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Niobe

In Greek mythology, Niobe was a daughter of Tantalus and of either Dione, the most cited, or of Eurythemista or Euryanassa, the sister of Pelops and Broteas. Her father was the ruler of a city located near Manisa in today's Aegean Turkey, called "Tantalis" or "the city of Tantalus", or "Sipylus"; the city was located at the foot of Mount Sipylus and its ruins were reported to be still visible in the beginning of the 1st century AD, although few traces remain today. Pliny reports that Tantalis was destroyed by an earthquake and the city of Sipylus was built in its place. Niobe's father is referred to as "Phrygian" and sometimes as "King of Phrygia", although his city was located in the western extremity of Anatolia where Lydia was to emerge as a state before the beginning of the first millennium BC, not in the traditional heartland of Phrygia, situated more inland. References to his son and Niobe's brother as "Pelops the Lydian" led some scholars to the conclusion that there would be good grounds for believing that she belonged to a primordial house of Lydia.

She was mentioned in Homer's Iliad which relates her proud hubris, for which she was punished by Leto, who sent Apollo and Artemis to slay all of her children, after which her children lay unburied for nine days while she abstained from food. Once the gods interred them, she retreated to her native Sipylus, "where Nymphs dance around the River Acheloos, though turned to stone, she broods over the sorrows sent by the Gods". Writers asserted that Niobe was wedded to Amphion, one of the twin founders of Thebes, where there was a single sanctuary where the twin founders were venerated, but in fact no shrine to Niobe. Niobe boasted of her fourteen children, seven male and seven female, to Leto who only had two children, the twins Apollo and Artemis; the number varies in different sources. Her speech which caused the indignation of the goddess was rendered in the following manner: It was on occasion of the annual celebration in honor of Latona and her offspring and Diana when the people of Thebes were assembled, their brows crowned with laurel, bearing frankincense to the altars and paying their vows, that Niobe appeared among the crowd.

Her attire was splendid with gold and gems, her face as beautiful as the face of an angry woman can be. She surveyed the people with haughty looks. "What folly," said she, "is this! to prefer beings whom you never saw to those who stand before your eyes! Why should Latona be honored with worship rather than I? My father was Tantalus, received as a guest at the table of the gods. My husband rules this city, Thebes. Wherever I turn my eyes I survey the elements of my power. To all this let me add, I have seven sons and seven daughters, look for sons-in-law and daughters-in-law of pretensions worthy of my alliance. Have I not cause for pride? Will you prefer to me this Latona, the Titan's daughter, with her two children? I have seven times as many. Fortunate indeed am I, fortunate I shall remain! Will any one deny this? Using arrows, Artemis killed Apollo killed Niobe's sons. According to some versions, at least one Niobid was spared, their father, Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was killed by Apollo for having sworn revenge.

Devastated, Niobe fled back to Mount Sipylus and was turned into stone, and, as she wept unceasingly, waters started to pour from her petrified complexion. Mount Sipylus indeed has a natural rock formation which resembles a female face, it has been associated with Niobe since ancient times and described by Pausanias; the rock formation is known as the "Weeping Rock", since rainwater seeps through its porous limestone. The only Niobid spared stayed greenish pale from horror for the rest of her life, for that reason she was called Chloris. In his archaic role as bringer of diseases and death, Apollo with his poison arrows killed Niobe's sons and Artemis with her poison arrows killed Niobe's daughters; this is related to the myth of the seven youths and seven maidens who were sent every year to the king Minos of Crete as an offering sacrifice to the Minotaur. Niobe was transformed into a stone on Mount Sipylus in her homeland of Phrygia, where she brooded over the sorrows sent by the gods. In Sophocles' Antigone the heroine believes.

The iconic number "seven" appears in Greek legends, represents an ancient tradition because it appears as a lyre with seven strings in the Hagia Triada sarcophagus in Crete during the Mycenean age. Apollo's lyre had seven strings; the story of Niobe, her sorrows, is an ancient one. The context in which she is mentioned by Achilles to Priam in Homer's Iliad is as a stock type for mourning. Priam is not unlike Niobe in the sense that he was grieving for his son Hector, killed and not buried for several days. Niobe is mentioned in Sophocles's Antigone where, as Antigone is marched toward her death, she compares her own loneliness to that of Niobe. Sophocles is said to have contributed a play titled Niobe, lost; the Niobe of Aeschylus, set in Thebes, survives in fragmentary quotes that were supplemented by a papyrus sheet containing twenty-one lines of text. From the fragments it appears that for the first part of the tragedy the grieving Niobe sits veiled and silent. Furthermore, the conflict between Niobe and Leto is mentioned in one of Sappho's poetic fragments ("Before they were mothers and Niobe had be

Battle of Yanling

The Battle of Yanling was fought in 575 BC between the states of Chu and Jin at Yanling during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. On the Jin side, Xi Qi commanded the right wing whilst Luan Shu commanded the center with Han Jue on the left. Prior to the battle, Shi Xie wanted to avoid battle on the basis that external enemies are necessary for internal peace; the Chu army had the numerical advantage but with the exception of the King's personal guard, it was in poor condition. The Chu army was commanded by Zifan and Zichong, who hated each other. Following Luan Shu's advice, the Jin army took a defensive posture instead of going on the offensive. By dawn the Jin armies were deployed behind a ditch, which impeded Chu troops. Fen Huang, a Jin officer, pointed out that the best Chu troops in the center were bogged down by the marsh, leaving the flanks to be held only by badly disciplined'wild tribes of the south'. Jin chariots charged both Chu flanks, scattering the enemy, they proceeded to attack the center, which contained the Chu King commanding his troops.

Although the Chu King's life was endangered a couple of times, Jin officers let him escape as a sign of respect. However, he was wounded by an arrow and his army was driven back

Teichfuss Falco

The Teichfuss Falco was an Italian single-seat, intermediate-performance glider, designed by Luigi Teichfuss and flown in 1931. The Falco was designed as a glider with performance better than that of a trainer though not at a soaring competition level, it was a high-wing monoplane, with its single spar wing braced on each side by a pair of faired struts arranged in a V, joining the lower fuselage to the outer end of the central panel at about one-third span. This central panel was rectangular without dihedral; the outer panels were straight-tapered to blunt tips, the wing becoming thinner and thus acquiring dihedral though retaining a horizontal upper surface. Ailerons occupied the whole trailing edges of these outer panels, its wood-framed, plywood-skinned fuselage was deep-sided and hexagonal in cross section, tapering markedly towards the tail. The wing was mounted on a pedestal which continued only behind the wing; the pilot's open cockpit was ahead of the pedestal and below the wing leading edge.

There was no fixed tailplane. There was a small triangular fin which supported a much larger, tall balanced rudder triangular in shape but with rounded vertices. Hinged above the elevator trailing edge, which had a cut-out for its movement, the rudder extended down to the keel, where it was protected by a small, faired tail bumper. There was a long landing skid with rubber shock absorbers, running from near the nose to under the aft end of the wing pedestal; the Falco first flew in 1931. Two were built. Data from Pedrielli pp.36-7General characteristics Capacity: One Length: 7.06 m Wingspan: 16 m Height: 1.44 m Wing area: 18.60 m2 Aspect ratio: 14 Empty weight: 155 kg Gross weight: 240 kg Performance Maximum glide ratio: estimated 21.5:1 Rate of sink: 0.65 m/s minimum Wing loading: 12.9 kg/m2