Zeus

The Battle of Mantinea. July 4, 362 BC.

After the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, the foundations of Spartan hegemony stumbled. Thebes‘ chief politician and general Epaminondas attempted to build a new hegemony centered on his city. The Thebans marched south, into the area traditionally dominated by the Spartans, and set up the Arcadian League, a federation of city-states of the central Peloponnese, to contain Spartan influence and thereby maintain overall Theban control. In years prior to the Battle of Mantinea, the Spartans had joined with the Eleans (a minor Peloponnesian people with a territorial grudge against the Arcadians) in an effort to undermine the League. When the Arcadians miscalculated and seized the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia in Elis, one of the Arcadian city-states, Mantinea, detached itself fro...

The Galilean Moons. January 7, 1610.

As a result of the improvements Galileo Galilei had made to his telescope, now with a magnifying capability of 20x, he was able to observe celestial bodies more distinctly than it had been ever possible. On January 7, 1610, Galileo wrote a letter in which he mentioned Jupiter´s moons (actually known as the Galilean Moons) for the first time. At the time, he saw only three of the four and believed them to be fixed stars near Jupiter. In later observations he discovered the fourth moon and observed that they were not fixed stars, but rather bodies orbiting Jupiter. In 1605, Galileo had been employed as a mathematics tutor for Cosimo de’ Medici, and seeking patronage from his now-wealthy former student and his powerful family, used the discovery of Jupiter’s moons to gain it. On F...

Festival of Pax – January 3

Pax was the Roman goddess of peace, carried over from the Greek goddess Eirene. She was the daughter of Jupiter (Zeus) and Justitia (Themis), the goddess of justice and order. Although sources have conflicting dates, one of the dates listed is January 3 as being when the Festival of Pax was celebrated. Celebrated as Pax Romana and Pax Augusta, she was celebrated since the 2nd century BC. In hopes of blessing of peace, images were placed at the feet of Pax during the festival to promote positive energy in their interactions. Augustus had a sanctuary dedicated to Pax erected on the Campus Martius, called the Ara Pacis. It was dedicated on January 30, 9 BC – January 30 being one of the other possible dates listed for the annual festival. Along with the altar in Rome, Seutonius writes there wa...

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