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
Many of our religious celebrations and secular holidays can be traced back to practices and traditions in Ancient Rome and earlier cultures. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that it was Emperor Constantine (272 – 337AD) who decided when Easter should be celebrated.
In the Christian religious tradition, Easter marks the crucifixion of Jesus, the son of God, on Good Friday and his resurrection three days later on Easter Sunday. Although there is speculation among historians about how the Jewish festival of Passover became the basis for the Christian festival of Easter, the intriguing connection is no coincidence.
The Exodus, when God liberated the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, is said to have taken place sometime between 1450 and 1270 BC. The annual festival of Passover (Pesah/Pesach) has been celebrated in March or April ever since. This means that it would have been a long-held tradition when the new religion of Christianity came along with the birth, and death, of Jesus.
Emperor Constantine, who was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, felt that Easter should not be linked to a festival belonging to a different religion. He decreed that Easter should take place on the first Sunday following the first new moon in Spring – which is why Easter varies every year, sometimes at the end of March and in other years, towards the end of April.
Education experts and historians may be able to shed some light on what stage in the evolution of Western civilisation we started to think that learning is a serious affair and somehow separate from playing.
This distinction is as misguided, and as unhelpful, as the distinction between the processes that lead to scientific discovery and those that are deployed when creating art.
In the late 1990s, the Harvard Business Review reported on trends that saw businesses stage experiences that would engage customers in their target markets in novel ways in order to sell more of their goods and services. The appeal of immersive experiences and interaction that the business community learned from the world of theatre and theme parks would become known as the Experience Economy.
The packaging of multi-sensory experiences, however, is nothing new to the cultural sector.
Those working in museums, science centres and galleries understand that visitors are curious creatures, seeking an opportunity to learn, be inspired by an encounter of an aesthetic kind, or enter a world different from their own for a brief period of time.
In these ways, a visit to a place of learning offers us the same joy of discovery that travel provides us.
In the case of the internationally renownedDa Vinci Machines exhibition, visitors travel back in time to the Renaissance when innovation and creativity in the arts enabled a scientific revolution. By interacting with the functioning models constructed from Leonardo’s drawings, visitors gain a rare glimpse inside the mind of the genius polymath.
There are many ‘a ha’ moments in this exhibition and the Discovery Centre Bendigo has scheduled a number of events that will enhance the experience and make it even more enjoyable and memorable. These include Mona Lisa and Merlot to have fun as you learn to paint your own masterpiece, and Taste of Italy to learn about the history of Italian Renaissance art as you sample wines from acclaimed Heathcote wineries.
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.
Can you imagine what the world would be like without science, global telecommunications or modern medicine?
Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) the Italian scientist, astronomer and mathematician is best known for his fearless and pioneering work in science, physics and astronomy. Considered to be the ‘father of modern science’, Galileo challenged the beliefs of the time and paid a high price.
With his powerful telescope, he was able to demonstrate the theory held by Nicolaus Copernicus and other scientists that the sun is at the centre of our universe, not the Earth. He was tried by the Roman Inquisition, forced to stop teaching and publishing his ideas which were considered heretical, and kept under house arrest until his death.
Galileo: Scientist, Astronomer, Visionary is the world’s first interactive exhibition on Galileo’s groundbreaking science, influential discoveries and inspirational life. The exhibition opened at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand on 19 June.
The story of how Galileo’s discoveries four hundred years ago shaped our modern world is told through the themes of Astronomy, Simple Machines, Gravity, Motion and Time, and Military and Inventions. The section on Experimental Science is dedicated to examining Galileo’s extraordinary legacy.