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Latvian mythology

Latvian mythology is the collection of myths that have emerged throughout the history of Latvia, sometimes being elaborated upon by successive generations, at other times being rejected and replaced by other explanatory narratives. These myths stem from folk traditions of pre-Christian Baltic mythology. Latvian mythology is used as a tool for reconstructing and analysing the historical pagan beliefs and national identity of Latvia. There are few reports of Baltic tribes, the ancestors of modern Latvians, their mythology until Christianization in the 13th century. Since Christianization, there have been several reports related to local mythology including chronicles, travel reports, visitation records, Jesuit reports and other accounts of pagan practices; these reports are considered secondary sources by researchers because since the authors were not Latvian, they did not speak the local languages and were biased. These materials are sometimes imprecise and contain errors and distortions stemming from a Christian world view.

Despite this, they can be verified using information from folklore. Most folklore materials have been collected since the mid-19th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was assumed that Baltic tribes were one nation and thus had the same deities. Early authors trying to reconstruct a Latvian pantheon using data from neighboring regions; this trend was also adapted by Latvian national romanticists. After the abolition of serfdom, a new national identity was forming and authors sought to prove that Baltic cultural traditions were as deep as those of other nations, it was hoped. It was thought that the ancient religion, forgotten during 700 years of oppression, could be reconstructed. However, folklore sources proved insufficient for the task; some attempted to reconstruct pantheons to be as impressive as in Greek mythology, which led to some deities being invented. Besides the assumption that deities of other Baltic peoples must be Latvian as well but were lost over time, many new deities were modeled after Greek and Roman deities.

An example of the trend is the epic poem Lāčplēsis by Andrejs Pumpurs, which features a pantheon of Latvian and Prussian gods and some the author has invented himself. Works of Juris Alunāns and poet Miķelis Krogzemis feature pantheons of invented deities. At the same time, some pagan rites were still practiced. And, as Christianity was seen as alien, attempts were made to recreate the ancient religion; the most successful of the neopagan movements was Dievturi, established in late 1920s, which claims that ancient Latvians were monotheistic and the various mythological beings are all aspects of one God. While the notion of needing to remove alien influences to reconstruct Latvian traditions was preserved into times, the attempts to create an Olympus-like pantheon of pseudo-gods stopped as national romanticism was replaced by realism and came to be criticized in the first half of 20th century, it was suspected that some of the folklore materials might have been falsified. The research of this time is characterised not only by skepticism, but with attempts to seek foreign influences.

After the Second World War, under Soviet occupation, research of mythology and religious concepts was banned in Latvia. Members of neopagan groups were persecuted as paganism was considered chauvinistic. Despite this, research was continued by Latvians in exile, who focused on the mythology of folk songs; the songs were seen as the best source for mythology research during the interwar period. The reason was that since the need to preserve poetic metre and melody limited possible changes, it was thought that ancient notions were better preserved in them than in other genres of folklore. Accordingly, folk songs were the only source for research for a long time; this approach has been criticized by modern researchers who have proposed that themes mentioned in other genres, such as fairy tales and records of folk beliefs and magic practices, might complement folk songs as each genre contains different themes and might provide only partial insight into mythology. Although research in Latvia could only restart in the 1980s, the 1970s saw the emergence of a folklore movement with members which could be described as neopagans.

These groups were pantheistic, less uniform, less dogmatic, interested in the protection of nature and cultural heritage, more open to the influence of traditions from neighboring nations. Marginal movements have explored spirituality in both local traditions and religious and spiritual practices of the world, such as Eastern religions. For example, Pokaiņi forest was announced to be an ancient sacral site by one of these groups in the late 1990s, it attracts thousands of visitors each season. Dievturi, which resumed operating in Latvia just before the restoration of independence in 1990, is the only recognized pagan religion and had around 600 followers as of 2001. Given the decreasing influence of the movement, its name is sometimes applied in a broader sense to any modern practice related to folklore. There are various reconstructions of Latvian mythical space, but most researchers agree on the meaning of certain features related to the sky; the sky itself is identified as Debeskalns. The sky is referred to as Mountain of Pebbles, Silver Mountain or Ice Mountain, with the adjectives referring to stars or snow.

It has been suggested that Dievs is a symbol of the sky because the etymology of his name seems to be related to sky. Dievs is considered to be the supreme deity. Another celestial deity is the g

The Nations!

The Nations! is a Canadian/New Zealand digital comedy/reality competition series starring Sean Cullen and Jarred Christmas. It premiered on CBC Punchline and Television New Zealand on 29 February 2016; the Nations is a comedic take on the travelogue, where two comedian hosts travel each of their respective nations, discussing which one is better on a variety of topics. Hosted by Sean Cullen and Jarred Christmas, the series looks at strange facts and locations from each country, focusing on food, politics, etc; the interactive website that accompanies the digital series allows users to vote on the'winner' of each episode, while competing against other users by partaking in quizzes and more, culminating in the final decision of which nation is the best. The winning nation has yet to be announced. Rob Ford – Former Mayor of Toronto Don Newman – Broadcast journalist Jacinda Ardern – Labour Party MP Meghan Agosta – Hockey player, Canada women's national ice hockey team Noah Cantor – Former football player, Canadian Football League Jill Barber - Musician Villainy - Band Kings - Musician Chris Locke - Comedian Allison Price - Comedian Cassie Moes - Comedian Pax Assadi - Comedian Dr. Jess O'Reilly - Sexologist The Nations! official website The Nations! on CBC Punchline The Nations! on TVNZ


Taggia is a comune in the Province of Imperia in the Italian region Liguria, located about 110 kilometres southwest of Genoa and about 15 km west of Imperia. It has around 13,000 inhabitants. Taggia borders the following municipalities: Badalucco, Ceriana, Pietrabruna, Riva Ligure, Sanremo; the town is divided into three parts: Taggia proper, located in the Valle Argentina in the immediate outback, it can be considered the proper centre of the city. The town can be found at ten miles from the city of Imperia. Tombs dating from the 10th-7th centuries BC have been found in the area of Taggia. During the Roman domination it was an important commercial port, known as Costa Balenae. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the old centre was damaged by the invasion of Rotharis's Lombards and by a landslide in 690; the inhabitants moved to a new walled settlement, called Tabia. Despite its defences, in 889 it was sacked and razed to the ground by the Saracens The rebuilt burgh became in 1153 a fief of the Clavesana family, but soon it was acquired by the Republic of Genoa.

In 1273 it became an autonomous commune receiving a podestà named in Genoa, under which it remained until its disappearing in the Napoleonic Wars. It was part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and of the Kingdom of Italy. Basilica of San Giacomo and San Filippo, built on an 11th-century Romanesque church. Church of Santa Maria del Canneto. Church of San Martino di Tours, housing 15th-century frescoes. Convent of San Domenico, it has some pictures painted by Ludovico Brea. Palazzo Asdente. Palazzo Curlo. Palazzo Vivaldi. Taggia is situated on the Via Aurelia, it has a gate on the A10 Highway. Taggia has a railway station on the Genoa–Ventimiglia line. Official website

International Socialist Organisation (New Zealand)

The International Socialist Organisation is a Trotskyist organisation in New Zealand. The founders of the ISO in New Zealand, notably Brian Roper and Laurel Hepburn, were active in the International Socialist Organisation in Australia, a section of the International Socialism current. Returning to New Zealand, they formed the Dunedin-based ISO in the early 1990s; the organisation played a leading role in the student protest movement of the early 1990s. As a result of its own development, the Communist Party of New Zealand was attracted to the International Socialism current, developed links with the British Socialist Workers Party, the leading representative of that current; this meant that there were two competing representatives of the same political ideology in New Zealand, which led to the SWP brokering a fusion between the two groups. The ISO and CPNZ fused in the 1990s to form the Socialist Workers Organization. However, a majority of the former ISO soon left as a result of what were seen as Stalinist practices on the part of the former CPNZ leadership.

The ISO resumed its separate existence, expanded from Dunedin to form a branch in Wellington. The Wellington branch reopened in 2012 after being closed for several years. An Auckland branch was established in 2013. Branches in all three centres continue to function, with strong orientation around the university campuses; the ISO's publication, Socialist Review, has been produced sporadically over the lifetime of the organisation. It passed its 50th issue in 2014; the ISO has been active in anti-war campaigns, environmental campaigns, union work. In the 2011 election, the ISO supported the Mana Party; the ISO was part of the Mana movement, until democratic consensus determined that the ISO would withdraw from the Mana movement in early 2015The ISO has close ties with Socialist Alternative in Australia. International Socialist Tendency ISO New Zealand Kaimahi Kaha

USS Kajeruna (SP-389)

USS Kajeruna was a patrol vessel that served in the United States Navy from 1917 to 1919. The vessel had been built in 1902 as Hauoli for mining magnate Francis Marion "Borax" Smith but was replaced in 1903 by a second, larger vessel he named Hauoli; the first yacht was named Seminole and for a time was returned to the builder, John N. Robins, advertised for sale by the designer's firm. In 1911 Clinton W. Kinsella of New York purchased the yacht already renamed Kajeruna. After naval service the yacht was returned to the owner. On 31 March 1920 the ship was renamed Tomas W. Beattie. There were two yachts named Hauoli designed by Henry J. Gielow and built a year apart by Robins Dry Dock & Repair Company, New York, for Smith; this leads to apparent discrepancies in specifications in contemporary reports regarding Hauoli. The registration's official number and call signal remains with the vessel through name and ownership changes. In this case the official numbers are close, differing in only a single digit: 96634 for the first and 96694 for the second.

The first yacht, found by Smith to be too small, was immediately replaced with a new larger yacht launched the summer after the first yacht. This first Hauoli was renamed Seminole Kajeruna. Ownership of this yacht after delivery of the new yacht was for a time with the builder, John N. Robins, with the designing firm offering it for sale during 1911 and 1912; the second Hauoli, registered with official number 96694 and signal letters KSNM, was designed by Henry J. Gielow and built for Smith by the Robins Dry Dock & Repair Company in 1903; this yacht is shown with registered specifications of 299 GRT with a 211 ft length overall, 22 ft 2 in beam and 8 ft 8 in draft and having four Almy boilers providing steam for a four-cylinder, triple expansion engine built by J. W. Sullivan of New York was taken in for Navy service in 1917 as USS California; the steam yacht Hauoli was built in 1902 by Robins Dry Dock & Repair Company, New York, for mining magnate Francis Marion "Borax" Smith. The yacht was launched 31 May 1902 at John N. Robbins' shipyard, Erie Basin, New York with Miss Lulu Pfizer christening the vessel Hauoli as the Hawaiian word for "delight" in the presence of Mr. Smith's business manager and several hundred friends.

On registration Hauoli was assigned the official number 96634 with call letters KRTJ with home port being New York. Hauoli was built under his direct supervision; the hull was divided into four water tight compartments and was double bottomed with those bottom spaces capable of either fresh water storage or water ballasting. That yacht is described as being 147 GRT with a 147 ft 4 in length overall, 14 ft 6 in beam and 6 ft 8 in draft, it had two twenty-two foot deck houses placed fore and aft of the machinery space that had funnel and ventilators visible between the houses and an open bridge above the forward deck house. It is described as having two boilers. Two twenty-two foot in length deck houses were placed fore and aft of the machinery space, topped by a single stack and ventilators. A dining saloon with a table seating for up to fourteen people occupied the forward portion of the forward deck house; the open navigating bridge was atop the deck house. A butler's pantry was fitted in the after portion and connected to the galley on the deck below by a dumb waiter.

The aft deck house had a piano, large sofas on each side with a folding berth on the partition between the main space and a forward portion devoted to a dressing room and lavatory with toilet. That space could be entered from either the deck. About a quarter of the way between the aft deck house and stern was the companionway giving access to the staterooms occupied by the owner and his wife that lay forward aft the machinery space bulkhead; that steel bulkhead was double with asbestos insulation in the form of interior bulkheads with air space between to reduce noise to the owner's spaces. Between those and the companionway, going aft, lay a large stateroom and bath on the starboard side. Opposite those were two portside staterooms. Aft of the staterooms was the main saloon with direct access to the afterdeck by the companionway. Water storage tanks flanked the companionway. Forward of the owner's quarters and the aft deckhouse was the machinery space with the other habitable parts of the vessel forward of that space.

Just forward was the galley occupying the full width of the yacht. A refrigerator and cold storage occupied the port side of the galley while with the food preparation area and dumb waiter were starboard and the large stove placed amidships at the aft bulkhead. Forward of the galley were staterooms flanking a short passageway for the yacht's captain on the starboard side and the engineer to the port side. Forward of those was berthing for a crew of ten with two to port. A toilet occupied space forward on the port side. Forward of the toilet and bunks was a two-person stateroom for the stewards. Lloyd's Register of American Yachts for 1905 — 6 shows the first Haouli as renamed Seminole and being owned by John N. Robins, the builder. In an October 1911 advertisement by the designing firm, Gielow & Orr, the yacht is for sale as Hauoli. Seminole is shown in registers as owned by Robins until the 30 June 1910 Annual List of Merchant Vessels of the United States when the vessel is shown as Kajeruna.

By June 1911 the register shows Kajeruna with Clinton W. Kinsella of New York as owner; some confusion about owner's names may be caused by news reports of F. E. Kinsella related, with a racing motorboat at the same time with the name Kajeruna. By December 1916 the y

Political history of the Roman military

Rome's military was always keyed to its political system. In the Roman kingdom the social standing of a person impacted both his political and military roles, which were organised into familial clans such as the Julia; these clans wielded a large amount of power and were huge influences through the Roman Kingdom into the Republic. The political system was from an early date based upon competition within the ruling elite, the Patricians. Senators in the Republic competed fiercely for public office, the most coveted of, the post of Consul. Two were elected each year to head the government of the state, would be assigned a consular army and an area in which to campaign. From Gaius Marius and Sulla onwards, control of the army began to be tied into the political ambitions of individuals, leading to the first triumvirate of the 1st century BC and the resulting Caesar’s civil war; the late Republic and Empire was plagued by usurpations led by or supported by the military, leading to the crisis of the third century in the late empire.

Under the Etruscan king Servius Tullius, a person's social standing and wealth determined both their political and military role: following his reforms, a rich man would have had greater voting rights, greater standing within the military, than a poor man. A further politicization of the military involved officers for a unit not belonging to and being drawn from the class of the military unit he commanded but being selected through voting. In the republic, the tradition of social class determining military duty continued, despite structural changes - the rich equestrians continued to serve together in the equites for instance - but the lower ranks became less politicized and based upon a mix of social class and military experience rather than social class alone. For non-citizens, 25 years in the army was a guaranteed way of gaining citizenship for them and their family. Despite these changes on the bottom rungs of the military, amongst the army's commanders a process began of politicizing military command.

In the Republic, military service made a person of the equestrian class eligible for a wide range of profitable postings: military triumphs boosted a person's career, military service became a pre-requirement for a number of political posts. Intended to ensure that all political leaders had shown dedication and duty serving in the military, the effect was to cause military experience to become of paramount importance to a Roman's political career, with the eventual consequence that armies would become tools for the political goals of their generals, rather than neutrally aligned forces of the state. At the highest level, two consuls were elected each year to head the government of the state and were appointed the commanders-in-chief of the Roman army, would be assigned a consular army and an area in which to campaign. In 100 BC, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus was tribune and advocated several social reforms, among, a bill that gave colonial lands to war veterans, a suggestion, radical and displeasing to the patrician senate, which opposed the measures.

Violence broke out and the Senate ordered Gaius Marius, as Consul for that year, to put down the revolt. Marius, although he was allied with the radicals, complied with the request and put down the revolt in the interest of public order; the political issue of land allocation for Rome's military veterans would return several times to haunt the state including 14 AD when an army in central Europe mutinied over the failure of the state to provide land plots for soldiers. After the conclusion of the Social War, certain of Rome's eastern provinces became under threat of invasion and it was necessary to raise an army to counter the threat; the choice before the Senate was to put either Consul Consul Sulla in command of an army. There was a fierce rivalry between the two, in part due to a competitive instinct amongst the two as successful generals, but more distrust on Sulla's part that Marius held unhealthy ambitions; the Roman Republic was always on guard against any citizen gaining too much prominence, lest he seize power and restore Rome as a kingdom.

Marius had served five consulships and enjoyed widespread popularity. The senate made its decision and Sulla was given the job but a short time the decision was reversed by the Assembly, Marius placed in command. Wary of Marius' prominence and previous five terms as consul, suspecting bribery in the securing of the position to command the army, Sulla refused to acknowledge the validity of the Assembly's action. Sulla left Rome and traveled to reach the army waiting in Nola, the army the Senate had asked him to lead against Mithridates. Sulla urged his legions to accept him as their rightful leader. Sulla was successful and the legions stoned the representatives from the Assembly when they arrived, defying the state's orders. Sulla commanded six legions to march with him to Rome; this was a momentous event, was unforeseen by Marius, as no Roman army had marched upon Rome - it was forbidden by law and ancient tradition. Marius fled with no great loss of life and Sulla disbanded his legions and re-established consular government, but the military had been shown to be able to be used as a political tool of individuals.

It was a pattern to be repeated more famously by Caesar. During the First Triumvirate of Julius Caesar and Crassus, each of the triumvires used military success to enhance their own political and public status; the wealthy consul Crassus, w