The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh was the first systematically organized library in West Asia. It was created by Ashurbanipal, the last great Assyrian king, who reigned in the 7th century BCE and controlled most of the then-known world. Excavations at the site have uncovered thousands of clay tablets constituting today's chief source of knowledge about ancient Mesopotamia. The collection includes historical and scientific literature, flood and creation myths, and what famous epic?
Back in the day
Although it was recognized as a planet for decades, Pluto is much smaller than the other planets in our solar system and more closely resembles a giant comet nucleus. Consequently, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to the category of dwarf planet, which reflected astronomers' conclusion that it is a member of the Kuiper belt, a strip of billions of icy bodies orbiting the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune. What objects in the outer region of the solar system exceed Pluto in size?
Born on a day like today
One of the few female Italian artists of the 16th century, Lavinia Fontana was the daughter of Italian mannerist painter Prospero Fontana. She was a fashionable portrait painter in Bologna and Rome who was especially noted for the vibrant color and detail of her works. Her self-portraits and a portrait of Pope Gregory XIII show a fine decorative sense in the treatment of costume. She was also a painter of religious subjects. What are some of her major works?