Tag Archives: Italy

1559: Not Man, Not Woman, Not Androgyne

This mysterious Latin inscription appears to be an epitaph composed in the 16th century by someone named or calling himself Lucio Agatho Priscius; the deceased was named Aelia Laelia Crispis. DM Aelia Laelia Crispis Nec vir nec mulier nec androgyna … Continue reading

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1900: Landscape

Giuseppe Pelizza da Volpedo: Landscape (1900)

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1673: Life Being So Short and Books So Plentiful

In 1673, Antonio Magliabechi became librarian to Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was an eruidite scholar, fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and—according to his contemporary and biographer Giacinto Gimma—versed in physics, mathematics, rhetoric, grammar, history, … Continue reading

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1828: Sala Dante

Joseph Anton Koch’s frescos of Dante’s Inferno (1825-28) decorate the Sala Dante in the Casino Massimo, a Roman Villa. Several scenes from the poem are illustrated here, including Dante and Virgil’s ride on the monster Geryon (upper right) and Count … Continue reading

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1665: Pyrophylaciorum

Systema Ideale Pyrophylaciorum Suberraneorum, quorum montes Vulcanii, veluti spiracula quaedam existant, an illustration from Athanasius Kircher’s 1665 Mundus Subterranous.

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1720: Women Working

Giacomo Ceruti: Women Working on Pillow Lace (c. 1720)

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1964: Oh, My Mangled Head!

In his book Alice in Many Tongues (1964), Warren Weaver spends the last chapter using a curious method to evaluate various translations of Alice in Wonderland. He takes the same passage from each translation—a portion of the Mad Tea-Party—and asks … Continue reading

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1969: Icarus Complex

Stanislao Lepri: The Icarus Complex (1969)

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1529: Fortifications

In 1527, a republican government was established in the city-state of Florence after residents ousted the ruling Medici family. The pope at the time, Clement VII, was himself a Medici—and he took affront at the rebellion and resolved to capture … Continue reading

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340 AD: Patron Saint of Beekeepers

According to tradition, a swarm of bees settled on the face of the infant St. Ambrose, leaving a drop of honey and thus foretelling the saint’s eloquence—his honeyed tongue. He is the patron saint of bees and beekeepers. A certain … Continue reading

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