My name is Edward Tanguay.
I have a Bachelors degree in Philosophy, a Masters in Education, and am currently working as a web developer in Berlin, Germany.

I watch over 200 college-level MOOC lectures per year in subjects such as history , psychology, science, religion, art, philosophy, and IT development in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian, and record my notes here.
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
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influential people of the past.
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Learning Activity by Month:

The primary goal of this Learn Tracker project is to build a web site which serves as one place to record the notes of everything that I am learning from MOOC classes, to foreign languages, to useful code examples and technical how-to notes, so that I not only have an overview of what I have learned, but can search and recall these notes at any time.

The secondary goal of this Learn Tracker project is to work together with companies, universities, and MOOC providers to build software that allows employees, students, and learners to record what they are learning in an efficient way so that it serves not only as (1) a record of what they have learned, but also (2) a place for them to review and search what they have learned.

Since January 2013, I have watched and recorded notes on over 300 MOOC lectures from over 30 different courses in both English and French, and have watched and recorded notes and flashcards on over 50 foreign language videos in Italian, French and Spanish. (I am curently still adding notes I took from 2013 and plan to be caught up by the end of January 2014.

February 2014 Learn Certificate
Watched and took notes on 27 college lectures:
Watched and recorded flashcards on 10 language videos:
Learned 56 vocabulary words:
Learned about 23 people:
Corrected 13 misspelling:
villian, colloseum, diefy, Isreal, chieftan, Portugese, ancestrial, benefitting, pharohs, collonades, prophesized, worshipped, grafitti
Recorded 25 Flashcards from MOOC lectures:
  • Roman historian who wrote a set of biographies of twelve successive Roman rulers
  • according to Josephus, what were the four kinds of Jews in the ancient world
  • empire from 215BC-164BC in Iran/Levant/Turkey
  • genus of extinct primates that may have been the ancestor to modern orangutans, lived about 12 million years ago
  • kingdom founded 305 BC after death of Alexander the Great, ended with the death of Cleopatra and Roman conquest in 30 BC
  • northern Iranian empire from 678-549 BC
  • pronounce Ara Pacis Agustae
  • ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions between 140-116BC
  • three gods Greeks found helpful in warfare
  • western and central Asian empire from 550–330 BC
  • what is the difference between the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah?
  • where did Augustus get his marble to turn Rome into a "city of marble"
  • who as Laocoon
  • who were the five good emperors
  • who wrote what is considered to be the first American novel?
  • North Africa is roughly the global average (FRENCH)
  • a little beyond 50% (FRENCH)
  • and we must take into account the fact that (FRENCH)
  • per se (FRENCH)
  • results in a selection (FRENCH)
  • the middle column (FRENCH)
  • they are a bit behind compared to other (FRENCH)
  • to identify what the concept means (FRENCH)
  • will be substantially smaller than (FRENCH)
  • within the society (FRENCH)
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
four information ages
1. invention of writing
4000 BCE: Mesopotamia
early writing used for commerce and poetry... view all notes
Roman à clef, n. [rah-mohn-ah-CLAY] a novel about real life, overlaid with a façade of fiction, the key is the relationship between the nonfiction and the fiction, this key may be produced separately by the author, or implied through the use of epigraphs or other literary techniques  "The first American novel, "The Power of Sympathy" (1789) by William Hill Brown, was a Roman à clef which portrayed Perez Morton and James Bowdoin as villains under different names in the novel."
duodecimo, n. a size of paper, and the size of a popular kind of 19th century novel, so called because it is originally made by folding and cutting a single sheet from a printing press into 12 leaves  "Nineteenth century women would sew an extra piece of cloth on the inside of their dress which could conceal a duodecimo novel, allowing them to read it without others knowing."
cuneiform, n. one of the earliest known systems of writing, distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus  "Dinger is a cuneiform sign, most commonly the determinative for "deity" although it has related meanings as well."
Monday, February 3, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
every Roman city had its bath buildings
houses did not have running water, so bath buildings were extremely important, obviously
most cities had at least one, ancient Pompei seems to have had three
these bath buildings responded to both a practical and social need
bath houses were also interesting for their architectural experiments... view all notes
hypocaust, n. a space under the floor of an ancient Roman building where heat from a furnace was accumulated to heat a room or a bath  "The building was heated by a hypocaust, its water being provided by a dedicated aqueduct."
frigidarium, n. a large cold pool in Roman baths which would be entered after the caldarium and the tepidarium, which were used to open the pores of the skin, whereas the cold water of the frigidarium would close the pores  "Each building had an entry into the massage hall, a gymnasium, changing room, the bathing space which included the frigidarium (cold baths), tepidarium (warm baths) and caldarium (hot baths), and a communal latrine."
thermopolium (pl. thermopolia), n. in the ancient Greco-Roman world, a "cook-shop" or "a place where something hot is sold", a commercial establishment where it was possible to purchase ready-to-eat food  "A typical thermopolium had little L-shaped counters in which large storage vessels were sunk, which would contain either hot or cold food."
Diocletian (245-311 AD)
Roman emperor whose reign stabilized the empire and marked the end of the Crisis of the Third Century
  • emperor from 284-305
  • rose through military ranks
  • his reforms fundamentally changed the structure of Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling the empire to remain essentially intact for another hundred years despite being near the brink of collapse in his youth
Caracalla (188-217 AD)
Roman emperor whose reign was notable for the Constitutio Antoniniana granting Roman citizenship to all freemen throughout the Roman Empire
  • of Punic and Syrian descent who ruled from 198 to 217
  • eldest son of Septimius Severus
  • reigned jointly with his father from 198 until Severus' death in 211
  • commissioned a large public bath-house (thermae) in Rome
Antinous (111-130 AD)
A Bithynian Greek youth and a favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian
  • when Antinous died, the grief of the emperor Hadrian knew no bounds, causing the most extravagant veneration to be paid to Antinous' memory
  • cities were founded in his name
  • medals struck with his likeness
  • cities throughout the east commissioned godlike images of the dead youth for their shrines and sanctuaries
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
Paul was a Jewish man writing in the context of the Roman Empire
writes to Jews and Gentiles who are interested in participating in Judaism
four contextual stories of empire
1. Babylonian and Persian Empires
587: Jerusalem destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia... view all notes
satrap (pl. satrapies), n. [SAH-trap] name given to the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid (Persian) Empires and in several of their successors, also used today to refer to world leaders or governors who are heavily influenced by larger world superpowers or hegemonies and act as their surrogates  "Seleucus [say-LOO-kuss] was an infantry general under Alexander the Great, was appointed Satrap of Babylon, and from 312 BC, he ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands."
diadochi, n. [digh-AD-oh-kee] the rival generals, family and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for the control of Alexander's empire after his death in 323 BC  "Seleucus I Nicator (ca. 358 BC – 281 BC) was one of the Diadochi, having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus and established the Seleucid Empire over much of Alexander's near eastern territories."
Antiochus IV (215-164 BC)
Greek king of the Seleucid Empire (312-63BC, Iran/Levant/Turkey)
  • near-conquest of Egypt
  • had been a political hostage of the Roman Republic
Seleucus (358-281 BC)
Infantry general under Alexander the Great, was appointed Satrap of Babylon
  • from 312 BC, he ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands
  • he not only ruled Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire
Herod the Great (74-4 BC)
Known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem
  • Roman client king of Judea, has been described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis",
  • "the evil genius of the Judean nation"
  • "prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition"
  • "the greatest builder in Jewish history"
  • the Second Temple in Jerusalem was known as "Herod's Temple"
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
tomb architecture
particularly interesting because the only practical function of the structure was to house the remains of the deceased
therefore personal, even whimsical
tomb of Augustus
A large tomb built in 28 BC by Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire. Although built for Emperor Augustus, it also held the remains of emperors after him including Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. In 410, during the sack of Rome by Alaric, the pillaging Visigoths rifled the vaults, stole the urns and scattered the ashes, without damaging the structure of the building. The interior of the Mausoleum is no longer open to tourists, as looting, time, and carelessness have stripped the ruins of marbled elegance. But even as ruins, it is a dominating landmark on the northern side of the Campus Martius.... view all notes
Caligula (12-41 AD)
Roman emperor mostly known for his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and intense sexual perversity, an insane tyrant
  • third in the Julio-Claudian dynasty (the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero)
  • unscathed by the deadly intrigues, he was sole male survivor in family (feud with Tiberius)
Friday, February 7, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
GREEK AND ROMAN MYTHOLOGY, University of Pennsylvania
Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Odyssey
Aeneas is traveling around the Mediterranean in a way that parallels Odysseus' journey home
Odysseus is harried by Poseidon whereas Aeneas is harried by Juno
Odysseus is protected and looked after by Athena, Aeneas is protected by his mother, Venus (who parallels the Greek Aphrodite)... view all notes
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
economics is often seen as a notoriously complicated subject
understanding modern economic history and the rise of the capitalistic system is quite easy
to understand it, you have to only understand a single word: growth
the most unique and important characteristic of the modern capitalistic economy is that it is growing constantly: every year we have more goods, more money
in 1500, the global production of goods and services is estimated to be equality to 250 billion dollars in today's dollars... view all notes
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
A HISTORY OF THE WORLD SINCE 1300, Princeton University
16th century complicated interconnections between European and Indian powers
interconnections gave way to interdependence
from changing commodities with each other, they also became aware of each other
began exporting slaves from Africa, deployed in the new colonies
slaves and colonies were used to create new levels of wealth which was used to change the relations with the rest of the world... view all notes
eschew, v. to avoid or shun  "Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strived to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status."
Akbar (1542-1605)
Mughal Emperor from 1556 to 1605
  • the third and greatest ruler of the Mughal Dynasty in India
  • greatly expanded
  • established a centralized system of administration
  • adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects
Monday, February 10, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
only in the 19th century do the cities we now live in begin to be built
19th cities for the first time become larger and more populated than any person can easily know
vast grids of streets
where many thousands of people live pressed in together
the first buildings with 4,5, and 6 stories were beginning to be constructed... view all notes
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
ALEXANDER THE GREAT, Wellesley College
throughout history, Alexander the Great has been seen as a hero, or even more than a hero
as a Platonic philosopher king (Willian Tarn)
or even a Messianic figure like Jesus, sent on a mission to be the reconciler of the world
since the mid 20th century, however, a far less flattering portrait of Alexander has been drawn
an unstable alcoholic given to wine-fueled rages and violence... view all notes
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
phylogeny [figh-LAH-jin-nee]
understanding of the relationship between species
the relationship between species is a fundamental aspect of how evolution happened
when we add genetics to phylogeny, it gets complicated and involves math
how we use phylogeny to understand when certain species shared common ancestors with each other... view all notes
omnibus, n. a large horse-drawn vehicle with spring-suspension and obligatory ceiling where the driver sits on a separate, front-facing bench  "The earliest solution was a horse-drawn vehicle called an omnibus."
busker, n. a person who makes money by passing the hat to solicit donations while entertaining the public often by playing a musical instrument on the streets or in other public area such as a park or market.  "The man recorded several tunes without commercial success, worked at odd jobs, and took up busking along the piers and storefronts along the beach."
eristic, n. a type of argumentation style which has the aim to win an argument or engage in a conflict for the sole purpose of defeating the other side, as opposed to the seeking of conflict resolution or discovering a true or probable answer to any specific question or topic  "Bryson of Heraclea introduced eristic dialectic after Euclides."
hoplite, n. a citizen-soldier of Ancient Greek city-states who was primarily armed with spears and shields, their main tactic being the phalanx formation, and were primarily free citizens, e.g. propertied farmers and artisans who were able to afford the bronze armor suit and weapons  "The hoplite phalanx of the Archaic and Classical periods in Greece (ca. 750–350 BC) was a formation in which the hoplites would line up in ranks in close order. The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults against it very difficult."
pseudogene, n. a non-working gene, or gene that once worked in ancient organisms but stopped working at some point in our evolutionary history, e.g. psi-eta-globin which still exists in the DNA of all primates but not longer produces a product  "In the discussions of genetic diseases in humans, pseudogene mediated gene conversion that introduce pathogenic mutations into functional genes is a well known mechanism of mutation."
phylogenetics, n. The study of evolutionary relationships among groups of organisms, which are discovered through molecular sequencing data and morphological data matrices. Evolution is a process whereby populations are altered over time and may split into separate branches, hybridize together, or terminate by extinction. The evolutionary branching process may be depicted as a phylogenetic tree, and the place of each of the various organisms on the tree is based on a hypothesis about the sequence in which evolutionary branching events occurred.  "Molecular phylogenetics is the branch of phylogeny that analyses hereditary molecular differences, mainly in DNA sequences, to gain information on an organism's evolutionary relationships."
macaque, n. [mah-KAK] aside from humans (genus Homo), the macaques (genus Macaca) are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque, to North Africa  "One study of crab-eating macaques found that a female has a greater likelihood to engage in sexual activity with a male if he had recently groomed her, compared to males who had not groomed her."
clade, n. group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants, a single branch on ancestrial tree, many familiar groups, rodents and insects for example, are clades; others, like lizards and monkeys, are not (lizards excludes snakes, monkeys excludes apes and humans)  "The term "clade" was introduced in 1958 by Julian Huxley after having been coined by Lucien Cuénot in 1940."
cladogram, n. [CLAY-doh-gram] a diagram used in cladistics which shows relations among organisms  "A cladogram showing the terminology used to describe different patterns of ancestral and derived character states."
cladistics, n. an approach to biological classification in which organisms are grouped together based on whether or not they have one or more shared unique characteristics that come from the group's last common ancestor and are not present in more distant ancestors  "A sister group or sister taxon is a systematic term from cladistics denoting the closest relatives of a group in a phylogenetic tree."
James Russel Lowell (1819-1891)
American Romantic poet who became involved in the movement to abolish slavery
  • one of the Fireside Poets
  • graduated from Harvard College in 1838
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
Greek king of the ancient kingdom of Macedon who by the age of thirty created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
  • full name: Alexander III of Macedon
  • 334 BC: invaded the Achaemenid [ah-KEE-mah-nid] Empire (550-330BC)
  • he was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders
Linus Pauling (1901-1994)
American biochemist who received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize
  • one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among the most important scientists of the 20th century
  • one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology
  • 1926: awarded Guggenheim Fellowship to study under German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich, Danish physicist Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in Zürich, all three were experts in the new field of quantum mechanics
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
ALEXANDER THE GREAT, Wellesley College
why study Alexander the Great?
1. his story is amazing, it's the stuff of fiction, not history
his father, Philip II, was perhaps the greatest king and certainly on of the most effective leaders that Greece ever produced
his mother, Olympias, was one of the most formidable women of the ancient world
Alexander may be the only man in Macedon who wasn't afraid of her... view all notes
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES, University of Rochester
John Lennon (1940-1980)
guitar, lead vocals
Paul McCartney (1942-)
bass vocals... view all notes
eponymous, adj. (of a person) giving their name to something.  "For his eponymous album, see George Harrison."
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
the texts of the New Testament, crafted from 49 to 120 CE are heavily influenced by the history of empires of that time
Paul and the authors of the Gospels had an awareness of the succession of empires
they were living under Roman rule and were thinking of their place in history, e.g.
1. who are the people of Israel and what is the relation of Jews to Gentiles and other people's of the world?
2. how do Jews and Gentiles fit into the history of the people of Israel, its time of exile, destruction, and grief?... view all notes
instigate, v. to stimulate to an action or course, to incite to do something, to set or goad on, to urge, generally in a bad sense  "Their acts instigated yet another crime."
salvo, n. a concentrated fire from pieces of artillery, as in endeavoring to make a break in a fortification, any volley, as in an argument or debate  "The war was only the opening salvo in a long running struggle between the two peoples."
Trajan (53-117 AD)
Roman emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history
  • ruled from 98 AD to his death 117
  • second of the Five Good Emperors
  • declared by senate as "best ruler"
  • successful soldier-emperor
Suetonius (69-122 AD)
Roman historian who wrote a set of biographies about twelve successive Roman rulers
  • his work was called "De Vita Caesarum" and covered the rulers from Julius Caesar to Domitian
  • belonged to the equestrian order
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
Ancient Rome was at that time the world's greatest superpower, which had an impact on its architecture
four men who had a large impact on the architecture of Rome
1. Julius Caesar
59 BC: elected consul
joins First Triumvirate... view all notes
pompadour, n. [POMP-ah-dor] a man's hairstyle with the hair brushed up from the forehead  "Pompey the Great wore his hair pushed up in the center in a kind of pompadour which is a reference to the same kind of upsweep that was worn by Alexander the Great."
Consul, n. the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire  "Julius Caesar was elected Consul in 59 BC."
Brutus (85-42 BC)
Politician of the late Roman Republic who had leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar
  • Brutus was persuaded into joining the conspiracy against Caesar by the other senators and decided to move against Caesar after Caesar's king-like behavior prompted him to take action
  • although Cassius was the moving spirit in the plot against Caesar, Brutus became the leader
Cleopatra (69-30 BC)
Last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and lover of both Caesar and Mark Anthony
  • a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek origin that ruled Ptolemaic Egypt after Alexander the Great's death
  • spoke Greek, refused to speak Egyptian
  • one reason why Greek was used on the Rosetta Stone
  • Cleopatra did speak Egyptian, represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis
  • after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony, had twins with him
Mark Antony (83-30 BC)
Roman politician and general and member of the Second Triumvirate with Octavian and Lepidus
  • important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar
  • after Caesar's assassination, Antony formed an official political alliance with Octavian and Lepidus
Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)
Roman general, statesman, Consul, and author of Latin prose who played critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic
  • played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire
Marcus Crassus (115-53 BC)
Roman general and politician, wealthiest man in Roman history
  • played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire
  • one of the richest men in all history
Pompey the Great (106-48 BC)
Military and political leader of the late Roman Republic, member of First Triumvirate with Crassus and Caesar
  • his immense success as a general while still very young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
in pre-modern world, credit was very limited
because limited credit, few new businesses
because few new businesses, economy didn't grow
because economy didn't grow, lack of confidence in future
because of lack of confidence in future, limited credit... view all notes
perspicuous, adj. of an account or representation, clearly expressed and easily understood, lucid  "It provides simpler and more perspicuous explanations than its rivals."
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
Mark Antony and Octavian
44 BC: Caesar's assassination, Mark Antony rises to power
Octavian was only 19 and grand nephew of Caesar, tries to overthrow him and fails
43 BC: Octavian, Mark Antony, and Lepidus form Second Triumvirate
42 BC: Octavian and Antony join military forces and defeat Cassius and Brutus at the Battle of Philippi... view all notes
paramour, n. [PAIR-ah-moor] a lover, especially an illicit lover, either male or female  "Mark Antony takes up with Cleopatra and joins her in Egypt where he spends a good deal of his time in the eastern part of the empire with his paramour."
Monday, February 17, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
a study of Paul's letters leads us to a better understanding of Judaism in the ancient world
Jews fall into three categories: orthodox, reformed, conservative
but this is true of other religious identities as well, e.g. within Christianity you have Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestants, and within each of these there are many branches
in antiquity it was also hard to say exactly what a Jew was
they erected a boundary between themselves and non-Jews, or Gentiles, but the boundary was always crossable and not always clearly marked... view all notes
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
DÉCOUVRIR LA SCIENCE POLITIQUE, Université catholique de Louvain
différents types de politique
le politique
comme la notion "polity" en anglais
la politique
comme la notion "politics" en anglais... view all notes
alacrity, adj. cheerful willingness, eagerness, liveliness, enthusiasm  "They resigned up their souls with great alacrity."
grosso modo, adj. approximativement, à quelques détails près  "Le politique correspond, grosso-modo, à la notion polity en anglais."
délaisser, v. abandonner, oublier, laisser sans soins, sans aide  "L'infortunée princesse se réveille, et reconnaît qu'elle est délaissée."
Titus Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD)
A first-century Romano-Jewish scholar and historian
  • born in Jerusalem, then part of Roman Judea
  • known as Josephus
  • initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee
  • Josephus claims the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a hostage and interpreter.
  • After Vespasian did become Emperor in 69, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius.
  • Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship.
  • became an adviser and friend of Vespasian's son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem
  • Josephus recorded Jewish history which provided valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity
Vespasian (9-79 AD)
Founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Roman Empire from 69-96
  • dynasty included two sons Titus and Domitian
  • from an equestrian family that rose into the senatorial rank under the Julio–Claudian emperors
  • renown came from his military success: he led the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 and subjugated Judea during the Jewish rebellion of 66
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
Forum Augustum
building this was on his mind from the beginning of his reign
even though there were already two forums, the Roman Forum and the Forum of Julius Caesar, the population of Rome was growing as was the need to try judicial cases
more likely Augustus before the Battle of Philippi where Octavian and Mark Antony joined to defeat Brutus and Longinus, Augustus vowed that if he won, he would build a temple to Mars the Avenger to help him avenge the death of Julius Caesar
that temple needed an environment, a common practice, hence a good excuse to build his forum around it... view all notes
hemicycle, n. a semicircular, or horseshoe shaped, debating chamber where deputies sit to discuss and pass legislation  "The only major change from Augustus' Forum from Julius Caesar's Forum was the addition of two hemicycles, one on either side of the forum."
pediment, n. a classical architectural element consisting of a triangular section or gable found above the horizontal superstructure which lies immediately upon the columns  "The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment."
zoomorphic, adj. representative of animals, or of their characteristic forms, as a work of art, especially representing or symbolizing the conception of a god under the form of an animal whose characteristic traits or habits suggest the idea attached to the god  "Containers for water to wash with often took fantastic zoomorphic forms, surviving examples are mostly in brass."
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
GREEK AND ROMAN MYTHOLOGY, University of Pennsylvania
in book 2, Aeneas begins to narrate for his Carthaginian hosts, his own past
Trojan War has ended
he experienced the fall of his beloved city
in a customary twist, modifies and extends Homer's story, tells of Sinon
Sinon was a Greek warrior during the Trojan War... view all notes
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
THE AGE OF JEFFERSON, University of Virginia
how people in America and around the world see Thomas Jefferson
what most people know about him is that he is the author of the Declaration of Independence
the creation of a new American nation was an important event in world history
Jefferson's understanding of history that is crucial to our understanding of Jefferson
he sees the revolution in the context of the progress of mankind... view all notes
palladium, n. [pah-LAY-dee-um] in Greek and Roman mythology, the palladium was a cult image of great antiquity on which the safety of Troy and later Rome was said to depend, the wooden statue of Pallas (Greek Athena or Roman Minerva) that Odysseus and Diomedes stole from the citadel of Troy and which was later taken to the future site of Rome by Aeneas, in English, since around 1600, the word palladium has been used figuratively to mean anything believed to provide protection or safety, and in particular in Christian contexts a sacred relic or icon believed to have a protective role in military contexts for a whole city, people or nation  "The Greeks built the horse because they understood from Athena that she was very angry with them for stealing the Palladium."
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
VILLES AFRICAINES: LA PLANIFICATION URBAINE, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
l'urbanisation est un processus de changements multidimensionnels
les changements sont à la fois spatiaux, démographiques, économiques, culturels ou même infraculturels
dans le monde entier, nous sommes à peu près à 52% d'urbains
mais pour l'Afrique et l'Asie, on voit que les deux continents sont extrêmement peu urbanisés
les pays les moins développés sont aussi des pays les moins urbanisés... view all notes
amalgame, n. mélange de deux objets, idées ou individus hétérogènes  "L'amalgame de chiffres, par région, par continent, revêt des réalités extrêmement différenciées dans chacun des pays."
légèrement, adj. un peu, à peine  "Même si l'Asie dépasse légèrement l'Afrique, on est, grosso modo, en dessous des 50%."
rattraper, v. rejoindre ce qui a pris de l'avance, repêcher un élève, remettre à niveau  "Mais on voit qu'on sera à peu près, à part en Afrique de l'Est qui n'aura toujours pas rattrapé son retard, mais on sera autour de 60 et 70% sur l'ensemble des territoires."
aisément, adj. avec facilité, sans difficultés  "On se rend compte aisément que un des grands problèmes de cette urbanisation est l'augmentation des bidonvilles."
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
Augustus tells us about this structure in his work "Res Gestae" [rez JEST-ee]
after successfully restoring law and order to Spain and Gaul, the senate decided to consecrate the Ara Pacis Augustae [AH-rah PAHK-is ah-oo-GOOS-tigh] on the Campus Martius in honor of my return, at which officials, priests, and Vestal Virgins should offer an annual sacrifice"
made entirely of solid Luna marble
consecrated on July 4, 13 BC
completed in 9 BC... view all notes
spolia, n. The re-use of earlier building material or decorative sculpture on new monuments. Although spolia usually refers to ancient and medieval examples, the practice is common and there is probably no period of art history in which evidence for spoliation could not be found. Spolia generally occurs as either ideological or pragmatic. Ideological examples include re-use of art and architectural elements from former empires or dynasties as triumphant, i.e. to display the spoils or booty of the conquered, whereas pragmatic examples involve the utility of re-used materials: if there is a good supply of old marble columns available, for example, there is no need to produce new ones.  "The book offers a range of views on spolia and appropriation in art and architecture from fourth-century Rome to the late twentieth century."
acanthus, n. [ah-CANTH-is] one of the commonest plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration, in Ancient Greek and Roman architecture acanthus ornamentation appears extensively in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders, and applied to friezes, dentils, and other decorated areas  "Acanthus leaves are among the most common plants to be used as ornamental elements in architecture and interior design."
dentil, n. in classical architecture a dentil (Latin for "tooth") is a small block used as a repeating ornament in the bedmold, or molding under the projecting part of a cornice.  "It has a a cornice built up with dentils (like the closely spaced ends of joists) and a corona molding to support the projecting roof."
pilaster, n. [PIL-is-ter] an architectural element in classical architecture used to give the appearance of a supporting column and to articulate an extent of wall, with only an ornamental function  "There are pilasters flanking the doorway."
swag, n. an ornamental drapery or curtain draped in a curve between two points  "Also depicted in carrara marble, you have these large, garlanded swags that you see hanging from pilasters"
libation, n. a drink poured out as an offering to a deity  "libation dishes"
bucranium (pl. bucrania), n. the skull of an ox as an ornament often sculptured, frequently with adornment of wreaths or other decoration, on the frieze of the entablature in the Roman Ionic and Corinthian orders of architecture  "On the second side we see the victim, a running goat, and on the third side the symbol of sacrifice, the bucranium."
entablature, n. the upper section of a classical building, resting on the columns and constituting the cornice, frieze, and architrave  "Each style has distinctive capitals and entablatures."
architrave, n. lowermost part of an entablature in classical architecture that rests directly on top of a column  "They represent the original wooden end-beams, which rest on the plain architrave that occupies the lower half of the entablature."
axonometric, adj. axonometric means "to measure along axes", e.g. axonometric projection shows an image of an object as viewed from a skew direction in order to reveal more than one side in the same picture  "The axonometric view shows you that the inner precinct had a series of square panels."
hegemonic, adj. leading, controlling, ruling, predominant  "Keeping other rulers' children hostage in his palace with him and training them in the ways of the Roman empire and then sending them back as adults to their provinces in order for them to rule according to Roman customs, was Augustus' way of maintaining a hegemonic empire."
Monday, February 24, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
the historical Josephus
Josephus has a complicated Jewish identity
he's a debated and controversial character
he started out as a leader in the movement rebelling against Rome
then went over to the Roman side and wrote history of the Jewish War at the pay of the Flavian emperors... view all notes
hybridity, n. something with mixed origin or composition  "A better framework for understanding the historical Josephus is to think of him as a hybridity."
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
the communities to which Paul writes are part of a broader range of Jewish identity
Gentiles were interested in Judaism
diaspora Jews were interested in being in Christ
Polybius offered story of the succession of empires from 264-146 BC
Book of Daniel offered story of the succession of empires set in the time of Babylonian captivity... view all notes
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES, University of Rochester
the pre-1964 British pop scene:
highly indebted to American pop music
some British music historians will argue that pre-1963 UK pop music was more sophisticated that US pop music of that time
but when you talk to the people in the business, you learn that the product that the UK industry could sell the most of what American popular music
UK songs that sold were mostly either covers of songs from the US or imitations of that kind of music... view all notes
bouleuterion, n. a building which housed the council of citizens (boule) in Ancient Greece  "Our sole source of knowledge of the code is the fragmentary boustrophedon inscription[2] on the circular walls of what might have been a bouleuterion or other public civic building in the agora of Gortyn."
prytaneion, n. [prigh-TAY-nee-on] the seat of the executive, or the seat of government in ancient Greece, or the ancient structures where officials met relating to the government of a city, a place which contained the holy fire of Hestia, the goddess of the hearth and the symbol of the life of the city, and today  "Included in the civic honors were free meals at the town hall or prytaneion and front row seats at festivals."
stoa, n. in ancient Greek architecture, a covered walkway or portico, commonly for public usage, early stoas were open at the entrance with columns, usually of the Doric order, lining the side of the building, they created a safe, enveloping, protective atmosphere ##stoa  "A two-storied stoa, 17.5 m wide, was constructed at the eastern and western side of the agora."
cognomen, n. the third and usually last name of a citizen of ancient Rome, as "Caesar" in Gaius Julius Caesar  "Paulus Fabius Maximus talks to the Asian League about the birthday of Caesar, i.e. of Octavian, also called Augustus, who took on the cognomen of his adopted father Julius Caesar."
arete, n. [AHR-ay-tay] virtue, excellence  "Providence has filled Augustus with arete for the benefit of humanity."
Polybius (200-118 BC)
Greek historian in Hellenistic Period who wrote "The Histories" which covered 264-146 BC in detail
  • describes the rise of the Roman Empire
  • he is is renowned for his ideas concerning the separation of powers in government, later used in Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and in drafting the United States Constitution
Friday, February 28, 2014
Watched and took notes on MOOC lecture:
Richard Meier Museum
built to enclose the Ara Pacis [AHR-ah PAHK-is]
the original location of the Ara Pacis was elsewhere in the vicinity, ended up beneath a palace
it was Mussolini who sponsored the project to bring all the pieces together for display
together with other buildings in Mussolini's fascist architectural style... view all notes
fasces, n. [FAS-eez] a bundle of rods bound together around an ax with the blade projecting, carried before ancient Roman magistrates as an emblem of authority, also used by Mussolini as a symbol of fascism  "In the seal of the United States Senate, the red liberty cap above the shield and crossed fasces below the shield represent freedom and authority, respectively."
lictor, n. a Roman functionary who carried a fasces when attending a magistrate in public appearances and was responsible for punishing criminals  "Each consul was accompanied in every public appearance by twelve lictors, who displayed the magnificence of the office and served as his bodyguards."
Richard Meier (1934-)
American architect who built Meier Museum in Rome
  • 1957: Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University
  • after graduation, he traveled to Israel, Greece, Germany, France, Denmark, Finland and Italy, among other places, to network with architects
  • abstract artist and architect whose geometric designs make prominent use of the color white
  • Meier Museum in Rome, described as a "modernist eyesore"
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