February 12 was a big day in 1809. Abraham Lincoln was born in a wild Kentucky; Charles Darwin was born in a refined Shrewsbury, Shropshire. One man held together the Union. The other developed a theory that resonates through the sciences and beyond to this day. While it’s often difficult to unspool the impacts that individuals have on the world, it seems fair to say that these two minds did something consequential on this rock.
“The deepest common stuff the two men share, though,” Gopnik says, “is in what they said and wrote—their mastery of a new kind of liberal language.”
“Darwin’s work remains probably the only book that changed science that an amateur can still sit down now and read right through,” he continues. “It’s so well written that we don’t think of it as well written, just as Lincoln’s speeches are so well made that they seem to us as obvious and natural as smooth stones on the beach.
A city mosaic depicting the Byzantine city of Alexandria in Egypt, a major intellectual and religious center. The city is fortified and abstracted to include only major buildings, particularly churches. The use of depth and perspective is jumbled and flat. Labelled in Greek.
Pieced together with limestone tesserae.
Made in 531 at the Early Byzantine town of Gerasa in Jordan and used as a floor mosaic at the Church of St. John. Currently held at the Jerash Museum.