Bethlehem is "house of bread" (answer
). If this was intended to be a franchise, it didn't work.
Nicholas managed to be both a saint and a bureaucrat (answer
). In fact, Nicholas was a bishop, which is a bureaucratic job in itself. Furthermore, bishops in the late
were part of the civil service, handling the judicial and supervisory responsibilities of their dioceses. The emperor tended to trust the clergy more than his relatives.
There would be
office Christmas parties under Oliver Cromwell (answer
). He outlawed the celebration of Christmas: It smacketh of Popery! Nonetheless, it is fun to imagine
(Cromwell's PR flack) getting drunk and poetically propositioning Mrs. Cromwell.
The answer is
: three sons. Don't worry; Herod still had four sons to spare. He also executed one wife and one son-in-law. None of his daughters were so honored. To his credit, Herod never executed any of his grandchildren.
Magi were priests of the Zoroasterian religion, the dominant faith of the Parthian Empire (answer
). Persia was a province of Parthia. Phoenicia (alias Lebanon) and Phrygia (central Turkey) were Roman provinces, and their versions of wise men would have been Hellenized sophists.
Prince Albert (answer
), the German-born husband of
, introduced the tannenbaum to England. He also may have introduced both intelligence and hemophilia into the Royal Family. The hemophilia made more of an impression.
The Pompeii REIT (answer
) would have been a good investment until AD 79. Being
heir would be a terrible bet. All of his heirs had mysterious accidents or succumbed to surprise diseases. The Janus Theology Fund didn't turn a profit until the fourth century, when a small-cap religion known as Christianity got
celebrity endorsement. While philosophy was the first artificial intelligence, Microsophist would have been too ahead of its time.
Unfortunately, the answer is
. Berlin's first memories were of the Cossacks' version of "The Easter Parade." Encouraged by the anti-Semitic policies of
Czar Alexander III
, the vicious mob could have been called "Alexander's Rage Time Band."
Would you try growing cotton in December? Neither would
Places in the Heart
The Lion in Winter
, the Plantagenets gather to celebrate Christmas and kill each other. In
The French Connection
, one of
transparent guises was as a street-corner Santa. Between planning escapes and beating up
, the prisoners of
) was the think tank of the Roman world. Its scientists developed the Julian calendar and correctly calculated the Earth's circumference. One of them,
, invented the first jet engine; however, he had no idea how to use it. Alexandria's scientific community also successfully promoted a chronological concept called the "week." The seven-day period once had been dismissed as just another Jewish idiosyncrasy. But when Alexandria adopted the idea, everyone loved it.
The Oracle of Delphi (answer
) offered incomprehensible utterances and was worshipped for them. Mr.
unique style of rhetoric would have hindered his career as a messiah. Imagine his version of the Golden Rule: "A proactive behavioralistic mode should be vectored to an optimalized spectrum with expectational reciprocity."
The leaders of the rebellion hated to give up power (answer
). Unfortunately, the Maccabees were better soldiers than kings. The history of the dynasty is a sorry series of conspiracies and civil wars. Maccabee rule and Jewish independence ended in 63 B.C. when two princes were fighting over the throne. Each unable to eliminate the other, the brothers asked Rome to judge who should rule Judea. The Romans accepted the invitation, marched in, and didn't leave.
Now add up your correct answers and find your place in the Nativity.
The center of attention
Star of Bethlehem
Host of angels
Kindly shepherds (bewildered by Latin-singing angels)
Eugene Finerman is a humorist, speechwriter and a damn know-it-all. Due to unprecedented demand, TheStreet.com gift shop has run out of Eugene's effigies for public burning. You'll have to settle for a Yule log. Or you can just
vent to his weary editor.