I had been posting regularly on my blog for the last 6 or so months, however, I have decided to re-focus to a quality > quantity approach — I want to write longer posts and do more research on the topics I discuss. I have been playing around with the idea of commentaries, like the one I previously mentioned on my blog about Dante’s Inferno, but it’s all quite speculative at the moment and all this new approach has done is result in less writing due to the lack of a deadline. So I hope to redouble my efforts and post something of acceptable quality (to me, at least) by month’s end.
Episode 5 of the Time Capsule is below. Enjoy!
I - Pre-History
Stonehenge: This famous monument, believed to be constructed between 3000 and 2000 BC, is quite an architectural achievement given the limited tools and technologies available to its makers. It is made up of two types of stones — sarsens and bluestones — arranged in a circular shape. Constructed and modified in phases over a 1500 year period, the site is believed to have been used as a burial ground, a place of spiritual healing, and/or a site for celestial alignments.
II - Classical
Pontius Pilate: Governor of Judaea between 26-36 AD, Pontius Pilate is best known as the man who presided over the trial of Jesus and condemned him to his death by crucifixion. Despite his obvious implications in the death of the Son of God, Pontius has his supporters. The Ethiopian Church considers Pontius a martyr and saint due to his reluctance to execute Jesus and his supposed conversion to Christianity. Over the years, he has been portrayed as both villainous, cowardly, innocent, and weak-willed.
III - Middle Ages
The Battle of Stamford Bridge: The death of Edward the Confessor, the king who re-built St. Peter’s Abbey into Westminister Abbey, subsequently resulted in a succession crisis for the English crown. Amongst the claimants to the throne was the Norweigan king Harald Hardrada, and Harold Godwinson. With Harald Hardrada landing his army near Newcastle in early September, Harold Godwinson led his army north from London where he was awaiting an invasion by the Duke of Normandy in France, another claimant to the English throne. He and his army covered close to 300km in 4 days, taking the Norwegians completely by surprise. On 25 September 1066, they would battle at Stamford Bridge, resulting in a crushing Norweigan defeat. Unfortunately, Harold Godwinson’s success would be short-lived, and he would die in battle after being defeated by the Normans at the Battle of Hastings only 3 weeks later.
IV - Early Modern
The War Wagon: After the burning of reformist Jan Hus in 1415, an uprising by his followers in Bohemia, known as the Hussite Revolt, took place against the religious and political authorities of their homeland — they would go on to achieve victory against their Hungarian overlords in large part due to their use of the war wagon. Protected with wood and joined together with iron, war wagons provided defensive works and a fortified firing position through the gaps in the sides of the wagon. With early gunpowder technologies making their way onto the battlefield, the war wagon was a formidable obstacle, even for a well-drilled conventional army.
V - Modern
Gettysburg Address: On 19 November 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which embodied the fundamentals of the American Consitution and would come represent the spirit of the Union cause. After the Battle of Gettysburg in the Summer of 1863, the Gettysburg National Cemetry was created to remember the fallen soldiers of the battle. Lincoln’s short address was not even the primary speech of the program — Edward Everett’s now-forgotten two-hour oration was the headliner — however, it would go on to become one of the most memorable and important speeches in US History. The speech is a masterful example of concise and impactful oration, being only 10 sentences and 272 words in length. Parallels have been drawn between the Gettysburg Address and the famous Funeral Oration speech given by Pericles during the Peloponnesian War.
Photo of the Week 📸
Book of the Week 📖 — The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel
In our increasingly secular society, the day of the Sabbath, a day of rest from the pursuit of worldly pleasures, has lost its significance. In this book, Abraham Joshua Heschel reminds us that the pursuit of the earthly possessions that we so strenuously toil for is nothing without the rest and the renewal of our responsibility to the Lord offered by the Sabbath.
It is one of life’s highest rewards, a source of strength and inspiration to endure tribulation, to live nobly. The work on weekdays and the rest on the seventh day are correlated. The Sabbath is the inspirer, the other days the inspired.
Quote of the Week 💭
The gates of hell are open night and day; smooth is the descent and easy is the way.
~ Virgil’s Aeneid
That’s a wrap. See you next week.