My Top 5 Articles of 2023

top 5 2023

My Top 5 Articles of 2023

These are the Top 5 articles from my blog this year based on the number of reader views at


I publish my articles not only on my blog, my email newsletter, Medium, and Substack


Some of my readers find syndicate links to my articles on Facebook, Twitter/X, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Mastodon, Tumblr, Bluesky, Threads, and Reddit.


1. History of Christmas: Nativity Season – Snow in Bethlehem?

nativityCould Jesus have been born during the year’s close, perhaps even with snow on the ground? This article examines the weather in Bethlehem and the location of year-round flocks.

It links to an article on the discussion of the time of the Nativity.


2. History of the Christmas Star: Natural or Supernatural?

christmas star

Was the Star of Bethlehem a natural occurrence or supernatural? This article examines some historical rationale from astronomy, ancient astrology, and a recent investigation into the writings of Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus with a correlation of new astronomy software.


3. History of Telemachus: Ending the Roman Gladiatorial Games


This is the oft-told story of the monk who caused the Roman gladiatorial games to be ended upon his martyrdom on January 1, A.D. 404.

I say oft-told because stories have been told about him since the 8th and 9th centuries. It’s in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Alfred Lord Tennyson recounted it during Victorian times, and Ronald Reagan used it at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1984. The Feast of St. Telemachus is celebrated on New Year’s Day.


4. Five Christmas Myths, Not Found in the Nativity Story

5 christmas mythsThis popular article discusses how many of our traditions and assumptions about how we celebrate Christmas are not actually found in the Nativity narratives of the Bible.

Was Jesus born in a stable? Were there farm animals at Jesus’ birth? Were there Three Kings of the Orient present? Did the angels sing to the shepherds? This last question features a graphic that has been shared on Facebook over 30,000 times.


5. History of Santa Claus: Saint or Elf?

santa coke

This article features the ancient history of Saint Nicholas and how his legends have morphed into a variety of traditions around the world. See how his depiction in European literature differs from that in America, and how he has come to be displayed as a red-suited character.


Please drop by and read ’em all.


See also:


Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian

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About billpetro

Bill Petro writes articles on history, technology, pop culture, and travel. He has been a technology sales enablement executive with extensive experience in Cloud Computing, Automation, Data Center, Information Storage, Big Data/Analytics, Mobile, and Social technologies.

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