An altar is a structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are found at shrines, temples and other places of worship, they are used in Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism used such a structure until the destruction of the Second Temple. Many historical faiths made use of them, including Roman and Norse religion. Altars in the Hebrew Bible were made of earth or unwrought stone. Altars were erected in conspicuous places; the first altar recorded in the Hebrew Bible is. Altars were erected by Abraham, by Isaac, by Jacob, by Moses. After the theophany on Mount Sinai, in the Tabernacle—and afterwards in the Temple—only two altars were used: the Altar of Burnt Offering, the Altar of Incense. Altars in antiquity The word "altar", in Greek θυσιαστήριον, appears twenty-four times in the New Testament. In Catholic and Orthodox Christian theology, the Eucharist is a re-presentation, in the literal sense of the one sacrifice being made "present again". Hence, the table upon which the Eucharist is consecrated is called an altar.
Altars occupy a prominent place in both Eastern and Western branches. Among these churches, altars are placed for permanent use within designated places of communal worship. Less though nonetheless notable, altars are set in spaces occupied less such as outdoors in nature, in cemeteries, in mausoleums/crypts, family dwellings. Personal altars are those placed in a private bedroom, closet, or other space occupied by one person, they are used for practices of piety intended for one person. They are found in a minority of other Protestant worship places, though the term "Communion table", which avoids the sacrificial connotations of an altar, is preferred by Churches in the Reformed tradition; the altar plays a central role in the celebration of the Eucharist, which takes place at the altar on which the bread and the wine for consecration are placed. The area around the altar is seen as endowed with greater holiness, is physically distinguished from the rest of the church, whether by a permanent structure such as an iconostasis, a rood screen, altar rails, a curtain that can be closed at more solemn moments of the liturgy, or by the general architectural layout.
The altar is on a higher elevation than the rest of the church. In Reformed and Anabaptist churches, a table called a "Communion table", serves an analogous function. Churches have a single altar, although in the Western branches of Christianity, as a result of the former abandonment of concelebration of Mass, so that priests always celebrated Mass individually, larger churches have had one or more side chapels, each with its own altar; the main altar was referred to as the "high altar". Since the revival of concelebration in the West, the Roman Missal recommends that in new churches there should be only one altar, "which in the gathering of the faithful will signify the one Christ and the one Eucharist of the Church." But most Western churches of an earlier period, whether Roman Catholic or Anglican, may have a high altar in the main body of the church, with one or more adjoining chapels, each with its own altar, at which the Eucharist may be celebrated on weekdays. Architecturally, there are two types of altars: those that are attached to the eastern wall of the chancel, those that are free-standing and can be walked around, for instance when incensing the altar.
In the earliest days of the Church, the Eucharist appears to have been celebrated on portable altars set up for the purpose. Some historians hold that, during the persecutions, the Eucharist was celebrated among the tombs in the Catacombs of Rome, using the sarcophagi of martyrs as altars on which to celebrate. Other historians dispute this, but it is thought to be the origin of the tradition of placing relics beneath the altar; when Christianity was legalized under Constantine the Great and Licinius, formal church buildings were built in great numbers with free-standing altars in the middle of the sanctuary, which in all the earliest churches built in Rome was at the west end of the church. "When Christians in fourth-century Rome could first begin to build churches, they customarily located the sanctuary towards the west end of the building in imitation of the sanctuary of the Jerusalem Temple. Although in the days of the Jerusalem Temple the High Priest indeed faced east when sacrificing on Yom Kippur, the sanctuary within which he stood was located at the western end of the Temple.
The Christian replication of the layout and the orientation of the Jerusalem Temple helped to dramatize the eschatological meaning attached to the sacrificial death of Jesus the High Priest in the Epistle to the Hebrews." The ministers, celebrated the Eucharist facing east, towards the entrance. Some hold. After the sixth century the contrary orientation prevailed, with the entrance to the west and the altar at the east end; the ministers and congregation all faced east during the whole celebration. Most rubrics in boo
Sea of Azov
The Sea of Azov is a sea in Eastern Europe. To the south it is linked by the narrow Strait of Kerch to the Black Sea, it is sometimes regarded as a northern extension of the Black Sea; the sea is bounded in the northwest in the southeast by Russia. The Don and Kuban are the major rivers; the Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth varying between 0.9 and 14 metres. There is a constant outflow of water from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea; the sea is affected by the inflow of numerous rivers, which bring sand and shells, which in turn form numerous bays and narrow spits. Because of these deposits, the sea bottom is smooth and flat with the depth increasing toward the middle. Due to the river inflow, water in the sea has low salinity and a high amount of biomass that affects the water colour. Abundant plankton results in unusually high fish productivity; the sea shores and spits are low. The name is to derive from the settlement of an area around Azov, whose name comes from the Kipchak Turkish asak or azaq.
A Russian folk etymology, instead derives it from an eponymous Cuman prince named "Azum" or "Asuf", said to have been killed defending his town in 1067. A common spelling of the name in English was the Sea of Azoff, closer to the Russian pronunciation. In antiquity, the sea was known as the Maeotis Swamp from the marshlands to its northeast, it remains unclear whether it was named for the nearby Maeotians or if that name was applied broadly to various peoples who happened to live beside it. Other names included Lake Maeotius; the Maeotians themselves were said by Pliny to call the sea Temarenda or Temerinda, meaning "Mother of Waters". The medieval Russians knew it as the Sea of Surozh after the adjacent city now known as Sudak, it was known in Ottoman Turkish as the Balük-Denis from its high productivity. There are traces of Neolithic settlement in the area now covered by the sea. In 1997, William Ryan and Walter Pitman of Columbia University published a theory that a massive flood through the Bosporus occurred in ancient times.
They claim that the Black and Caspian Seas were vast freshwater lakes, but in about 5600 BC the Mediterranean spilled over a rocky sill at the Bosporus, creating the current link between the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Subsequent work has been done both to support and to discredit this theory, archaeologists still debate it; this has led some to associate this catastrophe with prehistoric flood myths. The Maeotian marshes around the mouth of the Tanais River were famous in antiquity, as they served as an important check on the migration of nomadic people from the Eurasian steppelands; the Maeotians themselves lived by fishing and farming, but were avid warriors able to defend themselves against invaders. Misled by its strong currents, ancient geographers had only a vague idea of the extent of the sea, whose fresh water caused them to label it a "swamp" or a "lake". Herodotus judged it as large as the Black Sea, while the Pseudo-Scylax thought it about half as large, it was long thought to provide direct communication with the Arctic Ocean.
Polybius confidently expected that the strait to the Sea of Azov would close in the near future due to falling sea-levels. In the 1st-century, Strabo reckoned the distance from the Cimmerian Bosporus to the mouth of the Tanais at 2200 stadia, a correct figure, but did not know that its width continuously narrows. Milesian colonization began in the 7th century BC; the Bosporan Kingdom was named for the Cimmerian Bosporus rather than for the more famous Bosporus at the other end of the Black Sea. Annexed by Pontus from the late-2nd century BC, it stretched along both southern shores of the Sea of Azov from the time of Greek colonization to the end of the Roman Empire, serving as a client kingdom which exported wheat and slaves in exchange for Greek and Roman manufactures and luxuries, its history is uncertain, but the Huns overran it in the late-4th century. The Sea of Azov was the scene of military conflicts between Russia, pursuing naval expansion to the south, the major power in the region, Turkey.
During the Russo-Turkish War, there were two campaigns in 1695–96 to capture the Turkish fortress of Azov defended by a garrison of 7,000. The campaigns were headed by Peter I and aimed to gain Russian access to the Sea of Azov and Black Sea; the first campaign began in the spring of 1695. The Russian army consisted of 31 thousand men and 170 cannons and included selected trained regiments and Cossacks, it besieged it by land by 5 July. After two unsuccessful assaults on 5 August and 25 September, the siege was lifted; the second campaign involved both ground forces and the Azov fleet, built in Moscow Oblast, Voronezh and other regions between winter 1695 and spring 1696. In April 1696, the army of 75,000 headed by Aleksei Shein moved to Azov by land and by ship via the Don River to Taganrog. In early May, they were joined by another fleet led by Peter I. On 27 May, t
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by their use of the Germanic languages. Their history stretches from the 2nd millennium BCE up to the present day. Proto-Germanic peoples are believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome, it is from Roman authors. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, some established close relations with the Romans serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes rising to the highest offices in the Roman military.
Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus. The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire, their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position; this kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America.
With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity. In about 222 BCE, the first use of the Latin term "Germani" appears in the Fasti Capitolini inscription de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ; this may be referring to Gaul or related people. The term Germani shows up again written by Poseidonios, but is a quotation inserted by the author Athenaios who wrote much later. Somewhat the first surviving detailed discussions of Germani and Germania are those of Julius Caesar, whose memoirs are based on first-hand experience. From Caesar's perspective, Germania was a geographical area of land on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Gaul, which Caesar left outside direct Roman control; this word provides the etymological origin of the modern concept of "Germanic" languages and Germany as a geographical abstraction. For some classical authors Germania included regions of Sarmatia, as well as an area under Roman control on the west bank of the Rhine.
Additionally, in the south there were Celtic peoples still living east of the Rhine and north of the Alps. Caesar and others noted differences of culture which could be found on the east of the Rhine, but the theme of all these cultural references was that this was a wild and dangerous region, less civilized than Gaul, a place that required additional military vigilance. Caesar used the term Germani for a specific tribal grouping in northeastern Belgic Gaul, west of the Rhine, the largest part of whom were the Eburones, he made clear. These are the so-called Germani Cisrhenani, whom Caesar believed to be related to the peoples east of the Rhine, descended from immigrants into Gaul. Tacitus suggests that this was the original meaning of the word "Germani" – as the name of a single tribal nation west of the Rhine, ancestral to the Tungri, not the name of a whole race as it came to mean, he suggested that two large Belgic tribes neighbouring Caesar's Germani, the Nervii and the Treveri, liked to call themselves Germanic in his time, in order not to be associated with Gaulish indolence.
Caesar described this group of tribes both as Germani. Gauls are associated with Celtic languages, the term Germani is associated with Germanic languages, but Caesar did not discuss languages in detail; the geographer Ptolemy described the place where these people lived as Germania, which according to his accounts was bordered by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, but he circumscribed into Greater Germania an area which included Jutland and an enormous island known as Scandia. While saying that the Germani had ancestry across the Rhine, Caesar did not describe these tribes as recent immigrants, saying that they had defended themselves some generations earlier from the invading Cimbri and Teutones, it has been claimed, for example by Maurits Gysseling, that the place names of this region show evidence of an early presence of Germanic languages, as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Celtic culture and language were however influential als
The Nicene Creed is a statement of belief used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; the Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian churches use this profession of faith with the verbs in the original plural, but the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches convert those verbs to the singular. The Anglican and many Protestant denominations use the singular form, sometimes the plural; the earlier Apostles' Creed is used in the Latin West, but not in the Eastern liturgies. On Sundays and solemnities, one of these two creeds is recited in the Roman Rite Mass after the homily; the Nicene Creed is part of the profession of faith required of those undertaking important functions within the Catholic Church. In the Byzantine Rite, the Nicene Creed is sung or recited at the Divine Liturgy preceding the Anaphora, is recited daily at compline.
The purpose of a creed is to provide a doctrinal statement of correct orthodoxy. The creeds of Christianity have been drawn up at times of conflict about doctrine: acceptance or rejection of a creed served to distinguish believers and deniers of particular doctrines. For that reason, a creed was called in Greek a σύμβολον, which meant half of a broken object which, when fitted to the other half, verified the bearer's identity; the Greek word passed through Latin symbolum into English "symbol", which only took on the meaning of an outward sign of something. The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy, whose leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, "objected to Alexander's apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation". In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and of being too "Jewish" and "Greek" in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius' doctrine, henceforth marked as heresy.
The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the co-essential divinity of the Son, applying to him the term "consubstantial". The 381 version speaks of the Holy Spirit as glorified with the Father and the Son; the Athanasian Creed describes in much greater detail the relationship between Father and Holy Spirit. The earlier Apostles' Creed does not explicitly affirm the divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but in the view of many who use it, this doctrine is implicit in it; the original Nicene Creed was first adopted in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. At that time, the text ended with the words "We believe in the Holy Spirit", after which various anathemas against Arian propositions were added. F. J. A. Hort and Adolf von Harnack argued that the Nicene creed was the local creed of Caesarea recited in the council by Eusebius of Caesarea, their case relied on a specific interpretation of Eusebius' own account of the Council's proceedings. More recent scholarship has not been convinced by their arguments.
The large number of secondary divergences from the text of the creed quoted by Eusebius make it unlikely that it was used as a starting point by those who drafted the conciliar creed. Their initial text was a local creed from a Syro–Palestinian source into which they awkwardly inserted phrases to define the Nicene theology; the Eusebian Creed may thus have been either a second or one of many nominations for the Nicene Creed. Soon after the Council of Nicaea, new formulae of faith were composed, most of them variations of the Nicene Symbol, to counter new phases of Arianism; the Catholic Encyclopedia identifies at least four before the Council of Sardica, where a new form was presented and inserted in the Acts of the Council, though it was not agreed on. What is known as the "Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed" or the "Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed" received this name because of a belief that it was adopted at the Second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople in 381 as a modification of the original Nicene Creed of 325.
In that light, it came to be commonly known as the "Nicene Creed". It is the only authoritative ecumenical statement of the Christian faith accepted by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and the major Protestant denominations, it differs in a number of respects, both by addition and omission, from the creed adopted at the First Council of Nicaea. The most notable difference is the additional section "And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver-of-Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets, and in one, holy and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."Since the end of the 19th century, scholars have questioned the traditional explanation of the origin of this creed, passed down in the name of the council, whose official acts have been lost over time. A local council of Constantinople in 382 and the third ecumenical council made no mention of it, with the latter affirming the 325 creed of Nicaea as a valid
Clovis was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of royal chieftains to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. He is considered to have been the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Frankish kingdom for the next two centuries. Clovis was the son of Childeric I, a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks, Basina, a Thuringian princess. In 481, at the age of fifteen, Clovis succeeded his father. In what is now northern France northern Gaul, he took control of a rump state of the Western Roman Empire controlled by Syagrius at the Battle of Soissons, by the time of his death in either 511 or 513, he had conquered smaller Frankish kingdoms towards the northeast, the Alemanni to the east, Visigothic kingdom of Aquitania to the south. Clovis is important in the historiography of France as "the first king of what would become France". Clovis is significant due to his conversion to Catholicism in 496 at the behest of his wife, who would be venerated as a saint for this act, celebrated today in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church.
Clovis was baptized on Christmas Day in 508. The adoption by Clovis of Catholicism led to widespread conversion among the Frankish peoples, to religious unification across what is now modern-day France and Germany, three centuries to Charlemagne's alliance with the Bishop of Rome and in the middle of the 10th century under Otto I the Great to the consequent birth of the early Holy Roman Empire, his name is Germanic, composed of the elements hlod and wig, is the origin of the French given name Louis, borne by 18 kings of France. In Dutch, the most related modern language to Frankish, the name is rendered as Lodewijk, in Middle Dutch the form was Lodewijch. In modern German the name became Ludwig. Numerous small Frankish petty kingdoms existed during the 5th century; the Salian Franks were the first known Frankish tribe that settled with official Roman permission within the empire, first in Batavia in the Rhine-Maas delta, in 375 in Toxandria the current province of North Brabant in the Netherlands and parts of neighbouring Belgian provinces of Antwerp and Limburg in current Belgium.
This put them in the north part of the Roman civitas Tungrorum, with Romanized population still dominant south of the military highway Boulogne-Cologne. Chlodio seems to have attacked westwards from this area to take control of the Roman populations in Tournai southwards to Artois, Cambrai controlling an area stretching to the Somme river. Childeric I, Clovis's father, was reputed to be a relative of Chlodio, was known as the king of the Franks that fought as an army within northern Gaul. In 463 he fought in conjunction with Aegidius, the magister militum of northern Gaul, to defeat the Visigoths in Orléans. Childeric was buried in Tournai. Historians believe that Childeric and Clovis were both commanders of the Roman military in the Province of Belgica Secunda and were subordinate to the magister militum; the Franks of Tournai came to dominate their neighbours aided by the association with Aegidius. The death of Flavius Aetius in 454 led to the decline of imperial power in the Gaul; the part of Gaul still under Roman control emerged as a kingdom under Aegidius' son.
The ruler of Tournai was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old son, Clovis. His band of warriors numbered no more than half a thousand. In 486 he began his efforts to expand the realm by allying himself with his relative, regulus of Cambrai and another Frankish regulus, Chalaric. Together the triumvirate met the Gallo-Roman commander at Soissons. During the battle Chalaric betrayed his comrades for refusing to take part in the fighting. Despite the betrayal, the Franks landed a decisive victory, forcing Syagrius to flee to the court of Alaric II; the battle is considered be the end of Western Roman rule outside of Italy. Following the battle, Clovis invaded the traitor Chararic's territory and was able to imprison him and his son. Prior to the battle, Clovis did not enjoy the support of the Gallo-Roman clergy, hence he proceeded to pillage the Roman territory, including the churches; the Bishop of Reims requested Clovis to return everything taken from the Church of Reims, the young king aspired to establish cordial relationships with the clergy and returned a valuable ewer taken from Reims.
Despite his position, some Roman cities refused to yield to the Franks, namely Verdun‒which surrendered after a brief siege‒and Paris, which stubbornly resisted a few years as many as five. He made Paris his capital and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine. Clovis came to the realisation that he wouldn't be able to rule Gaul without the help of the clergy and aimed to please the clergy by taking a Catholic wife, he integrated many of Syagrius' units into his own army. The Roman kingdom was under Clovis' control by 491, because in the same year Clovis moved against a small number of Thuringians in the eastern Gaul, near the Burgundian border. Around 493 AD, he secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. In the same year, ne
Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Pluto. Salacia was his wife. Depictions of Neptune in Roman mosaics those of North Africa, are influenced by Hellenistic conventions. Neptune was associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing; the etymology of Latin Neptunus is unclear and disputed. The ancient grammarian Varro derived the name from nuptus i.e. "covering", with a more or less explicit allusion to the nuptiae, "marriage of Heaven and Earth". Among modern scholars Paul Kretschmer proposed a derivation from IE *neptu- "moist substance". Raymond Bloch supposed it might be an adjectival form in -no from *nuptu-, meaning "he, moist". Georges Dumézil though remarked words deriving root *nep- are not attested in IE languages other than Vedic and Avestan.
He proposed an etymology that brings together Neptunus with Vedic and Avestan theonyms Apam Napat, Apam Napá and Old Irish theonym Nechtan, all meaning descendant of the waters. By using the comparative approach the Indo-Iranian and Irish figures would show common features with the Roman historicised legends about Neptune. Dumézil thence proposed to derive the nouns from IE root *nepot-, "descendant, sister's son". More in his lectures delivered on various occasions in the 1990s, German scholar Hubert Petersmann proposed an etymology from IE rootstem *nebh- related to clouds and fogs, plus suffix -tu denoting an abstract verbal noun, adjectival suffix -no which refers to the domain of activity of a person or his prerogatives. IE root *nebh-, having the original meaning of "damp, wet", has given Sanskrit nábhah, Hittite nepis, Latin nubs, German Nebel, Slavic nebo etc; the concept would be close to that expressed in the name of Greek god Όυράνος, derived from IE root *h2wórso-, "to water, irrigate" and *h2worsó-, "the irrigator".
This etymology would be more in accord with Varro's. A different etymology grounded in the legendary history of Latium and Etruria was proposed by Preller and Müller-Deeke: Etruscan Nethunus, Nethuns would be an adjectival form of toponym Nepe, town of the ager Faliscus near Falerii; the district was traditionally connected to the cult of the god: Messapus and Halesus, the eponymous hero of Falerii, were believed to be his own sons. Messapus led others to war in the Aeneid. Nepi and Falerii have been famed since antiquity for the excellent quality of the water of their springs, scattered in meadows. Nepet is considered a hydronymic toponym of pre-Indo-European origin widespread in Europe and from an appellative meaning "damp wide valley, plain", cognate with pre-Greek νάπη, "wooded valley"; the theology of Neptune may only be reconstructed to some degree, as since early times he was identified with the Greek god Poseidon: his presence in the lectisternium of 399 BC is a testimony to the fact.
Such an identification may well be grounded in the strict relationship between the Latin and Greek theologies of the two deities. It has been argued that Indo-European people, having no direct knowledge of the sea as they originated from inland areas, reused the theology of a deity either chthonic or wielding power over inland freshwaters as the god of the sea; this feature has been preserved well in the case of Neptune, a god of springs and rivers before becoming a god of the sea, as is testified by the numerous findings of inscriptions mentioning him in the proximity of such locations. Servius the grammarian explicitly states Neptune is in charge of all the rivers and waters, he is the lord of horses because he worked with Minerva to make the chariot. He may find a parallel in Irish god Nechtan, master of the well from which all the rivers of the world flow out and flow back to. Poseidon on the other hand underwent the process of becoming the main god of the sea at a much earlier time, as is shown in the Iliad.
In the earlier times it was the god Portunus or Fortunus, thanked for naval victories, but Neptune supplanted him in this role by at least the first century BC when Sextus Pompeius called himself "son of Neptune." For a time he was paired with the goddess of the salt water. Neptune was considered the legendary progenitor god of a Latin stock, the Faliscans, who called themselves Neptunia proles. In this respect he was the equivalent of Mars, Janus and Jupiter among Latin tribes. Salacia would represent the virile force of Neptune; the Neptunalia was the festival of Neptune at the height of summer. The date and the construction of tree-branch shelters suggest a primitive role for Neptune as god of water sources in the summer's drought and heat; the most ancient Roman calendar set the feriae of Neptunus on July 23, two days after the Lucaria of July 19 and 21 and two days before the Furrinalia of July 25. Georg Wissowa had remarked that festivals falling in a range of three days are complementary.
Dumézil elaborated that these festivals in some way were all related to the importance of water during the period of summer heat and drought, when river and spring waters are at their lowest. Founding his analysis on the works of Palladius and Columella Dumézil argues that while the Lucaria were devoted to the dressing of woods, clearing the undergrown bushes by cutting on the 19 by uprooting and burning on the 21, the Neptunalia were devoted to works
Early Middle Ages
Historians regard the Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, as lasting from the 5th or 6th century to the 10th century CE. They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history; the alternative term "Late Antiquity" emphasizes elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while "Early Middle Ages" is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period. As such the concept overlaps with Late Antiquity, following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, precedes the High Middle Ages; the period saw a continuation of trends evident since late classical antiquity, including population decline in urban centres, a decline of trade, a small rise in global warming and increased migration. In the 19th century the Early Middle Ages were labelled the "Dark Ages", a characterization based on the relative scarcity of literary and cultural output from this time. However, the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, continued to survive, though in the 7th century the Rashidun Caliphate and the Umayyad Caliphate conquered swathes of Roman territory.
Many of the listed trends reversed in the period. In 800 the title of "Emperor" was revived in Western Europe with Charlemagne, whose Carolingian Empire affected European social structure and history. Europe experienced a return to systematic agriculture in the form of the feudal system, which adopted such innovations as three-field planting and the heavy plough. Barbarian migration stabilized in much of Europe, although the Viking expansion affected Northern Europe. Starting in the 2nd century, various indicators of Roman civilization began to decline, including urbanization, seaborne commerce, population. Archaeologists have identified only 40 per cent as many Mediterranean shipwrecks from the 3rd century as from the first. Estimates of the population of the Roman Empire during the period from 150 to 400 suggest a fall from 65 million to 50 million, a decline of more than 20 per cent; some scholars have connected this de-population to the Dark Ages Cold Period, when a decrease in global temperatures impaired agricultural yields.
Early in the 3rd century Germanic peoples migrated south from Scandinavia and reached the Black Sea, creating formidable confederations which opposed the local Sarmatians. In Dacia and on the steppes north of the Black Sea the Goths, a Germanic people, established at least two kingdoms: Therving and Greuthung; the arrival of the Huns in 372–375 ended the history of these kingdoms. The Huns, a confederation of central Asian tribes, founded an empire, they had mastered the difficult art of shooting composite recurve bows from horseback. The Goths sought refuge in Roman territory; however many bribed the Danube border-guards into allowing them to bring their weapons. The discipline and organization of a Roman legion made it a superb fighting unit; the Romans preferred infantry to cavalry because infantry could be trained to retain the formation in combat, while cavalry tended to scatter when faced with opposition. While a barbarian army could be raised and inspired by the promise of plunder, the legions required a central government and taxation to pay for salaries, constant training and food.
The decline in agricultural and economic activity reduced the empire's taxable income and thus its ability to maintain a professional army to defend itself from external threats. In the Gothic War, the Goths revolted and confronted the main Roman army in the Battle of Adrianople. By this time, the distinction in the Roman army between Roman regulars and barbarian auxiliaries had broken down, the Roman army comprised barbarians and soldiers recruited for a single campaign; the general decline in discipline led to the use of smaller shields and lighter weaponry. Not wanting to share the glory, Eastern Emperor Valens ordered an attack on the Therving infantry under Fritigern without waiting for Western Emperor Gratian, on the way with reinforcements. While the Romans were engaged, the Greuthung cavalry arrived. Only one-third of the Roman army managed to escape; this represented the most shattering defeat that the Romans had suffered since the Battle of Cannae, according to the Roman military writer Ammianus Marcellinus.
The core army of the Eastern Roman Empire was destroyed, Valens was killed, the Goths were freed to lay waste to the Balkans, including the armories along the Danube. As Edward Gibbon comments, "The Romans, who so coolly and so concisely mention the acts of justice which were exercised by the legions, reserve their compassion and their eloquence for their own sufferings, when the provinces were invaded and desolated by the arms of the successful Barbarians."The empire lacked the resources, the will, to reconstruct the professional mobile army destroyed at Adrianople, so it had to rely on barbarian armies to fight for it. The Eastern Roman Empire succeeded in buying off the Goths with tribute; the Western Roman Empire proved less fortunate. Stilicho, the western empire's half-Vandal military commander, stripped the Rhine frontier of troops to fend off invasions of Italy by the Visigoths in 402–03 and by other Goths in 406–07. Fleeing before the advance of the Huns, the Vandals and Alans launched an attack across the frozen Rhine near Mainz.
There soon followed the bands of the Alamanni. In the fit of anti-barbarian hysteria which followed, the Western Roman Emperor Honorius had Stilicho summarily beheaded. Stilicho submitted his neck, "with a firmness not unworthy of t