Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
The Sabines were an Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of ancient Italy inhabiting Latium north of the Anio before the founding of Rome. The Sabines divided into two populations just after the founding of Rome, described by Roman legend; the division, however it came about, is not legendary. The population closer to Rome transplanted itself to the new city and united with the preexisting citizenry, beginning a new heritage that descended from the Sabines but was Latinized; the second population remained a mountain tribal state, coming to war against Rome for its independence along with all the other Italic tribes. After losing, it became assimilated into the Roman Republic. There is little record of the Sabine language. There are personal names in use on Latin inscriptions from the Sabine country, but these are given in Latin form. Robert Seymour Conway, in his Italic Dialects, gives 100 words which vary from being well attested as Sabine to being of Sabine origin. In addition to these he cites place names derived from the Sabine, sometimes giving attempts at reconstructions of the Sabine form.
Based on all the evidence, the Linguist List tentatively classifies Sabine as a member of the Umbrian Group of Italic languages of the Indo-European family. Latin-speakers called the Sabines' original territory, straddling the modern regions of Lazio and Abruzzo, Sabinium. To this day, it bears the ancient tribe's name in the Italian form of Sabina. Within the modern region of Lazio, Sabina constitutes a sub-region, situated north-east of Rome, around Rieti. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, many Roman historians regarded the origins of indigenous Romans to be Greek though their knowledge was derived from Greek legendary accounts. Dionysius regarded Lista as the mother-city of the Aborigines. Ancient historians debated the specific origins of the Sabines. Zenodotus of Troezen claimed that the Sabines were Umbrians that changed their name after being driven from the Reatine territory by the Pelasgians. However, Porcius Cato argued that the Sabines were a populace named after the son of Sancus.
In another account mentioned in Dionysius's work, a group of Lacedaemonians fled Sparta since they regarded the laws of Lycurgus as too severe. In Italy, they founded the Spartan colony of Foronia and some from that colony settled among the Sabines. According to the account, the Sabine habits of belligerence and frugality were known to have derived from the Spartans. Plutarch mentions, in the Life of Numa Pompilius, "Sabines, who declare themselves to be a colony of the Lacedaemonians". Legend says; the resultant war ended only by the women throwing themselves and their children between the armies of their fathers and their husbands. The Rape of the Sabine Women became a common motif in art. According to Livy, after the conflict, the Sabine and Roman states merged, the Sabine king Titus Tatius jointly ruled Rome with Romulus until Tatius' death five years later. Three new centuries of Equites were introduced at Rome, including one named Tatienses, after the Sabine king. A variation of the story is recounted in the pseudepigraphal Sefer haYashar.
Tradition suggests that the population of the early Roman kingdom was the result of a union of Sabines and others. Some of the gentes of the Roman republic were proud of their Sabine heritage, such as the Claudia gens, assuming Sabinus as a cognomen or agnomen; some Sabine deities and cults were known at Rome: Semo Sancus and Quirinus, at least one area of the town, the Quirinale, where the temples to those latter deities were located, had once been a Sabine centre. The extravagant claims of Varro and Cicero that augury, divination by dreams and the worship of Minerva and Mars originated with the Sabines are disputable, as they were general Italic and Latin customs, as well as Etruscan though they were espoused by Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome and a Sabine. Titus Tatius, legendary King of the Sabines Numa Pompilius, legendary King of Rome Ancus Marcius, legendary King of Rome Quintus Sertorius, republican general Attius Clausus, founder of the Roman Claudia gens Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Roman writer Marcus Terentius Varro, Roman scholar Dius Fidius Feronia Ops Quirinus Sabus Sancus Soranus Vacuna Varro's list of Sabine gods During the expansion of ancient Rome, there were a series of conflicts with the Sabines.
Manius Curius Dentatus conquered the Sabines in 290 BC. The citizenship without the right of suffrage was given to the Sabines in the same year; the right of suffrage was granted to the Sabines in 268 BC. Ancient peoples of Italy Hostus Hostilius Ovid, Fasti Ovid, Ars Amatoria Livy, Ab urbe condita Cicero, De Republica Plutarch, Parallel Lives Juvenal, Satires Donaldson, John William. "Chapter IV: The Sabello-Oscan Language". Varronianus: a critical and historical introduction to the ethnography of ancient Italy and the philological study of the Latin language. London: John W. Parker and Son. Brown, Robert. "Livy's Sabine Women and the Ideal of Concordia." Transactions of the American Philological Association 125: 291-319
A consul held the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic, ancient Romans considered the consulship the highest level of the cursus honorum. Each year, the citizens of Rome elected two consuls to serve jointly for a one-year term; the consuls alternated in holding imperium each month, a consul's imperium extended over Rome and the provinces. However, after the establishment of the Empire, the consuls became mere symbolic representatives of Rome's republican heritage and held little power and authority, with the Emperor acting as the supreme authority. After the legendary expulsion of the last Etruscan King, Tarquin the Proud, a harsh ruler at the end of the Roman Kingdom, most of the powers and authority of the king were ostensibly given to the newly instituted consulship; this change in leadership came about when the king's son, Sextus Tarquinius, raped the wife and daughter of powerful Roman nobles. A group of nobles led by Lucius Junius Brutus, with the support of the Roman Army, expelled Tarquinius and his family from Rome in 509 BC.
Consuls were called praetors, referring to their duties as the chief military commanders. By at least 300 BC the title of Consul became used. Ancient writers derive the title consul from the Latin verb consulere, "to take counsel", but this is most a gloss of the term, which derives—in view of the joint nature of the office—from con- and sal-, "get together" or from con- and sell-/sedl-, "sit down together with" or "next to". In Greek, the title was rendered as στρατηγὸς ὕπατος, strategos hypatos, simply as ὕπατος; the consul was believed by the Romans to date back to the traditional establishment of the Republic in 509 BC, but the succession of consuls was not continuous in the 5th century BC. During the 440s, the office was quite replaced with the establishment of the Consular Tribunes, who were elected whenever the military needs of the state were significant enough to warrant the election of more than the two usual consuls; these remained in place until the office was abolished in 367/366 BC and the consulship was reintroduced.
Consuls had extensive powers in peacetime, in wartime held the highest military command. Additional religious duties included certain rites which, as a sign of their formal importance, could only be carried out by the highest state officials. Consuls read auguries, an essential step before leading armies into the field. Two consuls were elected each year, serving together, each with veto power over the other's actions, a normal principle for magistracies, it is thought that only patricians were eligible for the consulship. Consuls were elected by the Comitia Centuriata, which had an aristocratic bias in its voting structure which only increased over the years from its foundation. However, they formally assumed powers only after the ratification of their election in the older Comitia Curiata, which granted the consuls their imperium by enacting a law, the "lex curiata de imperio". If a consul died during his term or was removed from office, another would be elected by the Comitia Centuriata to serve the remainder of the term as consul suffectus.
A consul elected to start the year - called a consul ordinarius - held more prestige than a suffect consul because the year would be named for ordinary consuls. According to tradition, the consulship was reserved for patricians and only in 367 BC did plebeians win the right to stand for this supreme office, when the Lex Licinia Sextia provided that at least one consul each year should be plebeian; the first plebeian consul, Lucius Sextius, was elected the following year. The office remained in the hands of a few families as, according to Gelzer, only fifteen novi homines - "new men" with no consular background - were elected to the consulship until the election of Cicero in 63 BC. Modern historians have questioned the traditional account of plebeian emancipation during the early Republic, noting for instance that about thirty percent of the consuls prior to Sextius had plebeian, not patrician, names, it is possible that only the chronology has been distorted, but it seems that one of the first consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus, came from a plebeian family.
Another possible explanation is that during the 5th century social struggles, the office of consul was monopolized by a patrician elite. During times of war, the primary qualification for consul was military skill and reputation, but at all times the selection was politically charged. With the passage of time, the consulship became the normal endpoint of the cursus honorum, the sequence of offices pursued by the ambitious Roman who chose to pursue political power and influence; when Lucius Cornelius Sulla regulated the cursus by law, the minimum age of election to consul became, in effect, 41 years of age. Beginning in the late Republic, after finishing a consular year, a former consul would serve a lucrative term as a proconsul, the Roman Governor of one of the provinces; the most chosen province for the proconsulship was Cisalpine Gaul. Although throughout the early years of the Principate, the consuls were still formally elected by the Comitia Centuriata, they were in fact nominated by the princeps.
As the years progressed, the distinction between the Comitia Centuriata and the Comitia Tributa appears to have disappeared, so for the purposes of the consular
Diocletian, born Diocles, was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor; the title was claimed by Carus' surviving son, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus. Diocletian's reign marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century, he appointed fellow officer Maximian as Augustus, co-emperor, in 286. Diocletian reigned in the Eastern Empire, Maximian reigned in the Western Empire. Diocletian delegated further on 1 March 293, appointing Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, junior co-emperors, under himself and Maximian respectively. Under this'tetrarchy', or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire. Diocletian purged it of all threats to his power, he defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299, the Alamanni in 288, usurpers in Egypt between 297 and 298.
Galerius, aided by Diocletian, campaigned against Sassanid Persia, the empire's traditional enemy. In 299 he sacked Ctesiphon. Diocletian achieved a lasting and favourable peace. Diocletian separated and enlarged the empire's civil and military services and reorganized the empire's provincial divisions, establishing the largest and most bureaucratic government in the history of the empire, he established new administrative centres in Nicomedia, Mediolanum and Trevorum, closer to the empire's frontiers than the traditional capital at Rome. Building on third-century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the empire's masses with imposing forms of court ceremonies and architecture. Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, construction projects increased the state's expenditures and necessitated a comprehensive tax reform. From at least 297 on, imperial taxation was standardized, made more equitable, levied at higher rates. Not all of Diocletian's plans were successful: the Edict on Maximum Prices, his attempt to curb inflation via price controls, was counterproductive and ignored.
Although effective while he ruled, Diocletian's tetrarchic system collapsed after his abdication under the competing dynastic claims of Maxentius and Constantine, sons of Maximian and Constantius respectively. The Diocletianic Persecution, the empire's last and bloodiest official persecution of Christianity, failed to eliminate Christianity in the empire. Despite these failures and challenges, Diocletian's reforms fundamentally changed the structure of Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling the empire to remain intact for another 150 years despite being near the brink of collapse in Diocletian's youth. Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the imperial office on 1 May 305, became the first Roman emperor to abdicate the position voluntarily, he lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast. His palace became the core of the modern-day city of Split in Croatia. Diocletian was born near Salona in Dalmatia, some time around 244.
His parents gave him the Greek name Diocles, or Diocles Valerius. The modern historian Timothy Barnes takes his official birthday, 22 December, as his actual birthdate. Other historians are not so certain, his parents were of low status. The first forty years of his life are obscure; the Byzantine chronicler Joannes Zonaras states that he was Dux Moesiae, a commander of forces on the lower Danube. The often-unreliable Historia Augusta states that he served in Gaul, but this account is not corroborated by other sources and is ignored by modern historians of the period; the first time Diocletian's whereabouts are established, in 282, the Emperor Carus made him commander of the Protectores domestici, the elite cavalry force directly attached to the Imperial household – a post that earned him the honour of a consulship in 283. As such, he took part in Carus' subsequent Persian campaign. Carus's death, amid a successful war with Persia and in mysterious circumstances – he was believed to have been struck by lightning or killed by Persian soldiers – left his sons Numerian and Carinus as the new Augusti.
Carinus made his way to Rome from his post in Gaul as imperial commissioner and arrived there by January 284, becoming legitimate Emperor in the West. Numerian lingered in the East; the Roman withdrawal from Persia was unopposed. The Sassanid king Bahram II could not field an army against them as he was still struggling to establish his authority. By March 284, Numerian had only reached Emesa in Syria. In Emesa he was still alive and in good health: he issued the only extant rescript in his name there, but after he left the city, his staff, including the prefect Aper, reported that he suffered from an inflammation of the eyes, he travelled in a closed coach from on. When the army reached Bithynia, some of the soldiers smelled an odor emanating from the coach, they opened its curtains and inside
Maximian was Roman Emperor from 286 to 305. He was Caesar from 285 to 286 Augustus from 286 to 305, he shared the latter title with his co-emperor and superior, whose political brain complemented Maximian's military brawn. Maximian spent most of his time on campaign. In late 285, he suppressed rebels in Gaul known as the Bagaudae. From 285 to 288, he fought against Germanic tribes along the Rhine frontier. Together with Diocletian, he launched a scorched earth campaign deep into Alamannic territory in 288, temporarily relieving the Rhine provinces from the threat of Germanic invasion; the man he appointed to police the Channel shores, rebelled in 286, causing the secession of Britain and northwestern Gaul. Maximian failed to oust Carausius, his invasion fleet was destroyed by storms in 289 or 290. Maximian's subordinate, campaigned against Carausius' successor, while Maximian held the Rhine frontier; the rebel leader was ousted in 296, Maximian moved south to combat piracy near Hispania and Berber incursions in Mauretania.
When these campaigns concluded in 298, he departed for Italy, where he lived in comfort until 305. At Diocletian's behest, Maximian abdicated on May 1, 305, gave the Augustan office to Constantius, retired to southern Italy. In late 306, Maximian took the title of Augustus again and aided his son Maxentius' rebellion in Italy. In April 307, he attempted to depose his son, but failed and fled to the court of Constantius' successor, Constantine, in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian and his successor, forced Maximian to renounce his imperial claim again. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine's title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, he was captured by Constantine in Marseille. Maximian killed himself in mid-310 on Constantine's orders. During Constantine's war with Maxentius, Maximian's image was purged from all public places. However, after Constantine ousted and killed Maxentius, Maximian's image was rehabilitated, he was deified.
Maximian was born near Sirmium in the province of Pannonia, around 250 into a family of shopkeepers. Beyond that, the ancient sources contain vague allusions to Illyricum as his homeland, to his Pannonian virtues, to his harsh upbringing along the war-torn Danube frontier. Maximian joined the army, serving with Diocletian under the emperors Probus, he participated in the Mesopotamian campaign of Carus in 283 and attended Diocletian's election as emperor on November 20, 284 at Nicomedia. Maximian's swift appointment by Diocletian as Caesar is taken by the writer Stephen Williams and historian Timothy Barnes to mean that the two men were longterm allies, that their respective roles were pre-agreed and that Maximian had supported Diocletian during his campaign against Carinus but there is no direct evidence for this. With his great energy, firm aggressive character and disinclination to rebel, Maximian was an appealing candidate for imperial office; the fourth-century historian Aurelius Victor described Maximian as "a colleague trustworthy in friendship, if somewhat boorish, of great military talents".
Despite his other qualities, Maximian was preferred action to thought. The panegyric of 289, after comparing his actions to Scipio Africanus' victories over Hannibal during the Second Punic War, suggested that Maximian had never heard of them, his ambitions were purely military. The Christian rhetor Lactantius suggested that Maximian shared Diocletian's basic attitudes but was less puritanical in his tastes, took advantage of the sensual opportunities his position as emperor offered. Lactantius charged that Maximian defiled senators' daughters and traveled with young virgins to satisfy his unending lust, though Lactantius' credibility is undermined by his general hostility towards pagans. Maximian had two children with Eutropia: Maxentius and Fausta. There is no direct evidence in the ancient sources for their birthdates. Modern estimates of Maxentius' birth year have varied from c. 276 to 283, most date Fausta's birth to c. 289 or 290. Theodora, the wife of Constantius Chlorus, is called Maximian's stepdaughter by ancient sources, leading to claims by Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia and Afranius Hannibalianus.
Barnes challenges this view, saying that all "stepdaughter" sources derive their information from the unreliable work of history Kaisergeschichte, while other, more reliable, sources refer to her as Maximian's natural daughter. Barnes concludes that Theodora was born no than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian one of Hannibalianus' daughters. At Mediolanum in July 285, Diocletian proclaimed Maximian as Caesar; the reasons for this decision are complex. With conflict in every province of the Empire, from Gaul to Syria, from Egypt to the lower Danube, Diocletian needed a lieutenant to manage his heavy workload. Historian Stephen Williams suggests that Diocletian considered himself a mediocre general and needed a man like Maximian to do most of his fighting. Next, Diocletian was vulnerable in that he had no sons, just a daughter, who could never succeed him, he was forced therefore to seek a co-ruler from outside his family and that co-ruler had to be someone he trusted. (The historian William Seston has argued that Diocletian, like heirless emperors before him, adopted Maximian as his filius Augusti ("Augus
A cross-in-square or crossed-dome plan was the dominant architectural form of middle- and late-period Byzantine churches. It featured a square centre with an internal structure shaped like a cross, topped by a dome; the first cross-in-square churches were built in the late 8th century, the form has remained in use throughout the Orthodox world until the present day. In the West, Donato Bramante's first design for St. Peter's Basilica was a centrally planned cross-in-square under a dome and four subsidiary domes. In German, such a church is a Kreuzkuppelkirche, or ‘cross-dome church’. In French, it is an église à croix inscrite, ‘church with an inscribed cross’. A cross-in-square church is centered around a quadratic naos, divided by four columns or piers into nine bays; the inner five divisions form the shape of a quincunx. The central bay is larger than the other eight, is crowned by a dome which rests on the columns; the four rectangular bays that directly adjoin this central bay are covered by barrel vaults.
The four remaining bays in the corner are groin-vaulted. The spatial hierarchy of the three types of bay, from the largest central bay to the smallest corner bays, is mirrored in the elevation of the building. To the west of the naos stands the narthex, or entrance hall formed by the addition of three bays to the westernmost bays of the naos. To the east stands the bema, or sanctuary separated from the naos by templon or, in churches, by an iconostasis; the sanctuary is formed by three additional bays adjoining the easternmost bays of the naos, each of which terminates in an apse crowned by a conch. The central apse is larger than those to the south; the term bema is sometimes reserved for the central area, while the northern section is known as the prothesis and the southern as the diakonikon. Although evidence for Byzantine domestic architecture is scant, it appears that the core unit of the cross-in-square church was employed for the construction of halls within residential structures; the architectural articulation of the distinct spaces of a cross-in-square church corresponds to their distinct functions in the celebration of the liturgy.
The narthex serves as an entrance hall, but for special liturgical functions, such as baptism, as an honored site of burial. The naos is the space; the sanctuary is reserved for the priests. The altar stands in the central bay, or bema, sometimes provided with a synthronon, or bench, where the clergy may sit; the prothesis is used for the preparation of the eucharist, the diakonikon houses liturgical vestments and texts used in the celebration of the Liturgy. The architectural form and liturgical function described above correspond to the "classic" type of the cross-in-square church, exhibited by a number of significant monuments. However, this classic type represents only one of a number of possible variations on the cross-in-square form. In Byzantine architecture, the core of the cross-in-square plan could be augmented through the addition of peripheral structures. An example is provided by the Chora Church in Constantinople; the original 11th-century cross-in-square was expanded in the 14th century through the addition of a second narthex to the west and by a side chapel to the south, used for burials.
The ultimate plans of many other Byzantine churches resulted from a similar diachronic succession of additions about a central, cross-in-square, core. One common subsidiary structure, for example, at Kalenderhane, the Chora Church, the Martorana, was a bell-tower. On the other hand, a radically abbreviated, "compact" form of the cross-in-square existed, built without narthex and with the three apses adjoining directly onto the easternmost bays of the naos; this plan was common in the provinces, for example in southern Italy, in Sicily, in Cappadocia. In this type of church, the templon barrier was erected along the axis of the two eastern columns, thus enclosing the three easternmost bays within the sanctuary. A important variation on the cross-in-square is the so-called "Athonite" or "monastic" plan, in which the rectangular bays at the north and south of the naos opened onto semi-circular apses, giving the church the appearance of a triconch; this plan held to be typical of monastic churches, seems to have developed on Mount Athos in the eleventh century.
An important example of this type outside of Athos is the 14th-century church known as "Profitis Elias" in Thessaloniki. The interior decoration of the cross-in-square church executed in mosaic but sometimes in fresco, evolved in close relationship to its architecture, a "classical" system of decoration may be discerned, represented in particular by the great monastic churches of the eleventh century; this system was defined in a classic study published in the 1940s by Otto Demus, summarized in the following account. The mosaic decoration of a cr
May Day is a public holiday celebrated on 1 May. It is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. Dances and cake are part of the festivities. In the late 19th century, May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers' Day by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago. International Workers' Day can be referred to as "May Day", but it is a different celebration from the traditional May Day; the earliest known May celebrations appeared with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on 27 April during the Roman Republic era, the Maiouma or Maiuma, a festival celebrating Dionysus and Aphrodite on an unknown date in May every three years. The Floralia opened with theatrical performances. In the Floralia, Ovid says that goats were released as part of the festivities. Persius writes that crowds were pelted with vetches and lupins. A ritual called the Florifertum was performed on either April 27 or May 3, during which a bundle of wheat ears was carried into a shrine, though it is not clear if this devotion was made to Flora or Ceres.
Floralia concluded with competitive events and spectacles, a sacrifice to Flora. According to the 6th century chronicles of John Malalas, the Maiouma was a "nocturnal dramatic festival, held every three years and known as Orgies, that is, the Mysteries of Dionysus and Aphrodite" and that it was "known as the Maioumas because it is celebrated in the month of May-Artemisios". During this time, enough money was set aside by the government for torches and other expenses to cover a thirty-day festival of "all-night revels." The Maiouma was celebrated with splendorous offerings. Its reputation for licentiousness caused it to be suppressed during the reign of Emperor Constantine, though a less debauched version of it was restored during the reigns of Arcadius and Honorius, only to be suppressed again during the same period. A May festival celebrated in Germanic countries, Walpurgis Night, commemorates the official canonization of Saint Walpurga on May 1st, 870.. In Gaelic culture, the evening of April 30th was the celebration of Beltane, the start of the summer season.
First attested in 900 AD, the celebration focused on the symbolic use of fire to bless cattle and other livestock as they were moved to summer pastures. This custom continued into the early 19th century, during which time cattle would be made to jump over fires to protect their milk from being stolen by fairies. People would leap over the fires for luck. Since the 18th century, many Roman Catholics have observed May – and May Day – with various May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary In works of art, school skits, so forth, Mary's head will be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. 1 May is one of two feast days of the Catholic patron saint of workers St Joseph the Worker, a carpenter, husband to Mother Mary, surrogate father of Jesus. Replacing another feast to St. Joseph, this date was chosen by Pope Pius XII in 1955 as a counterpoint to the communist International Workers Day celebrations on May Day; the best known modern May Day traditions, observed both in Europe and North America, include dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May.
Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the tradition of giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets or flowers left anonymously on neighbours' doorsteps. In the late 20th century, many neopagans began reconstructing some of the older pagan festivals and combining them with more developed European secular and Catholic traditions, celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival. Traditional English May Day rites and celebrations include crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a maypole, around which dancers circle with ribbons. Morris dancing has been linked to May Day celebrations; the earliest records of maypole celebrations date to the 14th century, by the 15th century the maypole tradition was well established in southern Britain. The spring bank holiday on the first Monday in May was created in 1978. In February 2011, the UK Parliament was reported to be considering scrapping the bank holiday associated with May Day, replacing it with a bank holiday in October coinciding with Trafalgar Day, to create a "United Kingdom Day".
Unlike the other Bank Holidays and common law holidays, the first Monday in May is taken off from schools by itself, not as part of a half term or end of term holiday. This is because it has no Christian significance and does not otherwise fit into the usual school holiday pattern. May Day was abolished and its celebration banned by Puritan parliaments during the Interregnum, but reinstated with the restoration of Charles II in 1660. 1 May 1707, was the day the Act of Union came into effect, joining England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In Oxford, it is a centuries-old tradition for May Morning revellers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night's celebrations. Since the 1980s some people jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. For some years, the bridge has been closed on 1 Ma