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John Mandeville

Sir John Mandeville is the supposed author of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, a travel memoir which first circulated between 1357 and 1371. The earliest surviving text is in French. By aid of translations into many other languages, the work acquired extraordinary popularity. Despite the unreliable and fantastical nature of the travels it describes, it was used as a work of reference—Christopher Columbus, for example, was influenced by both this work and Marco Polo's earlier Travels. In his preface, the compiler calls himself a knight, states that he was born and bred in England, in the town of St Albans. Although the book is real, it is believed that "Sir John Mandeville" himself was not. Common theories point to a Frenchman by the name of Jehan a la Barbe; some recent scholars have suggested that The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was most written by "Jan de Langhe, a Fleming who wrote in Latin under the name Johannes Longus and in French as Jean le Long". Jan de Langhe was born in Ypres early in the 1300s and by 1334 had become a Benedictine monk at the abbey of Saint-Bertin in Saint-Omer, about 20 miles from Calais.

After studying law at the University of Paris, Langhe returned to the abbey and was elected abbot in 1365. He was a prolific writer and avid collector of travelogues, right up to his death in 1383. John de Mandeville crossed the sea in 1322. At least part of the personal history of Mandeville is mere invention. No contemporary corroboration of the existence of such a Jehan de Mandeville is known; some French manuscripts, not contemporary, give a Latin letter of presentation from him to Edward III, but so vague that it might have been penned by any writer on any subject. It is in fact beyond reasonable doubt that the travels were in large part compiled by a Liège physician, known as Johains à le Barbe or Jehan à la Barbe, otherwise Jehan de Bourgogne; the evidence of this is in a modernized extract quoted by the Liège herald, Louis Abry, from the lost fourth book of the Myreur des Hystors of Johans des Preis, styled d'Oultremouse. In this, "Jean de Bourgogne, dit a la Barbe" is said to have revealed himself on his deathbed to d'Oultremouse, whom he made his executor, to have described himself in his will as "messire Jean de Mandeville, comte de Montfort en Angleterre et seigneur de l'isle de Campdi et du château Pérouse".

It is added that, having had the misfortune to kill an unnamed count in his own country, he engaged himself to travel through the three parts of the world, arrived at Liège in 1343, was a great naturalist, profound philosopher and astrologer, had a remarkable knowledge of physics. The identification is confirmed by the fact that in the now destroyed church of the Guillemins was a tombstone of Mandeville, with a Latin inscription stating that he was otherwise named "ad Barbam", was a professor of medicine, died at Liège on 17 November 1372: this inscription is quoted as far back as 1462. Before his death, the Liège physician seems to have confessed to a share in the circulation of, additions to, the work. In the common Latin abridged version of it, at the end of c. vii. the author says that when stopping in the sultan's court at Cairo he met a venerable and expert physician of "our" parts, but that they came into conversation because their duties were of a different kind, but that long afterwards at Liège he composed this treatise at the exhortation and with the help of the same venerable man, as he will narrate at the end of it.

And in the last chapter, he says that in 1355, on returning home, he came to Liège, being laid up with old age and arthritic gout in the street called Bassesavenyr, i.e. Basse-Sauvenière, consulted the physicians; that one came in, more venerable than the others by reason of his age and white hairs, was evidently expert in his art, was called Magister Iohannes ad Barbam. That a chance remark of the latter caused the renewal of their old Cairo acquaintance, that Ad Barbam, after showing his medical skill on Mandeville, urgently begged him to write his travels, he goes on to speak of himself as being now lodged in Liège, "which is only two days distant from the sea of England". Moreover, a manuscript of the French text extant at Liège about 1860 contained a similar statement, added that the author lodged at a hostel called "al hoste Henkin Levo": this manuscript gave the physician's name as "Johains de Bourgogne dit ale barbe", which doubtless conveys its local form. There is no contemporary English mention of any English knight named Jehan de Mandeville, nor are the arms said to have been on the Liège tomb like any known Mandeville arms.

However George F. Warner has suggested that de Bourgogne may be a certain Johan de Bourgoyne, pardoned by parliament on 20 August 1321 for having taken part in the attack on the Despensers, but w

Nikolay Kudryavtsev

Nikolay Kudryavtsev is rector at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Nikolay Kudryavtsev graduated from the Department of Molecular and Chemical Physics of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1973, he received his Ph. D. in physics and mathematics from the same institute in 1977. Dr. Kudryavtsev worked at MIPT in various positions including Molecular Physics Chair and dean of the Department of Molecular and Chemical Physics, he became professor in 1990. Since June 1997 he serves as rector at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In 2007 he was elected to Schlumberger Board of Directors. Professor Kudryavtsev is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Web site Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Russian Academy of Sciences Schlumberger

Western Correctional Institution

The Western Correctional Institution is a maximum security state prison for men located in Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland. It opened in 1996 and has an official capacity of 1793. Western Correctional Institution is close to two other correctional facilities: the high-tech "hyper max" North Branch Correctional Institution first opened as an extension of Western, separated in 2003, the Allegany County Detention Center. A third prison, the Federal Correctional Institution, Cumberland, is located in the same county. Joe Metheny, serial killer Hadden Clark, serial killer James Allen Kulbicki, Baltimore City police sergeant found guilty of murdering his mistress and made famous in the 1996 TV movie "Double Jeopardy"