Portrait: Roman emperor Hadrian

October 24th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Emporer Hadrian and Antinous busts in the British Museum in London © SanGavinoEN/cc-by-sa-3.0

Emporer Hadrian and Antinous busts in the British Museum in London © SanGavinoEN/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus, probably at Italica, near Santiponce (in modern-day Spain), into a Hispano-Roman family. His father was of senatorial rank, and was a first cousin of the emperor Trajan. Early in Hadrian’s career, before Trajan became emperor, he married Trajan’s grand-niece Vibia Sabina, possibly at the behest of Trajan’s wife, Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan’s close friend and adviser Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian. When Trajan died, his widow claimed that immediately before his death, he had nominated Hadrian as emperor.   read more…

Portrait: Marie Curie, physicist and chemist

September 26th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Marie Curie

Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie, born Maria Salomea Skłodowska was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.   read more…

Portrait: Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

August 22nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

US President Barack Obama taking his Oath of Office © defenseimagery.mil - Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo

US President Barack Obama taking his Oath of Office © defenseimagery.mil – Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo

Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. The first African American to assume the presidency, he was previously the junior United States Senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008. Before that, he served in the Illinois State Senate from 1997 until 2004. For the moment, he is the last US president who is obliged to the values of the West: democracy, freedom, respect for the right and dignity of man, irrespective of origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or political attitude, and in compliance with national and international law.   read more…

Portrait: Hans and Sophie Scholl

July 25th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Ludwig Maximilians University Munich - Lichthof © Cfaerber/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ludwig Maximilians University Munich – Lichthof © Cfaerber/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hans and Sophie Scholl, often referred to in German as die Geschwister Scholl (literally: the Scholl siblings), were a brother and sister who were members of the White Rose, a student group in Munich that was active in the non-violent resistance movement in Nazi Germany, especially in distributing flyers against the war and the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. In post-war Germany, Hans and Sophie Scholl are recognized as symbols of the Christian German resistance movement against the totalitarian Nazi regime.   read more…

Portrait: Albert Schweitzer, a French-German theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician

June 27th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

© Bundesarchiv/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Bundesarchiv/cc-by-sa-3.0

Albert Schweitzer, OM, was a French-German (Schweitzer was born in the province of Kaysersberg, which changed hands between France and Germany near and during his lifetime. Schweitzer considered himself French and wrote mostly in German. His mother-tongue was Alsatian) theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to the interpretation of Pauline Christianity concern the role of Paul‘s mysticism of “being in Christ” as primary and the doctrine of Justification by Faith as secondary. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ Reform Movement (Orgelbewegung).   read more…

Portrait: Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, first winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics

May 23rd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was a German mechanical engineer and physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. In honour of his accomplishments, in 2004 the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) named element 111, roentgenium, a radioactive element with multiple unstable isotopes, after him.   read more…

Portrait: Thomas Mann

April 25th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Thomas Mann at Hotel Adlon in Berlin, 1929 © Bundesarchiv/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Thomas Mann at Hotel Adlon in Berlin, 1929 © Bundesarchiv/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Paul Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Mann’s work influenced many future authors, including Heinrich Böll, Joseph Heller, Yukio Mishima, and Orhan Pamuk.   read more…

Portrait: Financier and banker J. P. Morgan

March 28th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

J. P. Morgan © Images of American Political History - Pach Bros.

J. P. Morgan © Images of American Political History – Pach Bros.

John Pierpont Morgan Sr. was an American financier and banker who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation in the United States of America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. He also played important roles in the formation of the United States Steel Corporation, International Harvester and AT&T. At the height of Morgan’s career during the early twentieth century, he and his partners had financial investments in many large corporations and had significant influence over the nation’s high finance and United States Congress members. He directed the banking coalition that stopped the Panic of 1907. He was the leading financier of the Progressive Era, and his dedication to efficiency and modernization helped transform American business. Adrian Wooldridge characterized Morgan as America’s “greatest banker”. Morgan died in Rome, Italy, in his sleep in 1913 at the age of 75, leaving his fortune and business to his son, John Pierpont Morgan Jr. His fortune was estimated at “only” $80 million, prompting John D. Rockefeller to say: “and to think, he wasn’t even a rich man”.   read more…

Portrait: Andrew Carnegie, steel magnate and philanthropist

February 21st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Andrew Carnegie © Library of Congress - Theodore C. Marceau

Andrew Carnegie © Library of Congress – Theodore C. Marceau

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, business magnate, and philanthropist during the Gilded Age. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and is often identified as one of the richest people (and richest Americans) ever. He became a leading philanthropist in the United States, and in the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away about $350 million to charities, foundations, and universities—almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming The Gospel of Wealth called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy.   read more…

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