Since the early mummification process was not a reliable one, the Ancient Egyptians covered the face of the deceased with a funerary mask that symbolically preserved the persons features.

The Mask of Psusennes 1

the first examples of mummification date to the old Kingdom (2686 – 2181BC), when the body was simply eviscerated, cleaned and wrapped first in bandages, then a shroud. In some cases, the linen bandages around the head were covered with a thin coat of plaster to emphasize the facial features, and the eyes, eyebrows and mouth were coloured with ink.

From the first intermediate period (2181- 2055BC), the head was covered with a mask, usually made of inexpensive materials such as wood or cartonnage – layers of linen or papyrus stiffened with plaster. During the New Kingdom (1550 – 1069BC) metal masks, hammered out of gold leaf, began to appear. For the pharaoh, his family and certain high ranking officials, intricately worked gold plate was used, often inlaid with great quantities of glass and semi-precious stones. The deceased was believed to benefit from the precious metal, wich symbolized the incorruptible flesh of the gods.

The first true mummy masks completely covered the head and upper part of the chest, and although rare in the first intermediate period, they were popular in the middle kingdom. Only the face , framed by a long wig, and the neck, adorned with a wide pearl necklace, were represented, while the rest was painted yellow or white. At the end of the middle kingdom, bulkier masks appeared. Dainty faces formed a contrast to long, heavy wigs. Beneath the necklace, a column of text indicated the name of the deceased.

In the New Kingdom, masks were smaller and covered just the head and throat and occasionally the chest. Faces were less sterylized, but they still possessed a long wig and anecklace of strings of pearls. In the third intermediate period (1069 – 747 BC) and the late period (747 – 332 BC) funerary masks became increasingly small untill they covered only the head and neck. By the Greco-Roman period (332 BC – 395 AD), although Egyptian funerary customs remained popular, the overall shape and decoration of the mask had changed. The faces and headdresses had Egyptian gods painted on the sides, and the faces became more lifelike, forming actual portraits of the deceased.

The Mask of  Tutankhamum

The discovery of the tomb Tutankhamun (1336 – 1327 BC) by Howard Carter in 1922 was one of the greatest in the history of Egypt. Among the young kings rich funerary equipment, Carter unearthed the magnificent mummy mask, made from solid gold with decorations in carnelian, obsidian, lapis lazuli and coloured glass.

When Carter opened tutankhamun’s gold sarcophagus and revealed the mask, he saw a face with the features of a god. The Ancient Egyptians regarded precious metals and stones as divine materials, and their use in the funerary equipment of the king invested him with attributes of a deity. Gold, for instance, identified the pharaoh with the sun god, Ra.

Of the spectacular treasures discovered in the famous tomb of Tutankhamun in the valley of the Kings, his mummy mask, now on display among the masterpieces of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, is on of the most remarkable.

The Attributes of the King

Dispite his association with the heretical reign of Akhenaten (1352 – 1336 BC), Tutankhamun is depicted in the traditonal regalia of the pharaohs. He wears the royal nemes headdress, striped with lapis lazuli and hanging down on either side of his face. The uraeus, or Wadjyt cobra, and the vulture goddess Nekhbet, symbols of Lower and Upper Egypt, and th kings sovereignty, sit side by side on his forehead, offering him their protection. His false beard, which identifies him the gods, is worked in a framework of gold with blue glass paste inlaid to create a plaited effect.

The Mask of Tutankhamun

The Pharaohs Eyes

Tutankhamun’s expressive almond-shaped eyes are emphasized and extended by eye make up fashioned in lpis lazuli. The whites of the eyes are made from quartz, while the pupils have been inlaid with obsidian. touch of red pigment has been added to the corner of the eyes to create a lifelike impression.

The Depiction of the King

Tutankhamun’s parentage is uncertain his father may have been Akhenaten (1390 – 1352 BC). Although Tutankhamun is shown in the traditional idealized manner of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, the influence of artistic styles popular during the reign of Akhenaten is evident. The facial features notably the elongated oval of the face, the almond-shaped eyes, the long slim nose and soft, full lips are all typical of the Armana periods intimate expressive portraiture. Tutankhamun’s pleasant, youthful face is set in a sense, slightly sad expression.

Vlad III Dracul, (1431-1476) Vlad Dracula, in Romanian Vlad Țepeș, also known as Vlad the Impaler, was born in November or December of 1431 in the Transylvanian city of Sighisoara a central region of modern-day Romania. Vlad was the second of four brothers born into the noble family of Vlad II Dracul. In 1431, King Sigismund of Hungary, who would later become the Holy Roman Emperor, inducted the elder Vlad into a knightly order, the Order of the Dragon. This designation earned Vlad II a new surname: Dracul. the Order of the Dragon, created by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund for the defense of Christian Europe against the Islamic Ottoman Empire.


In 1444 at the young age of 13, Vlad and his brother Radu traveled with their father to a diplomatic meeting to Adrianople with Sultan Murad II. But the meeting was actually a trap and were held hostages. The elder Vlad was released but he had to leave his sons behind to appease the Sultan and with the condition that he would’nt intefere in the war between the Turks and Hungary. During his years as hostage, Vlad was educated in scienece, philosophy the Turkish language as well as the Quran and other works of literature. He would speak this language fluently in his later years. He and his brother were also trained in warfare and horsemanship. Vlad was defiant and resentful towards his captors and was punished for his impudence.Vlad was angry and resentful being in the hands of the Turks and this traumatic experiences may have made him into the sadistic man he grew up to be, especially in regards to his penchant for impaling.

In 1447, Vlad II was ousted as ruler of Wallachia by local noblemen (boyars) and was killed along with Vlads older brother Mircea, while he and his younger brother Radu were still being hel captive by the Ottoman Turks. In 1448 Vlad was released by the Turks, who supported him as their candidate for the Wallachian throne. Vlad’s younger brother Radu The Handsome apparently chose to remain in Turkey, where he had grown up. Not long after his release Vlad embarked on a campaign to regain his father’s seat from the new ruler Wallachia. Vlad won back his father’s seat, but his time as ruler of Wallachia was short-lived he was deposed after only two months, by Vladislav II.

Vlad established his capitol city of Tirgoviste and build his castle in the mountains near the Arges River. Most of the atrocities associated with Vlad III took place during this time. Vlad III’s political and military tack truly came to the forefront amid the fall of Constantinople in 1453. After the fall, the Ottomans were in a position to invade all of Europe. In 1459, Pope Pius II called for a new crusade against the Ottomans Turks mainly played by Janos Hunyadi king of Hungary. Later that year Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II sent envoys to Vlad to urge him to pay a delayed tribute of 10,000 ducats and 500 recruits into the Ottoman forces. Vlad refused and had the Turkish envoys killed on the pretext that they had refused to raise their “hats” to him, by nailing their turbans to their heads.

Later, the Sultan received intelligence reports that revealed Vlad’s domination of the Danube. He sent the Bey of Nicopolis, Hamza Bey to make peace and, if necessary, eliminate Vlad III. But Vlad Țepeș planned to set an ambush. Hamza Bey, the Bey of Nicopolis, brought with him 1000 cavalry and when passing through a narrow pass north of Giurgiu, Vlad launched a surprise attack, his forces surrounded the Turks and defeated them. The Turks’ plans were thwarted and most of them were caught and impaled, with Hamza Bey impaled on the highest stake to show his rank.

In the 1462, Vlad crossed the Danube and devastated the entire Bulgarian lands between Serbia and the Black Sea. He killed 23,000 Turks without counting those whom he burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by his soldiers. In response to this, Sultan Mehmet II raised an army of around 60,000 troops and 30,000 irregulars, and in spring of 1462 headed towards Wallachia. When Ottomans crossed the Danube on June 4, 1462 Vlad organized a night attack that killed 15,000 Ottoman Turks. An infuriated Mehmet II crossed the danube river but Mehmet the coquerer of constantinople and his Ottoman army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the other side of the danube in what is now known as”the Forest of the Impaled.”

Vlad the Impaler’s attacks were celebrated in wallachia and by the Pope and the Saxon cities of Transylvania, as well as in the italian states. Not lonag after Vlad’s victory and impalement of the Ottoman Turks it was short-lived and he soon withdrew to Moldavia leaving behind detachments in Wallachia that were overrun by the Ottoman Sipahi commander. In August 1462, Vlad was forced into exile and his first wife committed suicide by leaping from the towers of Vlad’s castle into the waters of the Arges River rather than surrender to the Turks. Vlad escaped through a secret passage and fled across the mountains into Transylvania in unable to defeat his much more powerful adversary, Mehmet II. Vlad was imprisoned for a number of years in Hungary.
In 1466 Vlad was released and re-married Ilona Szilágyi had two children. Around 1475 Vlad began his reconquest of Wallachia with István Báthory of Transylvania, with mixed forces of Transylvanians, and Hungarian support, some dissatisfied Wallachian boyars, and Moldavians sent by Prince Stephen III of Moldavia. When Vlad’s army arrived, Prince Basarab’s army fled, some to the Turks, others in the mountains. After placing Vlad on the throne, Stephen Báthory and his forces returned to Transylvania, leaving Vlad in a very weak position. Vlad had little time to get support he was forced to march and meet the Turks with less than four thousand men before the large Turkish army entered Wallachia.

Castle Dracula

In 1476 Vlad marched into to batlle and was ambushed with his small army. There are many accounts to vlads death some sources say he was assassinated by disloyal Wallachian boyars, others have him falling in defeat, surrounded by the ranks of his loyal Moldavian bodyguard. Other reports claim that Vlad was accidentally killed by one of his own men. The one undisputed fact is that he was decapitated by the Turks and his head sent to Constantinople preserved in honey where the sultan had it displayed on a stake as proof that Vlad the Impaler was finally dead. He was reportedly buried at Snagov, an island monastery located near Bucharest

Vlad the impalers reputation in Western Europe was considered dark and he was characterized as a tyrant who tortured and killed about 100,000 of his enemies including women and children. In Eastern Europe and Especially in Romania he is considered a hero a true leader, who used harsh yet fair methods to reclaim the country from the corrupt and rich boyars. Moreover for his military campaigns against the Ottoma Turks who wanted to conquer Wallachia and all of Eastern Europe.

The unification of lower and upper Egypt in about 3100 BC laid the foundations of Egypt of the Pharaohs. Was Narmer the founder and ruler off the combined kingdoms- the first Pharaoh?


According to ancient Egyptian traditions, the unification of the two regionsof upper and lower Egypt was achieved by a legendary ruler called menes. He is also credited with founding the city between the two lands. Historically, however the fabled Menes has been linked to two known early rulers – Narmer and Aha.
As there are no detailed records from the time, Egyptologists continue to debate whether Narmer was a forerunner or founder of the 1st Dynasty, and some argue that he and Aha were the same person. while others claim that Aha was Narmers son and successor. A jar seal impression found at Abudos in 1985, however lists the eight rulers of the first dynasty, with Narmer first on the list, followed by Aha.

King Narmer

King Narmer

The most important archeological evidence for the unification of Egypt under Narmer is a splendid ceremonial palette found in Hierakonpolis in 1897 (perhaps of the King Scorpion) . The discovery of the mudstone palette, along with lime stone macehead, from under the floor if the temple of the old kingdom (2686-2181 BC), can be clearly identified with a king called Narmer from hieroglyphs of his name. Unfortunately, the excavations were badly recorded, but the palette shows both sides, with the king wearing the crown of Upper Egypt on one and the crown of lower Egypt on the other. On the palette, Narmer is This kind of depiction of victorious pharaohs was to be used for about 3,000 years and was repeated, with the individual ruler of the period in a triumphant pose, on every Egyptian temple until Roman rulers.

Most recently, new studies of the images on the macehead put forth the theory that the scenes are not primarily commemorative but are simply pictorial versions of year-names. The focus of the scene is the king’s figure, seen sitting robed in a long cloak enthroned under a canopy on a high dais, wearing the Red Crown and holding a flail. The enclosure within which he sits can be interpreted as a shrine or temple. He is attended by minor figures of fan-bearers, bodyguards, with long quarterstaves and an official who may be either vizier or heir-apparent. In front of Narmer three men run a race towards him, while above them stands four men carrying standards. Facing the king is a cloaked and beardless figure, over whom is a simple enclosure in which stands a cow and calf (a nome sign).

The running figures may represent Muu dancers, long associated with Buto, presenting a welcome to the new lord of the Delta. The seated figure facing Narmer may be the chief of Buto rather than a princess of the Delta.Beneath these figures are symbols of numbers. The numbers have been recently interpreted to indicate 400,000 cattle, 1,422,000 small animals, and 120,000 men (not women and children, only males.) This would have provided for a total human population of the Delta of perhaps 600,000.The macehead then commemorates the completion of the conquest of Lower Egypt, not with a royal dynastic marriage etc, but perhaps, with the first Appearance of the King of Lower Egypt, by an actual census of the Delta people, similar to and a precursor of the census taken by William the Conqueror after he won England.Some scholars speculate that Menes and Narmer may be the same person. Menes is the Greek form of the name of the legendary first human king of Egypt as given by Manetho, the historian living in Hellenistic times who constructed one form of King Lists.


Namers Palette

Namers Palette

During Narmer’s reign, Egypt had an active economic presence in southern Canaan. Pottery sherds have been discovered at several sites, both from pots made in Egypt and imported to Canaan and others made in the Egyptian style out of local materials. The latter discovery has led to the conclusion that Egypt’s presence in Canaan was in the form of a colony rather than just the result of trade. While Egypt’s presence in Canaan has been explained as the result of a military invasion, this view is not generally accepted. Fortifications at Tel es-Sakan dating to this period and almost entirely Egyptian in construction suggest a military presence, if not a military invasion.


The extent of Egyptian activity in southern Canaan is shown by the discovery of 33 serekhs on pottery sherds at sites in Canaan dating from the Protodynastic Period to the beginning of the First Dynasty. Thirteen of these belong to Narmer, and came from six different sites: Tel Arad, En Besor (Ein HaBesor), Tel es-Sakan, Nahal Tillah (Halif Terrace), Tel Erani, and Lod. An additional serekh from Lod is attributed to Narmer’s probable predecessor, Ka. Significantly only one is attributable to Narmer’s successors, to Hor Aha, his immediate successor. The remainder of the serekhs either have no name on them or have a name not attributable to any known pharaoh


It seems likely that Aha founded the new capital Memphis, as his name is the first rulers recorded at Saqqara, the necropolis for the city. It is, howeve, difficult to say where exactly the center of power of the state lay. During the 1st and 2nd Dynasties, huge tombs were built in Saqqara, as well as Abydos, the most important burial site in Upper Egypt. It could be that maintaining both traditions, conflicts were avoided ant the unification was strengthen. Although we know nothing about caracter of Narmer, his lasting achievement was to forge a state with a national consciousness from regions that were widely different culturally. It is unlikely this could have been achieved with out a strong central ruler who had vision to put place an effective administration with all power invested in himsef.


The popular national hero of Scotland is believed to have been the second son of Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie and Auchinbothie, in Renfrewshire. The date of his birth is not certainly ascertained, but is usually given as 1270. The only authority for the events of his early life is the metrical history of Blind Harry. That authority cannot be implicitly relied on, though we need not conclude that the minstrel invented the stories he relates. He lived about two centuries later than Wallace, during which a considerable body of legend had probably gathered around the name, and these popular “gestis” he incorporates in his narrative. At the same time he professes to follow as his “autour” an account that had been written in Latin by John Blair, the personal friend and chaplain of Wallace himself. As Blair’s account has perished, we cannot tell how far the minstrel has faithfully followed his authority, but some comparatively recent discoveries have confirmed the truth of portions of the narrative which had previously been doubted. At best, however, his authority must be regarded with suspicion, except when it is confirmed by other and more trustworthy evidence.

Only for a period of less than two years in his life — from the beginning of the insurrection in 1297 to the battle of Falkirk — does Wallace come before us in the clearest historical light. With the exception of one or two glimpses of him that we obtain from authentic historical documents, the recorded events of his later as of his earlier life rest on no more certain authority than that of Blind Harry.

In his boyhood, according to the usual accounts, he resided for some time at Dunipace, in Stirlingshire, with an uncle, who is styled “parson” of the place. By this uncle he was partially educated, and from him he imbibed an enthusiastic love of liberty. His education was continued at Dundee, where he made the acquaintance of John Blair. On account of an incident that happened at Dundee — his slaughter of a young Englishman named Selby, for an insult offered to him — he is said to have been outlawed, and so driven into rebellion against the English. Betaking himself to the wilds of the country, he gradually gathered around him a body of desperate men whom he led in various attacks upon the English.

In consequence of the success of these early enterprises his following largely increased, several of the more patriotic nobles — including the steward of Scotland, Sir Andrew Moray, Sir John de Graham, Douglas the Hardy, Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, and others — having joined him. His insurrection now became more open and pronounced, and his enterprises of greater importance. An attack was made upon the English justiciar, Ormsby, who was holding his court at Scone. The justiciar himself escaped, but many of his followers were captured or slain. The burning of the Barns of Ayr, the quarters of English soldiers, in revenge for the treacherous slaughter of his uncle, Sir Ronald Crawford, and other Scottish noblemen, followed. The success of these exploits induced the English king to take measures for staying the insurrection. A large army, under the command of Sir Henry Percy and Sir Robert Clifford, was sent against the insurgents, and came up with them at Irvine. Dissensions broke out among the Scottish leaders, and all Wallace’s titled friends left him and made submission to King Edward I, except the ever faithful Sir Andrew Moray. The treaty of Irvine, by which these Scottish nobles agreed to acknowledge Edward as their sovereign lord, is printed in Rymer’s <em>Foedera</em>. It is dated the 9th of July 1297, and is the first public document in which the name of Sir William Wallace occurs. Wallace retired to the north, and although deserted by the barons was soon at the head of a large army. The vigor and success of his operations was such that in a short time he succeeded in recovering almost all the fortresses held by the English to the north of the Forth.

He had begun the siege of Dundee when he received information that an English army, led by the Earl of Surrey and Cressingham the treasurer, was on its march northward. Leaving the citizens of Dundee to continue the siege of the castle, he made a rapid march to Stirling. Encamping in the neighborhood of the Abbey Craig — on which now stands the national monument to his memory — he watched the passage of the Forth. After an unsuccessful attempt to bring Wallace to terms, the English commander, on the morning of the 11th of September 1297, began to cross the bridge. When about one half of his army had crossed, and while they were still in disorder, they were attacked with such fury by Wallace, that almost all — Cressingham among the number — were slain, or driven into the river and drowned. Those on the south side of the river were seized with panic and fled tumultuously, having first set fire to the bridge. The Scots, however, crossed by a ford, and continued the pursuit of the enemy as far as Berwick. Sir Andrew Moray fell in this battle. The results of it were important. The English were everywhere driven from Scotland. To increase the alarm of the English, as well as to relieve the famine which then prevailed, Wallace organized a great raid into the north of England, in the course of which he devastated the country to the gates of Newcastle.


Sir William Wallace

On his return he was elected guardian of the kingdom. In this office he set himself to reorganize the army and to regulate the affairs of the country. His measures were marked by much wisdom and vigor, and for a short time succeeded in securing order, even in the face of the jealousy and opposition of the nobles. Edward was in Flanders when the news of this successful revolt reached him. He hastened home, and at the head of a great army entered Scotland in July 1298. Wallace was obliged to adopt the only plan of campaign which could give any hope of success. He slowly retired before the English monarch, driving off all supplies and wasting the country. The nobles as usual for the most part deserted his standard. Those that remained thwarted his councils by their jealousies. His plan, however, came very near being successful. Edward, compelled by famine, had already given orders for a retreat when he received information of Wallace’s position and intentions. The army, then at Kirkliston, was immediately set in motion, and next morning (July 22, 1298) Wallace was brought to battle in the vicinity of Falkirk. After an obstinate fight the Scots were overpowered and defeated with great loss. Among the slain was Sir John de Graham, the bosom friend of Wallace, whose death, as Blind Harry tells, threw the hero into a frenzy of rage and grief. The account of his distress is one of the finest and most touching passages in the poem. With the remains of his army Wallace found refuge for the night in the Torwood — known to him from his boyish life at Dunipace. He then retreated to the north, burning the town and castle of Stirling on his way.

Wallace resigned the office of guardian, and betook himself again to a wandering life and a desultory and predatory warfare against the English. At this point his history again becomes obscure. He is known to have paid a visit to France, with the purpose of obtaining aid for his country from the French king. This visit is narrated with many untrustworthy details by Blind Harry; but the fact is established by other and indisputable evidence. When in the winter of 1303-04 Edward received the submission of the Scottish nobles, Wallace was expressly excepted from all terms. And after the capture of Stirling Castle and Sir William Oliphant, and the submission of Sir Simon Fraser, he was left alone, but resolute as ever in refusing allegiance to the English king. A price was set upon his head, and the English governors and captains in Scotland had orders to use every means for his capture. On the 5th of August 1305 he was taken — as is generally alleged, through treachery — at Robroyston, near Glasgow, by Sir John Menteith, carried to the castle of Dumbarton, and thence conveyed in fetters and strongly guarded to London. He reached London on the 22nd of August, and next day was taken to Westminster Hall, where he was impeached as a traitor by Sir Peter Mallorie, the king’s justice. To the accusation Wallace made the simple reply that he could not be a traitor to the king of England, for he never was his subject, and never swore fealty to him. He was found guilty and condemned to death. The sentence was executed the same day with circumstances of unusual cruelty.

The cause of national independence was not lost with the life of Wallace. Notwithstanding the cruelty and indignity amid which it terminated, that life was not a failure. It has been an inspiration to his countrymen ever since. The popular ideas regarding his stature, strength, bodily prowess and undaunted courage are confirmed by the writers nearest his own time — Wyntoun and Fordun. And indeed no man could in that age have secured the personal ascendancy which he did without the possession of these qualities. The little we know of his statesmanship during the short period he was in power gives proof of political wisdom. His patriotism was conspicuous and disinterested. He was well skilled in the modes of warfare that suited the country and the times. That he failed in freeing his country from the yoke of England was due chiefly to the jealousy with which he was regarded by the men of rank and power. But he had a nobler success in inspiring his countrymen with a spirit which made their ultimate conquest impossible.

Father:Sir Malcolm Wallace
Brother:Malcolm (older)
Brother:John (younger)
Wife:Marion Braidfute

ReaganBerlinWallChancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world at the City Hall. Well, since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn, to Berlin. And today I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin, we American presidents, because it’s our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom. But I must confess, we’re drawn here by other things as well: by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation; by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten; most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer Paul Lincke understood something about American presidents. You see, like so many presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin. [I still have a suitcase in Berlin.]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same–still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

President von Weizsacker has said, “The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.” Today I say: As long as the gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.

In this season of spring in 1945, the people of Berlin emerged from their air-raid shelters to find devastation. Thousands of miles away, the people of the United States reached out to help. And in 1947 Secretary of State–as you’ve been told–George Marshall announced the creation of what would become known as the Marshall Plan. Speaking precisely 40 years ago this month, he said: “Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.”

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. I was struck by the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: “The Marshall Plan is helping here to strengthen the free world.” A strong, free world in the West, that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium–virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth; the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty–that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

Where four decades ago there was rubble, today in West Berlin there is the greatest industrial output of any city in Germany–busy office blocks, fine homes and apartments, proud avenues, and the spreading lawns of parkland. Where a city’s culture seemed to have been destroyed, today there are two great universities, orchestras and an opera, countless theaters, and museums. Where there was want, today there’s abundance–food, clothing, automobiles–the wonderful goods of the Ku’damm. From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on earth. The Soviets may have had other plans. But my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn’t count on–Berliner Herz, Berliner Humor, ja, und Berliner Schnauze. [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner Schnauze.]

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: “We will bury you.” But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent– and I pledge to you my country’s efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.

Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles, capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counter-deployment unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution; namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counter-deployment, there were difficult days–days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city–and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then– I invite those who protest today–to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. And because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva, we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative–research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend; on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago, freedom was encircled, Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines, in South and Central America, democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations, a technological revolution is taking place–a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete.

Today thus represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safe, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start. Free people of Berlin: Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin, which is permitted by the 1971 agreement.

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world.

To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.

With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control or other issues that call for international cooperation.

There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I’m certain, will do the same. And it’s my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.

One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you may have noted that the Republic of Korea–South Korea–has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West? In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You’ve done so in spite of threats–the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there’s a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there’s something deeper, something that involves Berlin’s whole look and feel and way of life–not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence that refuses to release human energies or aspirations. Something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says yes to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin is love–love both profound and abiding.

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere–that sphere that towers over all Berlin–the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.” Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I’ve been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they’re doing again.

Thank you and God bless you all.

President Ronald Reagan – June 12, 1987

Samahain paintingHow did Halloween start? The holiday goes back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. Around 2000 years ago the ancient Celts from Britain and Ireland set bonfires on hilltops to ward off the evil spirits before the start of the winter season. They celebrated their new year on November 1, This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.

People gathered to sacrifice animals, fruits, and vegetables and thank the gods for the harvest and appease the gods of the coming winter. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

Druids or celtic preiests thought that spirits in thier precense, that they could make pridictions of the future. prophecies where important for these people that lived in a cold dark world. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

Around 43 A.D., the Romans had conquered a vast majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two Roman festivals were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on today.saints

In 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Later In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated with some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.
Later in the 9th century christian influence spread into celtic lands where it blended with other celtic rites and traditions. The catholic church would later make november 2, All souls day in 1000 A.D. a day to honor the dead. Many people today belive that the catholic church by sactioning a holiday to honor the dead it was trying to replace the celtic festival of the dead.


Halloween comes to America

Halloween came to America in the middle of the 19th century, in 1846 millions of Irish immigrants flooded America during the potatoe famine. these immigrants made this celebration popular by dressing up and going house to house asking for food or money. Later Americans began the practice that became the trick or treat tradition.
During the 1920s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties. By the 1930s halloween had plagued many town celebrations with vandalism. By the 1950s baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classrooms or homes. the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. So to prevent tricks being played on them families started providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.

Jack o lanterns

In 510 BC Rome witnessed a revolt against the rule of the Etruscan kings.

Sextus, the son of king Tarquinius Superbus raped the wife of a nobleman, Tarquinius Collatinus. King Tarquinius’ rule was already deeply unpopular with the people. This rape was too great an offence to be tolerated by the Roman nobles. Lead by Lucius Iunius Brutus, they rose in revolt against the king.

king tarquin

King Tarquinius Superbus

Brutus was the nephew of King Tarquin by marriage. Related he may have been to the king, but he had no reason to love him. Brutus was the son of Marcus, whose substantial wealth had been illegaly seized by King Tarquin at his death. Not only had Tarquin abused his power to steal Brutus’ inheritence. Brutus’ older brother had been murdered as part of the plot. Believed somewhat of a harmless fool, he had been ridiculed by Tarquin by being made second in command (Tribunus Celerum). There seems little doubt that Brutus’ elevation to this position was not meant as a promotion, but a humiliation. His inheritence stole and his brother murdered, Brutus was being mocked by a tyrant.

Now Lucius Iunius Brutus took revenge and led the city’s nobility in revolt.

Prince Sextus fled to Gabii but was killed. Meanwhile the King with his family escaped to Caere. His palace was demolished. For large image click on picture

The rebellion against Tarquinius failed to achieve final independence for Rome, but it should be the birth of the Roman republic. It was after this revolt, that the senate handed power to two consuls, although at first they were called praetors (a title which later should come to be the name of a different office of the republic). These consuls each held power for one year, in which they ruled much like joint kings of Rome.

What also needs to be kept in mind is that this rebellion was indeed a revolt by the aristocracy of Rome. Rome was never a democracy as we would understand it today, nor as the Greeks understood it. In the early days of the Roman republic all power would reside in the hands of the Roman aristocracy, the so-called patricians ( patricii).

The first ever two elected leaders of Rome were Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus. But the people soon turned against Brutus’ colleague who was a Tarquin and hence directly related to the despised king. It wasn’t long before he left for exile, being replaced by one Publius Valerius Publicola. Soon after a substantial plot was discovered, the aim of which was to place King Tarquin back on his throne. The conspirators were sentenced to death. Among them were Brutus’ own two sons.

It is no surprise that after his ridicule, the theft of his inheritence, his brother’s murder and the execution of his sons Brutus was filled with hatred toward King Tarquin.

Aided by the city of Veii, King Tarquinius in 509 BC sought to win back his city in battle, but failed. The battle saw the death Brutus, the founder of the Republic. With Brutus dead, it fell to his co-consul Publius Valerius Publicola to lead the Romans to victory. It was therefore he, who was the first ever Roman commander to lead his troops in triumph through Rome.

Lars Porsenna

But king Tarquinius, though defeated, was not yet dead. And so he called upon the help of the fellow Etruscan king of Clusium, Lars Porsenna. Porsenna duly besieged Rome. Legend tells us of the one-eyed hero Horatius Cocles fending off the Etruscan hordes at the Sublician bridge over the Tiber which he asked to be destroyed behind him as he fought.

Other legend tells of Porsenna eventually calling off the siege. A Roman hero, Mucius Scaevola, terrified Porsenna with a demonstration of how determined the Romans were to defeat him, by holding his hand over a naked flame and not removing it until it had burned away.

Consul Publius Valerius Publicola thereafter sought to win over Porsenna arguing it was for him to judge if Tarquin had not been a terrible tyrant whom the Romans were right to depose. Porsenna should decide if Tarquin or the Romans should rule Rome. Tarquin angrily refused the suggestion that Porsenna should be a judge over him. Offended, Porsenna lifted the siege and left. So much to legend.

In reality, the opposite seems to have been the case. Porsenna captured Rome. He didn’t place Tarquinius back on the throne, which seems to indicate that he instead planned on ruling the city himself. But Rome, though occupied, must have remained defiant. In an attempt to quell any future revolts Porsenna banned anyone from owning iron weapons.

But this tyranny wasn’t to last. Under Roman encouragement other cities in Latium revolted against Etruscan domination. Finally, in 506 BC things came to a head. The allied Latin forces, led by Aristhodemus, met at Aricia with an army which Porsenna had sent against them under the command of his son Arruns.The Latins won the battle. This was a decisive blow against the Etruscans and now, at last, Rome had won its independence.

War with the Sabines

Consul Publius Valerius was now at the height of his powers. It was at this point people began calling him ‘Publicola’ (‘people’s friend’). A war with the Sabines granted him the opportunity to accompany his brother, who had been voted consul after his own term was up, in leading the army to war. The brothers fought a succesful campaign, winning several victories (505 BC). More so, Publicola managed to befriend some of the Sabine nobility. One of their foremost leaders in fact decided to become Roman, bringing with him his entire tribe comprising five thousand warriors. This leader was Attius Clausus. He was granted patrician rank, land beyond the river Anio and adopted the name Appius Claudius Sabinus. He was the original ancestor of the Claudius clan. Publius Valerius Publicola was not finished yet. The Sabines launched another attack and And Publicola was at hand to reorganise the campaign. A crushing blow to the Sabines was finally delivered at their capital Cures by the commander Spurius Cassius (504 BC). The Sabines sued for peace. Soon later Publicola died. The people of Rome granted him a state funeral within the city walls.


War with the Latin League

Rome was evidently the largest city within Latium. And the confidence it gained from this knowledge made it lay claim to speak on behalf of Latium itself. And so in its treaty with Carthage (510 BC) the Roman republic claimed control over considerable parts of the countryside around it.

Though such claims the Latin League (the alliance of Latin cities) would not recognize. And so a war arose about the very matter. Rome, having won independence from the Etruscans already faced its next crisis. The very Latin force which had defeated the Porsenna’s army at Aricia now was used against Rome.

On the other hand, the man leading the Latin league against the Romans was Octavius Mamilius, the son-in-law of King Tarquin.

There may therefore have been other reasons than merely the question of supremacy within the league. In 496 BC the Roman forces met those of the Latin League at Lake Regillus. (Legend has it that the divine twins Castor and Pollux, the Gemini, appeared to senator Domitius before this battle, foretelling the Roman victory.)

Very tellingly King Tarquin was present at the battle, fighting the side of the Latin League.

The leader of the Latins, Octavius Mamilius, was killed in battle. King Tarquin was wounded. Rome claimed victory. But if this was really so, is unclear. The battle may well have been an indecisive draw. In either case, Rome’s ability to withstand the combined might of Latium, which had earlier defeated the Etruscans, must have been an astonishing fete of military prowess.

In about 493 BC a treaty between Rome and the Latin League was signed (the foedus Cassianum). This might have been due to the Latin League admitting to Roman superiority on the battle field at Lake Regillus. But more likely it was because the Latins sought a powerful ally against the Italian hill tribes who were harassing them. Either way, the war with the Latin League was over. The Roman republic now firmly established, King Tarquin retired to exile in Tusculum, not to be heard of again.

Chinampas also called floating gardens were artificial Islands, were created by staking out shallow lake bed and then fencing in the rectangle with wattle.  The area would be filled with mud and vegetation.  Often willows would be planted along the edge of the plot, to provide further stable fencing as well shade.

It consists in building up a number of narrow islands, each averaging some 6 to 10 metres (20 to 35 feet) wide and some 100 to 200 metres (325 to 650 feet) long, using layers of vegetation, dirt, and mud. The lake provides the chinampa with moisture laden with decomposing organic wastes that irrigate and fertilize the island’s soil, supporting an intensive and highly productive form of cultivation. Chinampas were separated by channels wide enough for the a conoe.

Chinampas weren’t the only type of farming that was used. There were crops on the mainland, as well as gardens, both small personal gardens and large experimental gardens. The gardens were a common feature in the homes of the ruling class. The people would also collect naturally growing food, such as algae in the water.

Maize, beans, squash, chili peppers and tomatoes were the primary crops for chinampas, they were also used to grow flowers making the Aztec farming land an even more lush and colourful place..

Food consumed by the city of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital is estimated up to one-half to two-thirds, were provided by chinampas.  Farming was begun in Xochimilco and Chalco.  The Aztecs also conducted military campaigns to obtain control of these regions.  Today the city of Tenochtitlan is known as Mexico City.  Tenochtitlan was considerably enlarged overtime due to the use of chinampas.

Most of the chinampas have been abandoned and filled in – they weren’t used as much after the conquest. When the Spanish arrived, the chinampas covered nearly 9000 hectares. However, some remain in use today. Remnants of the canal system can be seen in Xochimilco. You can still visit chinampas today if you take the time. The picture to the right shows someone boating on the chinampa canals.
In south america on Lake Titicaca there is another form of chinampas and its most notable for a population of people who live on the Uros, a group of 44 or so artificial islands made of floating reeds (totora, a reed that abounds in the shallows of the lake). These islands have become a major tourist attraction for Peru, drawing excursions from the lakeside city of Puno. Their original purpose was defensive, and they could be moved if a threat arose. Many of the islands contain watchtowers largely constructed of reeds.

romulusremusRome‘s early history is shrouded in mythic legend, according to legend, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC by the twins princes of Alba Longa Romulus and Remus, supposedly itself founded four centuries earlier by Aeneas a Trojan prince. The twins, his distant descendants, were abandoned as babies on orders of Amulius, who had usurped their kingdom and ordered their deaths. miraculously, a she wolf appeared from the woods and suckled them, and they were brought up as Faustinus, a kindly shepherd on the palatine hill. When they grew up, they killed the usurper and together founded a new city: Rome.  But  soon they quarreled, Romulus killed Remus for jumping his ploughed boundary line. Romulus then populated Rome by inviting outlaws and homeless men to join him, and abducting young women of his neighbors in the famous

” Rape of The Sabine Women”.  


When the sabine men marched back in force to reclaim their women, the latter by now used to being Roman wives, intevened to prevent a battle and the two peoples intermarried. Romulus later ascended into heaven in a thunderstorm, becoming divine. From such violent, mythic beginnings sprang the eternal city of Rome. Archaeological evidence supports the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine and Esquiline  Hills. Beneath and between these hills were marshy valleys and it was particularly fertile spot in the mists of the tiber river it provided practical crossing upriver from the sea and good defensive positions. The settlement remained  extremely primitive until the arrival of the Etruscan kings. While some archaeologists say that they ruled  Rome by the mid of the 8th century BC, the date is subject to controversy. By this time Rome came under  the sway of Etruscans, they were a civilized people who dominated Italy from bologna to Naples. Romes stratergic position on the  tiber river meant the Etruscans, approaching the height of power, inevitably wanted control over it. In close contact with the Greek cities in the south, whose art influenced but did not overwhelm the art of the Etruscans, the were cheerful and hedonistic race fond of the arts, women, banquets and sports.


Rape of The Sabine Women

Tarquinius Priscus, the “good tarquin” who ruled between 616BC and 579BC, held the first census. Citizens were organized into three tribes, each having ten wards. From these wards the kings chose 300 patricians, or heads od extended families, to sit on the advisory council known as the senate. The Firts Assembly, the comitia curiata, it is also thought to have formed  although its powers are unknown. Priscus successor, was king Servius Tullius he reorganized the states, dividing Romans into five classes acording to their wealth, each class subdivided into centuries, each century being roghly equal in wealth.  All citizens were liable for the army service, apart from those in the last and poorest class, who could not arm themselves. A legion, or levy, had 6,00 infantry and 300 Calvary, the calvalry being provide the rich. In the new appointed comitia centuriata, or assembly by hundreds, each century voted as a single block the rich, the smallest century voting first. The vote was decided as soon as an absolute majority of centuries was reached, which gave the rich centuries the most influence the poorest and biggest centuries the least. Rome never operated on the principle of  “one man vote”. Rome acquired Ostia at the mouth of  the tiber river as well as its first wooden bridge across the river. The period culminated in the construction of the first temple to Jupiter, king of the gods, on the capitoline hill. Originally simply constructed, the temple was later rebuilt more splendidly, and become the symbol of roman power.



The founding of the republic

Around 509BC the Etruscan kings were finally expelled from Rome , and the word Etruscan, like the word king, became an insult to the Romans. According to legend the last Etruscan king, Tarquinius Superbus, meaning “the proud” angered the Roman nobles that they drove him out and declared a republic, which they dominated through the senate. From now on, the patriotic virtues, or courage was established that would serve Rome well through its coming troubles.

From its foundation Rome, although losing occasional battles, had been undefeated in war until 386 BC, when it was briefly occupied by the Gauls. According to the legend, the Gauls offered to deliver Rome back to its people for a thousand pounds of gold, but the Romans refused, preferring to take back their city by force of arms rather than ever admitting defeat, after which the Romans recovered the city in the same year.

Roman dominance expanded over most of Europe and the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, while its population surpassed one million inhabitants. For almost a thousand years, Rome was the most politically important, richest, and largest city in the Western world, and remained so after the Empire started to decline and was split, even as it lost its capital status to Milan and then to Ravenna, and was surpassed in prestige by the Eastern capital Constantinople.

What eventually became the Roman Empire began as settlements around the Palatine Hill along the river Tiber in Central Italy. The river was navigable up to that place. The site also had a ford where the Tiber could be crossed. The Palatine Hill and hills surrounding it presented easily defensible positions in the wide fertile plain surrounding them. All these features contributed to the success of the city.

The traditional account of Roman history, which has come down to us through Livy, Plutarch, Dionysius of Halicarnassus and others, is that in Rome’s first centuries, it was ruled by a succession of seven kings. The traditional chronology, as codified by Varro, allots 243 years for their reigns, an extraordinary average of almost 35 years , which, since the work of Barthold Georg Niebuhr, has been generally discounted by modern scholarship. The Gauls destroyed all of Rome’s historical records when they sacked the city after the Battle of the Alliain 390 BC (Varronian, according to Polybius the battle occurred in 387/6), so no contemporary records of the kingdom exist, and all accounts of the kings must be carefully questioned.

GERMANICUS (15BC-AD19) Germanicus Julius Caesar (24 May 16 BC or 15 BC 10 October AD 19) was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty of the early Roman Empire. He was born in Lugdunum, Gaul (modern Lyon). At birth he was named Nero Claudius Drusus . Germanicus was the charming and popular son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Through his mother, Antonia, Germanicus was great-nephew of Augustus, “Julian Blood” Germanicus grew up partly among soldiers. Unlike his infirm brother Emperor Nero Cladius (41–54), he was marked out early both as a general and as the successor to his father’s reputed republican principles.Germanicus

By the time Tiberius became emperor in 14 AD, Germanicus had been appointed by Augustus as commander-in-chief of the Rhine forces, and Tiberius had had to adopt him as his son and heir even though Tiberius had a son of his own. Upon this adoption, Germanicus’s name was changed to Germanicus Julius Caesar. At about the same time, Germanicus married Augustus’ granddaughter, Vipsania Agrippina.

As consul in the year 12AD, he was appointed to command Gaul and the two Rhine armies. His personal popularity enabled him to quell the mutiny that broke out in his legions after Augustus’ death 14AD. Although pressed to claim the empire for himself, Germanicus remained firmly loyal to Tiberius. the Rhine commnad was much the biggest in the army, eight legions. He led his armies into Germany, where Varus had lost his life and three full legions of Roman troops where slaughtered in Germany’s Teutoberg Forest over 20,000 Romans brutally butchered on the battlefield, ambushed by an endless sea of Germanns it was one of the most humiliating and crushing defeats Imperial Rome would ever suffer.

Germanicus buried some of the remains of the dead legionaries and performed the last rites on the bodies, and buried the Romans with full military honors. In 14AD he launched a massive assault on the heartland of Arminius’ tribe his legions battle hardened troops some of whom had been veterans of the slaughter at the Teutoberg Forest inflicted several crushing defeats from his legions onslaught. The Germans regrouped for a last stand, but charging uphill under a hail of ballistae spears, arrows, and slings, the Romans smashed the enemy earthworks, broke through, and routed them.

Once the smoke cleared on the blood-soaked battlefield, Germanicus built a giant pile of weapons taken off of dead Germans and dedicated it to Mars, the God of War. He had conquered every tribe from the Rhine to the Elbe, and this would be the deepest Rome would ever penetrate into German lands. Arminius’ power was shattered, and Germanicus returned home to a triumphal parade, carrying two of the three Legionary Eagles one belonging to the 19th legion that had been stole by the Germans. It would be the last Triumph ever awarded to a man who was not the current sitting Emperor of Rome. However, Tiberius had no intention of resuming forward policy, he aroused the jealousy and fears of tiberius in 16AD Germanicus was recalled to rome.

Tacitus has him say, “i achieved more by diplomacy than by war… as for the Cherusci and other savage tribes, Rome’s vengeance has been asserted and we can leave them to quarrel among themselves.”

This proved true in May AD17 Germanicus celebrated a triumph in Rome. The following year he became consul for a second time however before taking office he was made supreme commander of all provinces in the east.

On the way he visited Egypt, thereby arousing Tiberius’ wrath incurring strong censure from Tiberius, because the latter’s predecessor, Augustus, had strictly forbidden Romans of senatorial rank to enter Egypt, Rome’s breadbasket without imperial permission. In Syria he soon quarrelled with the new governor, Gnaeus Piso. Although Piso criticized and sometimes frustrated his decisions, Germanicus managed to settle the Armenian succession, organize the previously independent states of Cappadocia and Commagene into provinces, and negotiate successfully with Artabanus III of Parthia.

Deathbed of Germanicus

Deathbed of Germanicus

When Germanicus returned to Antioch in October AD19, the differences with Piso became intolerable; finally Piso left the provinces shortly after Germanicus died. At age 34 the hero of rome was dead, when news of his death reached Rome the entire city shut down for three days. He was added to the Salian hymn, an epic song detailing the greatest heroes of Rome. It was rumoured that Piso has poisoned him through his wife, Plancina. Whether scapegoat or villain, Piso was tried for murder and he committed suicide soon after. Tiberius never escaped suspicion, if not of instigating Germanicus’ murder, at least of prompting the enmity that ended in tragedy. Germanicus had six children with his wife Agrippina, Augustus’ grand-daughter, (three sons and three daughters)of whom survived thier father became emperor: Gauis Caligula(37–41), and Julia Agrippina, mother of the emperor Nero.