Theramenes was an Athenian statesman, prominent in the final decade of the
Peloponnesian War. He was particularly active during the two periods of
oligarchic government at Athens, as well as in the trial of the generals who
had commanded at Arginusae in 406 BC. A moderate oligarch, he often found
himself caught between the democrats on the one hand and the extreme
oligarchs on the other. Successful in replacing a narrow oligarchy with a
broader one in 411 BC, he failed to achieve the same end in 404 BC, and was
executed by the extremists whose policies he had opposed. Theramenes
remained a controversial figure after his death; Lysias vigorously denounced
him while prosecuting several of his former political allies, but others
defended his actions. Modern historical assessments have shifted over time;
in the 19th century, Theramenes was almost universally condemned, but recent
scholarship has produced more positive assessments. Some historians have
found in Theramenes a selfish opportunist, others a principled moderate. The
details of his actions, his motivations, and the nature of his character
continue to be debated down to the present day.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, best-known as a proponent of
heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe, was burned at the stake as a
heretic by the Roman Inquisition.
The U.S. House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson as President and
Aaron Burr as Vice President, resolving an electoral tie in the 1800 U.S.
Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly premiered at La Scala in
Milan, generating negative reviews that forced him to rewrite the opera.
The Phantom, one of the first modern comic book superheroes with the
hallmark skintight costume and a mask with no visible pupils, made his first
appearance in a daily newspaper comic strip.
The London congestion charge, a fee that is levied on motorists travelling
within designated parts of London, came into operation.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Ishikawa diagram (n):
A diagram used in quality management to display a detailed list of causes
and effects of a problem and thus to decipher the root cause of a problem
Wikiquote quote of the day:
A voiceless song in an ageless light
Sings at the coming dawn
Birds in flight are calling there
Where the heart moves the stones
It's there that my heart is calling
All for the love of you. --Loreena McKennitt
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