ISSUE 22: V

TOPICS:

Venus

Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty, she is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite .In Roman mythology, she was the ancestor of the Roman people through her son Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy.

In early Rome, Venus had no worship, as scholars can’t find her name mentioned

anywhere in old records.The point was further confirmed, with the absence of any

festival in her honor in the earliest of Roman calendars; also by her lack of Flamen

(a special Priest). However Venus had at least two temples with the Latins  (an Italic

tribe which included some of Rome’s earliest inhabitants) where they held festivals for her.

One of Venus’ first Roman temples was established on August 19th.August 19th is no ordinary day in Ancient Roman culture, this is the Vinalia Rustica; the second of the  biannual wine festivals that was largely celebrated.But Vinalia Rustica wasn’t only the celebration of wine ( which was incredibly important to the Romans, as it as it acted as medicine, tonic and a popular drink-at its peak of popularity, it is estimated that Rome consumed around 180 million litres of wine annually!) but it is also the celebration of Jupiter’s benevolence to the Roman state. Mythology dates the foundation of the festival to the time Aeneas, the Trojan hero,  attempted to secure victory over the Etruscant tyrant Mezentius, by pledging all the from the next vintage (the year all wine is produced) to the god Jupiter, if he could favour Aeneas victory.

After the establishment of her temple on Jupiter’s festival, they became associated as father and daughter, like their Greek equivalents Zeus and Aphrodite. Therefore she as also the daughter of Dione(a titaness) ;the wife of Vulcan      (god of fire); and the mother of cupid( god of desire and love).

In both myths and legends, she was famous for her romantic intrigues and affairs with both gods and mortals.Venus had two main divine lovers: Vulcan ,her husband ; and Mars ( the Roman equivalent to the Greek Ares- god of war). One famous myth between the three, is when Vulcan traps Venus and Mars with a net when they’re caught.Venus became associated with both the positive and “negative” sides of femininity.

As Venus was a native Italian deity, she had no myths of her own, therefore she took over those of Aphrodite - the most noteworthy result of this development being the planet Venus. The planet was first the star of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar and so the goddess of Aphrodite - which was then taken over by Venus.
In 215 BCE, a temple was dedicated to Venus Erycina( a famous cult deity that was a cross between Aphrodite and Venus) and a second one was established in 181 BCE.And many Romans started worshiping Venus-Aphrodite

The importance of the worship of Venus-Aphrodite increased by the gens Iulia( the clan of Julius Caesar). These clan members claimed descent from Iulus- the son of Aeneas so also the grandson of Venus-Aphrodite ;and so the Iulii had divine “origin”. Others than the Iulii sought to connect themselves with deities to gain popularity, like Gnaeus Pompeius- the triumvir( one of three of a political regime) . When he dedicated a temple to Venus as “Victrix” (“Bringer of joy”) in 55 BCE. Julius Caesar also built a temple for Venus, as Venus Genetrix (“”Begetting Mother”). Venus got a festival, on the 1st of April- where here followers would drape her statues in flowers,washed her statue and promised to fulfill the moral obligations of Roman husbands and wives.This period was her peak in popularity, and after the Emperor Nero’s death in 68 BCE  her worship began to decline.

Although Venus isn’t largely worshipped any longer, she is still remembered for her influence on Roman society.
 

By: Sophie Lea

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Vesalius

 

Background:
Andreas Vesalius was born in Belgium where he studied at the University of Paris

under the influence of Galenic ideas. He went on to become the Professor of Surgery

at the University of Padua, Italy. This allowed him to perform dissections on human

bodies and challenge some of Galen’s ideas. 

What he did:
After many thorough dissections on the human body, Vesalius began to identify mistakes in Galen’s work most likely because Galen had performed his dissections on animals, not humans. Vesalius proved multiple theories of Galen were wrong such as: that the jaw is not made up of two bones and that there are no holes in the septum of the heart. As a professor, Vesalius’ ideas were preached through his popular lectures where he encouraged the performance of human dissection and learning by experimentation and observation. Vesalius further went on to publish his findings in his book ‘On the Fabric of the Human Body’ in 1543 which contained detailed illustrations of human anatomy. The invention of the Renaissance printing press allowed his findings to be spread quickly, effectively and vastly across Europe. At first, people despised Vesalius for criticising Galen and he was even made to resign from his job in Italy however he soon rose back up when eventually becoming the personal doctor to the Emperor Charles V in Spain.

Impact:
Vesalius’ work was significant for a multitude of reasons the most important being the fact that it disproved Galen. If nobody had taken this step to challenge the ideas of Galen, it is likely that medical progress would have slowed down significantly and we would still be living under false pretences today. Additionally, Vesalius encourages people to look for themselves instead of believing others - providing evidence based theories through experimentation, observation and communication. Through dissections and his book, Vesalius shared new knowledge with the world and although his work did not provide any treatments or cures, it was the basis for better understanding of treatment in the future. His work also inspired other individuals, such as Pare, who went on to make ground-breaking discoveries and improve the future of medicine.
 

By: Deepa Patel

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Volksgemeinschaft

 

What was Volksgemeinschaft?
Volksgemeinschaft was the Nazi idea of a ‘perfect’ society, the Volk, that consisted only of whom they deemed to be the most ‘superior’ in Germany. It linked into the other Nazi concept of the ‘Aryan race’, a race of genetically ‘perfect’ individuals, most commonly seen as having white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes with a ‘traditional’ German family in tow. 
On the right: a Nazi poster, depicting the ‘ideal’ German family. Behind them is an

eagle, a symbol of power utilised by the Nazis, protecting the family: it shows

the ideological divide in Germany, with only a certain few ‘protected’ by the

government.

The Volk:
The Volk structure for society was a twisted version of an idea proposed by

Charles Darwin many years prior, to explain the territorial behaviour of animals: the

mixture of different strengths, weaknesses, genders and ages would all combat each

other to see who emerged victorious by the end. Traditionally known as the ‘survival of the

fittest’, this concept was taken by the Nazis to integrate into their overall plan to ‘cleanse’

Germany of those who were seen as ‘weaker’ or ‘less valuable’ to the dictatorial

government. In this case, the Nazis wanted the ‘Master Race’ of the German people (themselves included, of course) to survive and thrive, with the rest seen as interchangeable or disposable, simply. Exploiting and publicly loathing those who were now thrown to the bottom of the pile, the Nazis began to construct their believed ‘solution’ to the ‘impure’ state of the German population.

Exclusion of other ideologies:
In addition to the Nazis’ hatred of minorities, the other, opposing ideologies to their volksgemeinschaft were also ‘dealt with’. Communists and the other left-wing parties were shown to be weaker or have less leadership skills than the fascist ideas spread by the Nazis, with the party encouraging people to publicly show their disdain for them. Also, Hitler directly arrested and imprisoned leaders or prominent figures connected to democratic or left-wing parties or views, cementing his grip over the ‘thinking’ state of Germany. Finally, he also promoted the idea of ‘ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer’ (‘one people, one empire, one leader’), appealing to those who preferred Kaiser Wilhelm II’s more autocratic style of leadership.


 

By: Beau Waddell

Victorian Era

 

The Victorian Era took place between 1837 and 1901 and the country was reigned by Queen Victoria. Britain saw industrialization grow rapidly with more factories being built and more people moving to the cities. This was the world’s first industrial revolution. 

 

Queen Victoria

 

Queen Victoria ascended the throne at the age of 18 following her uncle, William IV’s death. She is the second longest reigning monarch. Victoria served as Queen during Britain’s greatest era. They had the world’s biggest Empire and one quarter of the world's population served allegiance to this queen. She had nine children and was married to Prince Albert for twenty one years.

 

Here is a brief timeline of events that took place during the Victorian era:

 

August 1, 1834: The British Empire abolished slavery and more than 800,000 slaves in the British Carribean are freed. 

 

June 20, 1837: Queen Victoria becomes Queen of England at just 18 years old.

 

May 8, 1838: There was a protest movement that called for a more democratic system in parliament. These things were introduced: the right to vote for men age 21 and older; no property qualification to run for Parliament; annual elections; equal representation; payment for members of Parliament; and vote by secret ballot. 

 

September 17, 1838: The first modern railway opens running from London to Birmingham.

 

May 1, 1840: The first stamp was sold for one penny in Britain. More than 70 million letters were sent the next year - triple the previous year.

 

February 10. 1840: Victoria marries Prince Albert (her first cousin).

 

December 19, 1843: Charles Dickens publishes A Christmas Carol.

 

December 24, 1853: It becomes mandatory for children to be vaccinated against smallpox. If parents failed to do so then they were fined or imprisoned.

 

March 28, 1854: France and Britain declare war on Russia which starts the Crimean war.

 

December 9, 1868: Liberal William Gladstone defeats Conservative Benjamin Disraeli to become prime minister, a position he held for four terms.

 

August - November 1888: Jack the Ripper murders and mutilates five female prostitutes in London.


January 22, 1901: Queen Victoria dies on the Isle of Wight at 81 years old.

By: Benji Winslettl