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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.

Democracy is equality

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In ancient Greece, the Athenians had some superiority complex with regard to the rest of Hellenes or Greeks. They were proud of their city, of their Acropolis (from aker and polis = high city, the upper town, the citadel, the fortress) in which it was the great temple of the goddess Athena, their eponymous (from epi and noma), the one who gives the city of Athens its name, the virgin (they call her Athena parthenos); they felt themselves especially proud of their "democracy" (from “demos” people and “cracy” power or government)

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Is it interesting to know details and anecdotes of the Ancient World?

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Surely there are many people, including friends from "facebook", to whom these various anecdotes or comments about the ancient world interest little or interest nothing at all indeed. Probably somebody thinks they are writings made by self-absorbed people who don´t really care about the real and current problems of the crazy world we actually live in because he or she considers that the Ancient World is far away. Of course it is a respectable opinion.

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The names of the months are Roman

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Among the many things that the Romans have left us no less important is the calendar with the names of the months, days and seasons. To understand the logic and coherence of the names "september= September; october= October; november= November and december= December," which etymologically means "seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth" we must know that the primitive Roman year had ten months and began in March.

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The fascinating source of the word "fascinating"

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Sometimes we are "fascinated", attracted, impressed, or touched (touché in French) to find out the origin of a word, as if as we removed the curtain we could look at what was behind or buried in the deepest part of valley. That is the strength of the etymology of the words, the knowledge of which provides us basic information on which their later extended meaning sits.

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Aut insanit homo aut versus facit Either the man is crazy, or he's writing poetry

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“Aut insanit homo aut versus facit” is one of many "topics" of the Latin poet Horace Quintus Flaccus; topic in the etymological sense of "place", passage appointment, from Greek τόπος. The verse, become “maxima”, sentence, is quoted by many people in a variety of contexts.

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The ox as a monetary standard

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At some point in the hominids’ evolution must appear the goods exchange or barter. This so simple and straightforward system can be used even today for exceptional trade operations, but certainly it would be very cumbersome for the development of an economy with large trade or huge commercial exchanges. It was necessary then to find a valuation system based on a pattern or unit. That is, it was necessary to invent the money, the coins and the currency and this happened in the Bronze Age, in the second millennium BC.

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What is an epigram?

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The word comes from the Latin epigramma, and this from the Greek ἐπίγραμμα (from ἐπί = on and γραμμα =, writing, letter), which means "inscription". Its etymology refers to burial or votive inscriptions on stone or other material, naturally short

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All the boys and all the girls: κόρους τε ἅμα καὶ κόρας (kórous te áma kaì kóras), πάντ᾽ ἄνδρα καὶ γυναῖκα (pánt’ándra kaì gynaîka).

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One of the most important changes that has been originated in modern society, in Western society and worldwide is that of equality between men and women, full legal equality real and only partly in status or social function.

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Decameter and decimeter

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Following the acquisition of the abstract concept of number and its graphical representation, man needed to create a numbering or numeral system that would allow him to comfortably work with large quantities. To do this man needed to create a hierarchical system of multiple orders or levels, so that a certain number of units of a level were to become higher-level unit and so on. The criterion for organizing such a system is called "base". So between us ten units are a set of ten and ten tens are one hundred or a century and ten hundreds are a thousand.

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Graecia capta (by Romans)

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The Romans came very soon in relation to Greek culture: the last Roman kings were Etruscans, people heavily influenced by Eastern and Greek culture, Sicily and southern Italy were soon colonized by the Greeks (south of Italy is called precisely Magna Grecia, "Great Greece" ); see http://en.antiquitatem.com/paestum-world-heritage-doric-temples

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Three times three

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In general the Romans are very superstitious and very ritualistic. His conception of the world, in a sense it can be called animist because they believe that everything is pervaded by a divine force which justifies its development and virtuality, leads them to constantly be aware of the signs that manifest the will of the gods or announce the future. And this in turn requires constantly celebrate rites and ceremonies which discover the future and the will of the gods and spirits in order to propitiate his favor or stop their anger. So they do not undertake any action without consulting those signs.

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