• nero

    The Emperor’s City A. D. 14 to A. D. 117

    GREAT power had allowed Augustus to do great good for Rome and its provinces. The same power in the hands of a man who was not good meant that he could do great harm. This the Romans learned as they watched the remarkable parade of good and evil men who came to govern Rome after Augustus. Some of them were wise, two or three were foolish, one thought he was the greatest artist in the world and another said he …

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    The First Palm Sunday A.D. 29

    IT WAS the Sunday before Passover. The soft greens of spring and patches of wild flowers brightened the hills above Jerusalem. The holy days of the Passover, celebrating the escape of the Jews from slavery in Egypt, would not begin until the following Friday at sundown. But people were already busy preparing for it. The roads leading into the Holy City were crowded with Jews coming to attend the rites in the Temple. On the roads were also herds of …

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  • The Monk from Wittenberg 1505-1546

    ON A SULTRY JULY DAY IN 1505, a young law student, Martin Luther, was walking along a country road in Germany when a summer storm blew up. The air grew heavy and black clouds filled the sky. Before Luther could take shelter, thunder began to crash. A bolt of lightning struck the road almost at his feet. Thrown to the ground, he lay shaking, not certain whether he was alive or dead. “Help me, Saint Anne,” he cried, “help me …

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  • prussia

    The Rise of Prussia 1594 – 1786

    AT THE END of the 16th century, Brandenburg and Prussia were unimportant German lands, but the ruler of Brandenburg was clever and farsighted. He was John Sigismund, the head of the Hohenzollern family. In 1594 John Sigismund married the daughter of the idiot duke of Prussia. In 1618, when the duke died, John Sigismund became ruler of Prussia as well as Brandenburg. There must have been many people who laughed at John Sigismund. Brandenburg was worth little, they must have …

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