It was on this date, December 17, that the ancient Roman version of the universal midwinter nature festival which they called Saturnalia began. The week-long festival was named in honor of Saturn, the Roman god of the sowing of the harvest, and in its earliest forms included a death ritual, commemorating winter. The holiday was one of many that Roman slaves enjoyed throughout the year – demonstrating that pagan slaves were treated far better than Christian serfs – and one eagerly anticipated because, for a day, slaves were waited on by their masters.
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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Sir Karl Popper (1902) It was on this date, July 28, 1902, that British philosopher Sir Karl Popper was born in Austria. He studied and taught in Vienna until the rise of the Nazis forced this son of Jewish parents to emigrate. He was sympathetic to the Vienna School of philosophy, though he was never […]