September 11, 2014

To Heroes of 9/11

Mnemosyne, Titan goddess of memory, was considered one of the most powerful goddesses of her time. After all, it is memory, some believe, that is a gift that distinguishes us from the other creatures in the animal world. It is the gift that allows us to reason, to predict and anticipate outcomes, and is the very foundation for civilization.
Ironically, the goddess Mnemosyne is largely forgotten, lost in the mists of time.  When she is remembered it is usually only in the context of her being the mother of the Muses, though all acknowledge that without memory the lively arts of the Muses would never have been possible.
Mnemosyne was a Titaness, a daughter of the first generation of deities in Greece.  Her parents were the rulers Uranus and Gaia, Mother Earth.
The goddess Mnemosyne is sometimes credited with being the first philosopher, her gift the power of reason. She was given responsibility for the naming of all objects, and by doing so gave humans the means to dialog and to converse with each other.  The powers to place things in memory an that of remembrance were also attributed to this goddess.
Make no mistake about this. Memory was of the utmost importance at the time of Mnemosyne. Long before the invention of the alphabet and the written word, it was critical to the well-being of an individual or a society who had to rely solely on the lessons passed on in an oral history.
Besides, we’re not talking about memorizing shopping lists or the times tables here. The memory of Mnemosyne was much more than that — it was the memory of the rules and energies of the universe, the cycle of life, the memory of how to live in the world.
The ancients believed that when one died and crossed into the Underworld one would be given a choice . . . whether to drink from the river Lethe where you would forget all the pains and terrors of your previous life (and with them, the lessons they brought), or whether to drink from the Mnemosyne, the spring of memory.
Those who chose to forget had to be reborn, to return to earth to learn the lessons they needed.  Those who had chosen to remember were admitted to the Elysian Fields where they would spend eternity in comfort and peace.
Once an important goddess in her own right, Mnemosyne is largely remembered today in her capacity as the mother of the Muses, the nine Greek goddesses whose role it was to inspire poets and musicians and to promote the arts and sciences.
After Zeus led the war against the Titans and established himself as the leader of the Olympians, he feared that, even though he might be immortal, his great victories and decisions might soon be forgotten.
Longing for a way to preserve the memory of his many great feats, he dressed as a shepherd and went to find Mnemosyne. They slept together for nine nights before he returned to his home on Mount Olympus. (By the way, Zeus was still single so this was not one of his famous extramarital affairs.)
Zeus got his wish. Months later Mnemosyne gave birth for nine days, each day delivering a daughter. Collectively they were known as the Muses and were described as “having one mind, their hearts set upon song and their spirit free from care.”
No banquet on Mount Olympus was complete without them. Seated near the throne of their father, they entertained the guests, singing not only of the greatness of Zeus, but about the marvelous feats of the heroes (ancient and modern) and the creation of the heavens and the earth and all its wondrous creatures.
May Lady Mnemosyne’s daughters sing eternally of heroes of 9/11 and their deeds.


September 2, 2014

Through the Endurance of Atlas

I hope that everyone had a great Labor's Day Weekend. Its time to get back work and endure to the next week.

Bearer of Heaven
Titan God of Astronomy and Navigation
Titan God of Daring Thought and Endurance
Former General of Titans’ Army

Atlas, Titan God of Endurance and Weightlifting, was known for his strength and might. Atlas had huge muscles and was very large. He was very powerful with both his mind and his strength. Atlas was also known for being very pride and headstrong which got him into a lot of trouble in the end.
As Kronos' General and second-in-command, Atlas was chosen to lead the other Titans in battle. He initially had the upper hand in his battles with the gods, since he was a very skilled swordsman and a much more experienced warrior. Hence, Atlas was initially known as the "terror of the gods." However, the gods quickly became skilled warriors as well, and with the help of their new extremely powerful weapons (Zeus' Master Bolt, Poseidon's Trident, and Hades' Helm of Darkness), as well as the aid of the Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonkheires, the gods finally prevailed.
During the final battle, Zeus used his Master Bolt to shear off the top of Mount Othrys, and hurl Kronos from his Black Throne, defeating the Titan King. Shortly thereafter, the gods invaded the ruins of Mount Othrys, and finally overwhelmed the remaining Titans (including Atlas himself).
Atlas, along with his father Hyperion, sided with the Titans in their war against the Olympians, the Titanomachy. His brothers Prometheus and Epimetheus weighed the odds and betrayed the other Titans by forming an alliance with the Olympians. When the Titans were defeated, many of them were confined to Tartarus. Instead of being confined to Tartarus, like the other Titans, Atlas was cursed to carry the weight of the heaven on his shoulders. He accidently broke the original pillar that held the heaven in the war. So his punishment is to carry the heaven.
Zeus seduced Danae, an Argive Princess, and she gave birth to Perseus. When Polydectes, the ruler of the island of Seriphos, sought the hand of Danae as a bride, he sent Perseus on a foolish mission to slay Medusa the Gorgon in order to be rid of him. However, Perseus was protected by Athena, who instructed him to travel to the Garden of the Hesperides for weapons capable of slaying Medusa from Atlas’s daughters, Hesperides.
On the way back from killing Medusa, Perseus asked Atlas for hospitality. The Hesperides offered Perseus food and lodging after he had slew Medusa and drugged Ladon in order to have Perseus stay with them, but Perseus also wanted to take some apples as a gift for his mother. Recalling the warning of Themis, Atlas saw him and threatened him by shaking the mountains on top of him, effectively scaring off Perseus who used Medusa's gaze to turn him to stone. However, due to the fact that Atlas was immortal, Medusa's power had only a partial effect on him.
One of the labors of Hercules (Greek name: Heracles), the grandson of Perseus, was to obtain some of the golden apples that were guarded by the Hesperides. Hercules asked Atlas to help him get the apples. Seeing an opportunity to escape from the burden of holding up the heavens, Atlas asked Hercules to take over the task while he obtained the apples. Hercules agreed. When Atlas returned with the apples, he told Hercules that he would deliver them for him to spare him for the wrath of Hera. His intention was to leave Hercules to support the heavens. However, Hercules asked Atlas to take back the heavens for just a moment so that he could adjust his burden. When Atlas did this, Hercules walked away with the apples.
In returning the Hera’s apples to garden, Hercules met up with an upset Atlas.  Hercules, feel sorry for tricking Atlas, built two great pillars known today as the Pillars of Hercules to support the heavens and free Atlas. The two spent awhile in each other company and embraced. After Hercules left, Atlas stayed the site to guard the pillars, uniting with his family and stay away from Zeus’s wrath.
At some point under unresolved means, Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Roman form of Zeus) offered Atlas a place among the Roman gods if he would fight alongside them against other menaces against the Roman gods and empire. He agreed to Jupiter’s proposed with a forgiveness clause for his past deed. Atlas was among the Roman Olympians as they fought back against the Celtic gods of the Gaul tribes attacking Rome and against the Asgardian gods of the Germanic tribes attacking the Roman outposts in Western Europe.
What is he look like today? Well, Atlas looked like "a living statue", with dark slicked-back hair, eyes "like stone", light brown skin, and a very muscular build. He is very tall and muscular with a brutal face, huge shoulders, and hands that could "snap a flagpole in half." He is similar to a modern day bodybuilder but not too overly muscle. Probably like is son Zeb Atlas.
The moral of my story is, if there is ever a huge war between Titans and Olympians, do not take sides

Bodies of Atlas

August 10, 2014

How Sex Changed the World - Sex for Sale HD

July 4, 2014

Hero of the Revolution

Happy Fourth of July, I think to celebrate the today with the hero who make it happen: George Washington.
A cautious and prudent Virginia aristocrat, Washington was nevertheless among the first Virginians to protest British colonial policy. He publicly emphasized his opposition by accepting appointment as a delegate to the Continental Congress during 1774–1775. On 15 June 1775 he was chosen by that body as commander in chief of the Continental army.
The saga of Washington's Revolutionary War exploits has been recounted many times and need not be repeated here. Among the highlights of his extraordinary military career were the successful siege of Boston in 1775–1776; the crossing of the Delaware on Christmas night 1776 and defeat of the redcoats at Trenton; the depressing defeats in the autumn of 1777 at Brandywine and Germantown, Pennsylvania; the bitterly cold winter that the dispirited Continental army endured at Valley Forge in 1777–1778; the skillfully commanded victory at Monmouth, New Jersey, in June 1778; and the famous Yorktown campaign in 1781, which brought the war to an end. By this time, Washington was the foremost hero of the Revolution, virtually canonized by his countrymen and widely respected abroad.
After eight and a half years as commander in chief of the revolutionary army, Washington resigned his commission and resumed his former life as a planter at Mount Vernon. He was enormously satisfied to be relieved of the heavy duties of official life and happy to be once again a private citizen. But the feebleness of government under the Articles of Confederation and the vital of strengthening the Union quickly convinced him that his dream of serene retirement at Mount Vernon was likely to be shattered. It soon was. Convinced that "we are fast verging to anarchy and confusion," Washington accepted his selection as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, which assembled in Philadelphia in May 1787, and was chosen its president. Once the new Constitution was written and ratified, there was, as has been said, no doubt as to the identity of the new nation's first president.
Washington's journey to the new capital in April 1789 was physically arduous, but it was a triumphal procession then unparalleled in the country's history. At major coach stops along his route, he was hailed in a manner befitting a Roman Emperor or a European King—bells were rung, guns fired, countless congratulatory speeches made, odes recited, and parades and public banquets held. As he sailed across New York Bay on the last leg of his journey, he was accompanied by a sloop crowded with choristers who sang odes—one of them set to the tune of "God Save the King"—in his honor. When he reached the Battery, the cheers of a dense crowd and the peals of church bells competed with the thunder of thirteen-gun salutes from ship and shore batteries.
Such adulation suggests a major difficulty in objectively assessing the accomplishments and shortcomings of the first president. Since his retirement in 1783 as commander in chief of the Continental army, he had been hailed as "Father of His Country," heralded as an American Atlas or Fabius, and honored as the Cincinnatus of his nation's successful revolution. The most famous American of his day, at home and internationally, he was already a legendary figure and, as such, virtually immune from the critical or partisan barbs and shafts hurled at many of his presidential successors. He is still remembered primarily as the hero of the Revolution, the military leader most responsible for establishing on the field of battle a new and ultimately powerful nation. Even now, as for almost two centuries, his presidential stewardship is considered a addition to his renowned generalship.

July 2, 2014

War of Spartacus

This is the real story of the Roman slave Spartacus, a biography of his life and history. There is little documented about Spartacus prior to his fame in leading a small band of gladiators and enlisting slaves to rebel against the authority of Rome. Known information has been put together to form a Timeline of Spartacus the leader of the slave uprising against the Roman Republic known as the Third Servile War and is also referred to as The War of Spartacus.
Background History to Spartacus - The Servile Wars (Slave Uprisings)
Here is a little history of the slave uprising. During 135 BC and 104 BC the First and Second Servile Wars, or slave uprisings, erupted in Sicily. These wars started with small bands of rebels but were joined by tens of thousands of slave followers wishing to escape the oppressive life of a Roman slave. Much of the Roman economy was based on the slave trade. It is estimated that the number of slaves in Roman Italy, at its peak, was about one and a half million which was about 25% of the total population. However the First and Second Servile Wars did not particularly concern those living in Rome. Sicily was quite a distance away - too far to worry the Romans. Third Servile War (War of Spartacus) was different. This slave uprising threatened the very heart of Rome. In the period that Spartacus lived it is estimated that about 1 million people lived in the city of Rome and that of these about 400,000 were slaves - it is therefore no wonder that the name of Spartacus struck terror into the hearts of Romans!
The real Spartacus was a freeborn provincial from Thrace, who may have served as an auxiliary in the Roman army in Macedonia. He deserted the army, was outlawed, captured, sold into slavery, and trained at the gladiatorial school of Batiatus in Capua. New Gladiators were formed into troupes called 'Familia gladiatorium' which were under the overall control of a manager (lanista) who recruited, arranged for training and made the decisions of where and when the gladiators fought. The gladiator schools also served as barracks, or in some cases prisons, for gladiators between their fights. There was one of these gladiator schools at Capua, which was owned by Batiatus.  The name of his troupe of gladiators was named after their owner e.g. Famalia Batiatus.
The regime at the training school was extremely strict and Spartacus together with 70 - 80 other gladiators rebelled and fought their way out of the school. They took knives from the kitchen and killed the guards. The band of gladiators, led by Spartacus and Crixus, succeeded in obtaining proper arms and weapons, and took refuge in the crater of Vesuvius, at that time an extinct volcano (73BC).
Spartacus and the band of gladiators were soon joined by large numbers of slaves. Spartacus was soon at the head of a formidable army. The desolation of the Social and Civil Wars had depopulated Italy, while the service of slave labor furnished Spartacus with an endless supply of soldiers. The runaway slaves included old people, women and children who camped with the gladiators in the crater of Mount Vesuvius. The small group of gladiators plunders and pillage around the area and are quickly joined by large numbers of runaway slaves. This triggers the Third Servile War.
The praetor Claudius Glaber, with 3,000 raw recruits for soldiers, was the first army to be sent by the Senate from Rome to quell the slave revolt. The over confident Glaber and his troops are defeated by the slave army at Mount Vesuvius. They thought they had trapped the rebels on Vesuvius. Glaber did not fortify his camp properly and his troops were taken by surprise when the gladiator army attacked. Spartacus led his men down the other side of the mountain using vines, fell on the rear of the soldiers, and routed them. The Roman troops suffered a humiliating defeat.
Spartacus subsequently defeated two forces of legionary cohorts; he wanted to lead his men across the Alps to escape from Italy, but the Gauls and Germans, led by Crixus, wanted to stay and plunder. They separated from Spartacus, who passed the winter near Thurii in southern Italy.
Spartacus had raised about 70,000 slaves, mostly from rural areas. The Senate, alarmed, finally sent the two consuls Publicola and Clodianus, each with two legions, against the rebels. The Gauls and Germans, separated from Spartacus, were defeated by Publicola, and Crixus was killed. Spartacus defeated Lentulus, and then Publicola; to avenge Crixus, Spartacus had 300 prisoners from these battles fight in pairs to the death.
At Picenum in central Italy Spartacus defeated the consular armies, then pushed north and defeated the proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul at Mutina. The Alps were now open to the rebels, but again the Gauls and Germans refused to go, so Spartacus returned to southern Italy, perhaps intending to ship to Sicily.
In the autumn, when the revolt was at its height and Spartacus had about 120,000 followers, the Senate voted to pass over the consuls and grant imperium to Crassus, who had been a praetor in 73 B.C. but currently held no office. Crassus was the wealthiest man in Rome, a noble from an old plebeian family; since he had received very little support from the conservative nobles who dominated the Senate, he had allied himself with the faction of the populares.
Crassus was given six new legions plus the four consular legions. When one of Crassus' legates attacked Spartacus with two legions, against orders, Spartacus roundly defeated them. Crassus decimated the most cowardly cohort, and then used his combined forces to defeat Spartacus, who retreated to Rhegium, in the toe of Italy. Spartacus tried to cross the straits into Sicily, but the Cilician pirates betrayed him.
After a long period of pursuit and a few engagements, the slave army was defeated near the headwaters of the Siler River in southern Italy. It is believed that Spartacus died in this battle; there were so many corpses that his body was never found. As many as 6,000 slaves escaped and fled northward, but they were captured by Pompey's army north of Rome as he was marching back from Spain. The historian Appian reports that 6,000 slaves were taken prisoner by Crassus and crucified along the Appian Way from Capua to Rome.
The story of Spartacus has served as inspiration for books, movies and a television series. He has often been made into a symbol for oppressed people rebelling to overturn their society.

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