32 CE — The Sermon on the Mount

By any reasonable standard, the Sermon on the Mount is a confused mess. The best-known section of it, the Beautitudes, are a series of platitudes in which, as Monty Python pointed out, Jesus states that blessed is everyone with a vested interest in the status quo. It doesn’t help that the two Gospels that mention them – Luke and Matthew – disagree on how many of them there are, and what they say, either. The Sermon goes on to include several parables.

Nonetheless, the Sermon on the Mount is one of the best-known events in the entire ministry of Jesus, and the Beatitudes in particular have been a foundation of Christian ethics for centuries. Notably, Matthew states that it was in this Sermon that Jesus gave forth that most frequently ignored of all his teachings: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Referenced in:

Are You The One That I’ve Been Waiting For? – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

33 CE — Jesus dies upon the Cross

It is the central event of Christianity: Jesus Christ surrendered to the Romans, was briefly tried by Pontius Pilate, and sent to be crucified. Once up on the cross, he died in an unusually short time (crucifixion is a slow and painful death). In his last words, he called on his heavenly father, saying “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” (in English “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (At least, he did according to the Gospels of Mark and Matthew – John and Luke each tell different stories.)

When the Romans came by to break the legs of the crucified (a measure that hastens death), they discovered that Jesus was already dead. He was taken down and buried, rising from the dead on the third day (somewhat undermining the “last words” thing, but he’s the Son of God. Different rules apply.)

Today, these events are commemorated by the eating of chocolate (not introduced to Europe, Asia and Africa until 14 centuries later) delivered by a rabbit (because… I have no idea why).

Referenced in:

Ah Yeah — Krs-One
Imperial Rome — Aska
For Love — Andy Prieboy
Done Too Soon — Neil Diamond
Tomorrow, Wendy — Andy Prieboy
The Post-War Dream — Pink Floyd
Tomorrow, Wendy — Concrete Blonde
The Mercy Seat — Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Jesus Walking On The Water — Violent Femmes

1897 — Johannes Brahms dies

A composer of the Romantic school, Johannes Brahms in his 64 years associated with many of the other greats of his era, such as Liszt and Schumann. His works include a dozen sonatas, four symphonies, four concertos, a number of waltzes and a great number of variations, a form which he is particularly known for.

Brahms developed cancer of either the liver or the pancreas which eventually killed him. He is buried in the Zentralfriedhof of Vienna, where he lived in his last years.

Referenced in:

Green Onions — The Blues Brothers
Decomposing Composers — Monty Python