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Lombards

The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon wrote in the Historia Langobardorum that the Lombards descended from a small tribe called the Winnili, who dwelt in southern Scandinavia before migrating to seek new lands. In the 1st century AD, they formed part of the Suebi, in north-western Germany. By the end of the 5th century, they had moved into the area coinciding with modern Austria and Slovakia north of the Danube river, where they subdued the Heruls and fought frequent wars with the Gepids; the Lombard king Audoin defeated the Gepid leader Thurisind in 551 or 552. Following this victory, Alboin decided to lead his people to Italy, which had become depopulated and devastated after the long Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom there. In contrast with the Goths and the Vandals, the Lombards left Scandinavia and descended south through Germany and Slovenia, only leaving Germanic territory a few decades before reaching Italy.

The Lombards would have remained a predominantly Germanic tribe by the time they invaded Italy. The Lombards were joined by numerous Saxons, Gepids, Bulgars and Ostrogoths, their invasion of Italy was unopposed. By late 569 they had conquered all of northern Italy and the principal cities north of the Po River except Pavia, which fell in 572. At the same time, they occupied areas in southern Italy, they established a Lombard Kingdom in north and central Italy named Regnum Italicum, which reached its zenith under the 8th-century ruler Liutprand. In 774, the Kingdom was integrated into his Empire. However, Lombard nobles continued to rule southern parts of the Italian peninsula well into the 11th century, when they were conquered by the Normans and added to their County of Sicily. In this period, the southern part of Italy still under Longobardic domination was known to the foreigners by the name Langbarðaland, in the Norse runestones, their legacy is apparent in the regional name Lombardy. A legendary account of Lombard origins and practices is the Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon, written in the 8th century.

Paul's chief source for Lombard origins, however, is the 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum tells the story of a small tribe called the Winnili dwelling in southern Scandinavia; the Winnili were split into three groups and one part left their native land to seek foreign fields. The reason for the exodus was overpopulation; the departing people were led by the brothers Ybor and Aio and their mother Gambara and arrived in the lands of Scoringa the Baltic coast or the Bardengau on the banks of the Elbe. Scoringa was ruled by the Vandals and their chieftains, the brothers Ambri and Assi, who granted the Winnili a choice between tribute or war; the Winnili were young and brave and refused to pay tribute, saying "It is better to maintain liberty by arms than to stain it by the payment of tribute." The Vandals prepared for war and consulted Godan, who answered that he would give the victory to those whom he would see first at sunrise. The Winnili were fewer in number and Gambara sought help from Frea, who advised that all Winnili women should tie their hair in front of their faces like beards and march in line with their husbands.

At sunrise, Frea turned her husband's bed so that he was facing east, woke him. So Godan spotted the Winnili first and asked, "Who are these long-beards?," and Frea replied, "My lord, thou hast given them the name, now give them the victory." From that moment onwards, the Winnili were known as the Longbeards. When Paul the Deacon wrote the Historia between 787 and 796 he was a Catholic monk and devoted Christian, he thought the pagan stories of his people "silly" and "laughable". Paul explained. A modern theory suggests that the name "Langobard" comes from a name of Odin. Priester states that when the Winnili changed their name to "Lombards", they changed their old agricultural fertility cult to a cult of Odin, thus creating a conscious tribal tradition. Fröhlich inverts the order of events in Priester and states that with the Odin cult, the Lombards grew their beards in resemblance of the Odin of tradition and their new name reflected this. Bruckner remarks that the name of the Lombards stands in close relation to the worship of Odin, whose many names include "the Long-bearded" or "the Grey-bearded", that the Lombard given name Ansegranus shows that the Lombards had this idea of their chief deity.

The same Old Norse root Barth or Barði, meaning "beard", is shared with the Heaðobards mentioned in both Beowulf and in Widsith, where they are in conflict with the Danes. They were a branch of the Langobards. Alternatively some etymological sources suggest an Old High German root, meaning “axe”, while Edward Gibbon puts forth an alternative suggestion which argues that: …Börde still signifies “a fertile plain by the side of a river,” and a district near Magdeburg is still called the lange Börde. According to this view Langobardi woul

Remmius Palaemon

Quintus Remmius Palaemon or Quintus Rhemnius Fannius Palaemon was a Roman grammarian and a native of Vicentia. He lived during the reigns of Emperors Claudius. From Suetonius, we learn that he was a slave who obtained his freedom and taught grammar at Rome. Suetonius preserves several anecdotes of his arrogant character, he was so steeped in luxury. Tiberius and Claudius both felt he was too dissolute to allow boys and young men to be entrusted to him, he referred to the great grammarian Varro as a "pig." However, he had a remarkable memory and wrote poetry in unusual meters, he enjoyed a great reputation as a teacher. His lost Ars, a system of grammar much used in his own time and drawn upon by grammarians, contained rules for correct diction, illustrative quotations and discussed barbarisms and solecisms. An extant Ars grammatica and other unimportant treatises on similar subjects have been wrongly ascribed to him. Among Palaemon's ascribed works is a Song on Weights and Measures now dated to between the late 4th and early 6th centuries.

In this poem, first edited in 1528, the term gramma is used for a weight equal to two oboli. This led to the adoption of the term gram as a unit of weight by the French National Convention in 1795. Burman, Poetae Latini Minores sive Gratii Falisci Cynegeticon, M. Aurelii Olympii Nemesiani Cynegeticon, Et Ejusdem Eclogae IV, T. Calpurnii Siculi Eclogae VII, Claudii Rutilii Numatiani Iter, Q. Serenus Samonicus De Medicina, Vindicianus sive Marcellus De Medicina, Q. Rhemnius Fannius Palaemon De Ponderibus & Mensuris, et Sulpiciae Satyra cum integris Doctorum Virorum Notis & quorumdam excerptis, Vols. I & II, Leiden: Conrad Wishoff & Daniël Gödval. Marschall, C. De Remmii Palaemonis Libris Grammaticis. Kolendo, J. "De Q. Remmio Palaemone Grammatico et Agricola", Meander, No. 39, pp. 407–418. Nettleship, Henry, "Latin Grammar in the First Century", Journal of Philology, No. 15. Olenic, R. M. "Reconstitution de l'Ars grammatica de Q. Remmius Palémon", Problèmes de Philologie Classique, Vol. III, Lvov: Univ. I.

Franka, pp. 98–107. Sandys, John Edwin, History of Classical Scholarship, 2nd ed.. Bibliography on Palaemon at Corpus Grammaticorum Latinorum Suetonius's De Grammaticis in English translation

Tanks of New Zealand

The New Zealand Army use of tanks from after the First World War, through the interwar period, the Second World War, the Cold War and to the present day has been limited, but there is some history. The New Zealand armed forces developed in the early twentieth century but served alongside the British and other Empire and Commonwealth nations in World War I and World War II; the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 led to an expansion of New Zealand's armoured force and the New Zealand Armoured Corps was formed in January 1942. From 1942 small numbers of American light and medium tanks were supplied to and used by the New Zealand Army, along with British tanks. Throughout this period the Army has been a light infantry force, but New Zealand did design its own tanks such as the Schofield tank named after its designer, the Bob Semple tank designed by New Zealand Minister of Works Bob Semple during World War II. Originating out of the need to build military hardware from available materials in New Zealand, the New Zealand designed Bob Semple tank was built from corrugated iron on a tractor base.

Built early in the second World War, these tanks were a civilian effort to design and create a means to protect New Zealand. Designed and built without formal plans or blueprints, it had numerous design flaws and practical difficulties, was never put into mass production or used in combat. Working from an American postcard depicting the conversion of a tractor to a'tractor-tank', Bob Semple and TG Beck, improvised the design of the tanks. Using resources available to Bob Semple as Minister of Public Works, the tanks were produced in their Christchurch workshops; the Vickers Mk VI British Light Tank was supplied to the New Zealand forces and used as a scout tank in North Africa, to gather up scattered troops, leaving the main attacks to the heavier tanks. The New Zealand forces were supplied with the M3 Stuart Tank, an American tank, used by the New Zealand Division as a battle tank in North Africa; the New Zealand Division fought in Greece, the Western Desert and Italy. In the Western Desert Campaign, the division was given the new American M3 Lee/Grant tanks and played a prominent role in the defeat of German and Italian forces in the Second Battle of El Alamein and the British Eighth Army's advance to Tunisia.

In June 1942 twenty-two M3 Hybrid Light Stuart Tanks were the first to arrive in New Zealand, in October 1941 twenty Valentine Mk II tanks arrived in New Zealand, they were issued to the 1st Army Tank Brigade. More British Valentine tanks arrived and New Zealand received 98 Mk IIs, 80 Mk IIIs and 77 Mk Vs. A total of 18 Mk IIIs were converted with heavier 3 pounder guns; the New Zealand armoured forces received and operated with the M4 Sherman and Firefly tank in Italy in 1944 with the 2nd New Zealand Division. In the war the Valentine infantry tank produced in the United Kingdom with the 2-pounder gun was sent to the Pacific theater and used by the 3rd New Zealand Division. New Zealand, like its neighbour Australia, had no indigenous armoured fighting vehicle industry, so it had to allow makeshift tanks such as the Schofield tank, it was expected that armoured fighting vehicles would be provided from the UK. Australia and New Zealand did have some heavy industry that could be turned to the production of armour and armoured vehicles but little had been done.

The idea of mechanising the New Zealand Army had been suggested before the war but there hadn't been much progress. The use of the US Disston "Six Ton Tractor Tank" a 1937 vehicle constructed of an armoured box on a Caterpillar Model 35 chassis, sold to Afghanistan and China was suggested. New Zealand had built some improvised armoured trucks and unable to get any tracked carriers from Australia were building their own with armour plate imported from Australia. After the Fall of France in mid-1940, the loss of most British tanks there, there was no likelihood of production being spared for New Zealand. Rather than obtain the armoured superstructures from the US, it was felt they could produce their own using local materials and resources; the 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade came into being on 5 October 1942 after the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade was converted into an armoured brigade. They were part of the 2nd New Zealand Division, which had seen action in the Battle of Greece, the Battle of Crete and in the North African Campaign, having a leading part in the Second Battle of El Alamein.

The brigade arrived in Italy in October 1943 and took part in a number of battles over the course of a sixteen-month campaign in Italy. Upon formation the 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade was composed only of one regiment, the 19th Armoured Regiment. However, by the time it deployed to Italy in October 1943 it was composed of the following units: 18th New Zealand Armoured Regiment 19th New Zealand Armoured Regiment 20th New Zealand Armoured Regiment 22nd New Zealand Motor Battalion; the armoured regiments were organized along British lines although with fewer tanks than their British counterparts. A New Zealand armoured regiment consisted of 52 Sherman tanks; these composed three Squadrons of sixteen tanks. In addition the regiment contained a Recce Troop equipped with Stuart V light tanks in both turreted and turret less configurations and an Intercommunication troop equipped with Lynx light scout cars; each Squadron consisted of a Squadron Headquarters with four tanks and four troops each of three tanks.

They took part in many battles and together with units of the U. S. 1st Armored Division and Commonwealth troops, formed the New Zealand Corps and were tasked with the capture of the town of Cassino, its skyline dominated by a