Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced the character of Count Dracula, established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy; the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and a woman led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel, invasion literature; the novel has spawned numerous theatrical and television interpretations. The story is told in an epistolary format, as a series of letters, diary entries, newspaper articles, ships' log entries, whose narrators are the novel's protagonists, supplemented with newspaper clippings relating events not directly witnessed; the events portrayed in the novel take place chronologically and in England and Transylvania during the 1890s and all transpire within the same year between 3 May and 6 November.
A short note is located at the end of the final chapter written 7 years after the events outlined in the novel. The tale begins with Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, visiting Count Dracula at his castle in the Carpathian Mountains on the border of Transylvania and Moldavia, to provide legal support for a real estate transaction overseen by Harker's employer, Mr Peter Hawkins of Exeter. At first enticed by Dracula's gracious manners, Harker soon realizes. Wandering the Count's castle against Dracula's admonition, Harker encounters three female vampires, called "the sisters", from whom he is rescued by Dracula. Harker soon realizes that Dracula himself is a vampire. After the preparations are made, Dracula abandons Harker to the sisters. Harker escapes from the castle with his life. Dracula boards a Russian ship, the Demeter, taking along with him boxes of Transylvanian soil, which he required in order to regain his strength. Not long afterward, the ship having weighed anchor at Varna, runs aground on the shores of Whitby in the east coast of England.
The captain's log narrates the gradual disappearance of the entire crew, until the captain alone remained, himself bound to the helm to maintain course. An animal resembling "a large dog" is seen leaping ashore; the ship's cargo is described as 50 boxes of "mould", or earth, from Transylvania. It is learned that Dracula purchased multiple estates under the alias'Count De Ville' throughout London and devised to distribute the 50 boxes to each of them utilizing transportation services as well as moving them himself, he does this to secure for himself "lairs" and the 50 boxes of earth would be used as his graves which would grant safety and rest during times of feeding and replenishing his strength. Harker's fiancée, Mina Murray, is staying with her friend Lucy Westenra, holidaying in Whitby. Lucy receives three marriage proposals from Dr. John Seward, Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood. Lucy accepts Holmwood's proposal while turning down Seward and Morris. Dracula communicates with Seward's patient, Renfield, an insane man who wishes to consume insects, spiders and rats to absorb their "life force".
Renfield is able to detect Dracula's presence and supplies clues accordingly. Soon Dracula is indirectly shown to be stalking Lucy; as time passes she begins to suffer from episodes of sleepwalking and dementia, as witnessed by Mina. When Lucy begins to waste away suspiciously, Seward invites his old teacher, Abraham Van Helsing, who determines the true cause of Lucy's condition, he diagnoses her with acute blood-loss. Van Helsing prescribes numerous blood transfusions to which he, Seward and Arthur all contribute over time. Van Helsing prescribes garlic flowers to be placed throughout her room and weaves a necklace of withered garlic blossoms for her to wear; however she continues to waste away – appearing to lose blood every night. While both doctors are absent and her mother are attacked by a wolf and Mrs. Westenra, who has a heart condition, dies of fright. Van Helsing attempts to protect her with garlic but fate thwarts him each night, whether Lucy's mother removes the garlic from her room, or Lucy herself does so in her restless sleep.
The doctors have found two small puncture marks about her neck, which Dr. Seward is at a loss to understand. After Lucy dies, Van Helsing places a golden crucifix over her mouth, ostensibly to delay or prevent Lucy's vampiric conversion. Fate conspires against him again when Van Helsing finds the crucifix in the possession of one of the servants who stole it off Lucy's corpse. Following Lucy's death and burial, the newspapers report children being stalked in the night by a "bloofer lady". Van Helsing, knowing Lucy has become a vampire, confides in Seward, Lord Godalming, Morris; the suitors and Van Helsing track her down and, after a confrontation with her, stake her heart, behead her, fill her mouth with garlic. Around the same time, Jonathan Harker arrives from Budapest, where Mina marries him after his escape, he and Mina join the campaign against Dracula; the vampire hunters stay at Dr. Seward's residence, holding nightly meetings and providing reports based on each of their various tasks.
Mina discovers that each of their journals and letters collectively contain clues to which they can track him down. She tasks herself with collecting them, researching newspaper clippings, fitting the most relevant entries into chronological order and typing out copies to distribute to each of the party which t
In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed upon her face would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene; the 2nd-century BCE novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion. Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion; the three Gorgon sisters—Medusa and Euryale—were all children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys and his sister Ceto, chthonic monsters from an archaic world.
Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, which places both trinities of sisters far off "on Kisthene's dreadful plain": Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, winged With snakes for hair— hatred of mortal man— While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as having monstrous form and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. In an ode written in 490 BC Pindar speaks of "fair-cheeked Medusa". In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid, Medusa was a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," but because Poseidon had raped her in Athena's temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa's beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. In Ovid's telling, Perseus describes Medusa's punishment by Minerva as just and well earned.
In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphus because Polydectes wanted to marry his mother. The gods were well aware of this, Perseus received help, he received a mirrored shield from Athena, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus and Hades's helm of invisibility. Since Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons, mortal, Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. During that time, Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon; when Perseus beheaded her, Pegasus, a winged horse, Chrysaor, a giant wielding a golden sword, sprang from her body. Jane Ellen Harrison argues that "her potency only begins when her head is severed, that potency resides in the head. Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon."According to Ovid, in northwest Africa, Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, transformed him into stone when he tried to attack him.
In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Ethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. Furthermore, the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. The blood of Medusa spawned the Amphisbaena. Perseus flew to Seriphos, where his mother was being forced into marriage with the king, turned into stone by the head. Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis; some classical references refer to three Gorgons. It is obvious that the Gorgons are not three but one + two; the two unslain sisters are mere appendages due to custom. A number of early classics scholars interpreted the myth of Medusa as a quasi-historical – "based on or reconstructed from an event, style, etc. in the past", or "sublimated" memory of an actual invasion.
According to Joseph Campbell: The legend of Perseus beheading Medusa means that "the Hellenes overran the goddess's chief shrines" and "stripped her priestesses of their Gorgon masks", the latter being apotropaic faces worn to frighten away the profane. That is to say, there occurred in the early thirteenth century B. C. an actual historic rupture, a sort of sociological trauma, registered in this myth, much as what Freud terms the latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind. In 1940, Sigmund Freud's "Das Medusenhaupt". In Freud's interpretation: "To decapitate = to castra
In Greek mythology, Scylla was a monster that lived on one side of a narrow channel of water, opposite her counterpart Charybdis. The two sides of the strait were within an arrow's range of each other—so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis would pass dangerously close to Scylla and vice versa. Scylla made her first appearance in Homer's Odyssey, where Odysseus and his crew encounter her and Charybdis on their travels. Myth gave her an origin story as a beautiful nymph who gets turned into a monster; the strait where Scylla dwelled has been associated with the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily, for example, as in Book Three of Virgil's Aeneid. The idiom "between Scylla and Charybdis" has come to mean being forced to choose between two dangerous situations; the parentage of Scylla varies according to author. Homer, Apollodorus, a scholiast on Plato, all name Crataeis as the mother of Scylla. Neither Homer nor Ovid mentions a father, but Apollodorus says that the father was either Trienus or Phorcus the Plato scholiast following Apollodorus, gives the father as Tyrrhenus or Phorcus, while Eustathius on Homer, Odyssey 12.85, gives the father as Triton.
Other authors have Hecate as Scylla's mother. The Hesiodic Megalai Ehoiai gives Hecate and Phoebus Apollo as the parents of Scylla, while Acusilaus says that Scylla's parents were Hecate and Phorkys. Trying to reconcile these conflicting accounts, Apollonius of Rhodes says that Crataeis was another name for Hecate, that she and Phorcys were the parents of Scylla. Semos of Delos says that Crataeis was the daughter of Hecate and Triton, mother of Scylla by Deimos. Stesichorus names Lamia as the mother of Scylla the Lamia, the daughter of Poseidon, while according to Hyginus, Scylla was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. According to John Tzetzes and Servius' commentary on the Aeneid, Scylla was a beautiful naiad, claimed by Poseidon, but the jealous Amphitrite turned her into a monster by poisoning the water of the spring where Scylla would bathe. A similar story is found in Hyginus, according to whom Scylla was loved by Glaucus, but Glaucus himself was loved by the goddess sorceress Circe. While Scylla was bathing in the sea, the jealous Circe poured a baleful potion into the sea water which caused Scylla to transform into a frightful monster with four eyes and six long snaky necks equipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp shark's teeth.
Her body consisted of 12 tentacle-like legs and a cat's tail, while six dog's heads ringed her waist. In this form, she attacked the ships of passing sailors, seizing one of the crew with each of her heads. In a late Greek myth, recorded in Eustathius' commentary on Homer and John Tzetzes, Heracles encountered Scylla during a journey to Sicily and slew her, her father, the sea-god Phorcys applied flaming torches to her body and restored her to life. In Homer's Odyssey XII, Odysseus is advised by Circe to sail closer to Scylla, for Charybdis could drown his whole ship: "Hug Scylla's crag—sail on past her—top speed! Better by far to lose six men and keep your ship than lose your entire crew." She tells Odysseus to ask Scylla's mother, the river nymph Crataeis, to prevent Scylla from pouncing more than once. Odysseus navigates the strait, but when he and his crew are momentarily distracted by Charybdis, Scylla snatches six sailors off the deck and devours them alive. According to Ovid, the fisherman-turned-sea god Glaucus falls in love with the beautiful Scylla, but she is repulsed by his piscine form and flees to a promontory where he cannot follow.
When Glaucus goes to Circe to request a love potion that will win Scylla's affections, the enchantress herself becomes enamored with him. Meeting with no success, Circe becomes hatefully jealous of her rival and therefore prepares a vial of poison and pours it into the sea pool where Scylla bathed, transforming her into a thing of terror to herself; the story was adapted into a five-act tragic opera, Scylla et Glaucus, by the French composer Jean-Marie Leclair. In John Keats' loose retelling of Ovid's version of the myth of Scylla and Glaucus in Book 3 of Endymion, the evil Circe does not transform Scylla into a monster but murders the beautiful nymph. Glaucus takes her corpse to a crystal palace at the bottom of the ocean where lie the bodies of all lovers who have died at sea. After a thousand years, she is reunited with Glaucus. At the Carolingian abbey of Corvey in Westphalia, a unique ninth-century wall painting depicts, among other things, Odysseus' fight with Scylla, an illustration not noted elsewhere in medieval arts.
In the Renaissance and after, it was the story of Glaucus and Scylla that caught the imagination of painters across Europe. In Agostino Carracci's 1597 fresco cycle of The Loves of the Gods in the Farnese Gallery, the two are shown embracing, a conjunction, not sanctioned by the myth. More orthodox versions show the maiden scrambling away from the amorous arms of the god, as in the oil on copper painting of Fillipo Lauri and the oil on canvas by Salvator Rosa in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen. Other painters picture them divided by their respective elements of land and water, as in the paintings of the Flemish Bartholomäus Spranger, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; some add the detail of Cupid aiming at the sea-god with his bow, as in the painting of Laurent de la Hyre in the J. Paul Getty Museum and that of Jacques Dumont le Romain at the Musée des beaux-arts de Troyes. Two cupids can be seen flutt
Inferno is the first part of Italian writer Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Paradiso; the Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth; as an allegory, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul toward God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin. Canto I The poem begins on the night of Maundy Thursday on March 24, A. D. 1300, shortly before dawn of Good Friday. The narrator, Dante himself, is thirty-five years old, thus "midway in the journey of our life" – half of the Biblical lifespan of seventy; the poet finds. He sets out to climb directly up a small mountain, but his way is blocked by three beasts he cannot evade: a lonza, a leone, a lupa; the three beasts, taken from the Jeremiah 5:6, are thought to symbolize the three kinds of sin that bring the unrepentant soul into one of the three major divisions of Hell.
According to John Ciardi, these are incontinence. It is now dawn of April 8, with the sun rising in Aries; the beasts drive him back despairing into the darkness of error, a "lower place" where the sun is silent. However, Dante is rescued by a figure who announces that he was born sub Iulio and lived under Augustus: it is the shade of the Roman poet Virgil, author of the Aeneid, a Latin epic. Canto II On the evening of Good Friday, Dante hesitates. Beatrice had been moved to aid Dante by the Virgin Saint Lucia. Rachel, symbolic of the contemplative life appears in the heavenly scene recounted by Virgil; the two of them begin their journey to the underworld. Canto III Dante passes through the gate of Hell, which bears an inscription ending with the famous phrase "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate", most translated as "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Dante and his guide hear the anguished screams of the Uncommitted. These are the souls of people. Among these Dante recognizes a figure implied to be Pope Celestine V, whose "cowardice served as the door through which so much evil entered the Church".
Mixed with them are outcasts. These souls are forever unclassified. Naked and futile, they race around through the mist in eternal pursuit of an elusive, wavering banner while relentlessly chased by swarms of wasps and hornets, who continually sting them. Loathsome maggots and worms at the sinners' feet drink the putrid mixture of blood and tears that flows down their bodies; this symbolizes the repugnance of sin. This may be seen as a reflection of the spiritual stagnation in which they lived. After passing through the vestibule and Virgil reach the ferry that will take them across the river Acheron and to Hell proper; the ferry is piloted by Charon. Virgil forces Charon to take him by declaring, Vuolsi così colà dove si puote / ciò che si vuole, referring to the fact that Dante is on his journey on divine grounds; the wailing and blasphemy of the damned souls entering Charon's boat contrast with the joyful singing of the blessed souls arriving by ferry in the Purgatorio. The passage across the Acheron, however, is undescribed, since Dante faints and does not awaken until he is on the other side.
Canto IV Virgil proceeds to guide Dante through the nine circles of Hell. The circles are concentric, representing a gradual increase in wickedness, culminating at the centre of the earth, where Satan is held in bondage; the sinners of each circle are punished for eternity in a fashion fitting their crimes: each punishment is a contrapasso, a symbolic instance of poetic justice. For example in the poem and Virgil encounter fortune-tellers who must walk forward with their heads on backward, unable to see what is ahead, because they tried to see the future through forbidden means; such a contrapasso "functions not as a form of divine revenge, but rather as the fulfilment of a destiny chosen by each soul during his or her life". People who sinned, but prayed for forgiveness before their deaths are found not in Hell but in Purgatory, where they labour to become free of their sins; those in Hell are people who are unrepentant. Dante's Hell is structurally based on the ideas of Aristotle, but with "certain Christian symbolisms and misconstructions of Aristotle's text".
Dante's three major cat
The wolf known as the grey/gray wolf or timber wolf, is a canine native to the wilderness and remote areas of Eurasia and North America. It is the largest extant member of its family, with males averaging 43 -- females 36 -- 38.5 kg. It is distinguished from other Canis species by its larger size and less pointed features on the ears and muzzle, its winter fur is long and bushy and predominantly a mottled gray in color, although nearly pure white and brown to black occur. Mammal Species of the World, a standard reference work in zoology, recognises 38 subspecies of C. lupus. The gray wolf is the second most specialized member of the genus Canis, after the Ethiopian wolf, as demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting large prey, its more gregarious nature, its advanced expressive behavior, it is nonetheless related enough to smaller Canis species, such as the coyote, golden jackal, to produce fertile hybrids. It is the only species of Canis to have a range encompassing both Eurasia and North America, originated in Eurasia during the Pleistocene, colonizing North America on at least three separate occasions during the Rancholabrean.
It is a social animal, travelling in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair, accompanied by the pair's adult offspring. The gray wolf is an apex predator throughout its range, with only humans and tigers posing a serious threat to it, it feeds on large ungulates, though it eats smaller animals, livestock and garbage. A seven-year-old wolf is considered to be old, the maximum lifespan is about 16 years; the global gray wolf population is estimated to be 300,000. The gray wolf is one of the world's best-known and most-researched animals, with more books written about it than any other wildlife species, it has a long history of association with humans, having been despised and hunted in most pastoral communities because of its attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected in some agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies. Although the fear of wolves is pervasive in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people children, but this is rare, as wolves are few, live away from people, have developed a fear of humans from hunters and shepherds.
The English'wolf' stems from the Old English wulf, itself thought to be derived from the Proto-Germanic *wulfaz. The Latin lupus is a Sabine loanword. Both derive from the Proto-Indo-European root * lukwos; the species Canis lupus was first recorded by Carl Linnaeus in his publication Systema Naturae in 1758, with the Latin classification translating into the English words "dog wolf". The 37 subspecies of Canis lupus are listed under the designated common name of "wolf" in Mammal Species of the World, published in 2005; the nominate subspecies is the Eurasian wolf known as the common wolf. The subspecies includes the domestic dog, eastern wolf and red wolf, but lists C. l. italicus as a synonym of C. l. lupus. However, the classification of several as either species or subspecies has been challenged; the evolution of the wolf occurred over a geologic time scale of at least 300,000 years. The gray wolf Canis lupus is a adaptable species, able to exist in a range of environments and which possesses a wide distribution across the Holarctic.
Studies of modern gray wolves have identified distinct sub-populations that live in close proximity to each other. This variation in sub-populations is linked to differences in habitat – precipitation, temperature and prey specialization – which affect cranio-dental plasticity; the archaeological and paleontological records show gray wolf continuous presence for at least the last 300,000 years. This continuous presence contrasts with genomic analyses, which suggest that all modern wolves and dogs descend from a common ancestral wolf population that existed as as 20,000 years ago; these analyses indicate a population bottleneck, followed by a rapid radiation from an ancestral population at a time during, or just after, the Last Glacial Maximum. However, the geographic origin of this radiation is not known. In 2018, whole genome sequencing was used to compare members of the genus Canis, along with the dhole and the African hunting dog. There is evidence of gene flow between African golden wolves, golden jackals, gray wolves.
One African golden wolf from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula showed high admixture with the Middle Eastern gray wolves and dogs, highlighting the role of the land bridge between the African and Eurasian continents in canid evolution. There was evidence of gene flow between golden jackals and Middle Eastern wolves, less so with European and Asian wolves, least with North American wolves; the study proposes that the golden jackal ancestry found in North American wolves may have occurred before the divergence of the Eurasian and North American gray wolves. The study indicates that the common ancestor of the coyote and gray wolf has genetically admixed with a ghost population of an extinct unidentified canid; the canid is genetically close to the dhole and has evolved after the divergence of the African hunting dog from the other canid species. The basal position of the coyote compared to the wolf is proposed to be due to the coyote retaining more of the mitochondrial genome of this unknown canid.
In 2013, a genetic study found that the wolf population in Europe was divided along a north-south axis and formed five major clusters. Three clusters were identified occupying southern and
A sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. In Greek tradition, the sphinx has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, sometimes the wings of a bird, it is mythicised as merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster; this deadly version of a sphinx appears in the drama of Oedipus. Unlike the Greek sphinx, a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is shown as a man. In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians flanking the entrances to temples. In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a major revival during the Renaissance; the sphinx image, something similar to the original Ancient Egyptian concept, was exported into many other cultures, albeit interpreted quite differently, due to translations of descriptions of the originals and the evolution of the concept in relation to other cultural traditions.
Sphinxes depictions are associated with architectural structures such as royal tombs or religious temples. The oldest known sphinx was found near Gobekli Tepe at another site, Nevali Çori, or 195 kilometres to the east at Kortik Tepe and was dated to 9,500 B. C; the largest and most famous sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza, situated on the Giza Plateau adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza on the west bank of the Nile River and facing east. The sphinx is located southeast of the pyramids. Although the date of its construction is uncertain, the head of the Great Sphinx is believed to bear the likeness of the pharaoh Khafra, while late 20th century geologists have argued that water erosion in and around the Sphinx enclosure proves the Sphinx predates Khafra, a claim, sometimes referred to as the Sphinx water erosion hypothesis. What names their builders gave to these statues is not known. At the Great Sphinx site, a 1400 B. C. inscription on a stele belonging to the 18th dynasty pharaoh Thutmose IV lists the names of three aspects of the local sun deity of that period, Khepera–Rê–Atum.
Many pharaohs had their heads carved atop the guardian statues for their tombs to show their close relationship with the powerful solar deity Sekhmet, a lioness. Besides the Great Sphinx, other famous Egyptian sphinxes include one bearing the head of the pharaoh Hatshepsut, with her likeness carved in granite, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the alabaster sphinx of Memphis, Egypt located within the open-air museum at that site; the theme was expanded to form great avenues of guardian sphinxes lining the approaches to tombs and temples as well as serving as details atop the posts of flights of stairs to grand complexes. Nine hundred sphinxes with ram heads, representing Amon, were built in Thebes, where his cult was strongest; the Great Sphinx has become an emblem of Egypt appearing on its stamps and official documents. In the Bronze Age, the Hellenes had trade and cultural contacts with Egypt. Before the time that Alexander the Great occupied Egypt, the Greek name, was applied to these statues.
The historians and geographers of Greece wrote extensively about Egyptian culture. Herodotus called the ram-headed sphinxes Criosphinxes and called the hawk-headed ones Hieracosphinxes. In Greek mythology, a sphinx is represented as a monster with a head of a woman, the body of a lioness, the wings of an eagle, a serpent-headed tail; the word sphinx comes from the Greek Σφίγξ from the verb σφίγγω, meaning "to squeeze", "to tighten up". This name may be derived from the fact that, in a pride of lions, the hunters are the lionesses, kill their prey by strangulation, biting the throat of prey and holding them down until they die. However, the historian Susan Wise Bauer suggests that the word "sphinx" was instead a Greek corruption of the Egyptian name "shesepankh", which meant "living image", referred rather to the statue of the sphinx, carved out of "living rock", than to the beast itself. There was a single sphinx in a unique demon of destruction and bad luck. According to Hesiod, she was a daughter of Orthrus and either Echidna or the Chimera, or even Ceto.
All of these are chthonic figures from the earliest of Greek myths, before the Olympians ruled the Greek pantheon. The Sphinx is called Phix by Hesiod in line 326 of the Theogony, the proper name for the Sphinx noted by Pierre Grimal's The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology; the sphinx was the emblem of the ancient city-state of Chios, appeared on seals and the obverse side of coins from the 6th century B. C. until the 3rd century CE. The Sphinx is said to have guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, asking a riddle to travellers to allow them passage; the exact riddle asked by the Sphinx was not specified by early tellers of the myth, was not standardized as the one given below until late in Greek history. It was said in late lore that Hera or Ares sent the Sphinx from her Aethiopian homeland to Thebes in Greece where she asked all passersby the most famous riddle in history: "Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?" She devoured anyone who could not answer.