User: violatti

Published Content

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Maya Giving Birth to the Buddha

by Cristian Violatti
published on 09 December 2013
Artistic representation of Maya giving birth to the Buddha. This depiction is part of the altar in the "Mother Temple of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment", an Austrian Buddhist temple located at the West Monastic Zone-9 in Lumbini, Rupandehi, Nepal.
Encyclopedia Definition

Siddhartha Gautama

by Cristian Violatti
published on 09 December 2013
Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha “the awakened one”) was the leader and founder of a sect of wonderer ascetics (Sramanas), one of many sects which existed at that time all over India. This sect came to be known as Sangha, to distinguish it from other similar communities. The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama are considered... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Lumbini

by Cristian Violatti
published on 09 December 2013
According to Buddhist tradition, Lumbini is the name of the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautma, also known as the Buddha. Lumbini is located in present-day Rummindei, in the Terai region of Southern Nepal, not far from the Indian-Nepalese border. Legendary Accounts Buddhist sources say that the mother of the Buddha, Maya, was travelling from her home... [continue reading]
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Greek Mathematics

by Cristian Violatti
published on 24 September 2013
The mathematicians of ancient Greece made a hugely significant contribution to world thought and all practical subjects which depend on that intellectual basis, from geometry to engineering, astronomy to design. Influenced initially by the Egyptians, Greek mathematicians would push on to make breakthroughs such as Pythagoras' theory of right-angled triangles... [continue reading]
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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

by Piero della Francesca
published on 31 March 2014
Fresco by the Italian Renaissance master Piero della Francesca, painted around 1463-65 CE.
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Statue of Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta

by आशीष भटनागर
published on 27 October 2013
Statue of Indian Emperor Chandragupta (r. 322-298 BCE), founder of the Mauryan dynasty. The statue is located at the Laxminarayan Temple in New Delhi, India.
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Introduction Like any other religious tradition, Buddhism has undergone a number of different transformations that have led to the emergence of many different Buddhist schools. Analyzing the major Buddhist traditions, we find a great number of topics ranging from moral concerns (which seems to have been originally the number one concern of the Buddha... [continue reading]
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The dates of the Buddha

by Cristian Violatti
published on 02 May 2013
Buddhism is one of the most influential traditions of the Eastern world, with about two and a half thousand years of development. It has touched and adorned virtually every single aspect of Asian society: its lore, mythology, morals, art and even metaphysics and religion, despite the fact the Buddha, its founder, does not seem to have had any kind... [continue reading]
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The Delian Problem

by Cristian Violatti
published on 23 September 2013
The Delian Problem: finding the value of the cube root of 2
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First English version of Euclid's Elements, 1570

by Charles Thomas-Stanford
published on 24 September 2013
Title page of Sir Henry Billingsley's first English version of Euclid's Elements, 1570.
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This is one of the best methods of approximation to the value of square root of 2 used by the Pythagorean brotherhood.
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Chinese Diamond Sutra

by International Dunhuang Project
published on 13 September 2013
The Buddhist text known as the Diamond Sutra is believed to be the oldest surviving printed book in the world, dated to 868 CE and written in Chinese. This work is one of the most important works of the Buddhist tradition.
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Copy of the Heart Sutra

by Unknown
published on 11 September 2013
A Sanskrit manuscript copy of the Heart Sutra at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
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Tibetan Mandala

by Kosi Gramatikoff
published on 07 September 2013
Tibetan Mandala painted in the Sera Monastery, about 2 km away from Lhasa, Tibet.
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Mandala of the Diamond World

by www.bujinkan-france.net
published on 07 September 2013
The Mandala of the Diamond World, also known as The Diamond Realm Mandala. Japanese hanging scroll, Kamakura period, 13th-14th century.
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Krishna manifesting his full glory to Arjuna

by Steve Jurvetson
published on 05 September 2013
Statue at a temple in Singapore of the God Krishna manifesting his full glory to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
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Arjuna During the Battle of Kurukshetra

by Unknown
published on 04 September 2013
A 16th-century painting illustrating a battle scene in the Bhagavad Gita, during the battle of Kurukshetra. Arjuna (far right), hero and leader of the Pandava army, is supported by his personal charioteer, the god Krishna (second from right). The gods are looking down on the battlefield. Krishna is aiding Arjuna mentally and spiritually, explaining... [continue reading]
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The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi

by Gérald Anfossi
published on 02 September 2013
The 'Great Stupa' located at Sanchi, a village in the Raisen District of the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. This stupa was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE. According to some Buddhist accounts, it was built over the relics of the Buddha.
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Ashoka's pillar

by Undisclosed
published on 02 September 2013
Ashoka's pillar erected in the district of Vaishali, located in the Bihar state, India. This is one of the nineteen surviving columns erected or at least inscribed with edicts by the Emperor Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BCE. These columns are also referred to as the "Pillars of Ashoka" and they are dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent... [continue reading]
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Commentaries of the Analects of Confucius

by AlexHe34
published on 31 August 2013
A copy of Zhu Xi's commentary on the 'Analects' of Confucius, printed during the Ming dynasty.
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Almagest

by Joonasl
published on 15 July 2013
Picture of George Trebizond's Latin translation of Claudius Ptolemy's Almagest (ca. 1451)
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Archimedes

by Dr. Manuel
published on 24 June 2013
Archimedes is considered one of the most important mathematicians. He was extremely well known for his involvement in the defense of Syracuse against the Roman siege in the Second Punic War.
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Fragment of Euclid's Elements

by Jitse Niesen
published on 13 June 2013
A fragment of the second book of the Elements of Euclid in Greek, discovered in 1897 at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt.
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Map of the Eastern Hemisphere (1 CE)

by Thomas Lessman (talessman@yis.us)
published on 19 May 2013
Map showing the political division in the Eastern hemisphere in 1 CE. The Han dynasty was almost at its peak in terms of geographical expansion.
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A Chinese Servant Statue

by Guillaume Jacquet
published on 19 May 2013
A servant statue, Western Han Period (206 BCE – 9 CE). Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France.
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Objects from Tomb of Thutmose IV

by Keith Schengili-Roberts
published on 15 May 2013
Objects from the tomb of Thutmose IV, 14th century BCE, including amulets in the form of the ankh, symbol of life or everlasting life. Two large amulets in the shape of an ankh were found among shabti figures and other funerary objects from the tomb of Thutmose IV (KV 43). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
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Scarab

by Walters Art Museum
published on 15 May 2013
Scarab shaped amulet containing the image and cartouche of Amenhotep III, promising its owner in this world 'life' (represented by an ankh). These beetle amulets were used in Ancient Egypt for rituals or administrative purposes (14th century BCE).
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Statue of Lord Vishnu

by PHGCOM
published on 07 May 2013
Four Armed Vishnu statue, 8-9th Century
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Statue of Khosrau I in Tehran courthouse

by مانفی
published on 07 May 2013
Statue of Khosrau I, a Sasanian king who was known to be a great patron of philosophy and knowledge.
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The dates of the Buddha

by Cristian Violatti
published on 01 May 2013
A chart describing the different dates of the Buddha's life according to different sources.
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A rock cut image of the Buddha

by N. Aditya Madhav
published on 29 April 2013
A rock cut image of Buddha at Bojjanakonda cave Monastery near Anakapalle in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh in India.
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Tibetan Mandala

by Poke2001
published on 30 April 2013
A 19th century CE Tibetan mandala, a tool used in some Buddhist schools and also in Hindu and Jain tradition. Mandalas are ritual images designed to facilitate different psychophysical practices such as meditation.
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Thor fighting Jörmungandr

by Rannveig
published on 08 May 2013
Thor fighting the mighty giant serpent Jörmungandr during a fishing trip with Hymir the giant.
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Vardhamana

by Vassil
published on 08 May 2013
Statue of Vardhamana Mahavira dating of 1470 CE: Gujarat, India. Royal Museums of Art and History (MRAH, Jubilee Park, Brussels, Belgium).
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Paper-making Process

by
published on 19 May 2013
An image of a Ming dynasty woodcut showing the main steps in the ancient Chinese papermaking process as outlined by Cai Lun in 105 CE.
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Jain art

by user:Flicka
published on 08 May 2013
Marble carving in a Jain temple complex located in Ranakpur, Rajasthan, India.
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Indo-European language family tree

by Multiple authors
published on 19 January 2013
Partial tree of Indo-European languages. Branches are in order of first attestation; those to the left are Centum, those to the right are Satem. Languages in red are extinct. White labels indicate categories / un-attested proto-languages.
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Kautilya

by Unknown
published on 03 November 2013
An artist's impression of Kautilya, the 4th to 3rd century BCE Indian statesman and philosopher. From a cover of a 1915 CE edition of the 'Arthashastra' translated by Rudrapatnam Shamasastry.
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The Buddha seated in meditation, one hand on his lap, the other pendant in a gesture known as earth-witness, which represents unshakability or steadfastness when being subject to the demons' temptations. This is a superb example of 12th century Nepalese metalcraft: Copper alloy, gilt. "Shakyamuni, the Historical Buddha" (Object 614), Patan Museum - Mangal Bazaar, Lalitpur (Nepal)
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Excavation site at Mohenjo-daro

by Grjatoi
published on 08 November 2013
Ruins of Mohenjo-daro in present-day Sindh, Pakistan, one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Mohenjo-daro is one of the world's earliest major urban settlements, contemporaneous with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. The city was abandoned around 1800 BCE and rediscovered in 1922 CE.
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Map of Western Zhou

by Philg88
published on 03 January 2014
The states during the Western Zhou period (1046-771 BCE) in China.
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Jesus Christ

by Hardscarf
published on 21 November 2013
The oldest known icon depicting Jesus Christ (6th century) in Saint Catherine's Monastery, Egypt.
Encyclopedia Definition

Han Dynasty

by Cristian Violatti
published on 27 May 2013
The Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) was one of the longest of China’s major dynasties. In terms of power and prestige, the Han Dynasty in the East rivalled its almost contemporary Roman Empire in the West. With only minor interruptions it lasted a span of over four centuries and was considered a golden age in Chinese history especially in arts, politics... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Ionia

by Cristian Violatti
published on 18 April 2013
Ionia is the name given during ancient times to the central sector of Anatolia’s Aegean shore in Asia Minor, present-day Turkey, one of the most important centres of the Greek world. It was colonized by Greeks from the Athens region around 1000 BCE. Here the Greeks founded a dozen mini-states, two of them on the offshore islands of Chios and Samos... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Science

by Cristian Violatti
published on 23 January 2013
The term science comes from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”. It could be defined as a systematic attempt to discover, by means of observation and reasoning, particular facts about the world, and to establish laws connecting facts with one another and (in fortunate cases) to make it possible to predict future occurrences. There are some other definitions... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Pergamon

by Cristian Violatti
published on 09 April 2013
Pergamon (also referred to as Pergamum or Pergamo) was an ancient city located approximately 25 kilometres from the Aegean sea in present-day Bergama, Izmir Province of Turkey in the Anatolia region. The city was connected to the Caicus river valley (modern name Bakırçay) which provided access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast. Pergamon reached... [continue reading]
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Ruins of Cyrene

by MM
published on 13 February 2014
Archaeological site of Cyrene, Libya.
Encyclopedia Definition

Archimedes

by Cristian Violatti
published on 24 June 2013
One of the first details we read about Archimedes (287-212 BCE) in almost every account of his life is the famous scene where he runs wet and naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting “Eureka!, Eureka!” (“I have found it!”). This nudist episode, however, fails to capture the respect that the life of the greatest Greek mathematician... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Ashoka

by Cristian Violatti
published on 02 September 2013
Emperor Ashoka the Great (sometimes spelt Aśoka) lived from 304 to 232 BCE and was the third ruler of the Indian Mauryan Empire, the largest ever in the Indian subcontinent and one of the world's largest empires at its time. He ruled form 268 BCE to 232 BCE and became a model of kingship in the Buddhist tradition. Under Ashoka India had an estimated population... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Indus Valley Civilization

by Cristian Violatti
published on 30 October 2013
The Indus valley Civilization was an ancient civilization located in what today is Pakistan and northwest India, on the fertile flood plain of the Indus river and its vicinity. Evidence of religious practices in this area date back approximately to 5500 BCE. Farming settlements began around 4000 BCE and about 3000 BCE there appeared the... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Civilization

by Cristian Violatti
published on 23 February 2013
The word civilization is related to the Latin word, civitas ”city”. The term is used in several ways, generally denoting complex human cultural development. Some scholars restrict the use of the term to urbanized societies, in other words, cultures that have achieved a development that has allowed them to create large and permanent settlements... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Hinduism

by Cristian Violatti
published on 11 May 2013
Unlike other religious traditions, Hinduism does not originate in a single founder, a single book or a single point in time. It contains many different beliefs, philosophies and viewpoints, not always consistent with each other. These apparent contradictions strike only those who are not familiar with this tradition: the Hindu insight claims that the Oneness... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Chandragupta

by Cristian Violatti
published on 27 October 2013
Indian Emperor Chandragupta lived from 340 BCE to 298 BCE and was the first ruler of the Indian Mauryan Empire. He ruled from 322 BCE to 298 BCE and he was the father of Emperor Bindusara and grandfather of Emperor Ashoka, the third Mauryan ruler under whose reign the Mauryan Empire reached its full power and became the largest empire ever in the Indian subcontinent... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Confucianism

by Cristian Violatti
published on 31 August 2013
The philosopher Confucius (or Kongzi, c. 551 to c. 479 BCE) is the recognized founder of Confucianism, also referred to as the Ru-jia doctrine or School of Literati as it is known by Western scholars. Originally, Confucianism was composed of a set of political and moral doctrines with the teachings of Confucius as its basis. Later on, the teachings... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Stupa

by Cristian Violatti
published on 02 September 2013
In Buddhism, a stupa is a commemorative building usually housing sacred relics associated with important saintly figures. Stupas have a very distinctive semi-spherical shape and are made of unburnt bricks, often surrounded by a stone fence. They contain a circular platform in the centre of which there is a small place for a receptacle containing different relics. Traditionally... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Jainism

by Cristian Violatti
published on 03 February 2013
Jainism, along with Buddhism and Charvaka, is considered part of the heterodox systems (also referred to as heresies) of Indian philosophy. Its philosophy is grounded in the doctrine of of the Yajur-Veda but it was systematized by Vardhamana (also known as Mahavira) who substituted the authority of the Vedas with logic and experience and also reinterpreted... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Buddhism

by Cristian Violatti
published on 10 February 2013
Buddhism, along with Jainism and Charvaka, is considered part of the heterodox systems (also refereed to as heresies) of Indian philosophy. The teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha “he who is awake”), member of the Kshatriya caste (the warrior rulers caste) are the foundation of Buddhism. By 600 BCE, there... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Aryan

by Cristian Violatti
published on 19 January 2013
The term “Aryan” has had a complicated history. The Sanskrit word ārya, the source of the English word, was mainly the self designation of the Vedic Indic people although during time it developed some secondary meanings. It has a cognate in Iranian arya, where it is also a self designation. Both the Indic and Iranian terms descend from a form ārya... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Chinese Philosophy

by Cristian Violatti
published on 24 February 2013
Chinese philosophy when contrasted with the western tradition, seems very different. We could take for example the old philosophical obsession in some western schools: the quest to find the underlying building blocks of things, the essential and ultimate substance or reality behind all appearances. Such an idea would not be popular in the Chinese intellectual... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

The Vedas

by Cristian Violatti
published on 18 January 2013
The Vedas are a collection of hymns and other ritual texts of the old Indic society. They were first composed sometime before 1500-1000 BCE in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, present day Pakistan and northwest India, but they were at first transmitted orally over many generations before eventually being committed to writing... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Indo-European

by Cristian Violatti
published on 19 January 2013
The term Indo-European is essentially a linguistic term denoting a language family with a large number of branches: Indic, Iranian, Tocharian, Albanian, Anatolian, Armenian, Greek, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic. A small group of unaffiliated languages (Phyrgian, Thracian, Macedonian, Illyrian, Venetic, Messapic and Lusitanian) is also considered... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Upanishads

by Cristian Violatti
published on 22 January 2013
The name Upanishad is composed of upa (near) and shad (to sit). Etymologically the word suggests “sitting down near”: that is, at the feet of an illuminated teacher in an intimate session of spiritual instructions, as aspirants still do in India today. Often the teacher is one who has retired from worldly life to an ashram or “forest academy&rdquo... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Vardhamana

by Cristian Violatti
published on 03 February 2013
Vardhamana (also known as Mahavira) was an Indian philosopher, religious leader and a key figure of Jainism. He was born into the Kshatriyas caste (the warrior rulers caste) in northeastern India in about the 6th century BCE. The traditional dates are 599-527 BCE. Recently, scholars have moved these dates forward by half a century. Documented information... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Charvaka

by Cristian Violatti
published on 06 February 2013
Charvaka (also known as Lokayata), along with Jainism and Buddhism, is considered part of the heterodox systems (also referred to as heresies) of Indian philosophy. It rejected the authority of the Vedas as well as the speculations and the sacrifices of the Brahman priests. Those who see India as an entirely religious and spiritual place might do well... [continue reading]
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Maya Devi Temple & the Holy Pond

by Wes Olson
published on 09 December 2013
Image of the Maya Devi Temple and Holy Pond in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha. The area of the temple covers the exact spot where Siddhartha Gautama was born, which is indicated by the marker stone. The Holy Pond is where, according to the legend, both the Buddha and his mother were washed by divinities.
Encyclopedia Definition

Aristarchus of Samos

by Cristian Violatti
published on 08 March 2013
Aristarchus of Samos (c. 310 - c. 230 BCE) was an ancient Greek mathematician and astronomer from Ionia who came up with a revolutionary astronomical hypothesis. He claimed the Sun, not the Earth, was the fixed centre of the universe, and that the Earth, along with the rest of the planets, revolved around the Sun. He also said that the stars were... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Eratosthenes

by Cristian Violatti
published on 05 April 2013
Eratosthenes (276-195 BCE) was an ancient Greek Alexandrian scholar, native of Cyrene, who attained distinction in many fields including philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and history. However, it was in geography where he proved to be more skillful for he was one of the greatest of all ancient geographers. Eratosthenes was also known as Beta: his erudition... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Hipparchus of Nicea

by Cristian Violatti
published on 02 April 2013
Hipparchus of Nicea (190 BCE - 120 BCE) was an ancient Greek mathematician, astronomer and geographer, regarded by many historians as a scientist of the highest quality and possibly the greatest astronomical genius among the ancient Greeks. Basing most of his success on systematically exploiting the Chaldean and Babylonian astronomical knowledge... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Salona

by Cristian Violatti
published on 21 April 2013
Salona was an ancient city located at the estuary of the river Jadro in present-day Solin, a suburb of Split on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It became the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia in 9 CE. Before the Romans Salona was a settlement of the Dalmatean, an Illyrian people who lived on the shore of the Adriatic. During the 3rd century BCE, Greek colonists... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Greek Philosophy

by Cristian Violatti
published on 11 June 2013
Who are we? How can we be happy? Does the universe have a purpose? Greek philosophers approached the big questions of life sometimes in a genuine scientific way, sometimes in mystic ways, but always in an imaginative fashion. Pythagoras considered a charlatan for claiming the doctrine of reincarnation, a half-naked Socrates haranguing people in the street... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Thor

by Cristian Violatti
published on 08 May 2013
Thor (meaning thunder) was one of the most important gods in Scandinavian mythology and the eldest son of Odin and Frigg (sometimes spelt Frigga). Some accounts say that Thor’s mother was the Earth. As a child he was so disobedient and unpredictable that his mother could not raise him, and she gave him to the god Hlora and his wife Vingnir to be raised... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Greek Science

by Cristian Violatti
published on 13 June 2013
By careful thinking based upon observation, some ancient Greeks realized that it was possible to find regularities and patterns hidden in nature and that those regularities were the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe. It became evident that even nature had to obey certain rules and by knowing those rules one could predict the behaviour... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Greek Astronomy

by Cristian Violatti
published on 23 July 2013
Astronomy is an area where the Greeks displayed a remarkable talent. Observational astronomy, which was the main form of astronomy elsewhere, was taken a step further in Greece: they attempted to build a model of the universe that could account for the observations. They explored all imaginable alternatives, they considered many different solutions... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Bhagavad Gita

by Cristian Violatti
published on 05 September 2013
The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Indian text that became an important work of Hindu tradition in terms of both literature and philosophy. The earliest translations of this work from Sanskrit into English were made around 1795 CE by Sir Charles Wilkins. The name Bhagavad Gita means “the song of the Lord”. It is composed as a poem and it contains... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Arjuna

by Cristian Violatti
published on 15 September 2013
Arjuna is one of the heroes of the massive Indian epic named “The Mahabharata”, the longest Indian epic. He is the third of the five Pandava brothers, officially the son of king Pandu and his two wives Kunti (who is also known as Pritha) and Madri. However, we read in books 1 and 3 of the Mahabharata that the Pandava brothers are actually the offspring... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Mandala

by Cristian Violatti
published on 07 September 2013
The word mandala is a Sanskrit term that means “circle” or “discoid object”. A mandala can be defined in two ways: externally as a schematic visual representation of the universe and internally as a guide for several psychophysical practices that take place in many Asian traditions, including meditation. Mandalas are objects of devotion... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Sutra

by Cristian Violatti
published on 13 September 2013
Sutra is a type of religious literature present in many Asian traditions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The word sutra is a Sanskrit term that means “discourse” (in the Pali language: sutta). Another meaning suggested for the word sutra is “threads”. Sutras were originally oral traditions and designed to prompt the memory... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Perfection of Wisdom

by Cristian Violatti
published on 11 September 2013
“Perfection of Wisdom” is the English translation of the name of a large series of Mahayana Buddhist texts named in Sanskrit Prajnaparamita, sometimes referred to as Prajnaparamita literature. This collection includes around 40 texts and although they vary in length and form, they all explore similar key ideas in Mahayana Buddhism... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Kautilya

by Cristian Violatti
published on 03 November 2013
Kautilya (also known as Chanakya, c. 350-275 BCE) was an Indian statesman and philosopher, chief advisor and Prime Minister of the Indian Emperor Chandragupta, the first ruler of the Mauryan Empire. Kautilya belonged to the Brahmin caste (the priestly class), he was originally from Northern India and a professor of political science and economics at the University... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Jesus Christ

by Cristian Violatti
published on 26 November 2013
Jesus Christ (c. 6/4 BCE - c. 30 CE), also called Jesus son of Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus of Galilee or simply “Christ”, was a Jewish religious leader who became a central figure in Christianity, regarded by most Christian branches as God himself. He is also considered an important prophet in Muslim tradition and the precursor of Prophet... [continue reading]
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Paul the Apostle

by RomanZ
published on 11 December 2013
Russian Orthodox icon of the Apostle Paul, 18th century CE. Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia.
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Bodhisattva Statue

by Vassil
published on 12 December 2013
Statue of a Bodhisattva (someone who is on the way to obtaining enlightenment) from a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, a region where the Buddhist Lokottaravāda school (which emerged from the Mahasanghika school) were known to be prominent.
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Kapilavastu

by BPG
published on 11 December 2013
Possible remains of the Western Gate of Kapilavastu, the ancient Shakya city where Siddhartha Gautama lived until the age of 29. There is some controversy about the exact location of Kapilavastu. Some versions say that it is located in present-day Rummindei, in the Terai region of Southern Nepal, about 10 kilometres west of Lumbini (the birthplace of... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Kapilavastu

by Cristian Violatti
published on 12 December 2013
According to Buddhist tradition, Kapilavastu is the name of the ancient city where Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, was raised and lived until the age of 29, when he renounced worldly life. There is some controversy about the exact location of Kapilavastu. Some versions say that it is located in present-day Rummindei, in the Terai region... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Mahasanghika

by Cristian Violatti
published on 12 December 2013
Mahasanghika is the name of an early Buddhist school in India, which emerged about a century after the death of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, during the Second Buddhist council held at Vaishali. The Sanskrit name Mahasanghika means “Great congregation” or "Great order of monks”. The Mahasanghika school represents the first major... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Zhou Dynasty

by Cristian Violatti
published on 03 January 2014
The Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE) was the longest-lasting of China’s dynasties. It followed the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE) and it finished when the army of the state of Qin captured the city of Chengzhou in 256 BCE. The long history of the Zhou Dynasty is normally divided in two different periods: Western Zhou (1046-771 BCE) and Eastern Zhou (770-256... [continue reading]
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Map of the Qin Empire

by Yeu Ninje
published on 17 January 2014
The map shows the territory controlled by the Qin dynasty in China in 210 BCE.
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Sima Qian

by ZazaPress
published on 05 February 2014
Painted portrait of Sima Qian (c. 145-86 BCE). Although he is commonly referred to as a Chinese historian, he was actually the Grand Astrologer at the court of Emperor Wu of Han (r. 141 and 87 BCE).
Encyclopedia Definition

Sima Qian

by Cristian Violatti
published on 05 February 2014
For history lovers, the valuable gift of China’s long tradition is largely owed to Sima Qian (c. 145 - 86 BCE). Although he is commonly referred to as a Chinese historian, he was actually the Grand Astrologer at the court of Emperor Wu of Han (r. 141 - 87 BCE). Sima Qian was also the author of China’s first comprehensive and systematic book... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Cyrene

by Cristian Violatti
published on 30 December 2010
Cyrene was an ancient Greek city on the North African coast near present-day Shahhat, a town located in north-eastern Libya. The precise location of the ancient city was thirteen kilometres from the coast.  A Greek Colony Cyrene owes its birth to a Greek Island named Thera in ancient times and which today is known as Santorini, located in the Southern... [continue reading]
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Ruins of Sardis

by Monsieurdl
published on 20 March 2014
Ruins of the ancient city of Sardis, the capital of the kingdom of Lydia, located in western Anatolia, present-day western Turkey.
Encyclopedia Definition

Sardis

by Cristian Violatti
published on 20 March 2014
Sardis was an important ancient city and capital of the kingdom of Lydia, located in western Anatolia, present-day Sartmustafa, Manisa province in western Turkey. Its strategic location made it a central point connecting the interior of Anatolia to the Aegean coast. During its history, control of Sardis changed many times, but it always kept a high status... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Easter

by Cristian Violatti
published on 31 March 2014
Easter is the Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian tradition links the date of the Easter celebration to the Hebrew calendar based on a combination of astronomical events. Easter and the Jewish Passover festival are strongly connected. The passion of Jesus Christ in the gospels is often presented with the festival... [continue reading]
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Mauryan Empire

by Keeby101
published on 03 April 2014
The Mauryan Empire at its greatest extent in 265 BCE.
Video

The Stupa

by AsianArtMuseum
published on 04 April 2014
A short documentary on The Stupa, a hemispherical mound that represents the burial mound of the Buddha.
Video

Bodh Gaya: Center of the Buddhist World

by AsianArtMuseum
published on 04 April 2014
Learn about Bodh Gaya, one of several sights in India associated with the birth of Buddhism.
Video

Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), Northern Qi dynasty, c. 550--60

by Smarthistory, Art History at Khan Academy
published on 04 April 2014
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=8jFxkEQacVA Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), Northern Qi dynasty, c. 550--60, Shanxi Province, China, sandstone with pigments, 13-3/4 feet / 419.1 cm high (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) View this work up close on the Google Art Project: http://www.googleartproject.com/collection/the-metropolitan-museum-of-art/artwork/bodhisattva-probably-avalokiteshvara-guanyin-unknown/648019/... [continue reading]
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Mauryan Ringstone

by World Imaging
published on 06 April 2014
Mauryan ringstone, Northwest Pakistan, 3rd century BCE. (British Museum, London)
Encyclopedia Definition

Arthashastra

by Cristian Violatti
published on 06 April 2014
The Arthashastra is the title of a handbook for running an empire, effectively written by Kautilya (also known as Chanakya, c. 350-275 BCE) an Indian statesman and philosopher, chief advisor and Prime Minister of the Indian Emperor Chandragupta, the first ruler of the Mauryan Empire. The title Arthashastra is a Sanskrit word which is normally translated... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Christianity

by Wikipedia
published on 28 April 2011
Christianity (from the Greek word Xριστός, Khristos, "Christ", literally "anointed one") is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. Adherents of the Christian faith, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the son of god and the Messiah... [continue reading]
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