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Phidias

Phidias or Pheidias was a Greek sculptor and architect. His statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Phidias designed the statues of the goddess Athena on the Athenian Acropolis, namely the Athena Parthenos inside the Parthenon, the Athena Promachos, a colossal bronze which stood between it and the Propylaea, a monumental gateway that served as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. Phidias was the son of Charmides of Athens; the ancients believed that his masters were Ageladas. Plutarch discusses Phidias' friendship with the Greek statesman Pericles, recording that enemies of Pericles tried to attack him through Phidias –, accused of stealing gold intended for the Parthenon's statue of Athena, of impiously portraying himself and Pericles on the shield of the statue; the historical value of this account, as well as the legend about accusations against the'Periclean circle', is debatable, but Aristophanes mentions an incident with Phidias around that time.

Phidias is credited as the main instigator of the Classical Greek sculptural design. Today, most historians consider him one of the greatest of all ancient Greek sculptors. Although no original works exist that can be attributed to Phidias with certainty, numerous Roman copies of varying degrees of fidelity are known to exist; this is not uncommon. All classical Greek paintings and sculptures have been destroyed, only Roman copies or notes of them exist, like the passages of Plato that ascribe Phidias' works to him; the ancient Romans copied and further developed Greek art. In antiquity Phidias was celebrated for his statues in his chryselephantine works. In the Hippias Major, Plato claims that Phidias if executed works in marble, though many of the sculptures of his time were executed in marble. Plutarch writes that he superintended the great works ordered by Greek statesman Pericles on the Acropolis. Ancient critics take a high view of the merits of Phidias. What they praise is the ethos or permanent moral level of his works as compared with those of the so called "pathetic" school.

Both Pausanias and Plutarch mention works of his depicting the warlike Athena Areia. Demetrius calls his statues sublime, at the same time precise. Of his life we know little apart from his works, his first commission created a group of national heroes with Miltiades as a central figure. In 447 BC, the Athenian statesman Pericles commissioned several sculptures for Athens from Phidias to celebrate the Greek victory against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon during the Greco-Persian Wars. Pericles used some of the money from the maritime League of Delos, to rebuild and decorate Athens to celebrate this victory. Inscriptions prove that the marble blocks intended for the pedimental statues of the Parthenon were not brought to Athens until 434 BC, after the death of Phidias, it is therefore possible that most of sculptural decoration of the Parthenon was the work of Phidias' workshop including pupils of Phidias, such as Alcamenes and Agoracritus. By 1910, mathematician Mark Barr began using the Greek letter Phi as a symbol for the golden ratio after Phidias.

However, Barr wrote that he thought it unlikely that Phidias used the golden ratio. The earliest of the works of Phidias were dedications in memory of Marathon, celebrating the Greek victory. At Delphi he created a great group in bronze including the figures of Greek gods Apollo and Athena, several Attic heroes, General Miltiades the Younger. On the Acropolis of Athens Phidias constructed a colossal bronze statue of Athena, the Athena Promachos, visible far out at sea. Athena was the protector of Athens. At Pellene in Achaea, at Plataea Phidias made two other statues of Athena, as well as a statue of the goddess Aphrodite in ivory and gold for the people of Elis. For the ancient Greeks, two works of Phidias far outshone all others, the colossal chryselephantine Statue of Zeus, erected in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia and the Athena Parthenos, a sculpture of the Greek virgin goddess Athena, housed in the Parthenon in Athens. Both sculptures belong to about the middle of the 5th century BC. A number of replicas and works inspired by it, both ancient and modern, have been made.

Upon completing the Athena Parthenos sculpture, Phidias was accused of embezzlement. He was charged with shortchanging the amount of gold, supposed to be used for the statue and keeping the extra for himself, it seems that the charge was politically motivated – a result of his friendship with Pericles, who had many enemies in Athens. Phidias weighed the gold robe of the Athena Parthenos to prove his innocence, but was accused of impiously portraying himself and Pericles on the shield of the statue, true. Plutarch records that Phidias was died in jail. Philochorus, says that Phidias went to Elis, where he worked on the colossal Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the historical value of Plutarch's account, as well as the legend about accusations against the'Periclean circle', is debatable, but Aristophanes mentions an incident with Phidias around that time. From the late 5th century BC, small copies of the statue of Zeus found on coins from Elis, which give a general notion of the pose and the character of the head.

The god was seated on a throne, every part of, used for sculptural decoration. His body was of his robe of gold, his head was of somewhat archaic type: the bust of Zeus found at Otricoli, which used to be rega

Brierfield Plantation

Brierfield Plantation was a cotton plantation located in Davis Bend, south of Vicksburg and the home of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. The use of the plantation, with more than 1,000 acres, was given to Davis by his much older brother, Joseph E. Davis. With financial assistance and slaves given by his brother, Jefferson Davis became a successful planter on the acreage following his brief first marriage to Sarah Knox Taylor. Brierfield had profitable years as well as years of disastrous flooding, but provided a comfortable living to subsidize Davis's modest earnings from public office. Davis left the plantation for long periods of time, including his term in the House of Representatives, his service in the Mexican–American War, his terms in the Senate, his four years as Secretary of War in the Franklin Pierce Administration, he regarded Brierfield as his primary residence and returned to it when not in office, after his resignation from the United States Senate following the Secession of Mississippi in 1861.

His return to Brierfield was brief, as he was soon notified, while tending the flower gardens of the house with his wife, that he had been elected president of the newly formed Confederate States of America and was summoned to Montgomery, the Confederacy's first capital. Davis did not visit Brierfield during his tenure as Confederate president. In early 1862 a small group of slaves liberated themselves, reclaimed some property, bought with their stolen labour and fled to the Union lines near Vicksburg. In the summer of 1863 the Davis plantation came directly under attack from Unionist forces and at least 137 of the more than 200 slaves who lived on the plantation made a break for freedom by crossing to the Union side; the rest soon followed. Unlike the far larger and finer mansion of Joseph Davis at the adjoining Hurricane Plantation, burned to the ground, the house at Brierfield was spared the torch and used as, field headquarters, a hospital, a supply house for Union troops during the Mississippi campaigns.

A photograph of the occupied house bearing the banner "The House Jeff Built" was circulated in newspapers. Joseph Davis, who had never given Jefferson Davis title to the property, negotiated its sale after the war on a mortgage to members of the Montgomery family, former Davis family slaves, bequeathing the income from the mortgage, but not the real estate, to Jefferson in his will; the Montgomery family defaulted on the mortgage after Joseph Davis's death and the property reverted to his estate. The heirs to Joseph Davis's Hurricane plantation claimed ownership of the reverted Brierfield as well, a claim disputed by Jefferson Davis, resulting in a lengthy lawsuit, decided in Jefferson Davis's favor in 1881, giving him undisputed title to the Brierfield property for the first time, more than forty years after he first settled on the plantation. Though his primary residence in the final decade of his life was at Beauvoir, the house and farm he had inherited near Biloxi, Jefferson Davis spent much of the remaining years of his life attempting to make Brierfield profitable again, but a combination of fluctuating cotton prices and the cost of free labor now denied him the income the property had once provided.

He was in residence at Brierfield in autumn of 1889 seeing to harvest when a lingering cold developed into pneumonia and he had to be carried onto a riverboat bound for New Orleans to receive medical attention. After Davis's death, his widow and surviving children left Mississippi and none of his descendants resided at Brierfield; the house was destroyed by fire in 1931. A drainage canal converted what had been a peninsula jutting into the Mississippi River into an island; some of the family's belongings that were taken from the house by troops were returned to the Davis family over the following decades and may now be found at various museums associated with the Davis family and the Civil War. Everett, Frank Edgar, Jr.. Briarfield, Plantation Home of Jefferson Davis. Hattiesburg: University and College Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9780878050024

The Unfettered Mind

The Unfettered Mind is a three-part treatise on Buddhist philosophy and martial arts written in the 17th century by Takuan Sōhō, a Japanese monk of the Rinzai sect. The title translates to "The Mysterious Records of Immovable Wisdom"; the book is a series of three discourses addressed to samurai but applicable to everyone who desires an introduction to Zen philosophy, the book makes little use of Buddhist terminology and instead focuses on describing situations followed by an interpretation. Its contents make an effort to apply Zen Buddhism to martial arts. All three chapters/essays are addressed to the samurai class, all three seek to unify the spirit of Zen with the spirit of the sword. Of the three essays in the treatise, two were letters: Fudōchishinmyōroku, "The Mysterious Record of Immovable Wisdom", written to Yagyū Munenori, head of the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū school of swordsmanship and teacher to two generations of shōguns. Individually and broadly speaking, one could say that Fudōchishinmyōroku deals with technique, how the self is related to the Self during confrontation, how an individual may become a unified whole.

Taiaki deals more with the psychological aspects of the relationship between the other. Between these, Reiroshu, "The Clear Sound of Jewels", deals with the fundamental nature of humans: how a swordsman, daimyō – or any person, for that matter – can know the difference between what is right and what is mere selfishness, can understand the basic question of knowing when and how to die. Fudōchishinmyōroku is divided into the following sections: The Affliction of Abiding in Ignorance The Immovable Wisdom of All Buddhas The Interval into Which Not Even a Hair Can Be Entered The Action of Spark and Stone Where One Puts the Mind The Right Mind and the Confused Mind The Mind of the Existent Mind and the Mind of No-Mind Throw the Gourd into the Water Push It Down and It Will Spin Engender the Mind with No Place to Abide Seek the Lost Mind Throw a Ball into a Swift Current and It Will Never Stop Sever The Edge Between Before and After Water Scorches Heaven, Fire Cleanses Clouds Sōhō refers to many poems and sayings, including those of: Bukkoku Kokushi: A Buddhist priest Saigyō: A Shingon priest of the late Heian period famous for his wanderings and admired as a poet Mencius: A Chinese philosopher, the most famous Confucian after Confucius himself Jien: Also known by the name Jichin.

D. 470 or 520 Ta Chien: Commonly known as Hui Neng.