Freethought Almanac

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December 29: Murder of Thomas Becket (1170)

It was on this date, December 29, 1170, that four knights of King Henry II burst into Canterbury Cathedral and murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket. The story of the stormy breakup between king and cleric has been the subject of a play by T.S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral, 1938) and one by Jean Anouilh (Becket, 1959), as well as an award-winning 1964 film, Becket.

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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

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January 3: Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero may have adopted only a public profession of belief in immortality. “On the Nature of the Gods” gives the arguments for and against, but like a politician he takes neither side.



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