As part of Union Pacific's celebration of the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad completion, the newly restored Big Boy No. 4014 met No. 844 in Ogden as a ceremonial golden spike was tapped on May 9, 2019.
The School of Athens was painted in 1510, on a wall in the Pope's personal apartments in the Vatican, soon after the use of perspective was invented. The use of perspective is clearly central to the representation of the painting's theme.
Most notably, Plato and Aristotle are at the painting's center, as founders of the two primary systems of philosphical thought.
Plato, 428 BC - 328 BC, taught that reality was elsewhere, beyond this world, represented in the painting by his hand pointing upwards, and that this world is only a poor reflection. Learning, he said, occurs through revelations about that reality. Plato was the first to systematize philosophy.
Religion is inherently Platonic, and Christian doctrine in particular is heavily influenced by Plato.
Aristotle, 384 BC - 322 BC, taught that this world is itself reality, represented by his hand held forward, with palm downward, towards the Earth. Learning occurs through evidence, study, and rational thought. Aristotle was the second to put forward a systematic philosophy.
The sciences, technology, and all that makes up our modern way of life, in contrast to Plato, are directly descended from Aristotle's works. Although there were natural philosophers prior to Aristotle, his writings were far more comprehensive, and are the predominant foundation for all of the scientific advances made since the Renaissance.
In fact, it can be argued that the Renaissance itself resulted from the introduction of Aristotle's writings (most of which had been thought to be lost) into Europe, brought there from Moslem lands
and from the Byzantine Empire, primarily during the period 1000-1215.
Before that time, the only works of Aristotle known and taught in Europe were those which had been translated from the Greek into Latin by Boethius, 477 AD - 524 AD: Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Topics, and Sophistical Refutations.
The introduction of those writings into Europe was the central spark that ignited the transition from beliefs in revelation, the hallmark of the Dark Ages, to reasoned, reality-based thought, and the scientific principles of causality and logic, the hallmark of the Renaissance.
The works of Aristotle and the other natural philosophers of Classical Greece had also sparked the Islamic Golden Age, from about 760 until its total desttruction in 1258 by the Mongol invasion, after which the Islamic world sank into its own revelation-based dark ages of savagery and barbarism. It has remained in that state to this day, except in those locales which have been influenced by the reintroduction of rational thought from Europe and America.
Other notables pictured include Hypatia of Alexandria, c.355 AD - 415 AD, in the white robe at lower left, the last natural philosopher at the very end of the Classical period, and even more incredibly, given the mores of that time, a woman. Hypatia was, in fact, killed by a Christian mob; her dedication to science and her position as a teacher to males were considered heresy – both were explicitly forbidden by the Bible. Hypatia taught at the famous Library of Alexandria, which was destroyed at about the same time, probably for the same reasons; see the movie Agora.
Immediately in front of and below her, holding a writing slate, is Archimedes, 287 BC - 212 BC, the greatest Mathemtician of the Classical period, and credited by Galileo, 1564-1642, and Newton, 1643-1727, as the foundation for their own mathematical accomplishments, after interest in science was restored and scientific progress began to reemerge during the later part of the Renaissance period – in spite of Christian persecution of Galileo and others.