In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
An icon is a religious work of art, most a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary and angels. Although associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible. Icons may be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Comparable images from Western Christianity are not classified as "icons", although "iconic" may be used to describe a static style of devotional image. Eastern Orthodox tradition holds that the production of Christian images dates back to the early days of Christianity, that it has been a continuous tradition since then. Modern academic art history considers that, while images may have existed earlier, the tradition can be traced back only as far as the 3rd century, that the images which survive from Early Christian art differ from ones.
The icons of centuries can be linked closely, to images from the 5th century onwards, though few of these survive. Widespread destruction of images occurred during the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 726–842, although this did settle permanently the question of the appropriateness of images. Since icons have had a great continuity of style and subject. At the same time there has been development. Christian tradition dating from the 8th century identifies Luke the Evangelist as the first icon painter. Aside from the legend that Pilate had made an image of Christ, the 4th-century Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Church History, provides a more substantial reference to a "first" icon of Jesus, he relates that King Abgar of Edessa sent a letter to Jesus at Jerusalem, asking Jesus to come and heal him of an illness. In this version there is no image. A account found in the Syriac Doctrine of Addai mentions a painted image of Jesus in the story. Further legends relate that the cloth remained in Edessa until the 10th century, when it was taken to Constantinople.
It went missing in 1204 when Crusaders sacked Constantinople, but by numerous copies had established its iconic type. The 4th-century Christian Aelius Lampridius produced the earliest known written records of Christian images treated like icons in his Life of Alexander Severus that formed part of the Augustan History. According to Lampridius, the emperor Alexander Severus, himself not a Christian, had kept a domestic chapel for the veneration of images of deified emperors, of portraits of his ancestors, of Christ, Apollonius and Abraham. Saint Irenaeus, in his Against Heresies says scornfully of the Gnostic Carpocratians: "They possess images, some of them painted, others formed from different kinds of material, they crown these images, set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world, to say, with the images of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, the rest. They have other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles ". On the other hand, Irenaeus does not speak critically of icons or portraits in a general sense—only of certain gnostic sectarians' use of icons.
Another criticism of image veneration appears in the non-canonical 2nd-century Acts of John, in which the Apostle John discovers that one of his followers has had a portrait made of him, is venerating it: "...he went into the bedchamber, saw the portrait of an old man crowned with garlands, lamps and altars set before it. And he called him and said: Lycomedes, what do you mean by this matter of the portrait? Can it be one of thy gods, painted here? For I see that you are still living in heathen fashion." In the passage John says, "But this that you have now done is childish and imperfect: you have drawn a dead likeness of the dead." At least some of the hierarchy of the Christian churches still opposed icons in the early 4th century. At the Spanish non-ecumenical Synod of Elvira bishops concluded, "Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration". Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, wrote his letter 51 to John, Bishop of Jerusalem in which he recounted how he tore down an image in a church and admonished the other bishop that such images are "opposed... to our religion".
Elsewhere in his Church History, Eusebius reports seeing what he took to be portraits of Jesus and Paul, mentions a bronze statue at Banias / Paneas under Mount Hermon, of which he wrote, "They say that this statue is an image of Jesus". John Francis Wilson suggests the possibility that this refers to a pagan bronze statue whose tru
Bronze Age Europe
The European Bronze Age is characterized by bronze artifacts and the use of bronze implements. The regional Bronze Age succeeds the Neolithic, it starts with the Aegean Bronze Age in 3200 BC, spans the entire 2nd millennium BC in Northern Europe, lasting until c. 600 BC. The Aegean Bronze Age begins around 3200 BC when civilizations first established a far-ranging trade network; this network imported tin and charcoal to Cyprus, where copper was mined and alloyed with the tin to produce bronze. Bronze objects were exported far and wide and supported the trade. Isotopic analysis of the tin in some Mediterranean bronze objects indicates it came from as far away as Great Britain. Knowledge of navigation was well developed at this time and reached a peak of skill not exceeded until a method was discovered to determine longitude around AD 1750, with the notable exception of the Polynesian sailors; the Minoan civilization based on Knossos, appears to have coordinated and defended its Bronze Age trade.
One crucial lack in this period was. The eruption of Thera, which according to archaeological data occurred in c. 1500 BC, resulted in the decline of the Minoan. This turn of events gave the opportunity to the Mycenaeans to spread their influence throughout the Aegean. Around c. 1450 BC, they were in control of Crete itself and colonized several other Aegean islands, reaching as far as Rhodes. Thus the Mycenaeans became the dominant power of the region, marking the beginning of the Mycenaean'Koine' era, a uniform culture that spread in mainland Greece and the Aegean; the Mycenaean Greeks introduced several innovations in the fields of engineering and military infrastructure, while trade over vast areas of the Mediterranean was essential for the Mycenaean economy. Their syllabic script, the Linear B, offers the first written records of the Greek language and their religion included several deities that can be found in the Olympic Pantheon. Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace states that developed rigid hierarchical, political and economic systems.
At the head of this societies was the king, known as wanax. The Italian Bronze Age is conditionally divided into four periods: The Early Bronze Age, The Middle Bronze Age, The Recent Bronze Age, The Final Bronze Age. During the second millennium BC, the Nuragic civilization flourished in the island of Sardinia, it was a rather homogeneous culture, more than 7000 imposing stone tower-buildings known as Nuraghe were built by this culture all over the island, along with other types of monuments such as the megaron temples, the monumental Giants' graves and the holy well temples. Sanctuaries and larger settlements were built starting from the late second millennium BC to host these religious structures along with other structures such ritual pools and tanks, large stone roundhouses with circular benches used for the meeting of the leaders of the chiefdoms and large public areas. Bronze tools and weapons were widespread and their quality increased thanks to the contacts between the Nuragic people and Eastern Mediterranean peoples such as the Cypriots, the lost waxing technique was introduced to create several hundred bronze statuettes and other tools.
The Nuragic civilization survived throughout the early iron age when the sanctuaries were still in use, stone statues were crafted and some Nuraghi were reused as temples. The Maykop culture was the major early Bronze Age culture in the North Caucasus; some scholars date arsenical bronze artifacts in the region as far back as the mid-4th millennium BC. The Yamnaya culture was a late copper age/early Bronze Age culture dating to the 36th–23rd centuries BC; the culture was predominantly nomadic, with some agriculture practiced near rivers and a few hill-forts. The Catacomb culture, covering several related archaeological cultures, was first to introduce corded pottery decorations into the steppes and showed a profuse use of the polished battle ax, providing a link to the West. Parallels with the Afanasevo culture, including provoked cranial deformations, provide a link to the East, it was succeeded by the western Corded Ware culture. The Catacomb culture in the Pontic steppe was succeeded by the Srubna culture from c. the 17th century BC.
Important sites include: Biskupin Nebra Zug-Sumpf, Switzerland Vráble, SlovakiaIn Central Europe, the early Bronze Age Unetice culture includes numerous smaller groups like the Straubingen and Hatvan cultures. Some rich burials, such as the one located at Leubingen with grave gifts crafted from gold, point to an increase of social stratification present in the Unetice culture. All in all, cemeteries of this period are rare and of small size; the Unetice culture is followed by the middle Bronze Age Tumulus culture, characterized by inhumation burials in tumuli. In the eastern Hungarian Körös tributaries, the early Bronze Age first saw the introduction of the Makó culture, followed by the Otomani and Gyulavarsánd cultures; the late Bronze Age Urnfield culture is characterized by cremation burials. It includes the Lusatian culture in eastern Poland that continues into the Iron Age; the Central European Bronze Age is followed by the Iron Age Hallstatt culture. In northern Germany, Denmark and Norway, Bronze Age cultures manufactured many distin
A picture frame is a decorative edging for a picture, such as a painting or photograph, intended to enhance it, make it easier to display or protect it. The frame along with its mounts protects and makes the art look better. Art work framed well will stay in good condition for a long period of time. Joan Miró once did a work to frame with a flea market frame. Many painters and photographers who work with canvas "gallery-wrap" their artwork, a practice wherein the image extends around the edges of the stretched canvas and therefore precludes use of a traditional picture frame, although a floater frame may be used; as picture frames can be expensive when purchased new, some people remove the pictures from a frame and use the frame for other pictures. Picture frames have traditionally been made of wood, still the most common material, although other materials are used including silver, bronze and plastics such as polystyrene. A picture frame may be of any color or texture, but gilding is common on older wooden frames.
Some picture frames have elaborate molding. Complicated older frames are made of moulded and gilded plaster over a plain wood base. Picture frames come in a variety of profiles, but the lengths of moulding feature a "lip" and rabbet, the function of, to allow a space to hold in the materials in the frame; the lip extends about 1⁄4 inch past the edge of the rabbet. The picture frame may contain a pane of picture framing glass or an acrylic glass substitute such as acrylite or plexiglas to protect the picture. In some instances where the art in the frame is dispensable or durable, no protection may be necessary. Glass is common over watercolors and other artwork on paper, but rare over oil paintings, except valuable ones in some museums. Picture framing glass may be treated with anti-reflective coatings to make the glass invisible under certain lighting conditions; when a picture frame is expected to be exposed to direct sunlight, or harsh lighting conditions such as fluorescent lights, UV filtering may be added to slow down the photocatalytic degradation of organic materials behind picture framing glass.
For pieces to be framed under glass, except for the most disposable and inexpensive posters or temporary displays, the glass must be raised off the surface of the paper. This is done by means of matting, a lining of plastic "spacers", stacking two mouldings with the glass in between, similar methods. If the paper were to touch the glass directly, any condensation inside the glass would absorb directly into the art, having no room to evaporate; this is harmful to any medium. It causes art sticking to the glass, mildew or mold spore growth, other ill effects. Raising the glass is necessary when a piece is done in a loose media such as charcoal or pastel, to prevent smudging. Care should be taken with these works however, if acrylic glass is used, as a static charge can build up which will attract the pigment particles off the paper. Using real glass helps to prevent this. Certain kinds of pieces do not need glass when framed, including paintings done in acrylic or oil paint, stained glass or tiles, laminated posters.
These kinds of pieces are still sometimes put under glass though, if for example they are framed using mats, or they are kept in a climate-controlled environment. The treatment of the back of the framed artwork varies from nothing in the case of oils, to the frequent use of foam-core boards and other backing boards to provide support, or backing paper or "dust covers" to keep dust and insects out. While these are invariably functional, there are some examples of works in which they have been decorated, with this being considered part of the artwork; the use of backing boards is common with watermedia and other art on paper. Paper dust covers will be inexpensive craft paper or heavy duty archival papers. Plique-à-jour picture frames, made of enamel by Bulushoff, are among the most expensive frames in the world. Picture frames are square or rectangular, though circular and oval frames are not uncommon. Frames in more unusual shapes such as football shapes, hearts can be hand carved by a professional wood carver or carpenter.
There are picture frames designed to go around corners. A popular design is an indent in the frame adding depth. One of the earliest frames was a discovery made in an Egyptian tomb dating back to 2nd century A. D. in which a fayum mummy portrait was discovered at Hawara still within its wooden frame. This finding suggests the mummy portraits may have been hung in the owners' homes prior to inclusion within the funerary equipment; the portrait and its frame were most preserved by the desert climate, according to frame historian and installation expert Marilyn Murdoch explained in a historical talk to museum docents. Although framing borders in ancient art were used to divide scenes and ornamentation by ancient Egyptian and Greek artists in pottery and wallpaintings, the first carved wooden frames as we know them today appeared on small panel paintings in twelfth and thirteenth century Europe. According to a historical series published in Picture Frame Magazine, these early "framed panel paintings were made from one piece.
The area to be painted was carved out, leaving a raised framing border around the outside edge, like a tray. The whole piece was gessoed and gilded. Painting the image on the flat panel was the last thing
Santa Maria Maggiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. The basilica enshrines the venerated image of Salus Populi Romani, depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary as the help and protectress of the Roman people, granted a Canonical coronation by Pope Gregory XVI on 15 August 1838 accompanied by his Papal bull Cælestis Regina. Pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Holy See and Italy, the Basilica is within Italian territory and not the territory of the Vatican City State. However, the Holy See owns the Basilica, Italy is obligated to recognize its full ownership thereof and to concede to it "the immunity granted by International Law to the headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States." The Basilica is sometimes referred to as Our Lady of the Snows, a name given to it in the Roman Missal from 1568 to 1969 in connection with the liturgical feast of the anniversary of its dedication on 5 August, a feast, denominated Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Nives.
This name for the basilica had become popular in the 14th century in connection with a legend that the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia reports thus: "During the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to the Virgin Mary. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honour. On 5 August, at the height of the Roman summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. In obedience to a vision of the Virgin Mary which they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honour of Mary on the spot, covered with snow. From the fact that no mention whatever is made of this alleged miracle until a few hundred years not by Sixtus III in his eight-line dedicatory inscription... it would seem that the legend has no historical basis."The legend is first reported only after AD 1000. It may be implied in what the Liber Pontificalis, of the early 13th century, says of Pope Liberius: "He built the basilica of his own name near the Macellum of Livia".
Its prevalence in the 15th century is shown in the painting of the Miracle of the Snow by Masolino da Panicale. The feast was called Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae, was celebrated only in Rome until inserted for the first time into the General Roman Calendar, with ad Nives added to its name, in 1568. A congregation appointed by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741 proposed that the reading of the legend be struck from the Office and that the feast be given its original name. No action was taken on the proposal until 1969, when the reading of the legend was removed and the feast was called In dedicatione Basilicae S. Mariae; the legend is still commemorated by dropping white rose petals from the dome during the celebration of the Mass and Second Vespers of the feast. The earliest building on the site was the Liberian Basilica or Santa Maria Liberiana, after Pope Liberius; this name may have originated from the same legend, which recounts that, like John and his wife, Pope Liberius was told in a dream of the forthcoming summer snowfall, went in procession to where it did occur and there marked out the area on which the church was to be built.
Liberiana is still included in some versions of the basilica's formal name, "Liberian Basilica" may be used as a contemporary as well as historical name. On the other hand, the name "Liberian Basilica" may be independent of the legend, according to Pius Parsch, Pope Liberius transformed a palace of the Sicinini family into a church, for that reason called the Sicinini Basilica; this building was replaced under Pope Sixtus III by the present structure dedicated to Mary. However, some sources say that the adaptation as a church of a pre-existing building on the site of the present basilica was done in the 420s under Pope Celestine I, the immediate predecessor of Sixtus III. Long before the earliest traces of the story of the miraculous snow, the church now known as Saint Mary Major was called Saint Mary of the Crib, a name it was given because of its relic of the crib or manger of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, four boards of sycamore wood believed to have been brought to the church, together with a fifth, in the time of Pope Theodore I.
This name appears in the Tridentine editions of the Roman Missal as the place for the pope's Mass on Christmas Night, while the name "Mary Major" appears for the church of the station Mass on Christmas Day. No Catholic church can be honoured with the title of "basilica" unless by apostolic grant or from immemorial custom. St. Mary Major is one of the only four that hold the title of "major basilica"; the other three are the Basilicas of St. John in the Lateran, St. Peter's, St. Paul outside the Walls. Along with all of the other four Major Basilicas, St. Mary Major is styled a "Papal basilica". Before 2006, the four Papal Major Basilicas, together with the Basilica of St. Lawrence outside the Walls were referred to as the "patriarchal basilicas" of Rome, were associated with the five ancient patriarchates. St. Mary Major was associated with the Patriarchate of Antioch; the five Papal Basilicas along with the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and San Sebastiano fuori le mu
A metal leaf called composition leaf or schlagmetal, is a thin foil used for decoration. Metal leaves can come in many different shades; some metal leaves does not contain any real gold. This type of metal leaf is referred to as imitation leaf. Metal leaves are made of gold, copper, brass or palladium, sometimes platinum. Vark is a type of silver leaf used for decoration in Indian cuisine. Goldbeating, the technique of producing metal leaves, has been known for more than 5,000 years. Professional Picture Framers Association
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; as of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 964,743 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. Founded in 1826 as Bytown, incorporated as Ottawa in 1855, the city has evolved into the political centre of Canada, its original boundaries were expanded through numerous annexations and were replaced by a new city incorporation and amalgamation in 2001 which increased its land area. The city name "Ottawa" was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of, derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning "to trade". Ottawa has the most educated population among Canadian cities and is home to a number of post-secondary and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, numerous national museums. Ottawa has the highest standard of living in low unemployment.
With the draining of the Champlain Sea around ten thousand years ago, the Ottawa Valley became habitable. Local populations used the area for wild edible harvesting, fishing, trade and camps for over 6500 years; the Ottawa river valley has archaeological sites with arrow heads and stone tools. Three major rivers meet within Ottawa, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years; the Algonquins called the Ottawa River Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning "Great River" or "Grand River". Étienne Brûlé regarded as the first European to travel up the Ottawa River, passed by Ottawa in 1610 on his way to the Great Lakes. Three years Samuel de Champlain wrote about the waterfalls in the area and about his encounters with the Algonquins, using the Ottawa River for centuries. Many missionaries would follow the early traders; the first maps of the area used the word Ottawa, derived from the Algonquin word adawe, to name the river. Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from the present day city of Ottawa in Hull.
He, with five other families and twenty-five labourers, set about to create an agricultural community called Wrightsville. Wright pioneered the Ottawa Valley timber trade by transporting timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to Quebec City. Bytown, Ottawa's original name, was founded as a community in 1826 when hundreds of land speculators were attracted to the south side of the river when news spread that British authorities were constructing the northerly end of the Rideau Canal military project at that location; the following year, the town was named after British military engineer Colonel John By, responsible for the entire Rideau Waterway construction project. The canal's military purpose was to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, bypassing a vulnerable stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering the state of New York that had left re-supply ships bound for southwestern Ontario exposed to enemy fire during the War of 1812. Colonel By set up military barracks on the site of today's Parliament Hill.
He laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal. Similar to its Upper Canada and Lower Canada namesakes "Upper Town" was predominantly English speaking and Protestant whereas "Lower Town" was predominantly French and Catholic. Bytown's population grew to 1,000 as the Rideau Canal was being completed in 1832. Bytown encountered some impassioned and violent times in her early pioneer period that included Irish labour unrest that attributed to the Shiners' War from 1835 to 1845 and political dissension evident from the 1849 Stony Monday Riot. In 1855 Bytown was incorporated as a city. William Pittman Lett was installed as the first city clerk guiding it through 36 years of development. On New Year's Eve 1857, Queen Victoria, as a symbolic and political gesture, was presented with the responsibility of selecting a location for the permanent capital of the Province of Canada. In reality, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald had assigned this selection process to the Executive Branch of the Government, as previous attempts to arrive at a consensus had ended in deadlock.
The "Queen's choice" turned out to be the small frontier town of Ottawa for two main reasons: Firstly, Ottawa's isolated location in a back country surrounded by dense forest far from the Canada–US border and situated on a cliff face would make it more defensible from attack. Secondly, Ottawa was midway between Toronto and Kingston and Montreal and Quebec City. Additionally, despite Ottawa's regional isolation it had seasonal water transportation access to Montreal over the Ottawa River and to Kingston via the Rideau Waterway. By 1854 it had a modern all season Bytown and Prescott Railway that carried passengers and supplies the 82-kilometres to Prescott on the Saint Lawrence River and beyond. Ottawa's small size, it was thought, would make it less prone to rampaging politically motivated mobs, as had happened in the previous Canadian capitals; the government owned the land that would become Parliament Hill which they thought would be an ideal location for the Parliament Buildings. Ottawa was th