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Miltiades

Miltiades known as Miltiades the Younger, was a Greek Athenian citizen known for his role in the Battle of Marathon, as well as for his downfall afterwards. He was the son of Cimon Coalemos, a renowned Olympic chariot-racer, the father of Cimon, the noted Athenian statesman. Miltiades was a well-born Athenian, considered himself a member of the Aeacidae, as well as a member of the prominent Philaid clan, he came of age during the tyranny of the Peisistratids. His family was due in good part to their success with Olympic chariot-racing. Plutarch claimed that Cimon, Miltiades' father, was known as "Coalemos", meaning "simpleton", because he had a reputation for being rough around the edges, but whose three successive chariot-racing victories at the Olympics made him popular, so popular in fact that, Herodotus claims, the sons of Peisistratos murdered him out of jealousy. Miltiades was named after his father's maternal half-brother, Miltiades the Elder, a victor at Olympic chariot-racing. Miltiades's son Cimon was a major Athenian figure of the 470s and 460s BC.

His daughter Elpinice is remembered for her confrontations with Pericles. Around 555 BC, Miltiades the Elder left Athens to establish a colony on the Thracian Chersonese, setting himself up as a semi-autonomous tyrant under the protection of Athens. Meanwhile, contrary to what one would expect from a man whose father was rumoured to have been murdered by the city leaders, Miltiades the Younger rose through the ranks of Athens to become eponymous archon under the rule of the Peisistratid tyrant Hippias in 524/23 BC. Miltiades the Elder was childless, so when he died around 520 BC, his nephew, Miltiades the Younger's brother, inherited the tyranny of the Chersonese. Four years Stesagoras met his death by an axe to the head, so the tyrant Hippias sent Miltiades the Younger to claim his brother's lands. Stesagoras' reign had been full of war and revolt. Wishing to achieve stronger control over his lands than his brother had, Miltiades feigned mourning for his brother's death; when the men of rank from the Chersonese came to console him, he imprisoned them.

He ensured his power by employing 500 troops. He made an alliance with King Olorus of Thrace by marrying his daughter, Hegesipyle. In around 513 BC, Darius I, the king of Persia, led a large army into the area, forcing the Thracian Chersonese into submission and making Miltiades a vassal of Persian rule. Miltiades joined Darius' northern expedition against the Scythians, was left with other Greek officers to guard a bridge across the Danube, which Darius had used to cross into Scythia. Miltiades claimed that he had tried to convince the other officers to destroy the bridge and leave Darius and his forces to die, but the others were afraid, Darius was able to recross, though some historians are skeptical of this claim; when the king heard of the planned sabotage, Miltiades' rule became a perilous affair and he had to flee around 511/510 BC. Miltiades joined the Ionian Revolt of 499 BC against Persian rule, returning to the Chersonese around 496 BC, he established friendly relations with Athens by capturing the islands of Lemnos and Imbros and ceding them to Athens, which had ancient claims to these lands.

The Ionian Revolt collapsed in 494 BC, in 492 BC Miltiades and his family fled to Athens in five ships to escape a retaliatory Persian invasion. The Athens to which Miltiades returned was no longer a tyranny, but had overthrown the Peisistratids and become a democracy 15 years earlier. Thus, Miltiades faced a hostile reception for his tyrannical rule in the Thracian Chersonese, his trial was further complicated by the politics of his aristocratic rivals and the general Athenian mistrust of a man accustomed to unfettered authority. However, Miltiades presented himself as a defender of Greek freedoms against Persian despotism, he promoted the fact that he had been a first-hand witness to Persian tactics, useful knowledge considering the Persians were bent on destroying the city. Thus, Miltiades was allowed to rejoin his old countrymen, it was by Miltiades' advice that the Persian heralds who came to Athens to demand earth and water as tokens of submission were put to death. Miltiades is credited with devising the tactics that defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon.

Miltiades was elected to serve as one of the ten generals for 490 BC. In addition to the ten generals, there was one'war-ruler', who had to decide—with the ten generals evenly split, five to five—whether to attack the Persians who had landed at Marathon under the command of Datis, or wait to fight them closer to Athens. Miltiades, the one with the most experience in fighting the Persians, was firm in insisting that the Persians be fought as a siege of Athens would lead to its destruction, he convinced Callimachus to use his decisive vote in favor of a swift attack. He is quoted as saying "I believe that, provided the Gods will give fair play and no favour, we are able to get the best of it in the engagement."Miltiades convinced the other generals of the necessity of not using the customary tactics of using hoplites arrayed in an evenly distributed phalanx armed with shields and spears, tactics otherwise not deviated from for 100 years, until the time of Epaminondas. Miltiades feared the cavalry of the Persians attacking the flanks, asked for more hoplites to be stationed there than in the centre.

He ordered the two tribes in the centre, the Leontis tribe led by Themistocles and the Antiochis tribe led by Aris

Physostigma venenosum

Physostigma venenosum is the seed of a leguminous plant, a native of tropical Africa, poisonous to humans. It derives the first part of its scientific name from a curious beak-like appendage at the end of the stigma, in the centre of the flower; the plant is a large, climbing perennial, with the stem woody at the base, up to 2 inches in diameter. The flowers, resting on axillary peduncles, are large, about an inch long, grouped in pendulous, fascicled racemes pale-pink or purplish, veined; the seed pods, which contain two or three seeds or beans, are 7 inches in length. Calabar bean contains physostigmine, a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor alkaloid; the alkaloid physostigmine acts in effect like nerve gas, influencing communication between the nerves and muscles, resulting in copious salivation, loss of control over the bladder and bowels, loss of control over the respiratory system, causing death by asphyxiation. The main antidote to Calabar bean poisoning is the less toxic tropane alkaloid atropine, which may succeed.

The antagonism between physostigmine and atropine is not perfect, Sir Thomas Richard Fraser has shown that in such cases there comes a time when, if the action of the two drugs is summated, death results sooner than from either alone. Thus atropine will save life if three and a half times the fatal dose of physostigmine has been taken, but will hasten the end if four or more times the fatal dose has been ingested; the people of Old Calabar used Calabar beans or'E-ser-e' as ordeal beans, administered them to persons accused of witchcraft or other crimes. In cases where the poisonous material did its deadly work, it was considered to indicate guilt and, at the same time, to be a rightful punishment. A form of dueling with the seeds is known among the natives, in which the two opponents divide a bean, each eating one half. Although thus poisonous, the bean has nothing in external aspect, taste or smell to distinguish it from any harmless leguminous seed, disastrous effects have resulted from its being incautiously left in the way of children.

The beans were first introduced into Britain in the year 1840. The bean contains a little more than 1% of alkaloids. Two of these have been identified, one called calabarine with atropine-like effects, the other, the drug physostigmine, used in the treatment of anticholinergic syndrome, myasthenia gravis and delayed gastric emptying; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Calabar Bean". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. "The killer bean of Calabar", Laura Spinney, New Scientist, 28 June 2003. "A Modern Herbal", Maude Grieve

Gmelinite

Gmelinite-Na is one of the rarer zeolites but the most common member of the gmelinite series, gmelinite-Ca, gmelinite-K and gmelinite-Na. It is related to the similar mineral chabazite. Gmelinite was named as a single species in 1825 after Christian Gottlob Gmelin professor of chemistry and mineralogist from Tübingen, in 1997 it was raised to the status of a series. Gmelinite-Na has been synthesised from Na-bearing aluminosilicate gels; the occurring mineral forms striking crystals, six sided double pyramids, which can be colorless, pale yellow, orange and red. They have been compared to an angular flying saucer; the aluminosilicate framework is composed of tetrahedra linked to form parallel double six-membered rings stacked in two different positions in the repeating arrangement AABBAABB. The framework has no Al-Si order. Within the structure there are cavities with a cross-section of up to 4 Å, wide channels parallel to the c axis with a diameter of 6.4 Å. Space group: P63/mmc. Unit cell parameters: a=13.72 Å, c=9.95 Å, Z=4.

Occurs in Si-poor volcanic rocks, marine basalts and breccias, associated with other sodium zeolites such as analcime, NaO6·H2O, natrolite, Na2O10·2H2O, chabazite-Na, Na2CaO24·12H2O. It occurs in Na-rich pegmatites in alkaline rocks, as an alteration product in some nepheline syenite intrusions. No sedimentary gmelinite has been found, it is assumed that it forms at low temperatures, less than 100 °C. It is widespread as a hydrothermal alteration product of ussingite, Na2AlSi3O8, associated with gobbinsite, Na5O32·11H2O, gonnardite, 25O10·3H2O, chabazite-K. Gmelinite-Na occurs rarely at the Francon Quarry, Canada, in sills of the igneous volcanic rock phonolite which are rich in dawsonite, NaAl2, it occurs both as pure gmelinite-Na and interlayered with chabazite in water-quenched basalts in Western Tasmania. Associated minerals include other zeolites chabazite, quartz and calcite. Type Locality: Monte Nero, San Pietro, Montecchio Maggiore, Vicenza Province, Italy. Found in Australia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, UK and US.

Structure type GME Mineral galleries Mindat