Tag Archives: Greek

today’s holiday : Ochi Day


Ochi Day

Ochi Day is a national holiday in Greece, commemorating the day during World War II when Greeks said “ochi” (“no”) to an attempted incursion ordered by Italy‘s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini. On October 28, 1940, the Italian ambassador to Greece called on General Ioannis Metaxas, the prime minister, to demand that Italian troops be allowed to occupy areas in Greece. Metaxas curtly responded, “Ochi.” The Italians invaded, but were routed by the Greeks. Ochi Day is observed in Greece with military and school parades; it is also a public holiday celebrated in Cyprus with parades. More… Discuss

The Pomegranate


 

The Pomegranate

 

Pomegranate Fruits. Español: Una granada, frut...

Pomegranate Fruits. Español: Una granada, fruto del granado (Punica granatum). Eesti: Granaatõun. Français : La grenade, fruit du grenadier. Русский: Плод граната. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pomegranate is a reddish-yellow fruit native to semitropical Asia. Slightly larger than an orange, it has a tough rind, juicy pulp, and many seeds. The fruit is eaten fresh, the juice is a key ingredient in grenadine syrup, and the rind has been used as a medicinal astringent for centuries. The pomegranate has long been a religious and artistic symbol as well, appearing in ancient Asian literature, the Bible, and Greek mythology. Which Greek goddess was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds? More… Discuss

 

The Orchid


The Orchid

The unusually large orchid family consists of some 450 genera and at least 10,000 species. Orchids grow most abundantly in tropical and subtropical forests and are among the most highly prized ornamental plants. Since being imported from the Bahamas to Britain in the 18th century, these flowers have been cultivated for their commercial value and have been successfully hybridized and variegated. Their name comes from the Greek word orkhis—or “testicle”—after the appearance of what feature? More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: THE GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA


The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is the largest pyramid ever built. A mass of limestone blocks covering 13 acres (5.3 hectares), it was originally 756 feet (230 m) along each side of its base and 482 feet (147 m) high. It has several passages, two large chambers in addition to one below ground level, and two small air chambers for ventilation. It is believed to have been built as the tomb of fourth dynasty Egyptian King Khufu, who was known by what Greek nameMore…

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: ANTHONY QUINN


Anthony Quinn (1915)

Quinn was a Mexican-American artist, writer, and Oscar-winning actor. He boxed in his youth and studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright before turning to acting. He achieved international stardom in the 1950s and 60s for his ability to portray ethnically diverse characters, most notably Zorba the Greek. He appeared in over 100 films and won Academy Awards for his supporting roles in two, Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life. His role in the latter film lasted just how many minutes? More… Discuss

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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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ARTICLE: SICILY


Sicily

Sicily, the strategically located largest island in the Mediterranean, has long been a crossroads of history, a “melting pot” of ancient cultures and peoples. It was colonized by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks starting in the 8th century BCE and in the millennia that followed fell first to the Romans, then successively to the Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, and Arabs, and finally to the Normans. Today, it is an autonomous region of Italy. Who are some of history’s most famous SiciliansMore… Discuss

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QUOTATION: Aristotle


Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.

Aristotle (384 BC322 BCDiscuss

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ARTICLE: THE BALLISTA


The Ballista

The ballista is an ancient missile launcher designed to hurl long arrows or heavy balls. The largest could accurately hurl 60-pound (27-kg) weights up to about 500 yards (450 m). The Greek version was basically a huge crossbow, while the Roman ballista was powered by torsion and used two separate arms joined at their ends by the cord that propelled the missile. Once the Roman Empire declined, so too did the ballista—it was too challenging and expensive to build. Which weapons took its place? More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S SAINTS/HOLIDAY: Day of the Three Archbishops


 

Day of the Three Archbishops

English: Icon for the Synaxis of the Three Hol...

English: Icon for the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 11th-century Greece, there was a popular controversy over which of the three archbishops—Basil the Great,Gregory the Theologian, or John Chrysostom—was the greatest saint of the Greek Orthodox Church. In 1081, Bishop John of Galatia reported that the three saints had appeared to him in a vision to say that they were equal in the eyes of God. Their equality is celebrated on this day. In schools, special exercises are held in honor of the three saints, who supported classical Greek tradition at a time when many were opposed to all non-Christian literatureMore… Discuss
VISIT THE BEAUTIFUL ROMANIAN MONASTERY  OF ‘TREI IERARHI’: http://www.manastireasftreiierarhi.ro/img/presentation2.jpg

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Archimedes’ Secret (BBC Documentary)



This is the story of a book that could have changed the history of the World. To the untrained eye, it is nothing more than a small and unassuming Byzantine prayer book, yet it sold at Christies for over $2m. For faintly visible beneath the prayers on its pages are other, unique, writings – words that have been lost for nearly two thousand years.

The text is the only record of work by one of the world’s greatest minds – the ancient Greek, Archimedes – a mathematical genius centuries ahead of his time. Hidden for a millennium in a middle eastern library, it has been written over, broken up, painted on, cut up and re-glued. But in the nick of time scientists have saved the precious, fragile document, and for the first time it is revealing just how revolutionary Archimedes’ ideas were. If it had been available to scholars during the Renaissance, we might have reached the Moon over a hundred years ago.

The trail begins in the tenth century, when a scribe made a unique copy of the most important mathematics that Archimedes ever developed. For 200 years the document survived, but the mathematics in it was so complex that no one paid it any attention. So when one day a monk was looking for some new parchment – an expensive commodity at the time – to write a new prayer book, the answer seemed obvious. He used the Archimedes manuscript. He washed the Greek text off the pages, cut them in half, rebound them, and turned the Archimedes manuscript into an everyday prayer book. As he piously wrote out his prayers, he had no idea of the genius he was obliterating.

Several hundred years later, the Renaissance was under way. Scientists were beginning to grapple with new concepts, working out how mathematics could be used to explain the World around them. Little did they know that many of the problems they were just encountering Archimedes had already solved more than a thousand years before. So, tragically, they had to do that research all over again, setting back the development of science and technology immeasurably.

Then in 1906, in Constantinople, the document mysteriously turned up in a monastic library. An opportunistic scholar called Johan Ludwig Heiberg identified the text as Archimedes’ writings. Although the Greek text was very faint, Heiberg was able to decipher some of it. What he found astonished him, and made the front page of the New York Times. He revealed that Archimedes’ manuscript contained something called ‘The Method’, which showed not only Archimedes’ final proofs, but for the first time revealed the process of how he went about making his discoveries.