1. Italy – Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France, Spain and Austria. Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, Italia, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned also by Aristotle and Thucydides. The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern worldItaly – The Colosseum in Rome, built c. 70 – 80 AD, is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering of ancient history.
2. A – A is the first letter and the first vowel in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter alpha, from which it derives, the upper-case version consists of the two slanting sides of a triangle, crossed in the middle by a horizontal bar. The lower-case version can be written in two forms, the double-storey a and single-storey ɑ, the latter is commonly used in handwriting and fonts based on it, especially fonts intended to be read by children, and is also found in italic type. The earliest certain ancestor of A is aleph, the first letter of the Phoenician alphabet, in turn, the ancestor of aleph may have been a pictogram of an ox head in proto-Sinaitic script influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphs, styled as a triangular head with two horns extended. The Phoenician alphabet letter had a form that served as the base for some later forms. Its name is thought to have corresponded closely to the Hebrew or Arabic aleph, the Etruscans brought the Greek alphabet to their civilization in the Italian Peninsula and left the letter unchanged. During Roman times, there were many variant forms of the letter A, first was the monumental or lapidary style, which was used when inscribing on stone or other permanent mediums. There was also a style used for everyday or utilitarian writing. Variants also existed that were intermediate between the monumental and cursive styles, the known variants include the early semi-uncial, the uncial, and the later semi-uncial. At the end of the Roman Empire, several variants of the cursive minuscule developed through Western Europe. By the 9th century, the Caroline script, which was similar to the present-day form, was the principal form used in book-making. This form was derived through a combining of prior forms, 15th-century Italy saw the formation of the two main variants that are known today. These variants, the Italic and Roman forms, were derived from the Caroline Script version, the Italic form, also called script a, is used in most current handwriting and consists of a circle and vertical stroke. This slowly developed from the fifth-century form resembling the Greek letter tau in the hands of medieval Irish and English writers, the Roman form is used in most printed material, it consists of a small loop with an arc over it. Both derive from the majuscule form, in Greek handwriting, it was common to join the left leg and horizontal stroke into a single loop, as demonstrated by the uncial version shown. Many fonts then made the right leg vertical, in some of these, the serif that began the right leg stroke developed into an arc, resulting in the printed form, while in others it was dropped, resulting in the modern handwritten form. Italic type is used to mark emphasis or more generally to distinguish one part of a text from the rest. There are some other cases aside from italic type where script a, the double ⟨aa⟩ sequence does not occur in native English words, but is found in some words derived from foreign languages such as Aaron and aardvarkA – ISO basic Latin alphabet
3. Algeria – Algeria, officially the Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes. Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been President since 1999, Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Algeria is a regional and middle power, the North African country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world, Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget on the continent, most of Algerias weapons are imported from Russia, with whom they are a close ally. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the countrys name derives from the city of Algiers. The citys name in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazāir, a form of the older Jazāir Banī Mazghanna. In the region of Ain Hanech, early remnants of hominid occupation in North Africa were found, neanderthal tool makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and Mousterian styles similar to those in the Levant. Algeria was the site of the highest state of development of Middle Paleolithic Flake tool techniques, tools of this era, starting about 30,000 BC, are called Aterian. The earliest blade industries in North Africa are called Iberomaurusian and this industry appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of the Maghreb between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. Neolithic civilization developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean Maghreb perhaps as early as 11,000 BC or as late as between 6000 and 2000 BC and this life, richly depicted in the Tassili nAjjer paintings, predominated in Algeria until the classical period. The amalgam of peoples of North Africa coalesced eventually into a native population that came to be called Berbers. These settlements served as market towns as well as anchorages, as Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was already at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing, trade, by the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed the single largest element of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War. They succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthages North African territory, the Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic WarsAlgeria – Ancient Roman Empire ruins of Timgad. Street leading to the Arch of Trajan.
4. Andre Agassi – Andre Kirk Agassi is an American retired professional tennis player and former World No.1 who was one of the sports most dominant players from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s. Generally considered by critics and fellow players to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, as a result, he is credited for helping to revive the popularity of tennis during the 1990s. In singles tennis, Agassi is an eight-time Grand Slam champion, Agassi was the first male player to win all four Grand Slam tournaments on three different surfaces, and the last American male to win both the French Open and the Australian Open. He also won 17 ATP Masters Series titles and was part of the winning Davis Cup teams in 1990,1992 and 1995, Agassi returned to World No.1 in 1999 and enjoyed the most successful run of his career over the next four years. During his 20-plus year tour career, Agassi was known by the nickname The Punisher and he is the founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which has raised over $60 million for at-risk children in Southern Nevada. In 2001, the Foundation opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas and he has been married to fellow tennis player Steffi Graf since 2001. Andre Agassi was born in Las Vegas, Nevada to Emmanuel Mike Agassi and his father stated he is from a mixed, mostly Armenian, heritage. He later elaborated that his grandfather was Assyrian who married an Armenian woman, Andre Agassis mother, Betty, is a breast cancer survivor. He has three older siblings – Rita, Philip and Tami, one of his ancestors changed his surname from Agassian to Agassi to avoid persecution. In a passage from the book Open, Agassi details how his father made him play a match for money with football legend Jim Brown, in 1979, Brown was at a Vegas tennis club complaining to the owner about a money match that was canceled. Agassis father stepped in and told Brown that he could play his son, Brown lost those sets, 3–6, 3–6, declined the 10K wager, and offered to play the third set for $500. At age 13, Andre was sent to Nick Bollettieris Tennis Academy in Florida and he was meant to stay for only 3 months because that was all his father could afford. After thirty minutes of watching Agassi play, Bollettieri called Mike and said, hes here for free, claiming that Agassi had more natural talent than anyone else he had seen. Agassi dropped out of school in the ninth grade, Agassi turned professional at the age of 16 and competed in his first tournament at La Quinta, California. He won his first match against John Austin, but then lost his match to Mats Wilander. By the end of the year, Agassi was ranked world no.91 and he won his first top-level singles title in 1987 at the Sul American Open in Itaparica and ended the year ranked world no.25. During the year, he set the record for most consecutive victories by a male teenager. His year-end ranking was world no,3, behind second-ranked Ivan Lendl and top-ranked Mats WilanderAndre Agassi – Andre Agassi
5. Andorra – Created under a charter in 988, the present principality was formed in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a monarchy headed by two Co-Princes – the Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Spain, and the President of France. Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 km2 and its capital Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres above sea level. The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, Andorras tourism services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually. It is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is the official currency and it has been a member of the United Nations since 1993. In 2013, the people of Andorra had the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years, the origin of the word Andorra is unknown, although several hypotheses have been formulated. The word Andosini or Andosins may derive from the Basque handia whose meaning is big or giant, the Andorran toponymy shows evidence of Basque language in the area. Another theory suggests that the word Andorra may derive from the old word Anorra that contains the Basque word ur, another theory suggests that Andorra may derive from Arabic al-durra, meaning The forest. Other theories suggest that the term derives from the Navarro-Aragonese andurrial, la Balma de la Margineda found by archaeologists at Sant Julia de Loria were the first temporal settled in 10000 BC as a passing place between the two sides of the Pyrenees. The seasonal camp was located for hunting and fishing by the groups of hunter-gatherers from Ariege. During the Neolithic Age the group of humans moved to the Valley of Madriu as a permanent camp in 6640 BC, the population of the valley grew cereals, raised domestic livestock and developed a commercial trade with people from the Segre and Occitania. Other archaeological deposits include the Tombs of Segudet and Feixa del Moro both dated in 4900-4300 BC as an example of the Urn culture in Andorra, the model of small settlements begin to evolved as an complex urbanism during the Bronze Age. We can found metallurgical items of iron, ancient coins and relicaries in the ancient sanctuaries scattered around the country, the inhabitants of the valleys were traditionally associated with the Iberians and historically located in Andorra as the Iberian tribe Andosins or Andosini during the VII and II centuries BC. Influenced by Aquitanias, Basque and Iberian languages the locals developed some current toponyms, early writings and documents relating this group of people goes back to the second century BC by the Greek writer Polybius in his Histories during the Punic Wars. Some of the most significant remains of this era are the Castle of the Roc dEnclar, lAnxiu in Les Escaldes and it is known the presence of Roman influence from the II century BC to the V century AD. The places found with more Roman presence are in Camp Vermell in Sant Julia de Loria, people continued trading, mainly with wine and cereals, with the Roman cities of Urgellet and all across Segre through the Via Romana Strata Ceretana. After the fall of the Roman Empire Andorra was under the influence of the Visigoths, not directly from the Kingdom of Toledo by distance, the Visigoths remained during 200 years in the valleys, a period in which Christianization takes place within the country. The fall of the Visigoths came from the Muslim Empire and its conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, Andorra remained away from these invasions by the FranksAndorra – Sant Joan de Caselles church, dating from the 11th century.
6. Agriculture – Agriculture is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of human civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science, the history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture farming has become the dominant agricultural methodology, genetically modified organisms are an increasing component of agriculture, although they are banned in several countries. Agricultural food production and water management are increasingly becoming global issues that are fostering debate on a number of fronts, the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. Specific foods include cereals, vegetables, fruits, oils, meats, fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo, other useful materials are also produced by plants, such as resins, dyes, drugs, perfumes, biofuels and ornamental products such as cut flowers and nursery plants. The word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, field, Agriculture usually refers to human activities, although it is also observed in certain species of ant, termite and ambrosia beetle. To practice agriculture means to use resources to produce commodities which maintain life, including food, fiber, forest products, horticultural crops. This definition includes arable farming or agronomy, and horticulture, all terms for the growing of plants, even then, it is acknowledged that there is a large amount of knowledge transfer and overlap between silviculture and agriculture. In traditional farming, the two are often combined even on small landholdings, leading to the term agroforestry, Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, and included a diverse range of taxa. At least 11 separate regions of the Old and New World were involved as independent centers of origin, wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. Pigs were domesticated in Mesopotamia around 15,000 years ago, rice was domesticated in China between 13,500 and 8,200 years ago, followed by mung, soy and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops, emmer and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Cattle were domesticated from the aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey. In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, coca, llamas, alpacas, sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago, cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, and was independently domesticated in Eurasia at an unknown timeAgriculture – Agriculture
7. Astronaut – An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. Although generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists. Starting in the 1950s up to 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, with the suborbital flight of the privately funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created, the commercial astronaut. The criteria for what constitutes human spaceflight vary, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Sporting Code for astronautics recognizes only flights that exceed an altitude of 100 kilometers. In the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts who travel above an altitude of 50 miles are awarded astronaut wings. As of 17 November 2016, a total of 552 people from 36 countries have reached 100 km or more in altitude, of which 549 reached low Earth orbit or beyond. Of these,24 people have traveled beyond Low Earth orbit, to either lunar or trans-lunar orbit or to the surface of the moon, the three astronauts who have not reached low Earth orbit are spaceplane pilots Joe Walker, Mike Melvill, and Brian Binnie. As of 17 November 2016, under the U. S. definition 558 people qualify as having reached space, of eight X-15 pilots who exceeded 50 miles in altitude, only one exceeded 100 kilometers. Space travelers have spent over 41,790 man-days in space, as of 2016, the man with the longest cumulative time in space is Gennady Padalka, who has spent 879 days in space. Peggy A. Whitson holds the record for the most time in space by a woman,377 days, dryden preferred cosmonaut, on the grounds that flights would occur in the cosmos, while the astro prefix suggested flight to the stars. Most NASA Space Task Group members preferred astronaut, which survived by common usage as the preferred American term, when the Soviet Union launched the first man into space, Yuri Gagarin in 1961, they chose a term which anglicizes to cosmonaut. In English-speaking nations, a space traveler is called an astronaut. The term derives from the Greek words ástron, meaning star, the first known use of the term astronaut in the modern sense was by Neil R. Jones in his short story The Deaths Head Meteor in 1930. The word itself had been known earlier, for example, in Percy Gregs 1880 book Across the Zodiac, astronaut referred to a spacecraft. In Les Navigateurs de lInfini of J. -H, rosny aîné, the word astronautique was used. The word may have inspired by aeronaut, an older term for an air traveler first applied to balloonists. An early use in a publication is Eric Frank Russells poem The Astronaut in the November 1934 Bulletin of the British Interplanetary Society. NASA applies the term astronaut to any crew member aboard NASA spacecraft bound for Earth orbit or beyond, NASA also uses the term as a title for those selected to join its Astronaut CorpsAstronaut – NASA Astronaut Bruce McCandless II using a Manned Maneuvering Unit outside Space Shuttle Challenger on shuttle mission STS-41-B in 1984.
8. Angola – Angola /æŋˈɡoʊlə/, officially the Republic of Angola, is a country in Southern Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa and is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to west. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo, the capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda. In the 19th century, European settlers slowly and hesitantly began to themselves in the interior. As a Portuguese colony, Angola did not encompass its present borders until the early 20th century, following resistance by groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda. Independence was achieved in 1975 under a communist one-party state backed by the Soviet Union, however, the country soon descended into an even lengthier civil war that lasted until 2002. It has since become a relatively stable presidential republic. Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest growing in the world, Angolas economic growth is highly uneven, with the majority of the nations wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population. Angola is a state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union. A highly multiethnic country, Angolas 25.8 million people span various tribal groups, customs, Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, namely in the predominance of the Portuguese language and the Catholic Church, combined with diverse indigenous influences. The name Angola comes from the Portuguese colonial name Reino de Angola, the toponym was derived by the Portuguese from the title ngola held by the kings of Ndongo. Ndongo was a kingdom in the highlands, between the Kwanza and Lukala Rivers, nominally tributary to the king of Kongo but which was seeking greater independence during the 16th century, modern Angola was populated predominantly by nomadic Khoi and San prior to the first Bantu migrations. The Khoi and San peoples were neither pastoralists nor cultivators, following a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and they were displaced by Bantu peoples arriving from the north, some of whom likely originated in northwestern Nigeria. Bantu speakers introduced the cultivation of bananas and taro, as well as large herds, to Angolas central highlands. During this time, the Bantu established a number of entities in most of what today comprises Angola. To its south lay the Kingdom of Ndongo, from which the area of the later Portuguese colony was known as Dongo. The region now known as Angola was reached by the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão in 1484, the year before, the Portuguese had established relations with the Kongo, which stretched at the time from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. The Portuguese established their primary trading post at Soyo, which is now the northernmost city in Angola apart from the Cabinda exclaveAngola – An image depicting Portuguese encounter with Kongo Royal family
9. Albania – Albania, officially the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeastern Europe. It has a population of 3.03 million as of 2016, Tirana is the nations capital and largest city, followed by Durrës and Vlorë. The country has a coastline on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, the Adriatic Sea to the west. Albania is less than 72 km from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which connects the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea. In antiquity, the area of Albania was home to several Illyrian, Thracian. After the Illyrian Wars, it part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia and Moesia Superior. In 1190, the first Albanian state, the Principality of Arbanon was established by archon Progon in the region of Krujë, the territory of Albania was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, of which it remained part of for the next five centuries. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, following the Balkan Wars, the Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. The following year, a socialist Peoples Republic was established under the leadership of Enver Hoxha, Albania experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the Republic of Albania was established, Albania is a democratic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy. The service sector dominates the economy, followed by the industrial. After the fall of communism in Albania, Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy, Albania has a high HDI and provides universal health care system and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. Albania is a member of the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and it is also an official candidate for membership in the European Union. Albania is one of the members of the Energy Community, Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. It is home to the largest lake in Southern Europe and one of the oldest lakes in Europe, Albania is the Medieval Latin name of the country. The name may have a continuation in the name of a settlement called Albanon and Arbanon. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni, Albanians today call their country Shqipëri. As early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë gradually replaced Arbëria, the two terms are popularly interpreted as Land of the Eagles and Children of the EaglesAlbania – Albanian Peasants costumes - illustration by Percy Anderson for Costume Fanciful, Historical and Theatrical, 1906
10. Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim orient world. The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, the modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, prior to the official dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. These regions are recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic, the country is a member state of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the NATO Partnership for Peace program. It is one of six independent Turkic states, a member of the Turkic Council. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations and it is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Its term of office began on 19 June 2006, Azerbaijan is also a member state of the Non-Aligned Movement, holds observer status in World Trade Organization and is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union. The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all political forces in the country are secularist. However, the majority of the population are of a Shiite Muslim background, Azerbaijan has a high level of human development which ranks on par with most Eastern European countries. It has a rate of economic development and literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment. According to the Davos World Economic Forum, Azerbaijans economy has scored 37th place within 138 countries in 2016, Global Competitiveness Index 2015 indicates that Azerbaijan scores highest in its region. ASAN services, established with Presidential Decree, are known for eliminating bribery. ASAN Service has been awarded with United Nations Public Service Award 2015, the ruling party, the New Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses. The original etymology of name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrianism. In the Avesta, Frawardin Yasht, there is a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, the name Atropates itself is the Greek transliteration of an Old Iranian, probably Median, compounded name with the meaning Protected by the Fire or The Land of the FireAzerbaijan – Petroglyphs in Gobustan dating back to 10,000 BC indicating a thriving culture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be of "outstanding universal value"
11. Attila – Attila, frequently referred to as Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. Attila was a leader of the Hunnic Empire, a confederation consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths. During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires and he crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire and he also attempted to conquer Roman Gaul, crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum before being defeated at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. He subsequently invaded Italy, devastating the northern provinces, but was unable to take Rome and he planned for further campaigns against the Romans but died in 453. After Attilas death his close adviser Ardaric of the Gepids led a Germanic revolt against Hunnic rule, there is no surviving first-hand account of Attilas appearance, but there is a possible second-hand source provided by Jordanes, who cites a description given by Priscus. He was a man born into the world to shake the nations, the scourge of all lands and he was haughty in his walk, rolling his eyes hither and thither, so that the power of his proud spirit appeared in the movement of his body. He was indeed a lover of war, yet restrained in action, mighty in counsel, gracious to suppliants, the Gothic etymology can be tracked up to Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 19th century. Maenchen-Helfen noted that Hunnic names were not the names of the Hun princes. The names of Attilas brother Bleda, and most powerful minister Onegesius, mikkola connected it with Turkic āt. Gerd Althoff considered it was related to Turkish atli, or Turkish at, the Gothic origin of the name Attila is questionable, Snædal writes. It is at least as likely to be of Hunnic origin, the article points out that the word atta is a migratory term for father/forefather common in multiple languages, including many Turkic languages. He concludes, Of course we do not know how the name sounded in the language of the Huns, sometime, somewhere, somehow a proto-form like *agtala- changed to *attila. We cannot tell if the assimilation of gt to tt, and/or if loss of a final consonant took place in Hunnic or if these changes were part of the process into Latin, Gothic. Truly, our knowledge of the Hunnic language is almost zero, One can only guess a solution to this riddle of Attilas name. The historiography of Attila is faced with a challenge, in that the only complete sources are written in Greek. Attilas contemporaries left many testimonials of his life, but only fragments of these remain and he wrote a history of the late Roman Empire in eight books covering the period from 430 to 476. Today we have fragments of Priscus work, but it was cited extensively by 6th-century historians Procopius and Jordanes,413 especially in Jordanes The OriginAttila – Portrait by Eugène Delacroix, painted between 1843 and 1847
12. Amsterdam – Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 851,373 within the city proper,1,351,587 in the urban area, the city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The metropolitan area comprises much of the part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe. Amsterdams name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the citys origin around a dam in the river Amstel, during that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned, the 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered a world city by the Globalization. The city is also the capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the worlds 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit and 12th globally on quality of living for environment, the city was ranked 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009. The Amsterdam seaport to this day remains the second in the country, famous Amsterdam residents include the diarist Anne Frank, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and philosopher Baruch Spinoza. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center. After the floods of 1170 and 1173, locals near the river Amstel built a bridge over the river, the earliest recorded use of that name is in a document dated October 27,1275, which exempted inhabitants of the village from paying bridge tolls to Count Floris V. This allowed the inhabitants of the village of Aemstelredamme to travel freely through the County of Holland, paying no tolls at bridges, locks, the certificate describes the inhabitants as homines manentes apud Amestelledamme. By 1327, the name had developed into Aemsterdam, Amsterdam is much younger than Dutch cities such as Nijmegen, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. In October 2008, historical geographer Chris de Bont suggested that the land around Amsterdam was being reclaimed as early as the late 10th century. This does not necessarily mean there was already a settlement then, since reclamation of land may not have been for farming—it may have been for peat. Amsterdam was granted city rights in either 1300 or 1306, from the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely from trade with the Hanseatic LeagueAmsterdam
13. Alfred Nobel – Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. Known for inventing dynamite, Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a manufacturer of cannon. Nobel held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous, after reading a premature obituary which condemned him for profiting from the sales of arms, he bequeathed his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him and his name also survives in modern-day companies such as Dynamit Nobel and AkzoNobel, which are descendants of mergers with companies Nobel himself established. Born in Stockholm, Alfred Nobel was the son of Immanuel Nobel, an inventor and engineer. The couple married in 1827 and had eight children, the family was impoverished, and only Alfred and his three brothers survived past childhood. Alfred Nobels interest in technology was inherited from his father, an alumnus of Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, following various business failures, Nobels father moved to Saint Petersburg in 1837 and grew successful there as a manufacturer of machine tools and explosives. He invented modern plywood and started work on the torpedo, in 1842, the family joined him in the city. For 18 months, from 1841 to 1842, Nobel went to the school he ever attended as a child. As a young man, Nobel studied with chemist Nikolai Zinin, then, in 1850, there he met Ascanio Sobrero, who had invented nitroglycerin three years before. Sobrero strongly opposed the use of nitroglycerin, as it was unpredictable, but Nobel became interested in finding a way to control and use nitroglycerin as a commercially usable explosive, as it had much more power than gunpowder. At age 18, he went to the United States for one year to study chemistry, working for a period under inventor John Ericsson. Nobel filed his first patent, an English patent for a gas meter, in 1857, while his first Swedish patent, the family factory produced armaments for the Crimean War, but had difficulty switching back to regular domestic production when the fighting ended and they filed for bankruptcy. In 1859, Nobels father left his factory in the care of the son, Ludvig Nobel. Nobel and his parents returned to Sweden from Russia and Nobel devoted himself to the study of explosives, Nobel invented a detonator in 1863, and in 1865 designed the blasting cap. On 3 September 1864, a used for preparation of nitroglycerin exploded at the factory in Heleneborg, Stockholm, killing five people. Dogged and unfazed by more minor accidents, Nobel went on to build further factories, Nobel invented dynamite in 1867, a substance easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin. Dynamite was patented in the US and the UK and was used extensively in mining, in 1875 Nobel invented gelignite, more stable and powerful than dynamite, and in 1887 patented ballistite, a predecessor of corditeAlfred Nobel – Alfred Nobel
14. Anna Kournikova – Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova is a Russian former professional tennis player. Her appearance and celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis stars worldwide, at the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name one of the most common search strings on Google Search. Despite never winning a title, she reached No.8 in the world in 2000. She achieved greater success playing doubles, where she was at times the World No.1 player, with Martina Hingis as her partner, she won Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002, and the WTA Championships in 1999 and 2000. They referred to themselves as the Spice Girls of Tennis, Kournikovas professional tennis career ended prematurely at the age of 21 due to serious back and spinal problems, including a herniated disk. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida, and plays in occasional exhibitions and she was a new trainer for season 12 of the television show The Biggest Loser, replacing Jillian Michaels, but did not return for season 13. Anna Kournikova was born in Moscow, Russia, on 7 June 1981 and her father, Sergei Kournikov, a former Greco-Roman wrestling champion, eventually earned a PhD and was a professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sport in Moscow. As of 2001, he was still a part-time martial arts instructor there and her mother Alla had been a 400-metre runner. Her younger brother, Allan, is a youth world champion who was featured in the 2013 documentary film The Short Game. Sergei Kournikov has said, We were young and we liked the clean, physical life, Kournikova received her first tennis racquet as a New Year gift in 1986 at age 5. Describing her early regimen, she said, I played two times a week from age six, and it was just for fun, my parents didnt know I was going to play professionally, they just wanted me to do something because I had lots of energy. It was only when I started playing well at seven that I went to a professional academy, I would go to school, and then my parents would take me to the club, and Id spend the rest of the day there just having fun with the kids. In 1986, Kournikova became a member of the Spartak Tennis Club, in 1989, at the age of eight, Kournikova began appearing in junior tournaments, and by the following year, was attracting attention from tennis scouts across the world. Kournikova signed a management deal at age ten and went to Bradenton, Florida, following her arrival in the United States, Kournikova became prominent on the tennis scene. At 14, she won the European Championships and the Italian Open Junior tournament and she became the youngest player to win the 18-and-under division of the Junior Orange Bowl tennis tournament. By the end of the year, Kournikova was crowned the ITF Junior World Champion U-18, in 1994, Kournikova received a wild card into ITF tournament in Moscow qualifications, but lost to third seeded Sabine Appelmans. She debuted in professional tennis at 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia, in 1995, she turned pro, and won two ITF titles, in Midland, Michigan and Rockford, Illinois. The same year Kournikova reached her first WTA Tour doubles final at the Kremlin Cup, partnering with 1995 Wimbledon girls champion in both singles and doubles Aleksandra Olsza, they lost to Meredith McGrath and Larisa NeilandAnna Kournikova – Kournikova at Bagram Air Base during a United Service Organization tour, 15 December 2009
15. Alps – The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4000 metres, the altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe, in the mountains precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era, a mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established, Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, and the Romans had settlements in the region. In 1800 Napoleon crossed one of the passes with an army of 40,000. The 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists, writers, in World War II, Adolf Hitler kept a base of operation in the Bavarian Alps throughout the war. The Alpine region has a cultural identity. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, French, at present, the region is home to 14 million people and has 120 million annual visitors. The English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes, maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp and this may be consistent with the theory that in Greek Alpes is a name of non-Indo-European origin. According to the Old English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might possibly derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb hill, Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe. In Roman times, Albania was a name for the eastern Caucasus, in modern languages the term alp, alm, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width, the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, the range continues onward toward Vienna, Austria, and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the border of Bavaria in GermanyAlps – Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, view from the Savoy side
16. Almond – The almond is a species of tree native to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and North Africa. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree, within the genus Prunus, it is classified with the peach in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by corrugations on the shell surrounding the seed. The fruit of the almond is a drupe, consisting of a hull and a hard shell with the seed. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed, almonds are sold shelled or unshelled. Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seedcoat, the almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, the leaves are 3–5 inches long, with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm petiole. The flowers are white to pink, 3–5 cm diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs. Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, the optimal temperature for their growth is between 15 and 30 °C and the tree buds have a chilling requirement of 300 to 600 hours below 7.2 °C to break dormancy. Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in the year after planting. Trees reach full bearing five to six years after planting, the fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering. The almond fruit measures 3. 5–6 cm long, in botanical terms, it is not a nut but a drupe. The outer covering or exocarp, fleshy in other members of Prunus such as the plum and cherry, is instead a thick, leathery, grey-green coat, inside the hull is a reticulated, hard, woody shell called the endocarp. Inside the shell is the seed, commonly called a nut. Generally, one seed is present, but occasionally two occur, the almond is native to the Mediterranean climate region of the Middle East, eastward as far as the Yamuna River in India. The wild form of domesticated almond grows in parts of the Levant, the fruit of the wild forms contains the glycoside amygdalin, which becomes transformed into deadly prussic acid after crushing, chewing, or any other injury to the seed. Selection of the type from the many bitter types in the wild marked the beginning of almond domestication. It is unclear as to which wild ancestor of the created the domesticated species. Zohary and Hopf believe that almonds were one of the earliest domesticated fruit trees due to the ability of the grower to raise attractive almonds from seedAlmond – Almond
17. Economy of Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan has an economy that has completed its post-Soviet transition into a major oil based economy, from one where the state played the major role. Azerbaijans GDP grew 41. 7% in the first quarter of 2007, possibly the highest of any nation worldwide. Such rates cannot be sustained, but despite reaching 26. 4% in 2005, and 2006 over 34. 6%, in 2008 dropped to 10. 8%, the real GDP growth rate for 2011 was expected at 3. 7% but had dropped to 0. 1%. Large oil reserves are a contributor to the economy. The national currency, the Azerbaijani manat, was stable in 2000, the budget deficit equaled 1. 3% of GDP in 2000. Progress on economic reform has generally lagged behind macroeconomic stabilization, the government has largely completed privatization of agricultural lands and small and medium-sized enterprises. In August 2000, the government launched a second-stage privatization program, since 2001, the economic activity in the country is regulated by the Ministry of Economic Development of Azerbaijan Republic. Oil remains the most prominent product of Azerbaijans economy with cotton, natural gas, more than $60 billion was invested into Azerbaijans oil by major international oil companies in AIOC consortium operated by BP. Oil production under the first of these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, began in November 1997, Azerbaijan shares all the problems of the former Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a market economy, but its energy resources brighten its long-term prospects. Azerbaijan has begun making progress on reform, and old economic ties and structures are slowly being replaced. An obstacle to progress, including stepped up foreign investment, is the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In 1992, Azerbaijan became member of the Economic Cooperation Organization, in 2002, the Azerbaijani merchant marine had 54 ships. In March 2001, Azerbaijan concluded a gas agreement with Turkey, Azerbaijan has concluded 21 production-sharing agreements with various oil companies. An export pipeline that transports Caspian oil to the Mediterranean from Baku through Tbilisi, Georgia to Ceyhan, the pipeline is expected to generate as much as $160 billion in revenues for the country over the next 30 years. The recent high price of oil is highly beneficial to Azerbaijans economy as the nation is in the midst of an oil boom, eastern Caspian producers in Kazakhstan also have expressed interest in accessing this pipeline to transport a portion of their production. In 2010, Azerbaijan entered into the top eight biggest oil suppliers to EU countries with €9.46 billion, in 2011, the amount of foreign investments in Azerbaijan was $20 billion, a 61% increase from 2010. According to Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev, in 2011, $15.7 billion was invested in the non-oil sector, in 2012, because of its economic performance after the Soviet breakup, Azerbaijan was predicted to become Tiger of Caucasus. In 2012, Globalization and World Cities Research Network study ranked Baku as a Gamma-level global city, in 2015, Turkey and Azerbaijan agreed to boost mutual trade to USD$15 billion by 2023Economy of Azerbaijan – Baku
18. Economy of Armenia – The economy of Armenia is ranked 132nd in the world, with a nominal gross domestic product of $10.561 billion per annum. It is also the 129th largest in the world by purchasing power parity, Armenia is the second-most densely populated of the post-Soviet states because of its small size. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, bordered on the north and east by Georgia and Azerbaijan and on the south and west by Iran and Turkey. Agriculture accounted for only 20% of net material product and 10% of employment before the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenian mines produce copper, zinc, gold and lead. The vast majority of energy is produced with imported fuel, including gas, small amounts of coal, gas and petroleum have not yet been developed. Like other former states, Armenias economy suffers from the legacy of a planned economy. Soviet investment in and support of Armenian industry has virtually disappeared, in addition, the effects of the 1988 earthquake, which killed more than 25,000 people and made 500,000 homeless, are still being felt. Although a cease-fire has held since 1994, the conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has not been resolved, the consequent blockade along both the Azerbaijani and Turkish borders has devastated the economy, because of Armenias dependence on outside supplies of energy and most raw materials. Land routes through Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed, routes through Georgia and Iran are adequate, in 1992-93, the GDP had fallen nearly 60% from its 1989 level. The national currency, the dram, suffered hyperinflation for the first few years after its introduction in 1993, Armenia has registered strong economic growth since 1995 and inflation has been negligible for the past several years. New sectors, such as precious stone processing and jewelry making and this steady economic progress has earned Armenia increasing support from international institutions. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, EBRD, as well as other financial institutions and foreign countries are extending considerable grants. Total loans extended to Armenia since 1993 exceed $800 million, a liberal foreign investment law was approved in June 1994, and a law on privatization was adopted in 1997, as well as a program on state property privatization. The government has made strides toward joining the World Trade Organization. By 1994, however, the Armenian government had launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic liberalization program that resulted in growth rates in 1995-2005. Armenia joined the World Trade Organization in January 2003, Armenia also has managed to slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. Armenias unemployment rate, however, remains high, despite strong economic growth, the chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in the early and mid-1990s have been offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor. Armenia is now a net energy exporter, although it not have sufficient generating capacity to replace MetsamorEconomy of Armenia – Yerevan
19. Foreign relations of Armenia – However, the dispute over the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the recent war over Nagorno–Karabakh have created tense relations with two of its immediate neighbors, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Eduard Nalbandyan serves as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, US House Resolution 106 was introduced on 30 January 2007, and later referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill called for former President George W. Bush to recognize, Armenia supports Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the longstanding, and very bitter conflict against the Azerbaijani government. Soon, violence broke out against Armenians in Azerbaijan and Azeris in Armenia, in April 1991, Azerbaijani militia and Soviet forces targeted Armenian populations in Karabakh, known as Operation Ring. Moscow also deployed troops to Yerevan, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, conflict escalated into a full-scale war between the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, supported by Armenia and Azerbaijan. Military action was influenced by the Russian military, which inspired and manipulated the rivalry between the two neighbouring sides in order to keep both under control, more than 30,000 people were killed in the fighting during the period of 1988 to 1994. In May 1992, Armenian forces seized Shusha and Lachin, by October 1993, Armenian forces succeeded in taking almost all of former NKAO, Lachin and large areas in southwestern Azerbaijan. Fighting continued, however, until May 1994 at which time Russia brokered a cease-fire between the three sides, negotiations to resolve the conflict peacefully have been ongoing since 1992 under the aegis of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The Minsk Group is co-chaired by Russia, France, and the United States and has representation from Turkey, despite the 1994 cease-fire, sporadic violations, sniper-fire and landmine incidents continue to claim over 100 lives each year. Since 1997, the Minsk Group co-chairs have presented three proposals to serve as a framework for resolving the conflict, beginning in 1999, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia initiated a direct dialogue through a series of face-to-face meetings, often facilitated by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The OSCE sponsored a round of negotiations between the presidents in Key West, Florida, U. S. Secretary of State Colin Powell launched the talks 3 April 2001, and the negotiations continued with mediation by the U. S. Russia and France until 6 April 2001, the Co-Chairs are still continuing to work with the two presidents in the hope of finding a lasting peace. The two countries are still at war, citizens of the Republic of Armenia, as well as citizens of any other country who are of Armenian descent, are forbidden entry to the Republic of Azerbaijan. If a persons passport shows evidence of travel to Nagorno–Karabakh, they are forbidden entry to the Republic of Azerbaijan, in 2008, in what became known as the 2008 Mardakert Skirmishes, Armenia forces and Azerbaijan clashed over Nagorno-Karabakh. The fighting between the sides was brief, with few casualties on either side, kitts and Nevis Dominica Trinidad and Tobago Barbados Armenia also has no diplomatic relations with states with limited recognition. Armenia has diplomatic relations with 162 sovereign entities. cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index. html and this article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website http, //www. state. gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index. htm. Chile Proves Genocide Recognition is Based on Truth, Not Lobbying,5 International Khachatrian, Haroutiun, Foreign Investments in Armenia, Influence of the Crisis and Other Peculiarities in the Caucasus Analytical Digest No.28Foreign relations of Armenia – Armenia
20. Adelaide – Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2016, Adelaide had a resident population of 1,326,354 million. South Australia, with a total of 1, the demonym Adelaidean is used in reference to the city and its residents. Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city. Adelaide stretches 20 km from the coast to the foothills, and 94 to 104 km from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south. Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, Colonel William Light, one of Adelaides founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Lights design set out Adelaide in a layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares. Early Adelaide was shaped by prosperity and wealth—until the Second World War, it was Australias third-largest city and it has been noted for early examples of religious freedom, a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties. It has been known as the City of Churches since the mid-19th century, as South Australias seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city centre along the boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street. Today, Adelaide is noted for its festivals and sporting events, its food and wine, its long beachfronts. It ranks highly in terms of liveability, being listed in the Top 10 of The Economist Intelligence Units Worlds Most Liveable Cities index in 2010,2011,2012 and 2015. It was also ranked the most liveable city in Australia by the Property Council of Australia in 2011,2012 and 2013, prior to its proclamation as a British settlement in 1836, the area around Adelaide was inhabited by the indigenous Kaurna Aboriginal nation. Kaurna culture and language was almost completely destroyed within a few decades of the European settlement of South Australia in 1836, however, extensive documentation by early missionaries and other researchers has enabled a modern revival of both language and culture. South Australia was officially proclaimed as a new British colony on 28 December 1836, the event is commemorated in South Australia as Proclamation Day. The site of the capital was surveyed and laid out by Colonel William Light. Adelaide was established as a colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution. Wakefields idea was for the Government to survey and sell the land at a rate that would maintain land values high enough to be unaffordable for labourers and journeymenAdelaide – From top to bottom, left to right: Central Adelaide from Mount Lofty, the UniSA Building on North Terrace, St Peter's Cathedral, the beachside suburb of Glenelg, a rotunda in Elder Park, and Victoria Square illuminated in the evening
21. Alternate history – Alternate history or alternative history, sometimes abbreviated as AH, is a genre of fiction consisting of stories in which one or more historical events occur differently. These stories usually contain what if scenarios at crucial points in history, the stories are conjectural, but are sometimes based on scientific fact. Alternate history can be seen as a subgenre of fiction, science fiction, or historical fiction. Another term occasionally used for the genre is allohistory, cross-time, time-splitting, and alternate history themes have become so closely interwoven that it is impossible to discuss them fully apart from one another. In French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan and German, the genre of history is called uchronie / ucronia / ucronía / Uchronie. This neologism is based on the prefix ου- and the Greek χρόνος, a uchronia means literally no time. This term apparently also inspired the name of the history book list. Several genres of fiction have been misidentified as alternate history, Science fiction set in what was the future but is now the past, like Arthur C. Clarkes 2001, A Space Odyssey or George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four, is not alternate history because the author did not make the choice to change the past at the time of writing, Alternate history is related to, but distinct from, counterfactual history. The earliest example of history is found in Livys Ab Urbe Condita Libri. Livy concluded that the Romans would likely have defeated Alexander, another example is Joanot Martorells 1490 epic romance Tirant lo Blanch, which was written when the loss of Constantinople to the Turks was still a recent and traumatic memory for Christian Europe. It tells the story of the knight Tirant the White from Brittany who travels to the remnants of the Byzantine Empire. He becomes a Megaduke and commander of its armies and manages to fight off the invading Ottoman armies of Mehmet II and he saves the city from Islamic conquest, and even chases the Turks deeper into lands they had previously conquered. In the English language, the first known complete alternate history is Nathaniel Hawthornes short story P. s Correspondence, the first novel-length alternate history in English would seem to be Castello Holfords Aristopia. While not as nationalistic as Louis Geoffroys Napoléon et la conquête du monde, 1812–1823, in Aristopia, the earliest settlers in Virginia discover a reef made of solid gold and are able to build a Utopian society in North America. A number of alternate history stories and novels appeared in the late 19th, in 1931, British historian Sir John Squire collected a series of essays from some of the leading historians of the period for his anthology If It Had Happened Otherwise. In this work, scholars from major universities turned their attention to questions as If the Moors in Spain Had Won. The essays range from serious scholarly efforts to Hendrik Willem van Loons fanciful, among the authors included were Hilaire Belloc, André Maurois, and Winston ChurchillAlternate history – The world in 1964 in the novel Fatherland where the Germans won World War II.
22. Athens – Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. In modern times, Athens is a cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime. In 2015, Athens was ranked the worlds 29th richest city by purchasing power, Athens is recognised as a global city because of its location and its importance in shipping, finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education and tourism. It is one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe, with a financial sector. The municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its limits. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative city limits. According to Eurostat in 2011, the Functional urban areas of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery, Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural, in earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη. It was possibly rendered in the later on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι. During the medieval period the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα, an etiological myth explaining how Athens has acquired its name was well known among ancient Athenians and even became the theme of the sculpture on the West pediment of the Parthenon. The goddess of wisdom, Athena, and the god of the seas, Poseidon had many disagreements, in an attempt to compel the people, Poseidon created a salt water spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. However, when Athena created the tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning flower, ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil. In classical literature, the city was referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindars ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines, Satine, and Astines, today the caption η πρωτεύουσα, the capital, has become somewhat commonAthens – From upper left: the Acropolis, the Hellenic Parliament, the Zappeion, the Acropolis Museum, Monastiraki Square, Athens view towards the sea
23. Antoninus Pius – Antoninus Pius, also known as Antoninus, was Roman Emperor from 138 to 161. He was one of the Five Good Emperors in the Nerva–Antonine dynasty and he died of illness in 161 and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as co-emperors. He was born as the child of Titus Aurelius Fulvus. The Aurelii Fulvii were therefore a new senatorial family from Gallia Narbonensis whose rise to prominence was supported by the Flavians. The link between Antoninus family and their home province explains the importance of the post of Proconsul of Gallia Narbonensis during the late Second Century. Antoninus was born near Lanuvium and his mother was Arria Fadilla, the Arrii Antoninii were an older senatorial family from Italy, very influential during Nervas reign. Arria Fadilla, Antoninus mother, married afterwards Publius Julius Lupus, a man of rank, suffect consul in 98. Some time between 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina the Elder and they are believed to have enjoyed a happy marriage. Faustina was the daughter of consul Marcus Annius Verus and Rupilia Faustina, Faustina was a beautiful woman, and despite rumours about her character, it is clear that Antoninus cared for her deeply. Faustina bore Antoninus four children, two sons and two daughters and they were, Marcus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus, his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome and his name appears on a Greek Imperial coin. Aurelia Fadilla, she married Lucius Lamia Silvanus, consul 145 and she appeared to have no children with her husband and her sepulchral inscription has been found in Italy. Annia Galeria Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger, a future Roman Empress, married her maternal cousin, when Faustina died in 141, Antoninus was greatly distressed. In honour of her memory, he asked the Senate to deify her as a goddess and he had various coins with her portrait struck in her honor. These coins were scripted ‘DIVA FAUSTINA’ and were elaborately decorated and he further created a charity which he founded and called it Puellae Faustinianae or Girls of Faustina, which assisted destitute girls of good family. Finally, Antoninus created a new alimenta, instead, he lived with Galena Lysistrata, one of Faustinas freed women. Concubinage was a form of female companionship sometimes chosen by powerful men in Ancient Rome, especially widowers like Vespasian and their union could not produce any legitimate offspring who could threaten any heirs, such as those of Antoninus. Also, as one could not have a wife and a concubine at the same timeAntoninus Pius – Bust of Antoninus Pius, at Glyptothek, Munich.
24. Abbess – In Christianity, an abbess is the female superior of a community of nuns, which is often an abbey. In the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic and Anglican abbeys, the mode of election, position, rights and she must be at least 40 years old and have been a nun for 10 years. The age requirement in the Catholic Church has evolved over time, the requirement of 10 years as a nun is only 8 in Catholicism. In the rare case of not being a nun with the qualifications. The office is elective, the choice being by the votes of the nuns belonging to the community. Unlike the abbot, the abbess receives only the ring, the crosier, and she does not receive a mitre as part of the ceremony. An abbess serves for life, except in Italy and some adjacent islands, Abbesses are, like abbots, major superiors according to canon law, the equivalents of abbots or bishops. They have full authority in its administration and they may not administer the sacraments, whose celebration is reserved to bishops, priests, deacons, namely, those in Holy Orders. They may not serve as a witness to a marriage except by special rescript and they may not administer Penance, Anointing of the Sick, or function as an ordained celebrant or concelebrant of the Mass. They may preside the Liturgy of the Hours which they are obliged to say with their community, speak about Scripture to their community, on the other hand, they may not ordinarily give a homily or read the Gospel during a Mass. Also granted exceptional rights was the Abbess of the Cistercian order in Conversano Italy and she was granted the ability to appoint her own vicar-general, select and approve the confessors, along with the practice of receiving the public homage of her clergy. This practice continued until some of the duties were modified due to an appeal by the clergy to Rome, finally in 1750, the public homage was abolished. This custom accompanied Celtic monastic missions to France, Spain, in 1115, Robert, the founder of Fontevraud Abbey near Chinon and Saumur, France, committed the government of the whole order, men as well as women, to a female superior. In Lutheran churches, the title of abbess has in some cases survived to designate the heads of abbeys which since the Protestant Reformation have continued as monasteries or convents and these positions continued merely changing from Catholic to Lutheran. The first to make this change was the Abbey of Quedlinburg and these are collegiate foundations, which provide a home and an income for unmarried ladies, generally of noble birth, called canonesses or more usually Stiftsdamen or Kapitularinnen. The office of abbess is of social dignity, and in the past, was sometimes filled by princesses of the reigning houses. The last such ruling abbess was Sofia Albertina, Princess of Sweden, in the Hradčany of Prague is a Catholic institute whose mistress is titled an Abbess. It was founded in 1755 by the Empress Maria Theresa, the Abbess is required to be an Austrian ArchduchessAbbess – Xaveria Gasser, abbess of the Elisabeth Sisters Convent in Klagenfurt, Carinthia, Austria in 1756
25. Abensberg – It is situated on the Abens river, a tributary of the Danube. The town lies on the Abens river, a tributary of the Danube, the town is divided into the municipalities of Abensberg, Arnhofen, Holzharlanden, Hörlbach, Offenstetten, Pullach and Sandharland. Traces of over 20,000 individuals were found on this site, the earliest written reference to the town, under the name of Habensperch, came from this time, in around 1138. Gebhard was from the Babonen clan, the wall was built by Count Ulrich III of Abensberg. Some of the round towers and eight turrets are still preserved to this day. In the Middle Ages, the people of Abensberg enjoyed a level of autonomy above their lord and they elected a city council, although only a small number of rich families were eligible for election. In around 1390, the Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady of Abensberg was founded by Count John II and his wife, although Abensberg was an autonomous city, it remained dependent on the powerful Dukes of Bavaria. The last Lord of Abensberg, Niclas, Graf von Abensberg, supposedly named after his godfather, Nicholas of Kues, a Catholic cardinal, was murdered in 1485 by Christopher, the year before, Niclas had unchivalrously taken Christopher captive as he bathed before a tournament in Munich. Although Christopher renounced his claim for revenge, he lay in wait for Niclas in Freising, when the latter arrived, he was killed by Seitz von Frauenberg. He is buried in the convent of Abensberg. Abensberg then lost its independence and became a part of the Duchy of Bavaria, and from then on was administered by a ducal official, the so-called caretaker. The castle of Abensberg was destroyed during the Thirty Years War, although the city had bought a guarantee of protection from the Swedish general, after the occupation ended, he was however dispossessed. Johannes Aventinus is the citys most famous son, the founder of the study of history in Bavaria. Aventinus, whose name was real name is Johann or Johannes Turmair wrote the Annals of Bavaria, a record of the early history of Germany. He is commemorated in the Walhalla temple, a monument near Regensburg to the figures of German history. Until 1800, Abensberg was a municipality belonging to the Straubing district of the Electorate of Bavaria, Abensberg also contained a magistrates court. In the Battle of Abensberg on 19–20 April 1809, Napoleon gained a significant victory over the Austrians under Archduke Ludwig of Austria, the arms of the city are divided into two halves. On the left are the blue and white rhombuses of Bavaria, two diagonally-crossed silver swords with golden handles rest on topAbensberg – Maderturm
26. Abbey – An abbey is a complex of buildings used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. It provides a place for activities, work and housing of Christian monks. The concept of the abbey has developed over centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic, an abbey may be the home of an enclosed religious order or may be open to visitors. The layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey often follows a set plan determined by the religious order. Abbeys are often self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, some abbeys offer accommodation to people who are seeking spiritual retreat. There are many famous abbeys across Europe, the earliest known Christian monasteries were groups of huts built near the residence of a famous ascetic or other holy person. Disciples wished to be close to their man or woman in order to study their doctrine or imitate their way of life. In the earliest times of Christian monasticism, ascetics would live in social isolation and they would subsist whilst donating any excess produce to the poor. However, increasing religious fervor about the ways and or persecution of them would drive them further away from their community. For instance, the cells and huts of anchorites have been found in the deserts of Egypt, in 312 AD, Anthony the Great retired to the Thebaid region of Egypt to escape the persecution of the Emperor Maximian. Anthony was the best known of the anchorites of his due to his degree of austerity, sanctity. The deeper he withdrew into the wilderness, the more numerous his disciples became and they refused to be separated from him and built their cells close to him. This became a first true monastic community, Anthony, according to Johann August Wilhelm Neander, inadvertently became the founder of a new mode of living in common, Coenobitism. At Tabennae on the Nile, in Upper Egypt, Saint Pachomius laid the foundations for the life by arranging everything in an organized manner. He built several monasteries, each with about 1,600 separate cells laid out in lines and these cells formed an encampment where the monks slept and performed some of their manual tasks. There were nearby large halls such as the church, refectory, kitchen, infirmary, an enclosure protecting all these buildings gave the settlement the appearance of a walled village. This layout, known as the laurae, became popular throughout Palestine, as well as the laurae, communities known as caenobia developedAbbey – Sénanque Abbey, Provence
27. Ambrose – Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose, was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was the Roman governor of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, Ambrose was a staunch opponent of Arianism, and has been accused of fostering persecutions of Arians, Jews, and pagans. Ambrose was one of the four original Doctors of the Church and he is notable for his influence on Augustine of Hippo. Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family about 340 and was raised in Gallia Belgica and his mother was a woman of intellect and piety. Ambroses siblings, Satyrus and Marcellina, are venerated as saints. There is a legend that as an infant, a swarm of bees settled on his face while he lay in his cradle and his father considered this a sign of his future eloquence and honeyed tongue. For this reason, bees and beehives often appear in the saints symbology, after the early death of his father, Ambrose followed his fathers career. He was educated in Rome, studying literature, law, Ambrose was the Governor of Aemilia-Liguria in northern Italy until 374, when he became the Bishop of Milan. He was a popular political figure, and since he was the Governor in the effective capital in the Roman West. In the late 4th century there was a conflict in the diocese of Milan between the Nicene Church and Arians. In 374 the bishop of Milan, Auxentius, an Arian, died, Ambrose went to the church where the election was to take place, to prevent an uproar, which was probable in this crisis. His address was interrupted by a call Ambrose, bishop, which was taken up by the whole assembly. Ambrose was known to be Nicene Christian in belief, but also acceptable to Arians due to the charity shown in matters in this regard. At first he refused the office, for which he was in no way prepared. Upon his appointment, Ambrose fled to a colleagues home seeking to hide, upon receiving a letter from the Emperor Gratian praising the appropriateness of Rome appointing individuals evidently worthy of holy positions, Ambroses host gave him up. Within a week, he was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated bishop of Milan and this raised his popularity even further, giving him considerable political leverage over even the emperor. Ambrose also wrote a treatise by the name of The Goodness of Death, according to legend, Ambrose immediately and forcefully stopped Arianism in Milan. He studied theology with Simplician, a presbyter of Rome, in the confrontation with Arians, Ambrose sought to theologically refute their propositions, which were contrary to the Nicene creed and thus to the officially defined orthodoxyAmbrose – Early mosaic of Ambrose that might be an actual portrait.
28. Army – An army or ground force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the military branch. It may also include other branches of the such as the air force via means of aviation corps. Within a national force, the word army may also mean a field army. They differ from army reserves who are activated only during such times as war or natural disasters, in several countries, the army is officially called the Land Army to differentiate it from an air force called the Air Army, notably France. In such countries, the army on its own retains its connotation of a land force in common usage. By convention, irregular military is understood in contrast to regular armies which grew slowly from personal bodyguards or elite militia, regular in this case refers to standardized doctrines, uniforms, organizations, etc. Regular military can also refer to full-time status, versus reserve or part-time personnel, other distinctions may separate statutory forces, from de facto non-statutory forces such as some guerrilla and revolutionary armies. Armies may also be expeditionary or fencible, india has had some of the earliest armies in the world. During the Indus Valley Civilization however, there was just a small force as they didnt fear invasion at the time. After the Aryan invasion, kingdoms and city-states started forming armies to protect their cities, one of the first known recorded battles, the Battle of the Ten Kings, happened when a Hindu king defeated an alliance of ten kings. During the Iron Age, the Maurya and Nanda Empires had large armies, in the Gupta age, large armies of longbowmen were recruited to fight off invading horse archer armies. Elephants, pikemen and cavalry were other featured troops, in Rajput times, the main piece of equipment was iron or chain-mail armour, a round shield, either a curved blade or a straight-sword, a chakra disc and a katar dagger. China has existed as a culture for thousands of years, the states of China raised armies for at least 1000 years before the Spring and Autumn Annals. By the Warring States period, the crossbow had been perfected enough to become a military secret, thus any political power of a state rested on the armies and their organization. China underwent political consolidation of the states of Han, Wei, Chu, Yan, Zhao and Qi, until by 221 BCE, Qin Shi Huang, sun Tzus The Art of War remains one of Chinas Seven Military Classics, even though it is two thousand years old. Since no political figure could exist without an army, measures were taken to only the most capable leaders could control the armies. Civil bureaucracies arose to control the power of the statesArmy – A bronze crossbow trigger mechanism and butt plate that were mass-produced in the Warring States period (475-221 BCE)
29. Alabaster – Alabaster is a mineral or rock that is soft and often used for carving, as well as being processed for plaster powder. The term is used in different ways by archaeologists and the processing industry on the one hand. The first use is in a meaning, covering varieties of two different minerals, the fine-grained massive type of gypsum, as well as the fine-grained banded type of calcite. Geologists only define the gypsum variety as alabaster, chemically, gypsum is a hydrous sulfate of calcium, while calcite is a carbonate of calcium. Both types of alabaster have broadly similar properties and they are usually light-coloured, translucent and soft stones that have been used throughout human history mainly for carving decorative artifacts. Onyx-marble must be understood as a traditional, but geologically inaccurate term, in general, ancient alabaster is calcite in the wider Middle East, including Egypt and Mesopotamia, while it is gypsum in medieval Europe. Modern alabaster is calcite, but may be either. Both are easy to work and slightly water-soluble and they have been used for making a variety of indoor artworks and carvings, as they will not survive long outdoors. Moreover, calcite alabaster, being a carbonate, effervesces when treated with hydrochloric acid, the origin of the word alabaster is in Middle English through Old French alabastre, in turn derived from the Latin alabaster, and that from Greek ἀλάβαστρος or ἀλάβαστος. The Greek words were used to identify a vase made of alabaster and this name may be derived further from the Ancient Egyptian word a-labaste, which refers to vessels of the Egyptian goddess Bast. She was represented as a lioness and frequently depicted as such in figures placed atop these alabaster vessels, other suggestions include derivation from the town of Alabastron in Egypt, described in sometimes contradictory manner by Roman-era authors Pliny and Ptolemy and whose location is not yet known. The purest alabaster is a material of fine uniform grain, but it often is associated with an oxide of iron. The coarser varieties of gypsum alabaster are converted by calcination into plaster of Paris, the softness of alabaster enables it to be carved readily into elaborate forms, but its solubility in water renders it unsuitable for outdoor work. If alabaster with a smooth, polished surface is washed with dishwashing liquid, it will become rough, dull and whiter, losing most of its translucency and lustre. The finer kinds of alabaster are employed largely as a stone, especially for ecclesiastical decoration and for the rails of staircases. Alabaster is mined and then sold in blocks to alabaster workshops, the effect of heating appears to be a partial dehydration of the gypsum. If properly treated, it closely resembles true marble and is known as marmo di Castellina. Alabaster is a stone and can be dyed into any colour or shadeAlabaster – Three Maries, alabaster sculpture by Master of the Rimini Crucifixion (c. 1430), National Museum, Warsaw.
30. Apollo program – Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon, the last in December 1972. In these six spaceflights, twelve men walked on the Moon, Apollo ran from 1961 to 1972, with the first manned flight in 1968. It achieved its goal of manned lunar landing, despite the setback of a 1967 Apollo 1 cabin fire that killed the entire crew during a prelaunch test. After the first landing, sufficient flight hardware remained for nine follow-on landings with a plan for extended lunar geological and astrophysical exploration, Budget cuts forced the cancellation of three of these. The crew returned to Earth safely by using the Lunar Module as a lifeboat for these functions, Apollo set several major human spaceflight milestones. It stands alone in sending manned missions beyond low Earth orbit, Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to orbit another celestial body, while the final Apollo 17 mission marked the sixth Moon landing and the ninth manned mission beyond low Earth orbit. The program returned 842 pounds of rocks and soil to Earth, greatly contributing to the understanding of the Moons composition. The program laid the foundation for NASAs subsequent human spaceflight capability, Apollo also spurred advances in many areas of technology incidental to rocketry and manned spaceflight, including avionics, telecommunications, and computers. The Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration in early 1960, while the Mercury capsule could only support one astronaut on a limited Earth orbital mission, Apollo would carry three astronauts. Possible missions included ferrying crews to a station, circumlunar flights. The program was named after the Greek god of light, music, and the sun by NASA manager Abe Silverstein, who later said that I was naming the spacecraft like Id name my baby. Silverstein chose the name at home one evening, early in 1960, in July 1960, NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden announced the Apollo program to industry representatives at a series of Space Task Group conferences. Preliminary specifications were laid out for a spacecraft with a mission module cabin separate from the module. On August 30, a feasibility study competition was announced, and on October 25, meanwhile, NASA performed its own in-house spacecraft design studies led by Maxime Faget, to serve as a gauge to judge and monitor the three industry designs. In November 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president after a campaign that promised American superiority over the Soviet Union in the fields of space exploration and missile defense. Beyond military power, Kennedy used aerospace technology as a symbol of prestige, pledging to make the US not first but, first and, first if. Despite Kennedys rhetoric, he did not immediately come to a decision on the status of the Apollo program once he became president and he knew little about the technical details of the space program, and was put off by the massive financial commitment required by a manned Moon landing. On April 12,1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to fly in space, Kennedy was circumspect in his response to the news, refusing to make a commitment on Americas response to the SovietsApollo program – Buzz Aldrin (pictured) walked on the Moon with Neil Armstrong, on Apollo 11, July 20–21, 1969
31. Alemanni – The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the upper Rhine river. In 496, the Alemanni were conquered by Frankish leader Clovis, mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni were gradually Christianized during the 7th century. The Pactus Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period, until the 8th century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was mostly nominal. But after an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility, during the later and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire the Alemannic counts became almost independent, and a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance. According to Asinius Quadratus their name means all men and it indicates that they were a conglomeration drawn from various Germanic tribes. Other sources say the name derives from alahmannen which means men of sanctuary and not all men. The Romans and the Greeks called them as such mentioned and this etymology has remained the standard derivation of the term. Walafrid Strabo, a monk of the Abbey of St, the name of Germany and the German language in several languages is derived from the name of this early Germanic tribal alliance. For details, see Names of Germany, the Alemanni were first mentioned by Cassius Dio describing the campaign of Caracalla in 213. At that time they dwelt in the basin of the Main. Cassius Dio portrays the Alemanni as victims of this treacherous emperor and they had asked for his help, says Dio, but instead he colonized their country, changed their place names and executed their warriors under a pretext of coming to their aid. When he became ill, the Alemanni claimed to have put a hex on him, Caracalla, it was claimed, tried to counter this influence by invoking his ancestral spirits. In retribution Caracalla then led the Legio II Traiana Fortis against the Alemanni, the legion was as a result honored with the name Germanica. Not on good terms with Caracalla, Geta had been invited to a reconciliation, at which time he was ambushed by centurions in Caracallas army. True or not, Caracalla, pursued by devils of his own, Caracalla left for the frontier, where for the rest of his short reign he was known for his unpredictable and arbitrary operations launched by surprise after a pretext of peace negotiations. If he had any reasons of state for such actions they remained unknown to his contemporaries, whether or not the Alemanni had been previously neutral, they were certainly further influenced by Caracalla to become thereafter notoriously implacable enemies of Rome. This mutually antagonistic relationship is perhaps the reason why the Roman writers persisted in calling the Alemanni barbari, most of the Alemanni were probably at the time in fact resident in or close to the borders of Germania Superior. At that time the frontier was being fortified for the first timeAlemanni – Alemannic belt mountings, from a 7th-century grave in the grave field at Weingarten.
32. Albert the Bear – Albert the Bear was the first Margrave of Brandenburg from 1157 to his death and was briefly Duke of Saxony between 1138 and 1142. Albert was the son of Otto, Count of Ballenstedt. He inherited the estates in northern Saxony of his father in 1123. Alberts entanglements in Saxony stemmed from his desire to expand his estates there. In spite of this, he went to Italy in 1132 in the train of the king, and his services there were rewarded in 1134 by the investiture of the Northern March, which was again without a ruler. Once he was established in the Northern March, Alberts covetous eye lay also on the thinly populated lands to the north. In 1137 Conrad III, the Hohenstaufen King of the Germans, deprived Alberts cousin and nemesis, Henry the Proud of his Saxon duchy, which was awarded to Albert if he could take it. After some initial success in his efforts to take possession, Albert was driven from Saxony, and also from his Northern march by Henry, when peace was made with Henry in 1142, Albert renounced the Saxon duchy and received the counties of Weimar and Orlamünde. It was possibly at this time that Albert was made Archchamberlain of the Empire, in 1158 a feud with Henrys son, Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, was interrupted by a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return in 1160, he, with the consent of his sons, Siegfried not being mentioned, donated land to the Knights of Saint John in memory of his wife, Sofia, at Werben at the Elbe. In 1162 Albert accompanied Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to Italy, where he distinguished himself at the storming of Milan, in 1164 Albert joined a league of princes formed against Henry the Lion, and peace being made in 1169, Albert divided his territories among his six sons. He died on 13 November 1170, possibly in Stendal, and was buried at Ballenstedt and he is also called by later writers the HandsomeAlbert the Bear – Monument commemorating Albert at Spandau Citadel, Berlin, by Walter Schott
33. Albert, Duke of Prussia – Albert was the first European ruler to establish Lutheranism, and thus Protestantism, as the official state religion of his lands. He proved instrumental in the spread of Protestantism in its early stage. That arrangement was confirmed by the Treaty of Kraków in 1525, Albert pledged a personal oath to the King and in return was invested with the duchy for himself and his heirs. Alberts rule in Prussia was fairly prosperous, Albert established schools in every town and founded Königsberg University in 1544. He promoted culture and arts, patronising the works of Erasmus Reinhold, during the final years of his rule, Albert was forced to raise taxes instead of further confiscating now-depleted church lands, causing peasant rebellion. The intrigues of the court favourites Johann Funck and Paul Skalić also led to various religious, Albert spent his final years virtually deprived of power and died at Tapiau on 20 March 1568. His son, Albert Frederick, succeeded him as Duke of Prussia, Alberts dissolution of the Teutonic State caused the founding of the Duchy of Prussia, paving the way for the rise of the House of Hohenzollern. He is therefore seen as the father of the Prussian nation. Albert was born in Ansbach in Franconia as the son of Frederick I. His mother was Sophia, daughter of Casimir IV Jagiellon, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland, and his wife Elisabeth of Austria. He was raised for a career in the Church and spent some time at the court of Hermann IV of Hesse, Elector of Cologne, who appointed him canon of the Cologne Cathedral. Not only was he quite religious, he was interested in mathematics and science. His career was forwarded by the Church, however, and institutions of the Catholic clerics supported his early advancement, turning to a more active life, Albert accompanied Emperor Maximilian I to Italy in 1508 and after his return spent some time in the Kingdom of Hungary. Duke Frederick of Saxony, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, the new Grand Master, aware of his duties to the empire and to the papacy, refused to submit to the crown of Poland. As war over the orders existence appeared inevitable, Albert made strenuous efforts to secure allies, the ill-feeling, influenced by the ravages of members of the Order in Poland, culminated in a war which began in December 1519 and devastated Prussia. Albert was granted a four-year truce early in 1521, the dispute was referred to Emperor Charles V and other princes, but as no settlement was reached Albert continued his efforts to obtain help in view of a renewal of the war. For this purpose he visited the Diet of Nuremberg in 1522, the Grand Master then journeyed to Wittenberg, where he was advised by Martin Luther to abandon the rules of his order, to marry, and to convert Prussia into a hereditary duchy for himself. The Estates of the land then met at Königsberg and took the oath of allegiance to the new duke and this transition did not, however, take place without protestAlbert, Duke of Prussia – Albert of Prussia, painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder, dated 1528
34. Acropolis – An acropolis is a settlement, especially a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground—frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defense. An example in Ireland is the Rock of Cashel, Acropolis is also the term used by archaeologists and historians for the urban Castro culture settlements located in Northwestern Iberian hilltops. The most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens, which, by reason of its historical associations, although originating in the mainland of Greece, use of the acropolis model quickly spread to Greek colonies such as the Dorian Lato on Crete during the Archaic Period. Because of its classical Hellenistic style, the ruins of Mission San Juan Capistranos Great Stone Church in California, other parts of the world developed other names for the high citadel or alcázar, which often reinforced a naturally strong site. In Central Italy, many small rural communes still cluster at the base of a fortified habitation known as La Rocca of the commune. The term acropolis is also used to describe the complex of overlapping structures, such as plazas and pyramids, in many Maya cities, including TikalAcropolis – View of the Acropolis of Pergamon in the background, as seen from Via Tecta at the entrance to the Asclepeion.
35. Aeneas – In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Venus. His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy and he is a character in Greek mythology and is mentioned in Homers Iliad. Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgils Aeneid and he became the first true hero of Rome. Snorri Sturluson identifies him with the Norse Æsir Vidarr, Aeneas is the Latin spelling of Greek Αἰνείας. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, Aeneas is first introduced with Aphrodite naming him Αἰνείας for the αὶνóν ἄχος he caused her and it is a popular etymology for the name, apparently exploited by Homer in the Iliad. Later in the Medieval period there were writers who held that, as such, in the natural order, the meaning of Aeneas name combines Greek ennos and demas, which becomes ennaios, meaning in-dweller. However, there is no certainty regarding the origin of his name, in imitation of the Iliad, Virgil borrows epithets of Homer, including, Anchisiades, magnanimum, magnus, heros, and bonus. Though he borrows many, Virgil gives Aeneas two epithets of his own in the Aeneid, pater and pius. The epithets applied by Virgil are an example of a different from that of Homer, for whilst Odysseus is poikilios, Aeneas is described as pius. Likewise, Aeneas is called pater when acting in the interest of his men, the story of the birth of Aeneas is told in the Hymn to Aphrodite, one of the major Homeric Hymns. Aphrodite has caused the other gods Zeus, to fall in love with mortal women, in retaliation, Zeus puts desire in her heart for Anchises, who is tending his cattle among the hills near Mount Ida. When Aphrodite sees him she is smitten and she adorns herself as if for a wedding among the gods and appears before him. He is overcome by her beauty, believing that she is a goddess, after they make love, Aphrodite reveals her true identity to him and Anchises fears what might happen to him as a result of their liaison. Aphrodite assures him that he will be protected, and tells him that she bear him a son to be called Aeneas. However, she warns him that he must never tell anyone that he has lain with a goddess, when Aeneas is born, Aphrodite takes him to the nymphs of Mount Ida. She directs them to raise the child to age five, then take him to Anchises, according to other sources, Anchises later brags about his encounter with Aphrodite, and as a result is struck in the foot with a thunderbolt by Zeus. Thereafter he is lame in that foot, so that Aeneas has to carry him from the flames of Troy. Aeneas is a character in the Iliad, where he is twice saved from death by the gods as if for an as-yet-unknown destinyAeneas – Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598.
36. Agrippina the Elder – Vipsania Agrippina, most commonly known as Agrippina Major or Agrippina the Elder, was a distinguished and prominent Roman woman of the first century CE. Agrippina was the wife of the general and statesman Germanicus and a relative to the first Roman Emperors, Agrippina was born as the second daughter and fourth child to Roman statesman and Augustus’ ally Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. Agrippina’s mother Julia was the natural child born to Augustus from his second marriage to noblewoman Scribonia. Her father’s marriage to Julia was his third marriage, from Agrippa’s previous two marriages, Agrippina had at least two half-sisters, Vipsania Agrippina and Vipsania Marcella Agrippina. Vipsania Agrippina was Agrippa’s second child from his first marriage to Pomponia Caecilia Attica She became Tiberiuss first wife and was the mother of his natural son Drusus Julius Caesar. Vipsania Agrippina later married senator and consul Gaius Asinius Gallus Saloninus after Tiberius was forced to divorce her, less well known is Agrippa’s oldest daughter - Vipsania Marcella. She was the first wife Publius Quinctilius Varus, Agrippa likely had more children, some of whom did not survive, from his second marriage to Augustus’ niece and cousin to Julia the Elder, Claudia Marcella Major. No son is attested, but a daughter is possibly the mother of Dec. Haterius Agrippa and her mother’s marriage to Agrippa was her second marriage, as Julia the Elder was widowed from her first marriage, to her paternal cousin Marcus Claudius Marcellus and they had no children. From the marriage of Julia and Agrippa, Agrippina had four full-blood siblings, Agrippina was born in Athens, as in the year of her birth Agrippa was in that city completing official duties on behalf of Augustus. Her mother and her siblings had traveled with Agrippa, later Agrippina’s family returned to Rome. In 12 BCE, Agrippina’s father died, Augustus had forced his first stepson Tiberius to end his happy first marriage to Vipsania Agrippina to marry Julia the Elder. The marriage of Julia and Tiberius was not a happy one, in 2 BC Augustus exiled Agrippina’s mother on the grounds that she had committed adultery, thereby causing a major scandal. Julia was banished for her years and Agrippina never saw her again. Tiberius had left Rome for the Greek island of Rhodes ca.6 BC allegedly to avoid any scandal, in his absence, Augustus arranged the divorce between Tiberius and Julia and sent word of it to Rhodes. With her siblings, Agrippina was raised in Rome by her maternal grandfather, Livia was the first Roman Empress and was Augustus’ second wife. Livia had two sons by her first marriage to praetor Tiberius Nero, the future emperor Tiberius and the general Nero Claudius Drusus. According to Suetonius, as a member of the family, Agrippina was expected to display frugality, chastity and domesticity. Agrippina and Augustus had a close relationship, between 1 BC-5, Agrippina married her second maternal cousin GermanicusAgrippina the Elder – Agrippina the Elder
37. Agrippina the Younger – Agrippina the Younger has been described by ancient sources and modern scholars as ruthless, ambitious, violent, and domineering. She was a beautiful and reputable woman and according to Pliny the Elder, she had a canine in her upper right jaw. Many ancient historians accuse Agrippina of poisoning Emperor Claudius, though accounts vary, Agrippina was the first daughter and fourth living child of Agrippina the Elder and Germanicus. She had three brothers, Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar and the future Emperor Caligula, and two younger sisters, Julia Drusilla and Julia Livilla. Agrippinas two elder brothers and her mother were victims of the intrigues of the Praetorian Prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus and she was the namesake of her mother. Agrippina the Elder was remembered as a modest and heroic matron, who was the daughter and fourth child of Julia the Elder. Maternally, Agrippina descended directly from Augustus, Germanicus, Agrippinas father, was a very popular general and politician. His mother was Antonia Minor and his father was the general Nero Claudius Drusus and he was Antonia Minors first child. Germanicus had two siblings, a sister, named Livilla, and a brother, the future Emperor Claudius. Claudius was Agrippinas paternal uncle and third husband, Antonia Minor was a daughter to Octavia the Younger by her second marriage to triumvir Mark Antony, and Octavia was the second eldest sister and full-blooded sister of Augustus. In the year 9, Augustus ordered and forced Tiberius to adopt Germanicus, Germanicus was a favorite of his great-uncle Augustus, who hoped that Germanicus would succeed his uncle Tiberius, who was Augustuss own adopted son and heir. This in turn meant that Tiberius was also Agrippinas adoptive grandfather in addition to her paternal great-uncle, Agrippina was born on 6 November AD15 or possibly 14, at Oppidum Ubiorum, a Roman outpost on the Rhine River located in present-day Cologne, Germany. A second sister Julia Drusilla was born on 16 September AD16, as a small child, Agrippina travelled with her parents throughout Germany until she and her siblings returned to Rome to live with and be raised by their maternal grandmother Antonia. In October AD19, Germanicus died suddenly in Antioch and she lived on the Palatine Hill in Rome. Her great-uncle Tiberius had already become emperor and the head of the family after the death of Augustus in 14. After her thirteenth birthday in 28, Tiberius arranged for Agrippina to marry her paternal first cousin once removed Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, Domitius came from a distinguished family of consular rank. Through his mother Antonia Major, Domitius was a nephew of Augustus, first cousin to Claudius. He had two sisters, Domitia Lepida the Elder and Domitia Lepida the Younger, Domitia Lepida the Younger was the mother of the Empress Valeria MessalinaAgrippina the Younger – Agrippina, mother of Nero, National Museum, Warsaw
38. Alaric I – Alaric I was the first King of the Visigoths from 395–410, son of chieftain Rothestes. Alaric is best known for his sack of Rome in 410, Alaric began his career under the Gothic soldier Gainas and later joined the Roman army. Alarics first appearance was as the leader of a band of Goths. In 394 he led a Gothic force of 20,000 that helped the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius defeat the Frankish usurper Arbogast at the Battle of Frigidus, despite sacrificing around 10,000 of his men, Alaric received little recognition from the Emperor. Disappointed, he left the army and was elected reiks of the Visigoths in 395 and he then moved southward into Greece, where he sacked Piraeus and destroyed Corinth, Megara, Argos, and Sparta. As a response, the Eastern emperor Flavius Arcadius appointed Alaric magister militum in Illyricum, in 401 Alaric invaded Italy, but he was defeated by Stilicho at Pollentia on April 6,402. A second invasion that year also ended in defeat at the Battle of Verona. During Radagaisus Italian invasion in 406, Alaric remained idle in Illyria, in 408, Western Emperor Flavius Honorius ordered the execution of Stilicho and his family, amid rumours that the general had made a deal with Alaric. Honorius then incited the Roman population to massacre tens of thousands of wives, subsequently, around 30,000 Gothic soldiers defected to Alaric, and joined his march on Rome to avenge their murdered families. Moving swiftly along Roman roads, Alaric sacked the cities of Aquileia and Cremona, the Visigothic leader thereupon laid siege to Rome in 408. Eventually, the Senate granted him a substantial subsidy, in addition, Alaric forced the Senate to liberate all 40,000 Gothic slaves in Rome. Honorius, however, refused to appoint Alaric as the commander of the Western Roman Army, Alaric lifted his blockade after proclaiming Attalus Western Emperor. Attalus appointed him magister utriusque militiae but refused to him to send an army into Africa. Negotiations with Honorius broke down, and Alaric deposed Attalus in the summer of 410, allies within the capital opened the gates for him on August 24, and for three days his troops sacked the city. Although the Visigoths plundered Rome, they treated its inhabitants humanely, having abandoned a plan to occupy Sicily and North Africa after the destruction of his fleet in a storm, Alaric died as the Visigoths were marching northward. Born on Peuce Island at the mouth of the Danube Delta in present-day Romania, the Goths suffered setbacks against the Huns, made a mass migration across the Danube, and fought a war with Rome. Alaric was probably a child during this period, during the fourth century, the Roman emperors commonly employed foederati, irregular troops under Roman command, but organized by tribal structures. To spare the provincial populations from excessive taxation and to save money, the largest of these contingents was that of the Goths, who in 382, had been allowed to settle within the imperial boundaries, keeping a large degree of autonomyAlaric I – Illustration from the 1920s depicting Alaric parading through Athens after conquering the city in 395
39. Alaric II – He established his capital at Aire-sur-lAdour in Aquitaine. His dominions included not only the majority of Hispania but also Gallia Aquitania, one example is Isidore of Sevilles account of Alarics reign, consisting of a single paragraph, it is primarily about Alarics death in that battle. The earliest documented event in Alarics reign concerned providing refuge to Syagrius, according to Gregory of Tours account, Alaric was intimidated by Clovis into surrendering Syagrius to Clovis, Gregory then adds that the Goths are a timorous race. The Franks then imprisoned Syagrius, and once his control over Syagrius former kingdom was secure, any threat of war Clovis could make would only be effective if they were neighbors, it is nowhere written that Syagrius was handed over in 486 or 487. Despite Frankish advances in the years followed, Alaric was not afraid to take the military initiative when it presented itself. In 490, Alaric assisted his fellow Gothic king, Theodoric the Great, in his conquest of Italy by dispatching an army to raise Odoacers siege of Pavia, where Theodoric had been trapped. Then when the Franks attacked the Burgundians in the decade after 500, Alaric assisted the ruling house, by 502 Clovis and Alaric met on an island in the Loire near Amboise for face-to-face talks, which led to a peace treaty. In 506, the Visigoths captured the city of Dertosa in the Ebro valley, there they captured the Roman usurper Peter and had him executed. After a few years, however, Clovis violated the treaty negotiated in 502. Despite the diplomatic intervention of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths and father-in-law of Alaric, Alaric was forced by his magnates to meet Clovis in the Battle of Vouillé near Poitiers, there the Goths were defeated and Alaric slain, according to Gregory of Tours, by Clovis himself. Nor was it the loss of the treasury at Toulouse. As Peter Heather notes, the Visigothic kingdom was thrown into disarray by the death of its king in battle, Alarics heirs were his eldest son, the illegitimate Gesalec, and his younger son, the legitimate Amalaric who was still a child. Gesalec proved incompetent, and in 511 King Theodoric assumed the throne of the kingdom ostensibly on behalf of Amalaric—Heather uses the word hijacked to describe his action. With Amalarics death in 531, the Visigothic kingdom entered a period of unrest which lasted until Leovigild assumed the throne in 568. He was on terms with the Catholic bishops of Arelate as epitomized in the career of the Frankish Caesarius, bishop of Arles. Caesarius was suspected of conspiring with the Burgundians, whose king had married the sister of Clovis, Alaric exiled him for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitania, then allowed him to return unharmed when the crisis had passed. This is generally known as the Breviarium Alaricianum or Breviary of Alaric, the Montagne dAlaric near Carcassonne is named after the Visigoth king. Local rumour has it that he left a vast treasure buried in the caves beneath the mountain, the Canal dAlaric in the Hautes-Pyrénées department is named after himAlaric II – Reverse of a coin issued by Alaric II, gold 1.47 g. Note that the coin-portrait is actually of the Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius I
40. Albertus Magnus – Albertus Magnus, O. P. also known as Saint Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, was a German Dominican friar and Catholic bishop. Later canonised as a Catholic saint, he was known during his lifetime as doctor universalis and doctor expertus and, late in his life, the term magnus was appended to his name. Scholars such as James A. Weisheipl and Joachim R. Söder have referred to him as the greatest German philosopher, the Catholic Church distinguishes him as one of the 36 Doctors of the Church. It seems likely that Albert was born sometime before 1200, given well-attested evidence that he was aged over 80 on his death in 1280. More than one source says that Albert was 87 on his death, Albert was probably born in Lauingen, since he called himself Albert of Lauingen, but this might simply be a family name. Most probably his family was of class, his familiar connection with Bollstädt noble family was a 15th-century misinterpretation that is now completely disproved. Albert was probably educated principally at the University of Padua, where he received instruction in Aristotles writings, a late account by Rudolph de Novamagia refers to Albertus encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary, who convinced him to enter Holy Orders. In 1223 he became a member of the Dominican Order, and studied theology at Bologna and elsewhere. Selected to fill the position of lecturer at Cologne, Germany, where the Dominicans had a house, he taught for years there, as well as in Regensburg, Freiburg, Strasbourg. During his first tenure as lecturer at Cologne, Albert wrote his Summa de bono after discussion with Philip the Chancellor concerning the properties of being. In 1245, Albert became master of theology under Gueric of Saint-Quentin, following this turn of events, Albert was able to teach theology at the University of Paris as a full-time professor, holding the seat of the Chair of Theology at the College of St. James. During this time Thomas Aquinas began to study under Albertus, Albert was the first to comment on virtually all of the writings of Aristotle, thus making them accessible to wider academic debate. The study of Aristotle brought him to study and comment on the teachings of Muslim academics, notably Avicenna and Averroes, in 1254 Albert was made provincial of the Dominican Order, and fulfilled the duties of the office with great care and efficiency. During the exercise of his duties he enhanced his reputation for humility by refusing to ride a horse, in accord with the dictates of the Order and this earned him the affectionate sobriquet boots the bishop from his parishioners. In 1263 Pope Urban IV relieved him of the duties of bishop, after this, he was especially known for acting as a mediator between conflicting parties. Among the last of his labors was the defense of the orthodoxy of his pupil, Thomas Aquinas. After suffering a collapse of health in 1278, he died on November 15,1280, in the Dominican convent in Cologne, since November 15,1954, his relics are in a Roman sarcophagus in the crypt of the Dominican St. Andreas Church in Cologne. Although his body was discovered to be incorrupt at the first exhumation three years after his death, at the exhumation in 1483 only a skeleton remainedAlbertus Magnus – Saint Albertus Magnus, a fresco by Tommaso da Modena (1352), Church of San Nicolò, Treviso, Italy
41. Alessandro Algardi – Algardi was born in Bologna, where at a young age, he was apprenticed in the studio of Agostino Carracci. However, his aptitude for sculpture led him to work for Giulio Cesare Conventi and his two earliest known works date back to this period, two statues of saints, made of chalk, in the Oratory of Santa Maria della Vita in Bologna. By the age of twenty, Ferdinando I, Duke of Mantua, began commissioning works from him, propelled by the Borghese and Barberini patronage, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his studio garnered most of the major Roman sculptural commissions. For nearly a decade, Algardi struggled for recognition, in Rome he was aided by friends that included Pietro da Cortona and his fellow Bolognese, Domenichino. His early Roman commissions included terracotta and some marble portrait busts, in the 1630s he worked on the tombs of the Mellini family in the Mellini Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. The monument was started in 1640, and mostly completed by 1644, algardis tomb is much less dynamic. The allegorical figures of Magnanimity and Liberality have an impassive, ethereal dignity, some have identified the helmeted figure of Magnanimity with that of Athena and iconic images of Wisdom. Liberality resembles Duquesnoys famous Santa Susanna, but rendered more elegant, the tomb is somberly monotone and lacks the polychromatic excitement that detracts from the elegiac mood of Urban VIIIs tomb. In 1635–38, Pietro Boncompagni commissioned from Algardi a colossal statue of Philip Neri with kneeling angels for Santa Maria in Vallicella, completed in 1640. With the death of the Barberini Pope Urban VIII in 1644 and the accession of the Pamphilj Pope Innocent X, Algardi, on the other hand, was embraced by the new pope and the popes nephew, Camillo Pamphilj. Algardis portraits were prized, and their formal severity contrasts with Berninis more vivacious expression. A large hieratic bronze of Innocent X by Algardi is now to be found in the Capitoline Museums, Algardi was not renowned for his architectural abilities. The casino was a showcase for the Pamphili collection of sculpture, ancient and contemporary, in the villa grounds, Algardi and his studio executed sculpture-encrusted fountains and other garden features, where some of his free-standing sculpture and bas-reliefs remain. In 1650 Algardi met Diego Velázquez, who obtained commissions for his work from Spain, as a consequence there are four chimney-pieces by Algardi in the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, and in the gardens, the figures on the fountain of Neptune are also by him. The Augustinian monastery at Salamanca contains the tomb of the Count and Countess de Monterey, algardis large dramatic marble high-relief panel of Pope Leo and Attila for St Peters Basilica, and reinvigorated the use of such marble reliefs. There had been large marble reliefs used previously in Roman churches, in this relief, the two principal figures, the stern and courageous pope and the dismayed and frightened Attila, surge forward from the center into three dimensions. Only they two see the descending angelic warriors rallying to the defense, while all others in the background reliefs. The subject was apt for a papal state seeking clout, since it depicts the legend when the greatest of the popes Leo, with supernatural aidAlessandro Algardi – Tomb of Leo XI
42. Algiers – Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the portion of Algeria. The casbah and the two form a triangle. A Phoenician commercial outpost called Ikosim which later developed into a small Roman town called Icosium existed on what is now the quarter of the city. The rue de la Marine follows the lines of what used to be a Roman street, Roman cemeteries existed near Bab-el-Oued and Bab Azoun. The city was given Latin rights by Emperor Vespasian, the bishops of Icosium are mentioned as late as the 5th century. The present-day city was founded in 944 by Bologhine ibn Ziri and he had earlier built his own house and a Sanhaja center at Ashir, just south of Algiers. Although his Zirid dynasty was overthrown by Roger II of Sicily in 1148, the city was wrested from the Hammadids by the Almohads in 1159, and in the 13th century came under the dominion of the Ziyanid sultans of Tlemcen. Nominally part of the sultanate of Tlemcen, Algiers had a measure of independence under amirs of its own due to Oran being the chief seaport of the Ziyanids. As early as 1302 the islet of Peñón in front of Algiers harbour had been occupied by Spaniards, thereafter, a considerable amount of trade began to flow between Algiers and Spain. However, Algiers continued to be of little importance until after the expulsion of the Moors from Spain. In 1510, following their occupation of Oran and other towns on the coast of Africa, in 1516, the amir of Algiers, Selim b. Teumi, invited the corsair brothers Aruj and Hayreddin Barbarossa to expel the Spaniards, Aruj came to Algiers, ordered the assassination of Selim, and seized the town and ousted the Spanish in the Capture of Algiers. Hayreddin, succeeding Aruj after the latter was killed in battle against the Spaniards in the Fall of Tlemcen, was the founder of the pashaluk, Algiers from this time became the chief seat of the Barbary pirates. Formally part of the Ottoman Empire but essentially free from Ottoman control, starting in the 16th century Algiers turned to piracy, repeated attempts were made by various nations to subdue the pirates that disturbed shipping in the western Mediterranean and engaged in slave raids as far north as Iceland. The United States fought two wars over Algiers attacks on shipping, among the notable people held for ransom was the future Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, who was captive in Algiers almost five years, and who wrote two plays set in Algiers of the periodAlgiers – Clockwise: Buildings along the Mediterranean coast of Algiers, Martyrs Memorial, Notre Dame d'Afrique, Ketchaoua Mosque, Casbah, the Grand Post Office and the Ministry of Finance of Algeria
43. Alessandro Allori – Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Florentine school. Subsequent generations in the city would be influenced by the tide of Baroque styles pre-eminent in other parts of Italy. Freedberg derides Allori as derivative, claiming he illustrates the ideal of Maniera by which art are generated out of pre-existing art, the polish of figures has an unnatural marble-like form as if he aimed for cold statuary. While by 1600 the Baroque elsewhere was beginning to life to painted figures. Furthermore, in general, with the exception of the Counter-Maniera artists, among his collaborators was Giovanni Maria Butteri and his main pupil was Giovanni Bizzelli. Cristoforo del Altissimo, Cesare Dandini, Aurelio Lomi, John Mosnier, Alessandro Pieroni, Giovanni Battista Vanni, Allori was one of the artists, working under Vasari, included in the decoration of the Studiola of Francesco I. He was the father of the painter Cristofano Allori, peter Walking on Water Venus and Cupid, In 2006 the BBC foreign correspondent Sir Charles Wheeler returned an original Alessandro Allori painting to the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. He had been given it in Germany in 1952, but only realized its origin. The work is possibly a portrait of Eleonora di Toledo de Medici, niece of Eleonora di Toledo, Alessandro Allori in the History of Art Painting in Italy 1500-1600, Freedberg, S. J. The Picture Collectors Manual, Dictionary of names, media related to Alessandro Allori at Wikimedia Commons Alessandro Allori Paitings GalleryAlessandro Allori – Portrait of Grand Duchess Bianca Capello de Medici, by Allori, Dallas Museum of Art
44. Amati – Amati is the last name of a family of Italian violin makers, who lived at Cremona from about 1538 to 1740. Their importance is considered equal to those of the Bergonzi, Guarneri and Stradivari families, today, violins created by Nicolò Amati are valued at around $600,000. Andrea Amati designed and created the violin, viola and cello known as the violin family and he standardized the basic form, shape, size, materials and method of construction. Makers from nearby Brescia experimented, such as Gasparo da Salò, Micheli, Zanetto and Pellegrino but it was Andrea Amati in Cremona Italy, the first violin was ordered by Lorenzo De Medici in 1555. His letter to Amati stated the instrument was to be made of the highest quality materials like that of a lute, the first violin was intended to be used by illiterate musicians, so the design was simple and it was easy to play. What became of this first violin is not known, a number of his instruments survived for some time, dating between 1538 and 1574. Of these 38 instruments ordered, Amati created violins of two sizes, violas of two sizes and large sized cellos and they were in use until the French revolution of 1789 and only 14 of these instruments survived. His work is marked by selection of the finest materials, great elegance in execution, soft clear amber, soft translucent varnish, Andrea Amati was succeeded by his sons Antonio Amati and Girolamo Amati. The Brothers Amati, as they were known, implemented far-reaching innovations in design, Nicolò Amati was the son of Girolamo Amati. He was the most eminent of the family and he improved the model adopted by the rest of the Amatis and produced instruments capable of yielding greater power of tone. His pattern was unusually small, but he made a wider model now known as the Grand Amati. Of his pupils, the most famous were Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri, the last maker of the family was Nicolos son, Girolamo Amati, known as Hieronymus II. Although he improved on the arching of his fathers instruments, by and large they are inferior and no match for the greatest maker of his day, Instruments in the UK include Andrea Amati violins from the set delivered to Charles IX of France in 1564. Amati instruments at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford,1560 Nicolò Amati, Violin,1669 Patrick OBrians fictional British sea captain Jack Aubrey is described as owning a fiddle far above his station, an Amati no less, in The Surgeons Mate. In the Wine-Dark Sea, book fifteen of the series, Stephen Maturin now has a Girolamo Amati, in Satyajit Rays short story Bosepukure Khoonkharapi, the fictional detective Feluda deduces that a character was murdered because he owned an Amati violin. In the manga and anime series Gunslinger Girl, Henrietta carries an Amati violin case and it contains a Fabrique Nationale P90 when on a mission, otherwise it contains a real violin. On the radio show, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, the January 1956 episode The Ricardo Amerigo Matter centered on a stolen Amati violin, dilworth, John The Violin and Bow-Origins and Development in, The Cambridge Companion to the Violin, ed. Robin Stowell. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–29, Andrea Amati, Violin, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Instruments of the Amati family on the online database MIMO, website mimo-international. comAmati – This violin, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, may have been part of a set made for the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Elisabeth of Valois in 1559, which would make it one of the earliest known violins in existence.