The serpent, or snake, is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols. The word is snake. Snakes have been associated with some of the oldest rituals known to humankind and represent dual expression of good and evil. In some cultures, snakes were fertility symbols. For example, the Hopi people of North America performed an annual snake dance to celebrate the union of Snake Youth and Snake Girl and to renew the fertility of Nature. During the dance, live snakes were handled and at the end of the dance the snakes were released into the fields to guarantee good crops. "The snake dance is a prayer to the spirits of the clouds, the thunder and the lightning, that the rain may fall on the growing crops." In other cultures, snakes symbolized the umbilical cord. The Great Goddess had snakes as her familiars—sometimes twining around her sacred staff, as in ancient Crete—and they were worshiped as guardians of her mysteries of birth and regeneration. Serpents and snakes represent fertility or a creative life force.
As snakes shed their skin through sloughing, they are symbols of rebirth, transformation and healing. The ouroboros is continual renewal of life. In some Abrahamic traditions, the serpent represents sexual desire. According to some interpretations of the Midrash, the serpent represents sexual passion. In Hinduism, Kundalini is a coiled serpent. Serpents are represented as potent guardians of other sacred spaces; this connection may be grounded in the observation that when threatened, some snakes hold and defend their ground, first resorting to threatening display and fighting, rather than retreat. Thus, they are natural guardians of treasures or sacred sites which cannot be moved out of harm's way. At Angkor in Cambodia, numerous stone sculptures present hooded multi-headed nāgas as guardians of temples or other premises. A favorite motif of Angkorean sculptors from the 12th century CE onward was that of the Buddha, sitting in the position of meditation, his weight supported by the coils of a multi-headed naga that uses its flared hood to shield him from above.
This motif recalls the story of the Buddha and the serpent king Mucalinda: as the Buddha sat beneath a tree engrossed in meditation, Mucalinda came up from the roots of the tree to shield the Buddha from a tempest, just beginning to arise. The Gadsden flag of the American Revolution depicts a rattlesnake poised to strike. Below the image of the snake is the legend, "Don't tread on me." The snake symbolized the dangerousness of colonists willing to fight for their rights and homeland. The motif is repeated in the First Navy Jack of the US Navy. Serpents are connected with medicine; the snake's venom is associated with the chemicals of plants and fungi that have the power to either heal, poison or provide expanded consciousness through divine intoxication. Because of its herbal knowledge and entheogenic association the snake was considered one of the wisest animals, being divine, its divine aspect combined with its habitat in the earth between the roots of plants made it an animal with chthonic properties connected to the afterlife and immortality.
The deified Greek physician Asclepius, as god of medicine and healing, carried a staff with one serpent wrapped around it, which has become the symbol of modern medicine. Moses had a replica of a serpent on a pole, the Nehushtan, mentioned in Numbers 21:8. Following Christian tradition, serpents are connected with lies and vindictiveness: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; this connection depends in part on the experience that venomous snakes deliver deadly defensive bites without giving prior notice or warning to their unwitting victims. Although a snake is defending itself from the encroachment of its victim into the snake's immediate vicinity, the unannounced and deadly strike may seem unduly vengeful when measured against the unwitting victim's perceived lack of blameworthiness. Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story "The Cask of Amontillado" invokes the image of the serpent as a symbol for petty vengefulness; the story is told from the point of view of the vindictive Montresor, who hatches a secret plot to murder his rival Fortunato in order to avenge real or imagined insults.
Before carrying out his scheme, Montresor reveals his family's coat-of-arms to the intended victim: "A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure. Fortunato, not suspecting that he has offended Montresor, fails to understand the symbolic import of the coat-of-arms and blunders onward into Montresor's trap. In Africa the chief centre of serpent worship was Dahomey, but the cult of the python seems to have been of exotic origin, dating back to the first quarter of the 17th century. By the conquest of Whydah the Dahomeyans were brought in contact with a people of serpent worshipers, ended by adopting from them the beliefs which they at first despised. At Whydah, the chief centre, there is a serpent temple, tenanted by some fifty snakes; every python of the danh-gbi kind must be treated with respect, death is the penalty for killing one by accident. Danh-gbi has numerous wives, who until 1857 took part in a public procession from which the profane crowd was excluded; the rainbow-god of the Ashanti was conceived to
Chartres is a commune and capital of the Eure-et-Loir department in France. It is located about 90 km southwest of Paris. Chartres is famous world-wide for its cathedral. Constructed between 1193 and 1250, this Gothic cathedral is in an exceptional state of preservation; the majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century. Much of the old town, including the library associated with the School of Chartres, was destroyed by bombs in 1944. Chartres was in Gaul one of the principal towns of a Celtic tribe. In the Gallo-Roman period, it was called Autricum, name derived from the river Autura, afterwards civitas Carnutum, "city of the Carnutes", from which Chartres got its name; the city was burned by the Normans in 858, unsuccessfully besieged by them in 911. During the Middle Ages, it was the most important town of the Beauce, it gave its name to a county, held by the counts of Blois, the counts of Champagne, afterwards by the House of Châtillon, a member of which sold it to the Crown in 1286.
In 1417, during the Hundred Years' War, Chartres fell into the hands of the English, from whom it was recovered in 1432. In 1528, it was raised to the rank of a duchy by Francis I. In 1568, during the Wars of Religion, Chartres was unsuccessfully besieged by the Huguenot leader, the Prince of Condé, it was taken by the royal troops of Henry IV on 19 April 1591. On Sunday, 27 February 1594, the cathedral of Chartres was the site of the coronation of Henry IV after he converted to the Catholic faith, the only king of France whose coronation ceremony was not performed in Reims. In 1674, Louis XIV raised Chartres from a duchy to a duchy peerage in favor of his nephew, Duke Philippe II of Orléans; the title of Duke of Chartres was hereditary in the House of Orléans, given to the eldest son of the Duke of Orléans. In the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, Chartres was seized by the Germans on 2 October 1870, continued during the rest of the war to be an important centre of operations. In World War II, the city suffered heavy damage by bombing and during the battle of Chartres in August 1944, but its cathedral was spared by an American Army officer who challenged the order to destroy it.
On 16 August 1944, Colonel Welborn Barton Griffith, Jr. questioned the necessity of destroying the cathedral and volunteered to go behind enemy lines to find out whether the Germans were using it as an observation post. With his driver, Griffith proceeded to the cathedral and, after searching it all the way up its bell tower, confirmed to Headquarters that it was empty of Germans; the order to destroy the cathedral was withdrawn. Colonel Griffith was killed in action on that day in the town of Lèves, 3.5 kilometres north of Chartres. For his heroic action both at Chartres and Lèves, Colonel Griffith received, several decorations awarded by the President of the United States and the U. S. Military, from the French government. Following deep reconnaissance missions in the region by the 3rd Cavalry Group and units of the 1139 Engineer Combat Group, after heavy fighting in and around the city, Chartres was liberated, on 18 August 1944, by the U. S. 5th Infantry and 7th Armored Divisions belonging to the XX Corps of the U.
S. Third Army commanded by General George S. Patton. Chartres is built on a hill on the left bank of the Eure River, its renowned medieval cathedral is at the top of the hill, its two spires are visible from miles away across the flat surrounding lands. To the southeast stretches the fertile plain of Beauce, the "granary of France", of which the town is the commercial centre. Chartres is best known for its cathedral, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, considered one of the finest and best preserved Gothic cathedrals in France and in Europe, its historical and cultural importance has been recognized by its inclusion on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It was built on the site of the former Chartres cathedral of Romanesque architecture, destroyed by fire in 1194. Begun in 1205, the construction of Notre-Dame de Chartres was completed 66 years later; the stained glass windows of the cathedral were financed by guilds of merchants and craftsmen, by wealthy noblemen, whose names appear at the bottom.
It is not known how the famous and unique blue, bleu de Chartres, of the glass was created, it has been impossible to replicate it. The French author Michel Pastoureau, says that it could be called bleu de Saint-Denis; the Église Saint-Pierre de Chartres, was the church of the Benedictine Abbaye Saint-Père-en-Vallée, founded in the 7th century by queen Balthild. At time of its construction, the abbey was outside the walls of the city, it contains fine stained glass and twelve representations of the apostles in enamel, created about 1547 by Léonard Limosin, which now can be seen in the Fine arts museum. Other noteworthy churches of Chartres are Saint-Aignan, Saint-Martin-au-Val, inside the Saint-Brice hospital. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Fine arts museum, housed in the former episcopal palace adjacent to the cathedral. Le Centre international du vitrail, a workshop-museum and cultural center devoted to stained glass art, located 50 metres from the cathedral. Conservatoire du machinisme et des pratiques agricoles, an agricultural museum.
Musée le grenier de l'histoire, history museum specializing in military uniforms and accoutrements, in Lèves, a suburb of Chartres. Muséum des sciences naturelles et de la préhistoire, Natural Science and Prehistory Museum (clo
The Nervii were one of the most powerful Belgic tribes of northern Gaul at the time of its conquest by Rome. Their territory corresponds to the central part of modern Belgium, including Brussels, stretched southwards into French Hainault. During their 1st century BC Roman military campaign, Julius Caesar's contacts among the Remi stated that the Nervii were the most warlike of the Belgae. In times of war, they were known to trek long distances to take part in battles. Being one of the distant northern Belgic tribes, with the Menapii to the west, the Eburones to their east, they were considered by Caesar to be uncorrupted by civilization; the territory of the Nervii had its western and northwestern border on the Scheldt river and stretched in the south through Hainaut to the forests of Arrouaise and Thiérache. To the east, the boundaries are unclear but it is possible that they stretched as far as the Dyle river valley in the north, near Louvain, the Meuse in the south in modern Wallonia, near Namur.
An oppidum found near Asse may have belonged to them but it was isolated and near to the territory of the Menapii. A large population occupied the southern territories, near the river Sambre with the biggest being at Avesnelles, near Avesnes-sur-Helpe. Caesar mentions smaller tribes who were expected to contribute troops to Nervian forces; the Nervii spoke a Celtic language. Others included the Menapii and Morini, to the west of the Nervii on the English channel, the Germani cisrhenani to the east of the Nervii, stretching to the Rhine. Caesar claimed that the Belgae had received immigration from Germanic people from east of the Rhine; the Romanized Greek Strabo wrote. Tacitus, in his book Germania, says that in his time the Nervii and Treveri both claimed Germanic ancestry, similar to that of their mutual neighbours the Tungri, in order to distinguish them from the weaknesses of the Gauls; the Romans were not precise in their ethnography of northern barbarians: by "Germanic" Caesar may have meant "originating east of the Rhine" with no distinction of language intended.
During Caesar's lifetime, Germanic languages east of the Rhine may have been no closer than the river Elbe. It has instead been argued based on place name studies that the older language of the area, though Indo-European, was not Celtic and that Celtic, though influential amongst the elite, might never have been the main language of the part of the Belgic area north of the Ardennes. On the other hand, these same studies of placenames such as those of Maurits Gysseling, have shown evidence of Germanic languages entering the Belgic area north of the Ardennes, before the Roman conquest, while strong evidence for old Celtic place names is found in the Ardennes and to the south of them. Luc van Durme summarizes competing evidence of Celtic and Germanic influence at the time of Caesar by saying that "one has to accept the rather remarkable conclusion that Caesar must have witnessed a situation opposing Celtic and Germanic in Belgium, in a territory more to the south than the early medieval Romance-Germanic language border", but van Durme accepts that "second century BC Germanisation did not block the celtisation coming from the south...but that both phenomena were simultaneous and interfering instead".
The Notitia Dignitatum report. Julius Caesar considered the Nervii to be the most warlike of the Belgic tribes, that the Belgic tribes were the bravest in Gaul, he says that their culture was a Spartan one: they would not partake of alcoholic beverages or any other such luxury, feeling that the mind must remain clear to be brave. He says they disliked foreign trade and had no merchant class / would not permit merchants within their territory. Archaeologists have sought to define the territories of the northern Belgic tribes by looking at the coins they used; the Nervii are associated with a stater type. Remarkably, given the archaeological evidence of a Celtic La Tène culture having been present in the pre-Roman past, Caesar reports that the Nervii had no cavalry. In fact they established hedges throughout their lands; the Frasnes hoard, accidentally unearthed by foresters in 1864 near Frasnes-lez-Buissenal in Hainaut, along with coins associated with the Morini and the Nervii contained characteristically Gallic gold torques, one of, in Alastair Bradley Martin's Guennol collection.
The Nervii were part of the Belgic alliance that resisted Julius Caesar in 57 BC. After the alliance broke up and some tribes surrendered, the Nervii, under the command of Boduognatus and aided by the Atrebates and Viromandui, came close to defeating Caesar. In 57 BC at the battle of the Sabis, they concealed themselves in the forests and attacked the approaching Roman column at the river, their attack was so quick and unexpected that some of the Romans didn't have time to take the covers off their shields or put on their helmets. The element of surprise left the Romans exposed; however Caesar grabbed a shield, made his way to the front line, organised his forces. The two legions, guarding the baggage train at the rear arrived and helped to turn the tide of the battle. Caesar says the Nervii were annihilated in the battle and is effusive in his tribute to their bravery, calling them "heroes"; when Ambiorix and the Ebur
The Leuci were a Gallic tribe, recorded to have lived in the southern part of what is now Lorraine. They are mentioned by Julius Caesar as a people supplying wheat to the Roman army in 58 BC, along with the Lingones and Sequani. Strabo in his Geographica describes the Leuci and a part of the Lingones dwelling "above" the Mediomatrici, whose capital was at Metz. Hillforts in the region of the Leuci include some small ones in the Vosges, Boviolles in the Ornain valley in the west of the territory. There is a possible oppidum in Geneviève. Toul was the Roman capital "civitas" of the tribe, but Ptolemy listed Naix-aux-Forges as a civitas of the Leuci, it was larger. Celtic camp at Bure City of the Leuci
The Mediomatrici were an ancient Celtic people of Gaul, who belong to the division of Belgae. Julius Caesar shows their position in a general way when he says that the Rhine flows along the territories of the Sequani, Triboci or Tribocci, Treviri. Ptolemy places the Mediomatrici south of the Treviri. Divodurum was the capital of the Mediomatrici. Besides Metz, settlements in France include the oppidum of Hérapel, the well-preserved examples of Pierrevillers and Vitry-sur-Orne. Other settlements and oppida in Germany were thought to be Saarbrücken, Speyer and Rodalben, although today the ascription of Speyer, Homburg und Rodalben is hotly disputed; the name "Mediomatrici" has been explained as "the people between the Matrona and the Matra." The diocese of Metz represents their territory, accordingly west of the Vosges, but Caesar makes the Mediomatrici extend to the Rhine, in his time they occupied the country between the Vosges and the Rhine. This agrees with Strabo, who says that the Sequani and Mediomatrici inhabit the Rhine, among whom are settled the Triboci, a Germanic nation which had crossed over from their own country.
It appears that part of the territory of the Mediomatrici had been occupied by Germans before Caesar's time. Elements of the Mediomatrici may have settled near Novara, in northern Italy, where place-names allude to their presence, e.g. Mezzomerico; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Belgae". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray
Aurelian was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. Born in humble circumstances, he rose through the military ranks to become emperor. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war, he defeated the Goths, Juthungi and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273; the following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west. He was responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, the abandonment of the province of Dacia, his successes were instrumental in ending the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis or "Restorer of the World". Although Domitian was the first emperor who had demanded to be hailed as dominus et deus, these titles never occurred in written form on official documents until the reign of Aurelian. Aurelian was born on 9 September, most in 214 AD, although 215 AD is possible; the ancient sources do not agree on his place of birth, although he was accepted as being a native of Illyricum but, another common belief was that he was born in Greece.
Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior is the preferred location, created by Aurelian as Emperor when he abandoned the old trans-Danubian territory of Dacia. The academic consensus is that he was of humble birth and that his father was a peasant-farmer who took his Roman nomen from his landlord, a senator of the clan Aurelius. Saunders suggests that his family might in fact have been of Roman settler origin and of much higher social status. Using the evidence of the ancient sources, it was at one time suggested that Aurelian's mother was a freedwoman of a member of the clan Aurelius and that she herself was a priestess of the Sun-God in her native village; these two propositions, together with the tradition that the clan Aurelius had been entrusted with the maintenance of that deity's cult in Rome, inspired the notion that this could explain the devotion to the sun-god that Aurelian was to manifest as Emperor - see below. However, it seems that this pleasant extrapolation of dubious facts is now accepted as being no more than just that.
It is accepted that Aurelian joined the army in 235 AD at around age twenty. It is generally assumed that, as a member of the lowest rank of society—albeit a citizen—he would have enlisted in the ranks of the legions. Saunders suggests that his career is more understood if it is assumed that his family was of Roman settler origins with a tradition of military service and that he enlisted as an equestrian; this would have opened up for him the tres militia—the three steps of the equestrian military career—one of the routes to higher equestrian office in the Imperial Service. This could be a more expeditious route to senior military and procuratorial offices than that pursued by ex-rankers, although not less laborious. However, Saunders's conjecture as to Aurelian's early career is not supported by any evidence other than his nomen which could indicate Italian settler ancestry—although this is contested—and his rise to the highest ranks, more understood if he did not have to start from the bottom.
His suggestion has not been taken up by other academic authorities. Whatever his origins, Aurelian must have built up a solid reputation for military competence during the tumultuous mid-decades of the century. To be sure, the exploits detailed in the Historia Augusta vita Divi Aureliani, while not always impossible, are not supported by any independent evidence and one at least is demonstrably an invention typical of that author. However, he was associated with Gallienus's cavalry army and shone as an officer of that corps d'élite because, when he emerged in a reliable context in the early part of the reign of Claudius II, he seems to have been its commander, his successes as a cavalry commander made him a member of emperor Gallienus' entourage. In 268, Aurelian and his cavalry participated in general Claudius' victory over the Goths at the Battle of Naissus; that year Gallienus traveled to Italy and fought Aureolus, his former general and now usurper for the throne. Driving Aureolus back into Mediolanum, Gallienus promptly besieged his adversary in the city.
However, while the siege was ongoing the Emperor was assassinated. One source says Aurelian, present at the siege and supported general Claudius for the purple—which is plausible. Aurelian was married to Ulpia Severina. Like Aurelian she was from Dacia, they are known to have had a daughter together. Claudius was acclaimed Emperor by the soldiers outside Mediolanum; the new Emperor ordered the senate to deify Gallienus. Next, he began to distance himself from those responsible for his predecessor's assassination, ordering the execution of those directly involved. Aureolus was still besieged in Mediolanum and sought reconciliation with the new emperor, but Claudius had no sympathy for a potential rival; the emperor had Aureolus killed and one source implicates Aurelian in the deed even signing the warrant for his death himself. During the reign of Claudius, Aurelian was promoted rapidly: he was given command of the elite Dalmatian cavalry, was soon promoted to overall Magister equitum the head of the army after the Emperor – and the Emperor Claudius' own position before his acclamation.
The war against Aureolus and the concentration of forces in It