Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Women and the Buddha

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Women and the Buddha
The Maya Devi Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Lumbini. There is the "sacred tree", where Buddha's mother, Queen Maya Devi, then supported the birth of her son. The mother of Buddha, Maya Devi died seven days after giving birth. She had had a pregnancy ten lunar months, during which not only did not experience discomfort of any kind, but enjoyed great comfort and lightness. During that period, only he had to lay hands on the sick to heal them. The conception of the Buddha, he fell through a dream or vision: An  elephant white with six tusks and red head, coming into her belly gently on the right flank.

There are some who attributed his early death at a puerperal fever and there who estimates that after giving birth to Buddha, had lost sense its existence, it could never aspire to nobler than that mission. The prince spent his first seven years in charge of his maternal aunt and her father 's second wife, Mahaprajapati, known as "The Great Wisdom". At sixteen he married Princess Yashodama, his cousin, with whom he had a son. He left when he decided to follow both religious life and years later, when he returned to visit, Yashodama showed his annoyance at first instance and then decided to follow his example and become a nun.

Buddha did not accept in principle the claims of Yashodama. Gautama recommended not to look at women and, if there was no other choice, look at them as mothers, daughters or sisters in order to eliminate one of the most powerful sources of desire. However, as the separations of caste discrimination of women he clashed with his teachings. According to these, every human being regardless of karma drag -born men or women, warriors or untouchables, handsome or ugly, healthy or misshapen under previous- accumulated in our lives karma, carries the seed of liberation.

It took a few years to accept that his aunt and his wife Yashodoma Mahaprajapati from entering the Order, resistance can be interpreted as the result of his own doubts and convictions, or by cultural milieu in which he lived, radically hostile to such equivalence. The fact is that it allowed, and Buddhism is the only major religion that accepts equality of the sexes; although, for obvious reasons, do not mix in community life.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Nero's death

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The Nero's death
The Roman emperor Nero was forced to commit suicide on June 9 year 68. A crazy tyrant, extravagant, cruel, scourge of Christians, arsonist, matricide and loved by the people and has been described Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, head of the  Roman Empire. Between 54 and 68 of our era few epithets seem be more informed than others. Thus, for example, of murderer of his own mother, Agrippina according to some, because it conspired against him; according to others, in order to marry her lover, Popea and cold and cruel tyrant: his reign was characterized by systematic executions of all who stood in his path, including his British stepbrother and his former tutor, the philosopher Seneca.

Nephew also controversial Caligula, Nero came to the throne after the death of another of his uncles, the emperor Claudius, who had adopted him and named successor to the detriment of his son, Britannicus. It thus became the last ruler of the dynasty Julio- Claudia (descendant of Julius Caesar ) initiated by Augustus. not all were shadows in his reign historians today emphasize that defeated the Parthian Empire, quelled the revolt of the Britons and improved relations with Greece. It also promoted diplomacy, trade, sport and culture, especially the theater he build many and music. He himself was an amateur musician: he sang and played the lyre, as seen in many films.

What nowadays is seriously in doubt is that it was he who ordered the famous  fire of Rome July 64 , and contemplate the city in flames while his favorite pastime she gave herself: taƱer his instrument playing the epic Iliupersis (this it was an evil historian Suetonius, who hated him). The devastating fire was probably accidental and Nero, on hearing of it, quickly traveled to Rome from his hometown, Anzio, where he was to handle the disaster. According to Tacitus, used his own treasure to provide material assistance, opened the doors of his palace to people who had lost their home and opened a fund to pay them food.

Yes it is true, however, that the Emperor accused the fire to Christians as scapegoats to ward off rumors that it to him, and that these repressed and persecuted viciously and extreme hardness. This again won the favor of the people, who adored him another historically true; not the governors, the Senate and the army, which after many conspiracies and tensions gave a coup, placed Galba on the throne and declared "public enemy" Nero. He fled Rome and himself surrounded by soldiers, he asked his secretary Epaphroditus stabbed him. It happened on June 9, AD 68, and according to another historian of the period, Dion Cassius, his last words were: "What an artist dies with me!".

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Octavio Augusto, creator of the Roman Empire

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Octavio Augusto, creator of the Roman Empire
The heir of Julius Caesar knew how to play his cards well: he stood with all the power, but concealed his absolutism in the guise of representing the people. The great-nephew of Julius Caesar, Gaius Octavius ​​Turino was adopted by him as his son and heir. Then it was renamed Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian. With good Hellenized and endowed with great political skill education, he knew attract the friends and collaborators of Caesar to his cause, including Marco Antonio, right hand of the murdered dictator and who sealed a personal alliance (marrying Antonio with her ​​sister Octavia) and political, who eventually forged in the so - called "second triumvirate" with Marcus Lepidus, once defeated the murderers of Caesar. Since 36, Octavio was the owner of politics in the western part of the empire, especially since Marco Antonio was installed in the East, delivered to his affair with Cleopatra. This situation was exploited by Octavio to prepare the final confrontation, which occurred in 31 with the naval battle of Actium, and the support of most of the Roman army.

In 27, after the formal devolution of power to the Senate, he was awarded the title of Augustus , name that would retain until his death. He was gradually accumulating various positions with cloaking their real power, based on the imperium or supreme command of the Roman legions. Thus, besides Augustus, would be on imperator (generalissimo), prince, tribune of the plebs, consul several times, father of his country and Pontifex Maximus, qualifications awarded by a  Senate docile.

Glory of Rome
After consolidating the borders of the Empire with various expeditions, pacified Roman territory after nearly a century of civil wars and reorganized the provincial divisions, in addition to creating the administrative apparatus that would last more than three centuries. It also launched an extensive program of monumental buildings (hence the phrase, "I inherited a Rome brick and left another marble") and recovery of traditional virtues, from the back to the old ways, supporting the Latin classic (besides the Greek culture, which was well acquainted) and the creation of an artistic language clear sense of political propaganda.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The king of the deck

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The king of the deck
Alexander is depicted as the king of clubs in the French deck. In the late sixteenth century with the mass production of cards, the French printers elected four iconic characters in history and added their names to letters of kings. Alexander the Great was one of the selected to illustrate the deck faces. Considered one of the best military of all history, he was chosen to appear in the letter of the king of clubs.

For the king of spades, the king was chosen Jewish David, it is believed that the king was more just that humanity might have. Similarly, they have much to do swords in justice and devotion to God. The letter from the king of hearts belongs to Charlemagne, as it is recognized that was one of the rulers with the noblest heart; besides having great intelligence, he struggled to keep his people safe.

The representation of the king of diamonds corresponds to the Roman Julius Caesar. He was awarded this letter because of the greed and avarice attributed to this ruler of the Roman Empire. The curious uniqueness of the figures of the French deck is that they have proper names, although they have not always been the same, since they have varied according to the taste of society and the vagaries of history. For example, during the French Revolution, the kings became citizens, represented by classic characters: Solon, Plato, Cato and Brutus.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The curious manchego village of the Bronze Age

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The curious manchego village of the Bronze Age
Motilla del Azuer is a unique archaeological site: has the oldest hydraulic structure of the Iberian Peninsula. Undoubtedly, Motilla of Azuer is the most important site of the Bronze Age in Castilla La Mancha (2200-1300 BC). A bird 's eye view looks like a spiky circular maze, and scientific view, due to a unique typology and little unless unusual in prehistoric times: the motillas, an artificial lift in the middle of a plain surrounding space. In the trapezoidal courtyard is the waterhole.

The fortified town of La Motilla del Azuer, with stone walls over eight meters high and a circular tower with a maze in the center, has the oldest discovery well so far in our territory. Water, then as now, rarely falling from the sky in the area and the men of the Bronze Age had to dig 14 meters to find.

The inhabitants of the area at the time suffered a prolonged drought 4,000 years ago that made ​​surface waters practically disappeared from the rivers and streams. This led them to build in this region a network of wells to obtain the stored water in the shallow aquifers. The archaeological work done in the  field delimiting two different spaces in this prehistoric construction. On the one hand, inside the fortified enclosure concentric walls around the tower were protected, were managing and controlling the economic activities of the town.

Outside of that core walls homes were located, different cabins, homes and waste pits. Vestiges of burials were also found in the vicinity of the Motilla that matches the area of ​​the village. Which means that while the wells barrows, aimed at the stars monuments were built, in which complex rituals were performed, offerings deposited or buried the dead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Roman villa for billionaires

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A Roman villa for billionaires
The discovery of a mansion for magnates just outside the center of Rome was surprising because of the bathing complex was found inside. The site of the Villa delle Vignacce, next to the Ciampino airport south of Rome, was first explored in 1780 by a group of archaeologists who found statues that today can be seen in the Vatican museum. According to the American archaeologist who directed the excavations at present, the villa could have belonged to Quintus Servilius Pudens, a billionaire friend of Emperor Hadrian.

In the excavation archaeological  they have proved not only foreseeable walls, floors and doorways of the town of multiple plants but also the surprising finding of the luxurious bathrooms. Ivory soil 'caldarium' of the town, similar to the sauna room was heated by hot air introduced between the walls from a furnace fed by slaves of the owner of the land, it is impressive.

The room also provided a hot tub, although the bronze cauldron used to keep water bath at an elevated temperature was removed long ago by looters. They have also appeared ivory fragments left after the valuable stone is apparent from the walls when the town fell into disuse.

The last time it was used was probably in the sixth century, it converted into a fortress by the Goths who sacked Rome. Near the 'caldarium' are common latrines, where a dozen guests could make their physiological needs while enjoying company and conversation.