Sunday, March 3, 2013

Matronalia Festival

From Patheos:
Juno Capitolium was another goddess called upon by new brides and wives, for She is a goddess who protects the sanctity of marriage vows and marital relations.  A story grew up that Juno, already angry over her husband’s affairs, became even more infuriated when She learned that Jupiter had given birth to a daughter. To relieve Jupiter’s headache, Vulcan split open His head with a mallet and out arose wise Minerva. Grey-eyed Minerva was addressed as “most chaste goddess” because Her conception and birth had not resulted from sexual intercourse. Juno was so angered by this that She decided that She, too, would bear a child on Her own, without any help from Jupiter. She enlisted the help of Flora, Goddess of Flowers, who provided Juno with a sacred lily that held pollen-laced dew. This was the semen that Flora poured from the lily into Juno’s ear. This immaculate conception of Juno is celebrated on 2 May as another sort of Matronalia comparable to modern Mother’s Day. Then, on the first day of the New Year, the first day of March, Juno gave birth to Mars. 

The Bones of Arsinoe IV

From UPI:
Circumstantial evidence has led Austrian researcher Hilke Thur to conclude the bones of a young woman discovered in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus belonged to Cleopatra's younger sister, Arsinoe IV, who was the queen had murdered.

Archaeologists began to excavate the Octagon site in Ephesus in 1904, and discovered the burial chamber containing the bones of a young woman in 1926.

The skull disappeared during World War II, but Thur uncovered the rest of the bones in 1985.  Some findings have cast doubt on the conclusion that the bones may be of the murdered princess.

Additionally, testing shows the bones are of a woman who died before she turned 20, a surprisingly young age considering the important role she supposedly played--a challenge to Cleopatra's rule that eventually led to Arsinoe's murder.

Cleopatra had connected with Julius Caesar in Alexandria in 48 B.C. in an attempt to tamp down rivalries for her throne. Arsinoe raised an Egyptian rebellion against her sister, fought off by reinforcements sent in by Rome.

Arsinoe was captured and taken to Rome, where Caesar granted her life in exile in Ephesus.

After Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C., Cleopatra took up with Antony and had her sister murdered.  Although Thur says her team is somewhat stuck to find more conclusive evidence, she is hopeful new tests will soon be able to prove the bones' identity.

See also: Bones Wars - from HLN

Suffrage March of 1913

From the Smithsonian:

In the spring of 1913, women in six states had the right to vote in all elections: Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington and California. Despite these successes, though, the momentum of the 65-year-old suffrage movement was slowing. It was like a car running on fumes.
Alice Paul decided to give it some gas. Having recently returned to the States from England, where she cut her teeth as a suffragist, the 28-year-old New Jersey native pitched an idea to the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She would organize a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., strategically timed with the influx of crowds arriving for President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, to drum up support for the cause. NAWSA appointed Paul the chair of its Congressional committee and approved her plan, but made it clear that she would have to come up with the money for the parade on her own.