It means that a person feels the importance of sticking to certain values, beliefs and actions – regardless of outer consequences.
For example, if we believe it is wrong to discriminate on the grounds of religious faith, a man of principle will be willing to oppose this discrimination even if it costs his job.
Men and women of Principle
Socrates (469 BC–399 BC) – Greek philosopher. During a time of war, Socrates was critical of his own Athenian government. Socrates said in matters of war and peace principles of justice should trump the view of the majority. For his criticisms and unorthodox views, Socrates was condemned to death – something he willingly undertook.
William Tyndale (1494 – 1536) – Tyndale believed that everyone should be able to read the Bible in their native tongue. At the time, that was strictly prohibited, but clandestinely, Tyndale translated and printed the Bible in English. Tyndale was burnt at the stake for his ‘heresy’, but soon after English Bibles became widely distributed.
Thomas Paine(1737-1809) English-American writer and political activist. He was a free thinker – criticising many political and religious orthodoxies of the day. He narrowly avoided execution in Paris, after falling foul of Robespierre. He fled to America, though even in America he became shunned by society for advocating non-Christian ideas. Read On…
Carl Lewis (1961 – ) USA, Athletics. Nine-time Olympic gold medallist, Carl Lewis won gold over three Olympics and was the great star of 1980s track and field. Lewis won gold in the 100m, 100m relay and long jump.
Jesse Owens (1913-1980) USA, Athletics. Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was the star of the Berlin Olympics, much to the chagrin of Hitler. Despite suffering racial discrimination in his own country, he remained a great ambassador for the sport.
Usain Bolt (1986 –) Jamaica, Athletics. Usain Bolt won triple Olympic gold at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Bolt won gold in the events 100m, 200m and 100m relay gold. He set an amazing world record time of 9.58 for the 100m, and 19.19 for the 200m. By 2016, he had also won 11 world championship golds.
Al Oerter (1936 – 2007) USA, Athletics. Four time Olympic champion in the discus throw. Winning Olympic gold from 1956 to 1968. Oerter was the first to break 200 feet for the discus.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962-) USA, Athletics. One of the most successful female track and field athletes. Kersee won Olympic medals in four Olympics between 1984 and 1996. Her best year was 1988, where she won Olympic gold in Heptathlon and Long Jump. In 1992, she returned to win gold in the heptathlon. In 1996, she managed bronze in the long jump.
Edwin Moses (1955 – ) USA, Athletics. Moses was a champion 400m hurdler. He won Olympic gold in 1976 and 1984. He set the world record four times in his chosen event. Moses was also instrumental in changing rules on allowing Olympic athletes funding and also promoting drug testing.
Sergei Bubka (1963 –) Soviet Union/Ukraine, Athletics. Bubka broke the world record for the pole vault on 35 occasions. His outdoor record was increased from 5.85m in 1984 to 6.14m in 1994. Olympic gold medallist 1988.
Jim Thorpe (1888 – 1953) USA, Athletics, American Football, Baseball and Basketball. One of the greatest all-round sportsmen, Thorpe won Olympic gold in the decathlon and pentathlon (1912). He also had a successful career in the NFL.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911-1956) USA, Athletics, Golf. Ground-breaking female athlete who achieved success in basketball, track and field, and golf. At the 1932 Olympics, she won gold in the 80m hurdles, javelin and achieved silver in the high jump.
Bob Beamon (1946 –) USA, Athletics. Olympic gold in Long jump set in 1968, Mexico. Famous for his record breaking jump of 1968 – 8.90m – which broke the existing record by 55cm and stood for 22 years.
Shelley Ann Fraser Pryce (1986 – ) Jamaica, Athletics. Won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012 in 100m. Also 7 times world champion with golds in 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
Jessica Ennis (1986 – ) Great Britain, Heptathlon. Olympic gold in heptathlon 2012. Ennis missed the 2008 Olympics due to injury. For the 2012 Olympics, she was featured as the ‘face’ of the games. Despite the pressure of the home games, she was a convincing Olympic champion in the Heptathlon event.
Fanny Blankers-Koen (1918-2004) Netherlands, Athletics. In the 1948 London Olympics she won four gold medals at 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m relay. Her performances earned her the nickname ‘The flying housewife’ and helped to change perceptions of female athletics. She won five European Championship gold medals.
Hicham El Guerrouj (1972 – ) Morocco, Athletics. Double Olympic gold medallist in 2004 in 1500m and 5000m. Set World Record for mile at 3.43.13 and 1500m of 3.26.00.
David Rudisha (1988 -) Kenya, middle distance running. Rudisha provided one of the greatest performances in the 2012 London Olympics, winning the 800m in a new world record – 1.40.91. He is also double world champion at the 800m, his favourite event.
Kenenisa Bekele (1982 – ) Ethiopia, Athletics. Triple Olympic gold medallist at 5000m and 1000m. Set new World Record for 5000 metres: 12:37.35. 10,000 metres: 26:17.53.
Paavo Nurmi (1897 – 1973) Finland, Athletics. Dominated middle distance running in 1920s, winning nine Olympic gold medals and setting 22 new world records from 1500m to 20km.
Haile Gebreselassie (1973 – ) Ethiopia, Athletics. Two-time winner of the Olympic gold in 10000m. Held world record for marathon for 3 years with 2.03.59.
Cathy Freeman (1973 – ) Australia, Athletics. Freeman was the first Aboriginal athlete to win Commonwealth Games. She won Olympic gold in 2000, when Sydney hosted the games.
Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. Famous Olympic Track and Field, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 28th July, 2016.
Female athletes – Over 50 famous female athletes who have made contributions to tennis, football, cycling, athletics, gymnastics, golf and swimming.
Muhammad Ali was a truly great individual. All around the world people have identified with the positive energy, courage, dynamism and principles of Ali.
Ali was an Olympic and world champion boxer, but he would also display courage in many fields of life, not just the boxing ring. During the Vietnam war he was a conscientious objector, seeing the war as unjust. He endured much hate and scorn for his refusal to fight in that war, but Ali was a fighter for social justice and fairness at home. His position on the war was very unpopular at the time, but in retrospect many see it as a principled stand.
Ali was no angel and his response to the racial injustices of society was often strong, especially in his early years. But over the years his stance became more nuanced and understanding. He started out as an activist for Muslims and African Americans, but by the end of his life, it would be fair to say that Ali stood for the rights of all humanity. As Ali himself said:
“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
Before boxing matches, Ali could express an unmatched self-confidence, a self-confidence that was well founded. But that is only one side of Ali; there is also the spiritual side, the humble side.
“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams — they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do — they all contain truths”
― Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times
“Truly great people in history never wanted to be great for themselves. All they wanted was the chance to do good for others and be close to God.”
― Muhammad Ali, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections of Life’s Journey
When struggling with Parkinson’s disease, Ali retained his wit and humility, seeing it as an opportunity to make a different kind of progress:
“Maybe my Parkinson’s is God’s way of reminding me what is important. It slowed me down and caused me to listen rather than talk. Actually, people pay more attention to me now because I don’t talk as much.”
“I always liked to chase the girls. Parkinson’s stops all that. Now I might have a chance to go to heaven.”
Asked how he would like to be remembered, Ali said:
“I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times. Who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him. And who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”
This is a list of the major periods in world history. It includes broad global eras, such as the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. It also includes modern eras, which have lasted only a few decades, such as the Gilded Age, Progressive Age and the Information Age.
Stone Age (50,000–3000 BCE) The Stone Age refers to the broad range of ‘pre-history’ which lasted from approx 30,000 BC to 6,000BC where the first metals started to be used. In the stone age, use of metals was scarce and the most common building materials and weapons were wood and stone. Much of this history is undocumented, though some archaeological evidence persists.
Bronze Age (3000–1300 BCE) The Bronze age refers to the broad period of history when cultures in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world made the first uses of bronze, from mining copper and tin. Bronze enabled more powerful tools and weapons. It was an age where the first writing systems became devised and used.
Iron Age (1200–230 BCE) The iron age was a period of economic development, where iron and steel enabled a greater use of metal tools which were stronger than previous Bronze Age items. The era led to developments in agricultural production and we see the first evidence of written manuscripts, which includes great religious texts such as the Indian Vedas, (Sanskrit), and the Hebrew Bible.
Ancient Egypt (3000–300 BCE) Ancient Egypt was a civilisation which inhabited the banks of the Nile. Egypt was successful in using technology to increase agricultural production, giving spare labour for other pursuits, such as cultural, religious and military. Egypt was ruled by powerful Pharaohs, though there began a slow decline after being invaded by foreign powers. By 30 BC Egypt fell under the rule of the Roman Empire.
Ancient India (7000 BCE or earlier to c. 500CE) Ancient India refers to a long period of history which includes the Vedic ages and the development of Indus and Aryan civilisation. Ancient India includes the period from the earliest Vedic sages and Vedas and the great Indian epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are said to have occurred. See: Famous Indians
Ancient Greece (8th Century BCE–0 CE) Ancient Greece is considered the birthplace of modern democracy and representative government. Ancient Greece also produced some of the earliest Western philosophy, with great thinkers such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Ancient Greece also was an important source of early Western literature, with epic poets such as Homer. Other contributions of Ancient Greece include modern sports (Olympics) and scientific innovations. See: Famous Greeks
Ancient Rome (8th Century BCE–476 CE) The Roman Empire was centred on the city of Rome and the Italian peninsula. Rome went through different phases, from classical Republic government to autocratic Emperors. At its peak, the power of Rome extended throughout the majority of Europe, laying many foundations of Western civilisations. Towards the end of the Roman Empire, it adopted Christianity as its official religion; this helped the religion to spread across Europe. See: Famous Italians
Middle Ages(Europe, 4CE–1500CE) Also known as the post-classical era. The Middle Ages stretches from the end of the Roman Empire and classical period and the Renaissance of the 15th Century. It includes the rise of Islam in the Middle East. The Middle Ages is often considered a period of relative cultural ‘darkness’, with severe wars (e.g. 100-year war, crusades), plagues, religious persecution and a relative lack of learning.
Islamic Golden Age(Middle East, 750CE–1300CE) This refers to a period in the Islamic World which saw a flourishing of science, mathematics and preservation of classical writings, such as Aristotle. The Islamic Golden Age saw the creation of centres of learning, science and culture, beginning with the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.
Age of Discovery(or Exploration)(Europe, 1400CE–1700CE) The Age of Discovery refers to a period in the late Middle Ages/Renaissance where foreign travel and discovery was an influential part of European societies. In the Age of Discovery, European powers discovered and settled in different continents, changing the fate of the Americas, Africa and Asia. It led to a global spread of Christianity and ideas of Western civilisation, it also marked the growth of the global slave trade. See: Famous explorers
The Protestant Reformation(Europe, 16th century) The Protestant Reformation was a Christian movement, which criticised the excesses of the Catholic Church and promoted a new branch of Protestant Christianity which emphasised the pre-eminence of the Bible over the priesthood and the church. The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther pinning 95 theses to the church door of Wittenburg, Saxony. The ideas of the Reformation were spread with the help of the newly developed printing press. See: People of the Protestant Reformation
The Enlightenment(1650s–1780s) The enlightenment is a period which saw the growth of intellectual reason, individualism and a challenge to existing religious and political structures. Enlightenment ideas had an influence on the American and French revolutions and also limited the power of religious authority. See: Famous People of The Enlightenment
Age of Revolution(1750–1917) The Age of Revolution is a period in which the Western world underwent several major revolutions, changing society from autocratic monarchies to more democratic republics. Major revolutions of this era, include the American and French revolution, European-political revolts of 1848, nationalist revolutions of Italy, Greece and Latin America. It also includes the Haitian revolution against slavery. See: Famous Revolutionaries
The Romantic Era(1790s–1850s) Romantic poets (Blake, Keats, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley) and Romantic artists, composers and writers. The Romantic era was partly a reaction against faith in reason alone. It was also a reaction to the industrial revolution, emphasising a faith in nature and man’s spiritual needs.
Industrial Revolution(1750s–1900) The industrial revolution is a phase of social development which saw the growth of mass industrial production and the shift from a largely agrarian economy to an industrial economy based on coal, steel, railways and specialisation of labour.
Age of Imperialism(c. 1700–1950s) The Age of Imperialism refers to the process of (mostly) European powers conquering and annexing other countries. Imperial powers ruled dominion countries directly. The most widely spread Empire was the British Empire, which at its peak covered 25% of the globe, in countries, such as India, the West Indies and parts of Australasia.
The First World War(1914–1918) The First World War was a devastating global war, mostly centred on Europe and the battlefields of France and Belgium. It featured troops from across the world and later involved the US. See: People of The First World War
Inter-war era(1918–1939) A period of peace in between the two world wars. It was characterised by economic boom and bust, and the growth of polarising ideologies, in particular, Fascism and Communism.
Roaring Twenties(1919–1929) The roaring twenties refers to the period of rapid economic expansion and rise in US living standards. It also saw an emergence of new music and a decline in strict morality. The ‘Roaring Twenties’ was associated particularly with the East coast of the US and major European cities, such as Paris and London.
Great Depression (1929–39) The 1930s were a period of global economic downturn. Major economies experienced mass unemployment and stark poverty. It also led to the rise of political extremism, e.g. Nazi Party in Germany.
The Cold War(1948–1990) The Cold War refers to the period of ideological conflict between the Communist East, and Western democracies. The cold war saw a period of rising tension, especially over the proliferation of nuclear weapons. There was no direct war between the US and the Soviet Union, but both sides gave support to ideologically similar regimes in minor conflicts around the world. See: People of The Cold War
Information Age (1971–present) The Information age refers to the new modern technologies which have shaped the modern world. These technologies include computers, the Internet and mobile phones. Key figures include business entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Periods of American history
American revolution(1765–1783) The American Revolution was the period of political upheaval in which the American colonies declared their independence from British rule.
American Civil War(1861–1865) The American civil war was the intense fighting between the Federal army, led by President Abraham Lincoln and the confederate armies of the South, who wished to break away from the union to defend slavery.
Reconstruction era(1865–1877) The period of rebuilding in the south after the civil war.
The Gilded Age (1870–1900) The Gilded Age refers to the last part of the US industrial revolution. The Gilded Age included rapid economic growth, but also refers to the immorality behind the accumulation of great wealth by a few leading industrialists, such as J.D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, who came to define the Gilded Age.
Progressive Era (1890–1920) The progressive era was a period of political activism which included causes such as votes for women, labour and trade unions movements and civil rights. It also included movements to regulate aspects of Capitalism and big business.
Civil rights movement (1950–1960) The civil rights movement is principally aimed at supporting rights of African Americans and ending segregation. The wider civil rights movement has spread over the whole of American history, but the 1950s and 60s saw some of the most intense activism. Further reading: Civil rights activists
Periods of British history
Elizabethan period(England, 1558–1603) A period in English history marked by the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. It saw Britain emerge as a major world power. It also saw the English Renaissance, with figures, such as Shakespeare and William Byrd.
Victorian age (1837–1901) The Victorian Age co-coincided with the later part of the Industrial Revolution. In Britain, it also saw the growing strength and extent of the British Empire. The Victorian Age is associated with a stricter type of morality.
Edwardian Age(1901–1914) A period of growth in science, technology and also rising tensions between the major European powers. Also saw the ‘heroic age’ of exploration.
People of the Seventeenth Century(1601–1700)Famous people of the 17th century, which included the emerging European Enlightenment. Including; Shakespeare, Charles I, Louis XIV, Rene Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Locke and Galileo.
People of the Eighteenth Century(1701–1800) Famous leaders, statesmen, scientists, philosophers and authors. Including; Louis XIV, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
The Nineteenth Century(1801–1900) The Nineteenth Century saw the economic boom of the industrial revolution and world-wide movements for political change, which included the suffrage movement for women, growing nationalist movements and also the emergence of workers movements in response to the inequality of the industrial revolution.
Population of Scotland: 5,313,600 (9% of UK population 64m)
Area: 33% of UK landmass including 790 islands. (660 uninhabited)
Patron Saint: Saint Andrew
Scotland’s major cities
Glasgow – 592,820
Edinburgh – 486,120
Aberdeen – 217,120
Dundee – 144,290
Inverness – 56,660
Stirling – 89,850
Mountains: Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the UK at 1,346m.
There are 600 square miles of freshwater lakes, including Loch Ness
Loch Ness Monster is a famous and enduring myth of an ancient sea creature still inhabiting the deep loch of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It became world famous in 1934 after a hoax photograph was widely circulated.
The first recording of the Loch Ness monster was 565 AD where a follower of St. Columba related being attacked by a ‘water beast’ Scottish dogs.
There are over 2,000 castles recorded being built in Scotland, most of which are still standing. Famous castles include Stirling Castle (above) Balmoral and Edinburgh Castle. Usually these were built as defensive mechanisms. Read On…
The Industrial Revolution was a period between the late 18th Century and early 20th Century, which saw rapid growth in mechanisation, industrial production and change in society.
Two stages of Industrial Revolution
First stage of the Industrial Revolution (1770-1870) – Centred on steam, water, iron and shift from agriculture.
Second stage of Industrial Revolution (1870-1914) – New technologies of electricity, development of petrol engine, oil, and greater use of cheap steel.
Key features of the Industrial Revolution
Population shift – moving from rural agriculture to work in factories in cities.
Mass production of goods, increased efficiency, reduced average costs and enabled more to be produced.
The rise of steam power, e.g. steam trains, railways and steam powered machines.
Industrial and scientific discoveries enabled a revolution in our understanding of the material world.
Rapid industrialisation had a cost in terms of pollution and poor working conditions for labour.
Reasons for the Industrial Revolution
Birmingham New Street station
New technologies dramatically improved speed of transporting people and goods. The first Intercity railway was built in 1830 between Liverpool and Manchester. The railways enabled more freight to be transported cheaply and quickly.
In 1700, it took four days to travel from London to Manchester, by 1870, it took four hours.
Application of steam engines. The development of the steam engine was critical for the Industrial Revolution. It enables steam trains, but also steam-powered pumps and machines, which increased the productivity of labour.
Agricultural revolution enabled higher food output from fewer farm workers, leading to surplus workers who could go and work in factories. This revolution in agriculture was due to new techniques like crop rotation, selective breeding, economies of scale from bigger farms and better transport.
Growth in global trade. Helped by Britain’s effective shipping capacity and Empire, which was a source of raw materials.
The Renaissance was a period in history between the 14th and 17th Centuries, associated with a wave of new artistic, scientific and cultural achievements.
The French word renaissance literally means ‘rebirth’, and was first seen in English in the 1830s.
The first quote of Renaissance in English: “A style possessing many points of rude resemblance with the more elegant and refined character of the art of the renaissance in Italy.” – W Dyce and C H Wilson’s Letter to Lord Meadowbank (1837)
The Renaissance is seen as a period of rebirth from the Dark Ages of Europe to the more enlightened and progressive ages of Europe.
The century before the Renaissance was particularly dark with the Hundred Years war (1337–1453) devastating much of Europe, the failed Crusades and also the Black Death (1346–1353) killing about 25 million people, 33% of the population at the time.
However, some academic scholars feel the term ‘Renaissance’ is too vague and the ‘Renaissance years’ were not particularly enlightened. Some scholars feel that the Renaissance was more accurately part of a ‘Longue duree’ of European history.
The Renaissance period still saw real problems, such as religious wars, political corruption, inequality, witch-hunts and corrupt Borgia Popes. Most people who lived through the Renaissance did not view it as a ‘Golden Era’!
The Renaissance was a period of groundbreaking explorations, with the discovery of new lands outside Europe by famous explorers, such as Christopher Columbus and Vespucci.
The Renaissance was also a period of scientific discovery. Galileo Galilei and René Descartes (1596–1650) promoted a new view of astrology and mathematics, which challenged old Aristotelian ideas.
N.Copernicus began the process of changing the whole view of the world. He argued the Sun was centre of the galaxy rather than the Earth. This heliocentric view of the world was controversial because it challenged the existing teaching of the church. But, during the Renaissance, this heliocentric view gradually came to be accepted.
The Renaissance was most strongly associated with Italy, and Florence in particular. But most other European countries had their own Renaissance.
For example, The Netherlands developed its own Renaissance revival of painting, including Jan van Eyck. The artistic style of the Netherlands later had an influence on Italy.
The English Renaissance began later, in the late 15th Century, and was focused more on literature and music – less on art.
Leonardo’s famous portrait of the perfect man was based on Vitruvius’ De Architectura (1st century BCE) – mostly a treatise on architecture, but also the human body.
The ceiling of Sistine chapel was commissioned by Pope Julius II, and painted by Michelangelo.
“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.”
— Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 23 August 1787
‘David’ by Michelangelo is one of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance. It symbolises the defence of the civil liberties of Florence, with the eyes of David turned towards Rome.
The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the world’s most famous painting. Da Vinci worked on the painting continuously for over 20 years – striving to attain perfection.
‘Sfumare‘ was a new painting technique of the Renaissance; it means to evaporate or to fade out. It was developed by da Vinci and enabled greater depth and realism to be given to a painting.
The term chiaroscuro refers to the fine art painting modeling effect of using a strong contrast between light and dark.
Reasons for the Renaissance
Sandro Botticelli portrays the family of Piero de’ Medici in Madonna del Magnificat.
The Black Death decimated the population of Europe in the 14th Century, but left survivors with relatively more wealth and ability to climb social/political structures. It led to a decline of feudalism.
New political structures – with new men in positions of power, patronage of the arts was a way to secure greater status and prestige.
This new political order led to the patronage of the powerful and wealthy Medici family in Florence, who could afford to give commissions to artists.
Migration of Greek scholars and texts from Constantinople to Europe after the conquest by the Ottoman Turks (1453).
Creation of the printing press by J.Gutenberg c.1440 allowed greater printing of books and the spread of knowledge to a wider range of the population. This was particularly important for printing of Bibles, including for the first time Bibles in English and not Latin.
New secular/humanist ideas. Thinkers like Plutarch (1304–1374) and Erasmus (1466–1536) helped make classical texts and humanistic ideas more relevant and popular to a Christian society.
Artistic genius of people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Greater openness of the Church. In response to a decline in the temporal power of the Catholic Church, the Vatican sponsored more arts and reforms as part of the Counter Reformation in response to the criticism of Luther. Pope Nicholas V and Leo X sponsored many Renaissance art projects as a way to bolster the church.
Greater trade between Italy and the rest of Europe. Also, ironically, the wars between Italy and France helped spread Renaissance ideas.
The Crusades led to the exposure of many European scholars to Eastern ideas; it also facilitated the growth of trade and commerce.
Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan “Facts of the Renaissance”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 12th February 2016. Updated 26 June 2017.
– Rene Descartes. Descartes’ Meditation (1641) was a ground-breaking philosophical work, which challenged many established beliefs. Descartes tried to prove existence of God, from use of rational reasoning.
“In her (Nature’s) inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.”
– Leonardo da Vinci – who made detailed investigations of natural sciences.
“Here forms, here colours, here the character of every part of the universe are concentrated to a point; and that point is so marvellous a thing … Oh! marvellous, O stupendous Necessity — by thy laws thou dost compel every effect to be the direct result of its cause, by the shortest path. These are miracles…”
– Leonardo da Vinci – who made detailed investigations of natural sciences.
“Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
“Human vocation is a mystical vocation that has to be realized following a three stage way, which comprehends necessarily moral transformation, intellectual research and final perfection in the identity with the absolute reality. This paradigm is universal, because it can be retraced in every tradition.”
The ‘Manifesto of the Renaissance’ was written by Pico della Mirandola – “Oration on the Dignity of Man” – It sought to encourage the striving for human excellence and a universal mystical vocation.
“I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.”
― Thomas More (Renaissance thinker, who refused to acknowledge King Henry VIII Protestant reforms.) Read On…
The Gilded Age is a period in American society (1870-1900) with rapid economic growth but also characterised by corruption, materialism, monopoly businesses and growing inequality.
The Gilded Age was a time of unbridled capitalism, with some business leaders becoming very wealthy through the consolidation of key industries into powerful monopolies.
Cartoon by Joseph Keppler entitled ‘The Bosses of the Senate’ – suggestion US Congress effectively owned by wealthy industrial bosses.
The term ‘Gilded Age’ implies outer wealth was a mask for the inner corruption and inner poverty. ‘Gilded Age’ is a satire on the rich monopolists, who were accused of gaining wealth through monopoly practices, mistreatment of workers and corruption of the political process.
One of the defining elements of the Gilded Age was the railroad industry. Americans developed a love/hate relationship with the railroads. They transformed society enabling greater travel and economic growth, but they were also run by business magnates who wielded enormous power and could set high prices to farmers, suppliers and travellers. While the owners grew very wealthy, the industrial work was also very dangerous, with numerous accidents and relatively low pay. Read On…