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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Roman Empire

“Damn everything but the circus!”*…

 

250 years ago [this month], on an abandoned patch of land near London’s Waterloo, showman, entrepreneur and equestrian rider Philip Astley drew out a circle in the ground and filled it with astounding physical acts. This spectacle was the world’s very first circus. It was 1768, a time of revolutions, and poet William Blake could have been one of Astley’s first customers. But the real revolution Astley created was a whole new art form. His 42 foot ring, the dazzling combination of jugglers, acrobats, clowns, strong men, bareback riders… Every circus, anywhere, began at this moment in 1768.

250 years later, circus is a worldwide phenomenon. There’s barely an art form that isn’t touched by it – from Sir Peter Blake’s circus collages to cutting edge performance art. Every schoolchild can tell you what a circus is. Many of us would secretly like to run away and join one…

Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, what you are about to see will thrill you. It will chill you. It will keep you on the edge of your seat: “Circus 250.”

See also.

* e e cummings

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As we bow to the Big Top, we might recall that it was on this date in 1145 that Pope Lucius II gifted the Circus Maximus to Rome’s wealthiest families.  It was an attempt to strengthen his alliance with the Guelfs and their faction in opposition to the Roman Senate and the emerging Roman Commune (all part of a larger conflict between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor).

Pope Lucius II

source

 

Written by LW

January 31, 2018 at 1:01 am

The Rosa Park of Blogs…

John Paul I, “The Barack Obama of Popes

Mark Peters–“the Ms. Pacman of language columnists,” also known as wordlust on Twitter–can be found at Good Magazine, Oxford University Press Blog, Visual Thesaurus, and Wordlustitude (and is eminently worth finding in them all)…

Mark can now be found at his newest endeavor as well:  The Rosa Park of Blogs

Everybody is the Rosa  Parks of something—or at least the Michael Phelps, Cap’n Crunch, Dick Cheney, Elmer Fudd, or Paris Hilton of whatever. This blog collects examples of the adaptable idiom “X is the Y of Z”, which is a snowclone. Feel free to use these descriptions when discussing your beautiful children, longtime companions, sworn enemies, favorite foods, and elected congressvermin. And if you need even more absurd comparisons, then you’re in luck.

As we argue over whether Chile’s Lake District or Ecuador’s highland is “the Switzerland of South America,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1328 that Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, was consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice, with the support of Louis IV, the Holy Roman Emperor.

Nicholas V was the last “Imperial Antipope”– that is, Antipope set up by a Holy Roman Emperor.  It didn’t work out for Nicholas:  he was excommunicated by John XXII in April 1329, and sought refuge with Count Boniface of Donoratico near Piombino.  Assured of a pardon, he presented a confession of his sins first to the archbishop of Pisa, and then at Avignon on 25 August 1330 to John XXII, who did indeed absolve him– after which,   Nicholas lived in “honourable imprisonment” in the papal palace at Avignon until his death in October, 1333.

Antipope Nicholas V (source)

Reading outside the box…

The folks at AbeBooks— a large UK used book dealer– handle lots of volumes.  Lest the staff become jaded, they’ve created a virtual “Weird Book Room,” a repository of the odd and the curiously purposive.

One can find there, for example,

Bombproof Your Horse

The Pop-Up Book of Phobias

The Romance of Proctology

.. and so very much more!  (TotH to Daniel Finkelstein)

As we re-order those stacks on our bedside tables, we might recall that it was on this date in 1521 that there began what was surely the most delightfully-named event an elementary school history student was ever made to memorize:  The Diet of Worms.

A general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire, it is most famous for the occasion it presented Martin Luther to affirm his views in the face of Imperial resistance, and for the resulting Edict of Worms– via which Emperor Charles V, declared: “For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favor the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work.”

Luther addressing the Diet of Worms

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