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Béziers

Béziers is a town and commune in the Occitanie region of Southern France. In 2014, it had a population of 75,701. Béziers hosts the famous Feria de Béziers, centred on bullfighting, every August. A million visitors are attracted to the five-day event. Béziers is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network; the town is located on a small bluff above the river Orb, about 10 km from the Mediterranean coast, 75 km southwest of Montpellier. At Béziers, the Canal du Midi spans the river Orb as an aqueduct called the Pont-canal de l'Orb, claimed to be the first of its kind. Béziers is one of the oldest cities in France. Research published in March 2013 shows that Béziers dates from 575 BC, making it older than Agde and a bit younger than Marseille The site has been occupied since Neolithic times, before the influx of Celts. Roman Betarra was on the road that linked Provence with Iberia; the Romans refounded the city as a new colonia for veterans in 36–35 BC and called it Colonia Julia Baeterrae Septimanorum.

Stones from the Roman amphitheatre were used to construct the city wall during the 3rd century. White wine was exported to Rome. A dolia discovered in an excavation near Rome is marked "I am a wine from Baeterrae and I am five years old", it was occupied by the Moors between 720 and 752. From the 10th to the 12th century, Béziers was the centre of a Viscountship of Béziers; the viscounts ruled most of the coastal plain around Béziers, including the town of Agde. They controlled the major east-west route through Languedoc, which follows the old Roman Via Domitia, with the two key bridges over the Orb at Béziers and over the Hérault at Saint-Thibéry. After the death of Viscount William around 990, the viscounty passed to his daughter Garsendis and her husband, count Raimond-Roger of Carcassonne, it was ruled by their son Peter-Raimond and his son Roger, both of whom were Counts of Carcassonne. Roger died without issue and Béziers passed to his sister Ermengard and her husband Raimond-Bertrand Trencavel.

The Trencavels ruled for the next 142 years, until the Albigensian Crusade, a formal crusade authorised by Pope Innocent III. Béziers was a Languedoc stronghold of Catharism, which the Catholic Church condemned as heretical and which Catholic forces exterminated in the Albigensian Crusade. Béziers was the first place to be attacked; the crusaders reached the town on July 21, 1209. Béziers' Catholics were given an ultimatum to hand over the heretics or leave before the crusaders besieged the city and to "avoid sharing their fate and perishing with them". However, they resisted with the Cathars; the town was sacked the following day and in the bloody massacre, no one was spared, not Catholic priests and those who took refuge in the churches. One of the commanders of the crusade was the Papal Legate Arnaud-Amaury; when asked by a crusader how to tell Catholics from Cathars once they had taken the city, the abbot replied, "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius". Amalric's own version of the siege, described in his letter to Pope Innocent III in August 1209, states: While discussions were still going on with the barons about the release of those in the city who were deemed to be Catholics, the servants and other persons of low rank and unarmed attacked the city without waiting for orders from their leaders.

To our amazement, crying "to arms, to arms!", within the space of two or three hours they crossed the ditches and the walls and Béziers was taken. Our men spared no one, irrespective of rank, sex or age, put to the sword 20,000 people. After this great slaughter the whole city was despoiled and burnt... The invaders burned the Cathedral of Saint Nazaire, which collapsed on those who had taken refuge inside; the town was burnt. By some accounts, none was left alive - by others, there were a handful of survivors. Despite the massacre, the city was repopulated. A few parts of the Romanesque cathedral of St-Nazaire had survived the carnage, repairs started in 1215; the restoration, along with that of the rest of the city, continued until the 15th century. Béziers became part of the royal domain in 1247. Rule of the city was for a long time divided among three powers: the Bishopric, which reached its apogee in the 16th and 17th centuries when it was held by the Bonsi family, allied to the Medici. Béziers was not damaged in the Hundred Years War.

On September 8, 1381, a riot broke out at the seat of the municipal council, rioters setting the Town House on fire. The councillors tried to take refuge in the tower, but fire spread there as well, they all died either by fire or in jumping from the tower to the square. King Charles IX passed through the city during his royal tour of France, accompanied by the Court and the great men of the kingdom: his brother the Duke of Anjou, Henri of Navarre, the cardinals of Bourbon and Lorraine. In 1551, Béziers became the seat of a Seneschal, being removed from the jurisdiction

Jessica Sergis

Jessica Sergis is an Australian international rugby league footballer who plays for the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL Women's Premiership. In 2016, Sergis began playing for Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks. In 2017, she debuted in the New South Wales 22-6 win over the Queensland women's rugby league team, scoring 3 tries on the wing. In 2018, she played 3 matches in the Women's rugby league Premiership playing for the St. George Illawarra Dragons at centre. On 8 June 2019, Sergis was named in the squad to represent New South Wales in the 2019 Women's State of Origin match. On 14 June, she extended her stay with the St. George Illawarra Dragons for the 2019 NRLW season. On 21 June, she scored one try in the Women's State of Origin match, helping the Blues to fourth-consecutive victory over Queensland. With three tries, a try assist, 21 tackle breaks and an average of 153 metres per match in three appearances in the NRLW regular season, she was named the Dally M NRLW Player of the Year at the 2019 Dally M Awards on 2 October.

On 14 October, she was named the first-ever RLPA NRLW Player of the Year at the RLPA Awards. Dally M Player of the Year: 2019 RLPA Player of the Year: 2019 Source: NRL Source: NSWRL Jessica Sergis profile on NRL.com Jessica Sergis profile on NSWRL.com

Hanoch Jacoby

Hanoch Jacoby was an Israeli composer and viola player. Jacoby was born in 1909 in Königsberg, where he learned to play the viola. From 1927 until 1930 he studied in the Royal Academy of Musical Performing Art, his composition teacher there was Paul Hindemith. He played in Michael Taube's chamber orchestra in Berlin and from 1930 in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1933 he was fired due to the Nuremberg Laws. In 1934 he immigrated to Palestine as part of the Fifth Aliyah as a viola player in the Jerusalem string quartet formed in Jerusalem by Emil Hauser, he was one of the founders of a conservatory that became the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He taught violin, music theory, composition there, was its head from 1954 until 1958. During the same years he was first viola player in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and conducted it. Since 1958 he played the viola in Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which performed his compositions, until his retirement in 1974; that year he was resident artist of the Technion in Haifa.

After he retired, he continued to teach and direct various chamber ensembles. He died in Tel Aviv in 1990. Jacoby was married to Alice Jacoby, had four children: Hava Nir, Ilana Yaari, Rafi Jacoby, Michal Preminger. Among his 9 grandchildren - the musician Nori Jacoby and the dancer and choreographer Nima Jacoby. All Jacoby's compositions except one string concerto were written in Israel. Jacoby arranged many songs for Bracha Zefira, one of the pioneer female singers and songwriters of modern Israeli music, both songs written by herself and song she collected from others; these songs had a varied arrangements, from a classical chamber ensemble to a trumpet-only accompaniment. In the collection "Songs With Piano Accompaniment" he applied Gregorian modes to Israeli folk music, he wrote the cantata "A Day Will Come" to a poem by the Labor Zionist ideologue A. D. Gordon. In 1946 he rewrote it as a string suite, which he again reworked for a whole orchestra. For this suite, titled "The Tiny Suite", he received the Engel award in 1952.

Yaakobi wrote three symphonies, in 1944, 1955 and 1960. The first one was first performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yaakobi himself in 1946; the second was first conducted by Heinz Freudenthal. In 1948 the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra performed his overture based on the melody of the traditional Hanukkah song Ma'oz Tzur, he felt alienated from the developments in music of his time, in the description to his work composition Serio giocoso he wrote that he felt it important to write simple human music at a time when much of new music was too improvised, too intellectual or too electronic. In 1975, as a resident artist in the Technion, he wrote Mutatio, a piece based on the traditional Rosh Hashanah chants of Kurdish and Iraqi Jews. Yehuda Cohen, Neimei Zemirot Yisrael: Musicians and Music in Israel, Tel Aviv, Am Oved, 1990, p. 130-32