Giorgio Vasari; The Person Accredited with Creating the Term “Renaissance”

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The person who is accredited with creating the term “renaissance” is Giorgio Vasari. Vasari published a book entitled “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori” which means “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” in Italian. The book is often shortened in its title and called “The Lives of Artists”. This book has over the centuries become the most influential art book of all time. Within the preface of the book, Vasari uses the term “rinascita” which means “rebirth” in Italian, to describe what was going on around him. Vasari stated that under the ancient Greeks and ancient Roman’s, art and civilization reached it’s highest levels of perfection, and that when the barbarians which are modern day Germans, arrived in Italy, the arts as a whole fell to ruins. The Renaissance is considered to have occurred between 1400 – 1600, with the beginning and end dates being slightly vague on each end

The Ancient Greek Invention of the “Soulmate”

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The notion of a soulmate has its origins in Ancient Greece. Over 2000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plato postulated that all human beings should be considered perfect, and that each person is tragically split in two at birth, resulting in a species destined to spend the rest of their lives searching for another person who can complete their missing half

The Ancient Battle of Troy 

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The battle of Troy is suspected to have occurred in modern day Turkey as Troy is considered is by archeologists and scholars to have been a real citadel, and not just an epic iliad of the ancient Greek poet Homer. The Trojan economy was based upon trade, specifically horses and horse breeding which allowed for wealth and military prowess within the walls of Troy, as horses were rarely seen elsewhere in the ancient world. Troy had a large ditch cut around the entire city, similar to a moat but without water. Large fences were placed behind this trench and enormous city walls were erected with only 3 entry points for the entire stronghold. Food stockpiles allowed the Trojans to hold out for longer periods than what would typically have been possible and amphorae were buried all over the Troy, up to the neck of the container, with a rock placed on top to seal it off. The Trojans, as was custom with most ancient people, would not bury their dead within the perimeter of the city unless under significant stress. Militarily speaking, in order to seize a target by assault, a soldier ratio of 3:1 is required but the Greeks did not have this advantage because the Trojan’s and Greek’s were matched evenly in terms of troops. This lack of superiority on either side permitted the Trojan war to last 9 years. The Trojans built their outer walls on a 20 degree slant to protect themselves from siege towers which were essentially mobile ladders with platforms to shoot down from. Troy’s exterior stone walls were 6 meters high with an additional height of 4 meters being added by mud-brick structures which crowned the walls. The Trojan Horse which invaded Troy was most likely was 13′ tall and less than 7′ wide, holding 30 – 40 men. Once Troy was successfully invaded, it was sacked, it’s citizens were pillaged and slaughtered, and its royal family raped and murdered. Even children were not immune to the scourge of this bloody battle as Homer’s iliad speaks of children being thrown to their death from great heights

The Ancient Greek Ruler Draco and the Ancient Greek Reformer Solon 

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Draconian laws which are associated with being especially unfair and cruel stem from the tyrant Draco who commissioned them in 621 B.C.. Draco forced farmers who couldn’t pay their debts into slavery and simple crimes like stealing a cabbage were punishable by death. The wise reformer Solon saved Athens by freeing all indebted slaves, eliminating the death penalty for all but extreme cases, and wrestling the political power out of the hands of noble bloodlines by establishing a council of 400 citizens to run the city, a bold step during its day, to untether governance from inheritance

The Ancient Greek Philosopher Thales 

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The Ancient Greek philosopher Thales, considered the world’s first philosopher by Aristotle, used geometry to calculate the distance of ships from the shoreline, the height of the Great Pyramids of Egypt, was the first person to predict a solar eclipse, and posited a cause for earthquakes. Thales perceived that the earth floated upon water like a giant raft which of course was wrong, but his scientific inquiry into the reasons as to why things occur rather than attributing it to the god’s was the first glimmering scintillation of a revolutionary way of thinking. Thales inspired more great minds like Pythagoras who developed the concept that numbers and mathematics could explain the universe, and Hippocrates who developed an ethical code for practicing medicine