World History

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The Rococo Influence in British Art

Although the Rococo movement never got a foothold on British soil, English artists still felt its influence like a fresh breeze from across the English Channel. Without becoming flamboyant, a new, lighter [more…]

Recognizing the Many Faces of Art Forgeries

Art forgeries come in three general categories. One is the straight copy. The straight copy is just that — the forger copies exactly an existing artwork without making changes. The second is called a [more…]

Princess Diana's Death: Accident or Conspiracy?

On August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died after a high-speed car accident in the Pont d'Alma tunnel in Paris. Princess Diana was traveling with Dodi Al-Fayed [more…]

Nostradamus and His Methods: Breaking Down the Predictions

Nostradamus didn't start out with the intention to write a book of poetry. Instead, he spent his nights in the attic in his home in Salon, France. This attic became the retreat where he studied his favorite [more…]

Reacting to the Reformation: The Council of Trent

Alessandro Farnese became Pope Paul III in 1534 and immediately came face-to-face with the Protestant Reformation. At first sight, Paul looked pretty much like his predecessors: born into a rich Roman [more…]

Tracking the "Noble Savage": Paul Gauguin

The bright colors and shocking contrasts of Paul Gauguin's paintings have amazed and perplexed artists and art lovers for over a century, and the story behind Gauguin's life and style is as interesting [more…]

Putting Socrates on Trial

The Greek philosopher Socrates was a pretty amazing example of a person living the search for wisdom. He himself did not leave any writings. He did his philosophizing orally, in the company of other people [more…]

Seven Steps to Reading Nostradamus

The most natural mistake people make when reading Nostradamus's predictions is trying to take in everything he wrote all at once. He was a very deep guy with a lot to say, so don't try to get your PhD [more…]

Pope John Paul II's Inspiration: The Bible

John Paul II, like the popes before him, quoted the scripture, but he was second only to St. Peter himself in quoting the Bible. St. Peter was inspired to write an epistle of the New Testament. John Paul [more…]

Pope John Paul II Brings the Vatican Online

In 1995, Sister Judith Zoebelein, a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist, was asked to create a Web site for the Holy See. Archbishop Foley of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications had already [more…]

Weathering Iraq's Stormy Romance with the West

With some imagination, you may view Jordan as a success story of European meddling. During World War I, the British instigated the Arab Hashemite Bedouin clan of the Arabian Peninsula to revolt and throw [more…]

Napoleon: Basking in the Glow of Glory

When the 28-year-old General Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris in early December 1797, it must have seemed like he had the entire world at his feet. In a very short period of time, he had saved his [more…]

Spotting a Myth a Mile Away

A myth is a story. The Greek word mythos means "story." That's the basic concept. But, of course, not just any old story can be a myth. If you happen to be served a whole pig's head for dinner in Thailand [more…]

Visiting the Homeland with Pope John Paul II

The year 1979 was the 900th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Stanislaus, and Pope John Paul II made it clear that he had every intention of returning to his native Poland [more…]

A Timeline of World History

The history of the world isn’t easily condensed, but the timeline here does a good job of hitting the high notes and most significant events of roughly 4,000 years from the beginnings of Hinduism to the [more…]

World History For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Trying to grasp the history of the world may seem more than a bit daunting — all those names! all those dates! That’s when a timeline with the most significant names and dates included comes in really [more…]

Famous Freemasons

How to Decipher Less-Well-Known Freemasonry Symbols

The Freemasons use all kinds of symbols to represent the practices and beliefs of their order. Many of these Masonic symbols originate from the masonry trade and the Christian Bible. [more…]

The Three Masonic Degrees

Masonic ritual is designed around the symbolic story of the building of a great, spiritual temple, as represented by the Temple of Solomon. The three Masonic degrees are designed to represent three stages [more…]

Freemasons and The York Rite System

The York Rite in Freemasonry actually refers to three cooperative groups that confer a total of ten degrees in the United States. There are four Royal Arch degrees, three Cryptic Mason degrees, and three [more…]

The Basic Principles of Freemasons

Freemasons have a set of basic principles that they all live by. Masonic lodge members promise never to bring anything offensive or defensive into the lodge with them — both weapons and words. The object [more…]

How Religion Fits into Freemasonry

Freemasonry has always been shaped by the countries and societies it has existed in. But, for the most part, since its modern origins in 1717, Ancient Craft Freemasonry has gone out of its way to be [more…]

How Freemasonry Is Still Relevant Today

The bad thing about the basic tenets of Freemasonry is that they don’t change very much. And the good thing about the basic tenets of Freemasonry is that they don’t change very much. [more…]

Why Young Men Join the Freemasons

Freemasonry has been shrinking for a while, and lodges have been panicking. The Baby Boomers just didn’t join. But young men now are starting to rediscover Freemasonry. This new generation of Masons wants [more…]

The Public Ceremonies of the Freemasons

Most of the ceremonies of the Masons go on inside the confines of the lodge, but you may have seen two special Masonic events in public. These public ceremonies are symbolic of beginning and ending: [more…]

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