Friday, September 07, 2007

The Friday Challenge

Okay, the winner of last week's Friday Challenge, and the highly coveted copy of Rebel Moon or a book to be named later, is rycamor, for his entry, "The ZULU You Always Wanted to See," which I fear may prove unforgettable no matter how hard I try. Contact me to arrange delivery of your prize or one of the alternate selections.

This week, I have a tougher challenge for you. Saint Teresa of Ávila was a major figure in the Catholic Reformation, and a fascinating character in her own right.

A visionary, a mystic, a writer, and apparently more than a bit of a flagellant, she founded convents and monasteries throughout the Iberian peninsula, and lived a long and influential life. But what we're interested in right now is not her life but her death, which took place on the night of October 4-15, 1582.

No, that's not a typo. In Spanish, Portugese, and Italian history, in the year 1582, the dates of October 5th through October 14th simply do not exist. Now, the official line is that these dates were deleted in order to make the adjustment from the Julian to Gregorian calendars, but as we all know, the official line is almost always a cover-up, or at least an obfuscation.

So that's your challenge this week. What really happened in those ten days? What event or events could possibly have transpired that were so terrible (or ridiculous, or embarassing, or whatever) that the powers that be found it necessary to simply obliterate those days from history? And how was Teresa involved?

The prize, as always, is either a signed copy of Rebel Moon or a book to be named later. Ready? Set? Go!

Catch you Monday,