A Dark Time for Humanity
Following the decline of the classical age & “the glory that was Greece, the grandeur that was Rome!”, humanity plunged into nearly a millennium of darkness. This “Age of Faith” was marked by war, famine, plague, crusades & religious persecution; ignorance and superstition placed the word of religious authorities above personal experience and rational activity.
Thanks to an abundance of paper and the invention of metal movable type in the 15th century, ideas that challenged the doctrine of church and state disseminated quickly, creating a moment in history of intellectual transformation bridging the dark age and the age of enlightenment.
The Renaissance, or rebirth of learning based on classical sources, was a time of political diplomacy, scientific reliance on observation and many advancements in culture, art and education.
The Renaissance, manifesting earliest in Italy, saw the rise of men with “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. None was the more archetypal “Renaissance Man” than Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci.
The Renaissance Man
Da Vinci, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. He was a talented painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor among many other skills. Although renowned primarily as a painter, da Vinci is also revered for his technological ingenuity, creating many drawings and scientific diagrams that, while unheralded at the time, represented giant leaps in the fields of engineering and technology. One of his most famous technical drawings, the Vitruvian Man, blends art and science to depict ideal human proportions, as defined by Roman civil engineer Vitruvius.
The Ideal Body & Soul
Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man has become an icon, often imitated, used in pop culture and even customized for various subject matter. But just as the human body is considered divine in its proportions, so is the soul. The very essence of life and living as a human carries great responsibilities, including constant
vigilance, a deep passion for truth, and yearning for what is right and just. Differentiating us from other mammals, the human soul in its original, uncorrupted form was always willing to fight for its own survival, and along with it, the survival of its fellow man.
Unfortunately, both the body and the soul have fallen victim to ages of collectivism, dis-ease and intellectual rot, yielding billions of humans unhealthy both physically and mentally. Can man’s trend toward apathy of both mind and body be reversed?
We are All Khaled Saeed
The erosion of man’s perfect body & soul seems unstoppable, especially when staring in the face of the greatest tyranny ever known to mankind. Often it seems like we are mentally and physically unable to mount a serious offense against tyranny.
But in 2010, an event of global significance proved otherwise.
June 6th 2010 started much like any other day for Khaled Saeed. The 28 year old computer programmer enjoyed coffee at an Egyptian cybercafe. Moments later, two detectives from the local police entered the cafe and arrested him. They hauled him outside and proceeded to beat the young man to death. Witnesses watched as the torture continued well after Khaled was dead.
If not for a Facebook page posted by Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim, the incident may have gone unnoticed by the world and our history books. Instead, the page became a rally point for those frustrated with the Egyptian government, attracting hundreds of thousands of followers and resulting in a call to protest on January 25th, 2011. After 18 days of demonstrations and protests, the leader of Egypt resigned, sparking widespread revolution across the middle-east.
Ghonim’s account of the events proves why “The power of the people is greater than the people in power.” While one man can make a difference, and a second man often yields exponential results, it is the presence of a third man that often ties it all together, as demonstrated by the Borromean rings. There is strength in unity.
The Vitruvian Man Silver Coin
Together, with healthy bodies and awakened minds, the strength of a unified people is unstoppable. If we are all ever-vigilant for justice, and together willing to fight to defend what is right, humanity can surely defeat the small group of evil men that seek to keep us enslaved through the distraction of disunity. Our silver coin contributes to da Vinci’s original perfect work, adding a sword and the scales of justice to remind people today what was known for thousands of years – the awareness and defense of justice is the responsibility of all men.