Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst; some argue. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a noted penchant for white clothing and became known for her reluctance to greet guests or in life, to leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, most friendships between her and others depended upon correspondence. While Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime; the work, published during her lifetime was altered by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Her poems are unique for the era. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends. Although Dickinson's acquaintances were most aware of her writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that the breadth of her work became apparent to the public.
Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890 by personal acquaintances Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd, though both edited the content. A 1998 New York Times article revealed that of the many edits made to Dickinson's work, the name "Susan" was deliberately removed. At least 11 of Dickinson's poems were dedicated to sister-in-law Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson, though all the dedications were obliterated by Todd. A complete, unaltered, collection of her poetry became available for the first time when scholar Thomas H. Johnson published The Poems of Emily Dickinson in 1955. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born at the family's homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830, into a prominent, but not wealthy, family, her father, Edward Dickinson was a trustee of Amherst College. Two hundred years earlier, her patrilineal ancestors had arrived in the New World—in the Puritan Great Migration—where they prospered. Emily Dickinson's paternal grandfather, Samuel Dickinson, was one of the founders of Amherst College.
In 1813, he built the Homestead, a large mansion on the town's Main Street, that became the focus of Dickinson family life for the better part of a century. Samuel Dickinson's eldest son, was treasurer of Amherst College for nearly forty years, served numerous terms as a State Legislator, represented the Hampshire district in the United States Congress. On May 6, 1828, he married Emily Norcross from Monson, they had three children: William Austin, known as Austin, Aust or Awe Emily Elizabeth Lavinia Norcross, known as Lavinia or VinnieBy all accounts, young Emily was a well-behaved girl. On an extended visit to Monson when she was two, Emily's Aunt Lavinia described Emily as "perfectly well & contented—She is a good child & but little trouble." Emily's aunt noted the girl's affinity for music and her particular talent for the piano, which she called "the moosic". Dickinson attended primary school in a two-story building on Pleasant Street, her education was "ambitiously classical for a Victorian girl".
Her father wanted his children well-educated and he followed their progress while away on business. When Emily was seven, he wrote home, reminding his children to "keep school, learn, so as to tell me, when I come home, how many new things you have learned". While Emily described her father in a warm manner, her correspondence suggests that her mother was cold and aloof. In a letter to a confidante, Emily wrote she "always ran Home to Awe when a child, if anything befell me, he was an awful Mother, but I liked him better than none."On September 7, 1840, Dickinson and her sister Lavinia started together at Amherst Academy, a former boys' school that had opened to female students just two years earlier. At about the same time, her father purchased a house on North Pleasant Street. Emily's brother Austin described this large new home as the "mansion" over which he and Emily presided as "lord and lady" while their parents were absent; the house overlooked Amherst's burial ground, described by one local minister as treeless and "forbidding".
Dickinson spent seven years at the Academy, taking classes in English and classical literature, botany, history, "mental philosophy," and arithmetic. Daniel Taggart Fiske, the school's principal at the time, would recall that Dickinson was "very bright" and "an excellent scholar, of exemplary deportment, faithful in all school duties". Although she had a few terms off due to illness—the longest of, in 1845–1846, when she was enrolled for only eleven weeks—she enjoyed her strenuous studies, writing to a friend that the Academy was "a fine school". Dickinson was troubled from a young age by the "deepening menace" of death the deaths of those who were close to her; when Sophia Holland, her second cousin and a close friend, grew ill from typhus and died in April 1844, Emily was traumatized. Recalling the incident two years Emily wrote that "it seemed to me I should die too if I could not be permitted to watch over her or look at her face." She became so melancholic. With her health and spirits restored, she soon returned to Amherst A
The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews; the term "Talmud" refers to the collection of writings named the Babylonian Talmud, although there is an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud. It may traditionally be called Shas, a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, or the "six orders" of the Mishnah; the Talmud has two components. The term "Talmud" may refer to either the Gemara alone; the entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including halakha, Jewish ethics, customs, history and many other topics.
The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, is quoted in rabbinic literature. Talmud translates as "instruction, learning", from a root LMD "teach, study". Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works, though some may have made private notes, for example of court decisions; this situation changed drastically as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth and the Second Temple in the year 70 and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the rabbis were required to face a new reality—mainly Judaism without a Temple and Judea without at least partial autonomy—there was a flurry of legal discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained, it is during this period. The oldest full manuscript of the Talmud, known as the Munich Talmud, dates from 1342 and is available online; the process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were the two major centers of Jewish scholarship and Babylonia.
Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Talmud Yerushalmi, it was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500; the word "Talmud", when used without qualification refers to the Babylonian Talmud. While the editors of Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian Talmud each mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents were written independently. Here the argument from silence is convincing." The Jerusalem Talmud known as the Palestinian Talmud, or Talmuda de-Eretz Yisrael, was one of the two compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary, transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in the Land of Israel. It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of Tiberias and Caesarea, it is written in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, a Western Aramaic language that differs from its Babylonian counterpart. This Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the Mishnah, developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in Galilee Because of their location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel.
Traditionally, this Talmud was thought to have been redacted in about the year 350 by Rav Muna and Rav Yossi in the Land of Israel. It is traditionally known as the Talmud Yerushalmi, but the name is a misnomer, as it was not prepared in Jerusalem, it has more been called "The Talmud of the Land of Israel". Its final redaction belongs to the end of the 4th century, but the individual scholars who brought it to its present form cannot be fixed with assurance. By this time Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire and Jerusalem the holy city of Christendom. In 325, Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, said "let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd." This policy made a Jew an pauper. The compilers of the Jerusalem Talmud lacked the time to produce a work of the quality they had intended; the text is not easy to follow. The apparent cessation of work on the Jerusalem Talmud in the 5th century has been associated with the decision of Theodosius II in 425 to suppress the Patriarchate and put an end to the practice of semikhah, formal scholarly ordination.
Some modern scholars have questioned this connection. Despite its incomplete state, the Jerusalem Talmud remains an indispensable source of knowledge of the development of the Jewish Law in the Holy Land, it was an important resource in the study of the Babylonian Talmud by the Kairouan school of Chana
Western Christianity is the Latin Church, Protestantism, together with the offshoots of these such as independent Catholicism and Restorationist churches taken together. The large majority of the world's 2.4 billion Christians are Western Christians. The original and still major part, the Latin Church, developed under the bishop of Rome in the former Western Roman Empire in Antiquity. Out of the Latin Church emerged a wide variety of independent Protestant denominations, including Lutheranism and Anglicanism, starting from the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, as did Independent Catholicism in the 19th century. Thus, the term "Western Christianity" does not describe a single communion or religious denomination, but is applied to distinguish all these denominations collectively from Eastern Christianity; the establishment of the distinct Latin Church, a particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church coincided with the consolidation of the Holy See in Rome, where the bishop claimed a particular role since Antiquity.
The terms "Western" and "Eastern" in this regard originated with geographical divisions mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latin West, the political divide between the Western and Eastern Roman empires. During the Middle Ages adherents of the Latin Church, irrespective of ethnicity referred to themselves as "Latins" to distinguish themselves from Eastern Christians. With the expansion of European colonialism from the Early Modern era, the Latin Church, in time along with its Protestant secessions, spread throughout the Americas, much of the Philippines, Southern Africa, pockets of West Africa, throughout Australia, New Zealand. Thus, when used for historical periods after the 16th century, the term "Western Christianity" does not refer to a particular geographical area, but is rather used as a collective term for the Latin Church, the Protestant denominations, Independent Catholicism that trace their lineage to the original Latin Church in Western Europe. Today, the geographical distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is not nearly as absolute as in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, due to the spread of Christian missionaries and globalisation.
The adjectives "Western Christianity" and "Eastern Christianity" are used to refer to historical origins and differences in theology and liturgy, rather than present geographical locations. While the Latin Church maintain the Latin liturgical rites, Protestant denominations and Independent Catholicism retain a wide variety of liturgical practices. For most of its history the church in Europe has been culturally divided between the Latin-speaking west, whose centre was Rome, the Greek-speaking east, whose centre was Constantinople. Cultural differences and political rivalry created tensions between the two churches, leading to disagreement over doctrine and ecclesiology and to schism. Like Eastern Christianity, Western Christianity traces its roots directly to the apostles and other early preachers of the religion. In Western Christianity's original area Latin was the principal language. Christian writers in Latin had more influence there than those who wrote in Greek, Syriac, or other Eastern languages.
Though the first Christians in the West used Greek, by the fourth century Latin had superseded it in the cosmopolitan city of Rome, while there is evidence of a Latin translation of the Bible in the 2nd century in southern Gaul and the Roman province of Africa. With the decline of the Roman Empire, distinctions appeared in organization, since the bishops in the West were not dependent on the Emperor in Constantinople and did not come under the influence of the Caesaropapism in the Eastern Church. While the see of Constantinople became dominant throughout the Emperor's lands, the West looked to the see of Rome, which in the East was seen as that of one of the five patriarchs of the Pentarchy, "the proposed government of universal Christendom by five patriarchal sees under the auspices of a single universal empire. Formulated in the legislation of the emperor Justinian I in his Novella 131, the theory received formal ecclesiastical sanction at the Council in Trullo, which ranked the five sees as Rome, Alexandria and Jerusalem."Over the centuries, disagreements separated Western Christianity from the various forms of Eastern Christianity: first from East Syriac Christianity after the Council of Ephesus from that of Oriental Orthodoxy after the Council of Chalcedon, from Eastern Orthodoxy with the East-West Schism of 1054.
With the last-named form of Eastern Christianity, reunion agreements were signed at the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence, but these proved ineffective. The rise of Protestantism led to major divisions within Western Christianity, which still persist, wars—for example, the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585–1604 had religious as well as economic causes. In and after the Age of Discovery, Europeans spread Western Christianity to the New World and elsewhere. Roman Catholicism came to the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Protestantism, including Anglicanism, came to North America, Australia-Pacific and some African locales. Today, the geographical distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is now much less absolute, due to the great migrations of Europeans across the globe, as well as the work of missionaries worldwide over the past five centuries. Although "original sin" can be taken to mea
Berachot is the first tractate of Seder Zeraim, a collection of the Mishnah that deals with laws relating to plants and farming, hence the name. The tractate Berakhot is the only tractate in Zeraim to have a Gemara from both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud, it addresses the rules regarding the Shema, the Amidah, Birkat Hamazon, Kiddush and other blessings and prayers. The first three chapters of the tractate address the subject of the recitation of Shema, a biblical command that constitutes the acceptance of the yoke of Heaven, to be performed twice per day. Topics discussed include when to say it, how to say it and possible exemptions from the fulfillment of this mitzvah. Chapter 1 Mishnah א - In the case of the evening Shema, recital begins when the Kohanim enter to eat their terumah, at nightfall. R'Eliezer says, he takes "when you lie down" to mean the Shema is recited at the time that people lie down to go to sleep, anyone who will be going to sleep for the night has done so by the end of the first watch.
The sages say. And Rabban Gamliel says until the light of dawn. Rabban Gamliel says that whatever mitzvahs the sages said can be performed only until midnight can be performed until the light of dawn; the sages said until midnight to distance a person from procrastination and thus transgression. Mishnah ב - The time for reciting the morning Shema is referred to by "when you arise", this is when there is enough light to distinguish between blue and white wool. R'Eliezer says between blue and green wool, which would be at a later time. R'Yehoshua says until the end of the first three hours of the day, because it was customary for kings to still be rising until then; the hours referred to are seasonal hours, which are defined by measuring from either the first light of dawn to nightfall or from sunrise to sunset and dividing this into twelve equal parts. Halacha accords with R'Yehoshua and if one recites the Shema after the first three hours, it is as if he is reading from the Torah, which shows that reciting the Shema properly is greater than reciting words of Torah.
The ideal time to recite the Shema is shortly before sunrise so the Shemoneh Esrei can be started at sunrise. This is. Mishnah ג - The position one should assume when reciting the Shema is now discussed; the School of Shammai said the evening Shema should be recited lying down because it is written "when you lie down" and the morning Shema should be recited standing because it says "when you arise". The School of Hillel say it can be said in any position because it is written "when you go on the way". Hillel say that "when you lie down and when you arise" comes to tell us that it is recited at the time that people are lying down and rising, not the physical position one should be in while reciting; as in most cases, halakha is in accordance with Hillel. Mishnah ד - In the morning, the two blessings said before the Shema are "Who forms light" and "With an abundant love". In the evening, the two blessings said before the Shema are "Who brings on evenings" and "With an eternal love". A short blessing cannot be said in place of a long blessing, vice versa.
Where the sages said to conclude a blessing with "Blessed are You, Hashem", one cannot conclude without it. Where the sages did not say to conclude in that manner, one cannot add it. Mishnah ה - There is a mitzvah to mention the Exodus from Egypt at night; the beginning of the second chapter discusses the protocol of how one says the Shema itself. As saying the Shema requires concentration for only the first verse to fulfill the mitzvah, workers may say it while in a tree or on a stone wall. However, this does not apply to the Amidah; the rest of the second chapter and the entire third chapter discusses exemptions from the Shema, as there are cases where an individual is not required to say it. The second chapter contains a series of parables regarding Rabban Gamliel to help the reader understand why exemptions may be acceptable. A married man is exempt from saying the Shema as he may be anxious about his wedding. However, if he is able to properly dedicate himself to God in prayer, he should recite it regardless of the exemption.
A person, mourning the death of a relative is exempt from saying the Shema and from wearing tefillin. Funeral attendees who can see the mourner should not recite the Shema so that the mourner does not feel uncomfortable for not saying it. Women and children are exempt from the recital of the Shema and from wearing tefillin, but are not exempt from the Amidah, affixing a mezuzah and Birkat Hamazon. Chapters 4 and 5 discuss the main prayer known as the Shemoneh Esrei, Amidah, or just Tefillah in Talmud literature, it consisted of eighteen blessings with one being added by Rabban Gamliel. To
Torah has a range of meanings. It can most mean the first five books of the 24 books of the Tanakh, it is printed with the rabbinic commentaries, it can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or rabbinic writings. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the origin of Jewish peoplehood: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the Oral Torah; the Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah that exists today.
According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian captivity, based on earlier written sources and oral traditions, that it was completed during the period of Achaemenid rule. Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases of Jewish communal life; the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means'to guide' or'to teach'. The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the Alexandrian Jews who translated the Septuagint used the Greek word nomos, meaning norm, doctrine, "law". Greek and Latin Bibles began the custom of calling the Pentateuch The Law. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, guidance, or system.
The term "Torah" is used in the general sense to include both Rabbinic Judaism's written law and Oral Law, serving to encompass the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash and more, the inaccurate rendering of "Torah" as "Law" may be an obstacle to understanding the ideal, summed up in the term talmud torah. The earliest name for the first part of the Bible seems to have been "The Torah of Moses"; this title, however, is found neither in the Torah itself, nor in the works of the pre-Exilic literary prophets. It appears in Joshua and Kings. In contrast, there is every likelihood that its use in the post-Exilic works was intended to be comprehensive. Other early titles were "The Book of Moses" and "The Book of the Torah", which seems to be a contraction of a fuller name, "The Book of the Torah of God". Christian scholars refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible as the'Pentateuch', a term first used in the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria.
The Torah starts from the beginning of God's creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, the giving of the Torah at biblical Mount Sinai. It ends with the death of Moses, just before the people of Israel cross to the promised land of Canaan. Interspersed in the narrative are the specific teachings given explicitly or implicitly embedded in the narrative. In Hebrew, the five books of the Torah are identified by the incipits in each book, it is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God; the Ancestral history tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people
A sonnet is a poem in a specific form which originated in Italy. The term sonnet is derived from the Italian word sonetto. By the thirteenth century it signified a poem of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. Conventions associated with the sonnet have evolved over its history. Writers of sonnets are sometimes called "sonneteers"; the sonnet was created by Giacomo da Lentini, head of the Sicilian School under Emperor Frederick II. Guittone d'Arezzo rediscovered it and brought it to Tuscany where he adapted it to his language when he founded the Siculo-Tuscan School, or Guittonian school of poetry, he wrote 250 sonnets. Other Italian poets of the time, including Dante Alighieri and Guido Cavalcanti, wrote sonnets, but the most famous early sonneteer was Petrarch. Other fine examples were written by Michelangelo; the structure of a typical Italian sonnet of the time included two parts that together formed a compact form of "argument". First, the octave, forms the "proposition", which describes a "problem", or "question", followed by a sestet, which proposes a "resolution".
The ninth line initiates what is called the "turn", or "volta", which signals the move from proposition to resolution. In sonnets that don't follow the problem/resolution structure, the ninth line still marks a "turn" by signaling a change in the tone, mood, or stance of the poem; the ABBA ABBA pattern became the standard for Italian sonnets. For the sestet there were two different possibilities: CDE CDE and CDC CDC. In time, other variants on this rhyming scheme were introduced, such as CDCDCD. Petrarch used an ABBA ABBA pattern for the octave, followed by either CDE CDE or CDC CDC rhymes in the sestet; the Crybin variant of the Italian sonnet has the rhyme scheme ABBA CDDC EFG EFG. In English, both the English or Shakespearean sonnet, the Italian Petrarchan sonnet are traditionally written in iambic pentameter; the first known sonnets in English, written by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, used the Italian, Petrarchan form, as did sonnets by English poets, including John Milton, Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Early twentieth-century American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote Petrarchan sonnets. On His Blindness by Milton, gives a sense of the Petrarchan rhyme scheme: Most Sonnets in Dante's La Vita Nuova are Petrarchan. Chapter VII gives sonnet "O voi che per la via", with two sestets and two quatrains, Ch. VIII, "Morte villana", with two sestets and two quatrains; the sole confirmed surviving sonnet in the Occitan language is confidently dated to 1284, is conserved only in troubadour manuscript P, an Italian chansonnier of 1310, now XLI.42 in the Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence. It is addressed to Peter III of Aragon, it employs the rhyme scheme ABAB ABAB CDCDCD. This poem is interesting for its information on north Italian perspectives concerning the War of the Sicilian Vespers, the conflict between the Angevins and Aragonese for Sicily. Peter III and the Aragonese cause was popular in northern Italy at the time and Paolo's sonnet is a celebration of his victory over the Angevins and Capetians in the Aragonese Crusade: An Occitan sonnet, dated to 1321 and assigned to one "William of Almarichi", is found in Jean de Nostredame and cited in Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni's, Istoria della volgar poesia.
It congratulates Robert of Naples on his recent victory. Its authenticity is dubious. There are two poorly regarded sonnets by the Italian Dante de Maiano. In the 16th century, around Ronsard ), Joachim du Bellay and Jean Antoine de Baïf, there formed a group of radical young noble poets of the court, who began writing in, amongst other forms of poetry, the Petrarchan sonnet cycle; the character of La Pléiade literary program was given in Du Bellay's manifesto, the "Defense and Illustration of the French Language", which maintained that French was a worthy language for literary expression and which promulgated a program of linguistic and literary production and purification. By the late 17th century poets on relied on stanza forms incorporating rhymed couplets, by the 18th century fixed-form poems – and, in particular, the sonnet – were avoided; the resulting versification – less constrained by meter and rhyme patterns than Renaissance poetry – more mirrored prose. The Romantics were responsible for a return to many of the fixed-form poems used during the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as for the creation of new forms.
The sonnet however was little used until the Parnassians brought it back into favor, the sonnet would subsequently find its most significant practitioner in Charles Baudelaire. The traditional French sonnet form was however modified by Baudelaire, who used 32 different forms of sonnet with non-traditional rhyme patterns to great effect in his Les Fleurs du mal; when English sonnets were introduced by Thomas Wyatt in the early 16th century, his sonnets and those of his contemporary the Earl of Surrey were chiefly translations from the Italian of Petrarch and the French of Ronsard and others. While Wyatt introduced the
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery and sometimes dance or ballet; the performance is given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor. Opera is a key part of the Western classical music tradition. Understood as an sung piece, in contrast to a play with songs, opera has come to include numerous genres, including some that include spoken dialogue such as musical theater, Singspiel and Opéra comique. In traditional number opera, singers employ two styles of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected style and self-contained arias; the 19th century saw the rise of the continuous music drama. Opera originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Heinrich Schütz in Germany, Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, Henry Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century.
In the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe, attracting foreign composers such as George Frideric Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Christoph Willibald Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s; the most renowned figure of late 18th-century opera is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, as well as Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Magic Flute, landmarks in the German tradition. The first third of the 19th century saw the high point of the bel canto style, with Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini all creating works that are still performed, it saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Auber and Meyerbeer. The mid-to-late 19th century was a golden age of opera and dominated by Giuseppe Verdi in Italy and Richard Wagner in Germany; the popularity of opera continued through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss in the early 20th century.
During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe in Russia and Bohemia. The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism and Minimalism. With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso and Maria Callas became known to much wider audiences that went beyond the circle of opera fans. Since the invention of radio and television, operas were performed on these mediums. Beginning in 2006, a number of major opera houses began to present live high-definition video transmissions of their performances in cinemas all over the world. Since 2009, complete performances are live streamed; the words of an opera are known as the libretto. Some composers, notably Wagner, have written their own libretti. Traditional opera referred to as "number opera", consists of two modes of singing: recitative, the plot-driving passages sung in a style designed to imitate and emphasize the inflections of speech, aria in which the characters express their emotions in a more structured melodic style.
Vocal duets and other ensembles occur, choruses are used to comment on the action. In some forms of opera, such as singspiel, opéra comique and semi-opera, the recitative is replaced by spoken dialogue. Melodic or semi-melodic passages occurring in the midst of, or instead of, are referred to as arioso; the terminology of the various kinds of operatic voices is described in detail below. During both the Baroque and Classical periods, recitative could appear in two basic forms, each of, accompanied by a different instrumental ensemble: secco recitative, sung with a free rhythm dictated by the accent of the words, accompanied only by basso continuo, a harpsichord and a cello. Over the 18th century, arias were accompanied by the orchestra. By the 19th century, accompagnato had gained the upper hand, the orchestra played a much bigger role, Wagner revolutionized opera by abolishing all distinction between aria and recitative in his quest for what Wagner termed "endless melody". Subsequent composers have tended to follow Wagner's example, though some, such as Stravinsky in his The Rake's Progress have bucked the trend.
The changing role of the orchestra in opera is described in more detail below. The Italian word opera means "work", both in the sense of the labour done and the result produced; the Italian word derives from the Latin opera, a singular noun meaning "work" and the plural of the noun opus. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Italian word was first used in the sense "composition in which poetry and music are combined" in 1639. Dafne by Jacopo Peri was the earliest composition considered opera, it was writt