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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

Culture

Articles relating to the world of general culture, but that are difficult to specify further.

The library of Alexandria (3): The Library of Alexandria acquired books in a curious way

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The claim of the Ptolemies was to collect "all books of all peoples of the earth" , perhaps following the advice of Demetrios of Falera . Certainly some of the stories that were told in antiquity reveal the passion of the Ptolemies to equip its library of Alexandria with the books which were in the known world. Sources also foreshadow the rivalry between the two great libraries of Alexandria and Pergamum.

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The library is a Greek creation

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Alexandria was the spiritual and cultural capital of the world from the third century BC to the fifth or sixth century AD. Under the largest library of Antiquity, which sought to retain all the knowledge stored in books systematically with exemplary sense of intellectual freedom, lived and worked a college or community of wise and educated persons and scholars who developed the physics, astronomy, mathematics, geometry, geography, engineering, medicine, philosophy, literature, grammar, rhetoric ... They were the basis of Western knowledge.

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Shameless plagiarists but no poets

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Today the plagiarism is certainly more usual given the enormous intellectual production and the ability of modern computer tools which have reduced the work of copying and plagiarism to "copy and paste" of word processors. But these modern tools are also effective to detect and locate the plagiarist.

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Was Pericles a Keynesian?

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The majestic buildings of the Acropolis of Athens, which have caused much admiration from antiquity until today, were built by Athenians unemployed people. The beautification of Athens is attributed to Pericles and are quoted the great artists like Ictinos, Callicrates, Phidias ...

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Political corruption in Athens

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If something so insufferable plans on Spanish politics, it is corruption. Actually it seems inherent to the human condition and to the insatiable thirst for money. So there it is in all countries, depending on the intensity of the strength of democracy and the existence of appropriate controls. Nor is it unique to our time, but of all time

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Apophthegmata , aphorisms, adages, maxims, axioms, sentences,

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The Greeks were the ones who decided that knowledge and advances in knowledge should be taught to citizens and that these were to be educated in that knowledge and respect for the law. Certainly neither the Greeks nor the Romans created a public system similar to modern education, but an education system with its various stages.

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Delta

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Delta is the name of the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet (Δ, δ), equivalent to the Latin "D, d". It was derived from the Phoenician letter “daleth”, “the door”.

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Exposure of corpses

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Human beings, unlike other animals, attend their dead and their corpses. This is attested since the Palaeolithic. The ways and customs of the various peoples referred to the fact of death and to treat the bodies, are many and varied. No doubt these rites are the result of confusion that causes death in all living beings; people seek immortality but man finds the decomposition of the body. It is therefore necessary to perform rites to avoid the process of decomposition . In expression of Walter Burkert, the Homo sapiens is a homo sepeliens (from Latin sepelio, burial), a man who buries his dead comrades.

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Place of Care of the Soul: ψυχῆς ἰατρείον (psychés iatreíon)

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Libraries are "points of care of the soul." This is a curious phrase, full of content, and that we like. It is originated on the label that allegedly existed in the "Sacred Library" of the temple and tomb of Pharaoh Ramses. But perhaps what is really behind the famous phrase is a historical misunderstanding.

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The three wise men (the three Magi)

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The birth of Jesus is celebrated in the West December 25. That birth is celebrated for a long time in Christendom and still currently in the Orthodox Church on January 6. But in the Catholic Church is celebrated now on January 6 the day of "epiphany" or manifestation of Jesus. According to the Gospel of St. Matthew 2: 1-12, some wise men came from the East to offer the newborn baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. Hence comes the custom in some countries, as in Spain, of gave gifts to children on the night of January 5.

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A modern Zeuxis

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Recently the Prado Museum has celebrated a painting exhibition titled "Juan Fernandez Labrador. Still Lifes ". Juan Fernandez is a painter of the Spanish Golden Age, little known, who painted mostly "still lifes". His representative works are paintings of "bunches of grapes".

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