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Middle Kingdom of Egypt

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate Period. The Middle Kingdom lasted from 2050 to 1710 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II in the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty; the kings of the Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht. The concept of the "Middle Kingdom" as one of three "golden ages" was coined in 1845 by German Egyptologist Baron von Bunsen, its definition evolved throughout the 19th and 20th centuries; some scholars include the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt wholly into this period, in which case the Middle Kingdom would end around 1650 BC, while others only include it until Merneferre Ay around 1700 BC, last king of this dynasty to be attested in both Upper and Lower Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom period, Osiris became the most important deity in popular religion.

The Middle Kingdom was followed by the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt, another period of division that involved foreign invasions of the country by the Hyksos of West Asia. After the collapse of the Old Kingdom, Egypt entered a period of weak pharaonic power and decentralization called the First Intermediate Period. Towards the end of this period, two rival dynasties, known in Egyptology as the Tenth and Eleventh, fought for control of the entire country; the Theban Eleventh Dynasty only ruled southern Egypt from the First Cataract to the Tenth Nome of Upper Egypt. To the north, Lower Egypt was ruled by the rival Tenth Dynasty from Herakleopolis; the struggle was to be concluded by Mentuhotep II, who ascended the Theban throne in 2055 BC. During Mentuhotep II's fourteenth regnal year, he took advantage of a revolt in the Thinite Nome to launch an attack on Herakleopolis, which met little resistance. After toppling the last rulers of the Tenth Dynasty, Mentuhotep began consolidating his power over all of Egypt, a process which he finished by his 39th regnal year.

For this reason, Mentuhotep II is regarded as the founder of the Middle Kingdom. Mentuhotep II commanded petty campaigns south as far as the Second Cataract in Nubia, which had gained its independence during the First Intermediate Period, he restored Egyptian hegemony over the Sinai region, lost to Egypt since the end of the Old Kingdom. To consolidate his authority, he restored the cult of the ruler, depicting himself as a god in his own lifetime, wearing the headdresses of Amun and Min, he died after a reign of 51 years and passed the throne to his son, Mentuhotep III. Mentuhotep III reigned for only twelve years, during which he continued consolidating Theban rule over the whole of Egypt, building a series of forts in the eastern Delta region to secure Egypt against threats from Asia, he sent the first expedition to Punt during the Middle Kingdom, by means of ships constructed at the end of Wadi Hammamat, on the Red Sea. Mentuhotep III was succeeded by Mentuhotep IV, whose name is omitted from all ancient Egyptian king lists.

The Turin Papyrus claims that after Mentuhotep III came "seven kingless years". Despite this absence, his reign is attested from a few inscriptions in Wadi Hammamat that record expeditions to the Red Sea coast and to quarry stone for the royal monuments; the leader of this expedition was his vizier Amenemhat, assumed to be the future pharaoh Amenemhet I, the first king of the Twelfth Dynasty. Mentuhotep IV's absence from the king lists has prompted the theory that Amenemhet I usurped his throne. While there are no contemporary accounts of this struggle, certain circumstantial evidence may point to the existence of a civil war at the end of the 11th Dynasty. Inscriptions left by one Nehry, the Haty-a of Hermopolis, suggest that he was attacked at a place called Shedyet-sha by the forces of the reigning king, but his forces prevailed. Khnumhotep I, an official under Amenemhet I, claims to have participated in a flotilla of twenty ships sent to pacify Upper Egypt. Donald Redford has suggested these events should be interpreted as evidence of open war between two dynastic claimants.

What is certain is that, however he came to power, Amenemhet I was not of royal birth. From the Twelfth Dynasty onwards, pharaohs kept well-trained standing armies, which included Nubian contingents; these formed the basis of larger forces which were raised for defence against invasion, or for expeditions up the Nile or across the Sinai. However, the Middle Kingdom was defensive in its military strategy, with fortifications built at the First Cataract of the Nile, in the Delta and across the Sinai isthmus. Early in his reign, Amenemhet I was compelled to campaign in the Delta region, which had not received as much attention as Upper Egypt during the 11th Dynasty. In addition, he strengthened defenses between Egypt and Asia, building the Walls of the Ruler in the East Delta region. In response to this perpetual unrest, Amenemhat I built a new capital for Egypt in the north, known as Amenemhet Itj Tawy, or Amenemhet, Seizer of the Two Lands; the location of this capital is unknown, but is near the city's necropolis, the present-day el-Lisht.

Like Mentuhotep II, Amenemhet bolstered his claim to authority with propaganda. In particular, the Prophecy of Neferty dates to about this time, which purports to be an oracle of an Old Kingdom priest, who predicts a king, Amenemhet I, arising from the far south of Egypt to restore the kingdom after centuries of chaos. Propaganda notwithstanding, Amenemhet never held the absolute power commanded in theory by the Old Kingdom pharaohs. During the First Intermediate Period, the governors of the nomes of Egypt, gained considerable pow

George Baldi III

George William Baldi III is an American singer best known as the bass singer of the a cappella singing group Rockapella from 2002-2014, a supporting member thereafter. Baldi grew up in Philadelphia, he discovered his musical and performing talents at a young age by singing and dancing in the jam sessions his family would have at his aunt's house after having Sunday dinner at his grandmother's. Baldi attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, where he majored in vocal music, after graduating in 1988, continued his musical education at Morris Brown College as a vocal performance major, receiving a BA in Music in 1993. Baldi auditioned for a job at Walt Disney World after graduating from college, in 1994 began performing in The Voices of Liberty and American Vybe, a cappella groups in The American Adventure pavilion at Epcot. In 2001, Baldi auditioned with a group of guys for a job at Universal Studios Japan located in Osaka, he was trying to help them get the job, but was the only person chosen out of the group and was offered a position in the Beetlejuice Rock and Roll show as Frankenstein.

The job started on March 31, 2001, the park's opening date, Baldi moved to Japan for it, continuing to work and live there for a year obtaining the position of park vocal coach in addition to his performing duties. When bassist Barry Carl decided to retire from the group to pursue other opportunities in 2002, Rockapella was left without a bass singer and needed to find a new one; the group was informed by a mutual friend that a "true bass" could be found in Baldi, but he was in Japan at the time. They sent him an email asking if he would come back to the U. S. and audition for the group. He began to learn the group's song setlist. Baldi recorded his parts for Smilin', the group's 2002 summer album that served as a transition between Carl and Baldi singing bass, his first concert as a member of Rockapella was on August 1, 2002 in Hartford, Connecticut at the East Hartford Town Green. Baldi's soft, resonant bass is a great contrast to Carl's, which seemed to rumble up from the depths of the earth, his addition to the band started the evolution of Rockapella to their current R&B-based sound, or "the new sound of Rockapella" as the group refers to it as.

He has sung many bass solos for Rockapella, taking over some of Carl's previous solos and singing his own unique solos in new original and cover music the group has included in their setlist over the years. Baldi's vocal range is transitioning from low bass rumbling to high pitched belting with ease. In 2014, Baldi stepped aside from performing full-time with Rockapella and was replaced by Ryan Chappelle. Baldi remains as a supporting member to this day; when not touring the world with Rockapella, Baldi recreationally rides bicycles. Baldi lives in Florida, where he is close to his daughter DeAhna Zhane Baldi

Walter K. Farnsworth

Walter Kellogg Farnsworth was a Vermont attorney and politician who served as Lieutenant Governor. Farnsworth was born in Windsor, Vermont on November 17, 1870, he attended high school in Chester and Woodstock, studied law. He established a practice in Rutland. Farnsworth was a horse breeder and an active member of the Rutland County Agricultural Society. A Republican, Farnsworth began his involvement in politics and government by serving as a Justice of the Peace and as Assistant Secretary and Secretary of the Vermont Senate in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Farnsworth was Judge of the Rutland City Court from 1907 to 1909. In 1908 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State. In 1912 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. Farnsworth became involved with the Progressive Party, but returned to the Republican fold. In 1918 he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Vermont Secretary of State.

Farnsworth subsequently moved to Burlington. He was elected to the Vermont Senate in 1922 and served one term serving as Senate President. In 1924 Farnsworth won election as Lieutenant Governor, served one term, 1925 to 1927. Farnsworth ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 1926. Farnsworth died in Rutland on August 2, 1929, he was interred at Ascutney Cemetery in Vermont. Farnsworth was the son of Maria Augusta Farnsworth. Farnsworth's siblings included brothers George Henry, James Slayton, Arthur White. Farnsworth never married, had no children. Walter K. Farnsworth at Find a Grave