Jephthah’s tale is in the Old Testament’s Book of Judges. The story tells show the Israelites had abandoned God and did not worship him. God took vengeance against them, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites. The elders of Gilead asked Jephthah to lead them against the Ammonites, agreeing that if he secured victory, he would be their permanent chieftain. Jephthah swore an oath, that whatever emerged from his home to meet him when he returned victorious, would be sacrificed as a burnt offering to God. Unfortunately it was his much loved daughter who rushed out to greet him first. But he had to honour his vow and offer her up nonetheless.
Mad as a March Hare has been a common English phrase for hundreds of years. The phrase appears in John Heywood’s collection of proverbs published in 1546. It seems to have been inspired by the hares’ behavior at the beginning of the long breeding season, in March (the season lasts until September in Britain). Early in the season, unreceptive females often use their forelegs to repel overenthusiastic males. This energetic behaviour looks rather like boxing, and often includes vertical leaps into the air.
Blowbol's Test, a poem from about 1500, includes the line:
Thanne þey begyn to swere and to stare, And be as braynles as a Marshe hare
(Then they begin to swerve and to stare, And be as brainless as a March hare)
Lalage is a woman for whom the Roman poet Horace professes his love in "Integer vitae," a famous poem in his ode, Carminum liber primus, published in 23 BC. Integer vitae begins as a solemn praise of honest living, and ends in a mock-heroic song of love for Lalage.
A primitive form of candle lantern, made from white horn and wood and called a lanthorn, was first made in the time of King Alfred of England.
The earliest known use of the term jack-o'-lantern dates to the 1660s.
The use of the term jack-o'-lantern to describe a carved vegetable lantern is first recorded in 1837.
Beelzebub originated as a Philistine god. In the Bible’s 2 Kings, King Ahaziah of Israel sends messengers to inquire of Ba‘al Zebûb, the god of the Philistine city of Ekron, to learn if he will recover from injuries sustained in a serious fall (and gets into a great deal of trouble from the prophet Elijah for his idolatrous ways).
The Ba'al religion worshipped multiple deities, which were prefixed by the word Ba'al, which means "Lord" in Ugaritic. Baalzebub translates as "Baal (or Lord) of flies." It is possible that this was a derogatory name used by the Hebrews to deride the Ba’al religion.
The gospel of Mark refers to Beelzeboul, prince of demons, who is interchangeable with Satan. The 17th century exorcist Sebastien Michaelis, in his Admirable History (1612), placed Beelzebub among the three most prominent fallen angels, beside Lucifer and Leviathan. Other texts identify Astaroth as the third angel, rather than Leviathan. In Paradise Lost, 1667, John Milton wrote of Beelzebub, "than whom, Satan except, none higher sat."
The Nerva–Antonine dynasty comprised seven Roman Emperors, who ruled over the Roman Empire from 96 to 192. The Emperors were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, and Commodus. The first five of the six successions saw the reigning Emperor adopt the candidate of his choice to be his successor. They are thus referred to as Adoptive Emperors.
The rulers commonly known as the Five Good Emperors were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. The term Five Good Emperors was coined by Machiavelli in 1503, who argued that most of the Roman emperors who inherited the throne by birth were bad, whereas those who came to it through adoption were good.
The 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon described the period of the Five Good Emperors rule as one “during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous.”
The Maritsa or Evros river was known in ancient times as the Hebrus. It runs for 480km, across the Balkan interior. It originates in the Rila Mountains in Western Bulgaria, and flows southeast between the Balkan and Rhodope Mountains, to Turkey. It forms a border between Bulgaria and Greece, and between Turkey and Greece.