Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names; the modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a large and powerful military. Most European nations copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and transfer to the reserve force. Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or outside the military, such as Siviilipalvelus in Finland, Zivildienst in Austria and Switzerland.

Several countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces, but for paramilitary agencies, which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service like internal troops, border guards or non-combat rescue duties like civil defence. As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers; the ability to rely on such an arrangement, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription still, reserve the power to resume conscription during wartime or times of crisis. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most to implement conscription, democracies are less than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anti-conscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War. Around the reign of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire used.

Under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war. During times of peace they were instead required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for this service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land, it is possible that this right was not to hold land per se but specific land supplied by the state. Various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have been practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Records show that Ilkum commitments could become traded. In other places, people left their towns to avoid their Ilkum service. Another option was to sell Ilkum lands and the commitments along with them. With the exception of a few exempted classes, this was forbidden by the Code of Hammurabi. In medieval Scandinavia the leiðangr, leding, lichting, expeditio or sometimes leþing, was a levy of free farmers conscripted into coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm.

The bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the freemen of each county. In the 690s Laws of Ine, three levels of fines are imposed on different social classes for neglecting military service; some modern writers claim. These thegns were the land-holding aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour and weapons for a certain number of days each year; the historian David Sturdy has cautioned about regarding the fyrd as a precursor to a modern national army composed of all ranks of society, describing it as a "ridiculous fantasy":The persistent old belief that peasants and small farmers gathered to form a national army or fyrd is a strange delusion dreamt up by antiquarians in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries to justify universal military conscription. Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie; the system of military slaves was used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim in the 820s and 830s.

The Turkish troops soon came to dominate the government, establishing a pattern throughout the Islamic world of a ruling military class separated by ethnicity and religion by the mass of the population, a paradigm that found its apogee in the Mamluks of Egypt and the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, institutions that survived until the early 19th century. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, with a slave army called the Kapıkulu; the new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme. The captive children were forced to convert to Islam; the Sultans had the young boys trained over several years. Those who showed special promise in fighting skills were trained in advanced warrior skills, put into the sultan's personal service, turned into the Janissaries, the elite branch of the Kapıkulu. A number of distinguished military commanders of the Ottomans, most of the imperial administrators and uppe

Die Welt (Herzl)

Die Welt was a weekly newspaper founded by Theodor Herzl in May 1897 in Vienna. It was designed to promote Zionism. From 1897 to 1914 it was the principal organ of the Zionist movement. From 1897-1900, the paper was edited by Erwin Rosenberger. Die Welt was published weekly in Herzl's own publishing house, he developed the idea in May 1897, noting in his journal that Die Welt would be the definitive mass-circulation outlet for the Zionist Organization, that such a journal was "a necessity that can no longer be ignored." The first issue appeared on 4 June 1897. Shortly before, on 14 May, Herzl wrote to his supporter Max Nordau, joking that "The Neue Freie Presse is like my legitimate wife. With Die Welt I am maintaining a mistress - I can only hope that she will not ruin me"; the editorial in the first issue stated that Die Welt promoted "the reconciling solution to the Jewish question". Production was based in Vienna, but moved to Berlin; the journal's circulation varied usually reaching at least 3,000 copies sold, sometimes more than 10,000 copies.

Die Welt had a mix of content. As well as information about the Zionist movement and news of Jewish settlement in Palestine, it reported on general news relevant to Judaism or Zionism, including the spread of anti-Semitism; the Dreyfus Affair was unfolding during its run, it reported on new developments. It published an article written by Dreyfus himself on Zionism; the journal was opposed to assimilationist strands within Western Judaism. It included cultural and philosophical translations from Hebrew and Yiddish literature, it sought articles from non-Jews promoting Zionism as a solution to the "Jewish question", remained uncritically focussed on the positive aspects of the aspiration, tending to ignore objections. Controversy was created by an aggressive article by Nordau attacking the cultural Zionist Ahad Ha'am, who had challenged Herzl's vision. Nordau's abusive language, calling Ha'am "crippled, hunchbacked" and the "despised slave of intolerant knout-wielding pogromchiks", caused outrage among Jewish nationalists and Zionists.

Editors: Paul Naschauer. Executive Director of Die Welt from 1897 to October, 1902 was Alexander Ritter von Eiss, he was succeeded by Heinrich Polturak. Short-lived Hebrew and Yiddish editions of the journal were published in 1900. In addition, a differently-titled Spanish Zionist magazine was issued by Herzl, but existed only briefly; the journal folded on the outbreak of war in 1914. After the war, Zionist periodicals emerged as successors of Die Welt, including the daily Wiener Morgenzeitung.


The rituals of the Argei were archaic religious observances in ancient Rome that took place on March 16 and March 17, again on May 14 or May 15. By the time of Augustus, the meaning of these rituals had become obscure to those who practiced them. For the May rites, a procession of pontiffs and praetors made its way around a circuit of 27 stations, where at each they retrieved a figure fashioned into human form from rush and straw, resembling men tied hand and foot. After all the stations were visited, the procession, accompanied by the Flaminica Dialis in mourning guise, moved to the Pons Sublicius, the oldest known bridge in Rome, where the gathered figures were tossed into the Tiber River. Both the figures and the stations or shrines were called Argei, the etymology of which remains undetermined; the continuation of these rites into the historical period when they were no longer understood demonstrates how traditionalist the Romans were in matters of religion. Before the ritual commenced, an effigy was placed in each of the 27 shrines of the Argei throughout the Servian regions.

The effigies were thought to absorb pollution within the area, their subsequent sacrifice was a ritual purification of the city. The pontiffs and Vestals were the main celebrants; the exact route of the procession among the stations is unclear. According to Ovid, the ritual had been established as a sacrifice to the god Saturn as the result of a responsum from Jupiter Fatidicus, the oracle of Dodona, but the meaning of the ritual had become obscure, Ovid offers an antiquarian range of explanations. The responsum had prescribed human sacrifice, one man for each one of the gentes living near the banks of the Tiber; this early population was believed to have been of Greek origin, hence Argei derived from Argivi the companions of Evander and those of Hercules who had decided to stay on and live there. This responsum predated the founding of Rome. One way to interpret the ritual of the Argei was that early inhabitants of what was to become Rome had practiced human sacrifice as prescribed. Ovid puts another interpretation in the mouth of the god who personified the river.

Since these early inhabitants were of Greek origin, he said, they grew homesick in their old age and asked to be buried in the river as a kind of symbolic return to their homeland in death. While this last interpretation appears irreconcilable with the previous, it may be reminiscent of burial practices in water which are attested in many parts of the world among primitive peoples. Dionysius of Halicarnassus explains the ritual in terms of human sacrifice, saying that Tiber was the recipient of these regular offerings. Alternative modern interpretations include a pre-Imperial rainmaking rite, or an annual re-enactment of the execution by drowning of 27 Greek war captives. Navigium Isidis The Argei "The Argei: Sex and Crucifixion in Rome and the Ancient Near East" here William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic, pp. 113–120. Pauly-Wissowa: Realencyclopädie, s.v