Pliny the Elder
In the latter number will be my uncle, by virtue of his own and of your compositions. Pliny is referring to the fact that Tacitus relied on his uncles now missing work on the History of the German Wars. The wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the eruption would not allow his ship to leave the shore, and Pliny probably died during this event. Plinys dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, and his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names and their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through, whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from a source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus, additional efforts to connect Celer and Marcella with other gentes are highly speculative. Hardouin is the scholar to use his unknown source. He kept statues of his ancestors there, a statue of Pliny on the facade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son. He had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncles breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers. This shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a good Roman and this statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory, one commemorates the youngers career as imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como.
Another identifies his father Lucius village as Fecchio near Como and it is likely therefore that Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinii gens and he did not take his fathers cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded a branch, no earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Plinys birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat
Transparency and translucency
In the field of optics, transparency is the physical property of allowing light to pass through the material without being scattered. On a macroscopic scale, the photons can be said to follow Snells Law, in other words, a translucent medium allows the transport of light while a transparent medium not only allows the transport of light but allows for image formation. The opposite property of translucency is opacity, transparent materials appear clear, with the overall appearance of one color, or any combination leading up to a brilliant spectrum of every color. When light encounters a material, it can interact with it in different ways. These interactions depend on the wavelength of the light and the nature of the material, photons interact with an object by some combination of reflection and transmission. Some materials, such as glass and clean water, transmit much of the light that falls on them and reflect little of it. Many liquids and aqueous solutions are highly transparent, absence of structural defects and molecular structure of most liquids are mostly responsible for excellent optical transmission.
Materials which do not transmit light are called opaque, many such substances have a chemical composition which includes what are referred to as absorption centers. Many substances are selective in their absorption of light frequencies. They absorb certain portions of the spectrum while reflecting others. The frequencies of the spectrum which are not absorbed are either reflected or transmitted for our physical observation and this is what gives rise to color. The attenuation of light of all frequencies and wavelengths is due to the mechanisms of absorption. Transparency can provide almost perfect camouflage for animals able to achieve it and this is easier in dimly-lit or turbid seawater than in good illumination. Many marine animals such as jellyfish are highly transparent, at the atomic or molecular level, physical absorption in the infrared portion of the spectrum depends on the frequencies of atomic or molecular vibrations or chemical bonds, and on selection rules. Nitrogen and oxygen are not greenhouse gases because there is no absorption because there is no molecular dipole moment.
With regard to the scattering of light, the most critical factor is the scale of any or all of these structural features relative to the wavelength of the light being scattered. Primary material considerations include, Crystalline structure, whether or not the atoms or molecules exhibit the long-range order evidenced in crystalline solids, glassy structure, scattering centers include fluctuations in density or composition. Microstructure, scattering centers include internal surfaces such as boundaries, crystallographic defects
Chryselephantine sculpture is sculpture made with gold and ivory. Chryselephantine cult statues enjoyed high status in Ancient Greece, in some cases, glass paste and precious and semi-precious stones were used for detail such as eyes and weaponry. The origins of the technique are not known and it is, not clear whether the Greek chryselephantine tradition is connected with them. Chryselephantine sculpture became widespread during the Archaic period, Acrolithitic statues, with marble heads and extremities, and a wooden trunk either gilded or covered in drapery, were a comparable technique used for cult images. The technique was used for cult statues within temples, typically. Construction was modular so that some of the gold could be removed and melted for coin or bullion in times of financial hardship. For example, the figure of Nike held in the hand of Pheidias Athena Parthenos was made from solid gold with this very purpose in mind. Chryselephantine statues were not only visually striking, they displayed the wealth.
The creation of such a statue involved skills in sculpture, jewellery, once completed, the statues required constant maintenance. It is known that at Olympia, skilled personnel were employed to ensure the upkeep of the statue, in the second century BC, the prominent sculptor, Damophon of Messene was commissioned to make repairs on it. Due to the value of some of the materials used and the perishable nature of others, most chryselephantine statues were destroyed during antiquity. For example, of the statue of Athena Parthenos, only the hole that held its central wooden support survives today in the floor of her temple. The appearance of the statue is known from a number of miniature marble copies discovered in Athens. Pausanias described Pheidias statue of Zeus at Olympia, some of the clay moulds for parts of Zeus garments made of glass or glass-paste have been discovered in the building known as the Workshop of Pheidias. They are the only finds directly associated with the sculptors most famous works.
Few examples of sculpture have been found. The most prominent surviving examples are fragments of several burnt statues from the Archaic period, unfortunately, it is not known whom they depict, although they are assumed to represent deities. The term chryselephantine is used for a style of sculpture fairly common in European 19th century art, especially Art Nouveau
An engraved gem is a small gemstone, usually semi-precious, that has been carved, in the Western tradition normally with images or inscriptions only on one face. The engraving of gemstones was a luxury art form in the ancient world. Strictly speaking, engraving means carving in intaglio, but relief carvings are covered by the term. This article uses cameo in its sense, to denote a carving exploiting layers of differently coloured stone. The activity is called gem carving, and the artists gem-cutters, vessels like the Cup of the Ptolemies and heads or figures carved in the round are known as hardstone carvings and similar terms. Glyptics, or glyptic art, covers the field of small carved stones, including seals and inscriptions. A finely carved seal was practical, as it made more difficult – the distinctive personal signature did not really exist in antiquity. Gems were mostly cut by using abrasive powder from harder stones in conjunction with a hand-drill, emery has been mined for abrasive powder on Naxos since antiquity.
Some early types of seal were cut by hand, rather than a drill, there is no evidence that magnifying lenses were used by gem cutters in antiquity. A medieval guide to gem-carving techniques survives from Theophilus Presbyter, byzantine cutters used a flat-edged wheel on a drill for intaglio work, while Carolingian ones used round-tipped drills, it is unclear where they learnt this technique from. In intaglio gems at least, the cut surface is usually very well preserved. The colour of several gemstones can be enhanced by a number of methods, using heat, sugar. Many of these can be shown to have used since antiquity – since the 7th millennium BC in the case of heating. The technique has an ancient tradition in the Near East, and is represented in all or most early cultures from the area, and these were made in various types of stone, not all hardstone. The Greek tradition emerged in Ancient Greek art under Minoan influence on mainland Helladic culture, pre-Hellenic Ancient Egyptian seals tend to have inscriptions in hieroglyphs rather than images.
The Biblical Book of Exodus describes the form of the hoshen, round or oval Greek gems are found from the 8th and 7th centuries BC, usually with animals in energetic geometric poses, often with a border marked by dots or a rim. Early examples are mostly in softer stones, Gems of the 6th century are more often oval, with a scarab back, and human or divine figures as well as animals, the scarab form was apparently adopted from Phoenicia. The forms are sophisticated for the period, despite the small size of the gems
Carnelian is a brownish-red mineral commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. Similar to carnelian is sard, which is harder and darker. Both carnelian and sard are varieties of the mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide. The color can vary greatly, ranging from orange to an intense almost-black coloration. It is most common in Brazil, India and Germany, the bow drill was used to drill holes into carnelian in Mehrgarh between 4th-5th millennium BC. Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete in a form that demonstrated its use in decorative arts, carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to carnelian, sard was used for Assyrian cylinder seals and Phoenician scarabs, and early Greek and Etruscan gems. The Hebrew odem, the first stone in the High Priests breastplate, was a red stone, probably sard, although now the more common term, carnelian is a 16th-century corruption of the 14th-century word cornelian.
The Oxford English Dictionary calls carnelian a perversion of cornelian, by subsequent analogy with the Latin word caro, flesh. According to Pliny the Elder, sard derives its name from the city of Sardis in Lydia, the names carnelian and sard are often used interchangeably, but they can be used to describe distinct subvarieties. The general differences are as follows, All of these properties vary across a continuum, carnelian List of minerals Sardonyx Mindat article on carnelian Mindat article on sard
Art Deco, sometimes simply referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. It took its name, short for Arts Decorators, from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925 and it combined modernist styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, exuberance, Art Deco was a pastiche of many different styles, sometimes contradictory, united by a desire to be modern. It featured rare and expensive materials such as ebony and ivory, the Chrysler Building and other skyscrapers of New York were the most visible monuments of the new style. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the became more subdued. New materials arrived, including chrome plating, stainless steel and plastic, a more sleek form of the style, called Streamline Moderne, appeared in the 1930s, it featured curving forms and smooth, polished surfaces. Art Deco became one of the first truly international architectural styles, with examples found in European cities, the style came to an end with the beginning of World War II.
Deco was replaced as the dominant global style by the functional and unadorned styles of modernism. The term arts décoratifs was first used in France in 1858, in 1868, Le Figaro newspaper used the term art décoratifs with respect to objects for stage scenery created for the Théâtre de lOpéra. In 1875, furniture designers, textile and glass designers and it took its present name of ENSAD in 1927. The term Art déco was used in a 1966 newspaper article by Hillary Gelson in the Times, describing the different styles at the exhibit. Art Deco gained currency as a broadly applied stylistic label in 1968 when historian Bevis Hillier published the first major book on the style. Hillier noted that the term was already being used by art dealers and cites The Times, in 1971, Hillier organized an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which he details in his book about it, The World of Art Deco. The emergence of Art Deco was closely connected with the rise in status of decorative artists, the term arts décoratifs had been invented in 1875, giving the designers of furniture and other decoration official status.
The Société des artistes décorateurs, or SAD, was founded in 1901, a similar movement developed in Italy. The first international exhibition devoted entirely to the arts, the Esposizione international dArte decorative moderna, was held in Turin in 1902. Several new magazines devoted to decorative arts were founded in Paris, including Arts et décoration, Decorative arts sections were introduced into the annual salons of the Sociéte des artistes français, and in the Salon dautomne. French nationalism played a part in the resurgence of decorative arts, in 1911 the SAD proposed the holding of a major new international exposition of decorative arts in 1912
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the named for him, and in October. Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, in the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia.
Like Ares who was the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars is usually considered to be the son of Jupiter, however, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mothers function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead, to restore the balance, Flora obtained a magic flower and tested it on a heifer who became fecund at once. She plucked a flower ritually using her thumb, touched Junos belly, Juno withdrew to Thrace and the shore of Marmara for the birth. Ovid tells this story in the Fasti, his poetic work on the Roman calendar. In the earliest Roman calendar, March was the first month, Ovid is the only source for the story. The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine and she represents the vital force and majesty of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, in the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars greeting Nerio, his wife. A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Nerine were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23, in the Roman Empire, Nerine came to be identified with Minerva.
Nerio probably originates as a personification of Mars power, as such abstractions in Latin are generally feminine. Her name appears with that of Mars in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities, the influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat these pairs as marriages. The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, in Greek myth, the adultery of Ares and Aphrodite had been exposed to ridicule when her husband Hephaestus caught them in the act by means of a magical snare
Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in Earths continental crust, behind feldspar. There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones, since antiquity, varieties of quartz have been the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewelry and hardstone carvings, especially in Eurasia. The word quartz is derived from the German word Quarz and its Middle High German ancestor twarc, the Ancient Greeks referred to quartz as κρύσταλλος derived from the Ancient Greek κρύος meaning icy cold, because some philosophers apparently believed the mineral to be a form of supercooled ice. Today, the rock crystal is sometimes used as an alternative name for the purest form of quartz. Quartz belongs to the crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end, well-formed crystals typically form in a bed that has unconstrained growth into a void, usually the crystals are attached at the other end to a matrix and only one termination pyramid is present.
However, doubly terminated crystals do occur where they develop freely without attachment, a quartz geode is such a situation where the void is approximately spherical in shape, lined with a bed of crystals pointing inward. α-quartz crystallizes in the crystal system, space group P3121 and P3221 respectively. β-quartz belongs to the system, space group P6222 and P6422. These space groups are truly chiral, both α-quartz and β-quartz are examples of chiral crystal structures composed of achiral building blocks. The transformation between α- and β-quartz only involves a comparatively minor rotation of the tetrahedra with respect to one another, although many of the varietal names historically arose from the color of the mineral, current scientific naming schemes refer primarily to the microstructure of the mineral. Color is an identifier for the cryptocrystalline minerals, although it is a primary identifier for the macrocrystalline varieties. Pure quartz, traditionally called rock crystal or clear quartz, is colorless and transparent or translucent, common colored varieties include citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and others.
The most important distinction between types of quartz is that of macrocrystalline and the microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline varieties, the cryptocrystalline varieties are either translucent or mostly opaque, while the transparent varieties tend to be macrocrystalline. Chalcedony is a form of silica consisting of fine intergrowths of both quartz, and its monoclinic polymorph moganite. Other opaque gemstone varieties of quartz, or mixed rocks including quartz, often including contrasting bands or patterns of color, are agate, carnelian or sard, heliotrope, amethyst is a form of quartz that ranges from a bright to dark or dull purple color. The worlds largest deposits of amethysts can be found in Brazil, Uruguay, France, sometimes amethyst and citrine are found growing in the same crystal. It is referred to as ametrine, an amethyst is formed when there is iron in the area where it was formed
Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. The Mohs scale of hardness, based on scratch hardness comparison. Other polymorphs of calcium carbonate are the minerals aragonite and vaterite, aragonite will change to calcite at 380–470 °C, and vaterite is even less stable. Calcite is derived from the German Calcit, a term coined in the 19th century from the Latin word for lime and it is thus etymologically related to chalk. Calcite crystals are trigonal-rhombohedral, though actual calcite rhombohedra are rare as natural crystals, they show a remarkable variety of habits including acute to obtuse rhombohedra, tabular forms, prisms, or various scalenohedra. Calcite exhibits several twinning types adding to the variety of observed forms and it may occur as fibrous, lamellar, or compact. Cleavage is usually in three directions parallel to the rhombohedron form and its fracture is conchoidal, but difficult to obtain. It has a defining Mohs hardness of 3, a gravity of 2.71.
Color is white or none, though shades of gray, orange, green, violet, calcite is transparent to opaque and may occasionally show phosphorescence or fluorescence. A transparent variety called Iceland spar is used for optical purposes, acute scalenohedral crystals are sometimes referred to as dogtooth spar while the rhombohedral form is sometimes referred to as nailhead spar. Single calcite crystals display an optical property called birefringence and this strong birefringence causes objects viewed through a clear piece of calcite to appear doubled. The birefringent effect was first described by the Danish scientist Rasmus Bartholin in 1669, at a wavelength of ~590 nm calcite has ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices of 1.658 and 1.486, respectively. Between 190 and 1700 nm, the refractive index varies roughly between 1.9 and 1.5, while the extraordinary refractive index varies between 1.6 and 1.4. Calcite, like most carbonates, will dissolve with most forms of acid, calcite can be either dissolved by groundwater or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors including the water temperature, pH, and dissolved ion concentrations.
Although calcite is fairly insoluble in water, acidity can cause dissolution of calcite. Ambient carbon dioxide, due to its acidity, has a slight solubilizing effect on calcite, calcite exhibits an unusual characteristic called retrograde solubility in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. When conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together or it can fill fractures. On a landscape scale, continued dissolution of calcium carbonate-rich rocks can lead to the expansion and eventual collapse of cave systems, high-grade optical calcite was used in World War II for gun sights, specifically in bomb sights and anti-aircraft weaponry
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, 88th-largest island in the world and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065, Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits. It was once the centre of the Minoan civilization, which is regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe. The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and it was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island. The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words
Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and is considered Europes oldest city. The name Knossos survives from ancient Greek references to the city of Crete. The coins came from the Roman settlement of Colonia Julia Nobilis Cnossus, a Roman colony placed just to the north of, the Romans believed they had colonized Knossos. The second palace was built on a grander scale over the old Palace after an earthquake destroyed it. The structure and ruins we see today are from the second Palace, during the Bronze Age, the town surrounded the hill on which the palace was built. The site was discovered in 1878 by Minos Kalokairinos, the excavations in Knossos began in AD1900 by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans and his team, and they continued for 35 years. The palace was excavated and partially restored under the direction of Arthur Evans in the earliest years of the 20th century. Its size far exceeded his expectations, as did the discovery of two ancient scripts, which he termed Linear A and Linear B, to distinguish their writing from the pictographs present.
The palace of Knossos was undoubtedly the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and it appears as a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and storerooms close to a central square. The palace was abandoned at some time at the end of the Late Bronze Age. The occasion is not known for certain, but one of the disasters that befell the palace is generally put forward. The hill was never again a settlement or civic site, although squatters may have used it for a time, fieldwork in 2015 revealed that during the early Iron Age, Knossos was rich in imports and was nearly three times larger than indicated by earlier excavations. Except for periods of abandonment, other cities were founded in the vicinity, such as the Roman colony. The population shifted to the new town of Chandax during the 9th century AD, by the 13th century, it was called Makruteikhos Long Wall, the bishops of Gortyn continued to call themselves Bishops of Knossos until the 19th century. Today, the name is used only for the site now situated in the expanding suburbs of Heraklion.
In the first palace period around 2000 BC the urban area reached a size of up to 18,000 people, in its peak the Palace and the surrounding city boasted a population of 100,000 people shortly after 1700 BC. The name Knossos was formerly Latinized as Cnossus or Cnossos, and occasionally Knossus and this site history is to be distinguished from the ancient. In Greek mythology, King Minos dwelt in a palace at Knossos and he had Daedalus construct a labyrinth, a very large maze in which to retain his son, the Minotaur
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the center of the South Moravian Region in which it forms a separate district. The city is a significant administrative centre and it is the seat of a number of state authorities, including the Ombudsman, and the Office for the Protection of Competition. Brno is an important centre of education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning. Brno Exhibition Centre ranks among the largest exhibition centres in Europe, the complex opened in 1928 and established the tradition of large exhibitions and trade fairs held in Brno. Brno hosts motorbike and other races on the Masaryk Circuit, an established in 1930. Another cultural tradition is a fireworks competition, Ignis Brunensis. The other large preserved castle near the city is Veveří Castle by the Brno Dam Lake and this castle is the site of a number of legends, as are many other places in Brno.
Another architectural monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat which has been included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, one of the natural sights nearby is the Moravian Karst. The etymology of the name Brno is disputed and it perhaps comes from Old Czech brnie muddy, swampy. Alternative derivations are from a Slavic verb brniti or a Celtic language spoken in the area before it was overrun by Germanic peoples, throughout its history, Brnos locals referred to the town in other languages, including Brünn in German, ברין in Yiddish and Bruna in Latin. The city was referred to as Brunn in English. The Asteroid 2889 Brno was named after the city, as well as the Bren light machine gun, one of the most famous weapons of World War II. In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of a prince from the House of Přemyslid. Brno was first mentioned in Cosmas Chronica Boëmorum dated to year 1091, seats of these rulers and thus capitals of these territories were castles and towns of Brno and Znojmo.
In the late 12th century, Moravia began to reunify, forming the Margraviate of Moravia, since then, until the mid of the 17th century, it was not clear which town should be the capital of Moravia. Political power was therefore divided between Brno and Olomouc, but Znojmo played an important role. The Moravian Diet, the Moravian Land Tables, and the Moravian Land Court were all seated in both cities at once, Brno was the official seat of the Moravian Margraves, and its geographical position closer to Vienna became important