Sunday, August 17, 2008

On August 17

On this day in ...
... 1945, 2 days after Japan's surrender ended World War II, nationalists led by Sukarno declared independence for Indonesia, a former Dutch colony that Japan had occupied. They gathered at Sukarno's "residence in Jakarta, raised the red and white national flag, and sang the new nation's national anthem, Indonesia Raya (Greater Indonesia). The following day a new constitution was promulgated."
... 1720, "Madame Dacier, of whom Voltaire said, 'No woman has ever rendered greater services to literature,'" died at the Louvre. In 1654 she'd been born Anne Lefèvre, in Saumur, 186 miles southwest of Paris. She moved to that capital city at age 18 and published her translation of work by the ancient poet Callimachus; it was well received, launching her career as a translator of classical Greek literature. Mme Dacier (left) is noted for having "introduced ... to a French audience" the poet 7th century poet Sappho of Lesbos.

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