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Datos curiosos
Escrito por Mar√≠a C. Rodr√≠guez    Mi√©rcoles, 06 de Octubre de 2010 18:47    Imprimir E-mail

Ni relojes ni calendario: Para eso las civilizaciones de la antig√ľedad se las ingeniaron de alguna manera para medir el tiempo. Para esos tiempos las personas viv√≠an con m√°s contacto con la naturaleza, es por eso que buscaron una soluci√≥n en la Naturaleza.

¬ŅC√≥mo med√≠an 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 qu√© hora era (en este tema ellos tambi√©n averiguaron c√≥mo se mov√≠an las estrellas y se dieron cuenta de que dan una vuelta completa alrededor de los polos celestes en un d√≠a).
A la hora de inventar el calendario, se valieron (nuevamente) de la observaci√≥n del cielo nocturno. Advirtieron que en cada estaci√≥n del a√Īo las estrellas que aparec√≠an en un lugar del cielo y a una hora espec√≠fica cambiaban. Por ejemplo, imag√≠nense a un griego que ten√≠a una casa con un peque√Īo agujero en el techo que le permit√≠a ver un pedacito de cielo. Todas las noches despu√©s de comer (era muy puntual y com√≠a siempre a la misma hora), se sentaba en su sill√≥n agotado y observaba el cielo de noche a trav√©s de ese peque√Īo orificio. ¬ŅY qu√© ocurr√≠a? A lo largo del a√Īo las estrellas que aparec√≠an en su ventana estelar cambiaban.

Siguiendo con la historia, el griego logr√≥ identificar estrellas caracter√≠sticas de cada momento del a√Īo. Como le pareci√≥ lo suficientemente importante, lo coment√≥ con los sabios de la civilizaci√≥n. Entre todos intentaron explicar por qu√© ocurr√≠a ello, pero la respuesta correcta no se supo sino hasta siglos m√°s tarde.

Para reconocer mejor las estrellas de cada √©poca del a√Īo, los antiguos inventaron las constelaciones. Agruparon la estrellas y, uni√©ndolas con l√≠neas imaginarias, dibujaron figuras. Representaron animales, h√©roes, objetos religiosos y de uso cotidiano. Pero adem√°s eran muy astutos: muchas veces los dibujos que trazaban los ayudaban a recordar las tareas que deb√≠an hacer en esa estaci√≥n del a√Īo, como arar, pescar o cazar. Por ejemplo, si era √©poca de caza aparec√≠a la constelaci√≥n de Ori√≥n, el cazador, (del cual las Tres Mar√≠as son el cintur√≥n) acompa√Īado 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 construcci√≥n de un camino desde las salitreras de Ostia hasta la ciudad de Roma, unos quinientos a√Īos antes de Cristo. Este camino fue llamado ‚ÄúV√≠a Salaria‚ÄĚ. Los soldados romanos que cuidaban esta ruta recib√≠an parte de su pago en sal. Esta parte era llamada ‚Äúsalarium argentum‚ÄĚ (agregado de sal). De all√≠ viene la palabra ‚Äúsalario‚ÄĚ. En Grecia, el intercambio de sal por esclavos, dio origen a la expresi√≥n ‚Äúno vale su sal‚ÄĚ. Es interesante notar que la sal no s√≥lo se usaba para condimentar y preservar comida, si no tambi√©n se usaba como antis√©ptico. La palabra sal es derivada de Salus (diosa de la salud).

¬†El tenedor: El tenedor lleg√≥ a Europa procedente de Constantinopla a principios del siglo XI de la mano de Teodora, hija del emperador de Bizancio Constantino Ducas. Lo llev√≥ a Venecia al contraer matrimonio con Domenico Selvo, Dux de aquella rep√ļblica. Pero Teodora era tachada por sus contempor√°neos, por esta y otras refinadas maneras orientales, como escandalosa y reprobable. Los defensores del tenedor intentaron varias veces introducirlo en Francia sin √©xito. En la Edad Media Catalina de Bulgaria quiso hacerlo popular en la corte pero los franceses la consideraron cursi y licenciosa. M√°s tarde fue Carlos V de Francia, que lo conoci√≥ 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 ten√≠an fama de homosexuales y el tenedor volvi√≥ a perder la batalla al ser considerado como un objeto caprichoso propio de personas un tanto equ√≠vocas. La realidad es que el rechazo que tuvo el tenedor durante siglos obedec√≠a m√°s a una falta de habilidad de los comensales que a una posible falta de utilidad. Un autor contaba c√≥mo los comensales se causaban heridas con ellos, pinch√°ndose con sus afiladas p√ļas los labios, las enc√≠as y la lengua. Ya en el siglo XVII el viajero ingl√©s Tomas Coyat cuenta lo generalizado que estaba el tenedor en Italia. En Espa√Īa encontramos referencias en el siglo XIV como un instrumento que usaban los maestros trinchadores, y el marqu√©s de Villena, en un tratado de 1423 titulado Arte Cisoria, incluye un utensilio cuya descripci√≥n corresponde a un tenedor de tres puntas. El uso del tenedor se generaliz√≥ en Espa√Īa en el siglo XIX y en concreto fue Barcelona donde se cre√≥ la primera industria en la fabricaci√≥n de estos indispensables, en la actualidad, utensilios.

 

 

 

 

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