early 5th century BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides describes two views of reality. In "the way of truth" (a part of the poem), he explains how reality (coined as "what-is") is one, change is impossible, and existence is timeless, uniform, necessary, and unchanging. In "the way of opinion," he explains the world of appearances, in which one's sensory faculties lead to conceptions which are false and deceitful. These ideas strongly influenced the whole of Western philosophy, perhaps most notably through their effect on Plato. 535 - c. 475 BCE) 2nd CENTURY was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the riddling nature of his philosophy and his contempt for humankind in general, he was called "The Obscure" and the "Weeping Philosopher".
Heraclitus is famous for his insistence on ever-present change in the universe, as stated in the famous saying, "No man ever steps in the same river twice" (see panta rhei, below). He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that "the path up and down are one and the same", all existing entities being characterized by pairs of contrary properties. His cryptic utterance that "all entities come to be in accordance with this Logos" (literally, "word", "reason", or "account") has been the subject of numerous interpretations.
Antigone is a daughter of the unwittingly incestuous marriage between King Oedipus of Thebes and his mother Jocasta. She is the subject of a popular story in which she attempts to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polynices, even though he was a traitor to Thebes and the law forbids even mourning for him, on pain of death.
In the oldest version of the story, the burial of Polynices takes place during Oedipus' reign in Thebes, before Oedipus marries Jocasta. However, in the best-known versions, Sophocles' tragedies Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone, it occurs in the years after Oedipus' banishment and death, and Antigone has to struggle against Creon. In Sophocles' version, both of Antigone's brothers are killed in battle against the state. After Oedipus' death, it was decided that the two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices were to reign over Thebes taking turns.
(AD 23 - August 25, AD 79), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying, writing or investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, he wrote an encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia, which became a model for all other encyclopedias. Pliny the Younger, his nephew, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: (c. 160-c. 225 AD), was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy. Tertullian has been called "the father of Latin Christianity" and "the founder of Western theology." Though conservative, he did originate and advance new theology to the early Church. He is perhaps most famous for being the oldest extant Latin writer to use the term Trinity (Latin, trinitas), and giving the oldest extant formal exposition of a Trinitarian theology. Other Latin formulations that first appear in his work are "three Persons, one Substance" as the Latin "tres Personae, una Substantia" (itself from the Koine Greek "treis Hypostases, Homoousios"). He wrote his trinitarian formula after becoming a Montanist. However, unlike many Church fathers, he was never canonized by the Catholic Church, as several of his later teachings directly contradicted the actions and teachings of the apostles. His trinity formulation was considered heresy by the Church during his lifetime, however, it was later accepted as doctrine at the council of Nicea. was Roman Emperor from 375 to 383. The eldest son of Valentinian I, during his youth Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by his father's soldiers. In 378, Gratian's generals won a decisive victory over the Lentienses, a branch of the Alamanni, at the Battle of Argentovaria. Gratian subsequently led a campaign across the Rhine, the last emperor to do so, and attacked the Lentienses, forcing the tribe to surrender. That same year, his uncle Valens was killed in the Battle of Adrianople against the Goths - making Gratian essentially ruler of the entire Roman Empire. He favoured Christianity over traditional Roman religion, refusing the divine attributes of the Emperors and removing the Altar of Victory from the Roman Senate. also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland south of the Danube within the empire's borders. He also issued decrees that effectively made Nicene Christianity the official state church of the Roman Empire.
He is recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Theodosius. He defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus and Eugenius and fostered the destruction of some prominent pagan temples: the Serapeum in Alexandria, the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, and the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In 393, he banned the Olympics in Ancient Greece. It was not until the 19th century, in 1896, that the Olympics were held again. After his death, Theodosius' sons Arcadius and Honorius inherited the East and West halves respectively, and the Roman Empire was never again re-united.
was the King of the Visigoths from 395-410. Alaric is most famous for his sack of Rome in 410, which marked a decisive event in the decline of the Roman Empire.
Alaric's first appearance was as the leader of a mixed band of Goths and allied peoples who invaded Thrace in 391, who were stopped by the half-Vandal Roman General Stilicho. Later joining the Roman army, he began his career under the Gothic soldier Gainas. In 394 Alaric led a Gothic force of 20,000 that helped the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius defeat the Frankish usurper Arbogast at the Battle of Frigidus. Despite sacrificing around 10,000 of his men, Alaric received little recognition from the Emperor. Disappointed, he left the army and was elected reiks of the Visigoths in 395, and marched toward Constantinople until he was diverted by Roman forces. He then moved southward into Greece, where he sacked Piraeus (the port of Athens) and destroyed Corinth, Megara, Argos, and Sparta. As a response, the Eastern emperor Flavius Arcadius appointed Alaric magister militum ("master of the soldiers") in Illyricum.
commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.
One of the most important figures of Late Antiquity and the last Roman Emperor to speak Latin as a first language, Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Eastern Roman Empire. The impact of his administration extended far beyond the boundaries of his time and domain. Justinian's reign is marked by the ambitious but only partly realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire".
Because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been called the "Last Roman" in modern historiography. This ambition was expressed by the partial recovery of the territories of the defunct Western Roman Empire. His general Belisarius swiftly conquered the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa, extending Roman control to the Atlantic Ocean. Subsequently Belisarius, Narses, and other generals conquered the Ostrogothic Kingdom, restoring Dalmatia, Sicily, Italy, and Rome to the Empire after more than half a century of barbarian control. 235-800
was king of the Visigoths from 526 until his assassination in 531. He was a son of king Alaric II and his first wife Theodegotho, daughter of Theoderic the Great.
When Alaric II was killed fighting Clovis I, king of the Franks, in the Battle of Vouillé (507), his kingdom fell into disarray. "More serious than the destruction of the Gothic army," writes Herwig Wolfram, "than the loss of both Aquitanian provinces and the capital of Toulose, was the death of the king." Alaric had made no provision for a successor, and although he had two sons, one was of age but illegitimate and the other the offspring of a legal marriage but still a child. The older son, Gesalec, was chosen king but his reign was disastrous. King Theoderic of the Ostrogoths sent an army, led by his sword-bearer Theudis, against Gesalec, ostensibly on behalf of Amalaric; Gesalec fled to Africa, and the Ostrogoths drove back the Franks and their Burgundian allies, regaining possession of "the south of Novempopulana, Rodez, probably even Albi, and even Toulose". Following the death of Clovis, Theoderic negotiated a peace with Clovis' successors, securing Visigothic control of the southernmost portion of Gaul for the rest of the existence of their kingdom. 235-800
also known as Charles the Great (German: Karl der Große; Latin: Carolus or Karolus Magnus) or Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, the King of Italy from 774, the first Holy Roman Emperor, and the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier.
The oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, Charlemagne became king in 768 following the death of his father. He was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. Through his military conquests, he subdued the Saxons and the Bavarians and pushed his frontier into Spain. He expanded his kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe.
Charlemagne continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, forcibly Christianizing them along the way (especially the Saxons), eventually subjecting them to his rule after a protracted war. Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned as "Emperor" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day.
Called the "Father of Europe" (pater Europae), Charlemagne's empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church. Through his foreign conquests and internal reforms, Charlemagne encouraged the formation of a common European identity. Both the French and German monarchies considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire.
Charlemagne died in 814 after having ruled as Emperor for just over thirteen years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen in today's Germany. His son Louis the Pious succeeded him as Emperor.
was the king of Austrasia (623-634), king of all the Franks (629-634), and king of Neustria and Burgundy (629-639). He was the last king of the Merovingian dynasty to wield any real royal power. Dagobert was the eldest son of Chlothar II and Haldetrude (575-604). Chlothar had reigned alone over all the Franks since 613. In 623, Chlothar was forced to make Dagobert king of Austrasia by the nobility of that region, who wanted a king of their own.
When Chlothar granted Austrasia to Dagobert, he initially excluded Alsace, the Vosges, and the Ardennes, but shortly thereafter the Austrasian nobility forced him to concede these regions to Dagobert. The rule of a Frank from the Austrasian heartland tied Alsace more closely to the Austrasian court. Dagobert created a new duchy (the later Duchy of Alsace) in southwest Austrasia to guard the region from Burgundian or Alemannic encroachments and ambitions. The duchy comprised the Vosges, the Burgundian Gate, and the Transjura. Dagobert made his courtier Gundoin the first duke of this new polity that was to last until the end of the Merovingian dynasty.
was the Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia from 643 to 656. He was the son of Pepin of Landen and IttaWith the death of Pepin in 640, Grimoald became the head of his household, the most powerful in Austrasia. At this time, Radulf, Duke of Thuringia, rebelled against Sigebert III, king of Austrasia. Grimoald participated in the ensuing expedition against the insurrection, but it was a failure. Nevertheless, Grimoald succeeded in saving the life of the king and became his close friend. Then, by removing the mayor of the palace, Otto, he took over the position which his father once held.
Grimoald convinced the childless king (Sigebert III) to adopt his son, named Childebert at his baptism. Sigebert eventually had an heir, Dagobert II, but Grimoald feared the fate of his own dynasty and exiled the young Dagobert to either an Irish monastery or the cathedral school of Poitiers. Upon Sigebert's death, probably in 651, Grimoald put his son on the throne.
was a Frankish statesman and military leader who, as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death.
The illegitimate son of Frankish strongman, Pepin of Heristal, and a noblewoman named Alpaida, Martel successfully asserted his claims to power as successor to his father as the power behind the throne in Frankish politics. Continuing and building on his father's work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began the series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul. In foreign wars, Martel subjugated Bavaria, Alemannia, and Frisia, vanquished the pagan Saxons, and halted the Islamic advance into Western Europe at the Battle of Tours.
Martel is considered to be the founding figure of the European Middle Ages. Skilled as an administrator and warrior, he is often credited with a seminal role in the development of feudalism and knighthood. Martel was a great patron of Saint Boniface and made the first attempt at reconciliation between the Papacy and the Franks. The Pope wished him to become the defender of the Holy See and offered him the Roman consulship. Martel refused the offer, but it was a sign of the things to come.
was the Duke of Friuli from 744, King of Lombards from 749, and Duke of Spoleto from 751. His father was the Duke Pemmo.
After his brother Ratchis became king, Aistulf succeeded him in Friuli. He succeeded him later as king when Ratchis abdicated to a monastery. Aistulf continued the policy of expansion and raids against the papacy and the Byzantine exarchate of Ravenna. In 751, he captured Ravenna itself and even threatened Rome, claiming a capitation tax. he also conquered Istria region from Byzantines in same year.
The popes, thoroughly irritated and alarmed, and hopeless of aid from the Byzantine Emperor, turned to the Carolingian mayors of the palace of Austrasia, the effective rulers of the Frankish kingdom. In 741, Pope Gregory III asked Charles Martel to intervene, but he was too busy elsewhere and declined. In 753, Pope Stephen II visited Charles Martel's son Pippin the Short, who had been proclaimed king of the Franks in 751 with the consent of Pope Zachary. In gratitude for the papal consent to his coronation, Pippin crossed the Alps, defeated Aistulf, and gave to the pope the lands which Aistulf had torn from the ducatus Romanus and the exarchate (Emilia-Romagna and the Pentapolis).
also known as Pepin the Short, was the King of the Franks from 752 until his death. He was the first of the Carolingians to become King.
The younger son of Frankish strongman, Charles Martel, Pepin's upbringing was distinguished by the ecclesiastical education he had received from the monks of St. Denis. Succeeding his father as the Mayor of the Palace in 741, Pepin reigned over Francia jointly with his elder brother Carloman. Pepin ruled in Neustria, Burgundy, and Provence, while his brother Carloman established himself in Austrasia, Alemannia and Thuringia. The brothers were active in subjugating revolts led by the Bavarians, Aquitanians, Saxons, and the Alemanni in the early years of their reign. In 743, they ended the Frankish interregnum by choosing Childeric III, who was to be the last Merovingian monarch, as figurehead king of the Franks.
Being well disposed towards the church and Papacy on account of their ecclesiastical upbringing, Pepin and Carloman continued their father's work in supporting Saint Boniface in reforming the Frankish church, and evangelising the Saxons. After Carloman, who was an intensely pious man, retired to religious life in 747, Pepin, became the sole ruler of the Franks. He suppressed a revolt led by his step-brother Grifo, and succeeded in becoming the undisputed master of all Francia. Giving up pretense, Pepin then forced Childeric into a monastery and had himself proclaimed king of the Franks with support of Pope Zachary in 751. The decision was not supported by all members of the Carolingian family and Pepin had to put down a revolt led by Carloman's son, Drogo, and again by Grifo.
lso called Ealhwine, Albinus or Flaccus, was an English scholar, ecclesiastic, poet and teacher from York, Northumbria. He was born around 735 and became the student of Archbishop Ecgbert at York. At the invitation of Charlemagne, he became a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian court, where he remained a figure in the 780s and 790s. He wrote many theological and dogmatic treatises, as well as a few grammatical works and a number of poems. He was made Abbot of Tours in 796, where he remained until his death. "The most learned man anywhere to be found", according to Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, he is considered among the most important architects of the Carolingian Renaissance. Among his pupils were many of the dominant intellectuals of the Carolingian era. (c.480-547) is a Christian saint, honored by the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church as the patron saint of Europe and students.
Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Italy (about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome), before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The Catholic Order of St Benedict and the Anglican Order of St Benedict are of later origin and, moreover, not an "order" as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations.
Benedict's main achievement is his "Rule of Saint Benedict", containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness (ἐπιείκεια, epieikeia), and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western monasticism.
(778 - 20 June 840), also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor (as Louis I) with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833-34, during which he was deposed.
During his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the Empire's southwestern frontier. He conquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona and the Basques south of the Pyrenees in 812. As emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair, Pepin, and Louis, in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm among them. The first decade of his reign was characterised by several tragedies and embarrassments, notably the brutal treatment of his nephew Bernard of Italy, for which Louis atoned in a public act of self-debasement. In the 830s his empire was torn by civil war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louis's attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans. Though his reign ended on a high note, with order largely restored to his empire, it was followed by three years of civil war. Louis is generally compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a distinctly different sort
ometimes called Louis IV or Louis III, was the last Carolingian ruler of East Francia.
Louis was the only legitimate son of the Emperor Arnulf and his wife, Ota, a member of the Conradine Dynasty. He was born in September or October 893, in Altötting, Bavaria. He succeeded his father as king upon the latter's death in 899, when he was only six. During his reign, the country was ravaged by Magyar raids.
Louis was crowned in Forchheim on 4 February 900. This is the earliest German royal coronation about which records are known to exist. Louis was of a weak personal constitution, often sick, and with his young age, the reins of government were entirely in the hands of others, the nobles and bishops. Indeed, the coronation was probably a result of the fact that there was little Louis could gain at the expense of the nobles. Louis also inherited Lotharingia with the death of his elder illegitimate half-brother, Zwentibold, in 900.
He was knighted before 1218 and took the residence at the castle at Heusden and the title of Lord of Heusden on September 21, 1223, and shortly after succeeded his father as lord of Bornheim, of Saint-Jean Steen and as chatellenie of Ghent. He continued his families support for the abbey of Saint Bavo. Before his father passed he was married to Odette of Champagne, daughter of Odo II of Champlitte (who died shortly after taking part in the siege of Constantinople). Thus, from his wife, Hugh gained lordship of the village of Champlitte, which he sold to William of Vergy, brother of Alice of Vergy, duchess consort of Burgundy. About the same time (March 1228), he established some taxes and corresponding rights to the inhabitants of Baesrode Saint Marie, which outlined some of the rights and duties of citizens and public officials. (1090 - August 20, 1153) was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order.
After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. "Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 km southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux. There Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary." In the year 1128, Bernard assisted at the Council of Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar, who soon became the ideal of Christian nobility.
1225 - 7 March 1274), also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the "Dumb Ox", "Angelic Doctor", "Doctor Communis", and "Doctor Universalis". "Aquinas" is the demonym of Aquino: Thomas came from one of the noblest families of the Kingdom of Naples; his parents held the titles "Count of Aquino" and "Countess of Teano."  He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory. December 6, 1478 - February 2, 1529), count of Casatico, was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author.In 1494 at the age of sixteen Castiglione began his humanist studies in Milan, studies which would eventually inform his future writings. However, in 1499 after the death of his father, Castiglione left his studies and Milan to succeed his father as the head of their noble family. Soon his duties included officially representing the Gonzaga court; for instance, he accompanied his marquis for the Royal entry at Milan of Louis XII. He traveled quite often for the Gonzagas; during one of his missions to Rome he met Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino; and in 1504, a reluctant Francesco Gonzaga allowed him to leave and take up residence in that court. May 1469 - 21 June 1527) was an Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He was for many years an official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He was a founder of modern political science, and more specifically political ethics. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned in the Italian language. He was Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his masterpiece, The Prince, after the Medici had recovered power and he no longer held a position of responsibility in Florence.
His moral and ethical beliefs led to the creation of the word machiavellianism which has since been used to describe one of the three dark triad personalities in psychology.
was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. Born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system, he attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel, a scholarly centre of humanism. He continued his studies while he served as a pastor in Glarus and later in Einsiedeln, where he was influenced by the writings of Erasmus.
In 1518, Zwingli became the pastor of the Grossmünster in Zurich where he began to preach ideas on reforming the Catholic Church. In his first public controversy in 1522, he attacked the custom of fasting during Lent. In his publications, he noted corruption in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, and attacked the use of images in places of worship. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the Mass. Zwingli also clashed with the Anabaptists, which resulted in their persecution.
born Tyge Ottesen Brahe,] was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. He was born in Scania, then part of Denmark, now part of modern-day Sweden. Tycho was well known in his lifetime as an astronomer and alchemist.
In his De nova stella (On the new star) of 1573, he refuted the Aristotelian belief in an unchanging celestial realm. His precise measurements indicated that "new stars," (stellae novae, now known as supernovae) in particular that of 1572, lacked the parallax expected in sub-lunar phenomena, and were therefore not "atmospheric" tailless comets as previously believed, but were above the atmosphere and moon. Using similar measurements he showed that comets were also not atmospheric phenomena, as previously thought, and must pass through the supposedly "immutable" celestial spheres.
was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno (in Veneto), in the Republic of Venice. During his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, taken from the place of his birth.
Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars" (recalling the famous final line of Dante's Paradiso), Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.
was a French Jesuit and writer.
He was born at Tours and entered the Society of Jesus in 1639. He taught rhetoric, and wrote extensively both in verse and prose.won him the title of the Second Theocritus, and his poem on gardens, Hortorum libri IV (Paris, 1665), twice translated into English (London, 1673; Cambridge, 1706), placed him among the foremost Latin versifiers. Of his critical essays, the best known are: Observations sur les poèmes d'Homère et de Virgile (Paris, 1669);