Gaius Marius

Gaius Marius was a Roman general and statesman. Victor of the Cimbric and Jugurthine wars, he held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times during his career, he was noted for his important reforms of Roman armies. He was at the centre of a paradigmatic shift from the militia levies of the middle Republic to the professional soldiery of the late Republic. For his victory over invading Germanic tribes in the Cimbrian War, he was dubbed "the third founder of Rome", his life and career, by breaking with many of the precedents that bound the ambitious upper class of the Roman Republic together and instituting a soldiery loyal not to the Republic but to their commanders, was significant in Rome's transformation from Republic to Empire. In the realm of politics he helped lead the Populares faction against the Optimates of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, their rivalry coming to a head in 88–87 BC during Sulla's first civil war. A year Marius died of natural causes during his seventh consulship. Marius was born in 157 BC in the town of Arpinum in southern Latium.

The town had been conquered by the Romans in the late 4th century BC and was given Roman citizenship without voting rights. Only in 188 BC, thirty years before his birth, did the town receive full citizenship. Although Plutarch claims that Marius' father was a labourer, this is certainly false since Marius had connections with the nobility in Rome, he ran for local office in Arpinum, he had marriage relations with the local nobility in Arpinum, which all combine to indicate that he was born into a locally important family of equestrian status. While many of the problems he faced in his early career in Rome show the difficulties that faced a "new man" in being accepted into the stratified upper echelons of Roman society, Marius – as a young man – was not poor or middle class, he was most assuredly born into inherited wealth gained, most from large land holdings. In fact, his family's resources were large enough to support not just one member of the family in Roman politics: Marius' brother, Marcus Marius, would enter Roman public life.

There is a legend that Marius, as a teenager, found an eagle's nest with seven chicks in it – eagle clutches hardly have more than three eggs. Since eagles were considered sacred animals of Jupiter, the supreme god of the Romans, it was seen as an omen predicting his election to the consulship seven times; as consul, he decreed that the eagle would be the symbol of the Senate and People of Rome. In 134 BC, he joined the personal legion of Scipio Aemilianus as an officer for the expedition to Numantia, it is unclear whether or not Marius was present and serving in Numantia with the previous commander, Quintus Pompeius, the consul for 141 BC, when Aemilianus arrived. However it is, while he was serving with the army at Numantia, his good services brought him to the attention of Scipio Aemilianus. According to Plutarch, during a conversation after dinner, when the conversation turned to generals, someone asked Scipio Aemilianus where the Roman people would find a worthy successor to him, the younger Scipio tapped on Marius' shoulder, saying: "Perhaps this is the man".

It would seem that at this early stage in his army career, Marius had ambitions for a political career in Rome. According to Plutarch, as a hereditary client of the Caecilii Metelli, one of the noble families, emerging as the dominant faction in Rome, Marius ran for election as one of the twenty-four special military tribunes of the first four legions who were elected. Sallust tells us that he was unknown by sight to the electors but was returned by all the tribes on the basis of his accomplishments. After election, he served in the Balearic Islands helping one of the Caecilii Metelli win a triumph. Next, he ran for the quaestorship after losing an election for local office in Arpinum; the military tribunate shows that he was interested in Roman politics before the quaestorship. He ran for local office as a means of gaining support back home, lost to some other local worthy, it is possible, that Marius never ran for the quaestorship at all, jumping directly to plebeian tribune. He however, participated in the major Roman victory of 121 BC which permanently cemented Roman control over southern Gaul.

In 120 BC, Marius was returned as plebeian tribune for the following year. He won with the support of the Metelli faction Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus. According to Plutarch, the Metelli were one of his family's hereditary patrons. According to Plutarch, against the wishes of his patrons, he pushed through a law that restricted the interference of the wealthy in elections. In the 130s, voting by ballot had been introduced in elections for choosing magistrates, passing laws and deciding legal cases, replacing the earlier system of oral voting; the wealthy continued to try to influence the voting by inspecting ballots and Marius passed a law narrowing the passages down which voters passed to cast their votes in order to prevent outsiders from harassing the electors. It is not clear, whether Plutarch's narrative history pro

Balance of terror

The phrase "balance of terror" is but not invariably, used in reference to the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It describes the tenuous peace that existed between the two countries as a result of both governments being terrified at the prospect of a world-destroying nuclear war; the term is used for rhetorical purposes, was coined by Lester Pearson in June 1955 at the 10th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter: "the balance of terror has succeeded the balance of power". Some political scientists use this phrase as a means of differentiating the world situation that followed World War II from that which preceded it. Empires had prevented war between each other by maintaining a relative balance of their ability to wage war against each other—the phrase "balance of power" was used to describe this kind of tentative peace; the atomic bomb created a new political reality, in which two superpowers had the ability to destroy each other and at least gravely damage all of human civilization.

The obstacle to war between the communists and capitalists was no longer the fear that the other side was more powerful, but rather the realization that nuclear arsenals were now large enough and deadly enough that winning would still result in the destruction of one's own country and the rest of the world as well. In this counterintuitive way, the existence of the most powerful weapons created supported a kind of peace: while many wars were fought around the world during the Cold War, the superpowers never fought each other directly, nor have atomic bombs been dropped in war since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. Lawrence Summers, after the financial meltdown of 2008, adopted the term as appropriate for the situation of a'financial balance of terror' in global markets. John F. Kennedy used the phrase in his 1961 inaugural address, when he described the U. S. and the Soviet Union, "both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war". Albert Wohlstetter of the RAND Corporation wrote a paper entitled "The Delicate Balance of Terror" in 1958.

Balance of power Balance of power in international relations Balance of threat Deterrence theory Long Peace Mutual assured destruction Nuclear peace Peace through strength Reagan Doctrine

In Desert and Wilderness

In Desert and Wilderness is a popular young adult novel by Polish author and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Henryk Sienkiewicz, written in 1911. It is the author's only novel written for children/teenagers. In Desert and Wilderness tells the story of two young friends, Staś Tarkowski and Nel Rawlison, kidnapped by rebels during Mahdi's rebellion in Sudan, it was adapted for film twice, in 1973 and in 2001. The story takes place in the 19th century Egypt, during the Mahdist War. A 14-year-old Polish boy Stanisław Tarkowski and 8-year-old English girl Nel Rawlison live with their fathers and grow up in the city of Port Said, their fathers are engineers. One day an anti-British rebellion begins in Sudan, led by a Muslim preacher Mahdi. Staś and Nel are captured as hostages by a group of Arabs who hope that they can exchange the children for Fatima, Mahdi's distant relative, arrested by the British at the beginning of the novel. Nel and Staś are forced to travel through the Sahara Desert to Khartoum, where they are to be presented to Mahdi.

The journey is difficult and exhausting for delicate and vulnerable Nel. Staś, a brave and responsible boy, protects his friend from the abductors' cruelty though that means that he is beaten and punished, his plans to escape fail, the children lose their hope. When the group arrive in Khartoum the Arabs are disappointed by the fact that Mahdi – busy with leading the revolt – ignored their "mission" and turned down their offers, they take their frustration on the children. Staś turns down the rebel leader's offer to convert to Islam. For that he is reprimanded by another European captive, a Greek who did agree to convert in order to save his family and himself; the Greek tells Staś that such a forced conversion does not count since "God sees what is inside your heart" and that by his intransigence Staś may have doomed Nel to terrible death. Staś and Nel, exhausted by heat, thirst and poor treatment, live for some time in the city ruined by war and diseases. After a while the children and Arabs in another journey further south, to Fashoda.

One day the group encounters a lion. The Arabs hand in the weapon to beg him to shoot the beast. Staś kills the lion, shoots down the Arabs as well; this is dictated by the despair and fury: the boy knows that the men were not going to set the children free. He hated the Arabs for abusing them – Nel. Free of the Arabs, the children are marooned in the depth of Africa, they set out in an arduous journey through the African desert and jungle in hope that sooner or they encounter British explorers or British army. The journey is full of adventures; the children, accompanied by two black slaves whom Staś had freed from the Arabs, encounter a number of wonders and perils. The children stop for a rest on a beautiful hill near a waterfall, they soon find out. Nel, who loves animals, takes pity on the beast and saves it from starvation by throwing fruits and leaves into the gorge; the girl and the elephant become friends. Soon Nel is about to die; when he gets to the camp he find out. The man had been injured by a wild boar and is waiting for death.

All his African servants had die one after another. Although horrified by this gruesome death camp, Staś becomes friend with Linde who generously supplies him with food, weapon and quinine. Thanks to the medicine Nel recovers. Staś, grateful for Linde's help, accompanies the Swiss until the man's death. Using Linde's gunpowder, he frees King from the trap and they set out in further journey. Accompanying the children further on their journey is the 12-year-old slave boy of Linde, Nasibu; the group sojourns on top of a small mountain mentioned by Linde before his death where Staś teaches Kali how to shoot. On a certain day, a furious gorilla on the mountain attacks Nasibu but Nasibu is rescued by their now-tamed elephant which attacks and kills the gorilla. Deciding that the mountaintop is no longer safe, the protagonists move onto the village of Wa-Hima; the tribes-people, seeing Staś riding upon an elephant, Nel as a Good Mzibu. The group stays in the villages a short time, for Kali is by birth-right the prince of the Wa-Hima tribe and therefore well-known.

Staś is further venerated by the villagers when he kills the wobo, plaguing the villages. Upon reaching Kali's home village the group learns that his tribe has been invaded by and attacked by their enemies since time immemorial – the Sambur tribe. Due to assistance from Kali's tribe and the guns carried by Staś and Nel, the war is won in the protagonist's favour. Though because of his good nature, Staś and Nel command that the tribes-people of the Sambur tribe not be killed but rather united with the Wa-Hima. Staś urges the tribes to live peacefully together. Staś, Saba, Kali, 100 Sambur and Wa-Hima tribes-people move on to the East, which has not been mapped, in hopes of reaching the Indian Ocean and being found by English explorers who might be searching for them. Kali has accompanied with him two witch-doctors: M'Kunje and M'Rua