Palermo is a city of Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence. Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea; the city was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz. Palermo became a possession of Carthage. Two Greek colonies were established, known collectively as Panormos or "All-Port"; as Panormus, the town became part of Empire for over a thousand years. From 831 to 1072 the city was under Arab rule during the Emirate of Sicily when the city first became a capital; the Arabs shifted the Greek name into Bal ` the root for Palermo's present-day name. Following the Norman reconquest, Palermo became the capital of a new kingdom, the Kingdom of Sicily and the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Frederick II and King Conrad IV; the population of Palermo urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 855,285, while its metropolitan area is the fifth most populated in Italy with around 1.2 million people.
In the central area, the city has a population of around 676,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Palermitani or, panormiti; the languages spoken by its inhabitants are the Italian language and the Palermitano dialect of the Sicilian language. Palermo is Sicily's cultural and tourism capital, it is a city rich in history, art and food. Numerous tourists are attracted to the city for its good Mediterranean weather, its renowned gastronomy and restaurants, its Romanesque and Baroque churches and buildings, its nightlife and music. Palermo is the main Sicilian industrial and commercial center: the main industrial sectors include tourism, services and agriculture. Palermo has an international airport, a significant underground economy. In fact, for cultural and economic reasons, Palermo was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean and is now among the top tourist destinations in both Italy and Europe, it is the main seat of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale.
The city is going through careful redevelopment, preparing to become one of the major cities of the Euro-Mediterranean area. Roman Catholicism is important in Palermitano culture; the Patron Saint of Palermo is Santa Rosalia. The area attracts significant numbers of tourists each year and is known for its colourful fruit and fish markets at the heart of Palermo, known as Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo. Palermo lies in a basin, formed by the Papireto and Oreto rivers; the basin was named the Conca d'Oro by the Arabs in the 9th century. The city is surrounded by a mountain range, named after the city itself; these mountains face the Tyrrhenian Sea. Palermo is home to a natural port and offers excellent views to the sea from Monte Pellegrino. Palermo experiences a hot-summer subtropical Mediterranean climate, mild with moderate seasonality. Summers are long and dry due to the domination of subtropical high pressure system, while winters experience moderate temperatures and changeable, rainy weather due to the polar front.
Temperatures in autumn and spring are mild. Palermo is one of the warmest cities in Europe, with an average annual air temperature of 18.3 °C, it's one of the warmest cities in Italy. It receives 2,530 hours of sunshine per year. Snow is a rare occurrence having snowed about a dozen times since 1945. Since the 1940s to nowadays there have been at least five times when considerable snowfall has occurred. In 1949 and in 1956, when the minimum temperature went down to 0 °C, the city was blanketed by some centimetres of snow. Snowfalls occurred in 1981, 1986, 1999 and 2014; the average annual temperature of the sea is above 19 °C. In the period from November to May, the average sea temperature exceeds 18 °C and in the period from June to October, the average sea temperature exceeds 21 °C. Palermo is surrounded by mountains; some districts of the city are divided by the mountains themselves. It was difficult to reach the inner part of Sicily from the city because of the mounts; the tallest peak of the range is La Pizzuta, about 1,333 metres high.
However the most important mount is Monte Pellegrino, geographically separated from the rest of the range by a plain. The mount lies right in front of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Monte Pellegrino's cliff was described in the 19th century by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as "the most beautiful promontory in the world", in his essay "Italian Journey". Today both the Kemonia are covered up by buildings. However, the shape of the former watercourses can still be recognised today, because the streets that were built on them follow their shapes. Today the only waterway not drained yet is the Oreto river that divides the downtown of the city from the western uptown and the industrial districts. In the basins there were, many seasonal torrents that helped formed swampy plains, reclaimed during history.
In Christian theology and ecclesiology, the apostles the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus. In modern usage, missionaries under Pentecostal movements refer to themselves as apostles, a practice which stems from the Latin equivalent of apostle, i.e. missio, the source of the English word missionary. For example, Saint Patrick was the "Apostle of Ireland", Saint Boniface was the "Apostle to the Germans", Saint José de Anchieta was the "Apostle of Brazil" and Saint Peter of Betancur was the "Apostle of Guatemala". While Christian tradition refers to the apostles as being twelve in number, different gospel writers give different names for the same individual, apostles mentioned in one gospel are not mentioned in others; the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles during the ministry of Jesus is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.
After his resurrection, Jesus sent eleven of them by the Great Commission to spread his teachings to all nations. This event is called the Dispersion of the Apostles. There is an Eastern Christian tradition derived from the Gospel of Luke of there having been as many as 70 apostles during the time of Jesus' ministry. In early Christianity, Paul, is referred to as an apostle, because he was directly taught and commissioned by a vision of Christ during his journey to Damascus; the period of early Christianity during the lifetimes of the apostles is called the Apostolic Age. During the 1st century AD, the apostles established churches throughout the territories of the Roman Empire and, according to tradition, through the Middle East and India; the word "apostle" comes from the Greek word ἀπόστολος, formed from the prefix ἀπό- and root στέλλω and meaning "messenger, envoy". It has, however, a stronger sense than the word messenger, is closer to a "delegate"; the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament argues that its Christian use translated a Jewish position known in Hebrew as the sheliach.
This ecclesiastical meaning of the word was translated into Latin as missio, the source of the English "missionary". In the New Testament, the majority of the apostles have Hebrew names, although some have Greek names. Many Jews at the time had Greek names as well as Hebrew names. Mark 6:7–13 states that Jesus sent out these twelve in pairs to towns in Galilee; the text states that their initial instructions were to drive out demons. They are instructed to "take nothing for their journey, except a staff only: no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse, but to wear sandals, not put on two tunics", that if any town rejects them they ought to shake the dust off their feet as they leave, a gesture which some scholars think was meant as a contemptuous threat, their carrying of just a staff is sometimes given as the reason for the use by Christian bishops of a staff of office in those denominations that believe they maintain an apostolic succession. In the Gospel narratives the twelve apostles are described as having been commissioned to preach the Gospel to "all the nations", regardless of whether Jew or Gentile.
Paul emphasized the important role of the apostles in the church of God when he said that the household of God is "built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone". Although not one of the apostles commissioned during the life of Jesus, Paul, a Jew named Saul of Tarsus, claimed a special commission from the risen Jesus and is considered "the apostle of the Gentiles", for his missions to spread the gospel message after his conversion. In his writings, the epistles to Christian churches throughout the Levant, Paul did not restrict the term "apostle" to the Twelve, refers to his mentor Barnabas as an apostle; the restricted usage appears in the Revelation to John. By the 2nd century AD, association with the apostles was esteemed as an evidence of authority. Churches which are believed to have been founded by one of the apostles are known. Paul's epistles were accepted as scripture, two of the four canonical gospels were associated with apostles, as were other New Testament works.
Various Christian texts, such as the Didache and the Apostolic Constitutions, were attributed to the apostles. Bishops traced their lines of succession back to individual apostles, who were said to have dispersed from Jerusalem and established churches across great territories. Christian bishops have traditionally claimed authority deriving, by apostolic succession, from the Twelve. Early Church Fathers who came to be associated with apostles, such as Pope Clement I with St. Peter, are referred to as the Apostolic Fathers; the Apostles' Creed, popular in the West, was said to have been composed by the apostles themselves. The three Synoptic Gospels record the circumstances in which some of the disciples were recruited, Matthew only describing the recruitment of Simon, Andrew and John. All three Synoptic Gospels state that these four were recruited soon after Jesus returned from being tempted by the devil. Despite Jesus only requesting that they join him, they are all described as consenting, abandoning their nets to do so.
Traditionally the immediacy of their consent was viewed
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, a title of Christ and God in the Book of Revelation. This pair of letters are used as Christian symbols, are combined with the Cross, Chi-rho, or other Christian symbols; the term Alpha and Omega comes from the phrase "I am Alpha and Omega", an appellation of Jesus in the Book of Revelation. The first part of this phrase is first found in Chapter 1 verse 8, is found in every manuscript of Revelation that has 1v8. Several manuscripts repeat "I am the Alpha and Omega" in 1v11 too, but do not receive support here from most of the oldest manuscripts, including the Alexandrine and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, it is, omitted in some modern translations. Scholar Robert Young stated, with regard to "I am the Alpha and Omega" in 1v11, the "oldest omit" it. A similar reference is in Isaiah 44, where the Lord says to be the first and the one, after all. Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the classical Greek alphabet. Thus, twice when the phrase "I am the alpha and the omega" appears it is further clarified with the additional phrase, "the beginning and the end".
The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet were used because the book of Revelation is in the New Testament, written in Greek. This phrase is interpreted by many Christians to mean that Jesus has existed for all eternity or that God is eternal. Though many commentators and dictionaries ascribe the title "the alpha and the omega" to both God and to Christ, some secular sources argue otherwise. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament claims: "It cannot be certain that the writer meant to refer to the Lord Jesus here... There is no real incongruity in supposing that the writer here meant to refer to God as such." Most Christian denominations teach that the title applies to both Jesus and his Father. The letters Alpha and Omega in juxtaposition are used as a Christian visual symbol; the symbols appear in the Roman catacombs. The letters were shown hanging from the arms of the cross in Early Christian art, some crux gemmata, jeweled crosses in precious metal, have formed letters hanging in this way, called pendilia.
In fact, despite always being in Greek, the letters became more common in Western than Eastern Orthodox Christian art. They are shown to the left and right of Christ's head, sometimes within his halo, where they take the place of the Christogram used in Orthodox art. In Rabbinic literature, the word emet, one of the names of God in Judaism, has been interpreted as consisting of the first and final letters of the Hebrew alphabet; the Qur'an gives al'Awwal, meaning "The First" and al'Akhir, meaning "The Last" as two of the names of God: 57:3. Alpha and Omega Attributes of God in Christianity Chi Rho Christian symbolism Everything Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament Names of God in Islam Names of God in Judaism Hassett, Maurice M.. "A and Ω". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company. "Alpha and Omega" in the Catholic Encyclopedia at newadvent.org "Alpha and Omega" at the Jewish Encyclopedia
Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
The catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa is a historical archaeological site located in Alexandria, Egypt and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. The necropolis consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. Due to the time period, many of the features of the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa merge Roman and Egyptian cultural points. A circular staircase, used to transport deceased bodies down the middle of it, leads down into the tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors; the facility was used as a burial chamber from the 2nd century to the 4th century, before being rediscovered in 1900 when a donkey accidentally fell into the access shaft. To date, three sarcophagi have been found, along with other human and animal remains which were added later, it is believed that the catacombs were only intended for a single family, but it is unclear why the site was expanded in order to house numerous other individuals.
Another feature of the catacombs is the Hall of Caracalla, which contains the bones of horses which were the tombs created for the horses of the emperor Caracalla in 215 AD. The catacombs were named Kom El Shoqafa, meaning Mound of Shards, because the area used to contain a mound of shards of terra cotta which consisted of jars and objects made of clay; these objects were left by those visiting the tombs, who would bring food and wine for their consumption during the visit. However, they did not wish to carry these containers home from this place of death so they would break them. At the time of the discovery, heaps of these broken plates were found; the catacombs lie the western necropolis of Alexandria and consist of three levels cut through solid rock, the third level being now underwater. The catacombs have a six-pillared central shaft. On the left is a triclinium, a funeral banquet hall where friends and family gathered on stone couches covered with cushions, both at the time of burial and on future commemorative visits.
A stone staircase descends to an area eerily alive with sculptures. In the lobby of the building two pillars are topped by the papyrus and acanthus leaves of ancient Egypt and two falcons flanking a winged sun decorate the frieze. Figures of a man and a woman are carved into the wall; the man’s body has a stiff hieratic pose typical of Ancient Egyptian sculpture, with the head carved in the lifelike manner of the classic Hellenes. The woman’s figure is rigidly posed but bears the Roman hairstyle. There are three huge stone coffins with non-removable covers along the sides of the chamber. It’s assumed that bodies were inserted in them from behind, using a passageway which runs around the outside of the funeral chamber. There is a hallway with 91" deep walls in the central tomb chamber, with carved recesses, each providing burial space for three mummies. Visitors can reach the first level through a breach in the rotunda wall, made at an unknown date; this leads to the Hall of Caracalla in which the bones of horses and humans were found
Malta known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, 333 km north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2, Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country, its capital is Valletta, the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union. Malta has been inhabited since 5900 BC, its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Greeks, Normans, Knights of St. John and British. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture. Malta became a British colony in 1815, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet.
It played an important role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War, was subsequently awarded the George Cross for its bravery in the face of an Axis siege, the George Cross appears on Malta's national flag. The British Parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen; the country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, joined the European Union in 2004. Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Archdiocese is claimed to be an apostolic see because Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on "Melita", according to Acts of the Apostles, now taken to be Malta. While Catholicism is the official religion in Malta, Article 40 of the Constitution states that "all persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship."Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni and seven megalithic temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
The origin of the name Malta is uncertain, the modern-day variation is derived from the Maltese language. The most common etymology is that the word Malta is derived from the Greek word μέλι, meli, "honey"; the ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning "honey-sweet" for Malta's unique production of honey. The Romans called the island Melita, which can be considered either a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα; this spelling is found in the New Testament. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth, "a haven", or'port' in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. Few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. Malta has been inhabited from around 5900 BC, since the arrival of settlers from the island of Sicily. A significant prehistoric Neolithic culture marked by Megalithic structures, which date back to c. 3600 BC, existed on the islands, as evidenced by the temples of Mnajdra and others.
The Phoenicians colonised Malta between 800 -- 700 BC, bringing their Semitic culture. They used the islands as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean until their successors, the Carthaginians, were ousted by the Romans in 216 BC with the help of the Maltese inhabitants, under whom Malta became a municipium. After a period of Byzantine rule and a probable sack by the Vandals, the islands were invaded by the Aghlabids in AD 870; the fate of the population after the Arab invasion is unclear but it seems the islands may have been depopulated and were to have been repopulated in the beginning of the second millennium by settlers from Arab-ruled Sicily who spoke Siculo-Arabic. The Muslim rule was ended by the Normans who conquered the island in 1091; the islands were re-Christianised by 1249. The islands were part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1530, were controlled by the Capetian House of Anjou. In 1530 Charles I of Spain gave the Maltese islands to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in perpetual lease.
The French under Napoleon took hold of the Maltese islands in 1798, although with the aid of the British the Maltese were able to oust French control two years later. The inhabitants subsequently asked Britain to assume sovereignty over the islands under the conditions laid out in a Declaration of Rights, stating that "his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power...if he chooses to withdraw his protection, abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, without control." As part of the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British colony rejecting an attempted integration with the United Kingdom in 1956. Malta became independent on 21 September 1964. Under its 1964 constitution