The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

struggling madly

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Like a leaf, you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s Furrinalia, an ancient Roman holiday venerating Furrina. Furrina was a water goddess of truly ancient origins, one of the 12 “flamines minores.” July 25 is “one of those days,” when random events in the calendar as revealed by the historical record seem to be propitious in retrospect. Events speak of broad strokes and suggest some sort of guiding hand- although that’s 20/20 hindsight and western bias talking. Coincidentally, July 25 is also the day that the Inca empire celebrated its thunder god Ilyap’a, who kept the Milky Way in a jar and used it to make rain.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After his Dad died, a fellow we refer to as Constantine the Great was proclaimed the emperor of Rome by his troops in 306. A scant 9 years later, the “arch of Constantine” was unveiled in Rome, hailing the victory of the General and his armies at the Milvian Bridge- a battle made famous by the Emperor’s conversion to Christianity, which was an event signaling that the end of the pagan era in Europe was nigh. In 1261, the armies of Michael VIII Palaiologos recaptured the city named for Constantine from latin usurpers, beginning the final iteration of the Roman Empire which would end in the fires of 1453.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In 1837, the first electrical telegraph was demonstrated in London. In 1866, the newly created post of “General of the Army” in the United States was awarded to Ulysses S. Grant. In 1898, United States troops began the invasion of Puerto Rico, and in 1946 an atomic bomb was detonated at Bikini Atoll. Today is the day that Dylan went electric in Newport, Connecticut in 1965, and 1978 saw the birth of the first “test tube” baby. In 1984, Salyut 7 cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to perform a space walk.

Also, in 1966, New York City Council speaker and Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn was born in Glen Cove.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Glittering Realms Saturday, August 3rd, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

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