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“Monody, or homophony, is when one part predominates while the others are merely accompanying. In old Greece it denoted a single voice singing an ode in a tragedy.
Polyphony is when parts are individual; no part is predominant.
From about 800 AD, European music started to become polyphonic; and after a few centuries, more or less all church music was. Renaissance, however, with its idolising of Antiquity, brought monody into it again. In the beginning this was done in the form of a vocal or instrumental part, accompanied by thorough bass (figures indicating accompanying chords). One of the first to use monody in this way was Vincenzo Galilei, 1533 - 1591. (The famous physicist, Galileo Galilei, was his son.)
Polyphony further led to forms such as the fugue, and culminated with Bach, his "Kunst der Fuge" being the most pre-eminent example. Parts are equal in importance, a clear "melody" is indistinguishable, and the impression of the music is from its totality. (Writing as two or more independent parts is called counterpoint, which is the basis for polyphony.)
Monody, or homophony, on the other hand, triggered the development of the opera and the oratorio, and it came to dominate the eighteenth century after the Baroque, the nineteenth century, and popular music still today. A melody and accompaniment, that is how most people think of music. Within the so-called serious genre, however, the twentieth century brought music into new directions and homophony lost its dominance.”
Who created the Julian Calendar, on which our present Gregorian calendar is based?
In order to reform the Roman calendar, Julius Caesar hired an astronomer, Sosigenes of Alexandria. The Romans had a lunar calendar and wanted to move to an Egyptian system, using solar years. So, Sosigenes created what is known as the Julian Calendar, which came into use in 45 BC. The current Gregorian Calendar is an adjustment of the Julian. This means that most of us live with a calendar based on Sosigenes's work, and, in the end, on Egyptian calendric principles.
Sosigenes introduced years of 365 ¼ days. One result of that we still see today, is the existence of 29 February every fourth year.
But who was Sosigenes?
Almost nothing is known about him. The story that he was hired by Julius Caesar comes from a single source, Pliny the Elder.
It has sometimes been said that he was a Greek from Alexandria, but that is probably based mostly on the Greek form of the name. But that does not say much. During the Hellenistic period, Greek forms of names were sometimes used for Egyptians as well, not at least in their contacts with the Romans. Pliny was a Roman writer and can be expected to use name forms he can handle. Therefore, we should not rely too much on a Greek name to really denote a Greek: Isis and Anubis, to take two examples, are also Greek names, and the figures that the names denote are certainly not Greek.
Socrates is one of the most famous philosophers from ancient Greece. However, contrary to most other philosophers, he did not write anything. What we know about him comes from the writings of his students, most notably one of them – a man who by his own right became one of the most influential humans ever. Who was that?
Socrates' famous student was Plato. He did not only write about the real Socrates, he also used him as a literary character when he expressed his own philosophy. This makes it practically impossible to determine where Socrates ends and Plato begins; when does Plato really relate Socrates' words, and when does he let him express his own (Plato's) words?