J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet and academic, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, from 1945 to 1959, he was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, fictional histories, invented languages, literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it.
Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre; this has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009. Tolkien's immediate paternal ancestors were middle-class craftsmen who made and sold clocks and pianos in London and Birmingham; the Tolkien family originated in the East Prussian town Kreuzburg near Königsberg, where his first known paternal ancestor Michel Tolkien was born around 1620. Michel's son Christianus Tolkien was a wealthy miller in Kreuzburg, his son Christian Tolkien moved from Kreuzburg to nearby Danzig, his two sons Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien and Johann Benjamin Tolkien emigrated to London in the 1770s and became the ancestors of the English family.
In 1792 John Benjamin Tolkien and William Gravell took over the Erdley Norton manufacture in London, which from on sold clocks and watches under the name Gravell & Tolkien. Daniel Gottlieb obtained British citizenship in 1794, but John Benjamin never became a British citizen. Other German relatives joined the two brothers in London. Several people with the surname Tolkien or similar spelling, some of them members of the same family as J. R. R. Tolkien, live in northern Germany, but most of them are descendants of recent refugees from East Prussia who fled the Red Army invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing. According to Ryszard Derdziński the Tolkien name is of Low Prussian origin and means "son/descendant of Tolk." Tolkien mistakenly believed his surname derived from the German word tollkühn, meaning "foolhardy", jokingly inserted himself as a "cameo" into The Notion Club Papers under the translated name Rashbold. However, Derdziński has demonstrated this to be a false etymology. While J. R. R. Tolkien was aware of the Tolkien family's German origin, his knowledge of the family's history was limited because he was "early isolated from the family of his prematurely deceased father".
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State to Arthur Reuel Tolkien, an English bank manager, his wife Mabel, née Suffield. The couple had left England when Arthur was promoted to head the Bloemfontein office of the British bank for which he worked. Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, born on 17 February 1894; as a child, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, an event some think echoed in his stories, although he admitted no actual memory of the event and no special hatred of spiders as an adult. In another incident, a young family servant, who thought Tolkien a beautiful child, took the baby to his kraal to show him off, returning him the next morning; when he was three, he went to England with his mother and brother on what was intended to be a lengthy family visit. His father, died in South Africa of rheumatic fever before he could join them; this left the family without an income, so Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Soon after, in 1896, they moved to Sarehole a Worcestershire village annexed to Birmingham. He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent and Malvern Hills, which would inspire scenes in his books, along with nearby towns and villages such as Bromsgrove and Alvechurch and places such as his aunt Jane's farm of Bag End, the name of which he used in his fiction. Mabel Tolkien taught her two children at home. Ronald, as he was known in the family, was a keen pupil, she taught him a great deal of botany and awakened in him the enjoyment of the look and feel of plants. Young Tolkien liked to draw landscapes and trees, but his favourite lessons were those concerning languages, his mother taught him the rudiments of Latin early. Tolkien could write fluently soon afterwards, his mother allowed him to read many books. He disliked Treasure Island and The Pied Piper and thought Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was "amusing but disturbing", he liked stories about "Red Indians" and the fantasy wor
Epic Comics was a creator-owned imprint of Marvel Comics started in 1982, lasting through the mid-1990s, being revived on a small scale in the mid-2000s. Launched by editor-in-chief Jim Shooter as a spin-off of the successful Epic Illustrated magazine, the Epic imprint allowed creators to retain control and ownership of their properties. Co-edited by Al Milgrom and Archie Goodwin, the imprint allowed Marvel to publish more objectionable content without needing to comply with the stringent Comics Code Authority. Epic titles were printed on higher quality paper than typical Marvel comics, were only available via the direct market; the first project was Dreadstar, a space opera by writer-artist Jim Starlin, published November 1982. Dreadstar had first appeared in the Epic Illustrated magazine in issue #3. Subsequent titles included Coyote by Steve Englehart; the line branched out with historical fiction, social commentary and fantasy. However, initial sales were disappointing, so in order to give the line a boost, popular Marvel writer-artist Frank Miller and artist Bill Sienkiewicz were commissioned to develop Elektra: Assassin, featuring the ninja assassin from the Daredevil comic book.
Although Epic was meant to be a creator-owned line, Elektra: Assassin became only the first title featuring Marvel characters published by the imprint. Others included a painted mini-series featuring Havok and Wolverine from the X-Men. Marvel commissioned writer and Marvel editor Archie Goodwin to create original characters for a Mature Readers superhero line for Epic Comics; this took the form of The Shadowline Saga, a storyline spanning four different titles in 1987. Epic was notable as one of the first American comic publishers to release material produced in other countries, such as the Moebius graphic novels Airtight Garage, The Incal and Blueberry, published here in English translations by Jean-Marc Lofficier & Randy Lofficier. Epic published Katsuhiro Otomo's manga classic Akira, with translations by Marvel staffer Mary Jo Duffy and colors by Steve Oliff; as well, now edited by Potts, licensed a variety of literary material, the best known of which were the Clive Barker novels and stories, including Hellraiser and Weaveworld.
Other adapted works included William Shatner's Tekworld, the Wild Cards anthologies, William Gibson's Neuromancer. During this decade, Epic published the four-part miniseries Atomic Age, a 1950s-style science fiction story reimagined from a contemporary perspective by writer Frank Lovece and artists Mike Okamoto and Al Williamson, the latter two of whom won the Russ Manning Award and an Eisner Award for their work there, brought out the action-oriented Heavy Hitters line with material from Peter David, Howard Chaykin, Gerard Jones, Joe Kubert, Ron Lim, Steve Purcell. A subsequent comic-book sales bust, prompted Marvel to end Epic in 1994. In late 1995, the line was temporarily brought back to complete the reprinting of the Akira manga. Epic was ended again when that series was completed in early 1996. In 2003, the Epic imprint was brought back, with two stated goals: to scout for new creator-owned projects, to offer new talent a chance to work on lesser-known Marvel properties. Marvel editors contacted industry columnists, such as Cleveland Plain Dealer and Newsarama columnist Michael San Giacomo, Ryan Scott Ottney, Comixfan's Eric J. Moreels, Sword of Dracula creator Jason Henderson, to ask for new comic pitches using existing Marvel properties.
San Giacomo created Phantom Jack. Henderson created "Strange Magic", a story about a hitherto-unknown daughter of Marvel's Doctor Strange. Moreels was creating a super-team featuring various Australian Marvel characters. An open call for submissions was issued, which prompted a huge response, resulted in months-long delays in reviewing submissions; the option of submitting creator-owned pitches was downplayed and discontinued. The new Epic received considerable attention with Trouble, a miniseries by Mark Millar that would retcon the Spider-Man mythos by revealing details from the teenage years of May Parker and Peter's mother, but although all the main characters sported names any Spider-Man fan would recognize, there was no explicit revelation that they were in any way connected to their Marvel Universe namesakes. Other comics in the line, including a Crimson Dynamo title, were produced by lesser-known talents, the line was cancelled. A number of solicitations were cancelled. Titles that were in progress when Marvel's new management ended the line were consolidated under one cover with the title Epic Anthology Presents, cancelled after the first issue.
San Giacomo requested that the rights to Phantom Jack be returned to him, it was not included in the anthology. The story was published instead by Image Comics and returned in 2007 through Atomic Pop Art Enterprises. Since 2013 the Epic brand is u
Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr. is the title character and protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials; the character first appeared in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, to be followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles from 1992 to 1996, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. The character is featured in novels, video games, other media. Jones is featured in several Disney theme parks, including the Indiana Jones Adventure, Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril, Epic Stunt Spectacular! attractions. Jones is most famously portrayed by Harrison Ford and has been portrayed by River Phoenix and in the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles by Corey Carrier, Sean Patrick Flanery, George Hall. Doug Lee has supplied the voice of Jones for two LucasArts video games, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, David Esch supplied his voice for Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, John Armstrong for Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings.
Jones is characterized by his iconic accoutrements, wry sense of humor, deep knowledge of ancient civilizations and languages, fear of snakes. Since his first appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones has become one of cinema's most famous characters. In 2003, the American Film Institute ranked him the second greatest film hero of all time, he was named the 1st Greatest Movie Character by Empire magazine. Entertainment Weekly ranked Indy 2nd on their list of The All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture. Premiere magazine placed Indy at number 7 on their list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark 1984 prequel film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullA native of Princeton, New Jersey, Indiana Jones was introduced as a tenured professor of archeology in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, set in 1936. The character is an adventurer reminiscent of the 1930s film serial treasure hunters and pulp action heroes.
His research is funded by Marshall College, a fictional college in Connecticut, where he is a professor of archaeology. He attended the University of Chicago. In this first adventure, he is pitted against Nazis commissioned by Hitler to recover artifacts of great power from the Old Testament. In consequence, Dr Jones travels the world to prevent them from recovering the Ark of the Covenant, he is aided by Marion Sallah. The Nazis are led by Jones's archrival, a Nazi-sympathizing French archaeologist named René Belloq, Arnold Toht, a sinister Gestapo agent. In the 1984 prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, set in 1935, Jones travels to India and attempts to free enslaved children and the three Sankara stones from the bloodthirsty Thuggee cult, he is aided by Short Round, a young boy, is accompanied by singer Willie Scott. The prequel is not as centered on archaeology as Raiders of the Lost Ark and is darker; the third film, 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, set in 1938, returned to the formula of the original, reintroducing characters such as Sallah and Marcus Brody, a scene from Professor Jones's classroom, the globe trotting element of multiple locations, the return of the infamous Nazi mystics, this time trying to find the Holy Grail.
The film's introduction, set in 1912, provided some back story to the character the origin of his fear of snakes, his use of a bullwhip, the scar on his chin, his hat. The film was a buddy movie of sorts, teaming Jones with his father, Henry Jones, Sr. to comical effect. Although Lucas intended to make five Indiana Jones films, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was the last for over eighteen years, as he could not think of a good plot element to drive the next installment; the 2008 film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is the latest film in the series. Set in 1957, 19 years after the third film, it pits an older, wiser Indiana Jones against Soviet agents bent on harnessing the power of an extraterrestrial device discovered in South America. Jones is aided in his adventure by his former lover, Marion Ravenwood, her son—a young greaser named Henry "Mutt" Williams revealed to be Jones' unknown child. There were rumors that Harrison Ford would not return for any future installments and LaBeouf would take over the Indy franchise.
This film reveals that Jones was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, attaining the rank of Colonel in the United States Army. He is tasked with conducting covert operations with MI6 agent George McHale against the Soviet Union. In March 2016, Disney announced a fifth Indiana Jones film in development, with Ford and Spielberg set to return to the franchise. Set for release on July 10, 2020, the film's release date was pushed back to July 9, 2021 due to production issues. Indiana Jones is featured at several Walt Disney theme park attractions; the Indiana Jones Adventure attractions at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea place Indy at the forefront of two similar archaeological discoveries. These two temples each contain a wrat
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Premier. While presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism. Born to a poor family in Gori, Russian Empire, Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party as a youth, he edited the party's newspaper and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies and protection rackets. Arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo.
Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. During Stalin's rule, "Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Under the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialization, creating a centralized command economy; this led to significant disruptions in food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the state. Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported anti-fascist movements throughout Europe during the 1930s in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland.
Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe; the Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe and North Korea. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as the two world superpowers. Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U. S.-backed Western Bloc which became known as the Cold War. Stalin led his country through its post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the Doctors' plot. Stalin died in 1953. Considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government has been condemned for overseeing mass repressions, ethnic cleansing, hundreds of thousands of executions, famines which killed millions. Stalin was born in the Georgian town of Gori on 18 December 1878, he was the son of Besarion "Beso" Jughashvili and Ekaterine "Keke" Geladze, who had married in May 1872, had lost two sons in infancy prior to Stalin's birth. They were ethnically Georgian, Stalin grew up speaking the Georgian language. Gori was part of the Russian Empire, was home to a population of 20,000, the majority of whom were Georgian but with Armenian and Jewish minorities. Stalin was baptised on 29 December, he was nicknamed "Soso", a diminutive of "Ioseb". Besarion owned his own workshop; the family found themselves living in poverty, moving through nine different rented rooms in ten years.
Besarion became an alcoholic, drunkenly beat his wife and son. To escape the abusive relationship, Keke took Stalin and moved into the house of a family friend, Fr. Christopher Charkviani, she worked as launderer for local families sympathetic to her plight. Keke was determined to send her son to school, something that none of the family had achieved. In late 1888, aged 10 Stalin enrolled at the Gori Church School; this was reserved for the children of clergy, although Charkviani ensured that the boy received a place. Stalin excelled academically, displaying talent in painting and drama classes, writing his own poetry, singing as a choirboy, he got into many fights, a childhood friend noted that Stalin "was the best but the naughtiest pupil" in the class. Stalin faced several severe health problems. Aged 12, he was injured after being hit by a phaeton, the cause of a lifelong disability to his left arm. At his teachers' recommendation, Stalin proceeded to the Spiritual Seminary in Tiflis, he enrolled at the school in August 1894, enabled by a scholarship that allowed him to study at a reduced rate.
Here he joined 600 trainee priests who boarded at the semina
Middle-earth is the fictional setting of much of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium; the term is equivalent to the term Midgard of Norse mythology, describing the human-inhabited world, that is, the central continent of the Earth in Tolkien's imagined mythological past. Tolkien's most read works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, take place in Middle-earth, Middle-earth has become a short-hand to refer to the legendarium and Tolkien's fictional take on the world. Within his stories, Tolkien translated the name "Middle-earth" as Endor and Ennor in the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin sometimes referring only to the continent that the stories take place on, with another southern continent called the Dark Land. Middle-earth is the north continent of Earth in an imaginary period of the Earth's past, in the sense of a "secondary or sub-creational reality", its general position is reminiscent of Europe, with the environs of the Shire intended to be reminiscent of England. Tolkien's stories chronicle the struggle to control the world and the continent of Middle-earth: on one side, the angelic Valar, the Elves and their allies among Men.
In ages, after Morgoth's defeat and expulsion from Arda, his place was taken by his lieutenant Sauron. The Valar withdrew from direct involvement in the affairs of Middle-earth after the defeat of Morgoth, but in years they sent the wizards or Istari to help in the struggle against Sauron; the most important wizards were Gandalf the Saruman the White. Gandalf proved crucial in the fight against Sauron. Saruman, became corrupted and sought to establish himself as a rival to Sauron for absolute power in Middle-earth. Other races involved in the struggle against evil were Dwarves and most famously Hobbits; the early stages of the conflict are chronicled in The Silmarillion, while the final stages of the struggle to defeat Sauron are told in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings. Conflict over the possession and control of precious or magical objects is a recurring theme in the stories; the First Age is dominated by the doomed quest of the elf Fëanor and most of his Noldorin clan to recover three precious jewels called the Silmarils that Morgoth stole from them.
The Second and Third Age are dominated by the forging of the Rings of Power, the fate of the One Ring forged by Sauron, which gives its wearer the power to control or influence those wearing the other Rings of Power. In ancient Germanic mythology, the world of Men is known by several names, such as Midgard, Middenheim and Middengeard; the Old English middangeard descends from an earlier Germanic word and so has cognates in languages related to Old English such as the Old Norse word Miðgarðr from Norse mythology, transliterated to modern English as Midgard. The term "Middle-earth", it is found throughout the Modern English period as a development of the Middle English word middel-erde, which developed in turn, through a process of folk etymology, from middanġeard. By the time of the Middle English period, middangeard was being written as middellærd, midden-erde, or middel-erde, indicating that the second element had been reinterpreted, based on its similarity to the word for "earth"; the shift in meaning was not great, however: middangeard properly meant "middle enclosure" instead of "middle-earth".
Tolkien first encountered the term middangeard in an Old English fragment he studied in 1914: Éala éarendel engla beorhtast / ofer middangeard monnum sended. Hail Earendel, brightest of angels / above the middle-earth sent unto men; this quote is from the second of the fragmentary remnants of the Crist poems by Cynewulf. The name Éarendel was the inspiration for Tolkien's mariner Eärendil, who set sail from the lands of Middle-earth to ask for aid from the angelic powers, the Valar. Tolkien's earliest poem about Eärendil, from 1914, the same year he read the Crist poems, refers to "the mid-world's rim"; the concept of middangeard was considered by Tolkien to be the same as a particular usage of the Greek word οἰκουμένη - oikoumenē. In this usage Tolkien says that the oikoumenē is "the abiding place of men". Tolkien wrote: Middle-earth is... not my own invention. It is a modernization or alteration... of an old word for the inhabited world of Men, the oikoumene: middle because thought of vaguely as set amidst the encircling Seas and between ice of the North and the fire of the South.
O. English middan-geard, mediaeval E. midden-erd, middle-erd. Many reviewers seem to assume. However, the term "Middle-earth" is not found in Tolkien's earliest writings about Middle-earth, dating from the early 1920s and published in The Book of Lost Tales. Nor is the term used in The Hobbit. Tolkien began to use the term "Middle-earth" in the late 1930s, in place of the earlier terms "Great Lands", "Outer Lands", "Hither Lands"
The Divine Comedy is an Italian long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature; the poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language, it is divided into three parts: Inferno and Paradiso. The narrative describes Dante's travels through Hell and Paradise or Heaven, while allegorically the poem represents the soul's journey towards God. Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas; the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse". In Dante's work, Virgil is presented as human reason and Beatrice is presented as divine knowledge; the work was simply titled Comedìa, Tuscan for "Comedy" adjusted to the modern Italian Commedia.
The adjective Divina was added by Giovanni Boccaccio, the first edition to name the poem Divina Comedia in the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari. The Divine Comedy is composed of 14,233 lines that are divided into three cantiche – Inferno and Paradiso – each consisting of 33 cantos. An initial canto, serving as an introduction to the poem and considered to be part of the first cantica, brings the total number of cantos to 100, it is accepted, that the first two cantos serve as a unitary prologue to the entire epic, that the opening two cantos of each cantica serve as prologues to each of the three cantiche. The number "three" is prominent in the work, represented in part by the number of cantiche and their lengths. Additionally, the verse scheme used, terza rima, is hendecasyllabic, with the lines composing tercets according to the rhyme scheme aba, cdc, ded.... Written in the first person, the poem tells of Dante's journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300.
The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Purgatory. Beatrice was a Florentine woman whom he had met in childhood and admired from afar in the mode of the then-fashionable courtly love tradition, highlighted in Dante's earlier work La Vita Nuova; the structure of the three realms follows a common numerical pattern of 9 plus 1, for a total of 10: 9 circles of the Inferno, followed by Lucifer contained at its bottom. Within each group of 9, 7 elements correspond to a specific moral scheme, subdivided into three subcategories, while 2 others of greater particularity are added to total nine. For example, the seven deadly sins of the Catholic Church that are cleansed in Purgatory are joined by special realms for the Late repentant and the excommunicated by the church; the core seven sins within Purgatory correspond to a moral scheme of love perverted, subdivided into three groups corresponding to excessive love, deficient love, malicious love. In central Italy's political struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines, Dante was part of the Guelphs, who in general favored the Papacy over the Holy Roman Emperor.
Florence's Guelphs split into factions around 1300—the White Guelphs and the Black Guelphs. Dante was among the White Guelphs who were exiled in 1302 by the Lord-Mayor Cante de' Gabrielli di Gubbio, after troops under Charles of Valois entered the city, at the request of Pope Boniface VIII, who supported the Black Guelphs; this exile, which lasted the rest of Dante's life, shows its influence in many parts of the Comedy, from prophecies of Dante's exile to Dante's views of politics, to the eternal damnation of some of his opponents. The last word in each of the three cantiche is stelle; the poem begins on the night before Good Friday in the year 1300, "halfway along our life's path". Dante is thirty-five years old, half of the biblical lifespan of 70, lost in a dark wood, assailed by beasts he cannot evade and unable to find the "straight way" – translatable as "right way" – to salvation. Conscious that he is ruining himself and that he is falling into a "low place" where the sun is silent, Dante is at last rescued by Virgil, the two of them begin their journey to the underworld.
Each sin's punishment in Inferno is a symbolic instance of poetic justice. These three types of sin provide the three main divisions of Dante's Hell: Upper Hell, outside the city of Dis, for the four sins o
Robert E. Howard
Robert Ervin Howard was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre. Howard was raised in Texas, he spent most of his life with some time spent in nearby Brownwood. A bookish and intellectual child, he was a fan of boxing and spent some time in his late teens bodybuilding taking up amateur boxing. From the age of nine he dreamed of becoming a writer of adventure fiction but did not have real success until he was 23. Thereafter, until his death by suicide at age 30, Howard's writings were published in a wide selection of magazines and newspapers, he became proficient in several subgenres, his greatest success occurred after his death. Although a Conan novel was nearly published in 1934, Howard's stories were never collected during his lifetime; the main outlet for his stories was Weird Tales. With Conan and his other heroes, Howard helped fashion the genre now known as sword and sorcery, spawning many imitators and giving him a large influence in the fantasy field.
Howard remains a read author, with his best works still reprinted. Howard's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it have led to speculation about his mental health, his mother had been ill with tuberculosis his entire life, upon learning she had entered a coma from which she was not expected to wake, he walked out to his car and shot himself in the head. Howard was born January 22, 1906 in Peaster, the only son of a traveling country physician, Dr. Isaac Mordecai Howard, his wife, Hester Jane Ervin Howard, his early life was spent wandering through a variety of Texas cowtowns and boomtowns: Dark Valley, Bronte, Oran, Wichita Falls, Cross Cut, Burkett. During Howard's youth his parents' relationship began to break down; the Howard family had problems with money which may have been exacerbated by Isaac Howard investing in get-rich-quick schemes. Hester Howard, came to believe that she had married below herself. Soon the pair were fighting. Hester did not want Isaac to have anything to do with their son.
She had a strong influence on her son's intellectual growth. She had spent her early years helping a variety of sick relatives, contracting tuberculosis in the process, she instilled in her son a deep love of poetry and literature, recited verse daily and supported him unceasingly in his efforts to write. Other experiences would seep into his prose. Although he loved reading and learning, he found school to be confining and began to hate having anyone in authority over him. Experiences watching and confronting bullies revealed the omnipresence of evil and enemies in the world, taught him the value of physical strength and violence; as the son of the local doctor, Howard had frequent exposure to the effects of injury and violence, due to accidents on farms and oil fields combined with the massive increase in crime that came with the oil boom. Firsthand tales of gunfights, lynchings and Indian raids developed his distinctly Texan, hardboiled outlook on the world. Sports boxing, became a passionate preoccupation.
At the time, boxing was the most popular sport in the country, with a cultural influence far in excess of what it is today. James J. Jeffries, Jack Johnson, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jack Dempsey were the names that inspired during those years, he grew up a lover of all contests of violent, masculine struggle. Voracious reading, along with a natural talent for prose writing and the encouragement of teachers, created in Howard an interest in becoming a professional writer. From the age of nine he began writing stories tales of historical fiction centering on Vikings, Arabs and bloodshed. One by one he discovered the authors who would influence his work: Jack London and his stories of reincarnation and past lives, most notably The Star Rover. Howard was considered by friends to be eidetic, astounded them with his ability to memorize lengthy reams of poetry with ease after one or two readings. In 1919, when Howard was thirteen, Dr. Howard moved his family to the Central Texas hamlet of Cross Plains, there the family would stay for the rest of Howard's life.
Howard's father made extensive renovations. That same year, sitting in a library in New Orleans while his father took medical courses at a nearby college, Howard discovered a book concerned with the scant fact and abundant legends surrounding an indigenous culture in ancient Scotland called the Picts. In 1920, on February 17, the Vestal Well within the limits of Cross Plains struck oil and Cross Plains became an oil boomtown. Thousands of people arrived in the town looking for oil wealth. New businesses sprang up from scratch and the crime rate increased to match. Cross Plains' population grew from 1,500 to 10,000, it suffered overcrowding, the traffic ruined its unpaved roads and vice crime exploded but it used its new wealth on civic improvements, including a new school, an ice manufacturing plant, new hotels. Howard despised the people who came with it, he was poorly disposed towards oil booms as they were the cause of the constant traveling in his early years but this was aggravated by what he perceived to be the effect oil booms had on towns.
At fifteen Howard first sampled pulp magazines Adventure and its star authors Talbot Mund