Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti
Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti was an Italian cardinal and famed hyperpolyglot. Born from humble parents in Bologna, he showed exceptional mnemonic skills as well as a flair for music and he studied at the Piarists where he had the chance to meet several missionaries from various countries. By talking to them he began learning several new languages including Swedish, German and Southern American native languages as well as studying Latin and he completed his theological studies before he had reached the minimum age for ordination as a priest. During this period he studied Asian Languages, in 1797 he was ordered priest and became professor of Arabic, Asian Languages and he lost the position for refusing to take the oath of allegiance required by the Cisalpine Republic, which governed Bologna at the time. Between 1799 and 1800 he visited many foreign people who had been wounded during Napoleonic wars to attend to their cures, in this occasion he started to learn other European languages. In 1803 he was appointed assistant librarian of the Institute of Bologna, the chair of Oriental languages was suppressed by the viceroy in 1808, but again rehabilitated on the restoration of Pope Pius VII in 1814.
Mezzofanti held this post until he left Bologna to go to Rome in 1831 as a member of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, the Catholic Churchs governing body for missionary activities. He was reported to have spoken nine other languages fluently, list of polyglots Alphons Bellesheim, Giuseppe Cardinal Mezzofanti This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. Mezzofanti, Giuseppe Caspar. Charles William Russell, Life of the Cardinal Mezzofanti Augustin Manavitt, Esquisse historique sur le cardinal Mezzofanti U
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and it is the worlds only contiguous Afrasian nation. Egypt has among the longest histories of any country, emerging as one of the worlds first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt was Islamised in the century and remains a predominantly Muslim country. With over 92 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, and the fifteenth-most populous in the world.
The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, the large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypts territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypts residents live in areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria. Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypts economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, Egypt is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Miṣr is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern name of Egypt. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם, the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its tower, the city of over 90,834 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces. Much of the architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics. The origin of the name, Pisa, is a mystery, while the origin of the city had remained unknown for centuries, the Pelasgi, the Greeks, the Etruscans, and the Ligurians had variously been proposed as founders of the city. Archaeological remains from the 5th century BC confirmed the existence of a city at the sea, trading with Greeks, the presence of an Etruscan necropolis, discovered during excavations in the Arena Garibaldi in 1991, confirmed its Etruscan origins. Ancient Roman authors referred to Pisa as an old city, strabo referred Pisas origins to the mythical Nestor, king of Pylos, after the fall of Troy.
Virgil, in his Aeneid, states that Pisa was already a center by the times described. The Virgilian commentator Servius wrote that the Teuti, or Pelops, the maritime role of Pisa should have been already prominent if the ancient authorities ascribed to it the invention of the naval ram. Pisa took advantage of being the port along the western coast from Genoa to Ostia. Pisa served as a base for Roman naval expeditions against Ligurians, Gauls, in 180 BC, it became a Roman colony under Roman law, as Portus Pisanus. In 89 BC, Portus Pisanus became a municipium, Emperor Augustus fortified the colony into an important port and changed the name in Colonia Iulia obsequens. It is supposed that Pisa was founded on the shore, due to the alluvial sediments from the Arno and the Serchio, whose mouth lies about 11 kilometres north of the Arnos, the shore moved west. Strabo states that the city was 4.0 kilometres away from the coast, currently, it is located 9.7 kilometres from the coast. However it was a city, with ships sailing up the Arno.
In the 90s AD, a complex was built in the city. During the years of the Roman Empire, Pisa did not decline as much as the cities of Italy, probably thanks to the complexity of its river system. After Charlemagne had defeated the Lombards under the command of Desiderius in 774, Pisa went through a crisis, politically it became part of the duchy of Lucca
Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Leopold II was Grand Duke of Tuscany. He married twice, first to Maria Anna of Saxony, and after her death in 1832, by the latter, he begat his eventual successor, Ferdinand. Leopold was recognized contemporarily as a monarch, authorizing the Tuscan Constitution of 1848. The Grand Duke was deposed briefly by a government in 1849, only to be restored the same year with the assistance of Austrian troops. Leopold attempted a policy of neutrality with regard to the Second Italian War of Independence, the Grand Ducal family left for Bologna, in Papal territory. Tuscany was occupied by soldiers of Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia for the duration of the conflict, Ferdinand was not, any more acceptable to the revolutionaries in control of Florence, and his accession was not proclaimed. Instead, the government proclaimed the deposition of the House of Habsburg. Born in Florence, Leopold II was the son of Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Princess Luisa Maria Amelia Teresa of the Two Sicilies and his maternal grandparents were Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Marie Caroline of Austria.
He succeeded his father on 18 June 1824, during the first twenty years of his reign he devoted himself to the internal development of the state. But Austrian influence prevented him from doing more, even had he wished to do so, the granting of the Neapolitan and Piedmontese constitutions was followed by that of Tuscany, composed by Gino Capponi. His speech on their departure was uncompromisingly Italian and Liberal, soldiers, he said, the holy cause of Italian freedom is being decided to-day on the fields of Lombardy. Already the citizens of Milan have purchased their liberty with their blood, honour to the arms of Italy. The Tuscan contingent fought bravely, though unsuccessfully, at Curtatone, Capponi resigned, and Leopold agreed reluctantly to a Montanelli-Guerrazzi ministry, which in its turn had to fight against the extreme republican party. New elections in the autumn of 1848 returned a constitutional majority, the utmost confusion prevailed in Florence and other parts of Tuscany. On 18 February 1849 a republic was proclaimed and on same day Leopold sailed for Gaeta.
A third parliament was elected and Guerrazzi appointed dictator, but there was great discontent, and the defeat of Charles Albert at Novara caused consternation among the Liberals. Leopold accepted, although he said nothing about the foreign invasion, on 24 May the latter appointed G Baldasseroni prime minister, on the 25th the Austrians entered Florence and on 28 July Leopold himself returned. On their advice he formally revoked the constitution, political trials were held and many others being condemned to long terms of imprisonment, and although in 1855 the Austrian troops left Tuscany, Leopolds popularity was gone
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library, the National Library of France joined the project on October 5,2007. The project transitions to a service of the OCLC on April 4,2012, the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together, a VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary see and see records from the original records, and refers to the original authority records. The data are available online and are available for research and data exchange. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol, the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAFs clustering algorithm is run every month, as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture, the librarys main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where approximately half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař, the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers, as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague, the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years, the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new building on Letna plain. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, in 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Later in 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water. Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building, there was a fire at the library in December 2012, but nobody was injured in the event. List of national and state libraries Official website
National Archaeological Museum (Florence)
The National Archaeological Museum of Florence is an archaeological museum in Florence, Italy. It is located at 1 piazza Santissima Annunziata, in the Palazzo della Crocetta, the museum was inaugurated in the presence of king Victor Emmanuel II in 1870 in the buildings of the Cenacolo di Fuligno on via Faenza. At that time it only comprised Etruscan and Roman remains, as the collections grew, a new site soon became necessary and in 1880 the museum was transferred to its present building. The collections first foundations were the collections of the Medici and Lorraine. In 1887 a new museum on the Etruscans was added. The organisation of the Etruscan rooms was reconsidered and reordered in 2006, in 2006, the 40-year-overdue restoration was carried out on over 2000 objects damaged in the 1966 floods. The torso di Livorno, copy of a 5th-century BC Greek original, statue of a cockerel, the so-called Gallo Treboniano, late 3rd-century work. The Minerva of Arezzo, a bronze Roman copy of a 4th-century BC Greek model attributed to Praxiteles.
The Orator, life-size bronze sculpture of an Etruscan man wearing a toga, the most important of the vases is a large black figure krater of c.570 BC signed by the potter Ergotimos and the painter Kleitias. It is named the François vase after the archaeologist who found it in 1844 in an Etruscan tomb at fonte Rotella, on the Chiusi road, florences first collection of Egyptian antiquities was in the Medici collection, dating from the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century, Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, together with Charles X of France, he financed a scientific expedition to Egypt in 1828 to 1829. The expedition was directed by Jean-François Champollion, who deciphered the hieroglyphic script, ippolito Rosellini and student of Champollion, represented the Italian interests during the expedition. He went on to become the father of Italian Egyptology, many artifacts were collected during the expedition, both from archeological diggings, and via purchases from local merchants. On their return, these were distributed evenly between the Louvre in Paris, and the new Egyptian Museum in Florence, the museum was officially opened in 1855.
The first director was Ernesto Schiaparelli, from Piedmont and he went on to become director of the larger Egyptian museum in Turin. By 1880 he had catalogued the collection and organized transportation of the antiquities to the Florentine Archaeological Museum, under Schiaparelli, the collection expanded with further excavations and purchases carried out in Egypt. Many of the artifacts were, transferred to Turin, the Florentine collection continued to grow after this time, with donations from private individuals and scientific institutions. In particular, the Papyrological Institute of Florence provided artifacts from its expeditions to Egypt between 1934 and 1939 and these now provide one of the most substantial collections of Coptic art and documents in the world
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the Metropolitan City of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants, Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has called the Athens of the Middle Ages. A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, from 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Historic Centre of Florence attracts 13 million tourists each year and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, the city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florences artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy.
Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe, the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, and still is, accepted as the Italian language. Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War and they similarly financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European historys most important noble families, Lorenzo de Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century, Leo X, catherine de Medici married king Henry II of France and, after his death in 1559, reigned as regent in France.
Marie de Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future king Louis XIII, the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de Medici in 1737. The Etruscans initially formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole and it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the route between Rome and the north, and within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement quickly became an important commercial centre. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century, Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital. The population began to again and commerce prospered
Luigi Cherubini was an Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France. His most significant compositions are operas and sacred music, Beethoven regarded Cherubini as the greatest of his contemporaries. Cherubini was born Maria Luigi Carlo Zenobio Salvatore Cherubini in Florence in 1760, there is uncertainty about his exact date of birth. Although 14 September is sometimes stated, evidence from baptismal records, perhaps the strongest evidence is his first name, which is traditional for a child born on 8 September, feast-day of the Nativity of the Virgin. His instruction in music began at the age of six with his father, considered a child prodigy, Cherubini studied counterpoint and dramatic style at an early age. By the time he was thirteen, he had composed several religious works, in 1780, he was awarded a scholarship by the Grand Duke of Tuscany to study music in Bologna and Milan. Cherubinis early opera serie used libretti by Apostolo Zeno and his music was strongly influenced by Niccolò Jommelli, Tommaso Traetta, and Antonio Sacchini, who were the leading composers of the day.
The first of his two works, Lo sposo di tre e marito di nessuna, premiered at a Venetian theater in November 1783. Feeling constrained by Italian traditions and eager to experiment, Cherubini traveled to London in 1785 where he produced two opere serie and an opera buffa for the Kings Theatre. In the same year, he made an excursion to Paris with his friend the violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti, Cherubini received an important commission to write Démophoon to a French libretto by Jean-François Marmontel that would be his first tragédie en musique. Performances of Démophon were favorably received at the Grand Opéra in 1788, with Viottis help, the Théâtre de Monsieur in the Tuileries appointed Cherubini as its director in 1789. Three years later, after a move to the rue Feydeau and the fall of the monarchy and this position gave Cherubini the opportunity to read countless libretti and choose one that best suited his temperament. Cherubinis music began to show more originality and daring and his first major success was Lodoïska, which was admired for its realistic heroism.
This was followed by Elisa, set in the Swiss Alps, Les deux journées, in which Cherubini simplified his style, was a popular success. These and other operas were premièred at the Théâtre Feydeau or the Opéra-Comique, feeling financially secure, he married Anne Cécile Tourette in 1794 and began a family of three children. The fallout from the French Revolution affected Cherubini until the end of his life, politics forced him to hide his connections with the former aristocracy and seek governmental appointments. Although Napoléon found him too complex, Cherubini wrote at least one work per year for more than a decade. He was appointed Napoléons director of music in Vienna for part of 1805 and 1806, in 1808 Cherubini was elected an associated member of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands
Charles X of France
Charles X was King of France from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830. For most of his life he was known as the Count of Artois, an uncle of the uncrowned King Louis XVII, and younger brother to reigning Kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him. His rule of almost six years ended in the July Revolution of 1830, which resulted in his abdication, exiled once again, Charles died in 1836 in Gorizia, part of the Austrian Empire. He was the last of the French rulers from the branch of the House of Bourbon. Charles Philippe of France was born in 1757, the youngest son of the Dauphin Louis and his wife, Charles was created Count of Artois at birth by his grandfather, the reigning King Louis XV. As the youngest male in the family, Charles seemed unlikely ever to become king and his eldest brother, Duke of Burgundy, died unexpectedly in 1761, which moved Charles up one place in the line of succession. He was raised in childhood by Madame de Marsan, the Governess of the Children of France.
At the death of his father in 1765, Charless oldest surviving brother, Louis Auguste and their mother Marie Josèphe, who never recovered from the loss of her husband, died in March 1767 from tuberculosis. This left Charles an orphan at the age of nine, along with his siblings Louis Auguste, Louis Stanislas, Count of Provence, Louis XV fell ill on 27 April 1774 and died on 10 May of smallpox at the age of 64. His grandson Louis-Auguste succeeded him as King Louis XVI of France, in November 1773, Charles married Marie Thérèse of Savoy. The marriage, unlike that of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, was consummated almost immediately, in 1775, Marie Thérèse gave birth to a boy, Louis Antoine, who was created Duke of Angoulême by Louis XVI. Three years later, in 1778, Charles second son, Charles Ferdinand, was born, in the same year Queen Marie Antoinette gave birth to her first child, Marie Thérèse, quelling all rumours that she could not bear children. Charles was thought of as the most attractive member of his family and his wife was considered quite ugly by most contemporaries, and he looked for company in numerous extramarital affairs.
According to the Count of Hézecques, few beauties were cruel to him, later, he embarked upon a lifelong love affair with the beautiful Louise de Polastron, the sister-in-law of Marie Antoinettes closest companion, the Duchess of Polignac. Charles struck up a friendship with Marie Antoinette herself. The closeness of the relationship was such that he was accused by Parisian rumour mongers of having seduced her. As part of Marie Antoinettes social set, Charles often appeared opposite her in the theatre of her favourite royal retreat. They were both said to be very talented amateur actors, Marie Antoinette played milkmaids and country ladies, whereas Charles played lovers and farmers