Battle of Marathon II

Lead: The victory of the Greek forces at the Battle of Marathon helped set the course of western development.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The ever-expanding Persian empire under Cyrus the Great, Darius and Xerxes came to a halt as it collided with the Greek city-states and their colonies on the Aegean Sea. A powerful invasion force landed at the Bay of Marathon, twenty miles northeast of Athens, in the fall of 490 BC. As was often the case, the democratic Athenians were busy arguing who would command their army even as the Persians were at the gates. Finally, one of the generals, Miltiades, persuaded Callimachus, a civil official, to break the impasse and vote to attack the Persians first. Apparently there was evidence that some Athenians were sympathetic with the invaders and if the City waited too long the seeds of betrayal would undermine its resistance.

Battle of Marathon I

Lead: On the plain at Marathon, Greek armies met a much larger Persian invasion force. For a time, the outcome was in doubt.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 500 BCE the Persian Empire stretched from India to the shores of the Black Sea. From their capital at Persepolis, Cyrus the Great and his successors, Darius and Xerxes, extended the borders and generally benevolent rule of Persia to most of the civilized world. As they moved west the Persians began to encounter those regions colonized by the major city-states of Greece.

Mount Vesuvius III

Lead: After being buried for seventeen centuries the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum became unparalleled archeological discoveries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In point of fact, the excavations of these cities, buried in the enormous eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, initiated the modern science of archeology. Their discovery was quite by accident, the ruins of Pompeii were first in the late 1600s by the architect Domenico Fontana even though at the time its identity was something of a mystery.

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Mount Vesuvius II

Lead: The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 was one of most destructive events to take place in the ancient world. 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Early in the afternoon of August 24th, at Misenum (my ‘see num), the sister of the imminent naturalist and Roman imperial bureaucrat, Gaius Plinus Secundus, commander of the fleet at Naples, called her brother from his study to see an unusual cloud formation rising east across the bay in the vicinity of Mount Vesuvius. It was shaped like a pine tree and both trunk and crown were punctuated with bright glowing flashes. Ever the scientist, the Elder Pliny ordered up a swift light vessel so as to investigate this phenomenon, but, before he embarked, a note arrived from Rectina, wife of Bassus, a family friend, whose villa at the base of the volcano was in imminent danger of destruction. Alarmed, Pliny ordered the entire fleet into the Bay on a mission of rescue.

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Mount Vesuvius

Lead: In the late summer of AD 79 the stratovolcano Vesuvius which towers over the Bay of Naples erupted. There was a tragic loss of life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Vesuvius is a relatively young volcano, a little less than 200,000 years old. It towers a little more than 4000 feet over the waters of the Bay of Naples and the plain of Campania in south central Italy. Approximately half way up the sides of the volcano is a high semicircular ridge called Mt. Somma, but in the first century Vesuvius had a single conical summit. Apparently, the mountain has long periods of  quiescence in which there is little volcanic activity, followed by varying periods of eruption. During the quiet times vineyards and orchards grow in the rich soil that covers the lower approaches. Higher up groves of oak and chestnut trees proceed almost to the very summit. During the long six century period before the giant eruption of 1631 there apparently were forests down in the 1000 foot deep crater and three lakes from which herds of sheep and cattle grazed unaware of the rumbling giant below.

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Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Pyramids at Giza

Lead: Of the seven wonders of the ancient only the three pyramids of Gisa remain as demonstration of the creativity, resourcefulness, and determination of an age far removed from ours.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: They are three in number and probably mark the passing of three Pharaohs, father, son and grandson, of the fourth Egyptian dynasty. The first of the structures was commissioned around 2570 BCE and completed after twenty years of extraordinary effort. The largest is the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu, who died before it was complete, and the smaller possibly by his son and grandson, Khafre and Menkaure.

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Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Statue of Zeus at Olympus

Lead: Intimately associated with the ancient Olympic games, the gold and ivory Statue of the chief Greek god Zeus was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The early history of the games is shrouded in mystery and myth. One legend says they marked the ascension of Pelops, for whom the Greek Peloponnesus island system is named, to the throne of Pisa.  He achieved that distinction by defeating the prior king in a chariot race, or perhaps the games began at the funeral of some great dignitary, perhaps even Pelops. Whatever the cause, sometime around 776 BCE, athletes began regularly gathering for games, not at the home of the gods, Mount Olympus in Thessaly, but at Olympia on the western coast where Pelops was enshrined.

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Coptic Christianity II

Lead: It was not easy, but in the years following the birth of Islam, Coptic Christianity was able to coexist in Egypt alongside its rival religion near the heart of Islamic culture.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the seventh century CE, not too many years after the hijira of Mohammed, Arabs invaded Egypt. For several centuries, Coptic Christians lived under various Muslim regimes, sometimes protected, sometimes persecuted, sometimes under onerous conditions, but able to survive and conduct worship. There were taxes and restrictions and the inevitable pressure to convert to Islam, but Muslim scholars respected Coptic erudition and permitted a certain flowering and preservation of this brand of Christianity.

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