A battlement in defensive architecture, such as that of city walls or castles, comprises a parapet, in which gaps or indentations, which are rectangular, occur at intervals to allow for the launch of arrows or other projectiles from within the defences. These gaps are termed "crenels", the act of adding crenels to a unbroken parapet is termed crenellation. A defensive building might be designed and built with battlements, or a manor house might be fortified by adding battlements, where no parapet existed, or cutting crenellations into its existing parapet wall; the solid widths between the crenels are called merlons. A wall with battlements is said to be embattled. Battlements on walls have protected walkways behind them. On tower or building tops, the roof is used as the protected fighting platform; the term originated in about the 14th century from the Old French word batailler, "to fortify with batailles". The word crenel derives from the ancient French cren, Latin crena, meaning a notch, mortice or other gap cut out to receive another element or fixing.
The modern French word for crenel is créneau used to describe a gap of any kind, for example a parking space at the side of the road between two cars, interval between groups of marching troops or a timeslot in a broadcast. In medieval England and Wales a licence to crenellate granted the holder permission to fortify their property; such licences were granted by the king, by the rulers of the counties palatine within their jurisdictions, e.g. by the Bishops of Durham and the Earls of Chester and after 1351 by the Dukes of Lancaster. The castles in England vastly outnumber the licences to crenellate Royal pardons were obtainable, on the payment of an arbitrarily determined fine, by a person who had fortified without licence; the surviving records of such licences issued by letters patent, provide valuable evidence for the dating of ancient buildings. A list of licences issued by the English Crown between the 12th and 16th centuries was compiled by Turner & Parker and expanded and corrected by Philip Davis and published in The Castle Studies Group Journal.
There has been academic debate over the purpose of licensing. The view of military-focused historians is that licensing restricted the number of fortifications that could be used against a royal army; the modern view, proposed notably by Charles Coulson, is that battlements became an architectural status-symbol much sought after by the ambitious, in Coulson's words: "Licences to crenellate were symbolic representations of lordly status: castellation was the architectural expression of noble rank". They indicated to the observer that the grantee had obtained "royal recognition and compliment", they could however provide a basic deterrent against wandering bands of thieves, it is suggested that the function of battlements was comparable to the modern practice of householders fitting visible CC-TV and burglar alarms merely dummies. The crown did not charge for the granting of such licences, but charged a fee of about half a mark. Battlements may be stepped out to overhang the wall below, may have openings at their bases between the supporting corbels, through which stones or burning objects could be dropped onto attackers or besiegers.
Battlements have been used for thousands of years. Battlements were used in the walls surrounding Assyrian towns, as shown on bas reliefs from Nimrud and elsewhere. Traces of them remain at Mycenae in Greece, some ancient Greek vases suggest the existence of battlements; the Great Wall of China has battlements. In the European battlements of the Middle Ages the crenel comprised one-third of the width of the merlon: the latter, in addition, could be provided with arrow-loops of various shapes, depending on the weapon being utilized. Late merlons permitted fire from the first firearms. From the 13th century, the merlons could be connected with wooden shutters that provided added protection when closed; the shutters were designed to be opened to allow shooters to fire against the attackers, closed during reloading. The Romans used low wooden pinnacles for their first aggeres. In the battlements of Pompeii, additional protection derived from small internal buttresses or spur walls, against which the defender might stand so as to gain complete protection on one side.
Loop-holes were frequent in Italian battlements, where the merlon has much greater height and a distinctive cap. Italian military architects used the so-called Ghibelline or swallowtail battlement, with V-shaped notches in the tops of the merlon, giving a horn-like effect; this would allow the defender to be protected whilst shooting standing upright. The normal rectangular merlons were nicknamed Guelph. In Muslim and African fortifications, the merlons were rounded; the battlements of the Arabs had a more decorative and varied character, were continued from the 13th century onwards not so much for defensive purposes as for a crowning feature to the walls. They serve a function similar to the cresting found in the Spanish Renaissance. "Irish" crenellations are a distinctive form that appeared in Ireland between the 14th and 17th centuries. These were battlements of a "stepped" form, with each merlon shaped like an inverted'T'. European architects persistently used battlements as a purely decorative feature throughout the Decorated and Perpendicular periods of Gothi
Vesta is the virgin goddess of the hearth and family in Roman religion. She was depicted in human form, was represented by the fire of her temple in the Forum Romanum. Entry to her temple was permitted only to her priestesses, the Vestals, who tended the sacred fire at the hearth in her temple; as she was considered a guardian of the Roman people, her festival, the Vestalia, was regarded as one of the most important Roman holidays. During the Vestalia matrons walked barefoot through the city to the sanctuary of the goddess, where they presented offerings of food; such was Vesta's importance to Roman religion that hers was one of the last republican pagan cults still active following the rise of Christianity until it was forcibly disbanded by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in AD 391. The myths depicting Vesta and her priestesses were few, were limited to tales of miraculous impregnation by a phallus appearing in the flames of the hearth—the manifestation of the goddess. Vesta was among twelve of the most honored gods in the Roman pantheon.
She was the daughter of Saturn and Ops, sister of Jupiter, Pluto and Ceres. Her closest Greek equivalent is Hestia. Ovid derived Vesta from Latin vi stando – "standing by power". Cicero supposed that the Latin name Vesta derives from the Greek Hestia, which Cornutus claimed to have derived from Greek hestanai dia pantos; this etymology is offered by Servius as well. Another etymology is that Vesta derives from Latin uestio, as well as from Greek έστἰα. Georges Dumézil, a French comparative philologist, surmised that the name of the goddess derives from Proto-Indo-European root *h₁eu-, via the derivative form *h₁eu-s- which alternates with *h₁w-es-; the former is found in Greek εὕειν heuein, Latin urit and Vedic osathi all conveying'burning' and the second is found in Vesta.. See Gallic Celtic visc "fire." According to tradition, worship of Vesta in Italy began in Lavinium, the mother-city of Alba Longa and the first Trojan settlement. From Lavinium worship of Vesta was transferred to Alba Longa.
Upon entering higher office, Roman magistrates would go to Lavinium to offer sacrifice to Vesta and the household gods the Romans called Penates. The Penates were Trojan gods first introduced to Italy by Aeneas. Alongside those household gods was Vesta, referred to as Vesta Iliaca, with her sacred hearth being named Ilaci foci. Worship of Vesta, like the worship of many gods, originated in the home, but became an established cult during the reign of either Romulus, or Numa Pompilius; the priestesses of Vesta, known as Vestal Virgins, administered her temple and watched the eternal fire. Their existence in Alba Longa is connected with the early Roman traditions, for Romulus' mother Silvia was a priestess. Roman tradition required that the leading priest of the Roman state, the pontifex maximus reside in a domus publicus. After assuming the office of pontifex maximus in 12 BC, Augustus gave part of his private house to the Vestals as public property and incorporated a new shrine of Vesta within it.
The old shrine remained in the Forum Romanum's temple of Vesta, but Augustus' gift linked the public hearth of the state with the official home of the pontifex maximus and the emperor's Palatine residence. This strengthened the connection between the cult of Vesta. Henceforth, the office of pontifex maximus was tied to the title of emperor. In 12 BC, 28 April was chosen ex senatus consultum to commemorate the new shrine of Vesta in Augustus' home on the Palatine; the latter's hearth was the focus of the Imperial household's traditional religious observances. Various emperors led official revivals and promotions of the Vestals' cult, which in its various locations remained central to Rome's ancient traditional cults into the 4th century. Dedications in the Atrium of Vesta, dating predominantly AD 200 to 300, attest to the service of several Virgines Vestales Maxime. Vesta's worship began to decline with the rise of Christianity. In ca. 379, Gratian stepped down as pontifex maximus. In 391, despite official and public protests, Theodosius I closed the temple, extinguished the sacred flame.
Coelia Concordia stepped down as the last Vestalis Maxima in 394. Depicted as a good-mannered deity who never involved herself in the quarreling of other gods, Vesta was ambiguous at times due to her contradictory association with the phallus, she was the embodiment of the Phallic Mother: she was not only the most virgin and clean of all the gods, but was addressed as mother and granted fertility. Mythographers tell us that Vesta had no myths save being identified as one of the oldest of the gods, entitled to preference in veneration and offerings over all other gods. Unlike most gods, Vesta was hardly depicted directly. While Vesta was the flame itself, the symbol of the phallus might relate to Vesta's function in fertility cults, but it maybe invoked the goddess herself due to its relation to the fire stick used to light the sacred flame, she was sometimes thought of as a personification of the fire stick, inserted into a hollow piece of wood and rotated – in a phallic manner – to light her flame
The tetradrachm was an Ancient Greek silver coin equivalent to four drachmae. In Athens it replaced the earlier "heraldic" type of didrachms and it was in wide circulation from c. 510 to c. 38 BC. The transition from didrachms to tetradrachms occurred during c. 525–510 BC. This transition is supported by the discovery of contemporary coin hoards, more of a coin hoard found on the Acropolis in 1886; the Athenian tetradrachm was used in transactions throughout the ancient Greek world, including in cities politically unfriendly to Athens. Athens had silver mines in state ownership, which provided the bullion. Most well known were the silver mines of Laurium at a close distance from Athens; the Athenian tetradrachm was stamped with the head of Athena on the obverse, on the reverse the image of the owl of Athena, the iconographic symbol of the Athenian polis, with a sprig of olive and a crescent for the moon. According to Philochorus, it was known as glaux throughout the ancient world and "owl" in present-day English language numismatics.
The design was kept unchanged for over two centuries, by which time it had become stylistically archaic. To differentiate their currency from the rival coinage of Aegina using the Aeginetic stater of about 12.3 grams, Athens minted its tetradrachm based on the "Attic" standard of 4.3 grams per drachma. The vast number of "owls-tetradrachms" available those days from the silver mines of Laurium financed the several achievements of Athens, such as the reconstruction of the Acropolis and building the Parthenon, as well as many wars, including the Peloponnesian War; the tetradrachm's use as a currency was soon adopted by many other city-states of the ancient Greece, Asia Minor, Magna Grecia and other Greek colonial cities throughout the Mediterranean Sea. With the armies of Alexander the Great it spread to other Greek-influenced areas of Asia. Tetradrachms were common as trade coins. Coin Coin in the fish's mouth Greek drachma List of historical currencies Stater Pictures of Athenian tetradrachms
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy, it is a form of government. In the context of American constitutional law, the definition of republic refers to a form of government in which elected individuals represent the citizen body and exercise power according to the rule of law under a constitution, including separation of powers with an elected head of state, referred to as a constitutional republic or representative democracy; as of 2017, 159 of the world’s 206 sovereign states use the word “republic” as part of their official names – not all of these are republics in the sense of having elected governments, nor is the word “republic” used in the names of all nations with elected governments. While heads of state tend to claim that they rule only by the “consent of the governed”, elections in some countries have been found to be held more for the purpose of “show” than for the actual purpose of in reality providing citizens with any genuine ability to choose their own leaders.
The word republic comes from the Latin term res publica, which means “public thing,” “public matter,” or “public affair” and was used to refer to the state as a whole. The term developed its modern meaning in reference to the constitution of the ancient Roman Republic, lasting from the overthrow of the kings in 509 B. C. to the establishment of the Empire in 27 B. C; this constitution was characterized by a Senate composed of wealthy aristocrats and wielding significant influence. Most a republic is a single sovereign state, but there are sub-sovereign state entities that are referred to as republics, or that have governments that are described as “republican” in nature. For instance, Article IV of the United States Constitution "guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government". In contrast, the former Soviet Union, which described itself as being a group of “Republics” and as a “federal multinational state composed of 15 republics”, was viewed as being a totalitarian form of government and not a genuine republic, since its electoral system was structured so as to automatically guarantee the election of government-sponsored candidates.
The term originates from the Latin translation of Greek word politeia. Cicero, among other Latin writers, translated politeia as res publica and it was in turn translated by Renaissance scholars as "republic"; the term politeia can be translated as form of government, polity, or regime and is therefore not always a word for a specific type of regime as the modern word republic is. One of Plato's major works on political science was titled Politeia and in English it is thus known as The Republic. However, apart from the title, in modern translations of The Republic, alternative translations of politeia are used. However, in Book III of his Politics, Aristotle was the first classical writer to state that the term politeia can be used to refer more to one type of politeia: "When the citizens at large govern for the public good, it is called by the name common to all governments, government". Amongst classical Latin, the term "republic" can be used in a general way to refer to any regime, or in a specific way to refer to governments which work for the public good.
In medieval Northern Italy, a number of city states had signoria based governments. In the late Middle Ages, writers such as Giovanni Villani began writing about the nature of these states and the differences from other types of regime, they used terms such as a free people, to describe the states. The terminology changed in the 15th century as the renewed interest in the writings of Ancient Rome caused writers to prefer using classical terminology. To describe non-monarchical states writers, most Leonardo Bruni, adopted the Latin phrase res publica. While Bruni and Machiavelli used the term to describe the states of Northern Italy, which were not monarchies, the term res publica has a set of interrelated meanings in the original Latin; the term can quite be translated as "public matter". It was most used by Roman writers to refer to the state and government during the period of the Roman Empire. In subsequent centuries, the English word "commonwealth" came to be used as a translation of res publica, its use in English was comparable to how the Romans used the term res publica.
Notably, during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell the word commonwealth was the most common term to call the new monarchless state, but the word republic was in common use. In Polish the term was translated as rzeczpospolita, although the translation is now only used with respect to Poland. Presently, the term "republic" means a system of government which derives its power from the people rather than from another basis, such as heredity or divine right. While the philosophical terminology developed in classical Greece and Rome, as noted by Aristotle there was a long history of city states with a wide variety of constitutions, not only in Greece but in the Middle East. After the classical period, during the Middle Ages, many free cities developed again, such as Venice; the modern type of "republic" itself is different from any type of state found in the c
In heraldry and vexillology, the double-headed eagle is a charge associated with the concept of Empire. Most modern uses of the symbol are directly or indirectly associated with its use by the Roman/Byzantine Empire, whose use of it represented the Empire's dominion over the Near East and the West; the symbol is much older, its original meaning is debated among scholars. The eagle has long been a symbol of dominion; the double-headed eagle motif appears to have its ultimate origin in the Ancient Near East in Hittite iconography. It re-appeared during the High Middle Ages, from circa the 10th or 11th century, was notably used by the Byzantine Empire, but 11th or 12th century representations have been found originating from Islamic Spain and the Serbian principality of Raška. From the 13th century onward, it became more widespread, was used by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum and the Mamluk Sultanate within the Islamic world, by the Holy Roman Empire and Russia within the Christian world. Used during the late Byzantine Empire as a dynastic emblem of the Palaiologoi, it was adopted during the late Medieval to Early Modern period in the Holy Roman Empire on one hand, in Orthodox principalities Serbia and Russia on the other, representing an augmentation of the eagle or Aquila associated with the Roman Empire.
In a few places, among them the Holy Roman Empire and Russia, the motif was further augmented to create the less prominent triple-headed eagle. Polycephalous mythological beasts are frequent in the Bronze Age to Iron Age pictorial legacy of the Ancient Near East in the Assyrian sphere, thence adopted by the Hittites. Use of the double-headed eagle in Hittite imagery has been interpreted as "royal insignia". A monumental Hittite relief of a double-headed eagle grasping two hares is found at the eastern pier of the Sphinx Gate at Alaca Hüyük. After the Bronze Age collapse, there is a gap of more than two millennia before the re-appearance of the double-headed eagle motif; the earliest occurrence in the context of the Byzantine Empire appears to be on a silk brocade dated to the 10th century, which was, however manufactured in Islamic Spain. The early Byzantine Empire continued to use the imperial eagle motif; the double-headed eagle appears only in the medieval period, by about the 10th century in Byzantine art, but as an imperial emblem only much during the final century of the Palaiologos dynasty.
In Western European sources, it appears as a Byzantine state emblem since at least the 15th century. A modern theory, forwarded by Zapheiriou, connected the introduction of the motif to Emperor Isaac I Komnenos, whose family originated in Paphlagonia. Zapheiriou supposed that the Hittite motif of the double-headed bird, associated with the Paphlagonian city of Gangra might have been brought to Byzantium by the Komnenoi; the double-headed eagle motif was adopted in the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm and the Turkic beyliks of medieval Anatolia in the early 13th century. A royal association of the motif is suggested by its appearance on the keystone of an arch of the citadel built at Ikonion under Kayqubad I; the motif appears on Turkomen coins of this era, notably on coins minted under Artuqid ruler Nasir al-Din Mahmud of Hasankeyf. In the 13th century, the motif was adopted in Mamluk Egypt. Adoption of the double-headed eagle in Serbia, Russia and in the Holy Roman empire begins still in the medieval period as early as the 12th century, but widespread use begins after the fall of Constantinople, in the late 15th century.
The oldest preserved depiction of a double-headed eagle in Serbia is the one found in the donor portrait of Miroslav of Hum in the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Bijelo Polje, dating to 1190; the double-headed eagle in the Serbian royal coat of arms is well attested in the 13th and 14th centuries. An exceptional medieval depiction of a double-headed eagle in the west, attributed to Otto IV, is found in a copy of the Chronica Majora of Matthew of Paris. In Russian principalities, the two-headed eagle symbol is known since time of Jani Beg khan of the Golden Horde, participating in internal politics of Russian principalities, was stamping his coins with symbol of two-headed eagle. In Serbia, the Nemanjić dynasty adopted a double-headed eagle by the 14th century; the double-headed eagle was used in several coats of arms found in the Illyrian Armorials, compiled in the early modern period. The white double-headed eagle on a red shield was used for the Nemanjić dynasty, the Despot Stefan Lazarević.
A "Nemanjić eagle" was used at the crest of the Hrebeljanović, while a half-white half-red eagle was used at the crest of the Mrnjavčević. Use of the white eagle was continued by the modern Karađorđević, Obrenović and Petrović-Njegoš ruling houses. After the fall of Byzantium the use of two-headed eagle symbols spread to Grand Duchy of Moscow after Ivan III's second marriage to Zoe Palaiologina, The last prince of Tver, Mikhail III of Tver, was stamping his coins with two-headed eagle symbol; the double-headed eagle remained an important motif in the heraldry of the imperial families of Russia (the House of Romanov (1613-
Tyche was the presiding tutelary deity who governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. In Classical Greek mythology, she is the daughter of Zeus or Hermes. In literature, she might be given various genealogies, as a daughter of Hermes and Aphrodite, or considered as one of the Oceanids, daughters of Oceanus, Tethys, or of Zeus, she was connected with Agathos Daimon. The Greek historian Polybius believed that when no cause can be discovered to events such as floods, frosts, or in politics the cause of these events may be attributed to Tyche. During the Hellenistic period, cities venerated their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown. Tyche had temples at Caesarea Maritima, Antioch and Constantinople. In Alexandria the Tychaeon, the Greek temple of Tyche, was described by Libanius as one of the most magnificent of the entire Hellenistic world, she was uniquely venerated at Itanos in Crete, as Tyche Protogeneia, linked with the Athenian Protogeneia, daughter of Erechtheus, whose self-sacrifice saved the city.
Stylianos Spyridacis concisely expressed Tyche's appeal in a Hellenistic world of arbitrary violence and unmeaning reverses: "In the turbulent years of the Epigoni of Alexander, an awareness of the instability of human affairs led people to believe that Tyche, the blind mistress of Fortune, governed mankind with an inconstancy which explained the vicissitudes of the time." Tyche appears on many coins of the Hellenistic period in the three centuries before the Christian era from cities in the Aegean. Unpredictable turns of fortune drive the complicated plotlines of Hellenistic romances, such as, Leucippe and Clitophon or Daphnis and Chloe, she experienced a resurgence in another era of uneasy change, the final days of publicly sanctioned Paganism, between the late-fourth-century emperors Julian and Theodosius I, who definitively closed the temples. The effectiveness of her capricious power achieved respectability in philosophical circles during that generation, although among poets it was a commonplace to revile her for a fickle harlot.
In Greco-Roman and medieval art she was depicted as carrying a cornucopia, an emblematic gubernaculum, the wheel of fortune, or she may stand on the wheel, presiding over the entire circle of fate. The constellation of Virgo is sometimes identified as the heavenly figure of Tyche, as well as other goddesses such as Demeter and Astraea. Tyche of Constantinople Media related to Tyche at Wikimedia Commons
Military awards and decorations
Military awards and decorations are a distinction given as a mark of honor for military heroism, meritorious or outstanding service or achievement. It is a medal consisting of a ribbon and a medallion. While the United States Government does not consider all its military awards and medals as being "decorations", other countries tend to refer to all their military awards and medals as "decorations". Civil decorations awarded to military personnel should not be considered military decorations, although some orders of chivalry have civil and military divisions. Decorations received by police and fire brigade personnel may sometimes be considered alongside military decorations, on which they may be modelled, although they are not military awards. Decorations have been known since ancient times; the Egyptian Old Kingdom had the Order of the Golden Collar while the New Kingdom awarded the Order of the Golden Fly. Celts and Romans wore a torc or received other military decorations such as the hasta pura, a spear without a tip.
Dayaks still wear tattoos, etc.. Necklaces and bracelets were given during the early Middle Ages, evolving into richly jewelled big necklaces with a pendant attached; the oldest military decorations still in use is Sweden's För tapperhet i fält and För tapperhet till sjöss awarded to officers and soldiers of the Swedish Armed Forces who have—as the medal names suggest—shown valour in the field or at sea in wartime. The medal was instituted by Swedish king Gustav III on 1789, during his war against Russia. Whilst technically it is still active, it is for practical purposes inactive, not having been awarded since 1915; the next oldest was the Austro-Hungarian Tapferkeits Medaille Honour Medal for Bravery 1789–1792. This medal was instituted on 19 July, 1789, by the Emperor Joseph II. Another of the oldest military decorations still in use is Poland's War Order of Virtuti Militari, it was first awarded in 1792. Medals have been forged by many people to make the medal appear more valuable or to make one look like a more decorated soldier.
Medal forgeries can include: adding bars, engraving a famous soldier's name on it or creating a whole new medal. Medal forgery can be punishable by imprisonment. Alas many medals are faked, a medal gains value in direct relation to the owner of the medal. A knowledge therefore of the exact styles of naming is a crucial key to purchasing a real medal, however a quick tip is just to look at the medal on a flat surface, is the medal round or does it and have an egg-shaped appearance and thinning of the rim towards the 6 o’clock point, if so this means that the original naming has been removed and a new name impressed or engraved around the rim taking the name of a man, at a famous action to deceive and make the medal worth more money, always make sure the medal is round, the forger will be happy to take your money for a medal he has re-named! If in doubt take your medal to one of the well know reputable dealers or auction houses who specialise in Military Medals, such as Mark Smith - a Military Medals specialist and a familiar face on BBC's Antiques Roadshow - they will and tell you if your medal is real or has come from the forgers workshop.
Today military decorations include: Order of merit. In most NATO militaries, only the service ribbons are worn on everyday occasions. List of military decorations List of highest military decorations Civil decoration State decoration Neck decoration Commonwealth Realms orders and decorations Awards and decorations of the United States military Awards and decorations of the Russian Federation Awards and decorations of the Soviet Union Israeli Military decorations Orders and medals of Spain Awards and decorations of the German Armed Forces Orders and medals of the United Kingdom