The Vandals were a large East Germanic tribe or group of tribes that first appear in history inhabiting present-day southern Poland. Some moved in large numbers, including most notably the group which successively established kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa in the 5th century; the traditional view has been that the Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were the same people as the Lugii. Expanding into Dacia during the Marcomannic Wars and to Pannonia during the Crisis of the Third Century, the Vandals were confined to Pannonia by the Goths around 330 AD, where they received permission to settle from Constantine the Great. Around 400, raids by the Huns forced many Germanic tribes to migrate into the territory of the Roman Empire, fearing that they might be targeted next the Vandals were pushed westwards, crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406.
In 409 the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia and Baetica respectively. After the Visigoths invaded Iberia in 418, the Iranian Alans and Silingi Vandals voluntarily subjected themselves to the rule of Hasdingian leader Gunderic, pushed from Gallaecia to Baetica by a Roman-Suebi coalition in 419. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa. By 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands, they fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province, sacked the city of Rome in 455. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Emperor Justinian I's forces reconquered the province for the Eastern Roman Empire. Renaissance and early-modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, "sacking and looting" Rome; this led to the use of the term "vandalism" to describe any pointless destruction the "barbarian" defacing of artwork.
However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture. The name of the Vandals has been connected to that of Vendel, the name of a province in Uppland, eponymous of the Vendel Period of Swedish prehistory, corresponding to the late Germanic Iron Age leading up to the Viking Age; the connection would be that Vendel is the original homeland of the Vandals prior to the Migration Period, retains their tribal name as a toponym. Further possible homelands of the Vandals in Scandinavia are Vendsyssel in Denmark and Hallingdal in Norway; the etymology of the name may be related to a Germanic verb *wand- "to wander". The Germanic mythological figure of Aurvandil "shining wanderer. R. Much has forwarded the theory that the tribal name Vandal reflects worship of Aurvandil or "the Dioscuri" involving an origin myth that the Vandalic kings were descended from Aurvandil; some medieval authors applied the ethnonym "Vandals" to Slavs: Veneti, Lusatians or Poles.
It was once thought that the Slovenes were the descendants of the Vandals, but this is not the view of modern scholars. Both Jordanes in his Getica and the Gotlandic Gutasaga tell that the Goths and Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula prior to the 2nd century BC, settled in Silesia from around 120 BC; the earliest mention of the Vandals is from Pliny the Elder, who used the term Vandilii in a broad way to define one of the major groupings of all Germanic peoples. Tribes within this category who he mentions are the Burgundiones, Varini and the Gutones. According to the Gallaecian Christian priest and theologian Paulus Orosius, the Vandals, who lived in Scoringa, near Stockholm, were of the same stock as the Suiones and the Goths; the Vandals are associated with the Przeworsk culture, but the culture extended over several eastern European peoples. Their origin and linguistic affiliation are debated; the bearers of the Przeworsk culture practiced cremation and inhumation.
The Lugii are identified by modern historians as the same people as the Vandals. The Lugii are mentioned by Strabo and Ptolemy as a large group of tribes between the Vistula and the Oder. None of those authors mentions the Vandals, while Pliny the Elder mentions the Vandals but not the Lugii. According to John Anderson, the "Lugii and Vandili are designations of the same tribal group, the latter an extended ethnic name, the former a cult-title." Herwig Wolfram notes that "In all likelihood the Lugians and the Vandals were one cultic community that lived in the same region of the Oder in Silesia, where it was first under Celtic and under Germanic domination." By the end of the 2nd century, the Vandals were divided in two main tribal groups, the Silingi and the Hasdingi, with the Silingi being associated with Silesia and the Hasdingi living in the Sudetes. Around the mid 2nd century AD, there was a significant migration by Germanic tribes of Scandinavian origin towards the south-east, creating turmoil along the entire Roman frontier.
The 6th century Byzantine historian Procopius noted that the Goths and Vandals were ph
Africa (Roman province)
Africa Proconsularis was a Roman province on the northwest African coast, established in 146 BC following the defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War. It comprised the territory of present-day Tunisia, the northeast of Algeria, the coast of western Libya along the Gulf of Sirte; the territory was inhabited by Berber people, known in Latin as Mauri indigenous to all of North Africa west of Egypt. It was one of the wealthiest provinces in the western part of the Roman empire, second only to Italia. Apart from the city of Carthage, other large settlements in the province were Hadrumetum, capital of Byzacena, Hippo Regius. Rome's first province in northwest Africa was established by the Roman Republic in 146 BC, following its defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War. Africa Proconsularis or Africa Vetus, was governed by a proconsul, it is possible that the name "Africa" comes from the Berber word "afer" or "ifri" that designated a tribe. Utica was formed as the administrative capital; the remaining territory was left in the domain of the Berber Numidian client king Massinissa.
At this time, the Roman policy in Africa was to prevent another great power from rising on the far side of Sicily. In 118 BC, the Numidian prince Jugurtha attempted to reunify the smaller kingdoms. However, upon his death, much of Jugurtha's territory was placed in the control of the Berber Mauretanian client king Bocchus. In 27 BC, when the Republic had transformed into an Empire, the province of Africa began its Imperial occupation under Roman rule. Several political and provincial reforms were implemented by Augustus and by Caligula, but Claudius finalized the territorial divisions into official Roman provinces. Africa was a senatorial province. After Diocletian's administrative reforms, it was split into Africa Zeugitana in the north. All of which were part of the Dioecesis Africae; the region remained a part of the Roman Empire until the Germanic migrations of the 5th century. The Vandals crossed into Northwest Africa from Spain in 429 and overran the area by 439 and founded their own kingdom, including Sicily, Corsica and the Balearics.
The Vandals controlled the country as a warrior-elite but faced strong resistance from the native Berbers. The Vandals persecuted Catholic Berbers, as the Vandals were adherents of Arianism. Towards the end of the 5th century, the Vandal state fell into decline, abandoning most of the interior territories to the Mauri and other Berber tribes of the region. In AD 533, Emperor Justinian, using a Vandal dynastic dispute as pretext, sent an army under the general Belisarius to recover Africa. In a short campaign, Belisarius defeated the Vandals, entered Carthage in triumph and re-established Roman rule over the province; the restored Roman administration was successful in fending off the attacks of the Amazigh desert tribes, by means of an extensive fortification network managed to extend its rule once again to the interior. The northwest African provinces, together with the Roman possessions in Spain, were grouped into the Exarchate of Africa by Emperor Maurice; the exarchate prospered, from it resulted the overthrow of the emperor Phocas by Heraclius in 610.
Heraclius considered moving the imperial capital from Constantinople to Carthage. After 640, the exarchate managed to stave off the Muslim Conquest, but in 698, a Muslim army from Egypt sacked Carthage and conquered the exarchate, ending Roman and Christian rule in Northwest Africa. Legend Even so, the Roman military presence of Northwest Africa was small, consisting of about 28,000 troops and auxiliaries in Numidia and the two Mauretanian provinces. Starting in the 2nd century AD, these garrisons were manned by local inhabitants. A sizable Latin speaking population developed, multinational in background, sharing the northwest African region with those speaking Punic and Berber languages. Imperial security forces began to be drawn from the local population, including the Berbers. Abun-Nasr, in his A History of the Maghrib, said that "What made the Berbers accept the Roman way of life all the more was that the Romans, though a colonizing people who captured their lands by the might of their arms, did not display any racial exclusiveness and were remarkably tolerant of Berber religious cults, be they indigenous or borrowed from the Carthaginians.
However, the Roman territory in Africa was unevenly penetrated by Roman culture. Pockets of non-Romanized Berbers continued to exist throughout the Roman period such as in the rural areas of the romanised regions of Tunisia and Numidia." By the end of the Western Roman Empire nearly all of the Maghreb was romanised, according to Mommsen in his The Provinces of the Roman Empire. Roman Africans enjoyed a high level of prosperity; this prosperity touched even the populations living outside the Roman limes, who were reached with Roman expeditions to Sub-Saharan Africa. The willing acceptance of Roman citizenship by members of the ruling class in African cities produced such Roman Africans as the comic poet Terence, the rhe
In Greek mythology, a Charis or Grace is one of three or more minor goddesses of charm, nature, human creativity, fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. The usual list, from oldest to youngest, is Aglaea and Thalia. In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces". In some variants, Charis was not the singular form of their name; the Charites were considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though they were said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus are Eurydome and Euanthe. Homer wrote; the Charites were associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries. The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to the three goddesses. Although the Graces numbered three, according to the Spartans, not Thalia, was the third, other Graces are sometimes mentioned, including Damia, Cleta, Hegemone, Paregoros and Charis or Cale. An ancient vase painting attests the following names as five: Antheia, Euthymia, Paidia, Pannychis —all referring to the Charites as patronesses of amusement and festivities.
Pausanias interrupts his Description of Greece to expand upon the various conceptions of the Graces that had developed in different parts of mainland Greece and Ionia: "The Boeotians say that Eteocles was the first man to sacrifice to the Graces. Moreover, they are aware that he established three as the number of the Graces, but they have no tradition of the names he gave them; the Lacedaemonians, say that the Graces are two, that they were instituted by Lacedaemon, son of Taygete, who gave them the names of Cleta and Phaenna. These are appropriate names for Graces, as are those given by the Athenians, who from of old have worshipped two Graces and Hegemone, until Hermesianax added Peitho as a third, it was from Eteocles of Orchomenus. And Angelion and Tectaus, sons of Dionysus, who made the image of Apollo for the Delians, set three Graces in his hand. Again, at Athens, before the entrance to the Acropolis, the Graces are three in number. Pamphos was the first we know of to sing about the Graces, but his poetry contains no information either as to their number or about their names.
Homer makes one the wife of Hephaestus. He says that Sleep was a lover of Pasithea, in the speech of Sleep there is this verse:Verily that he would give me one of the younger Graces."Hence some have suspected that Homer knew of older Graces as well. Hesiod in the Theogony says that the three Graces are daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, giving them the names of Aglaia and lovely Thalia; the poem of Onomacritus agrees with this account. Antimachus, while giving neither the number of the Graces nor their names, says that they are daughters of Aegle and the Sun; the elegiac poet Hermesianax disagrees with his predecessors in that he makes Persuasion one of the Graces." Nonnus gives their three names as Pasithea and Aglaia. Sostratus gives the names as Pasithea and Euphrosyne; the Charites was most depicted in the sanctuaries of other gods, but they did have their own temples as well, at least four temples to them are known from Greece. The two main cult centres of the Charites were the town of Orkhomenos in northern Boiotia, the Aegean island of Paros.
There were temples to the Charites in Hermione, in Sparta and in Elis: "There is a sanctuary to the Kharites. One of them holds a rose, the middle one a die, the third a small branch of myrtle; the reason for their holding these things may be guessed to be this. The rose and the myrtle are sacred to Aphrodite and connected with the story of Adonis, while the Kharites are of all deities the nearest related to Aphrodite; as for the die, it is the plaything of youths and maidens, who have nothing of the ugliness of old age. On the right of the Kharites is an image of Eros, standing on the same pedestal."The temple regarded as their most important was the Temple of the Charites in Orkhomenos, where their cult was thought to have originated: "The Boiotians say that Eteokles was the first man to sacrifice to the Kharites. Moreover, they are aware that he established three as the number of the Kharites, but they have no tradition of the names he gave them... It was from Eteokles of Orkhomenos. At Orkhomenos is a sanctuary of Dionysos.
They worship the stones most, say that they fell for Eteokles out of heaven. The artistic images were dedicated in my time, they too are of stone."Strabo wrote: "Eteokles, one of those who reigned as king at Orkhomenos, who founded a temple of the Kharites, was the first to display both wealth and power.
Geometry is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, relative position of figures, the properties of space. A mathematician who works in the field of geometry is called a geometer. Geometry arose independently in a number of early cultures as a practical way for dealing with lengths and volumes. Geometry began to see elements of formal mathematical science emerging in the West as early as the 6th century BC. By the 3rd century BC, geometry was put into an axiomatic form by Euclid, whose treatment, Euclid's Elements, set a standard for many centuries to follow. Geometry arose independently in India, with texts providing rules for geometric constructions appearing as early as the 3rd century BC. Islamic scientists expanded on them during the Middle Ages. By the early 17th century, geometry had been put on a solid analytic footing by mathematicians such as René Descartes and Pierre de Fermat. Since and into modern times, geometry has expanded into non-Euclidean geometry and manifolds, describing spaces that lie beyond the normal range of human experience.
While geometry has evolved throughout the years, there are some general concepts that are more or less fundamental to geometry. These include the concepts of points, planes, surfaces and curves, as well as the more advanced notions of manifolds and topology or metric. Geometry has applications to many fields, including art, physics, as well as to other branches of mathematics. Contemporary geometry has many subfields: Euclidean geometry is geometry in its classical sense; the mandatory educational curriculum of the majority of nations includes the study of points, planes, triangles, similarity, solid figures and analytic geometry. Euclidean geometry has applications in computer science and various branches of modern mathematics. Differential geometry uses techniques of linear algebra to study problems in geometry, it has applications in physics, including in general relativity. Topology is the field concerned with the properties of geometric objects that are unchanged by continuous mappings. In practice, this means dealing with large-scale properties of spaces, such as connectedness and compactness.
Convex geometry investigates convex shapes in the Euclidean space and its more abstract analogues using techniques of real analysis. It has close connections to convex analysis and functional analysis and important applications in number theory. Algebraic geometry studies geometry through the use of multivariate polynomials and other algebraic techniques, it has applications including cryptography and string theory. Discrete geometry is concerned with questions of relative position of simple geometric objects, such as points and circles, it shares many principles with combinatorics. Computational geometry deals with algorithms and their implementations for manipulating geometrical objects. Although being a young area of geometry, it has many applications in computer vision, image processing, computer-aided design, medical imaging, etc; the earliest recorded beginnings of geometry can be traced to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt in the 2nd millennium BC. Early geometry was a collection of empirically discovered principles concerning lengths, angles and volumes, which were developed to meet some practical need in surveying, construction and various crafts.
The earliest known texts on geometry are the Egyptian Rhind Papyrus and Moscow Papyrus, the Babylonian clay tablets such as Plimpton 322. For example, the Moscow Papyrus gives a formula for calculating the volume of a truncated pyramid, or frustum. Clay tablets demonstrate that Babylonian astronomers implemented trapezoid procedures for computing Jupiter's position and motion within time-velocity space; these geometric procedures anticipated the Oxford Calculators, including the mean speed theorem, by 14 centuries. South of Egypt the ancient Nubians established a system of geometry including early versions of sun clocks. In the 7th century BC, the Greek mathematician Thales of Miletus used geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore, he is credited with the first use of deductive reasoning applied to geometry, by deriving four corollaries to Thales' Theorem. Pythagoras established the Pythagorean School, credited with the first proof of the Pythagorean theorem, though the statement of the theorem has a long history.
Eudoxus developed the method of exhaustion, which allowed the calculation of areas and volumes of curvilinear figures, as well as a theory of ratios that avoided the problem of incommensurable magnitudes, which enabled subsequent geometers to make significant advances. Around 300 BC, geometry was revolutionized by Euclid, whose Elements considered the most successful and influential textbook of all time, introduced mathematical rigor through the axiomatic method and is the earliest example of the format still used in mathematics today, that of definition, axiom and proof. Although most of the contents of the Elements were known, Euclid arranged them into a single, coherent logical framework; the Elements was known to all educated people in the West until the middle of the 20th century and its contents are still taught in geometry classes today. Archimedes of Syracuse used the method of exhaustion to calculate the area under the arc of a parabola with the summation of an infinite series, gave remarkably accurate approximations of Pi.
He studied the sp
Mercury is a major god in Roman religion and mythology, being one of the 12 Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, eloquence, communication, boundaries, luck and thieves, he was considered the son of Maia, a daughter of the Titan Atlas, Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is related to the Latin word merx and merces. In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, he is depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand. Similar to his Greek equivalent Hermes, he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which turned into the caduceus. Mercury did not appear among the numinous di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. From the beginning, Mercury had the same aspects as Hermes, wearing winged shoes and a winged hat, carrying the caduceus, a herald's staff with two entwined snakes, Apollo's gift to Hermes.
He was accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, a tortoise, referring to Mercury's legendary invention of the lyre from a tortoise shell. Like Hermes, he was a god of messages, eloquence and of trade of the grain trade. Mercury was considered a god of abundance and commercial success in Gaul, where he was said to have been revered, he was like Hermes, the Romans' psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus' dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans. Archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests; the god of commerce was depicted on two early bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia. When they described the gods of Celtic and Germanic tribes, rather than considering them separate deities, the Romans interpreted them as local manifestations or aspects of their own gods, a cultural trait called the interpretatio Romana. Mercury, in particular, was reported as becoming popular among the nations the Roman Empire conquered.
This is because, in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, in this aspect was accompanied by the Celtic goddess Rosmerta. Although Lugus may have been a deity of light or the sun, similar to the Roman Apollo, his importance as a god of trade made him more comparable to Mercury, Apollo was instead equated with the Celtic deity Belenus. Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan, by interpretatio Romana. Mercury is known to the Romans as Mercurius and in earlier writings as Merqurius, Mirqurios or Mircurios, had a number of epithets representing different aspects or roles, or representing syncretisms with non-Roman deities; the most common and significant of these epithets included the following: Mercurius Artaios, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic god Artaios, a deity of bears and hunting, worshiped at Beaucroissant, France. Mercurius Arvernus, a syncretism of the Celtic Arvernus with Mercury. Arvernus was worshiped in the Rhineland as a particular deity of the Arverni tribe, though no dedications to Mercurius Arvernus occur in their territory in the Auvergne region of central France.
Mercurius Cimbrianus, a syncretism of Mercury with a god of the Cimbri sometimes thought to represent Odin. Mercurius Cissonius, a combination of Mercury with the Celtic god Cissonius, written of in the area spanning from Cologne, Germany to Saintes, France. Mercurius Esibraeus, a syncretism of the Iberian deity Esibraeus with the Roman deity Mercury. Esibraeus is mentioned only in an inscription found at Medelim, is the same deity as Banda Isibraiegus, invoked in an inscription from the nearby village of Bemposta. Mercurius Gebrinius, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic or Germanic Gebrinius, known from an inscription on an altar in Bonn, Germany. Mercurius Moccus, from a Celtic god, equated with Mercury, known from evidence at Langres, France; the name Moccus implies. Mercurius Sobrius, a syncretism of Mercury with a Carthaginian god of commerce. Mercurius Visucius, a syncretism of the Celtic god Visucius with the Roman god Mercury, attested in an inscription from Stuttgart, Germany. Visucius was worshiped in the frontier area of the empire in Gaul and Germany.
Although he was associated with Mercury, Visucius was sometimes linked to the Roman god Mars, as a dedicatory inscription to "Mars Visucius" and Visucia, Visicius' female counterpart, was found in Gaul. In Virgil's Aeneid, Mercury reminds Aeneas of his mission to found the city of Rome. In Ovid's Fasti, Mercury is assigned to escort the
Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, stars, nebulae and comets. More all phenomena that originate outside Earth's atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject is physical cosmology, the study of the Universe as a whole. Astronomy is one of the oldest of the natural sciences; the early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Indians, Nubians, Chinese and many ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas, performed methodical observations of the night sky. Astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is now considered to be synonymous with astrophysics. Professional astronomy is split into theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, analyzed using basic principles of physics.
Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results. Astronomy is one of the few sciences in which amateurs still play an active role in the discovery and observation of transient events. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets. Astronomy means "law of the stars". Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two fields share a common origin, they are now distinct. Both of the terms "astronomy" and "astrophysics" may be used to refer to the same subject. Based on strict dictionary definitions, "astronomy" refers to "the study of objects and matter outside the Earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties," while "astrophysics" refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with "the behavior, physical properties, dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena."
In some cases, as in the introduction of the introductory textbook The Physical Universe by Frank Shu, "astronomy" may be used to describe the qualitative study of the subject, whereas "astrophysics" is used to describe the physics-oriented version of the subject. However, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could be called astrophysics; some fields, such as astrometry, are purely astronomy rather than astrophysics. Various departments in which scientists carry out research on this subject may use "astronomy" and "astrophysics" depending on whether the department is affiliated with a physics department, many professional astronomers have physics rather than astronomy degrees; some titles of the leading scientific journals in this field include The Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal, Astronomy and Astrophysics. In early historic times, astronomy only consisted of the observation and predictions of the motions of objects visible to the naked eye.
In some locations, early cultures assembled massive artifacts that had some astronomical purpose. In addition to their ceremonial uses, these observatories could be employed to determine the seasons, an important factor in knowing when to plant crops and in understanding the length of the year. Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye; as civilizations developed, most notably in Mesopotamia, Persia, China and Central America, astronomical observatories were assembled and ideas on the nature of the Universe began to develop. Most early astronomy consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry. From these observations, early ideas about the motions of the planets were formed, the nature of the Sun and the Earth in the Universe were explored philosophically; the Earth was believed to be the center of the Universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the Ptolemaic system, named after Ptolemy.
A important early development was the beginning of mathematical and scientific astronomy, which began among the Babylonians, who laid the foundations for the astronomical traditions that developed in many other civilizations. The Babylonians discovered. Following the Babylonians, significant advances in astronomy were made in ancient Greece and the Hellenistic world. Greek astronomy is characterized from the start by seeking a rational, physical explanation for celestial phenomena. In the 3rd century BC, Aristarchus of Samos estimated the size and distance of the Moon and Sun, he proposed a model of the Solar System where the Earth and planets rotated around the Sun, now called the heliocentric model. In the 2nd century BC, Hipparchus discovered precession, calculated the size and distance of the Moon and inven
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding