Browsing: Religion

A Brief History On November 14th, the Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Theodora who once spanked a man after he talked trash about his own wife! Digging Deeper One of history’s most influential and significant empresses is Theodora (c. 500 A.D. – June 28, 548 A.D.).  Her life is also among the more difficult imperial lives to get a clear picture of because to some she is revered as a saint, whereas to others she is remembered for having possibly worked in a brothel and being the daughter of a dancer and actress (not considered classy professions in those days).  It…

A Brief History On November 13, 1002, English king Æthelred II the Unready ordered the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice’s Day massacre. Digging Deeper When Æthelred became King of the English in 978, his realm had experienced repeated incursions by Danes.  The situation was so bad that the English king even had to pay tribute to Denmark’s king starting in 991.  Not surprisingly, Æthelred would eventually want some kind of way out of these humiliations.  So, he decided to take decisive action on the feast day of a fifth century Bishop of Tours.…

A Brief History On November 10, 1202, despite letters from Pope Innocent III (a much more popular pope than Guilty III) forbidding it and threatening excommunication, Catholic crusaders on the Fourth Crusade began a siege of the Catholic city of Zara (now Zadar, Croatia). Digging Deeper Whereas the First Crusade successfully restored Jerusalem to Christian rule and laid the basis for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, subsequent crusades were far less productive for the crusaders.  Jerusalem was lost after the failed Second Crusade.  Nor would it be regained during the Third Crusade, even with the participation of Europe’s three most powerful…

A Brief History According to Orthodox Christian tradition, on October 27, 312 A.D., the night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against the Roman Emperor Maxentius, the Emperor Constantine the Great adopted as his motto the Greek phrase “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα” after having a vision of a Christogram in the sky. Digging Deeper This episode is one of the most unusual and controversial stories in the history of Christianity, and probably the only time the Christian religion was involved so energetically in the military battlefield.  Of course, nothing can be officially proved, and this story is a matter of faith…

A Brief History On October 27, 1838, Missouri’s governor issued an order for all Mormons to leave the state or face extermination! Digging Deeper After Joseph Smith founded the Church of Christ (later called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or popularly known as the Mormon Church), he and his followers had a downright hellacious time finding acceptance in mid-nineteenth century America.  His journeys in Ohio and Missouri were filled with violent incidents.  For example, in 1832 a mob tarred and feathered the first Mormon leader. The late 1830s were not much kinder.  The situation for the…

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