Piedmont is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest, it has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin; the name Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis, i.e. ad pedem montium, meaning "at the foot of the mountains" attested in documents of the end of the 12th century. Other towns of Piedmont with more than 20,000 inhabitants sorted by population: Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso, where the Po rises, Monte Rosa, it borders with France and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Aosta Valley and for a small fragment with Emilia Romagna. The geography of Piedmont is 43.3 % mountainous, along with extensive areas of plains. Piedmont is the second largest of Italy's 20 regions, after Sicily, it is broadly coincident with the upper part of the drainage basin of the river Po, which rises from the slopes of Monviso in the west of the region and is Italy's largest river.

The Po drains the semicircle formed by the Alps and Apennines, which surround the region on three sides. From the highest peaks, the land slopes down to hilly areas, to the upper, to the lower great Padan Plain; the boundary between the two is characterised by resurgent springs—typical of the Padan Plain—which supply fresh water to the rivers and a dense network of irrigation canals. The countryside is diverse: from the rugged peaks of the massifs of Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso to the damp rice paddies of Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the Langhe and Montferrat to the plains. 7.6% of the entire territory is considered protected area. There are 56 different national or regional parks, one of the most famous is the Gran Paradiso National Park located between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes such as the Taurini and the Salassi, they were subdued by the Romans, who founded several colonies there including Augusta Taurinorum and Eporedia.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was successively invaded by the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, East Romans and Franks. In the 9th–10th centuries there were further incursions by the Magyars and Muslim Moors. At the time Piedmont, as part of the Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire, was subdivided into several marches and counties. In 1046, Oddo of Savoy added Piedmont with a capital at Chambéry. Other areas remained independent, such as the powerful comuni of Asti and Alessandria and the marquisates of Saluzzo and Montferrat; the County of Savoy was elevated to a duchy in 1416, Duke Emanuele Filiberto moved the seat to Turin in 1563. In 1720, the Duke of Savoy became King of Sardinia, founding what evolved into the Kingdom of Sardinia and increasing Turin's importance as a European capital; the Republic of Alba was created in 1796 as a French client republic in Piedmont. A new client republic, the Piedmontese Republic, existed between 1798 and 1799 before it was reoccupied by Austrian and Russian troops.

In June 1800 a third client republic, the Subalpine Republic, was established in Piedmont. It fell under full French control in 1801 and it was annexed by France in September 1802. In the Congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Sardinia was restored, furthermore received the Republic of Genoa to strengthen it as a barrier against France. Piedmont was a springboard for Italy's unification in 1859–1861, following earlier unsuccessful wars against the Austrian Empire in 1820–1821 and 1848–1849; this process is sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation. However, the efforts were countered by the efforts of rural farmers; the House of Savoy became Kings of Italy, Turin became the capital of Italy. However, when the Italian capital was moved to Florence, to Rome, the administrative and institutional importance of Piedmont was reduced and the only remaining recognition to Piedmont's historical role was that the crown prince of Italy was known as the Prince of Piedmont. After Italian unification, Piedmont was one of the most important regions in the first Italian industrialization.

Lowland Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region. The main agricultural products in Piedmont are cereals, including rice, representing more than 10% of national production, grapes for wine-making and milk. With more than 800,000 head of cattle in 2000, livestock production accounts for half of final agricultural production in Piedmont. Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy. More than half of its 700 square kilometres of vineyards are registered with DOC designations, it produces prestigious wines as Barolo, from the Langhe near Alba, the Moscato d'Asti as well as the sparkling Asti from the vineyards around Asti. Indigenous grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Freisa and Brachetto; the region contains major industrial centres, the main of, Turin, home to the FIAT automobile works. Olivetti, once a major electronics industry whose plant was in Scarmagno, near Ivrea, has now turned i

Axel Otto Normann

Axel Otto Normann was a Norwegian journalist, newspaper editor, theatre critic and theatre director. He was born in Fredrikstad as the son of a wholesaler, he finished his secondary education in 1901, studied philology at the University of Kristiania and for half a year at Sorbonne University, but without graduating. Instead, he started a career in journalism. In 1905 he was hired as subeditor in the newspaper Posten. In 1910 he married actress Helene Andersen, he was a journalist in Aftenposten from 1907 to 1915 and editor-in-chief for Verdens Gang from 1915 to 1922. In 1922, one year before Verdens Gang went defunct, he left Norway for France, but continued to write for Norwegian newspapers and magazines. In 1927 he was among the founders of the Norwegian Art Critics' Association. In 1929 he returned to Norway as a theatre critic of Arbeiderbladet, he biographed actress Johanne Dybwad in the 1937 book Johanne Dybwad. Liv og kunst, he contributed to the women's magazine Urd. He was theatre director at the National Theatre from 1935 to 1941, again from 1945 to 1946.

The reason for his hiatus was the German occupation of Norway. The occupation started on 9 April 1940. Non-cooperative members of the National Theatre board of directors—literary historian Francis Bull, publisher Harald Grieg and banker Johannes Sejersted Bødtker—were arrested by the Nazi authorities in 1941. With a new, Nazi-friendly board in place, Normann chose to resign as director, returning only after the liberation of Norway in 1945, he had chaired the Association of Norwegian Theatre Directors from 1936 to 1941, but did not return to this position. He was theatre director for Det Nye Teater from 1947, for Oslo Nye Teater from 1959 to his death. In 1954 he released his second and last book, editing the festschrift for the 25th anniversary of Det Nye Teater. Normann was decorated, he became a Knight, First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1951, was a Knight of the Swedish Order of Vasa, Knight of the Belgian Order of Leopold, Commander of the Danish Order of the Dannebrog, Commander of the Finnish Order of the Lion and Officer of the French Légion d'honneur.

He died in May 1962 in Oslo


Uriyangkhadai was an Uriankhai general in the Mongol Empire who led several campaigns during the 13th century Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty, including the first Mongol invasion of Vietnam. He was father of Mongol general and chancellor Aju. Uriyangkhadai was born to Mongol general Subutai and was named after the Uriankhai, their tribe of origin. A folk legend claimed that Subutai wished to die by his son Uriyangkhadai by the banks of the Danube river. By 1241, Uriyangkhadai had become an accomplished general in the Mongol invasion of Eastern Europe. According to Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat, he participated in the conquest of Kievan Rus', conquest of Poland, conquests of Germanic lands before being sent to China. During the first phase of the Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty in southern China, Uriyangkhadai led 3,000 Mongol cavalry in Sichuan. Uriyangkhadai led successful campaigns in the southwest of China against the Dali Kingdom alongside Kublai Khan and pacified tribes in Tibet after Kublai Khan's return to northern China, before turning east towards the Trần dynasty by 1257.

Uriyangkhadai had more military experience than Kublai Khan and proved invaluable in battle. In the autumn of 1257, Uriyangkhadai addressed three letters to Đại Việt emperor Trần Thái Tông demanding passage through to southern China. After the three successive envoys were imprisoned in Thang Long, the capital of the Trần dynasty, Uriyangkhadai invaded Đại Việt with generals Trechecdu and Aju in the rear. According to Vietnamese sources, the Mongol army consisted of at least 30,000 soldiers of which at least 2,000 were Yi troops from the Dali Kingdom while Western sources estimate that the Mongol army consisted of about 100,000 Mongols with an additional 10,000 Yi soldiers. In 1258, Uriyangkhadai captured Thang Long. While Chinese source material incorrectly stated that Uriyangkhadai withdrew from Vietnam after nine days due to poor climate, his forces did not leave until 1259. Uriyangkhadai left Thang Long in 1259 to invade the Song dynasty in modern-day Guangxi as part of a coordinated Mongol attack with armies attacking in Sichuan under Möngke Khan and other Mongol armies attacking in modern-day Shandong and Henan.

Around 17 November 1259 while besieging Ezhou in Hubei, Kublai Khan received a messenger who described Uriyangkhadai's army advances from Thang Long to Tanzhou in Hunan via Yongzhou and Guilin in Guangxi. Uriyangkhada's army subsequently fought its way north to rejoin Kublai Khan's army on the northern banks of the Yangtze river, after which both armies returned to northern China due to the succession crisis that emerged as a result of Möngke Khan's death at the Siege of Diaoyucheng on 11 August 1259