snake and at other times as a woman of two snake heads or a snake with a woman’s head. Her worship was in the renowned temple in Per Wadjet which gave the city its name and it is presumed that this oracular tradition spread towards Greece from Egypt. In the Christian Bible, the Old Testament, the serpent was the one who tempted Eve the first female creature in the Garden of Eden and brought about the downfall of innocence and the beginning of sin and the first human beings in the Garden of Eden or Paradise got to know the outcome of eating the forbidden fruit tempted by the serpent to Eve who also enticed Adam to eat the same, thus disobeying God’s law from eating the forbidden fruit.


Further on, in the story of Moses, we are told that the Israelites became ungrateful and turned away from God who punished them with snake bites Moses was instructed by God to make a brass serpent and hang it on a pole and those afflicted with snake bites could be healed on gazing at the brass serpent. For ancient Greek and Aclepios, the serpent was the god of medicine and healing and some consider the staff with snake coiled around is a symbol of medicine which is connected to Asclepios who used non venomous serpents for healing rituals in the temple. Many debated as to why the snake was used as the symbol of healing and the conclusion drawn was that it represented healing due to its ability of shedding the skin and renews itself. The Hopi of North America considered snakes as fertility symbols that performed annual snake dance in celebration of the union of snake youth, a sky spirit and the girl snake of the underworld spirit to renew the fertility of nature. While the dance was in progress, the snakes were handled and at the end of the dance were released in the field to ensure good crops. Historically, serpents are considered as fertility or a creative life force and as snakes shed their skin, they are symbols of transformation, rebirth, healing and immortality.




The snake dance was also considered as a prayer to the spirits of the clouds, thunder and lightning so that the rain may fall and give good crops. Other cultures, symbolized the snake as the umbilical cord which joined all humans to the earth. It is also believed that the Great Goddess was always accompanied with snakes and at times had them entwined around her staff. In ancient Greece, they were worshipped as guardians of her mysteries of birth and regeneration. Serpents are often connected to poison and medicine and its venom is connected with the chemicals of plants and its fungi have the power to either poison, heal or provide consciousness. They are also considered to be revengeful and vindictive and are often prone to deliver deadly defensive bites without warning to their victims. In various mythologies, serpents are identified differently. In Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu is believed to sleep while floating on the cosmic water on the serpent Shesha who while holding all the planets of the universe on his hood, is singing the glories of Vishnu. Shesha is also referred as Ananta Shesha meaning Endless Shesha.

Monday, October 7, 2013

History mystery: Intriguing Love Story of Paris and Helen


Paris was the son of King Priam of Troy and his queen Hecuba, who was also called Alexander or Alexandros. He was rejected at birth and raised as a shepherd boy on Mount Ida since it was foretold that he would be the cause of the downfall of Troy as per the dream of Hecuba. The dream was that she gave birth to a firebrand, the flames of which spread all over the city. This dream was interpreted by Aesacus to her and Paris was sent out with the hopes that the dream would be false. As Paris grew up he became a valiant defender of his flock and shepherd and received the name of Alexander which means the defender of men. He was also successful in identifying his real origin and got to know who his parents were when Priam prepared to celebrate a funeral solemnity for Paris, whom he thought was dead, He had ordered a bull to be brought from his herd and the same was to be given as a price to the winner of the game. Paris, who had participated in the game, conquered his brothers when one of them drew his sword to kill him but Paris fled to the altar of Zeus Herceius and it was here that Cassandra declared him as her brother and Priam accepted him as his son.


Paris was loved by a nymph, Oenone the daughter of the river god Cebren whom he married and she gave birth to a son, Corythus, who according to some was later sent by his mother to serve the Greeks as a guide during voyage to Troy. It is also said that Paris himself killed his son out of jealousy when he found him with Helen whom he loved and wanted her. Oenone possessed prophetic powers and she cautioned Paris not to sail towards the country of Helen which he ignored though she promised to heal him if he got wounded since that was the only aid she could offer him. It is said that at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the sea goddess, Eris, the goddess of discord was not invited and in a fit of rage when she was turned away, had stormed in casting a golden apple among those assembled there and addressed them saying ‘To the Fairest”. Three goddess laid claim to the apple namely, Aphrodite, Hera and Athena and Zeus was asked to choose from the three goddesses and fearing to be hated by the two not chosen he meditated and instructed Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris to resolve the issue.


The three goddesses tried to win the favor of Paris by offering him gifts and Paris was swayed by the offering of Aphrodite who promised to bestow him Helen, the most beautiful woman as his bride. Being a beauty contest, it seemed most appropriate that the goddess of beauty and love had offered Paris this offering but unfortunately Helen was the bride of Menelaus. The abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War and the downfall of the city. Some are of the opinion that Paris carried off Helen, the wife of Menelaus who followed him willingly due to the influence of Aphrodite while Menelaus was away from Crete, while others believe that the goddess deceived Helen by giving Paris the appearance of Menelaus while still others believe that Helen was carried away by force by Paris either during a chase or during a festival. Helen of Sparta is perhaps the most inspired character in ancient and modern literature and the war which was fought for her sake lasted for ten years.

Helen was a tantalizing enigma and though she was of flesh and blood, she was also immortal since she happened to be the daughter of Zeus and her mother was the beautiful Leda queen of Sparta who was lured by the father of the gods taking the form of a swan and her husband was Tyndareus. According to some versions, Nemesis is named mother in the bird form and the Helen egg was given to Leda to be raised. Helen had a sister Cytemnestra and twin brothers Castor and Pollux or Polydeuces and while Pollux shared a father with Helen, Caster shared with Cytemnestra and the two brothers are called Dioscuri Helen was one of the most spectacular characters of a dramatic love story of all times and one of the reason being the ten years war which took place between the Trojans and the Greeks namely the Trojan War. She was known to be the face that launched a thousand ships due to the vast number of warships that the Greeks sailed to Troy to get Helen back. Helen was famous for her beauty throughout ancient Greece and had many suitors who were most willing to take her as their bride.

What is a Fatal Accident?

A fatal accident is an accident in which death is confirmed. This can be caused by the involvement of a third party in an accident, or not. After the formalities have been dealt with then it is sometimes hard to figure out what can be claimed after such an accident, as it relates to being compensated. In order for such a claim to be made, the death that occurred during that accident would have had to be as a result of negligence that was caused by the third party. To find out what you are entitled to be compensated for. Where this is, there are government legislation that covers these claims, As well as a criteria as to who can claim. This falls under what exactly is to be claimed for. If you have been a victim of losing a loved one in a fatal accidentthen the team at Priority Legal can take full control and get you the compensation you are entitled to.

There are various claims that fall under the fatal accident claims. There is one such claim known as the bereavement claim which is done by members of a family. This is compensation that can be claimed as a result of the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident. Losing a loved one is not easy, the pain and heartache that is involved can be almost incapacitating for some. There should be some way in which you can be adequately compensated for such a loss. Even though this person cannot be replaced, and there is no amount of money that can compensate for the loss, there are expenses that are incurred upon death. If you ask the professionals at Priority Legal ‘What is a fatal accident?’ You can be sure that they will not only elaborate for you, but also give you an outline of the different ways in which you can be compensated for your loss.

Claiming for compensation from an insurance company in the event of death can be a bit of a hard task. With all of the clauses and loopholes that are involved with the process, it is best to get the help of people who are professionals in doing these sort of claims. People who are fully educated t in all of the proverbial red tape that surrounds the insurance companies. Trust Priority Legal to get your claims sorted out and get your compensation in no time. The hardships that are experienced by some people after a fatal accident can be drastically minimized if they are able to go to people who can help them.

It is already difficult to experience the pain of a loss, it should not pose additional difficulties when you are trying to get compensation to help with funeral expenses and other debts that are present after a death. Priority Legal will see to it that you are able to mourn without the added burden of worrying about expenses and how they will be paid.

Eddie Large writes for http://www.prioritylegalclaims.co.uk/

Thursday, October 3, 2013

History mystery: Pygmalion and Galatea



A talented and handsome sculptor by the name Pygmalion, from Cyprus in ancient Greek had some bad experience with few local prostitutes and had lost interest in girls which lead him to make a resolution, never to get involved with any woman. He considered woman as flawed creatures and stayed away from them. He got immersed in his art and vowed never to marry since he had no time for girls. He would spend hours carving beautiful ivory statues and was very passionate with his art. Once he choose to work on a renowned piece of art and got engaged in chiseling and hammering until he ended up in a beautiful statue of a woman and fell in love with his creation. His masterpiece or his work of art happened to be a woman whom he was trying to create and correct the flaws he found in a woman. His passion for sculptor and to stay away from woman, with all intent and purpose drove him in carving one of the most beautiful statues of a woman which after its final creation made him so obsessed with the statue that he fell in love with it.

His sculptured work was a perfect resemblance of a beautiful maiden and Pygmalion admired his own work and often laid his hands on it to reassure him that it was only an image made of ivory. He named her Galatea and was often found caressing it and gave presented it with bright shells, polished stones, flowers of various hues, amber, beads etc. He also put jewels on its fingers, raiment on its limbs along with necklace around its neck with earrings on the ears. He would deck the statue as one would present a young love with gifts. As he gazed on Galatea, he often wished that he would have a wife similar to Galatea but who would be full of life. The festival of Venus, Aphrodite - the goddess of love, was at hand which was a festival celebrated with great pomp by the people at Cyprus offering burnt offering at the altar with the air filled with the odor of incense. As Pygmalion performed his offering of sacrificing a bull, he stood before the altar and prayed secretly for a wife like Galatea whom he could love as a living being and not an ivory statue.

Aphrodite the goddess of love who was present at the festival heard his uttered prayer and out of pity gave him a sign with his burnt offering. The sign was, that his flames shot up three times in a fiery point in the air. But Pygmalion was unaware of this indication and went home wondering on the sign that he had seen during his offering at the temple. Still wondering and pondering over this manifestation he had seen in the temple he went to his statue to embrace it and was amazed to feel the warmth of the ivory statue. It took him some time to realize that the ivory statue had turned alive and that his prayer uttered in the temple had been answered. When he laid his hands on the statue, the ivory felt soft and smooth and yielded to his touch. While he stood spellbound, astonished as well as glad though full of doubts thinking that he was mistaken to consider an ivory statue turnied to be alive. As he watched in amazement, Galatea began to move and stretched her arms as though she had woken up after a deep slumber, stepped out of her pedestal and ran towards him into his arms. He touched her again and again to make sure his statue had become alive.

He was overcome with joy and kissed Galatea who reciprocated him followed by her loving gaze and their nuptials was solemnized by Venus with her blessings. From this union, Paphos was born and the city of Paphos in Cyprus, which was sacred to Venus, got its name. Pugmalion and Galatea brought gifts to the temple of Aphrodite all through their life as thanksgiving who blessed them with happiness and love in return. This amazing and unusual love story which blossomed between Pygmalion and Galatea surprises all, where Pygmalion after his beautiful creation of a woman, who had vowed never to engage or get involved with any women or marry her, fell in love with his ivory statue and got the benefit of his desire through the goddess of love. Many artist have been inspired by the mythology of Pygmalion and Galatea and have used the story of inspiration for their work some of which are funny, some creepy and some wonderful. George Bernard Shaw was one of those inspired by the myth who wrote the play Pygmalion based on it and the musical My Fair Lady was based on his play. In his play the girls is brought to life by the speech of two men whose goal is for her to marry and become the duchess giving a spin to its original story with a hint of feminism.