History of the Founding of Rome: the Short Version

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HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF ROME Rome was founded on April 21, 753 B.C., according to the Roman antiquarian Titus Pomponius Atticus. The City’s origins are shrouded in legends and myths. One founding myth is about Aeneas, a Trojan War hero, and his descendants, who are believed to have played a role in the City’s…

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History of Military Stalemates: Why We Have Proxy Wars

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History of Military Stalemates: Why We Have Proxy Wars In recent weeks, the U.S. Congress has been considering bills for funding military support in Israel, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific (code for Taiwan). What is the historical perspective behind funding wars that are not “directly” in a country or on its borders? Why do nations use proxy…

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History of Childermas: Feast of the Holy Innocents

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HISTORY OF CHILDERMAS: FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS Childermas, from an Old English word meaning the Mass of the Infants, is the festival in the church calendar begun in the fifth century. It is celebrated in the Western Church on December 28 and in the Eastern Church on December 29. It is also known as…

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History of Caesar Augustus: What Did He Have To Do With Christmas?

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HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS: CAESAR AUGUSTUS The first historical character mentioned in the Nativity story in St. Luke‘s narrative of the first Christmas was neither Jewish nor a shepherd nor a Magi. Instead, he was 1,500 miles away, the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, after whom the month of August is named (though he was born on…

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History of Santa Lucia: Luciadagen

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HISTORY OF LUCIADAGEN: ST. LUCY’S DAY In Sweden, December 13 is “Luciadagen,” St. Lucia’s Day, or St. Lucy’s Day in English. It is the beginning of their holiday season. The Lutheran Danes and Norwegians also celebrate this day.   History St. Lucia was a young woman who lived in first-century Rome. She was a Christian…

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History of Chanukah: The Festival of Lights

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HISTORY OF CHANUKAH Today, at sundown, December 7th begins Chanukah. It is more commonly spelled Hanukkah; both are a transliteration of the Hebrew word חֲנֻכָּה‎ , meaning “dedication.” This Jewish holiday traces its roots back more than 2,000 years.   Events Leading Up to Chanukah At that time, the Jewish people were living under the…

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History of Advent: Why We Celebrate Christmas on December 25

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THE HISTORY OF ADVENT: WHY WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON DECEMBER 25 Here begins our series of articles on the History of Christmas. The traditional season of Advent, leading up to Christmas, begins today. It is celebrated in the church calendar as one of the most festive seasons of the year.   Meaning of Advent “Advent”…

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History of Sukkot: Festival of Booths

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HISTORY OF SUKKOT: FESTIVAL OF BOOTHS Beginning at sunset on September 29 and ending at nightfall on October 6 is the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Festival of Booths or Festival of Tabernacles. The Old Testament book of Leviticus discusses the Exodus from slavery in Egypt of the Children of Israel. They were to commemorate it by…

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