Cymon and Iphigenia - Benjamin West. Detail.
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Even on the farthest-flung frontiers of the ancient Roman Empire, the footwear made the man — and the kid.
Children and infants living in and around Roman military bases around the first century wore shoes that revealed the kids’ social status, according to new research presented here Friday (Jan. 4) at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. The teeny-tiny shoes, some sized for infants, not only reveal that families were part of Roman military life, but also show that children were dressed to match their parent’s place in the social hierarchy, said study researcher Elizabeth Greene of the University of Western Ontario.
“The role of dress in expressing status was prominent even for children of the very youngest ages,” Greene said.
Treasure trove of footwear
Just as today’s modern kid might rock a pair of shoes covered in their favorite superheroes, or that light up with every step, ancient Roman kids of well-off families wore more decorative shoes than their commoner contemporaries, Greene’s research reveals. Over 4,000 shoes have been found at Vindolanda, a Roman army fort in northern Britain that was occupied from the first to fourth centuries.
In every time period of the fort’s operation, even the very early frontier days, children’s shoes show up in crumbled domestic spaces, official military buildings and rubbish heaps, Greene said.
“We don’t even have a period, not even Period 1, where we’re free of children’s shoes,” she said.
Why is there a “b” in doubt?
The sound of a word is only part of its story. There’s usually secrets of the word’s history locked in its spelling. Even if it seems random.
By educator Gina Cooke for TEDEducation.
Virgin and Child with a Pear - Albrecht Dürer. Detail.
Lord Byron, Romantic Era poet. Look at that face! I mean, he wrote some of the best poetry of all time, AND he’s sexy? It’s not fair to normal guys. “She walks in beauty, like the night, Of cloudless climes and starry skies, And all that’s best of dark and light, Meet in her aspect and her eyes…”
Jar with Dragon and Clouds
Wheel-thrown porcelain with blue painted decoration under clear glaze
Gordon Parks, American Gothic, 1942
From the Corcoran Gallery of Art:
Across his careers as an artist, a filmmaker, and an author, Gordon Parks consistently worked to expose racism, poverty, crime, segregation, and other social ills that existed in American society. A self-taught photographer, Parks got his start in 1942 when he earned a fellowship to work for a New Deal government agency called the Farm Security Administration (FSA). He moved to Washington, D.C. and documented the African-American community and the intolerance that they encountered around the city. His best-known photographs from this period feature Ella Watson, a government charwoman employed by the FSA, who Parks befriended and chronicled. In American Gothic, Washington, D.C., Parks posed Watson with her mop and broom in an image derived from Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic, 1930. Standing firmly before the American flag, and looking directly at the camera, Watson signifies how African Americans living in segregation during this era did not possess the freedoms and opportunities symbolized by the flag in the background. When Parks first showed the image to Roy Stryker, his mentor at the FSA, Stryker responded, “Well, you’re getting the idea, but you’re going to get us all fired.” Parks went on to become the first African American staff photographer for Life.
The oldest known representation of a pharaoh has been found carved on rocks at a desert site in southern Egypt, according to new research into long forgotten engravings.
Found on vertical rocks at Nag el-Hamdulab, four miles north of the Aswan Dam, the images depict a pharaoh riding boats with attendant prisoners and animals in what is thought to be a tax-collecting tour.
“We don’t know with certainty who the king represented at Hamdulab is. We can guess on paleographic and iconographic grounds,” Maria Carmela Gatto, associate research scholar in Egyptology at Yale University and co-director of thee Aswan-Kom Ombo archaeological project in Egypt, told Discovery News.
Indeed, the style of the carvings suggests that the images were made at a late Dynasty date, around 3200-3100 B.C. This would have been the reign of Narmer, the first king to unify northern and southern Egypt, thus regarded by many scholars as Egypt’s founding pharaoh.
Four Petrarchan sonnets written in honor of General Agustín de Iturbide (who became Agustín I, First Constitutional Emperor of Mexico, in 1822) were published in the Gaceta del Gobierno Imperial de México onMarch 4, 1823.
Here’s the first one, with accompanying English translation:
Por un espacio de trescientos años
este Imperio sufrió duras cadenas,
y en un profundo piélago de penas
sumergido se vió por los extraños.
No puede ya sufrir males tamaños:
no quiere obedecer leyes agenas,
solo las propias le podrán ser buenas
como que ellas de cerca ven los daños.
Produce un hijo lleno de clemencia
que embotando su espada por la Union,
jura asi sostener su independencia
y nuestra augusta santa Religion.
Lo observa todo, y se hace sin violencia
un Héroe superior a Washington.
For a span of three hundred years
this Empire suffered hard chains,
and in a profound sea of hardship
it saw itself submerged by strangers.
No longer can it undergo such abuse:
it wants no longer to obey alien laws,
only its own shall it see as good
as if they up close see the damages.
It yields a son full of clemency
who blunting his sword for the Union,
swears thus to uphold its independence
and our august sacred Religion.
It observes all, and devoid of violence is formed
a Hero superior to Washington.
Obviously the translation (found at the source) did not try to replicate the form and rhyming pattern of the original poem. It’s interesting to see how the poem, while ostensibly about the country liberating itself from leyes ajenas (foreign laws), still chooses to demonstrate the significance of its hero by comparing him to a foreign entity, the American George Washington.
January 3, 1938: The March of Dimes is Founded
On this day in 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now known as the March of Dimes) to fund polio treatment and research. In the mid-twentieth century, the March of Dimes Foundation pioneered a new approach to philanthropy, raising money a dime at a time from millions of small donors.
The nonprofit enlisted poster children, celebrities, presidents, and other partners in their high-profile campaigns.
Follow the quest to fight polio with American Experience’s “Polio Crusade” photo gallery.
Photo: Barbara Councilor of the White House mail room pours out and dips her hands in dimes, 1939 (Library of Congress).
Pipers piping? Geese-a-laying? What is this song all about?
Santa shoe shopping in Haarlem, The Netherlands, 1960.
A skeleton shrine in Kathmandu, Nepal, 1980, by Linda Connor
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day has been annotated by Anne Boleyn. It is a book of hours (a medieval prayer book used by the laity for private devotion). This page depicts the annunciation in bright vivid colours, with beautiful flowers in the margins. At the base of the page, very faintly, it is just possible to make out the words written by Anne for Henry VIII:
‘Be daly prove you shall me fynde To be to yu bothe lovynge and kynde’
The book was produced in England earlier in the sixteenth century, but came into the hands of Anne and her king. It is strange to read these words, knowing as we do what became of them.
Image source: British Library MS Kings 9. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.