Monday, April 30, 2012

William Harvey & William Lawes

One of the great successors of Galen in modern times is certainly William Harvey (+1657AD).  His contribution to medicine, and specifically regarding the circulation of the blood, is enormous.  His experiments are quite interesting, and his manner of both respecting his forebears in the field of medicine, and yet adding greatly to the body of knowledge is surely an example to any scholar.

In addition, he was a royalist who served as court physician to King James I (VI) and lived through the English Civil War as a supporter of the Stuart King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland.  Indeed, his great work on the Circulation of the Blood was dedicated to Charles I (+1649AD).

You can find the full text of Harvey's magnum opus here:

File:William Harvey ( 1578-1657) Venenbild.jpg

To keep you in the mood of that era of Stuart England, enjoy a recording of some music written by a composer from the same court of Charles I: William Lawes (+1645AD).  He, however, like his king, did not survive the hostilities of the English Civil War.  Thomas Jordan wrote a splendid epitaph for Lawes, who died fighting against the Puritan Parliamentarians:
Will. Lawes was slain by such whose wills were laws.

William Lawes, Consort Set a 6 in B Flat Major

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vatican Information Service Blog

Happy Sunday!  This is a nifty resource: the Vatican Information Service's Blog!  If you don't receive their daily e-mail bulletins, which include all episcopal appointments, papal audiences, new documents, and Vatican statements, you can check this:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Canonical Question of Jurisdiction

Pondering the canonical relationship between parishes, pastors, and permission to marry outside one's parish, I asked this question of Father Zuhlsdorf, the famous blogger [his emphasis]:

I hope this finds you well! My question: if one is a registered member of a territorial parish in whose geographical boundaries you do not live, is it necessary to receive permission from your “territorial pastor” to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony in some other parish?

This seems to be common practice in my diocese, with an argument made that the “pastor of registration” has the care of that person’s soul, rather than the “territorial pastor,” thus rendering the permission of the pastor in whose geographical boundaries you live unneccesary.

His answer is here:

El Museo Nacional del Virreinato

Researching the glories of colonial Latin America, and the Viceroyalty of New Spain in particular, I have come across this museum in Mexico -- El Museo Nacional del Virreinato -- the National Museum of the Viceroyalty.  It looks to be worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Civil War Daily Gazette

For those interested in the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, here is a rather well-done site to keep an eye on.  This site allows you to follow, day-by-day, the events of 150 years ago with short summaries that only take a few minutes to scan.  This is accompanied with some pictures, maps, and good footnotes.

So, as we note the anniversary of such campaigns as Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, and McClellan's Peninsula campaign, and, later this year, such battles as Second Manassas, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, you can keep an eye on this site to follow the day-by-day developments.

CS Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274AD) -- his summary of theology -- is arguably the greatest work of Catholic theology and philosophy.  It is also a splendid example of a scholastic-style treatise and the kind of intellectual product we have from the medieval university.  He began the work in 1265AD, but didn't not finish before his death.  The supplement section was completed by some associates of his using his notes and other works.  The Summa Theologiae is available here in English translation:

St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, a Dominican from southern Italy, studied in Cologne under St. Albert the Great, taught at the University of Paris, and spent a fair amount of time teaching and preaching in Italy, as well.  He is justy famous for composing the Mass and hymns for the new Feast of Corpus Christi established by Pope Urban IV (Pontiff from, 1261-1264AD).  Urban had been Patriarch of Jerusalem in the Crusader states, another interesting story all its own, for another day...

St. Thomas Aquinas, painted by Fra Bartolomeo (+1517AD)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guide to North American Birds

As the Greater Litanies remind us of the coming growing season and increased outdoor activity, here is an excellent resource of the Birds of North America.  Here you have photos, recordings, maps, and even a few videos of the species.  Enjoy!

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Here is Corvus ossifragus, the Fish Crow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Catholic Hierarchy

If you have the faintest interest in the structure and order of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, this website is essential.  The layout is a bit dated looking, but the content is up-to-date and pretty well arranged.  The structured view even gives a list of all diocese grouped by eccesiastical province.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thomas Harriot, 1590AD, on Virginia (NC)

I am currently reading Thomas Harriot's 1590AD report on Virginia (modern North Carolina).  There is nothing like reading the old script, as I have with my hard copy reprinted by Dover Publishers, but this site at least has the text and illustrations.

This text and report is associated, of course, with the ill-fated Roanoke colony.  A rather early planting of the St. George's Cross in the New World!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pope Pius XI, Iniquis Afflictisque & Mexico

I recently read the encyclical letter of Pope Pius XI, Iniquis Afflictisque of 1926, on the persecution of the Church in Mexico. Viva Cristo Rey!

It is an excellent and instructive read, not only on the situation in Mexico at that time, but on certain general Church-State principles.

Euclid's Elements

The foundational work of geometry, Euclid's Elements, is certainly always a treat to read.  This splendid website at Furman University helps bring the text alive.  There is nothing like learning from a textbook written in 300BC.

Prime Time viewing of Venus

If you have not noticed it yet, now is prime viewing of Venus -- as bright and high in the sky as it gets in its 8 year cycle, it seems. Saturn, too, just had its opposition on 15 April. Finally, Mars is pretty easy to find in Leo...

Ars bene moriendi

"The first rule for dying well, which is that one who desires to die well should live well." -- St. Robert Bellarmine, from Book I, Chapter 1, The Art of Dying Well, (1619AD).

It is this that inspires this attempt at a blog.  I will share such a variety of things, on subjects from theology and history to ornithology and politics, that might contribute to living well.

I welcome you thoughts and earnestly hope you enjoy the posts!