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Battle of Chancellorsville

The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War, the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville campaign. It was fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, near the village of Chancellorsville. Two related battles were fought nearby on May 3 in the vicinity of Fredericksburg; the campaign pitted Union Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac against an army less than half its size, General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Chancellorsville is known as Lee's "perfect battle" because his risky decision to divide his army in the presence of a much larger enemy force resulted in a significant Confederate victory; the victory, a product of Lee's audacity and Hooker's timid decision-making, was tempered by heavy casualties, including Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Jackson was hit by friendly fire, he died of pneumonia eight days a loss that Lee likened to losing his right arm. Lee's difficulty in replacing his lost men as well as his inability to prevent the Union withdrawal have led to his great victory being regarded as a Pyrrhic one.

The Chancellorsville campaign began with the crossing of the Rappahannock River by the Union army on the morning of April 27, 1863. Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. George Stoneman began a long-distance raid against Lee's supply lines at about the same time; this operation was ineffectual. Crossing the Rapidan River via Germanna and Ely's Fords, the Federal infantry concentrated near Chancellorsville on April 30. Combined with the Union force facing Fredericksburg, Hooker planned a double envelopment, attacking Lee from both his front and rear. On May 1, Hooker advanced from Chancellorsville toward Lee, but the Confederate general split his army in the face of superior numbers, leaving a small force at Fredericksburg to deter Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick from advancing, while he attacked Hooker's advance with about four-fifths of his army. Despite the objections of his subordinates, Hooker withdrew his men to the defensive lines around Chancellorsville, ceding the initiative to Lee. On May 2, Lee divided his army again, sending Stonewall Jackson's entire corps on a flanking march that routed the Union XI Corps.

While performing a personal reconnaissance in advance of his line, Jackson was wounded by fire after dark from his own men close between the lines, cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart temporarily replaced him as corps commander; the fiercest fighting of the battle—and the second bloodiest day of the Civil War—occurred on May 3 as Lee launched multiple attacks against the Union position at Chancellorsville, resulting in heavy losses on both sides. That same day, Sedgwick advanced across the Rappahannock River, defeated the small Confederate force at Marye's Heights in the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, moved to the west; the Confederates fought a successful delaying action at the Battle of Salem Church and by May 4 had driven back Sedgwick's men to Banks' Ford, surrounding them on three sides. Sedgwick withdrew across the ford early on May 5, Hooker withdrew the remainder of his army across U. S. Ford the night of May 5–6; the campaign ended on May 7. In the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, the objective of the Union had been to advance and seize the Confederate capital, Virginia.

In the first two years of the war, four major attempts had failed: the first foundered just miles away from Washington, D. C. at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign took an amphibious approach, landing his Army of the Potomac on the Virginia Peninsula in the spring of 1862 and coming within 6 miles of Richmond before being turned back by Gen. Robert E. Lee in the Seven Days Battles; that summer, Maj. Gen. John Pope's Army of Virginia was defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run. In December 1862, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside commanded the Army of the Potomac and attempted to reach Richmond by way of Fredericksburg, where he was defeated at the Battle of Fredericksburg; this string of Union defeats was interrupted in September 1862 when Lee moved into Maryland and his campaign was turned back by McClellan at the Battle of Antietam, but this represented no threat to Richmond. In January 1863, the Army of the Potomac, following the Battle of Fredericksburg and the humiliating Mud March, suffered from rising desertions and plunging morale.

Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside decided to conduct a mass purge of the Army of the Potomac's leadership, eliminating a number of generals who he felt were responsible for the disaster at Fredericksburg. In reality, he had no power to dismiss anyone without the approval of Congress. Predictably, Burnside's purge went nowhere, he offered President Abraham Lincoln his resignation from command of the Army of the Potomac, he offered to resign from the Army, but the president persuaded him to stay, transferring him to the Western Theater, where he became commander of the Department of the Ohio. Burnside's former command, the IX Corps, was transferred to the Virginia Peninsula, a movement that prompted the Confederates to detach troops from Lee's army under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, a decision that would be consequential in the upcoming campaign. Abraham Lincoln had become convinced that the appropriate objective for his Eastern army was the army of Robert E. Lee, not any geographic features such as a capital city, but he and his generals knew that the most reliable way to bring Lee to a decisive battle was to threaten his capital.

Lincoln tried a fifth time with a new general on January 25, 1863—Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, a man with a pugnacious reputation who had performed w

Vicarello Cups

The Vicarello Cups are four silver cups discovered in 1852 near the baths of Aquae Apollinares, at Vicarello, near Lake Bracciano. The cups were discovered in 1852 when the existing bath complex near Vicarello was destroyed to create a more modern one; the cups were found inside a crevice in the rock from which the thermal waters issued, along with a deposit consisting of ca. 5,000 bronze coins, 34 vessels of which 12 were inscribed, various metal objects such as plates, small statues in bronze and other materials. The finds from the deposit, including the cups, are to be found in the Museo Nazionale Romano, while a few of the numismatic finds are in the Vatican Museums; the collection belonged to the Kircher Museum, incorporated into the Museo Nazionale. It is possible that many of the coins from the original discovery did not make it into the museum collection. Dated to the 1st century AD, the cups are cylindrical in form and range in height from 9.5–11.5 cm and are similar in shape to Roman milestones.

They are inscribed on their outside with an itinerary that goes from Gades over land to Rome, including all the 104 stopping points along the way and the distances between them, for a total of 1840 Roman miles. The finds are believed to have been part of a votive deposit, consisting of dedications made by the sick who sought a cure at the baths to the protective deity of the location, Apollo; the presence of the cups with the inscribed itinerary has raised several questions. They do not seem to have any relationship to the divinity of the location and in fact the route on the cups, which includes the Via Flaminia in Italy, does not include Vicarello, instead passing dozens of kilometers to the east, through Narnia and Ocriculum. One hypothesis is that the cups were dedicated to Apollo as a thank offering for the accomplished trip, by merchants from Gades who traveled to Rome for business; this hypothesis does not explain why these merchants would have preferred the much longer land route to the faster and less expensive one by sea.

A second hypothesis is that these cups were donated by travelers from Spain to the Roman senator Lucius Junius Caesennius Paetus, a relative of the emperor Domitian who had a villa in the town of Vicarello. These merchants would later have dedicated the cups to Apollo. CIL XI, 3281, 3282, 3283, 3284 Giuseppe Marchi, La stipe tributata alle divinità delle Acque Apollinari, Roma, 1852 Jacques Heurgon, La date des gobelets de Vicarello, Revue des Études Anciennes N.54, 1952 Ernst Künzl, Susanna Künzl, Aquae Apollinares / Vicarello, Caesarodunum, N.26, 1992 Lidio Gasperini, El tesoro de Vicarello. Un gran descubrimiento arqueológico del siglo XIX, Gerión ISSN 0213-0181 Vol. 26 núm 2, 2008 Via Domitia Antonine Itinerary Peutinger Table "Images of the Vicarello cups". "Image of the Itinerarium Gaditadum on one of the cups". "Reconstruction of the stratigraphy of the deposit at Vicarello". "Details of the inscriptions". "Itinerarium Gaditanum at the BIBLIOTHECA AUGUSTANA". "El tesoro de Vicarello. Un gran descubrimiento arqueológico del siglo XIX"

Pallava art and architecture

Pallava art and architecture represent an early stage of Dravidian art and architecture which blossomed to its fullest extent under the Chola Dynasty. The first stone and mortar temples of South India were constructed during Pallava rule and were based on earlier brick and timber prototypes. Starting with rock cut temples, built between 695AD and 722AD, archaeological excavations dated to the 6th century and earlier. Pallava sculptors graduated to free-standing structural shrines which inspired Chola dynasty's temples of a age; some of the best examples of Pallava art and architecture are the Kailasanathar Temple at Kanchipuram, the Shore Temple and the Pancha Rathas of Mahabalipuram. Akshara was the greatest sculptor of their time. Pallava architecture can be now sub-divided into two phases - the rock cut phase and the structural phase; the rock cut phase lasted from the 610 AD to 668 AD and consisted of two groups of monuments - the Mahendra group and the Mamalla group. The Mahendra group is the name given to monuments constructed during the reign of Mahendravarman I.

The monuments of this group are invariably pillared halls hewn out of mountain faces. These pillared mandapas follow the prototype of Jain temples of the period; the best examples of Mahendra group of monuments are the cave temples at Mandagapattu and Mamandur. The second group of rock cut monuments belong to the Mamalla group in 630 to 668 AD. During this period free-standing monolithic shrines called rathas were constructed alongside pillared halls; some of the best examples of this style are the Pancha Arjuna's Penance at Mahabalipuram. The second phase of Pallava architecture is the structural phase when free-standing shrines were constructed with stone and mortar brought in for the purpose. Monuments of this phase are of two groups - the Nandivarman group; the Rajasimha group encompasses the early structural temples of the Pallavas when a lot of experimentation was carried out. The best examples of this period are the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram and the Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple at Kanchipuram both constructed by Narasimhavarman II, known as Rajasimha.

The best example of the Nandivarman group of monuments is the Vaikunta Perumal Temple at Kanchipuram. During this period, Pallava architecture attained full maturity and provided the models upon which the massive Brihadeeswarar Temple of the Cholas at Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram and various other architectural works of note were constructed