Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary was a 1st-century BC Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin; the miraculous conception took place when she was betrothed to Joseph. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem; the Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to Catholic and Orthodox teachings, at the end of her earthly life her body was raised directly into Heaven. Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion, she is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God.
There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the relative brevity of biblical references. Mary has a revered position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, translit. Maryam or Mariam; the English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, a shortened form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament. In Christianity, Mary is referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. Among her many other names and titles are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokos, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, although the title "Queen of Heaven" was a name for a pagan goddess being worshipped during the prophet Jeremiah's lifetime.
Titles in use vary among Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants and other Christians. The three main titles for Mary used by the Orthodox are Theotokos, Aeiparthenos as confirmed in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, Panagia. Catholics use a wide variety of titles for Mary, these titles have in turn given rise to many artistic depictions. For example, the title Our Lady of Sorrows has inspired such masterpieces as Michelangelo's Pietà; the title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. The direct equivalents of title in Latin are Deipara and Dei Genetrix, although the phrase is more loosely translated into Latin as Mater Dei, with similar patterns for other languages used in the Latin Church. However, this same phrase in Greek, in the abbreviated form ΜΡ ΘΥ, is an indication attached to her image in Byzantine icons; the Council stated that the Church Fathers "did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God". Some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis.
For instance, the title "Queen Mother" has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, sometimes referred to as the "King of Kings" due to his ancestral descent from King David. Other titles have arisen from special appeals, or occasions for calling on Mary. To give a few examples, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Navigators, Our Lady Undoer of Knots fit this description. In Islam, she is known as mother of Isa, she is referred to by the honorific title sayyidatuna, meaning "our lady". A related term of endearment is Siddiqah, meaning "she who confirms the truth" and "she who believes sincerely completely". Another title for Mary is Qānitah, which signifies both constant submission to God and absorption in prayer and invocation in Islam, she is called "Tahira", meaning "one, purified" and representing her status as one of two humans in creation to not be touched by Satan at any point. The Gospel of Luke mentions Mary the most identifying her by name twelve times, all of these in the infancy narrative.
The Gospel of Matthew mentions her by name six times, five of these in the infancy narrative and only once outside the infancy narrative. The Gospel of Mark names her once and mentions her as Jesus' mother without naming her in 3:31 and 3:32; the Gospel of John never mentions her by name. Described as Jesus' mother, she makes two appearances, she is first seen at the wedding at Cana. The second reference, listed only in this gospel, has her standing near the cross of Jesus together with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas (or Cleophas
Owls are birds from the order Strigiformes, which includes about 200 species of solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision, binaural hearing, sharp talons, feathers adapted for silent flight. Exceptions include the gregarious burrowing owl. Owls hunt small mammals and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish, they are found in all regions of the Earth except some remote islands. Owls are divided into two families: the true owl family and the barn-owl family, Tytonidae. Owls possess large, forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, a conspicuous circle of feathers, a facial disc, around each eye; the feathers making up this disc can be adjusted to focus sounds from varying distances onto the owls' asymmetrically placed ear cavities. Most birds of prey have eyes on the sides of their heads, but the stereoscopic nature of the owl's forward-facing eyes permits the greater sense of depth perception necessary for low-light hunting.
Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets—as are those of most other birds—so they must turn their entire heads to change views. As owls are farsighted, they are unable to see anything within a few centimeters of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes—hairlike feathers on the beak and feet that act as "feelers", their far vision in low light, is exceptionally good. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270°. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae compared to seven in humans, they have adaptations to their circulatory systems, permitting rotation without cutting off blood to the brain: the foramina in their vertebrae through which the vertebral arteries pass are about 10 times the diameter of the artery, instead of about the same size as the artery as in humans. Other anastomoses between the carotid and vertebral arteries support this effect; the smallest owl—weighing as little as 31 g and measuring some 13.5 cm —is the elf owl.
Around the same diminutive length, although heavier, are the lesser known long-whiskered owlet and Tamaulipas pygmy owl. The largest owls are two sized eagle owls; the largest females of these species are 71 cm long, have 54 cm long wings, weigh 4.2 kg. Different species of owls produce different sounds; as noted above, their facial discs help owls to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. In many species, these discs are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location. Owl plumage is cryptic, although several species have facial and head markings, including face masks, ear tufts, brightly coloured irises; these markings are more common in species inhabiting open habitats, are thought to be used in signaling with other owls in low-light conditions. Sexual dimorphism is a physical difference between females of a species. Reverse sexual dimorphism, when females are larger than males, has been observed across multiple owl species; the degree of size dimorphism varies across multiple populations and species, is measured through various traits, such as wing span and body mass.
Overall, female owls tend to be larger than males. The exact explanation for this development in owls is unknown. However, several theories explain the development of sexual dimorphism in owls. One theory suggests that selection has led males to be smaller because it allows them to be efficient foragers; the ability to obtain more food is advantageous during breeding season. In some species, female owls stay at their nest with their eggs while it is the responsibility of the male to bring back food to the nest. However, if food is scarce, the male first feeds himself before feeding the female. Small birds, which are agile, are an important source of food for owls. Male burrowing owls have been observed to have longer wing chords than females, despite being smaller than females. Furthermore, owls have been observed to be the same size as their prey; this has been observed in other predatory birds, which suggests that owls with smaller bodies and long wing chords have been selected for because of the increased agility and speed that allows them to catch their prey.
Another popular theory suggests that females have not been selected to be smaller like male owls because of their sexual roles. In many species, female owls may not leave the nest. Therefore, females may have a larger mass to allow them to go for a longer period of time without starving. For example, one hypothesized sexual role is that larger females are more capable of dismembering prey and feeding it to their young, hence female owls are larger than their male counterparts. A different theory suggests that the size difference between male and females is due to sexual selection: since large females can choose their mate and may violently reject a male's sexual advances, smaller male owls that have the ability to escape unreceptive females are more to have been selected. All owls are carnivorous bi
Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον and πόλις. Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. During ancient times it was known more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, the supposed first Athenian king. While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike; the Parthenon and the other buildings were damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded.
The Acropolis is located on a flattish-topped rock that rises 150 m above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. While the earliest artifacts date to the Middle Neolithic era, there have been documented habitations in Attica from the Early Neolithic period. There is little doubt that a Mycenaean megaron palace stood upon the hill during the late Bronze Age. Nothing of this megaron survives except a single limestone column-base and pieces of several sandstone steps. Soon after the palace was constructed, a Cyclopean massive circuit wall was built, 760 meters long, up to 10 meters high, ranging from 3.5 to 6 meters thick. This wall would serve as the main defense for the acropolis until the 5th century; the wall consisted of two parapets built with large stone blocks and cemented with an earth mortar called emplekton. The wall uses typical Mycenaean conventions in that it followed the natural contour of the terrain and its gate, towards the south, was arranged obliquely, with a parapet and tower overhanging the incomers' right-hand side, thus facilitating defense.
There were two lesser approaches up the hill on its north side, consisting of steep, narrow flights of steps cut in the rock. Homer is assumed to refer to this fortification when he mentions the "strong-built House of Erechtheus". At some time before the 13th century BC, an earthquake caused a fissure near the northeastern edge of the Acropolis; this fissure extended some 35 meters to a bed of soft marl. An elaborate set of stairs was built and the well served as an invaluable, protected source of drinking water during times of siege for some portion of the Mycenaean period. Not much is known about the architectural appearance of the Acropolis until the Archaic era. During the 7th and the 6th centuries BC, the site was controlled by Kylon during the failed Kylonian revolt, twice by Peisistratos. Apart from the Hekatompedon mentioned Peisistratos built an entry gate or Propylaea, it seems that a nine-gate wall, the Enneapylon, had been built around the biggest water spring, the Clepsydra, at the northwestern foot.
A temple to Athena Polias, the tutelary deity of the city, was erected between 570–550 BC. This Doric limestone building, from which many relics survive, is referred to as the Hekatompedon, Ur-Parthenon, H–Architecture or Bluebeard temple, after the pedimental three-bodied man-serpent sculpture, whose beards were painted dark blue. Whether this temple replaced an older one, or just a sacred precinct or altar, is not known; the Hekatompedon was built where the Parthenon now stands. Between 529–520 BC yet another temple was built by the Peisistratids, the Old Temple of Athena referred to as the Arkhaios Neōs; this temple of Athena Polias was built upon the Dörpfeld foundations, between the Erechtheion and the still-standing Parthenon. Arkhaios Neōs was destroyed as part of the Achaemenid destruction of Athens during the Second Persian invasion of Greece during 480-479 BC; the temple may have been burnt down during 406/405 BC as Xenophon mentions that the old temple of Athena was set afire. Pausanias does not mention it in his 2nd century AD Description of Greece.
Around 500 BC the Hekatompedon was dismantled to make place for a new grander building, the "Older Parthenon". For this reason, Athenians decided to stop the construction of the Olympieion temple, connoted with the tyrant Peisistratos and his sons and, used the Piraeus limestone destined for the Olympieion to build the Older Parthenon. In order to accommodate the new temple, the south part of the summit was cleared, made level by adding some 8,000 two-ton blocks of limestone, a foundation 11 m deep at some points, the rest was filled with soil kept in place by the retaining wall. However, after the victorious Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, the plan was revised and marble was used instead; the limestone phase of the building is referred to as Pre-Parthenon I and the marble phase as Pre-Parthenon II. In 485 BC, construction stalled to save resources as Xerxes became king of Persia and war seemed imminent; the Older Parthenon was still under
Laurus nobilis is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, glabrous leaves, in the flowering plant family Lauraceae. It is used as bay leaf for seasoning in cooking, its common names include bay tree, bay laurel, sweet bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel, or laurel. Laurus nobilis figures prominently in classical Greco-Roman culture. Worldwide, many other kinds of plants in diverse families are called "bay" or "laurel" due to similarity of foliage or aroma to Laurus nobilis, the full name is used for the California bay laurel in the family Lauraceae; the Laurel is an evergreen small tree, variable in size and sometimes reaching 7 -- 18 m tall. The genus Laurus includes four accepted species, whose diagnostic key characters overlap; the Bay Laurel is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. Each flower is pale yellow-green, about 1 cm diameter, they are borne in pairs beside a leaf; the leaves are 6 -- 12 cm long and 2 -- 4 cm broad, with an entire margin. On some leaves the margin undulates.
The fruit is a shiny black berry-like drupe about 1 cm long that contains one seed. A recent study found considerable genetic diversity within L. nobilis, that L. azorica is not genetically or morphologically distinct. Laurus nobilis is a widespread relic of the laurel forests that covered much of the Mediterranean Basin when the climate of the region was more humid. With the drying of the Mediterranean during the Pliocene era, the laurel forests retreated, were replaced by the more drought-tolerant sclerophyll plant communities familiar today. Most of the last remaining laurel forests around the Mediterranean are believed to have disappeared ten thousand years ago, although some remnants still persist in the mountains of southern Turkey, northern Syria, southern Spain, north-central Portugal, northern Morocco, the Canary Islands and in Madeira; the plant is the source of several popular herbs and one spice used in a wide variety of recipes among Mediterranean cuisines. Most the aromatic leaves are added whole to Italian pasta sauces.
They are removed from dishes before serving, unless used as a simple garnish. Whole bay leaves have a long shelf life of about one year, under normal humidity. Whole bay leaves are used exclusively as flavor agents during the food preparation stage. Ground bay leaves, can be ingested safely and are used in soups and stocks, as well as being a common addition to a Bloody Mary. Dried laurel berries and pressed leaf oil can both be used as robust spices, the wood can be burnt for strong smoke flavoring. Laurus nobilis is cultivated as an ornamental plant in regions with Mediterranean or oceanic climates, as a house plant or greenhouse plant in colder regions, it is used in topiary to create single erect stems with box-shaped or twisted crowns. However it may take several years to reach the desired height. Together with a gold form, L. nobilis'Aurea' and a willow-leaved form L. nobilis f. angustifolia it has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. In herbal medicine, aqueous extracts of bay laurel have been used as an astringent and salve for open wounds.
It is used in massage therapy and aromatherapy. A traditional folk remedy for rashes caused by poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle is a poultice soaked in boiled bay leaves; the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder listed a variety of conditions which laurel oil was supposed to treat: paralysis, sciatica, headaches, ear infections, rheumatism. Laurel oil is a main ingredient, the distinguishing characteristic of Aleppo soap. In Ancient Greece, the plant was called daphne, after the mythic mountain nymph of the same name. In the myth of Apollo and Daphne, the god Apollo fell in love with Daphne, a priestess of Gaia, when he tried to seduce her she pled for help to Gaia, who transported her to Crete. In Daphne's place Gaia left a laurel tree. Other versions of the myth, including that of the Roman poet Ovid, state that Daphne was transformed directly into a laurel tree. Bay laurel was used to fashion a symbol of highest status. A wreath of bay laurels was given as the prize at the Pythian Games because the games were in honor of Apollo, the laurel was one of his symbols.
According to the poet Lucian, the priestess of Apollo known as the Pythia reputedly chewed laurel leaves from a sacred tree growing inside the temple to induce the enthusiasmos from which she uttered the oracular prophecies which she was famous for. Some accounts starting in the fourth century BC describe her as shaking a laurel branch while delivering her prophecies; those who received promising omens from the Pythia were crowned with laurel wreaths as a symbol of Apollo's favor. The symbolism carried over to Roman culture, it was associated with immortality, with ritual purification and health. It is the source of the words baccalaureate and poet laureate, as well as the expressions "assume the laurel" and "resting on one's laurels". Pliny the Elder stated that the Laurel was not permitted for "profane" uses - lighting it on fire at altars "for the propitiation of divinities" was forbidden, because "...it is evident that the laurel protests against such usage by crackling as it does in the fire, thus, in a manner, giving expression
Drachma was the currency used in Greece during several periods in its history: An ancient Greek currency unit issued by many Greek city states during a period of ten centuries, from the Archaic period throughout the Classical period, the Hellenistic period up to the Roman period under Greek Imperial Coinage. Three modern Greek currencies, the first introduced in 1832 and the last replaced by the euro in 2001; the euro did not begin circulating until 2002 but the exchange rate was fixed on 19 June 2000, with legal introduction of the euro taking place in January 2002. It was a small unit of weight; the name drachma is derived from the verb δράσσομαι. It is believed that the same word with the meaning of "handful" or "handle" is found in Linear B tablets of the Mycenean Pylos. A drachma was a fistful of six oboloí or obeloí used as a form of currency as early as 1100 BC and being a form of "bullion": bronze, copper, or iron ingots denominated by weight. A hoard of over 150 rod-shaped obeloi was uncovered at Heraion of Argos in Peloponnese.
Six of them are displayed at the Numismatic Museum of Athens. It was the standard unit of silver coinage at most ancient Greek mints, the name obol was used to describe a coin, one-sixth of a drachma; the notion that drachma derived from the word for fistful was recorded by Herakleides of Pontos, informed by the priests of Heraion that Pheidon, king of Argos, dedicated rod-shaped obeloi to Heraion. Similar information about Pheidon's obeloi was recorded at the Parian Chronicle. Ancient Greek coins had distinctive names in daily use; the Athenian tetradrachm was called owl, the Aeginetic stater was called chelone, the Corinthian stater was called hippos and so on. Each city would mint its own and have them stamped with recognizable symbols of the city, known as badge in numismatics, along with suitable inscriptions, they would be referred to either by the name of the city or of the image depicted; the exact exchange value of each was determined by the quantity and quality of the metal, which reflected on the reputation of each mint.
Among the Greek cities that used the drachma were: Abdera, Alexandria, Antioch, Chios, Corinth, Eretria, Catana, Maronia, Pella, Rhegion, Smyrni, Syracuse, Thasos, Tenedos and more. The 5th century BC Athenian tetradrachm coin was the most used coin in the Greek world prior to the time of Alexander the Great, it featured the helmeted profile bust of Athena on an owl on the reverse. In daily use they were called γλαῦκες glaukes, hence the proverb Γλαῦκ’ Ἀθήναζε,'an owl to Athens', referring to something, in plentiful supply, like'coals to Newcastle'; the reverse is featured on the national side of the modern Greek 1 euro coin. Drachmae were minted on different weight standards at different Greek mints; the standard that came to be most used was the Athenian or Attic one, which weighed a little over 4.3 grams. After Alexander the Great's conquests, the name drachma was used in many of the Hellenistic kingdoms in the Middle East, including the Ptolemaic kingdom in Alexandria and the Parthian Empire based in what is modern-day Iran.
The Arabic unit of currency known as dirham, known from pre-Islamic times and afterwards, inherited its name from the drachma or didrachm. The Armenian dram derives its name from the drachma, it is difficult to estimate comparative exchange rates with modern currency because the range of products produced by economies of centuries gone by were different from today, which makes purchasing power parity calculations difficult. S. dollars, whereas classical historians say that in the heyday of ancient Greece the daily wage for a skilled worker or a hoplite was one drachma, for a heliast half a drachma since 425 BC. Modern commentators derived from Xenophon that half a drachma per day would provide "a comfortable subsistence" for "the poor citizens". Earlier in 422 BC, we see in Aristophanes that the daily half-drachma of a juror is just enough for the daily subsistence of a family of three. A modern person might think of one drachma as the rough equivalent of a skilled worker's daily pay in the place where they live, which could be as low as US$1, or as high as $100, depending on the country.
Fractions and multiples of the drachma were minted by many states, most notably in Ptolemaic Egypt, which minted large coins in gold and bronze. Notable Ptolemaic coins included the gold pentadrachm and octadrachm, silver tetradrachm and pentakaidecadrachm; this was noteworthy as it would not be until the introduction of the Guldengroschen in 1486 that coins of substantial size would be minted in significant quantities. For the Roman successors of the drachma, see Roman provincial coins; the weight of the silver drachma was 4.3 grams or 0.15 ounces, although weights varied from one city-state to another. It was divided into six obols of 0.72 grams, which wer
The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, meaning "European olive", is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in the Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, southern Asia as far east as China, as well as the Canary Islands and Réunion. The species is cultivated in many places and considered naturalized in all the countries of the Mediterranean coast, as well as in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Norfolk Island and Bermuda. Olea europaea is the type species for the genus Olea; the olive's fruit called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The tree and its fruit give their name to the plant family, which includes species such as lilacs, jasmine and the true ash trees; the word "olive" derives from Latin ŏlīva through Etruscan from the archaic Proto-Greek form *ἐλαίϝα. The word "oil" meant "olive oil", from ŏlĕum, ἔλαιον. In multiple other languages the word for "oil" derives from the name of this tree and its fruit.
The oldest attested forms of the Greek words are the Mycenaean, e-ra-wa, and, e-ra-wo or, e-rai-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script. The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean and Africa, it is short and squat, exceeds 8–15 m in height.'Pisciottana', a unique variety comprising 40,000 trees found only in the area around Pisciotta in the Campania region of southern Italy exceeds this, with correspondingly large trunk diameters. The silvery green leaves are oblong, measuring 4 -- 1 -- 3 cm wide; the trunk is gnarled and twisted. The small, feathery flowers, with ten-cleft calyx and corolla, two stamens, bifid stigma, are borne on the previous year's wood, in racemes springing from the axils of the leaves; the fruit is a small drupe 1–2.5 cm long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars. Olives are harvested in the green to purple stage. Canned black olives have been artificially blackened and may contain the chemical ferrous gluconate to improve the appearance.
Olea europaea contains a seed referred to in American English as a pit or a rock, in British English as a stone. The six natural subspecies of Olea europaea are distributed over a wide range: Olea europaea subsp. Europaea Olea europaea subsp. Europaea var. sylvestris, considered the "wild" olive of the Mediterranean, is a variety characterized by a smaller tree bearing noticeably smaller fruit. O. e. subsp. Cuspidata O. e. subsp. Guanchica O. e. subsp. Cerasiformis O. e. subsp. Maroccana O. e. subsp. Laperrinei The subspecies O. e. maroccana and O. e. cerasiformis are hexaploid and tetraploid. Wild growing forms of the olive are sometimes treated as the species Olea oleaster; the trees referred to as white and black olives in Southeast Asia are not olives, but species of Canarium. Hundreds of cultivars of the olive tree are known. An olive's cultivar has a significant impact on its colour, size and growth characteristics, as well as the qualities of olive oil. Olive cultivars may be used for oil, eating, or both.
Olives cultivated for consumption are referred to as table olives. Since many olive cultivars are self-sterile or nearly so, they are planted in pairs with a single primary cultivar and a secondary cultivar selected for its ability to fertilize the primary one. In recent times, efforts have been directed at producing hybrid cultivars with qualities useful to farmers, such as resistance to disease, quick growth, larger or more consistent crops. Fossil evidence indicates the olive tree had its origins some 20–40 million years ago in the Oligocene, in what is now corresponding to Italy and the eastern Mediterranean Basin; the olive plant was first cultivated some 7,000 years ago in Mediterranean regions. The edible olive seems to have coexisted with humans for about 5,000 to 6,000 years, going back to the early Bronze Age, its origin can be traced to the Levant based on written tablets, olive pits, wood fragments found in ancient tombs. The immediate ancestry of the cultivated olive is unknown. Fossil Olea pollen has been found in Macedonia and other places around the Mediterranean, indicating that this genus is an original element of the Mediterranean flora.
Fossilized leaves of Olea were found in the palaeosols of the volcanic Greek island of Santorini and were dated about 37,000 BP. Imprints of larvae of olive whitefly Aleurolobus olivinus were found on the leaves; the same insect is found today on olive leaves, showing that the plant-animal co-evolutionary relations have not changed since that time. Other leaves found on the same island are dated back to 60,000 BP, making them the oldest known olives from the Mediterranean; as far back as 3000 BC, olives were grown commercially in Crete. Olives are not native to the Americas. Spanish colonists brought the olive to the New World, where its cultivation prospered in present-day Peru and Chile; the first seedlings from Spain were planted in Lima by Antonio de Rivera in 1560. Olive tree cultivation spread along the valleys of South America's dry Pacific coast where the climate was
Dormition of the Mother of God
The Dormition of the Mother of God, Albanian: Fjetja e Shën Marisë, is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of Mary the Theotokos, her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on 15 August as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God; the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Dormition not on a fixed date, but on the Sunday nearest 15 August. The death or Dormition of Mary is not recorded in the Christian canonical scriptures. Hippolytus of Thebes, a 7th- or 8th-century author, claims in his preserved chronology to the New Testament that Mary lived for 11 years after the death of Jesus, dying in AD 41; the term Dormition expresses the belief that the Virgin died without suffering, in a state of spiritual peace. This belief does not rest on any scriptural basis, but is affirmed by Orthodox Christian Holy Tradition, it is testified to in some old Apocryphal writings, but neither the Orthodox Church nor other Christians regard these as possessing scriptural authority.
The Feast of the Dormition is preceded by a two-week fast, referred to as the Dormition Fast. From August 1 to August 14 Orthodox and Eastern Catholics fast from red meat, meat products, dairy products, fish and wine; the Dormition Fast is a stricter fast than either the Nativity Fast or the Apostles' Fast, with only wine and oil allowed on weekends. As with the other Fasts of the Church year, there is a Great Feast. In some places, the services on weekdays during the Fast are similar to the services during Great Lent. Many churches and monasteries in the Russian tradition perform the lenten services on at least the first day of the Dormition Fast. In the Greek tradition, during the Fast either the Great Paraklesis or the Small Paraklesis is celebrated every evening except Saturday evening and the Eves of the Transfiguration and the Dormition; the first day of the Dormition Fast is a feast day called the Procession of the Cross, on which day it is customary to have an outdoor procession and perform the Lesser Blessing of Water.
In Eastern Orthodoxy it is the day of the Holy Seven Maccabees, Martyrs Abimus, Gurias, Eusebonus and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia, their teacher Eleazar. Therefore, the day is sometimes referred to as "Makovei", it is considered the First of the three "Feasts of the Saviour" in August, the Feast to the All-Merciful Saviour and the Most Holy Mother of God. In Orthodoxy and Catholicism, in the language of the scripture, death is called a "sleeping" or "falling asleep". A prominent example of this is the name of this feast; the Dormition tradition is associated with various places, most notably with Jerusalem, which contains Mary's Tomb and the Basilica of the Dormition, Ephesus, which contains the House of the Virgin Mary, with Constantinople where the Cincture of the Theotokos was enshrined from the 5th through 14th centuries. The first four Christian centuries are silent regarding the end of the Virgin Mary's life, though it is asserted, without surviving documentation, that the feast of the Dormition was being observed in Jerusalem shortly after the Council of Ephesus.
Up until the 5th century Church Fathers do not mention the death of the Virgin, before the 4th-5th century Dormition was not celebrated among the Christians as a holy day. For example, Epiphanius of Salamis, a Jew by birth, born in Phoenicia, converted to Christianity in adulthood and lived as a monk for over 20 years in Palestine from 335–340 to 362, writes in "Panarion" in "Contra antidicomarianitas" about the death of the Virgin Mary the following: If any think am mistaken, let them search through the scriptures any neither find Mary's death, nor whether or not she died, nor whether or not she was buried—even though John travelled throughout Asia, and yet, nowhere does. Scripture kept silence because of the overwhelming wonder, not to throw men's minds into consternation. For I dare not say—though I have my suspicions, I keep silent. Just as her death is not to be found, so I may have found some traces of the holy and blessed Virgin.... The holy virgin may have died and been buried—her falling asleep was with honour, her death in purity, her crown in virginity.
Or she may have been put to death—as the scripture says,'And a sword shall pierce through her soul'—her fame is among the martyrs and her holy body, by which light rose on the world, amid blessings. Or she may have remained alive. No one knows her end, but we must not honour the saints to excess. It is time for the error of those. Christians in the late 4th century had different opinions regarding Mary's death. For this reason, for example, wrote: Neither the letter of Scripture nor Tradition does not teach us that Mary had left this life as a con