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Cagliari

Cagliari is an Italian municipality and the capital of the island of Sardinia, an autonomous region of Italy. Cagliari's Sardinian name Casteddu means castle, it has about 155,000 inhabitants. According to Eurostat, the population of the Functional urban area, the commuting zone of Cagliari, rises to 476,975. Cagliari is the largest city on the island of Sardinia. An ancient city with a long history, Cagliari has seen the rule of several civilisations. Under the buildings of the modern city there is a continuous stratification attesting to human settlement over the course of some five thousand years, from the Neolithic to today. Historical sites include the prehistoric Domus de Janas damaged by cave activity, a large Carthaginian era necropolis, a Roman era amphitheatre, a Byzantine basilica, three Pisan-era towers and a strong system of fortification that made the town the core of Spanish Habsburg imperial power in the western Mediterranean Sea, its natural resources have always been its sheltered harbour, the powerfully fortified hill of Castel di Castro, the modern Casteddu, the salt from its lagoons, from the hinterland, wheat from the Campidano plain and silver and other ores from the Iglesiente mines.

Cagliari was the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1324 to 1848, when Turin became the formal capital of the kingdom. Today the city is a regional cultural, educational and artistic centre, known for its diverse Art Nouveau architecture and several monuments, it is Sardinia's economic and industrial hub, having one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean Sea, an international airport, the 106th highest income level in Italy, comparable to that of several northern Italian cities. It is the seat of the University of Cagliari, founded in 1607, of the Primate Roman Catholic archdiocese of Sardinia, since the 5th century AD; the Cagliari area has been inhabited since the Neolithic. It occupies a favourable position between the sea and a fertile plain and is surrounded by two marshes. There are high mountains nearby, to which people could evacuate if the settlement had to be given up. Relics of prehistoric inhabitants were found in Cape Sant ` Elia. Karaly was established around the 8th/7th century BC as one of a string of Phoenician colonies in Sardinia, including Tharros.

Its founding is linked to its position along communication routes with Africa as well as to its excellent port. The Phoenician settlement was located in the Stagno di Santa Gilla, west of the present centre of Cagliari; this was the site of the Roman Portus Scipio, when Arab pirates raided the area in the 8th century it became the refuge for people fleeing from the city. Other Phoenician settlements have been found at Cape Sant'Elia. In the late 6th century BC Carthage took control of part of Sardinia, Cagliari grew under their domination, as testified by the large Tuvixeddu necropolis and other remains. Cagliari was a fortified settlement in what is now the modern Marina quarter, with an annexed holy area in the modern Stampace. Sardinia and Cagliari came under Roman rule in 238 BC, shortly after the First Punic War, when the Romans defeated the Carthaginians. No mention of it is found on the occasion of the Roman conquest of the island but, during the Second Punic War, Caralis was the headquarters of the praetor, Titus Manlius Torquatus, whence he conducted his operations against Hampsicora and the Carthaginians.

At other times it was the Romans' chief naval station on the island and the residence of its praetor. The Romans built a new settlement east of the old Punic city, the vicus munitus Caralis mentioned by Varro Atacinus; the two urban agglomerations merged during the second century BC. Florus calls it the urbs capital of Sardinia, he represents it as taken and punished by Gracchus, but this statement is wholly at variance with Livy's account of the wars of Gracchus, in Sardinia, according to which the cities were faithful to Rome, the revolt was confined to the mountain tribes. In the Civil War between Caesar and Pompey, the citizens of Caralis were the first to declare in favor of the former, an example soon followed by the other cities of Sardinia. A few years when Sardinia fell into the hands of Menas, the lieutenant of Sextus Pompeius, Caralis was the only city which offered any resistance, but was taken after a short siege. Cagliari continued to be regarded as the capital of the island under the Roman Empire, though it did not become a colony, obtained the status of Municipium.

Remains of Roman public buildings were found to the west of Marina in Piazza del Carmine. There was an area of ordinary housing near the modern Via Roma, richer houses on the slopes of the Marina distinct; the amphitheatre is located to the west of the Castello. A Christian community is attested in Cagliari at least as early as the 3rd century, by the end of that century the city had a Christian bishop. In the middle decades of the 4th century bishop Lucifer of Cagliari was exiled because of his opposition to the sentence against Athanasius of Alexandria at the Synod of Milan, he was banished to the desert of Thebais by the emperor Constantius II. Claud

Joan MirĂ³: The Ladder of Escape

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape was an exhibition organized by the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona in collaboration with the Tate Modern in London. The exhibition was at "The Tate" from April to September 2011. Before moving to the Joan Miró Foundation to open in October 2011 until March 2012 and to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC from May to August 2012; this exhibition brought together 170 works – paintings and drawings by Miró from public and private collections around the world. The exhibition highlights the artist's engagement with his country. Joan Miró was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, he created a Surrealist language of symbols following his own imagined fantasies and the use of bright colours. His life and work are intertwined with the history of Catalonia in the twentieth century; the exhibition looks at the artist's life in chronological order starting with Joan Miró's links with his home in Mont-roig del Camp and his initial contact with the surrealist poets and painters.

Early works include The Head of a Catalan Peasant. His 1926 work Dog Barking at the Moon has been considered to have symbols based on his emerging surrealist ideas although others have interpreted the young dog barking at a ladder as symbolizing Miró's ambition. Works show his reaction to the Spanish Civil War which included his Barcelona Series. At that time the artist accepted a commission from the Government of the Republic, painted the stamp Aidez l'Espagne and The Reaper for the Spanish Pavilion of the Republic of the Paris International Exhibition of 1937, works displayed next to Guernica by Pablo Picasso; the Second World War resulted in many new images and a large number were included from his Constellations series. The final area of the exhibition examines the final years of the dictatorship of General Franco. Works from this period are shown as the triptych The Hope of a Condemned Man and May 1968; the exhibition was criticised for failing to include Miró's qualifications for being a leading Surrealist.

When the exhibition was in Barcelona, there was a nearby exhibition of the artist's posters. The main exhibition was supported by using QRpedia codes that allowed visitors to access Wikipedia in Catalan, Russian and several other languages. On the occasion of the American venue, the Film Department - Department of Exhibition programs produced with the support of the HRH Foundation the documentary Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape

Hop-tu-Naa

Hop-tu-Naa is a Celtic festival celebrated in the Isle of Man on 31 October. It is the celebration of the traditional Celtic festival of the start of winter, it is thought to be the oldest unbroken tradition in the Isle of Man. Hop-tu-Naa is a continuation of the Manx Oie Houiney, the same as the Irish Oíche Shamhna and, pronounced the same; the exact status of Oíche Shamhna and its role in the Celtic calendar has been a matter of debate. Oíche Shamhna mutated into Halloween in northern England and in Ireland, it was carried to America by Irish immigrants and developed into the modern Halloween; the term Hop-tu-naa comes from a Manx Gaelic song traditionally sung during the festival which included the nonsense Hop-tu-naa as a refrain. On the Isle of Man today, many groups of people continue the tradition of singing Hop-tu-Naa songs "around the houses" with turnip lanterns. In addition to this, many public Hop-tu-Naa events take place across the Isle of Man each year, most of which today include competitions for artistically carving turnips and the singing of traditional songs.

As well as the many events run within local communities, the National Folk Museum at Cregneash hosts an event to teach the traditional Hop-tu-Naa song and to help people to carve turnips. At the modern Hop-tu-Naa, children dress up and go from house to house hoping to be given sweets or money, as elsewhere; the children sing Hop-tu-Naa songs. There are regional varieties of how turnips should be carved for Hop-tu-Naa, with variations focusing on which way up the turnip is and the nature of the decorations, it is believed that turnip-lanterns do not date earlier than the start of the 19th century, as the vegetable had only been introduced at the end of the previous century. In the past children would bring the stumps of turnips with them and batter the doors of those who refused to give them any money, in an ancient form of trick or treat; this practice appears to have died out. A hop-tu-naa dance was collected by both Mona Leighton Stowell, it was believed to have been danced through the streets on Hop-tu-Naa night by couples carrying their turnip-lanterns.

It is a simple procession dance for pairs of dancers which involves the Manx reel step and a combination of arches only. This dance is taught in many schools on the Isle of Man during October each year, it is danced at many of the Hop-tu-Naa events across the island; some of the older customs are similar to those now attached to the January New Year. It was a time for weather prediction and fortune-telling. Last thing at night, the ashes of a fire were smoothed out on the hearth to receive the imprint of a foot. If, next morning, the track pointed towards the door, someone in the house would die, but if the footprint pointed inward, it indicated a birth. A cake was made, called Soddag Valloo or Dumb Cake, because it was made and eaten in silence. Young women and girls all had a hand in baking it on the red embers of the hearth, first helping to mix the ingredients and kneading the dough; the cake was divided up and eaten in silence and, still without speaking, all who had eaten it went to bed, walking backwards and hoping to see their future husband in a dream or vision.

The future husband was expected to offer a drink of water. Other means of divination was to steal a salt herring from a neighbour, roast it over the fire, eat it in silence and retire to bed. Traditional food for Hop-tu-Naa includes mrastyr: potatoes and fish mashed up with butter. Any leftovers from this evening meal would be left out with crocks of fresh water for the fairies. Toffee would be made, with just sugar and water, as a communal activity on the evening of Hop-tu-Naa. Different versions of Hop-tu-naa songs were sung in different areas of the island. "Jinnie the Witch" is a modern Manx English song, sung around the Douglas area. According to Hampton Creer, Jinny's real name was Joney Lowney, she lived in Braddan and was tried at Bishop's Court for witchcraft in 1715 and 1716. Her greatest "crime" was stopping the Ballaughton Corn Mill, she was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment, fined £3 and made to stand at the four market crosses dressed in sackcloth. The modern song goes as follows: Hop-tu-Naa My mother's gone away And she won't be back until the morningJinnie the Witch flew over the house To fetch the stick to lather the mouseHop-tu-Naa My mother's gone away And she won't be back until the morningHop-tu-Naa, Traa-la-laaIn the west of the island a longer version was sung, more related to the Manx version.

The following version dates from the 1930s – a similar version is recorded in "A Vocabulary of the Anglo-Manx Dialect" by A. W. Moore, Sophia Morrison and Edmund Goodwin: Hop-tu-naa! put in the pot Hop-tu-naa! put in the pan Hop-tu-naa! I burnt me throt Hop-tu-naa! Guess where I ran? Hop-tu-naa! I ran to the well Hop-tu-naa! and drank my fill Hop-tu-naa! and on the way back Hop-tu-naa! I met a witch cat Hop-tu-naa! the cat began to grin Hop-tu-naa! and I began to run Hop-tu-naa! I ran to Ronague Hop-tu-naa! Guess what I saw