Ancient Rome: The Empire that Shaped the World at the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum in Cairns has closed. After a short eight-week season, the internationally acclaimed exhibition was enjoyed by 9815 people from Far North Queensland and beyond.
Each week on average 1227 visitors came on their own or with their partners and kids, parents and grandparents, in large and small families and in groups. School students came with their teachers and engaged in conversations about the many astonishing legacies of the mighty Roman empire.
Before Tripadvisor, and even before the Michelin Guide, the ancient Romans had the Tabula of Peutinger.
The Tabula of Peutinger (also known as Tabula Peutingeriana) is one of the world’s oldest maps. Rather than being to scale and of true cardinal orientation, this map is more of a road map or traveller’s guide to the known Roman world at the height of its expansion in the late 3rd century AD.
Intended for use by government officials, the map contains useful information about state-run facilities and key points of interest throughout the Empire. Made up of 11 original segments it is the result of successive copies and overprints carried out at various times from several ancient originals.
Historians believe the oldest sections of the map date back to before 79 AD, the year that Pompeii was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ most devastating eruption.
When in the 15th Century a young Leonardo da Vinci discovered fossilized shells, whale and fish bones in mountain caves in the north Italian Alps he questioned the prevailing Judeo-Christian worldview of his time. Da Vinci is famous for his exquisite paintings and during his lifetime was sought after as a military engineer and inventor. His anatomical drawings are so precise that they are still being used by medical students 500 years later.
A new exhibition at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum brings to light the lesser-known brilliance of da Vinci’s discoveries in geology and paleontology.
The claim that fossils were swept there by the biblical flood is a completely inadequate explanation. So the surface of the earth has changed over time, with land where once there was sea.
J.Jones, Leonardo da Vinci’s earth-shattering insights about geology, theguardian.com, 23/11/2011
Here is a sneak preview of Da Vinci Machines & Robotics, the acclaimed traveling exhibition that explores and connects da Vinci’s studies in nature, anatomy, mechanics, flight and robotics.
The Ancient Rome: The Empire that Shaped the World exhibition, sponsored by SEW-Eurodrive, opened at the Australian Armour & Artillery Museum in Cairns to great fanfare.
The internationally acclaimed exhibition by the Artisans of Florence International invites visitors to travel 2000 years back in time when massive construction and large-scale technological innovation led to the largest globally-integrated economy the world had ever seen.
The Artisans of Florence International’s founding Director, Luigi Rizzo, took the opportunity to thank Official Drive Partner SEW-Eurodrive during the official launch of the exhibition on 9 June which was attended by Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development, Michael Healy MP and Cairns Regional Councillor Rhonda Coghlan.
Mr Rizzo said “it is thanks to the continued support of SEW-Eurodrive that our exhibitions are able to be enjoyed by thousands of people, young and old, across remote and regional Australia. It is heartening, and rewarding, to partner with people who share our vision and our passion.”
The exhibition is presented by the Cairns Italian Festival as a key event that celebrates and showcases Italian culture. The exhibition is a partnership between the Museum, which houses the largest private collection of tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery in the southern hemisphere, and the inaugural festival committee.
The ancient Romans shaped the modern world as much through their way of thinking as through their military ambition, most notably their need for precision in all things. At night, when sundials were of no use, the Romans harnessed the power of water to measure time.
Historians believe the earliest known time-measuring instruments of this kind were Clepsydrae and used by the Ancient Greeks. However there is evidence that they existed even earlier in Babylon, Egypt and Persia around 1600 BC.
The 12-hour water clock divides the 24 hours of the day into two periods. An intricate device with numerous chambers, it keeps the water flow constant and is calibrated to take into account the different hours of sunlight in winter and summer. The terms ante meridiem ‘before midday’ and post meridiem ‘after midday’ are still in use today.
See this and many other objects from the ancient Roman empire that shaped our modern world and marvel at their long-lasting legacy.
Travel back in time when massive construction and large scale technological innovation led to the largest globally-integrated economy the world had ever seen. Be prepared to learn something new and unexpected about ancient Rome, contemporary society and human nature.
Six metre long timeline spanning over 1000 years from Republic to Empire
Learn about military strategy, unprecedented logistics and communications
Get up close to gladiators’ armour, swords and shields
Discover the secrets of the Colosseum
The family-friendly exhibition is presented by the inaugural Cairns Italian Festival and the Museum.
Tickets to Ancient Rome include free entry to the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum, the largest private collection of tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery in the southern hemisphere.
8 June – 7 August 2022 Australian Armour & Artillery Museum 2 Skyrail Drive, Smithfield, Queensland Open 7 days, 9.30am – 4.30pm
It is a little-known fact that Leonardo da Vinci worked in entertainment. Of course, the industry didn’t exist in the Renaissance, but da Vinci was a skilled musician and he created and played quirky and beautiful musical instruments. There are many written accounts of the elaborate theatrical props that da Vinci invented as well as staging that made actors appear and disappear as if by magic for his wealthy patrons.
Da Vinci’s ability to imagine and sketch dragons and other fantastical creatures with wings was key to his genius. He was commissioned by Pope Leo X to create a mechanical lion for the amusement of Francois I, the King of France. The fearsome-looking automaton would propel itself onto the stage. When the King struck it would open its mouth releasing lillies, the King’s floral emblem.
Other accounts tell of actors dressed as angels with wings entering the stage by hidden ropes creating the illusion they had flown from the heavens, much to the delight, awe, and wonder of the guests of the court. Even the sketch of the bicycle, found in the Codex Atlanticus (1478-1519), was thought to have been not so much the precursor to the two-wheeled vehicle but a stage prop.
Visitors to the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville Florida can see for themselves how entertainment, and specifically the art of comedy, was reshaped during da Vinci’s times.
Galileo’s revolutionary ideas were well ahead of his time. His astronomical discoveries demonstrated that the Earth revolves around the Sun as it spins on its own axis and his Pendulum Laws led to the first clocks and the birth of experimental science.
Imagine Galileo’s delight if he were able to fast forward a few hundred years to the Paris observatory in 1851 to see a marvelous demonstration by French Physicist Léon Foucault. Foucault was able to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation to astonished crowds by setting an enormous pendulum in motion.
As the Foucault Pendulum swings back and forth it slowly rotates around the room, or at least that’s how it appears to us mere Earthbound mortals! In actual fact, we are not observing the pendulum rotate around the room, we are watching the Earth rotate around the pendulum!
You really have to see it to believe it! But if you aren’t able to make it to beautiful New Zealand for the world premiere of the Galileo exhibition in February 2021 you can watch this great time-lapse demonstration by Environmental Scientist Kurtis Baute.
A new biography about Italian scientist, astronomer and mathematician, Galileo Galilei, makes a compelling argument that is as important today as it was 400 years ago. In Galileo and the Science Deniers, Mario Livio reveals Galileo’s courage and the personal struggles he endured throughout his life because of his unwavering search for the truth supported by science.
It seems unthinkable now because we take certain scientific facts for granted, but in 1633 Galileo was tried, convicted, and sentenced to house arrest by the Catholic Church. His “crime” was to challenge the widely-held belief that the universe was a creation of God, with the Earth firmly located at its centre. Thanks to Galileo and his powerful telescope, he was able to prove that the Earth is one of the many planets that rotate around the sun.
Each beautifully written and insightful chapter delves into the discoveries for which Galileo has been named the father of modern science.
Adam Riess, Nobel Laureate in Physics, writes of the book;
It is fashionable to invoke Galileo on both sides of any debate to claim the mantle of truth. In Galileo and the Science Deniers, Livio teaches us the method by which Galileo found the truth – a process more powerful than rhetoric – examination. Today more than ever we need to understand what made Galileo synonymous with finding the truth.
While teaching as head Mathematician at Padua University, Galileo became embroiled in an ongoing and heated public debate with his colleague Cesare Cremonini, a renowned Natural Philosopher.
Cremonini, who followed the Aristotle school of belief that the planets (including the sun) orbit the Earth publicly denounced Galileo writing; It is hard to realize what a fundamental blow to all Natural Philosophy it would be if a mere Mathematician could prove actual change in the heavens.
As Cremonini believed that heavenly bodies were created by God, he argued that Galileo’s measurements could not be accurate because he was using mortal instruments to measure the divine.
Galileo responded by publishing a well-reasoned discussion, in colloquial dialect rather than high Latin, between two rural peasants.
One of the peasants remarks: When it comes to measuring things we shouldn’t trust Philosophers, after all, what have they ever measured? We should instead trust in the measurements of the Mathematicians who care not whether something is fashioned from the divine or from polenta, because their measurements will still hold true.