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Galerius

Galerius was Roman emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign, he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sassanid Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299, he campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300. Although he was a staunch opponent of Christianity, Galerius ended the Diocletianic Persecution when he issued an Edict of Toleration in Serdica in 311. Galerius was born near Serdica, in Dacia Ripensis named Dacia Mediterranea, though some modern scholars consider the strategic site where he built his palace named after his mother – Felix Romuliana – his birth and funeral place, his father was a Thracian and his mother Romula was a Dacian woman, who left Dacia because of the Carpians' attacks. He followed his father's occupation, that of a herdsman, where he got his surname of Armentarius, he served with distinction as a soldier under Emperors Aurelian and Probus, in 293 at the establishment of the Tetrarchy, was designated Caesar along with Constantius Chlorus, receiving in marriage Diocletian's daughter Valeria, at the same time being entrusted with the care of the Illyrian provinces.

After a few years campaigning against Sarmatians and Goths on the Danube, he received command of the legions on the eastern imperial limits. Soon after his appointment, Galerius was dispatched to Egypt to fight the rebellious cities Busiris and Coptos. In 294, Narseh, a son of Shapur I, passed over for the Sassanid succession, came into power in Persia. Narseh moved to eliminate Bahram III, a young man installed by a noble named Vahunam in the wake of Bahram II's death in 293. In early 294, Narseh sent Diocletian the customary package of gifts, but within Persia, he was destroying every trace of his immediate predecessors, erasing their names from public monuments, he sought to identify himself with the warlike reigns of Ardashir and Shapur, who had sacked Roman Antioch and captured Emperor Valerian. In 295 or 296, Narseh declared war on Rome, he appears to have first invaded western Armenia, retaking the lands delivered to Tiridates in the peace of 287. He occupied the lands there until the following year.

The historian Ammianus Marcellinus, circa 320-395, is the only source detailing the initial invasion of Armenia. Southern dates the invasion to 295. Narseh moved south into Roman Mesopotamia, where he inflicted a severe defeat on Galerius commander of the eastern forces, in the region between Carrhae and Callinicum. Diocletian may or may not have been present at the battle, but presented himself soon afterwards at Antioch, where the official version of events was made clear: Galerius was to take all the blame for the affair. In Antioch, Diocletian forced Galerius to walk a mile in advance of his imperial cart while still clad in the purple robes of an emperor; the message conveyed. Galerius' position at the head of the caravan was the conventional organization of an imperial progression, designed to show a Caesar's deference to his Augustus. Galerius's army was reinforced in the spring of 298 by new contingents collected from the empire's Danubian holdings. Narseh did not advance from Armenia and Mesopotamia leaving Galerius to lead the offensive in 298 with an attack on northern Mesopotamia via Armenia.

Diocletian may not have been present to assist the campaign. Narseh retreated to Armenia to fight Galerius' force, to Narseh's disadvantage. Local aid gave Galerius the advantage of surprise over the Persian forces, and, in two successive battles, Galerius secured victories over Narseh. During the second encounter, the Battle of Satala in 298, Roman forces seized Narseh's camp, his treasury, his harem, his wife. Narseh's wife would live out the remainder of the war in Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, serving as a constant reminder to the Persians of the Roman victory. Galerius advanced into Media and Adiabene, winning continuous victories, most prominently near Theodosiopolis, securing Nisibis before 1 October 298, he moved down the Tigris, taking Ctesiphon, gazing onwards to the ruins of Babylon before returning to Roman territory via the Euphrates. No source specifically claims that Ctesiphon was sacked, but it is assumed to have been due to the seizure of Narseh's wife and harem. Narseh had sent an ambassador to Galerius to plead for the return of his wife and children, but Galerius had dismissed this ambassador, reminding him of how Shapur had treated Valerian.

The Romans, in any case, treated Narseh's captured family well seeking to evoke comparisons to Alexander and his beneficent conduct towards the family of Darius III. Peace negotiations began with both Diocletian and Galerius presiding, their magister memoriae. The conditions of the Peace of Nisibis were heavy: Persia would give up territory to Rome, making the Tigris the boundary between the two empires. Further terms specified that Armenia was returned to Roman domination wit

Democratic Union of Catalonia

The Democratic Union of Catalonia was a regionalist, Christian-democratic political party in the Catalonia region of Spain. Together with the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia, until 2015 it was part of the Convergence and Union coalition, they ruled the Generalitat de Catalunya until its breakup. It described itself as Catalan nationalist and Christian democrat, was a member of the European People's Party, a full member of The Union of the Robert Schuman Institute for Developing Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe located in Budapest, Hungary. By June 2015 tensions within the two parties forming the Convergence and Union federation had reached an all-time high in June 2015 due to differences between the positions of the UDC leadership and the Democratic Convergence leader Artur Mas over the sovereignty process. CDC was in favour of outright independence if it meant breaking the established Spanish legality, while UDC was against doing it without the acceptance of the Spanish government.

As a result, a referendum of UDC members was held on 14 June 2015, asking whether UDC should commit itself to continue with the process but with certain conditions, including not violating the legality in force through unilateral independence declarations or starting constituent processes at the margin of legal norms. Such a position, supported by UDC leaders and contrary to the signed agreements between CDC, ERC and sovereignty entities, was approved by UDC members with an adjusted 50.9%. After this, meetings between UDC and CDC leaders led to an ultimatum from CDC to UDC for the latter to decide within "two or three days" whether it committed itself to the independence plan. On 17 June, after a meeting of the UDC leadership, it was announced that UDC was withdrawing all three of its members from the Government of the Generalitat of Catalonia, although they agreed to maintain parliamentary stability until the end of the legislature; that same day at night, the CDC National Executive Committee met and in a press conference the next day confirmed that UDC and CDC would not stand together in the 2015 regional election, that the political project of the CiU federation was over, spelling the end of 37 years of cooperation between both parties as Convergence and Union.

In July 2015, a pro-independence faction of the UDC broke away to found the Democrats of Catalonia. In the 2015 Catalan parliamentary election the UDC lost all 13 of its seats. On 24 March 2017, UDC was dissolved by its last secretary general, Ramon Espalader, because of several electoral defeats and economic debts; some of its former members, including Espalader, founded a new catalanist political party called Units per Avançar, which made an electoral pact with the Socialists' Party of Catalonia in order to seek the 2017 Catalan regional election

Mark Birtwistle

Mark Leslie Birtwistle is a New Zealand-born Samoan former rugby union footballer. He played as lock, he debuted in the 1991 Rugby World Cup, in the match against Wales at Cardiff, on 6 October 1991. His last international match was against Ireland, at Lansdowne Road on 12 November 1996, he is the son of the former rugby union footballer Bill Birtwistle, a former three-quarter who played for Waikato and for the All Blacks in the 1967 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain and Canada. He is coach of the Suburbs Rugby Club from Auckland, he is father of Beaudene Birtwistle, who plays as loose forward for Samoa Under-20 and for Counties Manukau. Mark Birtwistle at ESPNscrum Mark L. Birtwistle at New Zealand Rugby History