Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Philadelphia Experiment – an alleged Military Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment
History Mystery of Philadelphia Experiment is an alleged military experiment is said to have been carried out by the U.S. Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania conducted aboard a Navy Cannon class destroyer escort called the USS Eldridge number DE-173 around October 28, 1943.This U.S. Navy destroyer escort was claimed to be invisible to enemy devices.

The experiment involved the use of force field rendering the ship invisible both to the radar as well as the eye wherein this experiment was witnessed by hundreds or probably thousands of sailors from other ships nearby as well as ashore.

However there were very severe side effects to the crew on board the ship where some were found materialized in the metal of the ships while others were never seen again and still more were driven insane or plagued for many years of mysteriously phasing in and out of existence.

The story is said to be a hoax with the U.S. Navy maintaining that no such experiment was ever conducted with details of the story contradicting the well-established facts related to the Eldridge itself and commonly accepted physics.

Eldridge’s Activities summarized from Ship’s War Diary

The Philadelphia Experiment 2
A description of Eldridge’s activities was summarized from the ship’s war diary which indicated that after commissioning, Eldridge remained in New York and in the Long Island Sound till 16th September when it sailed to Bermuda and from 18th September it was in the vicinity of Bermuda undergoing training and sea trials till 15th October and left in a convoy for New York and entered on 18th October, remaining in New York harbour till 1st November when it became a part of the escort for convoy UGS-23 The convoy entered the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk on 2nd November and the Eldridge and Convoy UGS-23 left for Casablanca on 3rd November and arrived on 22nd November.

By the 29th November, Eldridge had left as one of the escorts for Convoy GUS-22 arriving with the convoy on 17th December at the harbour of New York where it remained on availability training and in Block Island Sound till 31st December. It then steamed to Norfolk with four other ships during which time Eldridge was not in Philadelphia.

Project Rainbow

The Philadelphia Experiment 3
The Philadelphia Experiment is also known as Project Rainbow and a comprehensive search has failed to identify its records relating to teleportation or the disappearance of the ship. The code name Rainbow in the 1940s was used in context to the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis with Rainbow plans considered as war plans to defeat Italy, Germany and Japan. Rainbow V was the plan the US used to fight the Axis powers which took effect on 7th December 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour.

Some of the researchers had wrongly concluded that the degaussing has a connection in making an object invisible which is a process wherein a system of electrical cables are installed around the circumference of the ship’s hull which runs from the bow to stern on both sides.

Measured electrical current is then passed through these cables in order to cancel the ship’s magnetic field and the degaussing equipment installed in the hull of Navy ships could be turned on when the ship is in water and that could contain magnetic mines.

If degaussing is done correctly, it could make a ship invisible to the sensors of magnetic mines though the ship remains visible to the radar, human eye as well as underwater devices. You can get more information on ancient history at elixirofknowledge.com

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wicca Modern Pagan

Wicca 1
Witchcraft in Ancient history was considered as `The Craft of the Wise’, since those who followed the path were in tune with the elements of nature, had adequate knowledge of herbs and medicines, capable of giving council, were of great value to the village and community as Shamanic leaders and healers.

Wicca is a modern pagan, witchcraft religion which was developed in England in the first half of the 20th century. It was introduced in 1954 to the public by Gerald Gardner who was a retired British civil servant. It is an earth based religion with the belief of two deities, the god and the goddess who are honoured in various forms namely, Isis, Demeter, Astarte, Pan, Apollo, Mercury. Zeus etc.

The term Wicca first received acceptance while referring to the religion in the years 1960s and 70s and before which the term Witchcraft was widely used. Application of the word Wicca underwent a great deal of disagreement and Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca were often termed as British Traditional Wicca while most of their practitioners considered the term Wicca only to the lineagetraditions while still others did not use the word Wicca but preferred to be referred as Witchcraft and others believed that all modern witchcraft traditions were considered Wiccan.

Wicca – Gerald Gardner/Doreen Valiente

Wicca 2
Some consider Wicca the religion of pre Christian Europe that was forced underground by the Christian church which was not acceptable by the historians. Modern Wicca is dated to the work of Gerald Gardner together with Doreen Valiente who on receiving the repeal of the last Witchcraft Act in England in 1951 became public with their cult of witchcraft that was focused on a horned god of fertility and a great earth goddess.

Gardner received credits for introducing the term Wicca and `Dianic’ Wicca is focussed on the goddess as the Supreme Being, excluding men. The Wiccan share the belief on the importance of the feminine principle, deep respect for nature together with pantheistic and polytheistic view of the world.

 They also practice some form of ritual magic which according to them is considered good or constructive while some are solitary practitioners and others belong to covens.

Wicca – Surviving Folk Tradition/Modern Elements

Wicca is considered a new religion which combines surviving folk traditions with more modern elements and is based on Western European pagan rites as well as rituals which have been performed right down the ages. Presently with the freedom to make a choice on one’s religion, some of the misconception about the old religion is fading away.

The Wiccan or Witch is concerned with the preservation of natural beauty with solutions to the prevailing problems of pollution. The Witch seems to have a deep appreciate for nature and everything in it. The belief in the use of magic and spell work is universal in Wicca since for the Wiccan there is nothing that is supernatural about magic but the redirection and harnessing of natural energy to make a change in the world around.

The magic in Wicca is just another skill, set or tool that most Wiccans use as specific tools in spell crafting like wand, athame, herbs, crystals and candles. Do come back to elixirofknowledge.com for more information on History Mystery

Monday, April 28, 2014

Susruta, Renowned Surgeon of Ancient India

Susruta1
According to Ancient History, Susruta is believed to be the son of Visvamitra in the Susrutasamhita, though the exact identity of Visvamitra is not known.

Susruta was made to study Ayurveda with special emphasis on Salya or surgery under the training of Divodasa Kasi Raja Dhanvantari during the Upanishadic age who explained briefly the nature of the person afflicted with disease andwho is to be treated.

He also explained the nature of disease which would cause pain and its eradication, the type of food, the dravyas as well as the time factor. He further asked his student to consult as many disciplines as necessary to attain adequate knowledge on related subject.

The text contents referred to Krishna and the identity and chronology of his father Visvamitra seemed to be confusing. Susruta was a renowned surgeon of ancient India though there were considerable amount of controversy about his age.

Author of Susrutasamhita

Susruta2
Broken parts of arrows or other sharp pointed weapons were regarded as the common and most dangerous foreign objects which would cause wounds and some in need of surgical treatment.

This primitive means of surgery was an old ancient remedial treatment. Susruta was the author of the Susrutasamhita and the work is known after his name. The Susrutasamhita has minute details of pre-operative and post-operative care, techniques, diet, indication as well as contradictions together with complication.

His belief was that knowledge of both surgery and medicine was essential to constitute an excellent doctor who without this knowledge would be like a bird with only one wing.

Father of Indian Surgery

Susruta3
He was one of the most intelligent surgeons in Indian medical literature and was recognized as the father of Indian surgery.

The origin of the surgery of the accidental loss of leg of Vispala who was given an iron leg to walk with can be traced back to the earliest time, way back to the Indus Civilisation as suggested by some artefacts.

Ancient thoughts on medicine and surgery were confined to texts known as Kalpas or small monographs and early Indian medical literature were full of these handbooks monographs. Agnivesa was responsible in giving shape to such knowledge by collecting, pruning, enlarging and focusing on important aspects into text books of medicine in early 1200 BC.

Ancient Indian medical practitioners were divided into two categories namely the Salya-cikitsakas or surgeons and the Kaya-cikitsakas or physicians and surgery had not been included into the encyclopaedic tradition as represented by the Agnivesatantra. It was only through Sasruta’s efforts that surgery achieved a position in general medical training.
His contribution to Plastic/Ophthalmic Surgery

Susruta4
Susruta is also remembered for his contribution to plastic surgery since he had laid down its basic principle describing various types of rotations and pedicle flaps and was the pioneer of reconstructive rhinoplasty.

Besides plastic surgery he was also an expert in ophthalmic surgery and reading his extracts on cataract extraction, held many in awe on such an operation carried out by him during the 8th century BC.

Surgery in India reached great heights during the era of Susruta and credits goes to him in bringing about such surgical heritage to the country.Do visit elixirofknowledge.com for more information on history mystery

Sunday, April 27, 2014

La Malinche – An American Indian Aztec/Nahua

La Malinche
La Malinche also known as Malinalli, Malintzin or Dona Marina was an American Indian of Aztec/Nahua clan from the Mexican Gulf Coast. She played a very important part in the Spanish conquest of Mexico and was presumed to be a princess of a Nahuatl, the Aztec language tribe who was sold to coastal slave trader during her youth due to family politics.

Towards 1519, as a peace offering, she was presented to Cortex with twenty other female slaves. When Cortex got to know that Dona Marina spoke the Aztec language, he showed more interest in her. She was an interpreter, advisor, lover and intermediary for Cortex.

Among his crew, he had a Spaniard who was shipwrecked and who had lived among the Mayans for eight years. Marina who also spoke Mayan besides Aztec helped in communicating with most of the tribes within the Aztec empire. Later she became the mistress to Cortez giving birth to his first son, Martin who was considered to be one of the first Mestizos, a mixed breed of European and indigenous American ancestry.

Intelligent and Indispensable

La Malinche 2
Marina seemed to be a very intelligent woman and made herself indispensible to Cortex. She learnt the Spanish language very quickly and earned the respect of all Cortex’s troops and was given high regards by his captain.

Besides translation, she also provided Cortex with insight in the Aztec culture and he became too dependent on her advice on many issues. There are several instances where she had overheard conspiracies by natives against the Spaniards and thus warned them of the dangers while in other situations, she play acted to encourage natives to reveal any additional information.

It is believed that Cortex would not have succeeded in his efforts without the help of Marina and in his letters to the King of Spain, Cortex had credited Marina in providing indispensable service and that he considered her to be godsend.


Dona Marina – A Historical Figure

La Malinche 3


She became a consort of Cortex besides being his advisor and converted to Christianity. It is said that she accompanied Cortex on an expedition to Honduras in 1524-26 following the conquest of Mexico. Marina never became his legal wife since he was married to a Spanish woman residing in Cuba.

Finally she married a Spanish Captain of Cortex and was given an estate in Mexico while the son she bore him was acknowledged with provision done for his education. The date and the circumstance of the death Dona Marina is not known.

The historical figure of Marina has been mixed with Aztec legends like La Llorona, a woman weeping for lost children. Marina’s image became a mythical archetype which the artist of Latin American portrayed in various forms of art and her figure is portrayed in cultural, historical, as well as social dimension of Latin American culture.

La Malinche 4
In many genres, in modern times, she has been compared with the figure of the Virgin Mary, with the Mexican soldaderas – women who fought besides men during the Mexican Revolution, besides La Llorona.

According to changing social and political perspective, her reputation has been changed over the years especially after the Mexican Revolution when she came in dramas, novels and paintings as a scheming and an evil temptress.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ziryab – An Anonymous Personality in European history

Ziryab
A significant personality in Islamic culture remains anonymous in European history inspite of his single handedness in layingdown the groundwork for traditional Spanish music. He was a highly educated North African slave most popularly known as Ziryab or black bird which illustrates the beautiful voice and who was a head figure of the Andalusia music which wasdue to his colour of his skin and the quality of his singing Abu I-Hasan or Ali Ibn Nafi was a Persian or Kurdish musician, singer, composer, poet and also a teacher who worked and lived in Iraq, North Africa for more than thirty years in Andalus of the medieval Islamic period.

Known as a polymath he had vast knowledge in various other fields like geography, astronomy, meteorology, cosmetics, botanic, culinary as well as fashion. He was nicknamed Ziryab probably from a name of black singing bird in Arabic, a gold hunter or gold digger in Persian and is also known as Pajaro Negro, meaning blackbird in Spanish.

At the Umayyad court of Cordoba in Islamic Iberia, Ziryab was very active and received his first notoriety at the Abbasid court in Baghdad in Iraq which was his birthplace, as a great performer and student of the Iranian musician and composer, Ishaq al-Mawsili.

Introduced the Three Course Meal

Ziryab 1
Ziryab was a very talented person of Ishaq al-Mawsili and he left Baghdad at the time of Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mum’s reign and moved to Cordoba in Southern Iberian Peninsula and was accepted as court musician in the court of Abd al-Rahman II of the Umayyad Dynasty.

While he had a weakness for music, Ziryab’s innovation covered a variety of disciplines. It was he who invented numerous dyes and chemicals for clothing, makeup, hygiene, introduced the idea of seasonal fashions and brought about new styles and fabrics to theAndalusia peninsula.

He also introduced the structure of the traditional `three course meal’ of soup, entrée and the dessert and credits goes to him for popularizing shaving and short haircuts as a means of beating the scorching Mediterranean heat.

Developed the World’s First Underarm Deodorant

Ziryab 2
It is also believed that Ziryab had developed the world’s first underarm deodorant as well as an early type of toothpaste which was said to very effective as well as pleasant in taste making him the first person in history who would be smelling good at all time.

According to several historians, Ziryab was very popular for his black colour and his beautiful voice which gave him the nickname. He is also said to have improved the Laud or Oud by adding a fifth pair of strings, using an eagle’s beak or quill instead of a wooden one.

 Moreover he also dyed the four stings in a colour to symbolize the Aristotelian humours while the fifth string represented the soul. It is said that he created a unique style of musical performance and written songs which were performed in Iberia for a very long time. Besides this, he also influenced Spanish music and became the founder of Andalusia music tradition of North Africa.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mary Anning with remarkable intelligence

Mary Anning
Mary Anning, the daughter of Richard and Mary Moore Anning was born on 21st May 1799 in Lyme Regis, Dorset, England. Though the Annings had ten children, it was only Mary and her brother Joseph who survived till they reached adulthood.

On a particular incident on August 19, 1800, Mary miraculously escaped death during a lightning storm and she was one of the four people who had taken shelter under a tree in Rack Field near Lyme Regis and had survived when the tree was struck by lightning.

After the incident, according to local legend it was believed that her intelligence had significantly increased. Richard Anning, her father raised his family by working as a carpenter and a cabinet maker and he used his hobby of collecting fossils, as anotheroption for additional income where he would clean, polish and sell them to the summer tourists.

An Expert at Fossil Hunting

He was in a position to get a good amount of fossils since the area in which he lived was rich with fossils. Besides, the hometown of Lyme Regis was also located on the southwest coast of England and it was believed that about 200 million years ago, that region had been a sea bottom where a large number of dinosaur remains were fossilized after their death.

When the sea level reduced, these fossils were found, in and around the beach and in the areas of the rocky cliffs. Her father would often take Mary and her brother, fossil hunting all around the cliffs of Lyme Regis and would sell their findings to the tourists.

Mary thus became an expert as a fossil hunter and would spend days looking for fossils in the cliffs around the place where she lived.

Coiled Shells – Ammonites - Mollusk

Mary Anning 1
It was Richard who seemed to be the first person to take advantage of this situation for tourist trade which later increased as Lyme Regis became a summer resort seaside town in late 1700s. One of the most popular items which the locals dubbed was curiosities, coiled shells which later on were determined asammonites and were a type of molluskthat lived during the Jurassic period.

 Mary Anning, the British, who became a fossil collector, dealer and a paleontologist gained popularity due to a number of important discoveries she made in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis in Dorset near her dwelling place.

She made her contribution to fundamental changes which occurred during her live in scientific thinking with regards to prehistoric life and the history of the earth.

First Discovery - Ichthyosaur

Mary Annings would search for fossils in Blue Lias cliffs’ area especially during winter when landslides would expose new fossils which she would collect quickly before they would be lost in the sea but it was a dangerous task.

 Her first discovery at the age of twelve includeda well preserved, a nearly complete ichthyosaur, a fish lizard, skeleton and the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found; the first pterosaur skeleton was located outside Germany along with some important fish fossils.

Her observations and discoveries were an important part in the findings of coprolites known as bezoar stones of fossilised faeces, at the time. She also made her contributions to the discoveries of belemnite fossils which contained fossilised ink sacs like the modern cephalopods.

Drew the attention of many after her death

She became popular in geological in Britain, America and Europe and was looked upon with issues related to anatomy and collection of fossils.

Being a woman she was not eligible to join the Geological Society of London nor did she receive credit for her scientific contribution whereupon she made a statement in one of her letters saying `the world hasused me so unkindly, I fear it has made me suspicious of everyone’.

The only writing which seemed to be published during her lifetime was in the Magazine of Natural History, an extract from one of her letter which she had written to the magazine’s editor, questioning on one of its claims in 1839.She drew the attention of many after her death in 1847 after succumbing to breast cancer.

Her Legacy Still Alive

In 1865, Charles Dickens wrote that `the carpenter’s daughter had won a name for herself and deserved to win it’. One hundred and sixty three years after her death, in 2010, the Royal Society added her name in the list of the ten British women who had influenced the most in the history of science. Her legacy still remains alive over the years.

The famous tongue twister `she sells sea shells on the seashore was said to be written with her in mind. Fifteen years after her death, the scientist of the Geological Society of London gave a stained glass window in her honour to the church in Lyme Regis which depicted the six corporal acts of mercy. Towards late twentieth century, the Lyme Regis Museum was erected, which was a home to Anning earlier, its main purpose being the preservation of her legacy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Agustina of Aragon, A Heroine


Agustina of Aragon
A young maiden by the name of Agustina lived in a town of Saragossa which was located in the province of Aragon, in Spain. She became the most unlikely heroine of all times when Napoleon’s army invaded the city in 1808 at a time when the city was unaware and unprepared for warfare without any established army for defense.

They set about protecting its walls with some civilians and at the Portillo gate, over fifty of the defenders had either been killed or wounded. Agustina of Aragon was one of the most romantic Spanish heroines of the Peninsular War who defended Spain during the Spanish War of Independence as a civilian first and later as a professional officer in the Spanish Army which was known as `the Spanish Joan of Arc.

Made a Spectacular Heroic Defense

She was subject to many folklore, artwork and mythology which included sketches by Francisco de Goya and Lord Byron’s poetry. She was the wife of a soldier who joined the resistance when French troops unexpectedly had invaded Spain and was captured early in the invasion but managed to escape.

She found her way to a fortified city, Saragossa, along with many other rebels and was determined in opposing the French invasion when many other cities had accepted defeat without any resistance. Though outgunned by the French, Saragossa made a spectacular heroic defense while Agustina played an important role in the siege by manning guns and cannon, on her own and by doing so had inspired the Spanish defenders.

A Courageous Fighter

Agustina of Aragon 1
It was in June 15, 1808 when the French army had stormed the Portillo which was an ancient gateway in the city defended by a battery of old cannons and also a heavily outnumbered volunteer unit. Agustina had arrived on the ramparts along with a basket of apples to feed the gun men when she saw the nearby defenders falling to the French bayonets.

The Spanish troops had abandoned their post breaking down ranks, suffering heavy casualties. While the French troops were a few distance away, Agustina ran forward loading a cannon lit the fuse shredding a wave of attackers at point blank range.

Seeing a lone woman fighting courageously manning the cannons inspired the fleeing Spaniards troops as well as the volunteering to return back and assist her in the battle. After a fierce bloody struggle, the French finally gave up the battle on Saragossa abandoning their siege for short weeks before returning back to make their way into the city, house by house.

Ordinary Girl Motivated by War

The original records of Agustina indicate that she was not very fervent or pious but an ordinary girl who was motivated by war. There are various places which are claimed to be her birthplace while most biographies inform that she was born in Reus, in Tarragona in 1786 and her family moved to Madrid at an early age.

She portrayed an independence of mind from an early age much to the annoyance of the Spanish where records show that she seemed to be a persistent nuisance hovering around the barracks of the Army at the tender age of 13.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Heat Death Of Universe

Heat Death Of  Universe
Living among Glowing Filaments of Energy

The universe differs in composition in various places and we live among glowing filaments of energy and matter which are collected together in a background of nothingness and the planetary systems, stars, nebulae, black holes, galaxies are all concentrated specks in space.

In the distant future, these hot heavy specks may tend to spread out into cold void mixing till everything will change in a thin mist and like boiling water added to cold content; the two extremes will balance out and thereby leave it lukewarm.

 Heat death began from the work of several physicist who started the study of comprehending how the machines transformed heat to mechanical work and formed an empirical conception on how steam engines and other suppliers of force did this which led them to the understanding of the entire system settling down to an intermediate temperature with no more energy transfer taking place.

This is known as the maximization of entropy. The atoms, subatomic and molecules particles tend to collide in space spreading the energy and momentum from fast to slow wherein the motion of these particles of the universe gradually become random and they collide and interact with no change of energy, finally going out into the empty space.

Universe Reaches Maximum Entropy

The heat death of the universe will take place when the universe reaches a state of maximum entropy when all the available energy like the hot source will have moved to places of less energy as a colder source and when this takes place no additional work will be possible from the universe.

 Since heat will cease to flow, no more work would be acquired from heat transfer while the same sort of equilibrium would also be expected from other forms of energy namely mechanical, electrical etc.; resulting it to be effectively dead especially for the use of humankind. The heat death originated from the second law of thermodynamic which is the entropy that increases in an isolated system being the universe.

 Entropy that can be arranged in a number ways where a system can be arranged should not decrease, but evolve to maximum disorder or thermodynamic equilibrium. When this takes place, it will be divided equally throughout the cosmos leaving no space for any reusable heat or energy to break into existence resulting in the processes which consume energy would cease to exist, including our planet Earth.

Big Freeze/Big Chill

The theory on how the universe will tend to end, the heat death which is also known as the big Freeze or the big chill has been suggested as one of the ways where the cosmos would come to an end especially when it’s expanding.

 The heat death of the universe is considered as the ultimate fate of the universe wherein the universe will tend to diminish to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and will no longer be capable to sustain processes which will consume energy. It does not imply any temperature but needs temperature difference or other processes that may no longer be needed for performance of work.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Charles Martel

Martel – The Hammer 

Charles Martel 1
Charles Martel, a Frankish statesman and a military leader, as a Duke and Prince of the Franks as well as the Mayor of the Palace was considered the de facto ruler of Francia from 718 till his death. His byname, Martel means `the hammer’ and Martel was the illegitimate son of the Frankish statesman Pepin of Herstal and a noblewomen, Alpaida, he asserted his claim to power as the successor to his father’s power behind the throne in Frankish politics and restored centralizing the government continuing and building on his father’s work with a series of military campaigns and re-established the Franks as the undisputed master of all Gaul. He subjugated Bavaria, Frisia and Alemannia, in foreign wars and vanquished the pagan Saxona, halting the Islamic advance in Western Europe at the Battle of Tours. This battle also known as the battle of Poitiers is known as one of the most decisive battle since it decided that Christians and not the Moslems in Europe should be the ruling power at that time and Charles Martel was considered the hero of this battle.

Great Champion of Christianity 

Charles Martel 2
The name Martel was given to him due to his bravery during the fight and Marteau is the French word for hammer and according to a French historian, it says that as a hammer breaks and crushes iron and steel, so as Charles crushed and broken all the power of his enemies in the battle of Tour. Though the Saracens fled from the battlefield of Tours they had not vacated the land of the Franks and Charles had to fight other battles with them before they were finally defeated. He managed to drive them across the Pyrenees after which they never made any more attempts to invade Frankland. After the defeat of the Saracens, Martel gained the admiration as the great champion of Christianity and till his death; he was in reality though not in name a king of the Franks.

Patron of Saint Boniface

Charles Martel 3
He was skilled as an administrator as well as a warrior and considered to be the founding figure of the European Middle Ages. He was also credited with a seminal role in the development of feudalism and knighthood. Being a great patron of Saint Boniface, it was he who made the first attempt to reconcile the Papacy and the Franks and the Pope desired him to be the defender of the Holy See offering him the Roman consulship which Martel refused. Martel had never assumed the title of a king, but he divided Francia like a king between his sons Pepin and Carloman. Pepin became the first of the Carolingians, who became king belonging to the family of Charles Martel. His grandson, Charlemagne, further extended the Frankish realms to include much of the West region, becoming the first Emperor after the fall of Rome and on the basis of his achievements Martel is considered as laying the foundation for the Carolingian Empire and Gibbon has summed up this personality as the hero of the age while Gyerard considers him as being the `champion of the Cross against the Crescent’.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Surena – The Heroic One

Surena is also known as Rustaham Suren Pahlav, a Parthian during the 1st century BC and a member of the House of Suren who was well known for defeating the Romans in the Battle of Carrhae. Suren means `the heroic one, Avestan sura meaning strong, exalted.

General Surena was the son of Arakhsh and Massis and was one of the most distinguished men in wealth, birth as well in honor that was paid to him and the Surenas were one of the most outstanding families in the Parthian empire.

After King Hydrodes was defeated and expelled from Parthia, the Surena recaptured the Kingdom. Surena ranked next to the king, both in courage and ability and was the foremost Parthian of his time. He had no equal both in stature and personal beauty.

Whenever he travelled on his own in the country, he was often accompanied by a huge harem of concubine which needed two hundred wagons to transport including military campaigns which also included 1,000 dromedaries, 1,000 armored cavalry, with more Iight armed cavalry who acted as escorts while the total number of this cavalry along with his vassal and slaves amounted to around 100,000 men.

 At the coronation of the King of Parthia, he had the right to be the first to place the crown on his head being an ancient privilege of his family.

Surena Gained Recognition

The Surena gained recognition due to the defeat of the Roman commander Crassus in 53 BC and the family became influential later with the right to crown the Parthian kings at the beginning of the third century BC.

When Crassus decided to capture the Parthian Empire at the battle of Carrhae, he was reduced to one of the most embarrassing situation of the Roman Army by Surena and his men. When he was given the option to surrender, Crassus had asked his men to take flight and sent them all to their deaths and the Surena chased them and killed all of them while Crassus was personally beheaded by the Surena and molten gold was poured down his neck. Such was his pitiful end at the hands of the Surena.

Description of Great Suren by Plutarch

Plutarch description of the great Suren was, `the Suren was not an ordinary person, but in fortune, family and honor, he was the first after the king and in point of courage and capacity, and in size and beauty, superior to the Parthian during his time.

If he went on excursion in the country, he went along with his baggage and two hundred carriages for his concubines and was attended by a thousand heavy armed horse with many more of the light armed that rode before him. He had the hereditary privilege in his family of placing the crown or the diadem on the king’s head.

It was Surena who conquered for him the great city of Selucia, the first to scale the wall and beat his enemy with his own hands and though he was not even thirty years of age, his counsel esteemed the best and his discernment seemed very strong.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Myth of Pope Joan, A Female Pope!

The Legend of Pope Joan

Pope Joan 1
A legend perhaps fabricated somewhere in the thirteenth century according to Alain Boureau had persisted in some form or the other about a brilliant young woman, named Joan, in the ninth century who disguised herself as a man in order to follow her lover into an exclusive male domain of scholarship.

She is also said to have been an astute theologian as well as a wise ruler tough no decree or theological teaching are documented to this day. Boureau investigates the historical and ecclesiastical situation under which the myth of Pope Joan sprung up and the different uses to which it was put over the years.

He portrayed how the Catholic clerics justified the exemption of women from the papacy as well as the priesthood by employing the myth in misogynist moral tales to find the Popess they had created had turned against them in an anti Catholic propaganda during the Reformation.

She was so successful with her disguise that she ascended the Catholic hierarchy in Rome and was elected Pope eventually where her pontificate lasted for two years till she became pregnant and died after giving birth during a public process from the Vatican.

Many Versions to Her Story

Pope Joan 2
Many other versions of her story describe Joan as a learned and talented, a courageous feminist, a clever opportunist, a brilliant scholar who under the guise of a man most often at the behest of a lover and due to her abilities rose through the church hierarchy where she eventually got elected as a Pope.

Another legend relates that she was granted a vision by God where she was shown two option of her fate, either of being discovered and disgraced by the world or roasted in fire (hell) for her crime where she chose the former. Another version goes on to tell that she got pregnant by one of the advisors and managed to maintain the charade till she finally gave birth to the child.

When her secret was disclosed and she was deposed as pope, she was sent to the convent to do penance for the rest of her life and the child born to her later on, went on to become the bishop of Ostia which was about 30 miles southwest of Rome. When she died, he buried her body there though there is no evidence to support this.

Fraud Dislosed

 Pope Joan 3
The most common detail that these legends have in common is that Pope Joan was discovered due to her intimacy with a cardinal or secretary resulting in pregnancy and the childbirth disclosed her fraud. The main legend is the most disgraceful at this point since Pope Joan while riding in a portable throne in which the pope is carried and as her procession is passing the Coliseum on its way from St. Peter’s Basilica towards St. John Lateran Cathedral goes into labor.

The procession is interrupted and the woman gives birth to the child amidst confused and angry onlookers who kill her as well as the baby on the spot. Some account that she was stoned to death while others say that she died in childbirth as the mob watching the spectacle shouted and insulted her.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Amazons, Ancient Female Warriors without Breast!


Amazons
Amazons, a Nation of all Female Warriors

The Amazons also known as Oiorpata in the Scythian language was a nation of all female warrior in Greek mythology as well as Classical antiquity. They were placed in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia, the modern territory of Ukraine, by Herodotus while other historiographers placed them in Asia Minor or at times in Libya. Notable queens of the Amazons who participated in the Trojan War were Penthesilea and her sister Hippolyta and her magical girdle given to her by her father Ares was the cause of one of the labors of Hercules.

 The Amazons got connected with various historical people throughout the Roman Empire period and the Late Antiquity. There are various accounts of Amazon raids in Asia Minor in Roman historiography and from the Early Modern period, their name came to be termed for female warriors in general. The first mention of the Amazons comes from two epics regarding the Trojan War, the famous Iliad of Homer and lesser acquainted poem known as the Aethiopis which is attributed to Arctinus of Miletus and it is presumed to be written in the 8th or 7th century BC.

Amazons Women Equal to Men in Fighting ability

Amazons 2
The Iliad mentions that the Amazons had two or three in passing and the Trojan king Priam and the Greek hero Bellerophon had fought separate wars against the Amazons of two generation before the event of Iliad, at Asia Minor. Homer also mentions about a tomb of Troy belonging to Myrine and later tradition made her an Amazon.

Homer, describe the Amazons as fighting women, equal to men in fighting ability with no further mention made about them. It is believed that the legendary Amazons lived in Pontus which is a part of modern day Turkey towards the southern shore of the Euxine Sea or the Black Sea who had formed an independent kingdom under the reign of queen Hippolyta.

Many Versions of the Legend

Amazons 3
It was presumed that the Amazons had formed many towns some of which were Smyrna, Sinope, Ephesus and Paphos. According to some they had lived in Scythia (modern Crimea) in the distant past at the Palus Maeotos while according to Plutarch, the Amazons lived in and around the Don River which the Greeks called the Tanais but the Scythians called it Amazon.

They later moved on to Themiscyra – modern Terme on the River Thermodon and Herodotus called them killers of men or Androktones. Amazons was given a popular etymology, among Classical Greeks, as from a-mozos meaning without breast connected with an etiological tradition that the Amazons had the right one cut off or burnt out to improve their archery.

Amazons 4
It was a possibility that these practices occurred in order to steady their bows better and draw their arrows straight across the chest while the other could support or hold the quiver in place and also for the purpose of child rearing. This proposed breast less etymology was widely known in the ancient times somewhere in the 5th century BC but the supporters did not agree about its exact significance and many are speculating on its legend.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wow Signal – Brief Burst of Radio Waves

Wow Signal
The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, SETI, has seen many astronomers touring the sky with hopes of receiving artificially generated radio signals sent by alien civilization. Nicknamed the `Wow’, signal, saw a brief burst of radio waves detected by astronomer Jerry Ehman, on August 15, 1977, a strong narrowband radio signal, while he was working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope, of the Ohio State University which was then located at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory in Delaware, Ohio.

The signal was so remarkable that Ehman circled it on the computer printout with a `Wow’, in the margin and unintentionally gave the received radio signal the name for which it became very famous. The signal had the unexpected hallmarks of non terrestrial and non solar system origin and it lasted for the full seventy two second window that Big Ear was ever able to observe and has not been detected again. This signal has been the subject of significant media attention ever since.

No Identification for Signal’s Source

No identification has been found for the signal’s source inspite of great efforts without repeated signal found which turns out to be a mystery. The only conclusion drawn was that if the signal could have originated in deep space then it could either be an astrophysical phenomenon which was never seen before or it could have been an intercepted alien signal.

After trying and failure in finding any repeat of the signal, the Wow signal researchers faced difficulty and Ehman became skeptical of its origin stating that `something suggest it was an Earth sourced signal that simply got reflected off a piece of space debris’, and when he made attempts to investigate the explanation, he faced more problems.

Signal’s Intensity

Wow Signal  Location
On investigations, it was found that the signal could have probably originated on Earth with likely reflection off a piece of space junk. The received signal being specific, the explanations required too many assumptions and a logical thinking pattern known as Occam’s razor pointed towards this signal with an astrophysical origin though it did not provide an explanation.

The signal’s intensity at the start was noticed to rise and fall over a period of 72 seconds, consistent with the Earth’s rotation with a single source tracking in the sky with the help of the Big Ear telescope which gave the signal a characteristic signature caused by object seen in the sky. This would be impossible to match for any Earth bound object.

Amazing Frequency – Sharp Transmission

The signal also stood out over the background noise found in deep space, about 30 times louder than anything else and the most amazing thing about it was its frequency which was sharp transmitting at only a single frequency.

Natural radio sources do not operate that way but spread across a range of frequencies, in other words, the same signal covers a broad band of transmission and the Wow signal is far from it showing only one specific frequency of 1420 MHz approximately which is also known as the hydrogen line, a frequency which is internationally banned from use by terrestrial radio signals due to its use in radio astronomy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gorgias of Epirus

Gorgias of Epirus
Gorgias’ Birth in his Mother’s Coffin


Gorgias of Epirus was born in his dead mother’s coffin when the pallbearers heard him crying out as they carried his mother’s coffin to the grave. As they stopped to figure out the sound coming out of the dead coffin, they discovered little Gorgias. He was a Greek sophist, pre-Socratic philosopher and a rhetorician, a native of Leontini, which was a Greek colony in Sicily and often called the home of Spartan rhetoric. His father was Charmantides and had two siblings, a brother Herodicus and a sister who had dedicated a statue to Gorgias in Delphi.

He formed the first generation of Sophists along with Protagoras and it was reported that he was a pupil of Empedocles, though he was a few years younger to him. Like many Sophist he was considered an itinerant, practicing in many cities as well as giving public exhibitions on his amazing skills at the great pan Hellenic centers of Olympia and Delphi. He would charge huge fees for his performances and instructions and his special feature of display was the invitation of miscellaneous queries from the audience and providing them with prompt replies. Besides this, his chief claim for being recognized was in the fact the he transplanted rhetoric from his native land, Sicily to Attica, contributing to the diffusion of the Attic dialect as the language of literary prose.


Admired for his ability to speak on any topic

He was sent to Athens in 427 BC, at sixty, by his fellow citizen at the head of an embassy to ask for Athenian protection against the aggression of the Syracusans and subsequently settled there, due to the popularity he gained on his style of oratory as well as the profits made from his performance together with the rhetoric classes. Gorgias is said to have lived to reach one hundred and eight years and died at Larissa in Thessaly.

He had won admiration for his ability to speak on any topic accumulating a considerable amount of wealth, which was enough to commission a gold statue of himself for a public temple. The Greeks, after his Pythian Oration, installed a gold statue of Gorgias in the temple of Apollo at Delphi. He was also known as `the Nihilist’, due to his beliefs regarding the concept of existence and Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless with nothing can be communicated or known and is often related to extreme pessimism and radical skepticism which condemns existence.

His Philosophy – Nothing Exists

His belief or philosophy is that nothing exists at all and the full extent of this is portrayed in his `On Non-existence’, where he developed three sequential arguments, first that nothing exists, and second that even if existence does exist, it is inapprehensible to humans and third that if existence is inapprehensible, it cannot be communicated or interpreted to another.

Gorgias’ writing was also both rhetorical and performative and he would go to great lengths in order to exhibit his ability of making an absurd and argumentative topic appear stronger. He was also of the belief that his magical incantations would bring about healing to the human psyche on controlling powerful emotions, paying more attention to the sounds of words, which would captivate the audience like poetry.

Mermaids

Mermaids 1
Mermaids are legendary aquatic creatures with the upper body of a female and the tail of a fish. Mermaids are associated with perilous events like floods, shipwrecks, storms and drowning and in other folk traditions they can be bestowing boons or falling in love with humans. Mermaids, the mythical creatures, have long captivated the imagination of the people and have also thrilled us in documentaries paintings, fairytales as well as in the cinemas.

These seafaring fish ladies come to the aid of men and according to some belief would hug them and drown them to death while out at sea. The earliest mermaid legend comes from Syria and in ancient Syrian was a goddess by the name of Atargatis. She was a fertility goddess whose cult spread to Rome and Greece and was associated with water. She is often depicted in mermaid form and could be perhaps the original mermaid. According to legend, she plunged into a lake to become a fish but only her bottom half was transformed.

Mermaids – Fish like People

In old English, `mer’, means `sea’ and `maid’ meant woman and mermaids are considered to be women of the sea. Following the line of etymological logic a `mer’ man – merman would be a man of the sea. Mermaids and mermen are fish like people who swim through the seas and the oceans. In some of the legends of the Pacific Islands it is believed that the humans descended from both mermaids as well as mermen and seems way back in time that their tails somehow dropped and people were able to walk on land.

An example is taken from the creator god Vatea who was depicted as being half human and half fish. Female mermaids and male mermen are imaginary being with the upper bodies of human beings and the lower bodies of fish. Mentioned often in European legends they occur occasionally in the folklore of sea travelers from various regions of the world. Though they are portrayed as being attractive, they are also associated to danger and their dual nature reflects humankind’s relationship with the sea, which could either be realm of fear and disaster or beautiful and calm.

Mermaids, Part of Folklore

As humans learned slowly how to survive at sea, mermaids became a part of the folklore and legends and there were no more gods only spirits of the sea which brought both good and bad events to sailors when they encountered them. Some were of the belief that they could transform themselves to human state. Irish folklore to this day protect this lore and some famous Persian books like the Arabian Nights speak on multiple occasions of the human race of sea dwellers, minus the fishtails, which could live both in water as well as on land.

Though we see the mermaids as part of popular culture and folklore remnants of ancient times, the mythology around the mermaids has influenced some to the earlier civilizations and changed the way of looking at the mysteries and danger hidden in the unexplored sea. Due to their enticing looks of half humans and half fish, mermaids managed to remain the part of our history as the most famous mythical creatures which lived in the water.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Angel Hair – Connected to UFO

Angel Hair
Angel hair or siliceous cotton is a fibrous, sticky substance which had been reported in connection with UFO sightings. It has been named for its similarity to fine hair or spider webs and in some instances it is found to be the web threads of migrating spiders where it is reported that angel hair evaporates or disintegrates within a short span of time of forming.

 It is an important aspect of Raelism, UFO religion and one of its theories is that it is created from ionized air sleeting off an electromagnetic field surrounding a UFO. This cobweb and jellylike substance slightly radioactive often falls to the ground after UFO sightings, has been dubbed `angle hair’ which when held in the hand that seems like cottony tufts have an offensive smell.

 American ufologist refers it as angel hair, while Italian considers it as siliceous cotton and the French call the term `the Madonna’s present, describing the semitransparent threads that fell from heavens.

Phenomenon of Shining Flying Spindles started in 1954

Angel Hair 1
Discussions of the phenomenon first started in 1954 when two men known as Gennaro Lucetti and Pietro Lastrucci stood on a hotel balcony in the vicinity of St. Mark’s Square of Venice on October 27, 1954 when suddenly they saw two shining spindles flying across the sky.

These objects left behind a fiery white trail while they moved along and flew at high speed each at some distance away from the other taking a U turn to fly away in the direction of Florence. It was also reported that an unexpected interruption in a soccer game played in one of the stadiums of Florence took place when the players, referees along with 10 thousand spectators stood gazing into the skies at the two objects making their rounds over the stadium with a couple of unidentified objects flying over the city thrice from 14.20 to 1429 and a number of strange cobweb like threads dropping to the arena as these objects disappeared.

Fibrous Material Highly Resistant to Tension 

UFO
Since the substance would disintegrate when held in hand, a student called Alfrede Jacopozzi was the only one to have picked up a few threads and seal them in a hermetic test tube and handed over the tube to Professor Giovanni Canneri, the director of the Chemical Analysis Institute, University of Florence. His colleague, Professor Danilo Cozzi, carried out a series of test on the mysterious substance and his conclusion was that it was a fibrous material which was highly resistant to tension and torsion and once subjected to heat, the material would tend to grow dark and evaporate leaving transparent sediments which melted away. These sediments were found to contain boron, silicon and magnesium which hypothetically speaking could be some kind of boron-silicon glass according to Professor Cozzi.

Comprehensive Analysis Conducted

Charles Maney, an American ufologist suggested that the material was the UFO excess energy which materialized and according to him the threads returned to their dimension or some other space time continuum while fading away.

 Another British ufologist suggested that the angel hair was a variety of ectoplasm that emanated during a spiritualistic session. A Soviet researcher, B.V.Lyapunov, who had done much contribution to popularize science, received sample of angel hair from New Zealand in 1967 in a tightly sealed tube which contained some unknown stuff measuring less than one tenth of a cubic centimeter. A comprehensive analysis was then conducted by a team of scientist on the substance.

Physicist, L.V. Kirichenko, specialist in radiometry was of the opinion that the substance was a fine fibered material where some of its fibers were less than 0.1 micron in diameter and most of the fibers were tangled in the bundles or separate threads measuring 20 microns in diameter looking whitish and semitransparent. Analogues are unknown to the analyzed substance. Academician I.V. Petryanov Sokolov on summing up the study of the material stated that the sample is of considerable interest as a material with extremely fine fibers and it is unlikely that the material was formed by nature.

Flying Web Type Substance

The entire substance unfortunately was used during the research and no fresh samples of angel hair were obtained inspite of repeated reports in the country. British Society for UFO Studies reported in August 1998, that mysterious cobwebs fell to the ground shortly after an UFO sighting in North Wales and a sixty old woman and her daughter-in-law sighted about 20 silver balls in the sky before taking note of cobweb like material which fell to the ground.

In 1898, residents of the city of Montgomery in United States reported angel hair which fell from the clear blue sky stating the fall as `flying web type substance’ and according to eyewitness, the threads of the material resembled fluorescent asbestos fibers. A large number of sticky fibers were seen falling from the sky for two hours on February 10, 1978, in the vicinity of the coastal city of Samaru, New Zealand where the fibers appeared to be quite finer than cobwebs though clearly visible against a clear blue sky.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

History mystery: Kryptos - Mysterious Encrypted Sculpture

Kryptos
Kryptos, a mysterious encrypted sculpture located on the ground of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia was installed in 1990. It was designed by artist Jim Sanborn and its thousands of characters contain encrypted messages and out of its four messages, only three have been solved till date while the fourth section consisting of 97 characters still remains unsolved.

The first section consist of poetic phrase composed by Sanborn himself, while the second hints at something buried, the third section is from the archaeologist Howard Carter’s diary describing the opening of a door in King Tut’s tomb on November 26, 1922. The sculpture continues to create a diversion for cryptanalysts, for professionals as well as amateur who are keen on attempting to decrypt the final section.

The main sculpture is in the northwest corner of the New Headquarters Building courtyard, exterior of the Agency cafeteria comprising of four large copper plates with other elements which are made of red and green granite, petrified wood and white quartz. Since Sanborn installed the 12 foot high copper, granite and wood sculpture 15 years ago, it has been seven years now that anyone has ever made any headway in solving its code.

Kryptos – Hidden – Intelligence Gathering 

Kryptos
The word Kryptos is derived from the Greek word for `hidden’, while the theme of the sculpture is `intelligence gathering’, its most prominent feature being the large vertical S shaped copper screen resembling a scroll or a piece of paper which seems to be emerging from a computer printer, covered with characters of encrypted text.

The characters comprises of 26 letters of the standard Latin alphabet with question marks cut out of the copper and while the main sculpture consists of four separate mysterious messages, three have been solved. At the time of the installation of the main sculpture, Jim Sanborn the sculptor has also placed several other pieces around the CIA grounds with several Morse code messages which were engraved in the copper. One of the slabs has an engraved compass rose and a lodestone. Other Sanborn’s installations include landscaped area, a reflecting pool, a duck pond as well as several other unmarked slabs.

Kryptos – A Riddle Within a Riddle

Kryptos
Sanborn had worked with the retiring CIA employed called Ed Scheidt, who was the Chairman of the CIA Cryptographic Center to have come up with the cryptographic system that was used on the mysterious sculpture. It was Sanborn who revealed that the sculpture contained a riddle within a riddle which could be solved only after the four encrypted sections had been decrypted. He has provided conflicting information with regards to the sculpture’s answer.

At one point of time he states that the complete solution was given to the CIA, William H, Webster during the dedication ceremony and then again he had stated that he had not given Webster the entire solution though he confirms that in part two which says `who knows the exact location? only WW, who is referred to William Webster. Moreover Sanborn further stated saying that should he die before the entire sculpture becomes deciphered, there will be someone to confirm the solution.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Time Dilation - Einstein’s Experiment of Thought or Gedanken

Time Dilation
  
The special theory of relativity proposed by Einstein saw little special about it and not much interest was shown towards it. Eventually the theory revolutionized the 20th century physics and hundred years thereafter Einstein’s life and work became well known by the general public all over the world. His proposal was based on two elements; namely that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant irrespective of how they are moving and that the laws of physics are the same for all systems which move relative to one another at a steady speed.

Einstein use the experiment of thought or Gedanken, to develop his ideas and many findings are recorded about how he imagine what things would look like if the option of riding on a beam of light was provided. Besides his ideas, he also acknowledged and built on the works of others like Poincare, Maxwell, Lorentz to mention a few as well as other scientists.

This theory of relativity is expressed in terms of the mathematical equations which are not within the understanding of most people and it is a most challenging concept to students of the theory. According to Einstein, he is of the opinion that the thinking ability was most suitable to a child and states that `the normal adult never bothers about space time problems. Everything there is to be thought about is done in early childhood and he developed slowly beginning to wonder about space and time when he had already grown up’.

Gravitational Time Dilation

Time Dilation  1
According to Einstein, the concept of the special theory of relativity, if not mathematics, should be accessible to students of all age group and this work inclusive of student activity takes into consideration the consequence of the special theory. In general relativity, clock in a gravitational field of lower potentials like the proximity to a planet would be running slower, the gravitational time dilation is not reciprocal. At the top of the tower, the observer will find that clocks at ground level move much slower and the observer on the ground will also agree to the same.

 The gravitational time dilation thus is agreed by the observers with their own independent attitudes. Time dilation means that a process which takes certain time to take place in a moving system is observed to take more time by someone outside the system. Gravitational time dilation is the outcome of time passing at different rates in regions of various different gravitational potential. The higher the local distortion of space time because of gravity, slower would be the time that passes. Einstein had earlier predicted the effect of this theory of relativity and since then it has been confirmed by tests of general relativity.

To experimentally measure gravitational time dilation, atomic clocks on airplanes was used wherein the clocks that traveled abroad the airplanes, on returning were slightly fast with regards to clocks on the ground. This was significant that the Global Positioning System needs to be corrected for effects on clocks on artificial satellites with further experimental confirmation to the effect.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Babylon – Ancient Mesopotamia

Babylon 1
Gwendolyn Leick has been successful in bringing together a group of international scholars each with the liberty of focusing on the topic and specialty of their choice and her survey portrays a great deal about the people of Babylon, their culture and the reality that lies behind the popular myth of Babylon. Some 1800 years ago, the history of the Babylonians right from the time of Hammurabi, who was famous for his Law Code till the time when Alexander and his heirs ruled the Near East, Gwendolyn’s archaeological discoveries as well as the cuneiform tablets which was discovered in the city of Babylon provides us some insight of the people of Babylon and their society, together with their intellectual and spiritual information.

Interesting insight with regards to the lives of kings, merchants, women and slaves together with their social, historical, geographical as well as cultural context which flourished for many centuries have come to light, providing scholars and students a glimpse of this amazing world. Being the builders of a towering monumental urban city and the layers of the foundation of modern science and mathematics, the people of Babylon were an insistent lot of the ancient world at that time. From the discoveries of the cuneiform tablets, epigraphic research together with the latest archaeological advances, Leick’s findings relates reference resources as well as introductory text for university students.

Babylon 2
The main areas, like ecology, urbanism, plurality and complexity, power relations; all these offer variety of insight reflecting their academic approach and focus and the Babylonian World portrays a kaleidoscopic view with patterns and fragments of the lost world in the most amazing way with information on the various aspects of Babylon details on the complexity and the richness of this country. The ruins of the most famous city from ancient Mesopotamian lie in modern day Iraq, around 59 miles southwest of Baghdad which according to Akkadian language at that time meant `Gate of God or Gate of the Gods’, Babylon was founded at some time before the reign of Sargon of Akkad or Sargon the Great who reigned from 2334 – 2279 BC claiming to have built many temples in Babylon.

The history of Babylon came to be known with the famous king Hammurabi who reigned between 1795 -1750 who ascended the throne on the death of his father, King Sin-Muballit and transformed the city into a powerful and influential country of Mesopotamia. His law codes have been very popular though they are only an example of the policies which he implemented to maintain peace and prosperity. He was also responsible in enlarging and heightening the walls of the city, engagement in great public works including temples, making diplomats an integral part of his administration. He was so successful in war and diplomacy that he managed to unite all of Mesopotamia under the rule of Babylon in 1763 BC, which at that time was one of the major cities of the world and named it Babylonia.


Babylon 3
After the death of Hammurabi, his empire got disintegrated and Babylonia reduced in size and was taken over by Hittites in 1595 BC and later by the Kassites. Thereafter the Assyrians dominated the region and the Assyrian ruler, Sennacherib had the city razed, sacked with the ruins scattered and Babylon revolted against him. He was soon assassinated by his sons and succeeded by Esrhaddon who rebuilt Babylon returning it to its original glory. The city once again revolted against Ashurbanipal of Nineveh who had taken control though did not damage it but had made efforts to purify Babylon of the evil spirits prowling around that had been the cause of all the prevailing troubles.

Thereafter the Assyrian Empire fell and a Chaldean, Nabopolassar took charge of the throne of Babylon and created the Neo Babylonian Empire and his son Nebuchadnezzar in 604 -561, renovated the city covering an area of 900 hectares of land with some of the most impressive and beautiful structures in the whole of Mesopotamia where every ancient writer had made a mention of the city of Babylon with reverence and awe. The Neo Babylonian Empire prolonged after the death of Nebuchadnezzar II where Babylon continued to play an important role under the reign of Nabonidus together with his successor, Belshazzar. Towards 539 BC, the empire fell into the hands of the Persian under Cyrus the Great during the Battle of Opis.

 Since the walls of Babylon were impregnable, the Persians devised a plan and diverted the course of the Euphrates River that fell to a manageable depth and while the people of the city were engaged in their great religious feast, the army waded through the river and marched under the walls of Babylon unnoticed. It is believed that the city was taken over without a fight though the documents at that time indicate that the repairs had to be done to the walls as well as some areas of the city and hence the invasion was not much of an effort.

Babylon 4
Geographically, Babylonia can be defined as the southern half of Mesopotamia where the rivers, Tigris and Euphrates meet each other forming a strip of land. Towards the south lies the marshes, beyond which lies the waters of the Persian Gulf and the northern half of Mesopotamia was known as Assyria. Though most of the Assyrian cities were situated along the Tigris, those of Babylonia located along the Euphrates were a major trade route or the intermediary canals.

The Arabian desert to the west and the Zagros Mountains to the east formed its natural border with its climate being hotter and drier in the southern Mesopotamia. Agriculture was possible only through irrigation while the landscape was marked by a dense network of canals and dams. Babylon city was considered as the seat of kingship which was lavishly endowed with temples and palaces which were so unique that it attracted the cupidity of far away ruler from distant place namely the Hittite king Mursili who came down to Euphrates to attack and plunder its riches.

The Old Babylonian language was replaced with the previously spoken Sumerian and only the learned scholars were familiar with that language. Another group of immigrants this time from the east known as Kassites took political control of the Babylonian culture, their kings bearing outlandish Kassite names while the later one adopted `good Babylonia’ titles and names.