St. Helena © Clipart.com
It is possible that Helena was born Christian, but it is thought that she converted. Details about her early life and even her death are scanty. Helena (Flavia Iulia Helena) was born in about 250 and died when she was about 80, according to Eusebius, sometimes called the father of Church history. Helena is thought to have come from Drepanum, in the Roman province of Bithynia [see map] because of the honor her son paid to the area.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Helena's saint's day is May 21. In the Roman Catholic Church, it's August 18.
Read more about St. Helena.
Among other books, Finley wrote The World of Odysseus, The Ancient Economy, Politics in the Ancient World, and Land, Debt, and the Man of Property in Classical Athens.
Also on this day in history, in 1957, classical scholar Gilbert Murray (b. January 2, 1866) died.
In ancient history, this may have been the day the first Council of Nicaea started in 325 A.D. See: The Arian Controversy and the Council of Nicaea.
© Copyright the Trustees of the British Museum, produced by Natalia Bauer for the Portable Antiquities
He wouldn't last long on the throne, since he was assassinated at 17/18, but on this day in A.D. 218, the flamboyant Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, whom we call Elagabulus, became emperor of Rome. One of the reasons Elagabalus was so unpopular was that he tried to make his Syrian god the dominant one of the Roman Empire, but there are other, more colorful charges against him. Read more about Elagabalus.
Vestal Virgins worked on the mola salsa, the Romans' sacred salted cake. In her online article on mola salsa, author Caroline Tully cites Robin Lorsch Wildfang's book on Vestal Virgins to say that this was one of the days on which the Vestal Virgins gathered unripe spelt to use in the mola salsa. The grain would then Read More...
In A.D. 330, Constantine the Great inaugurated his new capital city, the former Byzantium, which had started as a Greek colony in the 7th century B.C. Later to be known as Constantinople and later still, Istanbul, at the time when Byzantium became the New Rome, Christianity had only recently been legalized, but Constantine built Christian structures in his new capital city.
Constantinople remained the capital of the Byzantine Empire until 1453 when it became part of the Ottoman Empire. It was strategically located on the European side of the Bosporus, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.
In ancient Rome, Romans appeased the spirits of the dead with beans. This was part of the Lemuria or Lemuralia, which was held on May 9, 11, and 13. Ovid describes the event in Book V of the Fasti. Also, from May 7-14, the Vestal Virgins prepared sacred cakes (mola salsa) for the Vestalia, held in June.
In modern history, Sir James Frazer died on this day in 1941.
Medea killing one of her sons. Side A from a Campanian (Capouan) red-figure neck-amphora, c. 330 B.C. Ixion Painter. From Cumae. Louvre. H. 48.50 cm; D. 18.20 cm
PD Courtesy Bibi Saint-Pol.
Motherhood was an essential part of the life of a woman in ancient times. It was in large part what little girls were brought up to become. Therefore, most women we know about from antiquity, mythological or real, are listed not only in terms of their husbands and fathers, but their children. In Greek myth, it was often in connection with their children that women got into trouble with the gods. Here's my list of the top 10 mythological mothers: Top 10 Mythological Greek Mothers. Should you have suggestions to add, please post them in the comments.
by Anicet-Charles-Gabriel Lemonnier. Date: 1772; Medium: Oil on paper; Dimensions:Height: 141 cm (55.5 in). Width: 112 cm (44.1 in).
PD Courtesy of Wikipedia
Hint: This year, it's a timely Guess Who/What.
PD Courtesy of Wikipedia