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Republic of Pisa

The Republic of Pisa was a de facto independent state centered on the Tuscan city of Pisa during the late 10th and 11th centuries. It rose to become an economic powerhouse, a commercial center whose merchants dominated Mediterranean and Italian trade for a century before being surpassed and superseded by the Republic of Genoa; the power of Pisa as a mighty maritime nation began to grow and reached its apex in the 11th century when it acquired traditional fame as one of the main historical Maritime Republics of Italy. During the High Middle Ages the city grew into a important commercial and naval center and controlled a significant Mediterranean merchant fleet and navy, it expanded its influence through the sack of Reggio di Calabria in the south of Italy in 1005. Pisa was in continuous conflict with the Saracens for control of the Mediterranean. In alliance with Genoa, Sardinia was captured in 1016 with the defeat of the Saracen leader Mujāhid al-‘Āmirī; this victory gave Pisa supremacy in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

When the Pisans subsequently ousted the Genoese from Sardinia, a new conflict and rivalry was born between the two maritime republics. Between 1030 and 1035 Pisa went on to defeat several rival towns in the Emirate of Sicily and conquer Carthage in North Africa. In 1051 -- 1052 Admiral Jacopo Ciurini conquered Corsica. In 1063, the Pisans approached the Norman Roger I of Sicily, conducting a campaign to conquer Sicily that would last over three decades, with the prospect of a joint attack against Palermo. Roger declined due to other commitments. With no land support, the Pisan attack against Palermo failed. In 1060 Pisa engaged in its first battle against Genoa and the Pisan victory helped to consolidate its position in the Mediterranean. Pope Gregory VII recognized in 1077 the new "laws and customs of the sea" instituted by the Pisans, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV granted them the right to name their own consuls, advised by a Council of Elders; this was a confirmation of the present situation, because at the time the marquis of Tuscany had been excluded from power.

Pisa sacked the Zirid city of Mahdia in 1088. Four years Pisan and Genoese ships helped Alfonso VI of Castile force El Cid out of Valencia. In 1092 Pope Urban II awarded Pisa supremacy over Corsica and Sardinia and at the same time elevated the Diocese of Pisa to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese. A Pisan fleet of 120 ships participated in the First Crusade and the Pisans were instrumental in the siege of Jerusalem in 1099. On their way to the Holy Land the Pisan ships did not miss the opportunity to sack several Byzantine islands; the Pisan crusaders were led by their archbishop, the future Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Pisa and the other maritime republics took advantage of the crusade to establish trading posts and colonies in the eastern coastal regions of Syria and Palestine. In particular the Pisans founded colonies in Antioch, Jaffa, Tripoli and Latakia, they established other territorial possessions in Jerusalem and Caesarea, in addition to smaller colonies in Cairo, Alexandria and of course Constantinople, where the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus granted them special mooring and trading rights.

In all these cities the Pisans were granted privileges and immunity from taxation, but had to contribute to their defence in case of attack. In the 12th century the Pisan quarter in the eastern part of Constantinople had grown to 1,000 people. For some years of that century Pisa was the most prominent merchant and military ally of the Byzantine Empire, surpassing the Republic of Venice itself. In the Western Mediterranean, though Pope Gregory VII had granted suzerainty over the Balearic Islands to Pisa in 1085, Pisan merchants were among the initiators of the 1113–1115 Balearic Islands expedition, they were unsuccessful in permanently dislodging the Muslim taifa there. Pisa, as an international power, was destroyed forever by the crushing defeat of its navy in the Battle of Meloria against Genoa in 1284. In this battle, most of the Pisan galleys were destroyed and many of its mariners were taken prisoner. In 1290, an assault by Genoese ships against the Porto Pisano sealed the fate of the independent Pisan state.

Between 1323 and 1326 Pisa was driven out of Sardinia by the Crown of Aragon. As part of Gabriele Maria Visconti's dominions after 1399, Pisa was sold to Florence in 1402. After a bloody and useless resistance, the municipality was at last subjugated in 1406. History of Pisa Maritime republics Norwich, John Julius; the Normans in the South 1016-1130. Longmans: London, 1967

Edgar Jones (actor)

Edgar Jones known as Ed Jones and as "Pardner" Jones, was an American actor and director of films. He directed the adaptation of Mildred Mason's The Gold in the Crock, he starred in and directed Siegmund Lubin films including Fitzhugh's Ride. He established a film production business in Augusta, Maine that produced adaptations of Holman Day novels. Jones acted in touring stage productions before moving on to films, he starred with Clara Williams in A Lucky Fall. He acted and directed Lonesome Corners, he produced and starred in a series of short films with Evelyn Brent. According to IMDb, he has more than 60 directing credits. In 1920, he formed his own production company, Edgar Jones Productions, made films in Maine, his film work includes adaptations of Holman Day stories. The studio operated out of the former Maine Children's Home Society. Blaine S. Viles, a former mayor of Augusta, served as the film company's president. Viles served as state forest commissioner; the Mentor reported Holman Day films being shown to prisoners.

He married Lubin actress Louise Huff and they had a daughter together. They divorced. Among his surviving films is Border River 1919 film, a 1919 Edgar Jones Production. A Lucky Fall Fitzhugh's Ride The Gold in the Crock On Bitter Creek The Trustee of the Law A Woman's Fool Wild Honey Wild Women Border River The Big Punch Single-Handed Sam Lonesome Corners Lochinvar of the Line The Two-fisted Judge A Forest Diplomat Single Handed The Turmoil Lovely Mary The Girl Who Wouldn't Quit Border River The Rider of King Log The Timber Wolves A Forest Samson Edgar Jones on IMDb Edgar Jones at Find a Grave

Rod Jellema

Rod Jellema was an American poet and translator. Jellema held a B. A. from Calvin College and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. He began teaching at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1955, where he founded and directed the creative writing program. At the time of his death, he was Professor Emeritus, he was the author of five books of three translations. His work was awarded the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the Pieter Jelles Prize and a Columbia University Translation Prize for his translations of Frisian poetry, he was the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo. His work appeared in various publications including Atlanta Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Many Mountains Moving, Plum Review, Poet Lore, he divided his time between Washington, DC, San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Lake Michigan dunelands near Montague, Michigan. He had been working on an early history of New Orleans jazz titled Really Hot: A New Hearing for Old New Orleans Jazz. Poetry Incarnality: The Collected Poems of Rod Jellema A Slender Grace: Poems The Eighth Day: New & Selected Poems Something Tugging the Line The Lost Faces, 1979Translations The Sound That Remains: A Historical Collection of Frisian Poetry Country Fair: Poems from Friesland Since 1945 Author's official website Five poems by Jellema in Beltway Poetry Quarterly