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Datos curiosos
Escrito por María C. Rodríguez    Miércoles, 06 de Octubre de 2010 13:47    Imprimir E-mail
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Ni relojes ni calendario: Para eso las civilizaciones de la antigüedad se las ingeniaron de alguna manera para medir el tiempo. Para esos tiempos las personas vivían con más contacto con la naturaleza, es por eso que buscaron una solución en la Naturaleza.

¿Cómo medían el tiempo? El conocimiento de las estrellas y del resto de los objetos celestes (Sol, Luna, etc.) era esencial para medir el tiempo. Para averiguar la hora se basaban en el movimiento del Sol.  De noche, utilizaban a la Luna y a las estrellas para saber qué hora era (en este tema ellos también averiguaron cómo se movían las estrellas y se dieron cuenta de que dan una vuelta completa alrededor de los polos celestes en un día).
A la hora de inventar el calendario, se valieron (nuevamente) de la observación del cielo nocturno. Advirtieron que en cada estación del año las estrellas que aparecían en un lugar del cielo y a una hora específica cambiaban. Por ejemplo, imagínense a un griego que tenía una casa con un pequeño agujero en el techo que le permitía ver un pedacito de cielo. Todas las noches después de comer (era muy puntual y comía siempre a la misma hora), se sentaba en su sillón agotado y observaba el cielo de noche a través de ese pequeño orificio. ¿Y qué ocurría? A lo largo del año las estrellas que aparecían en su ventana estelar cambiaban.

Siguiendo con la historia, el griego logró identificar estrellas características de cada momento del año. Como le pareció lo suficientemente importante, lo comentó con los sabios de la civilización. Entre todos intentaron explicar por qué ocurría ello, pero la respuesta correcta no se supo sino hasta siglos más tarde.

Para reconocer mejor las estrellas de cada época del año, los antiguos inventaron las constelaciones. Agruparon la estrellas y, uniéndolas con líneas imaginarias, dibujaron figuras. Representaron animales, héroes, objetos religiosos y de uso cotidiano. Pero además eran muy astutos: muchas veces los dibujos que trazaban los ayudaban a recordar las tareas que debían hacer en esa estación del año, como arar, pescar o cazar. Por ejemplo, si era época de caza aparecía la constelación de Orión, el cazador, (del cual las Tres Marías son el cinturón) acompañado por sus perros, el can mayor y el can menor (constelaciones can major y can minor), y su presa el conejo (Lepus).

Pero, como imaginarás, no todos los pueblos formaron las mismas imágenes: las estrellas que para los griegos formaban un fénix (un ave mística) para los chinos formaban un barco. Además cada constelación tenía una leyenda asociada que se trasmitía de boca en boca y de generación en generación, llegaron hasta el día de hoy.

Actualmente se establecieron 88 constelaciones para facilitar el trabajo de los astrónomos a la hora de ubicar la estrellas. Pero siempre se puede inventar nuevas, sólo es cuestión de mirar el cielo y empezar a imaginar figuras.
Salario:  En los tiempos antiguos la sal era un producto de suma importancia. La sal fue el motivo de construcción de un camino desde las salitreras de Ostia hasta la ciudad de Roma, unos quinientos años antes de Cristo. Este camino fue llamado “Vía Salaria”. Los soldados romanos que cuidaban esta ruta recibían parte de su pago en sal. Esta parte era llamada “salarium argentum” (agregado de sal). De allí viene la palabra “salario”. En Grecia, el intercambio de sal por esclavos, dio origen a la expresión “no vale su sal”. Es interesante notar que la sal no sólo se usaba para condimentar y preservar comida, si no también se usaba como antiséptico. La palabra sal es derivada de Salus (diosa de la salud).

 El tenedor: El tenedor llegó a Europa procedente de Constantinopla a principios del siglo XI de la mano de Teodora, hija del emperador de Bizancio Constantino Ducas. Lo llevó a Venecia al contraer matrimonio con Domenico Selvo, Dux de aquella república. Pero Teodora era tachada por sus contemporáneos, por esta y otras refinadas maneras orientales, como escandalosa y reprobable. Los defensores del tenedor intentaron varias veces introducirlo en Francia sin éxito. En la Edad Media Catalina de Bulgaria quiso hacerlo popular en la corte pero los franceses la consideraron cursi y licenciosa. Más tarde fue Carlos V de Francia, que lo conoció en Venecia tras la vuelta de un viaje de Polonia. Pero esta vez el fracaso tuvo motivos puramente sexuales: el rey y sus inseparables amigos tenían fama de homosexuales y el tenedor volvió a perder la batalla al ser considerado como un objeto caprichoso propio de personas un tanto equívocas. La realidad es que el rechazo que tuvo el tenedor durante siglos obedecía más a una falta de habilidad de los comensales que a una posible falta de utilidad. Un autor contaba cómo los comensales se causaban heridas con ellos, pinchándose con sus afiladas púas los labios, las encías y la lengua. Ya en el siglo XVII el viajero inglés Tomas Coyat cuenta lo generalizado que estaba el tenedor en Italia. En España encontramos referencias en el siglo XIV como un instrumento que usaban los maestros trinchadores, y el marqués de Villena, en un tratado de 1423 titulado Arte Cisoria, incluye un utensilio cuya descripción corresponde a un tenedor de tres puntas. El uso del tenedor se generalizó en España en el siglo XIX y en concreto fue Barcelona donde se creó la primera industria en la fabricación de estos indispensables, en la actualidad, utensilios.

 

 

 

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