County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was a historic territory in the Low Countries. From 862 onwards the Counts of Flanders were one of the original twelve peers of the Kingdom of France. For centuries their estates around the cities of Ghent and Ypres formed one of the most affluent regions in Europe. Up to 1477, the area under French suzerainty was located west of the Scheldt River and was called "Royal Flanders". Aside from this the Counts of Flanders from the 11th century on held land east of the river as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire, an area called "Imperial Flanders". Part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1384, the county was removed from French to Imperial control after the Peace of Madrid in 1526 and the Peace of Ladies in 1529. In 1795 the remaining territory within the Austrian Netherlands was incorporated by the French First Republic and passed to the newly established United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815; the former County of Flanders, except for French Flanders, is the only part of the medieval French kingdom, not part of modern-day France.
Flanders and Flemish are derived from the Frisian *flāndra and *flāmisk, the roots of which are Germanic *flaumaz meaning "overflow, flooding". The coastal area of Flanders was flooded twice per day from the 3rd century to the 8th century by the North Sea at the time when the coast was visited by Frisian traders and largely inhabited by Frisians; the Flemish people are first mentioned in the biography of the Vita sancti Eligii. This work was written before 684, but only known since 725; this work mentions the "Flanderenses", who lived in "Flandris." The geography of the historic County of Flanders only overlaps with present-day region of Flanders in Belgium, though there it extends beyond West Flanders and East Flanders. Some of the historic county is now part of France and the Netherlands; the land covered by the county is spread out over: Belgium: two of the five Flemish provinces: West-Flanders and East-Flanders part of the Flemish province of Antwerp: the land of Bornem part of the Walloon province of Hainaut: Tournaisis and the region around Moeskroen France: French Flanders the French westcorner: the region around Dunkirk and Bailleul, an area where Flemish used to be the main language Walloon Flanders, where the Picard language related to French, was spoken.
Artois: removed from Flanders in 1191 and created as independent county in 1237 Netherlands: Zeelandic Flanders, a region between Belgium and the Western Scheldt in the southern part of the modern province of Zeeland, which from 1581 formed part of the Generality Lands under control of the Dutch Republic. The arms of the County of Flanders were created by Philip of Alsace, count of Flanders from 1168 to 1191. In the story about the Battle of the Golden Spurs, the arms and its corresponding battlecry Vlaendr'n den leeuw plays a crucial role in the forming of a Flemish consciousness, popularised in recent times by the book De Leeuw van Vlaanderen by Hendrik Conscience; as a result, the arms of the county live on as arms of the Flemish Community. It is said that Philip of Alsace brought the lion flag with him from the Holy Land, where in 1177 he conquered it from a Saracen knight, but this is a myth; the simple fact that the lion appeared on his personal seal since 1163, when he had not yet set one step in the Levant, disproves it.
In reality Philip was following a West-European trend. In the same period lions appeared in the arms of Brabant, Holland and other territories, it is curious that the lion as a heraldic symbol was used in border territories and neighbouring countries of the Holy Roman Empire. It was in all likelihood a way of showing independence from the emperor, who used an eagle in his personal arms. In Europe the lion had been a well-known figure since Roman times, through works such as the fables of Aesop; the future county of Flanders had been inhabited since prehistory. During the Iron Age the Kemmelberg formed an important Celtic settlement. During the times of Julius Caesar, the inhabitants were part of the Belgae, a collective name for all Celtic and Germanic tribes in the north of Gallia. For Flanders in specific these were the Morini, the Nervii and the Atrebates. Julius Caesar conquered the area around 54 BC and the population was romanised from the 1st to the 3rd century; the Roman road that connected Cologne with Boulogne-sur-Mer was used as a defense perimeter.
In the south the Gallo-Romanic population was able to maintain itself, while the north became a no-mans land that suffered from regular floods from the North Sea. In the coastal and Scheldt areas Saxon tribes appeared. For the Romans, Saxon was a general term, included Angles, Saxons and Erules; the coastal defense around Boulogne and Oudenburg, the Litus Saxonicum, remained functional until about 420. These forts were manned by Saxon soldiers. From their base land Toxandria the Salian Franks further expanded into the Roman empire; the first incursion into the lands of the Atrebates was turned away in 448 at Vicus Helena. But after the murder of the Roman general Flavius Aëtius in 454 and Roman emperor Valentinianus III in 455, the Salic Franks encounterd hardly any resistance. From Duisburg, king Chlodio conquered Cambrai and Tournai, he reached the Somme. After his death two Salic kingdoms
Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of, 512 metres high. Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia.
Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and many international sport tournaments. Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, trade fair and cultural centres, its influence in commerce, entertainment, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities, it is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion. In 2009 the city was ranked one of the world's most successful as a city brand.
In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe; the name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription found on the right side of the coin in Iberian script as, in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn. Some older sources suggest that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC, but there is no evidence that Barcelona was a Carthaginian settlement, or that its name in antiquity, had any connection with the Barcid family of Hamilcar.
During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona and Barchenona. Internationally, Barcelona's name is wrongly abbreviated to'Barça'. However, this name refers only to the football club; the common abbreviated form used by locals is Barna. Another common abbreviation is'BCN', the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport; the city is referred to as the Ciutat Comtal in Catalan, Ciudad Condal in Spanish, owing to its past as the seat of the Count of Barcelona. The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear; the ruins of an early settlement have been found, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends; the first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC, but there is no historical or linguistic evidence that this is true.
In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall. Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco, but it may be gathered from writers that it grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour, it enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins. Important Roman vestiges are displayed in Plaça del Rei underground, as a part of the Barcelona City History Museum; some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343; the city
Conquest of Tunis (1535)
The Conquest of Tunis in 1535 was an attack on Tunis under the control of the Ottoman Empire, by the Habsburg Empire of Charles V and its allies. In 1533, Suleiman the Magnificent ordered Hayreddin Barbarossa, whom he had summoned from Algiers, to build a large war fleet in the arsenal of Constantinople. Altogether 70 galleys were built during the winter of 1533–1534, manned by slave oarsmen, including 2,000 Jewish ones. With this fleet, Barbarossa conducted aggressive raids along the coast of Italy, until he conquered Tunis on 16 August 1534, ousting the local ruler, theretofore subservient to the Spanish, Muley Hasan. Barbarossa thus established a strong naval base in Tunis, which could be used for raids in the region, on nearby Malta. Charles V, one of the most powerful men in Europe at the time, assembled a large army of some 30,000 soldiers, 74 galleys, 300 sailing ships, including the carrack Santa Anna and the Portuguese galleon São João Baptista known as Botafogo to drive the Ottomans from the region.
The expense involved for Charles V was considerable, at 1,000,000 ducats was on par with the cost of Charles' campaign against Suleiman on the Danube. Unexpectedly, the funding of the conquest of Tunis came from the galleons sailing in from the New World, in the form of a 2 million gold ducats treasure extracted by Francisco Pizarro in exchange for his releasing of the Inca king Atahualpa. Despite a request by Charles V, Francis I denied French support to the expedition, explaining that he was under a 3-year truce with Barbarossa following the 1533 Ottoman embassy to France. Francis I was under negotiations with Suleiman the Magnificent for a combined attack on Charles V, following the 1534 Ottoman embassy to France. Francis I only agreed to Pope Paul III's request that no fight between Christians occur during the time of the expedition. On 1 June 1535, protected by a Genoese fleet, Charles V destroyed Barbarossa's fleet and, after a costly yet successful siege at La Goletta, captured Tunis.
In the action, the Portuguese galleon Botafogo distinguished itself by breaking the chains protecting the harbour's entrance with its spur ram, thereafter opening fire on La Goletta. In the ruins, the Spanish found cannonballs with the French Fleur-de-lys mark, evidence of the contacts stemming from the Franco-Ottoman alliance; the resulting massacre of the city left an estimated 30,000 dead. Barbarossa managed to flee to Algiers with a troop of several thousand Turks. Muley Hasan was restored to his throne; the stench of the corpses was such that Charles V moved his camp to Radès. The siege demonstrated the power projection of the Habsburg dynasties at the time. Furthermore, he had de jure control over much of Germany as well. Ottoman defeat in Tunis motivated the Ottoman Empire to enter into a formal alliance with France against the Habsburg Empire. Ambassador Jean de La Forêt was sent to Istanbul, for the first time was able to become permanent ambassador at the Ottoman court and to negotiate treaties.
Charles V celebrated a neo-classical triumph "over the infidel" at Rome on April 5, 1536 in commemoration of his victory at Tunis. The Spanish governor of La Goulette, Luys Peres Varga, built fortified the island of Chikly in the lake of Tunis to strengthen the city's defences between 1546 and 1550. Barbarossa managed to escape to the harbour of Bône. From there, he sailed to accomplish the Sack of Mahon, where he took 6,000 slaves and brought them to Algiers; the Ottomans recaptured the city in 1574. However the Ottoman governors of Tunis were semi-autonomous Beys who acted as privateers against Christian shipping. Raiding in the Mediterranean continued until the French subjugated the region as a protectorate three centuries in 1830 with an invasion leading to the creation of French Algeria, the establishment of a protectorate over Tunisia in 1881. Barbary corsairs Conquest of Tunis Algiers expedition Siege of Castelnuovo Battle of Djerba Siege of Malta Battle of Lepanto Ottoman–Habsburg wars Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts Battle: a Visual Journey Through 5000 Years of Combat.
Grant, R. G. 2005 La Marina Cántabra. Ballesteros-Beretta, Antonio. 1968 Cervantes Virtual Roger Crowley, Empires of the sea, 2008 Faber & Faber ISBN 978-0-571-23231-4 Garnier, Edith L'Alliance Impie Editions du Felin, 2008, Paris ISBN 978-2-86645-678-8 Interview
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Valladolid is a city in Spain and the de facto capital of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It has a population of 309,714 people, making it Spain's 13th most populous municipality and northwestern Spain's biggest city, its metropolitan area ranks 20th in Spain with a population of 414,244 people in 23 municipalities. The city is situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers 15 km before they join the Duero, located within five winegrowing regions: Ribera del Duero, Toro, Tierra de León, Cigales. Valladolid was settled in pre-Roman times by the Celtic Vaccaei people, the Romans themselves, it remained a small settlement until being re-established by King Alfonso VI of Castile as a Lordship for the Count Pedro Ansúrez in 1072. It grew to prominence in the Middle Ages as the seat of the Court of Castile and being endowed with fairs and different institutions as a collegiate church, Royal Court and Chancery and the Royal Mint; the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, married in Valladolid in 1469 and established it as the capital of the Kingdom of Castile and of united Spain.
Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid in 1506, while authors Francisco de Quevedo and Miguel de Cervantes lived and worked in the city. The city was the capital of Habsburg Spain under Phillip III between 1601 and 1606, before returning indefinitely to Madrid; the city declined until the arrival of the railway in the 19th century, with its industrialisation into the 20th century. The Old Town is made up of a variety of historic houses, churches, plazas and parks, includes the National Museum of Sculpture, the Museum of Contemporary Art Patio Herreriano or the Oriental Museum, as well as the houses of José Zorrilla and Cervantes which are open as museums. Among the events that are held each year in the city there is Holy Week, Valladolid International Film Week, the Theatre Festival and street arts. There is no direct evidence for the origin of the modern name of Valladolid. One held etymological theory suggests that the modern name Valladolid derives from the Celtiberian language expression Vallis Tolitum, meaning "valley of waters", referring to the confluence of rivers in the area.
Another theory suggests that the name derives from the Arabic expression Balad al-Walid بلد الوليد, which means "city of al-Walid", referring to Al-Walid I. Yet a third claims that it derives from Vallis Olivetum, meaning "valley of the olives". Instead, in the south part of the city exist an innumerable amount of pine trees; the gastronomy reflect the importance of the piñon as a local product, not olives. In texts from the middle ages the town is called Vallisoletum, meaning "sunny valley", a person from the town is a Vallisoletano, o Vallisoletana; the city is popularly called Pucela, a nickname whose origin is not clear, but may refer to knights in the service of Joan of Arc, known as La Pucelle. Another theory is that Pucela comes from the fact that Pozzolana cement was sold there, the only city in Spain that sold it; the Vaccaei were a Celtic tribe, the first people with stable presence on the sector of the middle valley of the River Duero documented in historical times. Remains of Celtiberian and of a Roman camp have been excavated near the city.
The nucleus of the city was located in the area of the current San Miguel y el Rosarillo square, was surrounded by a palisade. Archaeological proofs of the existence of three ancient lines of walls have been found. During the time of Muslim rule in Spain the Christian kings moved the population of this region north into more defended areas, deliberately created a no man's land as a buffer zone against further Moorish conquests; the area was captured from the Moors in the 10th century, Valladolid was a village until King Alfonso VI of León and Castile donated it to Count Pedro Ansúrez in 1072. He built a palace for himself and his wife, Countess Eylo, the Collegiate of St. Mary and the La Antigua churches. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Valladolid grew thanks to the commercial privileges granted by the kings Alfonso VIII and Alfonso X, as well as to the repopulation of the area after the Reconquista. In 1469 Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon were married in the city. In 1506 Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid "still convinced that he had reached the Indies" in a house, now a Museum dedicated to him.
It was made the capital of the kingdom again between 1601 and 1606 by Philip III. The city was again damaged by a flood of the rivers Esgueva. Despite the damage to the old city by the 1960s economic boom, it still boasts a few architectural manifestations of its former glory; some monuments include the unfinished cathedral, the Plaza Mayor, the model for that of Madrid, of other main squares throughout the former Spanish Empire, the National Sculpture Museum, next to the church of Saint Paul, which includes Spain's greatest collections of polychrome wood sculptures, the Faculty of Law of the University of Valladolid, whose façade is one of the few surviving works by Narciso Tomei, the same artist who did the transparente in Toledo Cathedral. The Science Museum is next to the river Pisuerga; the only surviving house of Miguel de Cervantes is located in Valladolid. Although unfinished, the Cathedral of Valladolid was designed by Juan de Herrera, architect of El Escorial. At an elevation of 735 metres or 2,411 feet, the city of Valladolid experiences a hot-summer Medi
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church in a military capacity. In Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. A knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings; the lords trusted the knights. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was linked with horsemanship from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century; this linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, the Greek hippeis and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav; each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system for service to the Church or country.
The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame. The word knight, from Old English cniht, is a cognate of the German word Knecht; this meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages. Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which meant knight; the meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, eight hides of land. A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback. A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100; the specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War.
The verb "to knight" appears around 1300. An Equestrian was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; this class is translated as "knight". In the Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier, Portuguese cavaleiro, Romanian cavaler; the Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-. In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris; some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were cavalry.
However, it was the Franks who fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight. In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin; the first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were on the attack, larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted in
Solon was an Athenian statesman and poet. He is remembered for his efforts to legislate against political and moral decline in archaic Athens, his reforms failed in the short term, yet he is credited with having laid the foundations for Athenian democracy. He wrote poetry for pleasure, as patriotic propaganda, in defence of his constitutional reforms. Modern knowledge of Solon is limited by the fact that his works only survive in fragments and appear to feature interpolations by authors and by the general paucity of documentary and archaeological evidence covering Athens in the early 6th century BC. Ancient authors such as Herodotus and Plutarch are the main source of information, yet they wrote about Solon long after his death, at a time when history was by no means an academic discipline. 4th-century orators, such as Aeschines, tended to attribute to Solon all the laws of their own, much times. Solon was born in Athens around 636 BC, his family was distinguished in Attica as they belonged to a noble or Eupatrid clan, although they possessed only moderate wealth.
Solon's father was Execestides. If so, Solon's lineage could be traced back to the last King of Athens. According to Diogenes Laërtius, he had a brother named Dropides, an ancestor of Plato. According to Plutarch, Solon was related to the tyrant Peisistratos. Solon was drawn into the unaristocratic pursuit of commerce; when Athens and Megara were contesting the possession of Salamis, Solon was made leader of the Athenian forces. After repeated disasters, Solon was able to improve the morale of his troops through a poem he wrote about the island. Supported by Peisistratos, he defeated the Megarians either by means of a cunning trick or more directly through heroic battle around 595 BC; the Megarians, refused to give up their claim. The dispute was referred to the Spartans, who awarded possession of the island to Athens on the strength of the case that Solon put to them. According to Diogenes Laertius, in 594 BC, Solon was chosen chief magistrate; as archon, Solon discussed his intended reforms with some friends.
Knowing that he was about to cancel all debts, these friends took out loans and promptly bought some land. Suspected of complicity, Solon complied with his own law and released his own debtors, amounting to 5 talents, his friends never repaid their debts. After he had finished his reforms, he travelled abroad for ten years, so that the Athenians could not induce him to repeal any of his laws, his first stop was Egypt. There, according to Herodotus, he visited the Pharaoh of Egypt, Amasis II. According to Plutarch, he spent some time and discussed philosophy with two Egyptian priests, Psenophis of Heliopolis and Sonchis of Sais. According to Plato's dialogues and Critias, he visited Neith's temple at Sais and received from the priests there an account of the history of Atlantis. Next, Solon sailed to Cyprus, where he oversaw the construction of a new capital for a local king, in gratitude for which the king named it Soloi. Solon's travels brought him to Sardis, capital of Lydia. According to Herodotus and Plutarch, he met with Croesus and gave the Lydian king advice, which Croesus failed to appreciate until it was too late.
Croesus had considered himself to be the happiest man alive and Solon had advised him, "Count no man happy until he be dead." The reasoning was that at any minute, fortune might turn on the happiest man and make his life miserable. It was only after he had lost his kingdom to the Persian king Cyrus, while awaiting execution, that Croesus acknowledged the wisdom of Solon's advice. After his return to Athens, Solon became a staunch opponent of Peisistratos. In protest, as an example to others, Solon stood outside his own home in full armour, urging all who passed to resist the machinations of the would-be tyrant, his efforts were in vain. Solon died shortly after Peisistratos usurped by force the autocratic power that Athens had once bestowed upon him. Solon died in Cyprus at the age of 80 and, in accordance with his will, his ashes were scattered around Salamis, the island where he was born; the travel writer Pausanias listed Solon among the seven sages whose aphorisms adorned Apollo's temple in Delphi.
Stobaeus in the Florilegium relates a story about a symposium where Solon's young nephew was singing a poem of Sappho's. When someone asked, "Why should you waste your time on it?" Solon replied ἵνα μαθὼν αὐτὸ ἀποθάνω, "So that I may learn it before I die." Ammianus Marcellinus, told a similar story about Socrates and the poet Stesichorus, quoting the philosopher's rapture in identical terms: "ut aliquid sciens amplius e vita discedam", meaning "in order to leave life knowing a little more". During Solon's time, many Greek city-states had seen the emergence of tyrants, opportunistic noblemen who had taken power on behalf of sectional interests. In Sicyon, Cleisthenes had usurped power on behalf of an Ionian minority. In Megara, Theagenes had come to power as an enemy of the local oligarchs; the son-in-law of Theagenes, an Athenian nobleman named Cylon, made an unsuccessful attempt to seize power in Athens in 632 BC. Solon was described by Plutarch as having been temporarily awarded autocratic powers by Athenian citizens on the grounds that he had the "wisdom" to sort out their differences for them in a peaceful and equitable manner.
According to ancient sources, he obtained these powers. Some modern scholars believe these powers were in fact granted some years after Solon had been arc