Tag Archives: Ancient Greece

today’s holiday: Mother’s Day (United States)


Mother’s Day (United States)

The setting aside of a day each year to honor mothers was the suggestion of Anna M. Jarvis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, whose own mother had died on May 9, 1906. She held a memorial service and asked those attending to wear white carnations—a gesture that soon became a tradition. By 1914, President Woodrow Wilson had proclaimed a national day in honor of mothers, and some people still wear carnations on the second Sunday in May—pink or red for mothers who are living and white for those who have died. More… Discuss

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today’s holiday: Lemuralia


Lemuralia

In ancient Rome, the lemures—the ghosts of the family’s dead—were considered to be troublesome and therefore had to be exorcized on a regular basis. The Lemuralia or Lemuria was a yearly festival held on the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May to get rid of the lemures. Participants walked barefoot, cleansed their hands three times, and threw black beans behind them nine times to appease the spirits of the dead. On the third day of the festival, a merchants’ festival was held to ensure a prosperous year for business. More… Discuss

word: ultramarine


ultramarine

Definition: (noun) A blue pigment made from powdered lapis lazuli; a vivid or strong blue to purplish blue.
Synonyms: indigo, French blue
Usage: She found a piece of fabric dyed ultramarine, which would make a perfect sash for the light blue dress she was making. Discuss.

today’s holiday: Halcyon Days


Halcyon Days

The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the “Halcyon Days.” Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx‘s wife and one of Aeolus’s daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression “halcyon days” has come to mean a period of tranquility often used as a nostalgic reference to times past. More… Discuss

quotation: At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. Plato


At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Discuss

Isadora Duncan


Isadora Duncan

Duncan was a pioneer of modern dance. Though born in the US, she was never very popular there. It was in Europe where she achieved great acclaim. An innovator and liberator of expressive movement, Duncan rejected the conventions of classical ballet and gave lecture-demonstrations of what she called “the dance of the future.” Inspired by the drama of ancient Greece, she danced barefoot while wearing revealing Greek tunics and flowing scarves. How did her fondness for scarves lead to her death? More… Discuss

this pressed: Punk and the Seamstress | East of East | Departures Columns | KCET


Punk and the Seamstress | East of East | Departures Columns | KCET.

ARTICLE: AMETHYST


Amethyst

February’s birthstone, amethyst, is the violet or purple

Amethyst

Amethyst (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

variety of quartz. The gemstone’s name comes from the Greek amethustos, meaning not intoxicated, a reference to the ancient belief that the stone could ward off drunkenness. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethysts and made drinking vessels of them for this reason. The stone is associated with a number of other superstitions as well, being regarded as a love charm, a potent sleep aid, and what else?More… Discuss

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Today’s Birthday: NATALIE CLIFFORD BARNEY (1876)


Natalie Clifford Barney (1876)

Though she was a writer for all of her adult life, Barney is not widely known today for her poetry, plays, novels, or epigrams. Instead, she is remembered for her strong support of female writers and for her openness about her homosexuality. For more than 60 years, she hosted an international salon at her Paris home. The well-attended gatherings frequently featured women’s works. She also wrote proudly about her love of women in a way that few, if any, had since what 6th-century BCE Greek poet?More…