Who Invented Giving Someone the Finger?

Who Invented Giving Someone the Finger?...

We tend to take it for granted that the act of giving someone the finger is a contemporary obscene hand gesture. The strange fact of it is that this non-verbal way of telling people to “stick it where the sun don’t shine” has been practiced ever since ancient times! The name of the actual person who invented giving someone the finger may well be lost to the mists of time. But believe it or not, this offensive gesticulation has been named in ancient Roman texts as the “digitus impudicus” or “impudent finger,” and ancient Greek comedy has used the act of raising one’s middle finger as an insult. This is particularly mentioned in the comedy “The Clouds” by the Greek playwright Aristophanes. Even weirder is the superstitious belief in the first-century Mediterranean world wherein the middle finger is not an insulting gesture, but as a means of warding off the effects of a much more ominous hand signal, the “evil eye.” Giving someone the finger may well be the universally-recognized symbol of disrespect used as far across the globe as countries like India, Pakistan and other South Asian nations. But other cultures have also had their own variations on this vulgar act. For instance, the British version of the finger is to raise two, the middle and the index finger. The origins of this variant is actually not so much obscene, though still meant as an insult. This was back in medieval times when Britain was at war with France. Captured British archers would be punished by having their middle and index fingers cut off so that wouldn’t be able to pull the strings of their bows. So archers who’ve managed to evade capture would taunt their foes by...
Who Invented New Year’s Resolutions?

Who Invented New Year’s Resolutions?...

Introduction When someone decides to break a habit or start doing something new at the beginning of the year, it is called a New Year’s Resolution. It is generally a commitment or promise that would be good to oneself and/or others. Typical resolutions include the giving up of a harmful habit (e.g. smoking, drinking), starting a diet, becoming more punctual or self-confident and so on. Surveys suggest that people have a very low success rate with their New Year’s Resolutions. But they continue to be practiced. It’s not unusual for the same person to make the same commitment year after year. Invention and History of New Year’s Resolutions Who invented New Year’s Resolutions and where did they begin? Well, people have always associated new years with a fresh start. Even in the most ancient traditions, it was a custom to make improvements at such times. For example, in the Babylonian empire people made promises to do better starting March 23, their new year (spring equinox). One common resolution was to give back something one had borrowed in the past year. In Rome, Janus was the god of the New Year. The month of January was named after him. The New Year began on January 1 according to the Julian Calendar invented by Caesar in 46 BC. Janus had two faces: one looked back on the past and the other into the future. The Romans worshipped him as a symbol of endings and new beginnings. During the holiday, they would do things that would hopefully kick off their year to a good start. They would make up with people they quarreled with and exchange gifts. Out of vanity, the Roman emperors kept on tampering with their calendar until it became...
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