Mértola is a municipality in southeastern Portuguese Alentejo near the Spanish border. In 2011, the population was 7,274, in an area of 1,292.87 square kilometres: it is the sixth-largest municipality in Portugal. Meanwhile, it is the second-lowest population centre by density with 5.62 persons/1 square kilometre. The seat of the municipality is the town of Mértola, which has around 2800 inhabitants, located on a hill over the Guadiana River, its strategic location made it an important fluvial commercial port in Classical Antiquity, through the period of Umayyad conquest of Hispania: Mértola's main church was the only medieval mosque to have survived the period in Portugal. In 2017 Mértola started the process to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. During Classical Antiquity, Mértola was inhabited by Phoenicians and the Romans, who called it Myrtilis Iulia; the strategic location of Mértola, on a hill by the northernmost navigable part of the Guadiana river, was crucial in its early development.

Agricultural products grown in the villae nearby and valuable minerals obtained from the lower Alentejo region were sent from the fluvial port of Mértola via the Guadiana to Southern Hispania and the Mediterranean. Between 1st and 2nd century, was part of the larger Pacensis region, acquired a great importance, as a dynamic commercial centre, permitting it to mint its own coin; the town was raised to the status of a Municipium in times of Emperor Augustus and was connected to important Roman cities through a road system. During the Migration Period, Mértola was invaded by Germanic tribes of the Sueves and the Visigoths. In this period commerce was reduced but still active, as evidenced by Greek tombstones from the 6th-7th centuries found in Mértola which suggest the presence of Byzantine merchants in the town. Around the year 711, Hispania was invaded by the Moors from the Maghreb, inaugurating a period of great influence of Islamic culture in the Alentejo region that would last over 400 years.

Mértola - called Martulah - and its port played an important economic role in the commerce of agricultural and mineral goods between the Alentejo and other parts of Al-Andalus and Northern Africa. Mértola had a wall dating from Roman times, but the Muslims built new fortifications and a castle to protect it from rival Muslim and Christian states. After the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba, in 1031, Mértola became an independent taifa state, until it was conquered by the taifa of Seville in 1044-1045. Between 1144 and 1150 the town was again seat of an independent state led by Ibn Qasi, a mystic and skilled military leader who unified Southern Portugal and fought the power of the Almoravides; the independence of the region, was soon ended by an invading Almohad army. The most important remnant from the Islamic period in Portugal is Mértola's ancient mosque, built in the second half of the 12th century and turned into a church, but where many of its original architectural characteristics were preserved.

In 1238, in the context of the Reconquista, the town was conquered by Portuguese King Sancho II, putting an end on several centuries of Islamic rule in the Mértola region. The town was donated to the Knights of the Order of Santiago, a Military Order that played a vital role in the Christian conquest of Southern Portugal; the seat of the Order was established in Mértola until 1316. From the Reconquista time date most of the castle, including its mighty keep, a letter of feudal rights, granted in 1254; the economic importance of Mértola and the Guadiana faded after the Reconquista. In the 15th-16th centuries, when the Portuguese conquered several cities in the Maghreb, Mértola experienced a brief revival in its economic relevance, supplying Portuguese troops in Northern Africa with cereals. King Manuel I granted a new foral to the town in 1512. After a long period of economic stagnation, the discovery of copper in the S. Domingos mines led to a new wave of development that would end abruptly in 1965, when the mine was exhausted.

In the next decades, the municipality lost much of its population, who emigrated to richer parts of Portugal and other European countries. Starting in the 1980s, a series of archaeological surveys brought to light various remnants of past periods of Mértola, the town became an important cultural touristic site. Administratively, the municipality is divided into 7 civil parishes: Alcaria Ruiva Corte do Pinto Espírito Santo Mértola Santana de Cambas São João dos Caldeireiros São Miguel do Pinheiro, São Pedro de Solis e São Sebastião dos Carros The castle of Mértola, located on the highest point of the town; the current building dates from a reconstruction carried out by the knights of the Order of Saint James of the Sword after the town was taken by the Christians. The most notable feature of the castle is its 30-metre-high keep tower, finished around 1292, which has an inner hall covered with Gothic vaulting; the defences include a city wall. Main church a mosque built between the 12th and 13th centuries.

After the Christian conquest of the town, in 1238, the mosque was turned into a church, but its architectonic structure was left unaltered. In the 16th century the church was remodelled, gaining Manueline vaulting with a new roof and a new main portal in Renaissance style; the inner arrangement of the naves of the church, with four naves and several columns resembles that of the original mosque, the interior

Johannes Nobel

Johannes Nobel was a German indologist and Buddhist scholar. Johannes Nobel was born June 1887 in Forst, he studied Indo-European languages, Arabic and Sanskrit at the University of Greifswald from 1907 from 1908 at the Friedrich Wilhelms University Berlin. In 1911 he completed his PhD thesis on the history of the Alamkãraśāstra, decided to work as a librarian. In 1915 he found employment at the Old Royal Library in Berlin. In the First World War, Nobel joined the Landsturm and was temporarily employed by the Supreme Army Command as chief interpreter for Turkish. In March 1920, Nobel joined the Preußische Staatsbibliothek as a librarian and in the same year, he defended his habilitation thesis, a work on Indian poetics, he received his teaching qualification in Indian philology at the University of Berlin in 1921. At the same time, he learned Chinese and Japanese and devoted himself to the research in Buddhist Studies. In 1927, Nobel was appointed extraordinary professor in Berlin. On April 1, 1928, he accepted a professorship for indology at the University of Marburg, which he held until his retirement in 1955.

He did not try to ingratiate himself with national socialism, although he had, in November 1933, been one of the signers of the confession of professors at German universities and colleges to Adolf Hitler and the national socialist state. His successor on the Marburg chair was Wilhelm Rau. Nobel's extensive studies and critical editions of Suvaraprabhāsasūtra, one of the most important Mahāyāna-Sūtras, appeared between 1937 and 1958. In 1925, Nobel published the translation of the Amaruśataka by Friedrich Rückert. Nobel's study book, his personal files and some unpublished manuscripts, including a corrected German version of his habilitation thesis, were discovered in his former institute in 2008. Suvarabhāsottamasūtra. Das Goldglanz-Sūtra: ein Sanskrittext des Mahāyāna-Buddhismus. Nach den Handschriften und mit Hilfe der tibetischen und chinesischen Übertragungen hrsg. Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1937 Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra. Das Goldglanz-Sūtra: ein Sanskrittext des Mahāyāna-Buddhismus. Die tibetische Übersetzung mit einem Wörterbuch.

Band 1: Tibetische Übersetzung, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 1944. Band 2: Wörterbuch Tibetisch-Deutsch-Sanskrit, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 1950 Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra. Das Goldglanz-Sūtra: ein Sanskrittext des Mahāyāna-Buddhismus. I-Tsing's chinesische Version und ihre tibetische Übersetzung. Volume 1: I-Tsing's chinesische Version. Volume 2: Die tibetische Übersetzung. Leiden: Brill, 1958 The Foundations of Indian Poetry and Their Historical Development. Calcutta 1925 Udrāyana, König von Roruka, eine buddhistische Erzählung. Bekenntnis der Professoren an den deutschen Universitäten und Hochschulen zu Adolf Hitler und dem nationalsozialistischen Staat. Überreicht vom National-sozialistischen Lehrerbund Deutschland/Gau Sachsen, 1933, p. 136 Dimitrov, Nachlaß Nobel, Universität Marburg, Indologie und Tibetologie Hanneder, Jürgen. Marburger Indologie im Umbruch. Zur Geschichte des Faches 1845–1945. München: Kirchheim-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-87410-140-0. Pp. 60- Nobel, Johannes. Beiträge zur älteren Geschichte des Alamkãraśāstra.

Berlin: Schade Nobel, Johannes. The Foundations of Indian Poetry and Their Historical Development, Calcutta Oriental Series, vol. 16. Calcutta: R N Seal Rau, Wilhelm. Johannes Nobel. Commemoration volume in honour of Johannes Nobel. On the occasion of his 70th birthday offered by colleagues. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi, pp. 1-16 Rückert, trans.. Die hundert Strophen des Amaru, aus dem Sanskrit metrisch übersetzt von Friedrich Rückert. Nach der Handschrift der Preußischen Staatsbibliothek. Hannover: Lafaire Rau, Wilhelm. Johannes Nobel, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 111, 6-12 Vogel, Claus. Johannes Nobel. In: Neue Deutsche Biographie vol. 19, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. ISBN 3-428-00200-8, pp. 301-

Zork books

The Zork books were a series of four books, written by S. Eric Meretzky, which took place in the fictional universe of Zork; the books were published by Tor Books. Like the Zork video games, the books were a form of interactive fiction which offered the reader a choice of actions symbolized by pages to turn to, as in the contemporary book series Choose Your Own Adventure or the Give Yourself Goosebumps series; the protagonists of each book were a boy and girl, called Bill and June on Earth and re-dubbed Bivotar and Juranda in Zork. The settings and plots were reminiscent of events from the Zork universe. At each ending the player received a score from zero to ten based on how far they had made it through the book and, if the ending were a failure, a chance to try again at the incorrect choice; the books usually contained a "cheater trap", reached by opting to use an item which does not exist. In these traps, the story abruptly ends; the books were translated into Spanish. All four books were published as "What-Do-I-Do-Now Books".

Copies did contain publication errors—page numbers that the reader was directed to turn to or turn back to were at times incorrect. The first three books were published as a trilogy in August and September 1983; the fourth book in the series was published in October 1984. The first book in the Zork series, The Forces of Krill, used familiar Zork locations and scoring systems. Bivotar and Juranda are on a quest to find the three Palantirs of Zork and to defeat the evil sorcerer Krill. There were 20 possible endings; the second book in the Zork series, The Malifestro Quest, contained several inside jokes for those familiar with the Zork games. Bivotar and Juranda must rescue the hero Syovar and two quirky elves and Max, from the evil wizard Malifestro. There were 18 possible endings; the third book in the Zork series, The Cavern of Doom, tried to capture the "exploring the dungeon" motif of the earlier games. Bivotar and Juranda search the Cavern of Doom, an uncharted portion of the Great Underground Empire and the site of several mysterious disappearances, including the elves Fred and Max.

There were 17 possible endings. The fourth book in the Zork series, the Conquest of Quendor, featured silly riddles reminiscent of Zork II. Bivotar and Juranda search for the Helm of Zork in an attempt to bring peace to the Land of Frobozz, in defiance of Jeearr, a riddle-telling demon. There are 17 possible endings. Of six novels published as "Infocom Books" by Avon Books between 1989–1991, two were directly based on Zork: The Zork Chronicles by George Alec Effinger and The Lost City of Zork by Robin W. Bailey. S. Eric Meretzky; the Forces of Krill. ISBN 0-8125-7975-5. S. Eric Meretzky; the Malifestro Quest. ISBN 0-8125-7980-1. S. Eric Meretzky; the Caverns of Doom. ISBN 0-8125-7985-2. S. Eric Meretzky. Conquest at Quendor. ISBN 0-8125-5989-4. Gamebook