Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 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, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; 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 civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; 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 the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu 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 ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base, it is the third-largest continental city of Southern Italy. According to 2011 population census, it had a population of 200,154. Taranto is an important commercial and military port with well-developed steel and iron foundries, oil refineries, chemical works, naval shipyards, food-processing factories. In ancient times around 500 BC the city was one of the largest in the world with population estimates up to 300,000 people. Taranto's pre-history dates back to 706 BC when it was founded as a Greek colony, established by the Spartans; the ancient city was situated on a peninsula. The islets of S. Pietro and S. Paolo, collectively known as Cheradi Islands, protect the bay, called Mar Grande, where the commercial port is located. Another bay, called Mar Piccolo, is formed by the peninsula of the old city, has flourishing fishing.
Mar Piccolo is a military port with strategic importance. At the end of the 19th century, a channel was excavated to allow military ships to enter the Mar Piccolo harbour, the ancient Greek city become an island connected to the mainland by bridges. In addition, the islets and the coast are fortified; because of the presence of these two bays, Taranto is called "the city of the two seas". The Greek colonists from Sparta called the city Taras, after the mythical hero Taras, while the Romans, who connected the city to Rome with an extension of the Appian way, called it Tarentum; the natural harbor at Taranto made it a logical home port for the Italian naval fleet before and during the First World War. During World War II, Taranto became famous as a consequence of the November 1940 British air attack on the Regia Marina naval base stationed here, which today is called the Battle of Taranto. Taranto is the origin of the common name of the Tarantula spider family, Theraphosidae though speaking there are no members of Theraphosidae in the area.
In ancient times, residents of the town of Taranto, upon being bitten by the large local Wolf Spider, Lycosa tarentula, would promptly do a long vigorous dance like a Jig. This was done in order to sweat the venom out of their pores though the spider's venom was not fatal to humans; the frenetic dance became known as the Tarantella. In geology, Taranto gives its name to the Tarantian Age of the Pleistocene Epoch. Taranto faces the Ionian Sea, it is 14.5 metres above sea level. It was built on a plain running north/north-west–southeast, surrounded by the Murgia plateau from the north-west to the east, its territory extends for 209.64 square kilometres and is underwater. It is characterised by three natural peninsulas and a man-made island, formed by digging a ditch during the construction of Aragon Castle; the city is known as the "city of two seas" because it is washed by the Big Sea in the bay between Punta Rondinella to the northwest and Capo San Dante to the south, by the vast reservoir of the Little Sea.
The Big Sea is known as the Big Sea bay as, where ships harbour. It is separated from the Little Sea by a cape which closes the gulf, leading to the artificial island; this island formed the heart of the original city and it is connected to the mainland by the Ponte di Porta Napoli and the Ponte Girevole. The Big Sea is separated from the Ionian Sea by the Capo San Vito, the Isole Cheradi of St Peter and St Paul, the three islands of San Nicolicchio, which are incorporated by the steel plant; the latter form a little archipelago. The Little Sea is considered to be a lagoon, it is divided into two by the Ponte Punta Penna Pizzone, which joins the Punta Penna to the Punta Pizzone. The first of these forms a rough triangle, whose corners are the opening to the east and the Porta Napoli channel linking it to the Big Sea in the west; the second half forms an ellipse whose major axis measures 5 kilometres from the south-west to the north-east. The Galeso river flows into the first half; the two water bodies have different winds and tides and their underwater springs have different salinities.
These affect the currents on the surface and in the depths of the Big Sea and the two halves of the Little Sea. In the Big Sea and in the northern part of the Little Sea, there are some underwater springs called citri, which carry undrinkable freshwater together with salt water; this creates the ideal biological conditions for cultivating Mediterranean mussels, known locally as cozze. The climate of the city, recorded by the weather station situated near the Grottaglie Military Airport, is typical of the Mediterranean with frequent Continental features; the spring is mild and rainy, but it is not uncommon to have sudden cold spells come in from the east, which cause snowfall. Average annual precipitation is low, measuring just 16.7 inches per year. The summer is hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 40 °C. On 28 November 2012 a large F3 tornado hit the port of Taranto and damaged the Taranto Steel Mill where workers were protesting against the plant's pollution emissions; the tornado is one of nine to hit Italy since 1 October.
It is classified as Geographical
Brindisi is a city in the region of Apulia in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The city has played an important role in trade and culture, due to its strategic position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea; the city remains a major port for trade with the Middle East. Its industries include agriculture, chemical works, the generation of electricity; the city of Brindisi was the provisional government seat of the Kingdom of Italy from September 1943 to February 1944. Brindisi is situated on a natural harbour, that penetrates into the Adriatic coast of Apulia. Within the arms of the outer harbour islands are Pedagne, a tiny archipelago not open and in use for military purposes; the entire municipality is part of the Brindisi Plain, characterised by high agricultural uses of its land. It is located in the northeastern part of the Salento plains, about 40 kilometres from the Itria Valley, the low Murge. Not far from the city is the Natural Marine Reserve of the World Wide Fund for Nature of Torre Guaceto.
The Ionian Sea is about 45 kilometres away. The territory of Brindisi is characterised by a wide flat area from which emerge sub deposits of limestone and sand of marine origin, which in turn have a deeper level clay of the Pleistocene era, an later Mesozoic carbonate composed of limestone and soils; the development of agriculture, has caused an increase in the use of water resources resulting in an increase of indiscriminate use. Brindisi enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summers are sometimes humid with abundant sunshine. Summer heat indexes can be over 30 °C and as high as 37 °C during July and August. Winters are mild with frequent rain. Brindisi and the topographically flat Salento peninsula is subject to light winds during the majority of the year; the two main winds in Salento are the Sirocco. The northerly Bora wind from the Adriatic sea is cooling, moderating summer heat and increasing winter wind chill; the southerly Sirocco wind from the Sahara, brings higher temperatures and humidity to Salento.
During spring and autumn, Sirocco winds can bring thunderstorms dropping red sand from the Sahara in the region. Snow is rare in Brindisi but occurred during the January 2017 cold spell which brought snow and ice to much of southern Italy. There are several traditions concerning its founders; the geographer Strabo says. Brindisi was an Ancient Greek settlement predating the Roman expansion; the Latin name Brundisium comes from the Greek Brentesion meaning "deer's head", which refers to the shape of the natural harbor. In 267 BC it was conquered by the Romans. In the promontory of the Punta lands, located in the outer harbor have been identified as a Bronze Age village where a group of huts, protected by an embankment of stones, yielded fragments of Mycenaean pottery. Herodotus spoke of the Mycenaean origin for these populations; the necropolis of Tor Pisana returned Corinthian jars in the first half of the 7th century BC. The Brindisi Messapia entertained strong business relationships with the opposite side of the Adriatic and the Greek populations of the Aegean Sea.
After the Punic Wars it became a major center of Roman maritime trade. In the Social War it received Roman citizenship, was made a free port by Sulla, it suffered, from a siege conducted by Caesar in 49 BC and was again attacked in 42 and 40 BC. The poet Pacuvius was born here about 220 BC, here the famous poet Virgil died in 19 BC. Under the Romans, Brundisium – a large city in its day with some 100,000 inhabitants – was an active port, the chief point of embarkation for Greece and the East, via Dyrrachium or Corcyra, it was connected with Rome by the Via Traiana. The termination of the Via Appia, at the water's edge, was flanked by two fine pillars. Only one remains, the second having been misappropriated and removed to the neighbouring town of Lecce. Brindisi was conquered by Ostrogoths, reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century AD. In 674 it was destroyed by the Lombards led by Romuald I of Benevento, but such a fine natural harbor meant that the city was soon rebuilt. In the 9th century, a Saracen settlement existed in the neighborhood of the city, stormed in 836 by pirates.
In 1070, it was conquered by the Normans and became part of the Principality of Taranto and the Duchy of Apulia, was the first rule of the Counts of Conversano and after the baronial revolt of 1132, city-owned by the will of Roger II of Sicily, the city recovered some of the splendor of the past during the period of the Crusades, when it regained the Episcopal See, saw the construction of the new cathedral and a castle with an important new arsenal, became a privileged port for the Holy Land. It was in the cathedral of Brindisi that the wedding of Norman Prince Roger III of Sicily took place, son of King Tancred of Sicily. Emperor Frederick II, the heir to the crown of Jerusalem and Isabella of Brienne started from the port of Brindisi in 1227 for the Sixth Crusade Frederick II erected a castle, with huge round towers, to guard the inner harbour. Like other Pugliese ports, Brindisi for
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A
Shabbethai Donnolo was a Graeco-Italian Jewish physician, writer on medicine and astrology born at Oria, Apulia. When twelve years of age he was made prisoner by the Arabs under the leadership of the Fatimite Abu Ahmad Ja'far ibn'Ubaid, but was ransomed by his relatives at Otranto, while the rest of his family was carried to Palermo and North Africa, he turned to medicine and astrology for a livelihood, studying the sciences of "the Greeks, Arabs and Indians." As no Jews at that time busied themselves with these subjects, he traveled in Italy in search of learned non-Jews. His special teacher was an Arab from Baghdad. According to the biography of Nilus the Younger, abbot of Rossano, he practiced medicine for some time in that city, he would become the Byzantine court physician. The alleged gravestone of Donnolo, found by Abraham Firkovich in the Crimea, is evidently spurious. Donnolo is one of the earliest Jewish writers on medicine, one of the few Jewish scholars of Southern Italy at this early time.
What remains of his medical work, Sefer ha-Yaḳar, was published by Moritz Steinschneider in 1867, from MS. 37, Plut. 88, in the Medicean Library at Florence, contains an "antidotarium," or book of practical directions for preparing medicinal roots. Donnolo's medical science is based upon Greco-Latin sources, he cites Asaph the Jew. In addition, he wrote a commentary to the Sefer Yetzirah, dealing wholly with astrology, called Ḥakhmoni. At the end of the preface is a table giving the position of the heavenly bodies in Elul 946; the treatise published by Adolf Neubauer is part of a religio-astrological commentary on the Book of Genesis i.26, which formed a sort of introduction to the Ḥakhmoni, in which the idea that man is a microcosm is worked out. Parts of this introduction are found word for word in the anonymous Orchot Tzaddikim and the Shebeṭ Musar of Elijah ben Solomon Abraham ha-Kohen, it was published separately by Jellinek. The style of Donnolo is worthy of note, he uses the acrostic giving his own name not only in the poetic mosaic of passages from the Book of Proverbs in the Bodleian fragment, but in the rimed prose introduction to the Ḥakemani.
He is the first to cite the Midrash Tehillim. In the Pseudo-Saadia commentary to the Sefer Yetzirah there are many citations from Donnolo, notably from a lost commentary of his on the Baraita of Samuel. Abraham Epstein has shown that extensive extracts from Donnolo are to be found in Eleazar of Worms' Sefer Yetzirah commentary to the extent of the tables and illustrations, he is mentioned by Rashi, by Samuel of Acco, by Solomon ben Judah of Lunel in his Ḥesheḳ Shelomoh to Judah Halevi's Kuzari. Preface to Ḥakemani, published by Abraham Geiger, in Melo Chofnajim, p. 29, the whole by D. Castelli. Donnolo sul Libro della Creazione, Florence, 1880. Text of medical fragments, edited by M. Steinschneider — Donnolo, Fragment des Aeltesten Med. Werkes, etc. 1867. V. 2d ed. p. 375. Bodl. col. 2231 et seq.. Uebers. P. 446. 3d ed. v.292. Jewish Encyclopedia article on Shabbethai Donnolo, by Richard Gottheil; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Richard Gottheil. "Shabbethai Donnolo".
In Singer, Isidore. The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian, born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, he is considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero. Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life, his Histories deals with the lives of Croesus, Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes a large number of obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment.
Herodotus, states that he is reporting what he has been told. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories as such: Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus; the purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus's place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked, his work is the earliest Greek prose. However, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself.
Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Xanthus of Lydia and, the best attested of them all, Hecataeus of Miletus. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies: Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; this points forward to the "international" outlook typical of Herodotus. However, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history", since despite his critical spirit, he failed to liberate history from myth. Herodotus mentions Hecataeus in his Histories, on one occasion mocking him for his naive genealogy and, on another occasion, quoting Athenian complaints against his handling of their national history.
It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a quote recorded by Eusebius. In particular, it is possible that he copied descriptions of the crocodile and phoenix from Hecataeus's Circumnavigation of the Known World misrepresenting the source as "Heliopolitans", but Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, nor did he include the oral traditions of Greek history within the larger framework of oriental history. There is no proof that Herodotus derived the ambitious scope of his own work, with its grand theme of civilizations in conflict, from any predecessor, despite much scholarly speculation about this in modern times. Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size. However, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose "histories" might be questionable, but there is no doubt that Herodotus owed much to the example and inspiration of poets and story-tellers. For example, Athenian tragic poets provided him with a world-view of a balance between conflicting forces, upset by the hubris of kings, they provided his narrative with a model of episodic structure, his familiarity with Athenian tragedy is demonstrated in a number of passages echoing Aeschylus's Persae, including the epigrammatic observation that the defeat of the Persian navy at Salamis caused the defeat of the land army. The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes. However, this point is one of the most contentious
In religion, a relic consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many other religions. Relic derives from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains", a form of the Latin verb relinquere, to "leave behind, or abandon". A reliquary is a shrine. In ancient Greece, a city or sanctuary might claim to possess, without displaying, the remains of a venerated hero as a part of a hero cult. Other venerable objects associated with the hero were more to be on display in sanctuaries, such as spears, shields, or other weaponry; the sanctuary of the Leucippides at Sparta claimed to display the egg of Leda. The bones were not regarded as holding a particular power derived from the hero, with some exceptions, such as the divine shoulder of Pelops held at Olympia. Miracles and healing were not attributed to them; the bones of Orestes and Theseus were supposed to have been stolen or removed from their original resting place and reburied.
On the advice of the Delphic Oracle, the Spartans searched for the bones of Orestes and brought them home, without which they had been told they could not expect victory in their war against the neighboring Tegeans. Plutarch says that the Athenians were instructed by the oracle to locate and steal the relics of Theseus from the Dolopians; the body of the legendary Eurystheus was supposed to protect Athens from enemy attack, in Thebes, that of the prophet Amphiaraus, whose cult was oracular and healing. Plutarch narrates transferrals similar to that of Theseus for the bodies of the historical Demetrius I of Macedon and Phocion the Good The bones or ashes of Aesculapius at Epidaurus, of Perdiccas I at Macedon, were treated with the deepest veneration; as with the relics of Theseus, the bones are sometimes described in literary sources as gigantic, an indication of the hero's "larger than life" status. On the basis of their reported size, it has been conjectured that such bones were those of prehistoric creatures, the startling discovery of which may have prompted the sanctifying of the site.
The head of the poet-prophet Orpheus was supposed to have been transported to Lesbos, where it was enshrined and visited as an oracle. The 2nd-century geographer Pausanias reported that the bones of Orpheus were kept in a stone vase displayed on a pillar near Dion, his place of death and a major religious center; these too were regarded as having oracular power, which might be accessed through dreaming in a ritual of incubation. The accidental exposure of the bones brought a disaster upon the town of Libretha, whence the people of Dion had transferred the relics to their own keeping. According to the Chronicon Paschale, the bones of the Persian Zoroaster were venerated, but the tradition of Zoroastrianism and its scriptures offer no support of this. In Hinduism, relics are less common than in other religions since the physical remains of most saints are cremated; the veneration of corporal relics may have originated with the śramaṇa movement or the appearance of Buddhism, burial practices became more common after the Muslim invasions.
However one prominent example is the preserved body of the 11th century religious philosopher and proponent of Qualified Non-Dualism Swami Ramanuja in a separate shrine inside Sri Rangam Temple. In Buddhism, relics of the Buddha and various sages are venerated. After the Buddha's death, his remains were divided into eight portions. Afterward, these relics were enshrined in stupas; some relics believed to be original remains of the body of the Buddha still survive, including the much-revered Sacred Relic of the tooth of the Buddha in Sri Lanka. A stupa is a building created for the relics. Many Buddhist temples have stupas and the placement of relics in a stupa became the initial structure around which the whole temple would be based. Today, many stupas hold the ashes or ringsel of prominent/respected Buddhists who were cremated. In rare cases the whole body is conserved, for example in the case of Dudjom Rinpoche, after his death his physical body was moved a year from France and placed in a stupa in one of his main monasteries near Boudhanath, Nepal in 1988.
Pilgrims may view his body through a glass window in the stupa. The Buddha's relics are considered to show people that enlightenment is possible, to remind them that the Buddha was a real person, to promote good virtue. One of the earliest sources that purports to show the efficacy of relics is found in 2 Kings 13:20–21: 20 Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. 21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man they saw a band of raiders. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man stood up on his feet. Cited is the veneration of Polycarp's relics recorded in the Martyrdom of Polycarp. With regard to relics that are objects, an cited passage is Acts 19:11–12, which says that Paul's handkerchiefs were imbued by God with healing power. In the gospel accounts of Jesus healing the bleeding woman and again at Gospel of Mark 6:56, those who touched Jesus's garment were healed; the practice of venerating relics seems to have been taken for granted by writers like Augustine, St. Ambrose, Gregory of Nyssa, St. Chrysostom, St. Gregory Nazian