Execution by elephant
Execution by elephant was a common method of capital punishment in South and Southeast Asia in India, where Asian elephants were used to crush, dismember or torture captives in public executions. The animals were trained and versatile, able to kill victims or to torture them over a prolonged period. Most employed by royalty, the elephants were used to signify both the ruler's absolute power and his ability to control wild animals; the sight of elephants executing captives both horrified and attracted the interest of European travellers and was recorded in numerous contemporary journals and accounts of life in Asia. The practice was suppressed by the European empires that colonised the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. While confined to Asia, the practice was adopted by Western powers, such as Ancient Rome and Carthage to deal with mutinous soldiers; the intelligence and versatility of the elephant gave it considerable advantages over other wild animals such as lions and bears used as executioners by the Romans.
Elephants are more tractable than horses: while a horse can be trained to charge into battle, it will not willingly trample an enemy soldier, will instead step over him. Elephants will trample their enemies, hence the popularity of war elephants with generals such as Hannibal. Elephants can be trained to execute prisoners in a variety of ways, can be taught to prolong the agony of the victim by inflicting a slow death by torture or to kill the condemned by stepping on the head; the elephants were under the constant control of a driver or mahout, thus enabling a ruler to grant a last-minute reprieve and display merciful qualities. Several such exercises of mercy are recorded in various Asian kingdoms; the kings of Siam trained their elephants to roll the convicted person "about the ground rather so that he is not badly hurt". The Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great is said to have "used this technique to chastise'rebels' and in the end the prisoners much chastened, were given their lives". On one occasion, Akbar was recorded to have had a man thrown to the elephants to suffer five days of such treatment before pardoning him.
Elephants were used in trial by ordeal in which the condemned prisoner was released if he managed to fend off the elephant. The use of elephants in such fashion went beyond the common royal power to dispense death. Elephants have long been used as symbols of royal authority, their use as instruments of state power sent the message that the ruler was able to preside over powerful creatures who were under total command. The ruler was thus seen as maintaining a moral and spiritual domination over wild beasts, adding to their authority and mystique among subjects. Execution by elephant has been done by both Western and Eastern empires; the earliest records of such executions date back to the classical period. However, the practice was well established by that time and continued well into the 19th century. While African elephants are larger than Asian elephants, African powers were not known to make as much use of the animals in warfare or ceremonial affairs compared to their Asian counterparts. Elephants are reported to have been used to carry out executions in Southeast Asia, were used in Burma and Malaysia from the earliest historical times as well as in the kingdom of Champa on the other side of the Indochinese Peninsula.
In Siam, elephants were trained to throw the condemned into the air before trampling them to death. Alexander Hamilton provides the following account from Siam: For Treason and Murder, the Elephant is the Executioner; the condemned Person is made fast to a Stake driven into the Ground for the Purpose, the Elephant is brought to view him, goes twice or thrice round him, when the Elephant's Keeper speaks to the monstrous Executioner, he twines his Trunk round the Person and Stake, pulling the Stake from the Ground with great Violence, tosses the Man and the Stake into the Air, in coming down, receives him on his Teeth, making him off again, puts one of his fore Feet on the Carcase, squeezes it flat. The journal of John Crawfurd records another method of execution by elephant in the kingdom of Cochinchina, where he served as a British envoy in 1821. Crawfurd recalls an event where "the criminal is tied to a stake, elephant runs down upon him and crushes him to death." Elephants were used as executioners of choice in India for many centuries.
Hindu and Muslim rulers executed tax evaders and enemy soldiers alike "under the feet of elephants". The Hindu Manu Smriti or Laws of Manu, written down around AD 200, prescribed execution by elephants for a number of offences. If property was stolen, for instance, "the king should have any thieves caught in connection with its disappearance executed by an elephant." For example, in 1305, the sultan of Delhi turned the deaths of Mongol prisoners into public entertainment by having them crushed by elephants. During the Mughal era, "it was a common mode of execution in those days to have the offender trampled underfoot by an elephant." Captain Alexander Hamilton, writing in 1727, described how the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan ordered an offending military commander to be carried "to the Elephant Garden, there to be executed by an Elephant, reckoned to be a shameful and terrible Death". The Mughal Emperor Humayun ordered the crushing by elephant of an imam he mistakenly believed to be critical of his reign.
Some monarchs adopted this form of execution for their own entertainment
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
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Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Tunis is the capital and the largest city of Tunisia. The greater metropolitan area of Tunis referred to as Grand Tunis, has some 2,700,000 inhabitants. Situated on a large Mediterranean Sea gulf, behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette, the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. At its core lies its ancient medina, a World Heritage Site. East of the medina through the Sea Gate begins the modern city, or Ville Nouvelle, traversed by the grand Avenue Habib Bourguiba, where the colonial-era buildings provide a clear contrast to smaller, older structures. Further east by the sea lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, Sidi Bou Said; as the capital city of the country, Tunis is the focus of Tunisian political and administrative life. It has two cultural centres, as well as a municipal theatre, used by international theatre groups and a summer festival, the International Festival of Carthage, held in July. Tunis is the transcription of the Arabic name تونس which can be pronounced as "Tūnus", "Tūna or delata", or "Tūnis".
All three variations were mentioned by the Greek-Syrian geographer al-Rumi Yaqout in his Mu'jam al-Bûldan. Different explanations exist for the origin of the name Tunis; some scholars relate it to the Phoenician goddess Tanith, as many ancient cities were named after patron deities. Some scholars claim that it originated from Tynes, mentioned by Diodorus Siculus and Polybius in the course of descriptions of a location resembling present-day Al-Kasbah. Another possibility is that it was derived from the Berber verbal root ens which means "to lie down" or "to pass the night". Given the variations of the precise meaning over time and space, the term Tunis can mean "camp at night", "camp", or "stop". There are some mentions in ancient Roman sources of such names of nearby towns as Tuniza, Thunusuda and Thunisa; as all of these Berber villages were situated on Roman roads, they undoubtedly served as rest-stations or stops. The historical study of Carthage is problematic; because its culture and records were destroyed by the Romans at the end of the Third Punic War few Carthaginian primary historical sources survive.
While there are a few ancient translations of Punic texts into Greek and Latin, as well as inscriptions on monuments and buildings discovered in Northwest Africa, the main sources are Greek and Roman historians, including Livy, Appian, Cornelius Nepos, Silius Italicus, Dio Cassius, Herodotus. These writers belonged to peoples in competition, in conflict, with Carthage. Greek cities contended with Carthage over Sicily, the Romans fought three wars against Carthage. Not their accounts of Carthage are hostile. Tunis was a Berber settlement; the existence of the town is attested by sources dating from the 4th century BC. Situated on a hill, Tunis served as an excellent point from which the comings and goings of naval and caravan traffic to and from Carthage could be observed. Tunis was one of the first towns in the region to fall under Carthaginian control, in the centuries that followed Tunis was mentioned in the military histories associated with Carthage. Thus, during Agathocles' expedition, which landed at Cape Bon in 310 BC, Tunis changed hands on various occasions.
During the Mercenary War, it is possible that Tunis served as a center for the native population of the area, that its population was composed of peasants and craftsmen. Compared to the ancient ruins of Carthage, the ruins of ancient Tunis are not as large. According to Strabo, it was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. Both Tunis and Carthage were destroyed; the city is mentioned in the Tabula Peutingeriana as Thuni. In the system of Roman roads for the Roman province of Africa, Tunis had the title of mutatio. Tunis Romanized, was eventually Christianized and became the seat of a bishop. However, Tunis remained modestly sized compared to Carthage during this time; the modern city of Tunis was settled by Arab Muslim troops, around the 7th century AD. The medina of Tunis, the oldest section of the city, dates from this period, during which the region was conquered by the Umayyad emir Hasan ibn al-Nu'man al-Ghasani; the city had the natural advantage of coastal access, via the Mediterranean, to the major ports of southern Europe.
Early on, Tunis played a military role. From the beginning of the 8th century Tunis was the chef-lieu of the area: it became the Arabs' naval base in the western Mediterranean Sea, took on considerable military importance. Under the Aghlabids, the people of Tunis revolted numerous times, but the city benefited from economic improvements and became the second most important in the kingdom, it was the national capital, from the end of the reign of Ibrahim II in 902, until 909 when control over Ifriqiya was lost to the newly founded Fatimid Caliphate. Local opposition to the authorities began to intensify in September 94
Philip A. G. Sabin is a British military historian, Professor of Strategic Studies in the War Studies Department of King's College London. Sabin is a member of the CAS Air Power Workshop, a small working group of scholars and other theorists convened by the Chief of Air Staff, he is a member of the Academic Advisory Panel of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies. His books on modern warfare include: The Future of United Kingdom Air Power, his works on ancient warfare include: Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World, which the Michigan War Studies Review called "engaging and fresh", The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare. The latter has been praised in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, which reported: "The editors as well as the authors can be congratulated on their efforts in producing this important reference work", an "accomplished work... teeming with numerous fascinating details". Among Sabin's articles are: ”The Mechanics of Battle in the Second Punic War”, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Vol. 41, No.
67, pp. 59–79. Air Power Review Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 21–34. In 2010, Sabin published a RAF CAPS Discussion Paper entitled: "The Current and Future Utility of Air and Space Power"; this Discussion Paper was republished as a'viewpoint' in Air Power Review, Volume 10 Number 3, pp. 155–173. In 2011, Sabin published "The Benefits and Limits of Computerization in Conflict Simulation" in Literary & Linguistic Computing, Vomume 26 Number 3, pp. 323–328. His most recent book is Simulating War: Studying Conflict Through Simulation Games; the Times Higher Education's reviewer wrote: "Sabin has written the most readable book on this topic to appear in a long time. It is well written and presents a lot of original material and new ideas on war-game design." Sabin has published books and conference papers including: The Third World War Scare in Britain: A Critical Analysis. The Future of United Kingdom Air Power. Philip Sabin and Michael Clarke, British Defence Choices for the Twenty-first Century: A Centre for Defence Studies Book.
Philip Sabin, Michael Whitby and Hans van Wees, Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare: Volume I: Greece, the Hellenistic World and the Rise of Rome Cambridge. Philip Sabin, Michael Whitby and Hans van Wees, editors, "Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare: Volume 2, Rome from the Late Republic to the Late Empire: Rome from the Late Republic to the Late Empire". Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World. Simulating War: Studying Conflict Through Simulation Games. King's College London - Professor Philip Sabin
The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were some of the largest wars that had taken place; the term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus, meaning "Carthaginian", with reference to the Carthaginians' Phoenician ancestry. The main cause of the Punic Wars was the conflicts of interest between the existing Carthaginian Empire and the expanding Roman Republic; the Romans were interested in expansion via Sicily, part of which lay under Carthaginian control. At the start of the First Punic War, Carthage was the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean, with an extensive maritime empire. Rome was a ascending power in Italy, but it lacked the naval power of Carthage; the Second Punic War witnessed Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 BC, followed by a prolonged but failed campaign of Carthage's Hannibal in mainland Italy. By the end of the Third Punic War, after more than a hundred years and the loss of many hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides, Rome had conquered Carthage's empire destroyed the city, became the most powerful state of the Western Mediterranean.
With the end of the Macedonian Wars – which ran concurrently with the Punic Wars – and the defeat of the Seleucid King Antiochus III the Great in the Roman–Seleucid War in the eastern sea, Rome emerged as the dominant Mediterranean power and one of the most powerful cities in classical antiquity. The Roman victories over Carthage in these wars gave Rome a preeminent status it would retain until the 5th century AD. During the mid-3rd century BC, Carthage was a large city located on the coast of modern Tunisia. Founded by the Phoenicians in the mid-9th century BC, it was a powerful thalassocratic city-state with a vast commercial network. Of the great city-states in the western Mediterranean, only Rome rivaled it in power and population. While Carthage's navy was the largest in the ancient world at the time, it did not maintain a large, standing army. Instead, Carthage relied on mercenaries the indigenous Numidians, to fight its wars; these mercenaries were led by officers who were Carthaginian citizens.
The Carthaginians were famed for their abilities as sailors, many Carthaginians from the lower classes served in their navy, which provided them with a stable income and career. In 200 BC, the Roman Republic had gained control of the Italian peninsula south of the Po River. Unlike Carthage, Rome had a large and disciplined army, but lacked a navy at the start of the First Punic War; this left the Romans at a disadvantage until the construction of large fleets during the war. The First Punic War was fought on land in Sicily and Africa, but was a naval war, it began as a local conflict in Sicily between Hiero II of Syracuse and the Mamertines of Messina. The Mamertines enlisted the aid of the Carthaginian navy, subsequently betrayed them by entreating the Roman Senate for aid against Carthage; the Romans sent a garrison to secure Messina, so the outraged Carthaginians lent aid to Syracuse. Tensions escalated into a full-scale war between Carthage and Rome for the control of Sicily. After a harsh defeat at the Battle of Agrigentum in 262 BC, the Carthaginian leadership resolved to avoid further direct land-based engagements with the powerful Roman legions, concentrate on the sea where they believed Carthage's large navy had the advantage.
The Carthaginian navy prevailed. In 260 BC, they defeated the fledgling Roman navy at the Battle of the Lipari Islands. Rome responded by drastically expanding its navy in a short time. Within two months, the Romans had a fleet of over one hundred warships. Aware that they could not defeat the Carthaginians in traditional ramming combat, the Romans used the corvus, an assault bridge, to leverage their superior infantry; the hinged bridge would be swung down onto enemy vessels with a sharp spike to secure the two ships together. Roman legionaries could board and capture Carthaginian ships; this innovative Roman tactic reduced the Carthaginian navy's advantage in ship-to-ship engagements. However, the corvus was cumbersome and dangerous, was phased out as the Roman navy became more experienced and tactically proficient. Save for the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Tunis in Africa, the early naval defeats, the First Punic War was a nearly unbroken string of Roman victories. In 241 BC, Carthage signed a peace treaty under the terms of which they evacuated Sicily and paid Rome a large war indemnity.
The long war was costly to both powers, but Carthage was more destabilized. According to Polybius, there had been several trade agreements between Rome and Carthage a mutual alliance against king Pyrrhus of Epirus; when Rome and Carthage made peace in 241 BC, Rome secured the release of all 8,000 prisoners of war without ransom and, received a considerable amount of silver as a war indemnity. However, Carthage refused to deliver to Rome the Roman deserters serving among their troops. A first issue for dispute was that the initial treaty, agreed upon by Hamilcar Barca and the Roman commander in Sicily, had a clause stipulating that the Roman popular assembly had to accept the treaty in order for it to be valid; the assembly not only increased the indemnity Carthage had to pay. Carthage had a liquidity problem and attempted to gain financial help from Egypt, a mutual ally of Rome and Carthage, but failed; this resulted in delay of payments owed to the mercenary troops that had served Carthage in Sicily, leading to a climate of mutual mistrust and, final
The Medjerda River, the classical Bagrada, is a river in North Africa flowing from northeast Algeria through Tunisia before emptying into the Gulf of Tunis and Lake of Tunis. With a length of 450 km, it is the longest river of Tunisia, it is known as the Wadi Majardah or Mejerha. The Medjerda River originates in the Tell Atlas, part of the Atlas Mountains, in northeastern Algeria and flows eastwards to Tunisia entering the Gulf of Utica of the Mediterranean Sea, its course has a length of 460 kilometres. It is the most important and longest rivers in Tunisia and is dammed in several locations, being a major supplier of water to the country's wheat crops; the Gulf of Utica was formed during the postglacial transgression about 6,000 years ago. Over time, fluvial deposits from the Medjerda filled up the northern part of the gulf; the succession of events during historical times has been inferred from ancient documents and archaeological evidence. Besides morphological ground observations and satellite photographs have been used to analyze how the landscape has evolved over the past 3,000 years.
The gulf's southern part was filled up in late ancient times. The sea withdrew from the northern part during the Middle Ages and modern times; the Ghar el Melh lagoon is the last vestige of. Following the last big flood in 1973, the Medjerda shifted, once again, its course, it now flows through a canal dug to evacuate the overflow of flood waters. The Medjerda is Tunisia's crucial waterway providing water to the country supply facilities, it is vital to the people living near the river. Water from the Medjerda is pivotal to the region's agriculture. A strategic river in North Africa, it was fought over and settled many times in history by the Berbers, Punics, Vandals, Byzantines and the Ottomans. Several major cities, such as Utica and Tunis were founded on or in close proximity to it; the former ports of Utica and Ghar el-Melh were, however closed off from the sea due to the silting of their harbors. Sidi Salem Dam