Summarized history of Minoan Crete

Summarized history of Minoan Crete

9-4-17

The Minoans were a powerful trading empire that were located on the island of Crete. The Minoans started their trading empire by selling gold, ivory, tin, etc. to the Near East in c. 1900 BC. Then they expanded their trading routes by setting up some of their first trading colonies in the Aegean Sea. This is about the time when the Minoans made up their own language called Linear A. The language has not been deciphered, but the Ancient Greeks, Mycenaeans, used their own version of Linear A called Linear B. Historians deciphered Linear B in the 1950’s. Linear B uses some of the symbols of Linear A, so we have some idea of what Linear A conveys, just not their whole language.

The Minoans faced a time where all of their palaces were destroyed by an unknown force in c. 1600 BC. It could have been a natural disaster or some other empire trying to take over Minoan Crete, but the Minoans got back up on their feet and started to rebuild their empire. They rebuilt their palaces bigger and grander than the palaces before. They expanded their trade much farther than before, and their trading route ended up going as far a modern-day Israel. The Mycenaeans took over Minoan Crete in c. 1425 BC, and that was the last of the Minoan empire.

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Five student benefits of the Ron Paul Curriculum

  1. The lessons are taught by people that are experts in the field that they are teaching, so students receive the best education.
  2. The lessons are usually around 20-25 minutes long, so this forces the teachers to only teach students the most valuable pieces of information about a particular subject.
  3. The lessons provide visual and audio learning in case a student is more inclined towards either form of learning.
  4. At the end of every non-math lesson, there are links to websites that go more in-depth on the subject matter in case students want to learn more about the subject or the student did not understand some parts of the lesson.
  5. The Curriculum allows me to have the freedom to complete any assignment whenever I want to do it.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the curriculum, here is a link to 26 reasons why a parent should sign their child up.

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/public/6071.cfm?affID=cvarmbar

Problems of the Church during the 10th through 11th century

Problems of the Church during the 10th through 11th century

4-9-18

In the 10th-11th century, the Christian Churches were being suppressed by Kings, Aristocratic families and Emperors because of the influence that the Church possessed in Europe. Christianity was the dominate religion during this period and anyone that held a position in the Church had considerable influence over the realm. The secular rulers wanted the powers of the Church, and they obtained those powers by controlling some of the Churches abilities. One of the abilities that the secular rulers took was the Church’s ability to control who was appointed to a position in the Church.

Secular rulers were appointing people to the positions of Bishop, Abbot and Priest because they wanted the Churches influence. The original Christian tradition was that the Pope would appoint people to these positions, not secular rulers. However, the Aristocratic families were ruining the papacy by appointing their sons to be the Pope, which was against Christian tradition. If one had the papacy, that person would have had extraordinary influence in Europe, as Bishops, Abbots and Priests would have to obey the will of the Pope. Unfortunately for the secular rulers, one of the Popes that they elected started to exercise some of papacy’s long forgotten powers, which led to “moderate reform” in the Church.

Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg became Pope in 1048 AD and took the name Leo IX. He realized that the Pope had powers that were no longer in use because of the papacy’s abuse. Leo was determined to restore some of the forgotten powers, so he wrote a book called “74 Tiles” which explained the authority of the Pope. He also wanted the Kings and Emperors to choose better candidates for positions in the Church because the people that were chosen were not adequate. While Leo was improving the Church, his improvements are considered to be “moderate reform” because he was not attempting to obtain all the authority of the Pope. He was also letting the secular rulers appoint people to positions in the Church, which is the right of the Pope. Even though Leo did not bring the Church out of the grasps of the rulers, he did initiate the “radical reforms” that would come from Pope Gregory VII.

Pope Gregory VII, who ruled from 1073-1085 AD, took immediate action against the secular rulers once he obtained the papacy. He held multiple councils to announce that the Church would be in control of itself and no one else could interfere in Church matters. King Henry IV, King of the Germans, would not listen to Gregory’s decrees, so Gregory excommunicated Henry. Henry eventually convinced Gregory to lift the excommunication, but Henry was still furious at Gregory, so he exiled him from Rome. Gregory died in exile, but his decrees managed to get the Church from the grasps of the secular rulers. The Church could finally regain its strength without interference and become a powerful force in Europe.

The Church was in a dilemma during the 10th-11th century because of the abuse it was receiving from people that wanted to obtain the Church’s power. When Pope Leo IX took office, he started to reform the Church in a better direction. Even though Leo did not accomplish much, he inspired other Popes to take charge and rise up against its oppressors. The problems that the Church experienced were eventually fixed through the “radical reforms” by Pope Gregory VII. The Church would eventually regain all of its influences in Europe thanks to the reforms of Pope Leo IX and Gregory VII.

The rivalry between the Sadducees and Apostles

The rivalry between the Sadducees and Apostles

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The Sadducees and the Apostles were groups of people from different religions that had rivaling opinions about religious matters. The Sadducees were Jewish and were in charge of the political and religious roles in Israel, as well as, caring for the Temple in Jerusalem. The Apostles were Christians and followers of Jesus. Their job was to travel to multiple regions to preach the word of Jesus and God and to perform miracles like healing and exorcisms. While there are numerous differences between Judaism and Christianity, the main difference between the groups was about Jesus. Both of the groups believed in God, but the Sadducees believed that Jesus was not the Son of God, while the Apostles believed that Jesus was the Son of God. This was one of many different opinions between the groups, but this was the main reason why the Sadducees and Apostles were unable to find a way to reconcile their rivaling opinions.

The Apostles would travel the land preaching the word of Jesus’ new doctrine, Christianity, while performing miracles. Jesus believed that everyone deserved a chance to find God’s kingdom, while the Jews believed that they were the only ones deserving to see Gods’ kingdom. The Sadducees would not eat certain animals that God, in the Old Testament, had declared to be unclean, but the Apostles ate those animals that were deemed unclean. The Sadducees would rest on the Sabbath Day, a day created by God where no work was to be done, while the Apostles would work on that day. These are only a few of the numerous differences between the Sadducees and Apostles, but the Sadducees decided that these differences were cause enough to stop the Apostles from spreading the word of Jesus.

Unfortunately for the Sadducees, the Apostles were successful in converting many people of different religions to their faith. The Sadducees would arrest the Apostles to stop them from preaching Jesus’ doctrine. This did not stop the Apostles from preaching, so the Sadducees had to resort to drastic measures. One of the Apostles, Stephen, was preaching the word of Jesus, until he was arrested by the Sadducees and stoned to death. This was one of many murders that were committed by the Sadducees. To justify their killings, they would charge the Apostles with blasphemy against God. They were desperate to stop the Apostles and would do anything to accomplish this goal.

At this point, some people may find that the Sadducees were more worried about losing their influence/power over people than actually protecting their religion from blasphemy. If this was the case, it would not be surprising because the Sadducees were some of the most powerful people in Israel. They even had the power to influence Jews that were outside the boarders of Israel. If they lost their religious influence over people, they would lose the power that came with that influence.

There are multiple reasons why the Apostles and Sadducees would not agree with each other. They each believed in different religions that had different ideals. History has shown that people of different religions tend to not prefer each other. The Sadducees did not improve their relationship with the Apostles by killing them or keeping them in jail. Ultimately, it was religious disagreement that prevented the Sadducees and Apostles from reconciling their rival opinions.

Philip II Augustus’ significance in French history

Philip II Augustus’ significance in French history

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Philip II Augustus was a Capetian French King (r. 1180-1223 AD) who is known for centralizing the King’s power after it had been stripped away by the Nobles and Lords during the 9th-11th century Viking invasions. Philip had a goal to increase the King’s influence in France and expand his Kingdom, as France was a small blimp in comparison to the German and English Kingdoms. The Lords and Nobles used the 9th -11th century invasions to secure the King’s power. This led to the systems of Feudalism and Manorialism; where the Lords and Nobles protected the people from invasions and the people would care for the Lord’s and Noble’s land as payment. This decentralized the King’s authority because the people no longer trusted the Kings to protect them from the invasions.

After many years, Philip had increased his political authority to the point that even the most influential Nobles and Lords in France had to obey Philip. After he secured his power, his next goal was to force the Angevin Empire out of French territory. The Angevin Empire was controlled by the Kings of England and controlled about half of France. Philip managed to conquer some territory from the Angevin Empire, but it was not until the Battle of Bouvines that Philip had a decisive victory against King John of England. The battle weakened England to the point that they had to sign the Magna Carta; a peace treaty between France and England that limited John’s power.

Philip II Augustus was a renowned King who turned France from a backwater country to the dominant force in Europe in the span of forty years. He centralized the King’s authority in France and managed to defeat King John of England in the battle of Bouvines; forcing him to sign the Magna Carta. Philip now had complete control of France and used his time to improve his kingdom. Philip had paved the way for France to continue its dominant position in Europe for centuries to come.

Indulgence

Indulgence

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Indulgence is an action that is performed by Christians who want God to relieve them from the temporal punishment of sin. When one sins willingly and knowingly, that person has to face two punishments for that sin: temporal and eternal. Eternal punishment is when someone is sent to the fiery depths of hell when they die. Temporal punishment is the punishment that one must face on earth. Temporal punishment usually involves physical or mentally harming oneself to earn God’s grace. After a person performs the Sacrament of Penance to rid of the eternal punishment, that person has a few options to rid of the temporal punishment. One of those options is performing Indulgences.

The Indulgence that one must do depends on the sins that one had committed. If the sins are minor, then the Indulgence might be that one has to say a certain prayer fifty times in a row for fifty days. If the sins are serious, then the Indulgence might involve doing something physically demanding, such as making a journey somewhere distant or building houses for the blind. If one does not complete the Indulgences on earth, then that person will end up in purgatory. Purgatory is a place where people with unfinished Indulgences end up until they complete the Indulgence. Once a person has completed their Indulgence, that person is allowed into heaven.

Indulgence is a Christian tradition that still goes on today that allows Christians to free themselves from the guilt of sin. It is a respectable tradition that makes up for the wrongs that Christians have committed throughout their lives.

The Great Schism

The Great Schism

4-9-18

The Great Schism was the significant event in Medieval History that split Europe into two halves, Eastern Europe and Western Europe. This giant split in Europe was in the making for awhile, as it was mostly caused by centuries of political and religious disagreements. Most of the religious disagreements originated from the two major Patriarchates; Constantinople in Eastern Europe and Rome in Western Europe. Some of the causes for the split where different liturgies, political differences and language barriers, as the East spoke Latin and the West spoke Greek. However, the major reason for the split had to do with the Pope’s authority.

In Europe, there were five Patriarchs who were bishops that held jurisdiction in Patriarchates. The city of Rome was the first Patriarchate that held the most influence out of the other Patriarchates because Rome’s patriarch was the Pope. Over time, Constantinople, one of the Christian Patriarchates, became grander than Rome and made claims that it was superior to Rome because of Constantinople’s political influence in Europe. Rome rebuked Constantinople by saying that Rome held more influence because the Apostle Peter, Prince of the Apostles, symbolically received the “Keys of Heaven” from Jesus and founded the first Christian Church in Rome. Whoever became Peter’s successor would symbolically receive the “Keys of Heaven” and the successors became known as the Popes. The Pope is the Patriarch of Rome, so Rome held the “Keys of Heaven”, which made them more influential.

Constantinople could not stand the fact that Rome, a city that had lost political power and significance over the centuries, was as influential over the other Patriarchates as it was. As a result, Constantinople began to despise the Pope’s authority because they were not being recognized for their political influence. Constantinople eventually started to ignore the Pope’s requests which started numerous events that would lead up to the split. The major event that caused the split was when Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 1043-1058 AD, shut down all of the Christian Churches in the East that were practicing Western liturgies. In response, the Pope sent Roman representatives to the East to reason with Michael, but the men ended up excommunicating Michael. The men probably did not know the consequences of their actions, but when the men excommunicated Michael they indirectly excommunicated everyone in Eastern Europe. Constantinople was shocked by this and retaliated by convincing the Byzantine Emperor and the other Eastern Patriarchates to religiously/politically split with Rome.

Ultimately, the Great Schism was the result of political and religious disagreements between the Patriarchates of Rome and Constantinople. The split resulted in Europe being divided religiously/politically and is still evident today. In modern times, Eastern European Christian Churches are not obliged to obey the Pope’s will. Therefore, one can see different liturgies between the orthodox Christians and unorthodox Christian Churches. Relations between the East and West have improved over the centuries, as there is now calm between the East and West.

Zeus’ ethical behavior vs. Jesus’ ethical teachings

Zeus’ ethical behavior vs. Jesus’ ethical teachings

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If one were compare at Zeus’ ethical behavior and Jesus’ ethical teachings, one would see that Zeus’ ethics contradicts Jesus’ ethics. Zeus, in Greek mythology, was a murderous rapist that thrived when he was at war with anything. He abused his power over everything that was beneath him because he derived pleasure from seeing his opponents suffer in agony. In Christian mythology Jesus was a loving being that wanted everyone to be morally ethical, so they could receive eternal life in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus eventually died to free the world from sin, so people could have a chance to find peace and prosperity. One can see the differences between Zeus’ and Jesus’ ethics by looking at some of their stories.

In Ovid’s depiction of Zeus in his book “Metamorphoses”, one would see the tale of Zeus (or Jove, his Roman name), and Io. Zeus raped Io when she refused to have sex with him and he lied to his wife when she confronted him about Io. This was not the first time, nor the last time, that Zeus raped/slept with a woman while married to his wife. If one were to look at Jesus’ teachings in “The Bible”, one would see that Jesus strongly opposed adultery. Being faithful to one’s wife was one of the Ten Commandments, the Ten rules that Christians are supposed to adhere. Jesus even taught people that by looking at a woman with lustful eyes, one had already committed adultery in one’s heart.

One legend of Zeus is the story of Prometheus and the fire. Prometheus stole fire from the gods of mount Olympus and gave it to the humans that were cold and blind from darkness. Zeus was furious at Prometheus for stealing the fire, so he gave Prometheus a punishment that would last for eternity. Zeus chained him to a rock and made an eagle visit Prometheus everyday to eat his liver; it would regenerate everyday because of his immortality. Zeus also created corrupt women for men as a punishment for obtaining the fire that Prometheus stole. Jesus taught that killing or hurting people that had wronged you was not the proper way to conduct oneself. Unlike Zeus who created immoral women to punish men for something that they did not commit Jesus honored men and women alike because he taught that everyone is equal under God.

One can find many instances where Zeus was being unethical or immoral to gods and humans alike. He was a despicable god that possessed selfish desires to only benefit himself and destroy anything that obscured his goals. Jesus was an ethically righteous being whose sole purpose for coming to earth was to rid the world of inequity and impurity. He fed thousands without food, healed many from deadly illnesses, taught moral behaviors to enlighten people and freed millions from the bondages of sin and guilt. If one were to weigh the deeds of each individual, one would find that Jesus was an ethical being while Zeus was a horrendous creature that could have used some of Jesus’ wisdom.

Reasons for the conflicts between the German Emperors and the Popes

Reasons for the conflicts between the German Emperors and the Popes

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In the Medieval period, the conflicts between the German Emperors and the Popes started when the Church was electing a new Pope. After the election, Alexander III became the Pope, but some of the Cardinals claimed that Victor IV was the rightful Pope, even though he lost the election. To settle the matter, German Emperor Fredrik Barbarossa (r. 1155-1190 AD) called upon the two candidates to settle the matter in his royal court. Victor IV was present at Fredrik’s court, but Alexander refused to attend because the Papal document, the Gregorian Reform, stated that earthly rulers were not allowed to choose the rightful Pope. As a result, Fredrik declared that Victor IV was the rightful Pope, essentially making Victor IV an anti-Pope. While this created some conflict between Fredrik and Alexander, the conflict became exceedingly worse during Fredrik’s campaign in Italy.

Fredrik wanted to control Northern Italy for its wealth. However, the Northern Italian cities and Alexander did not want the Holy Roman Empire to control Northern Italy. In response to Fredrik’s impending invasion, Alexander and the Italian cities formed the Lombard League. The Lombard League managed to stop Fredrik’s conquest of Northern Italy. As punishment for defying the Pope, Alexander forced Fredrik to do penance for his crimes. Fredrik caused many conflicts with Alexander during his reign, but Fredrik’s son would initiate more conflicts against the Popes.

Fredrik II (r. 1220-1250AD) succeeded in becoming the German Emperor because he had promised Pope Innocent III many things for his support in the election. Once Fredrik became Emperor he forsook all of his promises to Innocent, so he excommunicated Fredrik. Fredrik ignored Innocent’s excommunication, so the next Pope, Gregory IX, excommunicated him again. Fredrik ignored Gregory’s excommunication, so Gregory was going to depose him as Emperor, but he died before he could depose him. The successor of Gregory was Pope Innocent IV, who managed to depose Fredrik as Emperor. In response, Fredrik was going to wage war against the Church, but he died in 1250 AD before he could obtain his revenge. These are the chronological events that led to the strenuous conflicts between the German Emperors and the Popes during the Medieval period.

Jesus vs. leaders of Israel in the Gospel of Mark

Jesus vs. leaders of Israel in the Gospel of Mark

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In the Gospel of Mark, a book in the Christian Bible, Jesus was despised by the leaders of Israel because he was preaching a revolutionary religion called Christianity. The official religion in Israel at that time was Judaism and the leaders were becoming wary of Jesus’ growing influence throughout the land. The Israel leaders tried to prevent Jesus from preaching his doctrine, but it always resulted in Jesus becoming more renowned and in turn made the leaders more spiteful. Despite the leaders’ advances against Jesus, the doctrine spread rapidly across the region.

When Jesus started preaching his doctrine, the leaders became fearful that Jesus was attempting to undermine them and Judaism. Jesus was claiming that he was the son of God and to prove his claim, he performed miracles in the name of God. The miracles included; healing, exorcisms, feeding thousands with little food, etc. This was blasphemy in the leaders’ eyes because in Judaism there is only one God. These actions made the leaders detest Jesus because he only gained more followers with each miracle he performed.

One day, Jesus was healing a group of people on a day of rest in Jewish tradition called the Sabbath. A group of Jews that were watching Jesus healing people went to tell the leaders that Jesus was healing people on the Sabbath, which was illegal. The leaders had begun to sabotage Jesus’ doctrine by publicly criticizing Jesus for working (healing) on the Sabbath. They said that because God created the Sabbath, no work is to be done on that day, including healing. Jesus rebuked them, saying that the Sabbath was created for man, not vice versa. He also exclaimed to the people that the leaders would rather let people unnecessarily suffer for the leaders’ beliefs instead of relieving people from their suffering as soon as possible. This put the leaders in an unlikeable spotlight in the eyes of the people, so they stopped pressing their grievances.

Jesus and his disciples went to a Temple in Jerusalem and threw out the corrupt people inside of it. The leaders went to the Temple and asked Jesus, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” Mark: 11:28. This was a trick question to undermine Jesus because if he said that his authority came from God, the leaders could arrest him for blasphemy and probably execute him. If Jesus said that his authority came from himself, he would lose credibility in the eyes of his followers. Jesus replied with, “I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.” Mark: 11:29.

When Jesus was baptized, the prophet John was a witness to God proclaiming that Jesus was his son, so John told people about God’s proclamation. If the leaders said that John’s baptism was from heaven, Jesus would have asked them, “Why did you not believe him”. The leaders dared not to say that John’s baptism was from men, for they feared the people’s reaction because they truly believed that John was a prophet. The leaders offered no answer, so Jesus did not answer and the leaders’ animosity toward Jesus only grew.

There are numerous reasons why the leaders quarreled with Jesus, but the main reason had to do with Jesus preaching a new doctrine and his claims that he was the Son of God. This went against everything that the leaders believed in, as they believed in only one God and one religion, Judaism. This was the main wall that divided the leaders from converting to Christianity and the reason why they repeatedly tried to undercut Jesus. The wall dividing Jesus and the leaders grew so thick over time that the leaders eventually handed Jesus over to the Roman authorities to be crucified. It was because of the leaders’ stubbornness and religious beliefs that they divided themselves from Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

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