Mediterranea and Africa–East of the Sun

This week we’re visiting a very interesting part of the world. You know it as the home of olives and pasta, and maybe the beginnings of civilization. It’s the Mediterranean Sea, with all of it’s surrounding countries. Let me list off some of the important ones for you.

November 17th, 1878 – Long live the Universal Republic!

Giovanni Passannante was an Italian anarchist who attempted to assassinate king Umberto I of Italy on November 17th, 1878, the first attempt against Savoy monarchy since its origins. Originally condemned to death, his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. The conditions of his imprisonment drove him insane and have been denounced as inhumane.

Masks: Anonymity and Excess

Masks were originally part of the regalia for religious rituals and early theater in Europe. The fashion of wearing masks as an accessory did not make its way to the Continent until the early 1570’s when Italian courtesans began wearing stylish face coverings in order to hide their identity while in public. Although masks are worn for many purposes in the modern era, the celebration of Halloween is currently the main reason for choosing to cover one’s face. The purpose of “masking” ones identity remains the same as in the Sixteenth Century: The scope, however, has grown through the years until it is now an industry that draws in over 5 billion dollars annually for a single day of celebration.

The “Father of Aeronautics”

The invention of the airship dates back almost three and a half centuries to Lombardy, Italy. In 1670 Francesco Lana de Terzi, a Jesuit Father and professor of physics and mathematics at Brescia first published a description of an “Aerial Ship.” Terzi is commonly referred to as the “Father of Aeronautics” for turning the field of aeronautics into a science by establishing “a theory of aerial navigation […]

July 29th, 1851 – Discovering the Eunomian Asteroids

Between Mars and Jupiter lies the inner belt of asteroids following an orbit around the sun, and one the largest of these is 15 Eunomia. It is a stony (S-type) asteroids, and somewhere between the 8th-to-12th-largest main-belt asteroid overall. It is the largest of the Eunomian asteroids, a family of asteroids named after the Greek goddess Eunomia, and is estimated to contain […]

May 27th, 1860 – The Father of a Unified Italy

Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian general and politician who played a large role in the history of Italy. He is considered, with Camillo Cavour, Victor Emmanuel II and Giuseppe Mazzini, as one of Italy’s “fathers of the fatherland”. Garibaldi was a central figure in the Italian Risorgimento, since he personally commanded and fought in many military […]

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