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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ten Things of Blame and History

How many Greek legends were really true?/BBC
  1. The origin of theatre is a much-debated issue. One tradition tells of the actor Thespis (hence "thespian") standing on a cart and playing a dramatic role, another claims that drama began with ritual choruses and gradually introduced actors' parts. (Read more)
  2. It is doubtful whether Pythagoras was really a mathematician as we understand the word. Schoolchildren still learn his so-called theorem, but the Babylonians knew this equation centuries earlier, and there is no evidence that Pythagoras either discovered or proved it.
  3. The Greeks adapted their alphabet (later borrowed by the Romans to become the western alphabet) from that of the Phoenicians, a near-eastern nation whose letter-sequence began "aleph bet".
  4. Alexander the Great was to become one the greatest soldier-generals the world had ever seen, but according to ancient sources, however, he was physically unprepossessing. Short and stocky, he was a hard drinker with a ruddy complexion, a rasping voice, and an impulsive temper which on one occasion led him to kill his companion Cleitus in a violent rage.
  5. Socrates saved the life of his beloved young friend Alcibiades during a brutal battle, and subsequently never left Athens, spending his time trying to get his fellow Athenians to examine their own lives and thoughts.
  6. Human beings conducted trade for millennia without coinage, before the first monetised economy in the world arose in ancient Greece.
  7. Rising joblessness among new university graduates in China and India is creating an army of educated unemployed that some fear could destabilise these huge economies.
  8. Fewer than a third of teachers in developed countries feel their profession is valued, according to a major international study.
  9. The wrecked Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, is being towed on its final journey to the port of Genoa for scrapping. Its removal is one of the biggest ever maritime salvage operations, while the NS Savannah was the world's first nuclear-powered ocean liner - a ship that totally failed to change the world.
  10. Street furniture have their own historical dramas to tell.

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