Used as early as the third century BCE, armillary spheres are astronomical models of the celestial sphere—an imaginary sphere surrounding the Earth, upon which the celestial bodies seem to lie. Fixed and movable rings representing circles of the celestial sphere, such as the ecliptic and the celestial equator, allow astronomers to use armillary spheres to determine the movements and positions of stars. A representation of this device is prominently featured on what country's national flag?
Back in the day
In 1160, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa was excommunicated for his support of a series of antipopes against Pope Alexander III. In 1167, the communes of Lombardy in northern Italy formed an alliance to resist Frederick. The Lombard League soundly defeated Frederick's forces in the Battle of Legnano, after which Frederick reconciled with the pope and made peace with the Lombard cities. Why, if he survived, did Frederick's wife go into mourning for her husband following the battle?
Born on a day like today
A British man of letters, Chesterton was a journalist, scholar, novelist, short-story writer, and poet. He wrote essays on Christianity and works of social and literary criticism on subjects such as Charles Dickens. His fiction includes the popular allegorical novel The Man Who Was Thursday, and his most successful creation, the series of detective novels featuring the priest-sleuth Father Brown. Chesterton was also known for collaborating with what author?