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Artifacts of Material History

Ship Figureheads: Statues of the Sea

Bayeux Tapestry Norman Ships with Dragon Prows as “Figureheads” (image public domain) By Timothy Demy – The carving and painting of eyes, faces, and figures on boats and ships is an ancient practice that continues around the globe in the present day. Whether the eyes were decorative, religious, or believed […]

History of Science

MIND MATTERS:  Tragedy, Psychology and Mental Illness

Image courtesy of J.C. Scull, Mental Illness – History and Ancient Treatments, Invisible Illness, 2022 By Walter Borden, M.D. –   In the Dark Ages of Greek ancient history (before writing), mental illness and seizure disorders were considered as demonic possession of one kind or another. Mysticism was the prevailing explanation of all unknowns. […]

Artifacts of Material History

Sacred Ships and Stormy Seas 

  Giotto’s Navicella, ca 1305, Vatican (see below) public domain By Timothy Demy – Consider the things one might expect to see in chapels, churches, and cathedrals—stained glass windows, altars, pulpits, pianos, pipe organs, Bibles, hymnals, prayer books, missals, vestments, candles, pews, embroidered kneelers, and a score of other items. […]

Philosophy

Character is Destiny

By Walter Borden, M.D. – “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Thomas Jefferson  “Character is destiny”, seemingly simple, yet enigmatic, written in the 5th century BCE by the Pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus. It is a powerful message for all peoples. […]

History

Unstoppable Redheads in History

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – Hair color should never be considered responsible by itself for determining character and destiny, nor have more redheads per capita likely been any more statistically dynamic than brown-, black-, blonde-haired folk. But the number of redheads who have been unstoppable in history may come as […]

Art

Prado Museum Madrid Favorites

By P. F. Sommerfeldt –  A day at the National Prado Museum in Madrid is never enough, but there are always my landmark works of art to see when there. More Titians than one can easily count, and the Velazquez portraits are a Spanish Baroque force majeur, and the Goya […]

Philosophy

Humanitas

By Walter Borden, M.D. – Before the beginning there was mythology, mysticism, a miasma of beliefs.  Might was right, savagery ruled.  It was truly dark. Then, in the 6th century BCE, a burst of light, a blossoming, a cultural epiphany, the birth of the first Enlightenment in classical Greece.  The light was the […]