Heaven, or the heavens, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, spirits, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive. Heaven is described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to hell or the Underworld or the "low places", universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, piety, faith, or other virtues or right beliefs or the will of God; some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a World to Come. Another belief is in an axis mundi or world tree which connects the heavens, the terrestrial world, the underworld. In Indian religions, heaven is considered as Svarga loka, the soul is again subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma.
This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world is referred to as otherworld; the modern English word heaven is derived from the earlier heven. By about 1000, heofon was being used in reference to the Christianized "place where God dwells", but it had signified "sky, firmament"; the English term has cognates in the other Germanic languages: Old Saxon heƀan "sky, heaven", Old Icelandic himinn, Gothic himins. All of these have been derived from a reconstructed Proto-Germanic form *hemina-. or *hemō. The further derivation of this form is uncertain. A connection to Proto-Indo-European *ḱem- "cover, shroud", via a reconstructed *k̑emen- or *k̑ōmen- "stone, heaven", has been proposed. Others endorse the derivation from a Proto-Indo-European root *h₂éḱmō "stone" and "heavenly vault" at the origin of this word, which would have as cognates Ancient Greek ἄκμων, Persian آسمان and Sanskrit अश्मन्. In the latter case English hammer would be another cognate to the word.
The ancient Mesopotamians regarded the sky as a series of domes covering the flat earth. Each dome was made of a different kind of precious stone; the lowest dome of heaven was the home of the stars. The middle dome of heaven was the abode of the Igigi; the highest and outermost dome of heaven was made of luludānītu stone and was personified as An, the god of the sky. The celestial bodies were equated with specific deities as well; the planet Venus was believed to be Inanna, the goddess of love and war. The sun was her brother Utu, the god of justice, the moon was their father Nanna. In ancient Near Eastern cultures in general and in Mesopotamia in particular, humans had little to no access to the divine realm. Heaven and earth were separated by their nature. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh says to Enkidu, "Who can go up to heaven, my friend? Only the gods dwell with Shamash forever." Instead, after a person died, his or her soul went to Kur, a dark shadowy underworld, located deep below the surface of the earth.
All souls went to the same afterlife, a person's actions during life had no impact on how he would be treated in the world to come. Nonetheless, funerary evidence indicates that some people believed that Inanna had the power to bestow special favors upon her devotees in the afterlife. Despite the separation between heaven and earth, humans sought access to the gods through oracles and omens; the gods were believed to live in heaven, but in their temples, which were seen as the channels of communication between earth and heaven, which allowed mortal access to the gods. The Ekur temple in Nippur was known as the "mooring-rope" of heaven and earth, it was thought to have been built and established by Enlil himself. Nothing is known of Bronze Age Canaanite views of heaven, the archaeological findings at Ugarit have not provided information; the 1st century Greek author Philo of Byblos may preserve elements of Iron Age Phoenician religion in his Sanchuniathon. The ancient Hittites believed that some deities lived in Heaven, while others lived in remote places on earth, such as mountains, where humans had little access.
In the Middle Hittite myths, heaven is the abode of the gods. In the Song of Kumarbi, Alalu was king in heaven for nine years before giving birth to Anu. Anu was himself overthrown by Kumarbi; as in other ancient Near Eastern cultures, in the Hebrew Bible, the universe is divided into two realms: heaven and earth. Sometimes a third realm is added: either "sea", "water under the earth", or sometimes a vague "land of the dead", never described in depth; the structure of heaven itself is never described in the Hebrew Bible, but the fact that the Hebrew word š
Serfdom is the status of many peasants under feudalism relating to manorialism. It was a condition of debt bondage, which developed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century; as with slaves, serfs could be bought, sold, or traded, abused with no rights over their own bodies, could not leave the land they were bound to. Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the lord of the manor who owned that land. In return they were entitled to protection and the right to cultivate certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were required not only to work on the lord's fields, but in his mines and forests and to labor to maintain roads; the manor formed the basic unit of feudal society, the lord of the manor and the villeins, to a certain extent serfs, were bound legally: by taxation in the case of the former, economically and in the latter. The decline of serfdom in Western Europe has sometimes been attributed to the widespread plague epidemic of the Black Death, which reached Europe in 1347 and caused massive fatalities, disrupting society.
The decline had begun before that date. Serfdom became rare in most of Western Europe after the medieval renaissance at the outset of the high Middle Ages. But, conversely it grew stronger in Central and Eastern Europe, where it had been less common. In Eastern Europe the institution persisted until the mid-19th century. In the Austrian Empire serfdom was abolished by the 1781 Serfdom Patent. Serfdom was abolished in Russia in the 1860s. In Finland and Sweden, feudalism was never established, serfdom did not exist. According to medievalist historian Joseph R. Strayer, the concept of feudalism can be applied to the societies of ancient Persia, ancient Mesopotamia, Muslim India and Japan during the Shogunate. James Lee and Cameron Campbell describe the Chinese Qing dynasty as maintaining a form of serfdom. Melvyn Goldstein described Tibet as having had serfdom until 1959, but whether or not the Tibetan form of peasant tenancy that qualified as serfdom was widespread is contested by other scholars.
Bhutan is described by Tashi Wangchuk, a Bhutanese civil servant, as having abolished serfdom by 1959, but he believes that less than or about 10% of poor peasants were in copyhold situations. The United Nations 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery prohibits serfdom as a practice similar to slavery; the word serf was derived from the Latin servus. In Late Antiquity and most of the Middle Ages, what are now called serfs were designated in Latin as coloni; as slavery disappeared and the legal status of servi became nearly identical to that of the coloni, the term changed meaning into the modern concept of "serf". Serfdom was coined in 1850. Serfs had a specific place in feudal society, as did barons and knights: in return for protection, a serf would reside upon and work a parcel of land within the manor of his lord, thus the manorial system exhibited a degree of reciprocity. One rationale held that a serf "worked for all" while a knight or baron "fought for all" and a churchman "prayed for all".
The serf was the worst fed and rewarded, but at least he had his place and, unlike slaves, had certain rights in land and property. A lord of the manor could not sell his serfs. On the other hand, if he chose to dispose of a parcel of land, the serfs associated with that land stayed with it to serve their new lord; this unified system preserved for the lord long-acquired knowledge of practices suited to the land. Further, a serf could not abandon his lands without permission, nor did he possess a saleable title in them. A freeman became a serf through force or necessity. Sometimes the greater physical and legal force of a local magnate intimidated freeholders or allodial owners into dependency. A few years of crop failure, a war, or brigandage might leave a person unable to make his own way. In such a case he could strike a bargain with a lord of a manor. In exchange for gaining protection, his service was required: in labour, produce, or cash, or a combination of all; these bargains became formalized in a ceremony known as "bondage", in which a serf placed his head in the lord's hands, akin to the ceremony of homage where a vassal placed his hands between those of his overlord.
These oaths bound the lord and his new serf in a feudal contract and defined the terms of their agreement. These bargains were severe. A 7th-century Anglo Saxon "Oath of Fealty" states: By the Lord before whom this sanctuary is holy, I will to N. be true and faithful, love all which he loves and shun all which he shuns, according to the laws of God and the order of the world. Nor will I with will or action, through word or deed, do anything, unpleasing to him, on condition that he will hold to me as I shall deserve it, that he will perform everything as it was in our agreement when I submitted myself to him and chose his will. To become a serf was a commitment
In religion and folklore, Hell is an afterlife location, sometimes a place of torment and punishment. Religions with a linear divine history depict hells as eternal destinations while religions with a cyclic history depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations; these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the Earth's surface and include entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory and Limbo. Other traditions, which do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward describe Hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place located under the surface of Earth; the modern English word hell is derived from Old English hel, helle reaching into the Anglo-Saxon pagan period. The word has cognates in all branches of the Germanic languages, including Old Norse hel, Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Old High German hella, Gothic halja. All forms derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic feminine noun *xaljō or *haljō.
In turn, the Proto-Germanic form derives from the o-grade form of the Proto-Indo-European root *kel-, *kol-:'to cover, save'. Indo-European cognates including Latin cēlāre and early Irish ceilid. Upon the Christianization of the Germanic peoples, extension of Proto-Germanic *xaljō were reinterpreted to denote the underworld in Christian mythology, for which see Gehenna. Related early Germanic terms and concepts include Proto-Germanic *xalja-rūnō, a feminine compound noun, *xalja-wītjan, a neutral compound noun; this form is reconstructed from the Latinized Gothic plural noun *haliurunnae, Old English helle-rúne, Old High German helli-rūna'magic'. The compound is composed of two elements: *xaljō and *rūnō, the Proto-Germanic precursor to Modern English rune; the second element in the Gothic haliurunnae may however instead be an agent noun from the verb rinnan, which would make its literal meaning "one who travels to the netherworld". Proto-Germanic *xalja-wītjan is reconstructed from Old Norse hel-víti'hell', Old English helle-wíte'hell-torment, hell', Old Saxon helli-wīti'hell', the Middle High German feminine noun helle-wīze.
The compound is a compound of * * wītjan. Hell appears in several religions, it is inhabited by demons and the souls of dead people. A fable about Hell which recurs in folklore across several cultures is the allegory of the long spoons. Hell is depicted in art and literature most famously in Dante's Divine Comedy. Punishment in Hell corresponds to sins committed during life. Sometimes these distinctions are specific, with damned souls suffering for each sin committed, but sometimes they are general, with condemned sinners relegated to one or more chamber of Hell or to a level of suffering. In many religious cultures, including Christianity and Islam, Hell is depicted as fiery and harsh, inflicting suffering on the guilty. Despite these common depictions of Hell as a place of fire, some other traditions portray Hell as cold. Buddhist - and Tibetan Buddhist - descriptions of Hell feature an equal number of hot and cold Hells. Among Christian descriptions Dante's Inferno portrays the innermost circle of Hell as a frozen lake of blood and guilt.
But cold played a part in earlier Christian depictions of Hell, beginning with the Apocalypse of Paul from the early third century. The Sumerian afterlife was a dark, dreary cavern located deep below the ground, where inhabitants were believed to continue "a shadowy version of life on earth"; this bleak domain was known as Kur, was believed to be ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal. All souls went to the same afterlife, a person's actions during life had no effect on how the person would be treated in the world to come; the souls in Kur were believed to eat nothing but dry dust and family members of the deceased would ritually pour libations into the dead person's grave through a clay pipe, thereby allowing the dead to drink. Nonetheless, funerary evidence indicates that some people believed that the goddess Inanna, Ereshkigal's younger sister, had the power to award her devotees with special favors in the afterlife. During the Third Dynasty of Ur, it was believed that a person's treatment in the afterlife depended on how he or she was buried.
The entrance to Kur was believed to be located in the Zagros mountains in the far east. It had seven gates; the god Neti was the gatekeeper. Ereshkigal's sukkal, or messenger, was the god Namtar. Galla were a class of demons, they are fr
Torture is the act of deliberately inflicting severe physical or psychological suffering on someone by another as a punishment or in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or force some action from the victim. Torture, by definition, is a knowing and intentional act. Torture has been carried out or sanctioned by individuals and states throughout history from ancient times to modern day, forms of torture can vary in duration from only a few minutes to several days or longer. Reasons for torture can include punishment, extortion, political re-education, coercion of the victim or a third party, interrogation to extract information or a confession irrespective of whether it is false, or the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture. Alternatively, some forms of torture are designed to inflict psychological pain or leave as little physical injury or evidence as possible while achieving the same psychological devastation; the torturer may or may not kill or injure the victim, but torture may result in a deliberate death and serves as a form of capital punishment.
Depending on the aim a form of torture, intentionally fatal may be prolonged to allow the victim to suffer as long as possible. In other cases, the torturer may be indifferent to the condition of the victim. Although torture is sanctioned by some states, it is prohibited under international law and the domestic laws of most countries. Although illegal and reviled, there is an ongoing debate as to what is and is not defined as torture, it is a serious violation of human rights, is declared to be unacceptable by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signatories of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols I and II of 8 June 1977 agree not to torture captured persons in armed conflicts, whether international or internal. Torture is prohibited for the signatories of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has 163 state parties. National and international legal prohibitions on torture derive from a consensus that torture and similar ill-treatment are immoral, as well as impractical, information obtained by torture is far less reliable than that obtained by other techniques.
Despite these findings and international conventions, organizations that monitor abuses of human rights report widespread use condoned by states in many regions of the world. Amnesty International estimates that at least 81 world governments practice torture, some of them openly; the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in force since 26 June 1987, provides a broad definition of torture. Article 1.1 of the UN Convention Against Torture reads: For the purpose of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions. This definition was restricted to apply only to nations and to government-sponsored torture and limits the torture to that perpetrated, directly or indirectly, by those acting in an official capacity, such as government personnel, law enforcement personnel, medical personnel, military personnel, or politicians, it appears to exclude: torture perpetrated by gangs, hate groups, rebels, or terrorists who ignore national or international mandates. Some professionals in the torture rehabilitation field believe that this definition is too restrictive and that the definition of politically motivated torture should be broadened to include all acts of organized violence. An broader definition was used in the 1975 Declaration of Tokyo regarding the participation of medical professionals in acts of torture: For the purpose of this Declaration, torture is defined as the deliberate, systematic or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons acting alone or on the orders of any authority, to force another person to yield information, to make a confession, or for any other reason.
This definition includes torture as part of domestic violence or ritualistic abuse, as well as in criminal activities. The Rome Statute is the treaty; the treaty was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and went into effect on 1 July 2002. The Rome Statute provides a simplest definition of torture regarding the prosecution of war criminals by the International Criminal Court. Paragraph 1 under Article 7 of the Rome Statute provides that: "Torture" means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people. These include oral traditions such as tales and jokes, they include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites; each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration; the academic study of folklore is called Folklore studies, it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph. D. levels. To understand folklore, it is helpful to clarify its component parts: the terms folk and lore.
It is well-documented. He fabricated it to replace the contemporary terminology of "popular antiquities" or "popular literature"; the second half of the compound word, proves easier to define as its meaning has stayed stable over the last two centuries. Coming from Old English lār'instruction,' and with German and Dutch cognates, it is the knowledge and traditions of a particular group passed along by word of mouth; the concept of folk proves somewhat more elusive. When Thoms first created this term, folk applied only to rural poor and illiterate peasants. A more modern definition of folk is a social group which includes two or more persons with common traits, who express their shared identity through distinctive traditions. "Folk is a flexible concept which can refer to a nation as in American folklore or to a single family." This expanded social definition of folk supports a broader view of the material, i.e. the lore, considered to be folklore artifacts. These now include all "things people make with words, things they make with their hands, things they make with their actions".
Folklore is no longer circumscribed as being chronologically obsolete. The folklorist studies the traditional artifacts of a social group. Transmission is a vital part of the folklore process. Without communicating these beliefs and customs within the group over space and time, they would become cultural shards relegated to cultural archaeologists. For folklore is a verb; these folk artifacts continue to be passed along informally, as a rule anonymously and always in multiple variants. The folk group is not individualistic, it nurtures its lore in community. "As new groups emerge, new folklore is created… surfers, computer programmers". In direct contrast to high culture, where any single work of a named artist is protected by copyright law, folklore is a function of shared identity within the social group. Having identified folk artifacts, the professional folklorist strives to understand the significance of these beliefs and objects for the group. For these cultural units would not be passed along unless they had some continued relevance within the group.
That meaning can however morph. So Halloween of the 21st century is not the All Hallows' Eve of the Middle Ages, gives rise to its own set of urban legends independent of the historical celebration; the cleansing rituals of Orthodox Judaism were good public health in a land with little water. Compare this to brushing your teeth transmitted within a group, which remains a practical hygiene and health issue and does not rise to the level of a group-defining tradition. For tradition is remembered behavior. Once it loses its practical purpose, there is no reason for further transmission unless it has been imbued with meaning beyond the initial practicality of the action; this meaning is at the core of the study of folklore. With an theoretical sophistication of the social sciences, it has become evident that folklore is a occurring and necessary component of any social group, it is indeed all around us, it does not have to be antiquated. It continues to be created, transmitted and in any group is used to differentiate between "us" and "them".
Folklore began to distinguish itself as an autonomous discipline during the period of romantic nationalism in Europe. A particular figure in this development was Johann Gottfried von Herder, whose writings in the 1770s presented oral traditions as organic processes grounded in locale. After the German states were invaded by Napoleonic France, Herder's approach was adopted by many of his fellow Germans who systematized the recorded folk traditions and used them in their process of nation building; this process was enthusiastically embraced by smaller nations like Finland and Hungary, which were seeking political independence from their dominant neighbours. Folklore as a field of study further developed among 19th century European scholars who were contrasting tradition with the newly developing modernity, its focus was the oral folklore of the rural peasant populations, which were considered as residue and survivals of the past that continued to exist within the lower strata of society. The "Kinder- und Hausmärchen" of the Brothers Grimm is the best known but by no means only collection of verbal folklore of the European peasantry of th