Sunday, June 19, 2022

Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine

Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine

The mystic or mystical marriage of Saint Catherine has two subjects in Christian art. First, it belongs to visions that either Catherine of Alexandria or Catherine of Siena received around 1347–1380. You can see the virgin saints having a mystical marriage ceremony with Christ where Virgin Mary was present.

When Catherine of Siena got the stigmata, Alexandria was martyred. Each subject was frequent in Christian art, where you can see one of the Saint Catherine’s. The other one is the infant Jesus held by his mother or an adult Jesus. Usually, you could not see both saints in a double ceremony.

Saint Catherine of Alexandria looks like a princess in her dress and wears rich clothes. Besides, she was often with a crown and loose long blonde hair. In addition, she carried a martyr's palm. People find the Saint Catherine of Siena character as a Dominican nun in white with a black over-robe open at the front. Let's dive into this guide to know more details aboutthe topic.

History of Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine:

There was a belief that Saint Catherine of Alexandria lived in the third and fourth centuries. But we got the story of her vision in literature after 1337, after more than a thousand years of her death, and ten years before Catherine of Siena's birth. You can find it available in the famous Golden Legend's later versions. However, the earliest account version is available in an English translation of 1438.

The panel "Barna da Siena'' was drawn within a few years of the first literary mentions. Hence, you can find her as a famous saint in Eastern Orthodoxy. But it has not taken place traditionally in Orthodox icons. The vision of Saint Catherine of Alexandria wants to showcase in Western art the Infant Christ who places a ring on her finger, following some literary accounts. On the other hand, the Golden Legend version showcases him as an adult. In this version, the marriage happens among a great crowd of angels.

Saint Catherine of Siena may know the story where the Barna da Siena panel existed. The panel painting was done in Siena a few years before she was born. In the panel, you can find her as a child. Besides, she was praying if she would have a similar experience, and she did eventually. Religious images that this devout woman had seen previously stimulated her. In addition, the woman was also clear from the form of her stigmata. Moreover, Christ appears as an infant or adult in her scenes.

Although Giovanni di Paolo predates it as Sienese, she was canonized in 1461. The fresco made by Spinello Aretino or a follower in the Cialli-Sernigi chapel of Santa Trinita in Florence holds the existence of canonization for a few decades.

However, other than the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, we have not found any big monumental images until 1528. An example of such an image is the central panel of an altarpiece. A Siennese painter, Domenico Beccafumi, drew one image for the Church of Santo Spirito in Siena. The mystical marriage to Christ is also one of the features of Saint Rosa of Lima, and she died in 1617.

About Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine:

Before her death, Christ married Catherine of Alexandria, and it is the symbol of the pious soul's spiritual betrothal to God. Hence, you can see Christ taking a ring from the young John the Baptist. Besides, he used his other hand to take Catherine's hand to receive it.

Venetian art Carlo Ridolfi was very excited about the painting and wrote it as one of his most admired works. Later, the painting was removed from Venice to Jan Reynst's house in Amsterdam. But these features or attributes came into doubt by the nineteenth century.

A few of the current critics have accepted it as by Veronese. But Benedetto Caliari, who was his brother, contributed to its execution. The painting was of that time while Veronese became more careful about the High Renaissance & the heritage of classical antiquity. With Girolamo Grimani, Procurator of San Marco, in 1560, he came to Rome to visit. During this time, he gathered knowledge about Raphael, Michelangelo, and antique art.

Villa Maser, a humanist and translator of Vitruvius got fresco decorations in 1561 from Verone. Andrea Palladio, the most classically erudite architect of that time, designed it. In addition, this painting displays the impact of classical influences. Besides, you can find the figures organized clearly on an imposing stage. In addition, you can see him using figures and architecture in other commissions similarly during that time.

The 'Feast in the House of Simon' (c.1560; Galleria Sabauda, Turin) is one of the examples of his talent. Although he visited Rome, he believed he had copied the antique buildings at Maser. The origin was the set of prints that Hieronymus Cock made and copies of his prints by Battista Pittoni.

A landscape showed a city looking like Verona by a river, and a ruined building framed that. The artist in the Villa Barbaro at Maser has compared this with similar landscapes.

The painting shows a classical building which is not an exact quotation from Cock. It should derive from another source. For example, you can assume a Pittoni etching (Uffizi) that copies the building almost in reverse. You can see similar ruined buildings derived from a Cock print.

However, you can find an intimate relationship in the painting between the figures. Veronese explores it in his study covering a single sheet dated c.1568-9. It is now available in the Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam. He and his workshop have done many other paintings. These have a relation with these drawn ideas as follows:-

1.     'Holy Family with Sts Barbara (or St Catherine),

2.     John the Baptist' of c.1562-5 (Uffizi)

3.     'Mystic Marriage of St Catherine' versions in

      Musée des Beaux-Arts,


      The Timken Art Gallery,

      San Diego and

      The Musée Fabre, Montpelier.

The Bottom Line: 

According to John Shearman, Veronese had created his idea dated to the mid-1550s. This unusual idea depends on a composition by Francesco Primaticcio. We hope the article gives you sufficient details about the Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q. Who did St Catherine marry?

Christ married St Catherine mystically. It represents the symbol of the pious soul's spiritual betrothal to God.

  • Q. What is the symbol of Saint Catherine?

Holding a fresh green palm, Saint Catherine represents the symbol of martyrs.

  • Q. What is Saint Katherine known for?

She was famous for her holiness, asceticism, and spiritual visions. Besides, it is said that she had received stigmata. In addition, she worked as a political activist and a reformer. Moreover, the women were influential in Church's religious and political affairs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Religion in Ancient Rome

Religion in Ancient Rome

Whether it is an ancient society or modern, Religion in ancient Rome is a vital cornerstone to these. If you talk about ancient Rome, you can find it the backbone of the most crucial beliefs. We got to know their lifestyle and the nature of their architecture & surroundings. In the earliest days, the country was polytheistic and had been continuing the tradition indicating that people believed in many gods and spirits there. Every God has a different role. But its nature has evolved throughout the centuries of the empire.

Even while Rome was under Etruscan control, it continued its Religion to display some obvious debts to the time. Unlike the fantastic Etruscan conceptions, Roman shades (Di Manes) were not so substantial.

What is Roman Religion?

Roman Religion is known as Roman mythology, beliefs, and practices. It has continued from ancient times until the ascendancy of Christianity in the 4th century AD.

Nature and significance of Religion in ancient Rome:

Orator and politician Cicero believed that Romans guided all people in unique wisdom. Therefore, they started to assume that everything was related to the rule and direction of the gods, and it was based on mutual trust between God and man.

Its motive was to protect the gods' cooperation, benevolence, and peace. According to the Romans, they can master the unknown forces around them using the divine. As a result, it helps them to live successfully. Besides, a couple of rules were there telling you what you should do and what not.

There were many different imperials and provincial religious practices in ancient Rome. Nevertheless, the Roman people and those under its rule followed it.

The Romans thought that they abide by Religion highly. Besides, they tried to maintain good relations with the gods. The polytheistic Religion honored multiple gods. Greeks' existence can be found on the Italian peninsula from the beginning of the historical period. It influenced Roman culture, introducing a few religious practices like the cult of Apollo.

The Romans found common ground between the major gods of themselves and the Greeks. Besides, they adapted Greek myths and iconography for Latin literature and Roman art. In earlier times, the Etruscan Religion was one of the major influences, especially on the practice of augury.

Legends said that Rome's religious institutions allowed us to trace it to its founders, mainly Numa Pompilius, who was the Sabine second king of Rome. He could negotiate directly with the gods. The setup of the mos maiorum was archaic Religion, and the Religion of ancient Rome was practical and contractual. In addition, it is based on the principle of do ut des meaning "I give that you might give." Hence, knowledge and practicing prayer, ritual, and sacrifice are dependable factors. Religion does not depend on faith or dogma. 

Candlesticks of Christianity


Latin literature helps to preserve learned speculation on the divine nature and its relation to human affairs. Cicero, the most skeptical among Rome's intellectual elite, found their Religion as a source of social order. With the expansion of the Roman Empire, migrants to the capital brought the local cults. Many of them became famous among Italians. Christianity was a very successful cult in those early days and became the official state religion in 380.

Religion was a part of daily life for ordinary people of the country. Every house had a household shrine where they offered prayers and libations to the family's domestic gods. Sacred places and Neighborhood shrines dotted the city. They create their calendar also around religious observances. Multiple women, slaves, and children participate in various religious activities. Besides, a few women conducted some public rituals also.

Ancient Rome Was Polytheistic:

Ancient Rome used to believe in multiple different gods from the earliest times when they made a polytheistic system of beliefs.

The people thought that the spirits of their former ancestors were invisible entities. Even they believed that the gods had assisted them while making the foundations of Rome. It is why they can set up a Capitoline Triad to celebrate the city's three founders. 

The gods were:-

  • Jupiter (the God of all), 
  • Mars; the great God of war and father to Romulus & Remus and 
  • Quirinus (Rome's first king), known as Romulus previously.

Ancient Romans Incorporated the Greek Gods Into Their Religion:

They adapted most gods from earlier Greek mythology, which is why you can find multiple Greek colonies in Rome's lower peninsula. As a result, most Roman gods have similar names or roles. For instance, Jupiter was similar to Zeus, whereas Minerva was similar to Greek Athena, regarded as the goddess of war.

Like earlier Greeks, various towns of the country developed their patron saints and made prominent monolithic temples in honor of these gods. Besides, they worshiped outside or at the temple's entrance, which was God's home.

Romans Invented Some Gods:

Some deities were there whom the Romans invented themselves. As for illustration, they developed Janus, a two-faced god, the guardian of doorways and gates. In addition, he can see past and future at a time.

Vestal Virgins was another god who protected the hearth of the Astrium Vesta. Selected girls aged ten years remained in service to the goddess Vesta for 30 years.

Early Roman Religion:

Previously, there were different findings of archaeology. But they could not allow scholars to build archaic Roman Religion again. Latin and Sabine shepherds and farmers belonged to the Alban Hills and the Sabine Hills. They went to set up villages in the nation. At the time of 620, the communities merged. Forum Romanum is used as the city's meeting place and market.

The survival of Roman Religion

Once a time, coins and other monuments tried to connect Christian doctrines with the worship of the Sun. Hence, you should know that Constantine had an addiction to it. But at the time of its ending, Roman paganism continued to exert others. Emperors took the title of the chief priest, called pontifex Maximus, from the Popes.

In addition, you can see saints perpetuating many times the multiple numina of an ancient tradition. We can find many remnants of pre-Christian festivals in the ecclesiastical calendar. Christmas was one of the notable festivals with blended elements, including the feast of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra. But the Western Christianity mainstream owed ancient Rome's discipline, and it got the stability and shaped for the discipline.

In Ancient Rome, Emperors acted as chief religious priests.

Roman leaders became chief priests or pontifex Maximus when Augustus was an emperor. After that, they become the head of any religious worship. After that, they employed Roman augures, or soothsayers helping them to read animal entrails to predict the future. In addition, before going into any battle, they went to the temple to organize sacrifices to the gods.

Judaism and Christianity challenged religious beliefs in ancient Rome. As a result, Rome got threats from Jewish ideas that Jews would experience harsh prejudice and discrimination leading to expulsion and even war. Emperor Titus was the leader of the Jewish wars. This war destroyed the city of Jerusalem and killed thousands.

In the earlier days, people find Christianity as a small sect of Judaism. However, the more time passed, it grew gradually. Finally, after a while, it can take over as the dominant Religion across the Eastern and Western Roman Empires.

Emperor Constantine supported Christianity in the east, and he transferred to the Religion on his deathbed. This rising dominance of Christianity was responsible for the downfall of the Western Roman Empire. Later, it became the dominant religion for centuries to come.


We had told before that the roman empire was a polytheistic civilization, indicating that people identified and worshipped many gods and goddesses. Although there were monotheistic religions within the kingdom, like Judaism and early Christianity, people believed in many gods.

Their Religion has never created a comprehensive code of conduct. Instead, unity and duty developed for the rituals of house and farm. The reciprocal understanding between man and God helped to impart a sense of security. The people of Rome required it to get the success but stimulated. Simply, it represents a concept of mutual obligations and binding agreements between people. From this description, you get to know about Religion in ancient Rome.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Atacama Giant- History Mystery

Atacama Giant- History Mystery

If you are looking to travel to any country full of history, Chile is something you must not miss. It hides one of the most curious geoglyphs called the Atacama Giant.

If you plan to make a trip to Chile, the place is something you should visit. In this article, we have given you the details of the Atacama Giant and the history behind it.

What is the Atacama Giant?

Atacama giant is called Giant of Tarapacá or Geoglyph of Cerro Unita. It is a 119-meter-long figure that people draw on the northwest flank of Cerro Unita on the Earth's surface.

This anthropomorphic geoglyph represents the largest human in the world. It is famous as an archaeological monument and cultural heritage of Chile. However, it is not only the one which you can see there. Multiple other big geometrical figures can be found drawn on the western and southern slopes of the same hill.

It is available on Cerro Unitas in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Its 390ft makes it the largest prehistoric anthropomorphic figure in the world. The geoglyph showed a deity for the local inhabitants from AD 1000 to 1400.

In the last three decades, people found nearly 5,000 geoglyphs, and it is one of them. These are ancient artwork drawn into the landscape. In addition, there is a belief that the geoglyphs are the work of a few successive cultures that dwelt in South America, including the Tiwanaku and Inca.

Where is the Cerro Unita geoglyph?

Atacama Giant, one of the largest geoglyphs across the world, is in the commune of Huara, located in the Tarapacá region. In simple words, it is available in the middle of the Desert.

What do you know about the history of the geoglyph:

Inhabitants of the area made the figure between 900 and 1450 years AD. People believe that it represents a shaman or yatiri, and it indicates a man making predictions, invoking the spirits, and practicing healing in some religions.

It can correspond to the Andean deity Tunupa-Tarapacá, a person who made a journey from Lake to the Pacific Ocean. However, the history of the geoglyph remains an undiscovered mystery. Therefore, we have given you more details to let you know about what it is so that you will not miss it while visiting Chile.

Mystery of Geoglyphs and Atacama Giant:

It is the driest non-polar desert on Earth. This Desert can stretch almost 1,000 miles along the coast of Chile and Peru. In addition, it contains a lot of geoglyphs from date to about 800 CE, the latest to the 16th century. They are available alongside tracks and scattered over the Desert in hills, valleys, and plains. Old civilizations made it for llama caravans. While seeing the images, you can find them deeply linked to the nearby trade routes.

These geoglyphs come with geometric designs, including stepped rhombuses, concentric circles, and arrows. Besides, the figures that resemble people or gods might look like they perform various activities like hunting. If you see the figures closely, you can see animals also, including Llamas, lizards, and monkeys. According to scholars, animals might correspond to divine rites like amphibians used in water rituals. Recent flight and drone abilities have closely studied and taken better photography of such ancient creations.

Geoglyphs have three categories— additive, extractive, and the combination of both styles. Additive means that ancient people piled rocks and other materials on top of the ground to make the desired shape. Besides, an extractive or negative is the second type meaning that topsoil and other materials are used to scrape away and reveal colored subsoil. The combination of both styles is the third type of geoglyph.

You may find these old creations very ephemeral. However, it is the dry climate of the Desert that people can see the preservation of the ancient designs still now. But you can find geoglyphs like the Uffington Horse still survive in the UK and wetter climates.

People think it is a creation of a succession of cultures, including the Inca. But multiple pictures remain a mystery still now. A few have been intended as guiding information for the ancient llama caravans. On the other hand, other types are devoted to deities or used in religious practices.

It is famous for its size and hillside position on the hill Cerro Unitas. Rays that emanate from the figure's head can represent a headdress. However, these geoglyphs align with the moon and thus let you know the time looking quite practical. Besides, the ancients who crafted the hill figure between 1000 and 1400 CE might guess about the rainy season. It may seem to you if the hill figures are made to view from some distance. This theory suggests that the geoglyph might be placed strategically.

The bottom line:

Surrounded by many smaller geoglyphs, Atacama Giant is famous as one of the biggest geoglyphs. People use it to compute the movements of the moon also. The points on the top and side of the head can let you know which season it would be because it depends on the alignment with the moon. It helps you to determine when the rainy season will come in the Desert.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Is the Desert man-made?

Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal made the sculpture at an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level. The exaggerated size helps to emphasize human vulnerability and helplessness.

  • Q. When did it last rain in the Desert?

Although you can find a vast weather network station in the region, multiple stations didn't record any rain yet. According to the Geological studies, the Desert did not experience any rainfall between 1570 and 1971. You can chill in the Desert even during the day for its high altitude location.

  • Q. Why is the Desert so famous?

With a 16,570 feet (5,050 meters) elevation, the Desert plateau has become the most attractive location worldwide. It even helps to spot the solar system's secrets. In addition, people can experience here about 330 cloud-free nights per year.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Longmen Grottoes - History Mystery

Longmen Grottoes - History Mystery

The Longmen Grottoes is something that contains the most impressive and remarkable collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei & Tang Dynasties (316-907). These represent the high point of Chinese stone carving by devoting the Buddhist religion.

A brief synthesis of Longmen Grottoes:

It is situated on both sides of the Yi River to the south of the ancient capital of Luoyang. If you come here to visit, you can find over 2,300 caves and niches. These remain carved into the steep limestone cliffs over a 1km long stretch. In addition, you can view almost 110,000 Buddhist stone statues, over 60 stupas, and 2,800 inscriptions carved on steles.

Previously, it was the capital during the late Northern Wei Dynasty and early Tang Dynasty. Especially the carving dates were from the end of the 5th century to the mid-8th century. The names of the earliest caves to be carved are Guyangdong and the Three Binyang Caves. These contain big Buddha figures in the West Hill cliffs during the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

The Yaofangdong Cave has 140 inscriptions recording treatments for different illnesses and diseases. It has been working on the sculpture in the cave for over 150 years, offering various changes in artistic style. The Buddhist caves of the Tang Dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries carried it also. In addition, a great example of the Royal Cave Temples' art is the giant sculptures in the Fengxiansi Cave. Artists from different regions have imitated it.

Moreover, these two sculptural art styles — one is earlier "Central China Style," and the latter is "Great Tang Style"— influenced the country and worldwide. Furthermore, they have significant contributions to the development of the sculptural arts in other Asian countries.

Criterion (i): These sculptures are an excellent manifestation of human artistic creativity.

Criterion (ii): These have examples of the perfection of a long-established art form. It played a significant role in the cultural evolution in this region of Asia.

Criterion (iii): Society of Tang Dynasty China and the high cultural level get encapsulated in the stone carvings of the Longmen Grottoes.

The integrity of Longmen Grottoes:

You can view the preserved caves, stone statues, steles, and inscriptions scattered on the East Hill and West Hill. The buffer zone and the property area retained the natural landscapes and the ecological environment since the late 5th century. 

History Mystery


Authenticity for Longmen Grottoes:

People have preserved the Chinese cave temples' art's different aesthetic elements. For example, you can see the layout, material, function, traditional technique and location, and the intrinsic link between the layout and the various elements. They have made an enormous effort to maintain the historical appearance of the caves. In addition, they preserve the actual Buddhist culture and its spiritual and aesthetic functions.

Protection and management needs of Longmen Grottoes:

Longmen Grottoes is a China'sState Priority Protected Site. It got protection at the national level under the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Relics.

The local legal instruments, including the Regulations of Luoyang City on the Protection and Management of Longmen Grottoes, confirm the legal protection system. Besides, the Management Agency of the Ministry of Culture of the PRC incorporates the Research Institute of Luoyang City together. In this case, they took the help of professional teams on publicity, protection, education, and presentation.

Later, the Management Agency drafted the Conservation Plan. This plan states that we need to strengthen research capabilities like the analysis of the deterioration mechanism of the caves, environmental monitoring, conservation materials, and control measures. However, the opening capacity of the property area remains under control as it depends on the research results on tourist carrying capacity.

After that, various adverse factors negatively affect the heritage, reduced. Plus, it is essential to protect the setting of the caves and maintain a reasonable balance between protection and development of the heritage place.


The Longmen Grottoes has a 331 ha area and 1042 ha buffer zone with 34°33′20″N 112°28′11″E coordinates. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000 as an excellent manifestation of human artistic creativity.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What are the Longmen Grottoes used for?

It is the most extensive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907). These are primarily for the Buddhist region.

  • When were the Longmen caves created?

Fengxian Si, one of the great truly monumental temples, was available over the three years between 672 and 675.

  • Who carved the Longmen Grottoes?

The Buddhists practice carving rock temples, and it is mainly to dedicate Buddha. Its construction started in 493 during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen. Later, it continued through six successive dynasties like, Tang and Song, for more than 400 years.