Cyrus the Great
Cyrus II of Persia, commonly known as Cyrus the Great and called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, under his successors, the empire eventually stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east. His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, the reign of Cyrus the Great lasted between 29 and 31 years. Cyrus built his empire by conquering first the Median Empire, the Lydian Empire, either before or after Babylon, he led an expedition into central Asia, which resulted in major campaigns that were described as having brought into subjection every nation without exception. Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he died in battle. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to add to the empire by conquering Egypt, Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered.
This became a successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage. In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus. Cyrus the Great is recognized for his achievements in human rights, politics. Having originated from Persis, roughly corresponding to the modern Iranian province of Fars and this view has been criticized by some historians as a misunderstanding of the Cylinders generic nature as a traditional statement that new monarchs make at the beginning of their reign. The name Cyrus is a Latinized form derived from the Greek Κῦρος, Kỹros, the name and its meaning has been recorded in ancient inscriptions in different languages. This may point to a relationship to the mythological first king of Persia, Jamshid. Karl Hoffmann has suggested a translation based on the meaning of an Indo-European-root to humiliate, in the Persian language and especially in Iran, Cyruss name is spelled as کوروش.
In the Bible, he is known as Koresh, the Persian domination and kingdom in the Iranian plateau started by an extension of the Achaemenid dynasty, who expanded their earlier domination possibly from the 9th century BC onward. The eponymous founder of dynasty was Achaemenes. Achaemenids are descendants of Achaemenes as Darius the Great, the king of the dynasty, traces his genealogy to him. Ancient documents mention that Teispes had a son called Cyrus I, Cyrus I had a full brother whose name is recorded as Ariaramnes. In 600 BC, Cyrus I was succeeded by his son, Cambyses I, Cyrus the Great was a son of Cambyses I, who named his son after his father, Cyrus I
Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese priest Nichiren and belongs to the schools of so-called Kamakura Buddhism. Nichiren Buddhism has several schools and many sub-schools, as well as several of Japans new religions. Its many denominations have in common a focus on the chanting and recital of the Lotus Sutra, believed by adherents to imbue auspicious and it is opposed to any other form of Buddhism, which Nichiren saw as deviating from the Buddhist truth he had discovered. He eventually concluded that the highest teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha were to be found in the Lotus Sutra, the mantra he expounded on 28 April 1253, known as the Daimoku or Odaimoku, Namu-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō, expresses his devotion to that body of teachings. In doing so, he provoked the ire of the rulers and of the priests of the sects he criticized, he was subjected to persecution which included an attempted beheading. After a pardon and his return from exile, Nichiren moved to Mt.
Minobu in todays Yamanashi Prefecture, Nichiren spent most of the rest of his life here training disciples. Nichiren Buddhism is based on the Lotus Sutra, common to most lineages of Nichiren Buddhism is the chanting of Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō or Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, and veneration of the Gohonzon. The definition of Gohonzon varies between the Nichiren schools, most of these teachings are shared and identical in most schools and groups of Nichiren Buddhism. However, different interpretations are found for the doctrine of the Three Great Secret Dharmas, called The Three Great Secret Laws and these writings are collectively known as Gosho or Goibun. Which of these writings, including the Ongi Kuden, are deemed authentic or apocryphal is a matter of debate within the schools of todays Nichiren Buddhism. One of his most important writings the Rissho Ankoku Ron, preserved at Shochuzan Hokekyo-ji, is one of the National Treasures of Japan, Nichiren Buddhism is not a single denomination. Nichiren was originally an ordained Tendai priest and is not known to have established a separate Buddhist school, his teachings led to the formation of different schools within several years after his passing.
Before his death Nichiren had named six senior priests whom he wanted to transmit his teachings to future generations, Nisshō, Nichirō, Nikō, Nitchō, and Nikkō. Each started a lineage of schools, but Nichiji eventually travelled to the Asian continent and was never heard from again, although the former five disciples remained loosely affiliated to varying degrees, the last—Nikkō—made a clean break by leaving Kuon-ji in 1289. The disciple Nikko had come to the conclusion that the five disciples were embarking on heresy. Pious legends recount his journey with the Dai-Gohonzon as he left Mount Minobu, the disciple Nitcho began to share the same complaints and grievances and would join him in years. By the 14th century a split within the Nichiren Schools occurred though. One differentiates between the so-called Ichi lineage and Shoretsu lineage, the Ichi lineage today comprises most of the traditional schools within Nichiren Buddhism, including some Nikkō temples, of which the Nichiren Shū is the biggest representative
Penda of Mercia
Penda was a 7th-century King of Mercia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is today the English Midlands. He repeatedly defeated the East Angles and drove Cenwalh the king of Wessex into exile for three years and he continued to wage war against the Bernicians of Northumbria. The etymology of the name Penda is unknown, Penda of Mercia is the only monarch with this name, but a number of Mercian commoners with the same name are on record. Suggestions for etymologies of the name are divided between a Celtic and a Germanic origin. The names of members of a Northumbrian brotherhood are recorded in the ninth century Liber vitae Dunelmensis, the name Penda occurs in this list and is categorised as a British name. John T. Koch noted that, Penda and a number of royal names from early Anglian Mercia have more obvious Brythonic than German explanations. These royal names include those of Pendas father Pybba, and of his son Peada and it has been suggested that the firm alliance between Penda and various British princes might be the result of a racial cause.
Continental Germanic comparanda for the name include a feminine Penta and a toponym Penti-lingen, Penda was a son of Pybba of Mercia and said to be an Icling, with a lineage purportedly extending back to Wōden. The Historia Brittonum says that Pybba had 12 sons, including Penda, besides Eowa, the pedigrees give Penda a brother named Coenwalh from whom two kings were said to descend, although this may instead represent his brother-in-law Cenwalh of Wessex. The time at which Penda became king is uncertain, as are the circumstances, another Mercian king, Cearl, is mentioned by Bede as ruling at the same time as the Northumbrian king Æthelfrith, in the early part of the 7th century. It is possible that Cearl and Penda were dynastic rivals, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Penda became king in 626, ruled for 30 years, and was 50 years old at the time of his accession. Furthermore, that Penda was truly 50 years old at the beginning of his reign is generally doubted by historians, the idea that Penda, at about 80 years of age, would have left behind children who were still young has been widely considered implausible.
The possibility has been suggested that the Chronicle actually meant to say that Penda was 50 years old at the time of his death, the noted 20th-century historian Frank Stenton was of the opinion that the language used by Bede leaves no doubt that. Penda, though descended from the family of the Mercians. Given the apparent problems with the dates given by the Chronicle, on the other hand, he might have been one of multiple rulers among the Mercians at the time, ruling only a part of their territory. The Chronicle says that after the battle and the West Saxons came to an agreement and it has been speculated that this agreement marked a victory for Penda, ceding to him Cirencester and the areas along the lower River Severn. These lands to the southwest of Mercia had apparently taken by the West Saxons from the Britons in 577. In the late 620s or early 630s, Cadwallon ap Cadfan, the British king of Gwynedd, became involved in a war with Edwin of Northumbria, the most powerful king in Britain at the time
Nichiren, born as Zennichimaro, was a Japanese Buddhist priest who lived during the Kamakura period. Nichiren is known for his devotion to the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren believed that the Lotus Sutra contained the essence of all of Shakyamuni Buddhas teachings related to the laws of causality, the fundamental practice shared by all of them is the chanting of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō. Nichiren was born on 16 February 1222 in the village of Kominato, Nagase District, Nichirens father, a fisherman, was Mikuni-no-Tayu Shigetada, known as Nukina Shigetada Jiro and his mother was Umegiku-nyo. On his birth, his parents named him Zennichimaro which has variously been translated into English as Splendid Sun, the exact site of Nichirens birth is believed to be submerged off the shore from present-day Kominato-zan Tanjō-ji, a temple in Kominato that commemorates Nichirens birth. In his own words, Nichiren stated that he was the son of a family who lived near the sea in Tojo in Awa Province. However, I began doubting this practice, making a vow to study all the Buddhist sutras, commentaries on them by Bodhisattvas, Nichiren began his Buddhist study at a nearby temple of the Tendai school, Seichō-ji, at age 11.
He was formally ordained at 16 and took the Buddhist name Zeshō-bō Renchō where Renchō means Lotus Growth, after having persuaded himself that devotion to Amitabha Buddha was not the true Buddhist doctrine, he passed to the study of Zen, which had become popular in Kamakura and Kyōto. During this time, he became convinced of the pre-eminence of the Lotus Sutra and in 1253, on April 28,1253, he expounded the daimoku teachings for the first time, marking his Sho Tempōrin. With this, he proclaimed that devotion and practice based on the Lotus Sutra was the form of Buddhism for the current time. At the same time he changed his name to Nichiren, nichi meaning sun and this choice, as Nichiren himself explained, was rooted in passages from the Lotus Sutra. He gained a large following there, consisting of both priests and laity. Many of his lay believers came from among the samurai class and it is claimed that in 1253 Nichiren predicted the Mongol invasions of Japan, a prediction which was validated in 1274.
This true and correct form of Buddhism, as Nichiren saw it, entailed regarding the Lotus Sutra as the fullest expression of the Buddhas teachings and putting those teachings into practice. Nichiren thought this could be achieved in Japan by withdrawing lay support so that the deviant monks would be forced to change their ways or revert to laymen to prevent starving. Based on prophecies made in several sutras, Nichiren attributed the occurrence of the famines, Nichiren submitted his treatise in July 1260. Though it drew no response, it prompted a severe backlash. Nichiren was harassed frequently, several times with force, and often had to change dwellings, Nichiren was exiled to the Izu Peninsula in 1261, and pardoned in 1263
Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, commonly the Teutonic Order, is a Catholic religious order founded as a military order in the 12th century in Acre. Purely religious since 1929, it still confers limited honorary knighthoods, the order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals. Formed in the year 1190 in Acre, in the Levant, after Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend the South-Eastern borders of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Kipchaks. Starting from there, the Order created the independent Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights, adding continuously the conquered Prussians territory, the Order theoretically lost its main purpose in Europe with the Christianization of Lithuania. However, it initiated numerous campaigns against its Christian neighbours, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Novgorod Republic. The Teutonic Knights had an economic base, and so hired mercenaries from throughout Europe to augment their feudal levies.
In 1410, a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald, the capital of the Teutonic Knights was successfully defended in the following Siege of Marienburg and the Order was saved from collapse. In 1515, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I made an alliance with Sigismund I of Poland-Lithuania. Thereafter, the empire did not support the Order against Poland, in 1525, Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg resigned and converted to Lutheranism, becoming Duke of Prussia as a vassal of Poland. Soon after, the Order lost Livonia and its holdings in the Protestant areas of Germany, the Order did keep its considerable holdings in Catholic areas of Germany until 1809, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings. However, the Order continued to exist as a charitable and ceremonial body and it was outlawed by Adolf Hitler in 1938, but re-established in 1945. Today it operates primarily with charitable aims in Central Europe, the Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross.
A cross pattée was sometimes used as their coat of arms, the motto of the Order was, Wehren, Heilen. The full name of the Order in German is Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem or in Latin Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum, the term Teutonic refers to the German origins of the order in Latin. It is commonly known in German as the Deutscher Orden, historically as Deutscher Ritterorden, Deutschherrenorden, Deutschritterorden or Die Herren im weißen Mantel. However, based on the model of the Knights Templar, it was transformed into an order in 1198. It received papal orders for crusades to take and hold Jerusalem for Christianity, during the rule of Grand Master Hermann von Salza the Order changed from being a hospice brotherhood for pilgrims to primarily a military order. The Order was founded in Acre, and the Knights purchased Montfort, northeast of Acre, the Order had a castle at Amouda in Armenia Minor
Edwin of Northumbria
Edwin, known as Eadwine or Æduinus, was the King of Deira and Bernicia – which became known as Northumbria – from about 616 until his death. He converted to Christianity and was baptised in 627, after he fell at the Battle of Hatfield Chase, Edwin was the son of Ælle king of Deira and seems to have had two siblings. His sister Acha was married to Æthelfrith, king of neighbouring Bernicia, an otherwise unknown sibling fathered Hereric, who in turn fathered Abbess Hilda of Whitby and Hereswith, wife to Æthelric, the brother of king Anna of East Anglia. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reported that on Ælles death a certain Æthelric assumed power, the exact identity of Æthelric is uncertain. He may have been a brother of Ælle, a brother of Edwin. Æthelfrith himself appears to have been king of Northumbria—both Deira and Bernicia—by no than 604, during the reign of Æthelfrith, Edwin was an exile. By the 610s he was certainly in Mercia under the protection of king Cearl, by around 616, Edwin was in East Anglia under the protection of king Raedwald.
Bede reports that Æthelfrith tried to have Raedwald murder his rival. Æthelfrith faced Raedwald in battle by the River Idle in 616, Raedwalds son Raegenhere may have been killed at this battle, but the exact date or manner of Raedwalds death are not known. He likely died between the years 616–627, and the efficacy of Edwin’s kingship ostensibly depended greatly on his fealty to Raedwald, Edwin was installed as king of Northumbria, effectively confirming Raedwald as bretwalda, Æthelfriths sons went into exile in Irish Dál Riata and Pictland. Edwins reign marks an interruption of the otherwise consistent domination of Northumbria by the Bernicians and has seen as contrary to the prevailing tendency. Edwin expelled Ceretic from the minor British kingdom of Elmet in either 616 or 626, Elmet had probably been subject to Mercia and to Edwin. The larger kingdom of Lindsey appears to have taken over c. 625, after the death of king Raedwald and Eadbald of Kent were allies at this time, and Edwin arranged to marry Eadbalds sister Æthelburg.
Bede notes that Eadbald would agree to marry his sister to Edwin only if he converted to Christianity, the marriage of Eadbalds Merovingian mother Bertha had resulted in the conversion of Kent and Æthelburgs would do the same in Northumbria. Edwins expansion to the west may have begun early in his reign, there is firm evidence of a war waged in the early 620s between Edwin and Fiachnae mac Báetáin of the Dál nAraidi, king of the Ulaid in Ireland. A lost poem is known to have existed recounting Fiachnaes campaigns against the Saxons, and this should presumably be placed in the context of Edwins designs on the Isle of Man, a target of Ulaid ambitions. The routine of kingship in Edwins time involved regular, probably annual, wars with neighbours to obtain tribute and slaves
The image is under the ownership and custody of the Nichiren Shōshū priesthood and is currently enshrined in the Shumidan high altar within the Hoando storagehouse building of Taiseki-ji. According to the beliefs of Nichiren Shōshū, the image was created by Nichiren Daishonin and is the supreme object of worship. Unlike common Gohonzons enshrined by Nichiren Buddhists, the Dai-Gohonzon is not enshrined with Shikimi Japanese evergreen plants, the image is not exposed for ordinary public viewing except on major events deemed such by Nichiren Shoshu. Due to beliefs of its nature, its audience is restricted to only believing Hokkeko pilgrims. The recitation of ritual is not directly performed to the mandala. Previously, the Dai-Gohonzon image was venerated among Soka Gakkai historical founding leaders. The encounter between a believer and the image is highly discouraged as a tourist sightseeing event, but rather the ultimate fusion of a believer, among Gongyo prayers, the second recitation of the Lotus Sutra is offered and dedicated in honor of the Dai-Gohonzon.
Out of the five authorised prayers by Nichiren Shoshu, the silent prayer is considered the most auspicious. The Japanese word Dai means great or supreme while Go-honzon means sacred object of devotion, the Dai-Gohonzon is housed at the Hoando building located at the Nichiren Shoshus Head Temple, Taiseki-ji. In the past, the Dai-Gohonzon image was enshrined in the Great Kaidan hall as well the Gohozo treasury building of Taisekiji, the building was demolished in 1998. The image was removed from the Sho-Hondo on April 1998 and was stored in the Go-Hozo treasure house. Lay members are permitted to enter the Hoando building in formal attire, with a validated ticket reservation obtained by a Koto leader. The Dai Gohonzon is a plank, composed of fragrant Japanese Camphorwood believed to be inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin. The image approximately measures 155 centimeters by 91 centimeters wide and it is coated in black Urushi with gilded characters composed of grounded 24k karat gold dust. On the bottom portion features the great Zo-han personal signature seal of Nichiren Shonin, the Soka Gakkai disputes the Ichien-bodai-Soyo inscription as either non-existent or forged by the Shoshu school.
The High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu, or at times his proxy, offers the daylight prayers called Ushi-Tora Gongyo to the image in an area at the Grand Reception Hall daily at 2. At the Ushitora Gongyo conducted each midnight, the bell are exactingly rung 68th times for each passed High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu. The encounter between a believer and the image is highly discouraged as a tourist sightseeing event, but rather the ultimate fusion of a believer and his or her own Enlightenment
Vytautas, known as Vytautas the Great from the 15th century onwards, was one of the most famous rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which chiefly encompassed the Lithuanians and Ruthenians. He was the Prince of Hrodna, Prince of Lutsk, in modern Lithuania, Vytautas is revered as a national hero and was an important figure in the national rebirth in the 19th century. Vytautas is a male given name in Lithuania. In commemoration of the 500-year anniversary of his death, Vytautas Magnus University was named after him, monuments in his honour were built in many towns in the independent Republic of Lithuania during the interwar period, from 1918–1939. Vytautas uncle Algirdas had been Grand Duke of Lithuania until his death in 1377, Algirdas and Vytautas father Kęstutis had practically ruled jointly, with Algirdas governing the east and Kęstutis the west, primarily responsible for defense against the Teutonic Order. Algirdas was succeeded by his son Jogaila, and a struggle for power ensued, in 1380, Jogaila signed the secret Treaty of Dovydiškės with the Teutonic Order against Kęstutis.
When Kęstutis discovered this in 1381, he seized Vilnius, imprisoned Jogaila, Jogaila escaped and raised an army against Kęstutis. The two sides confronted each other but never engaged in battle, Kęstutis was ready to negotiate, but he and Vytautas were arrested and transported to Kreva Castle. One week later, Kęstutis was found dead, whether he died of natural causes or was murdered is still a matter of debate. In 1382, Vytautas escaped from Kreva and he sought help from the Teutonic Order, who were negotiating with Jogaila at the time. Jogaila and the Order agreed to the Treaty of Dubysa, by which Jogaila promised to accept Christianity, become an ally of the Order, the treaty was never ratified. In summer 1383, the war between Jogaila and the Order resumed, Vytautas was baptised as a Catholic, receiving the name of Wigand. Vytautas participated in raids against Jogaila. In January 1384, Vytautas promised to cede part of Samogitia to the Teutonic Order, however, in July of the same year, Vytautas broke with the Order and reconciled with Jogaila.
He burned three important Teutonic castles, and regained all Kęstutis lands, except for Trakai, in 1385, Jogaila concluded the Union of Krewo with Poland, under which he married Jadwiga of Poland and became King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. Vytautas participated in the Union and in 1386 was re-baptised as a Catholic, Jogaila left his brother Skirgaila as regent in Lithuania. However, Skirgaila was unpopular with the people and Vytautas saw an opportunity to become Grand Duke, in 1389, he attacked Vilnius but failed. In early 1390, Vytautas again allied with the Teutonic Order, Vytautas had to confirm his agreement of 1384, and cede Samogitia to the Order
Babylon was a major city of ancient Mesopotamia in the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The city was built upon the Euphrates and divided in parts along its left and right banks. Babylon was originally a small Semitic Akkadian city dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c.2300 BC, the town attained independence as part of a small city-state with the rise of the First Amorite Babylonian Dynasty in 1894 BC. Babylon grew and South Mesopotamia came to be known as Babylonia, the empire quickly dissolved after Hammurabis death and Babylon spent long periods under Assyrian and Elamite domination. After being destroyed and rebuilt by the Assyrians, Babylon became the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 609 to 539 BC, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the city came under the rule of the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid empires. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from c.1770 to 1670 BC and it was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000.
Estimates for the extent of its area range from 890 to 900 hectares. The remains of the city are in present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, about 85 kilometres south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings, the English Babylon comes from Greek Babylṓn, a transliteration of the Akkadian Babili. The Babylonian name in the early 2nd millennium BC had been Babilli or Babilla, by the 1st millennium BC, it had changed to Babili under the influence of the folk etymology which traced it to bāb-ili. The Gate of God or Gate of El being from the Aramaic Hebrew Bab for Gate and El for God and this being similar to the Hebrew word for confusion Balal. In the Bible, the name appears as Babel, interpreted in the Hebrew Scriptures Book of Genesis to mean confusion, the modern English verb, to babble, or to speak meaningless words, is popularly thought to derive from this name, but there is no direct connection. The remains of the city are in present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris.
The site at Babylon consists of a number of mounds covering an area of about 2 by 1 kilometer, oriented north to south, along the Euphrates to the west. Originally, the river roughly bisected the city, but the course of the river has since shifted so that most of the remains of the western part of the city are now inundated. Some portions of the city wall to the west of the river remain, remains of the city include, Kasr—also called Palace or Castle, it is the location of the Neo-Babylonian ziggurat Etemenanki and lies in the center of the site. Amran Ibn Ali—the highest of the mounds at 25 meters, to the south and it is the site of Esagila, a temple of Marduk which contained shrines to Ea and Nabu. Homera—a reddish colored mound on the west side, most of the Hellenistic remains are here
The city is nestled between the hills that separate and unify in a harmonious way with plain Crișana. Located on the banks of Crișul Repede River, that divides the city into almost equal halves, it is the gateway to Central, the city is located in the north-west of Romania. Located about 10 km from Borș, the most important crossing point on the west border, Oradea ranks tenth in size among Romanian cities and it lies as the area of transition from relief hills, to the Pannonian plain. City topoclimatic action is determined by the prevailing Western winds, climate is Temperate Continental, with some oceanic influences. The city lies at the point of the Crișana plain. It is situated 126 meters above sea level, surrounded on the part by the hills of Oradea. The main part of the settlement is situated on the floodplain, Oradea is famous for its thermal springs. The river Crişul Repede crosses the city right through the center and its flow depends on the season, the dykes near Tileagd have partly controlled it since they were built in the early 1980s.
Annual average temperature is 10.4 °C, in July the average is about 21 °C, while in January the average is 1.4 °C. Rainfall is enough to support the woods and vegetation of the zone, rainfall is variably distributed throughout the year, with a maximum in June and a minimum in the late Autumn and Winter months of the year. The Dacians and Celts inhabited the region, after the conquest of Dacia the Romans established a presence in the area, most notably in the Salca district of the city and modern day Băile Felix. The city flourished both economically and culturally during the 13th century as part of the Kingdom of Hungary and it was at this time that the Citadel of Oradea, first mentioned in 1241 during the Mongol invasion, was first built. It would be destroyed and rebuilt several times over the course of following centuries, the 14th and 15th centuries would prove to be of the most prosperous periods in the citys history up to that point. Many works of art would be added to the city, statues of St.
Stephen and Ladislaus, St. Ladislaus fabled statue was the first proto-renaissance public square equestrian in Europe. Bishop Andreas Báthori rebuilt the Cathedral in Gothic style, from that epoch dates the Hermes, now preserved at Győr, which contains the skull of St. Ladislaus, and which is a masterpiece of the Hungarian goldsmiths art. In 1474, the city was captured by the Turks after a protracted siege, after the Ottoman invasion of Hungary, in the 16th century, the city became a constant point of contention between the Principality of Transylvania, the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy. The Peace of Várad was concluded between Emperor Ferdinand I and John Zápolya here on 4 February 1538, in which they recognized each other as legitimate monarchs. Following Michael the Braves conquest of the Principality of Transylvania, the Ottomans sent an expedition that laid siege to the city in 1598