SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Odoacer

Flavius Odoacer known as Flavius Odovacer or Odovacar, was a barbarian statesman who deposed Romulus Augustus and became King of Italy. His reign is seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of the emperor in Constantinople, Zeno. Odoacer used the Roman honorific patrician, granted by the Zeno at the time, but was referred to as a king in many documents, he himself used it in the only surviving official document that emanated from his chancery, it was used by the consul Basilius. Odoacer introduced few important changes into the administrative system of Italy, he had the support of the Roman Senate and was able to distribute land to his followers without much opposition. Unrest among his warriors led to violence in 477–478, but no such disturbances occurred during the period of his reign. Although Odoacer was an Arian Christian, he intervened in the affairs of the Trinitarian state church of the Roman Empire.

Of East Germanic descent, Odoacer was a military leader in Italy who led the revolt of Herulian and Scirian soldiers that deposed Romulus Augustulus on 4 September AD 476. Augustulus had been declared Western Roman Emperor by his father, the rebellious general of the army in Italy, less than a year before, but had been unable to gain allegiance or recognition beyond central Italy. With the backing of the Roman Senate, Odoacer thenceforth ruled Italy autonomously, paying lip service to the authority of Julius Nepos, the previous Western emperor, Zeno, the emperor of the East. Upon Nepos's murder in 480 Odoacer invaded Dalmatia, he did so, executing the conspirators, but within two years conquered the region and incorporated it into his domain. When Illus, master of soldiers of the Eastern Empire, asked for Odoacer's help in 484 in his struggle to depose Zeno, Odoacer invaded Zeno's westernmost provinces; the emperor responded first by inciting the Rugii of present-day Austria to attack Italy.

During the winter of 487–488 Odoacer crossed the Danube and defeated the Rugii in their own territory. Zeno appointed the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great, menacing the borders of the Eastern Empire, to be king of Italy, turning one troublesome, nominal vassal against another. Theodoric invaded Italy in 489 and by August 490 had captured the entire peninsula, forcing Odoacer to take refuge in Ravenna; the city surrendered on 5 March 493. Except for the fact that he was not considered Roman, Odoacer's precise ethnic origins are not known. Most scholars consider him to be of Germanic descent, from one of several East Germanic tribes such as the Turcilingi, Heruli and Gothi, or also of partial Thuringii descent. Medieval scholar, Michael Frasetto, reports. In his Getica, Jordanes describes Odoacer as king of the Turcilingi; the Consularia Italica calls him king of the Heruli, while Theophanes appears to be guessing when he calls him a Goth. After reviewing the primary sources, Bruce Macbain argues that "The ancient sources exhibit considerable confusion over Odovacer's tribal affiliation, identifying him variously as a Skirian, a Rogian and/or Torcilingian, a Herul, a Goth.

Historian Penny MacGeorge points out that the confusion about Odoacer's ethnicity is exaggerated and that the claims he was a Hun "can certainly be dismissed. The origin of the name Odoacer, which may give indications as to his tribal affiliation, is debated. One suggestion is that Odoacer is derived from the Germanic *Audawakraz, from aud- "wealth" and wakr- "vigilant" or combined, "watcher of the wealth." This form finds a cognate in another Germanic language, the titular Eadwacer of the Old English poem Wulf and Eadwacer. On the other hand, historians Robert L. Reynolds and Robert S. Lopez explored the possibility that the name Odoacer was not Germanic, making several arguments that his ethnic background might lie elsewhere. One of these is that his name, "Odoacer", for which an etymology in Germanic languages had not been convincingly found, could be a form of the Turkish "Ot-toghar", or the shorter form "Ot-ghar"; the earliest recorded incident involving Odoacer is from a fragment of a chronicle preserved in the Decem Libri Historiarum of Gregory of Tours.

Two chapters of his work recount, in a confused or confusing manner, a number of battles fought by King Childeric I of the Franks, Count Paul, one "Adovacrius" or "Odovacrius". If this is an account of Aegidius' victory over the Visigoths, otherwise known from the Chronicle of Hydatius this occurred in 463. Reynolds and Lopez, in their article mentioned above, suggested that this "Adovacrius" or "Odovacrius" may be the same person as the future king of Italy; the first certain act recorded for Odoacer was shortly. Eugippius, in his Life of Saint Severinus, records how a group of barbarians on their way to Italy had stopped to pay their respects to the holy man. Odoacer, at the time "a young man, of tall figure, clad in poor clothes", learned from Severinus that he would one day become famo

Hotel Vendome fire

The Hotel Vendome fire was the worst firefighting tragedy in Boston history. Nine firefighters were killed during the final stages of extinguishing a fire on June 17, 1972; the Hotel Vendome was on the southwest corner of the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street, in the Back Bay area of Boston. The Vendome was a luxury hotel built in 1871 in Back Bay, just north of Copley Square. A massive expansion was undertaken in 1881 according to plans by architect J. F. Ober and completed in 1882. During the 1960s, the Vendome suffered four small fires. In 1971, the year of the original building's centennial, the Vendome was sold; the new owners opened a restaurant called Cafe Vendome on the first floor, began renovating the remaining hotel into condominiums and a shopping mall. The building was empty the afternoon of Saturday June 17, 1972, except for a few people performing renovations. One of the workers discovered that a fire had begun in an enclosed space between the third and fourth floors, at 2:35 PM rang Box 1571.

A working fire was called in at 2:44 PM, subsequent alarms were rung at 2:46 PM, 3:02 PM, 3:06 PM. A total of 16 engine companies, five ladder companies, two aerial towers, a heavy rescue company responded; the fire was under control by 4:30 PM. Several crews, including Boston Fire Department Ladder 13 and Engines 22 and 32, remained on scene performing overhaul and cleanup. At 5:28 PM, abruptly and without warning, all five floors of a 40-by-45-foot section at the southeast corner of the building collapsed, burying Ladder 15 and 17 firefighters beneath a two-story pile of debris. Nine of the firefighters died, making this the worst firefighting disaster in Boston history in terms of loss of life; the men who were killed were: Firefighter Thomas W. Beckwith Firefighter Joseph F. Boucher Lieutenant Thomas J. Carroll Firefighter Charles E. Dolan Lieutenant John E. Hanbury Jr. Firefighter John E. Jameson Firefighter Richard B. Magee Firefighter Paul J. Murphy Firefighter Joseph P. Saniuk District Fire Chief John P. Vahey wrote a comprehensive report on the Vendome fire.

Although the cause of the original fire was not known, the subsequent collapse was attributed to the failure of an overloaded seven-inch steel column whose support had been weakened when a new duct had been cut beneath it, triggered by the weight of the firefighters and their equipment on the upper floors. On June 17, 1997—the 25th anniversary of the Vendome fire—a monument was dedicated on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, a few yards from the site of the fire; the monument features a fireman's helmet and coat cast in bronze draped over a low arc of dark granite. An inscription bears the timeline of the names of the men who died. One faces the site of the fire. After the fire, the Vendome was renovated, hosting 110 residential condominium units and 27 commercial units, including a restaurant. Bunting, Houses of Boston's Back Bay: An Architectural History, 1840-1917, 1967, ISBN 0-674-40901-9 Moore, Barbara W. and Weesner, Back Bay: A Living Portrait, 1995, ISBN 0-9632077-3-3 Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell, Images of America: Boston's Back Bay, 1997, ISBN 0-7524-0828-3 Schorow, Boston on Fire: A history of Fires and Firefighting in Boston, 2003, ISBN 1-889833-44-4 Shand-Tucci, Built in Boston: City and Suburb 1800-1950, 1988, ISBN 0-87023-649-0 Southworth, Susan & Michael.

The Boston Society of Architects' AIA Guide to Boston, 1992, ISBN 0-87106-188-0 Boston Fire Department web page about the Hotel Vendome fire via Wayback Machine Vendome Memorial photos June 17, 2019 via SmugMug

Conserve (NGO)

Conserve is a non-governmental organization launched in India in 1998 by husband and wife Shalabh and Anita Ahuja. In 1998, when the Delhi government launched the Bhagidari campaign, asking its citizens to participate in civic initiatives, the conservationist, Anita Ahuja and her IIT-alumna husband Shalabh rose to the challenge and launched Conserve. With a seed grant from the United States Agency for International Development, the duo began advocating waste management through seminars and workshops. Conserve started in the living room of some of Anita Ahuja's friends who were taking up issues like sewage and garbage. In synergy with the local Resident Welfare Associations, the Ahujas would collect the waste of several colonies in a park and segregate it. Wet kitchen waste would be converted into compost while dry refuse like polythene bags would be put aside; that project led her to the idea of doing something about plastic bags. Over the next two years Ahuja experimented with recycling the bags.

She tried weaving them together to create a tarpaulin-like covering for the shacks of slum dwellers. Another time she tried pasting pieces of the polyethylene onto cardboard, she saw that a thicker fabric could be used to make bric-a-brac like pen holders and file folders, realized she'd found a successful recipe when her homemade products were popular at a fair at the U. S. embassy in New Delhi. She decided to venture into accessories. Ahuja’s project has created employment for scores of underprivileged people and become a solution for solving the problem of plastic waste; the range has now been extended to creating footwear, jewellery, lamps and books. Recognition In August 2018 Power Brands awarded Anita Ahuja the Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar for her tireless efforts to protect our planet and all forms of life in it through her innovation – “handmade recycled plastic” – which will not only stall our hurtling march towards an “environmental holocaust”, but make plastics - a high end fashion material