The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, southern Albania, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world. Greek colonies and communities have been established on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, but the Greek people have always been centered on the Aegean and Ionian seas, where the Greek language has been spoken since the Bronze Age; until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, Cappadocia in central Anatolia, the Balkans and Constantinople. Many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization; the cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Alexandria and Constantinople at various periods. Most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of Cyprus.
The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor. Other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church. Greeks have influenced and contributed to culture, exploration, philosophy, architecture, mathematics and technology, business and sports, both and contemporarily; the Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic. They are part of a group of classical ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an "archetypal diaspora people"; the Proto-Greeks arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the 2nd millennium BC has to be reconstructed on the basis of the ancient Greek dialects, as they presented themselves centuries and are therefore subject to some uncertainties.
There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age and the Doric at the Bronze Age collapse. An alternative hypothesis has been put forth by linguist Vladimir Georgiev, who places Proto-Greek speakers in northwestern Greece by the Early Helladic period, i.e. towards the end of the European Neolithic. Linguists Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson in a 2003 paper using computational methods on Swadesh lists have arrived at a somewhat earlier estimate, around 5000 BC for Greco-Armenian split and the emergence of Greek as a separate linguistic lineage around 4000 BC. In c. 1600 BC, the Mycenaean Greeks borrowed from the Minoan civilization its syllabic writing system and developed their own syllabic script known as Linear B, providing the first and oldest written evidence of Greek.
The Mycenaeans penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete and the shores of Asia Minor. Around 1200 BC, the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus. Traditionally, historians have believed that the Dorian invasion caused the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, but it is the main attack was made by seafaring raiders who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean around 1180 BC; the Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Ages, but by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible. The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as a glorious era of heroes, closeness of the gods and material wealth; the Homeric Epics were and accepted as part of the Greek past and it was not until the time of Euhemerism that scholars began to question Homer's historicity. As part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of antiquity.
The ethnogenesis of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC. According to some scholars, the foundational event was the Olympic Games in 776 BC, when the idea of a common Hellenism among the Greek tribes was first translated into a shared cultural experience and Hellenism was a matter of common culture; the works of Homer and Hesiod were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos and mythology. The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was established in this period; the classical period of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC. It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in eras; the Classical period is described as the "Golden Age" of Greek civilization, and
Asuras are a class of divine beings or power-seeking deities related to the more benevolent Devas in Hinduism. Asuras are sometimes considered nature spirits, they battle with the devas. Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods with bad qualities; the good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by Varuna, while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra. In the earliest layer of Vedic texts Agni and other gods are called Asuras, in the sense of them being "lords" of their respective domains and abilities. In Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the benevolent gods are called Devas, while malevolent Asuras compete against these Devas and are considered "enemy of the gods". Asuras are part of Indian mythology along with Devas and Rakshasas. Asuras feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism. Monier-Williams traces the etymological roots of Asura to Asu, which means life of the spiritual world or departed spirits. In the oldest verses of the Samhita layer of Vedic texts, the Asuras are any spiritual, divine beings including those with good or bad intentions, constructive or destructive inclinations or nature.
In verses of the Samhita layer of Vedic texts, Monier Williams states the Asuras are "evil spirits and opponents of the gods". Asuras connote the chaos-creating evil, in Hindu and Persian mythology about the battle between good and evil. Bhargava states the word, including its variants and asura, occurs "88 times in the Rigveda, 71 times in the singular number, four times in the dual, 10 times in the plural, three times as the first member of a compound. In this, the feminine form, asuryaa, is included twice; the word, has been used 19 times as an abstract noun, while the abstract form asuratva occurs 24 times, 22 times in each of the 22 times of one hymn and twice in the other two hymns". Asura is used as an adjective meaning "powerful" or "mighty". In the Rigveda, two generous kings, as well as some priests, have been described as asuras. One hymn requests a son, an asura. In nine hymns, Indra is described as asura. Five times, he is said to possess asurya, once he is said to possess asuratva.
Agni has total of 12 asura descriptions, Varuna has 10, Mitra has eight, Rudra has six. Bhargava gives a count of the word usage for every Vedic deity; the Book 1 of Rig Veda describes Savitr as an Asura, a "kind leader". In texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas with the embedded Bhagavad Gita, the Devas represent the good, the Asuras the bad. According to the Bhagavad Gita, all beings in the universe have both the divine qualities and the demonic qualities within each; the sixteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita states that pure god-like saints are rare and pure demon-like evil are rare among human beings, the bulk of humanity is multi-charactered with a few or many faults. According to Jeaneane Fowler, the Gita states that desires, greed, emotions in various forms "are facets of ordinary lives", it is only when they turn to lust, cravings, conceit, harshness, hypocrisy and such negativity- and destruction-inclined that natural human inclinations metamorphose into something demonic. Asko Parpola traces the etymological root of Asura to *asera- of Uralic languages, where it means "lord, prince".
Scholars have disagreed on the nature and evolution of the Asura concept in ancient Indian literature. The most studied scholarly views on Asura concept are those of FBJ Kuiper, W Norman Brown, von Bradke, Benveniste, Rajwade, Darmesteter and Raja, Banerji-Sastri, Skoeld, SC Roy, Shamasastry, Schroeder, Hillebrandt, Lommel, Segerstedt, Gerschevitch, Macdonnell, Hermann Oldenberg, Geldner and Jan Gonda. Kuiper calls Asuras a special group of gods in one of major Vedic theories of creation of the universe, their role changes only during and after the earth and living beings have been created. The sky world becomes that of Devas, the underworld becomes that of Asuras. Deity Indra is the protagonist of the good and the Devas, while dragon Vrtra, one of asuras is the protagonist of the evil. During this battle between good and evil and destruction, some powerful Asuras side with the good and are called Devas, other powerful Asuras side with the evil and thereafter called Asuras; this is the first major dualism to emerge in the nature of everything in the Universe.
Hale, in his review, states that Kuiper theory on Asura is plausible but weak because the Vedas never call Vrtra an Asura as the texts describe many other powerful beings. Secondly, Rigveda never classifies Asura as "group of gods" states Hale, this is a presumption of Kuiper. Many scholars describe Asuras to be "lords" with different specialized knowledge, magical powers and special abilities, which only choose to deploy these for good, constructive reasons or for evil, destructive reasons; the former become known as Asura in the sense of Devas, the as Asura in the sense of demons. Kuiper, Brown and others are in this school. Asuras believed in their own powers. Ananda Coomaraswamy suggested that Devas and Asuras can be best understood as Angels-Theoi-Gods and Titans of Greek mythology, both are powerful but have different orientations and inclinations
Varuna is a Vedic deity associated with the sky also with the seas as well as Ṛta and Satya. He is found in the oldest layer of Vedic literature such as hymn 7.86 of the Rigveda. He is mentioned in the Tamil grammar work Tolkāppiyam, as the god of sea and rain. In the Hindu Puranas, Varuna is the god of oceans, his vehicle is a Makara and his weapon is a Pasha, he is the guardian deity of the western direction. In some texts, he is the father of the Vedic sage Vasishtha. Varuna is found in Japanese Buddhist mythology as Suiten, he is found in Jainism.. The theonym Varuṇa is a derivation from the verbal vṛ by means of a suffigal -uṇa-, for an interpretation of the name as "he who covers or binds", in reference to the cosmological ocean or river encircling the world, but in reference to the "binding" by universal law or Ṛta. Georges Dumézil made a cautious case for the identity of Varuna and the Greek god Ouranos at the earliest Indo-European cultural level; the etymological identification of the name Ouranos with the Sanskrit Varuṇa is based in the derivation of both names from the PIE root *ŭer with a sense of "binding" – the Indic king-god Varuṇa binds the wicked, the Greek king-god Ouranos binds the Cyclopes.
While the derivation of the name Varuṇa from this root is undisputed, this derivation of the Greek name is now rejected in favour of derivation from the root *wers- "to moisten, drip". In the earliest layer of the Rigveda, Varuna is the guardian of moral law, one who punishes those who sin without remorse, who forgives those who err with remorse, he is mentioned in many Rigvedic hymns, such as 1.25, 2.27 -- 30, 8.8, 9.73 and others. His relationship with waters and oceans is mentioned in the Vedas. Vedic poets describe him as an aspect and one of the plural perspectives of the same divine or spiritual principle. For example, hymn 5.3 of the Rigveda states: Varuna and Mitra are the gods of the societal affairs including the oath, are twinned Mitra-Varuna. Both Mitra and Varuna are classified as Asuras in the Rigveda, although they are addressed as Devas as well. Varuna, being the king of the Asuras, was adopted or made the change to a Deva after the structuring of the primordial cosmos, imposed by Indra after he defeats Vrtra.
According to Doris Srinivasan, a professor of Indology focusing on religion, Varuna-Mitra pair is an ambiguous deity just like Rudra-Shiva pair. Both have wrathful-gracious aspects in Indian mythology. Both Varuna and Rudra are synonymous with "all comprehensive sight, knowledge", both were the guardian deity of the north in the Vedic texts, both can be offered "injured, ill offerings", all of which suggest that Varuna may have been conceptually overlapping with Rudra. Further, the Rigvedic hymn 5.70 calls Mitra-Varuna pair as states Srinivasan. According to Samuel Macey and other scholars, Varuna had been the more ancient Indo-Aryan deity in 2nd millennium BCE, who gave way to Rudra in the Hindu pantheon, Rudra-Shiva became both "timeless and the god of time". In Vajasaneyi Samhita 21.40, Varuna is called the patron deity of physicians, one who has "a hundred, a thousand remedies". His capacity and association with "all comprehensive knowledge" is found in the Atharvaveda. Varuna finds a mention in the early Upanishads, where his role evolves.
In verse 3.9.26 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, for example, he is stated to be the god of the western quarter, but one, founded on "water" and dependent on "the heart" and the fire of soul. In the Katha Upanishad, Aditi is identified to be same as the goddess earth, she is stated in the Vedic texts to be the mother of Varuna and Mitra along with other Vedic gods, in Hindu mythology she as mother earth is stated to be mother of all gods. In Yajurveda it is said: "In fact Varuna is Vishnu and Vishnu is Varuna and hence the auspicious offering is to be made to these deities." || 8.59 || Rama interacts with Varuna in the Hindu epic Ramayana. For example, faced with the dilemma of how to cross the ocean to Lanka, where his abducted wife Sita is held captive by the demon king Ravana, Rama performs a pravpavesha to Varuna, the Lord of Oceans, for three days and three nights, states Ramesh Menon. Varuna does not respond, Rama arises on the fourth morning, enraged, he states to his brother Lakshamana that "even lords of the elements listen only to violence, Varuna does not respect gentleness, peaceful prayers go unheard".
With his bow and arrow, Rama prepares to attack the oceans to burn up the waters and create a bed of sand for his army of monkeys to cross and thus confront Ravana. Lakshmana appeals to Rama, translates Menon, that he should return to "peaceful paths of our fathers, you can win this war without laying waste the sea". Rama shoots his weapon sending the ocean into flames; as Rama increases the ferocity of his weapons, Varuna arises out of the oceans. He bows to Rama, stating that he himself did not know how to help Rama because the sea is deep, vast and he cannot change the nature of sea. Varuna asked Rama to remember that he is "the soul of peace and love, wrath does not suit him". Varuna promised to Rama that he will not disturb him or his army as they build a bridge and cross over to Lanka; the Tolkāppiyam, a Tamil grammar work from 3rd century BCE divides the people of ancient Tamilakam into 5 Sangam landscape divisions: kurinji, paalai and neithal. Each landscape are designated with different gods.
Manu is a term found with various meanings in Hinduism. In early texts, it refers to the first man; the Sanskrit term for'human', मानव means'of Manu' or'children of Manu'. In texts, Manu is the title or name of fourteen mystical Kshatriya rulers of earth, or alternatively as the head of mythical dynasties that begin with each cyclic kalpa when the universe is born anew; the title of the text Manusmriti uses this term as a prefix, but refers to the first Manu – Svayambhuva, the spiritual son of Brahma. In some Puranic mythology, each kalpa consists of fourteen Manvantaras, each Manvantara is headed by a different Manu; the current universe, in this mythology, is asserted to be ruled by the 7th Manu named Vaivasvata. In Vishnu Purana, Vaivasvata known as Sraddhadeva or Satyavrata, was the king of Dravida before the great flood, he was warned of the flood by the Matsya avatar of Vishnu, built a boat that carried the Vedas, Manu's family and the seven sages to safety, helped by Matsya. The myth is repeated with variations in other texts, including the Mahabharata and a few other Puranas.
It is similar to other flood myths such as that of Noah. The 14 Manus of the current aeon are: In this Manvantara, the Saptarshis were Marichi, Angiras, Kratu and Vashishtha. In Svayambhuva-manvantara, Lord Vishnu's avatar was called Yajna; the first Manu was Svayambhuva Manu. He had three daughters, namely Akuti and Prasuti. Devahuti was given in marriage to sage Kardama and she gave birth to nine daughters, a single son named Kapila. Prasuti gave birth to Akuti gave birth to one son and one daughter. Both Kapila and Yajna, who were sons of Devahuti and Prasuti were incarnations of Vishnu. Svayambhuva Manu, along with his wife, went into the forest to practice austerities on the bank of the River Sunanda. At some point in time, Rakshasas attacked them, but Yajna, accompanied by his sons, the demigods, swiftly killed them. Yajna took the post of Indra, the King of the heavenly planets; the Saptarshis were Urjastambha, Prana, Rishabha and Charvarivan. In Svarocisha-manvantara, Lord Vishnu's avatar was called Vibhu.
The second Manu, whose name was Svarocisha, was the son of Agni, His sons were headed by Dyumat and Rochishmat. In the age of this Manu, Rochana became Indra, the ruler of the heavenly planets, there were many demigods, headed by Tushita. There were many saintly persons, such as Urjastambha. Among them was Vedasira, whose wife, gave birth to Vibhu. Vibhu was the incarnation of Vishnu for this Manvantara, he never married. He instructed eighty-eight thousand dridha-vratas, or saintly persons, on sense-control and austerity; the Saptarshis for this Manvantara were Kaukundihi, Dalaya, Pravahita and Sammita. In Uttama-manvantara, Lord Vishnu's avatar was called Satyasena. Uttama, the son of Priyavrata, was the third Manu. Among his sons were Pavana and Yajnahotra. During the reign of this Manu, the sons of Vashista, headed by Pramada, became the seven saintly persons; the Satyas and Bhadras became the demigods, Satyajit became Indra. From the womb of Sunrita, the wife of Dharma, the Supreme Lord Narayana appeared as Satyasena, killed all the evil Rakshasas who created havoc in all the worlds, along with Satyajit, Indra at that time.
Saptarshis list: Jyotirdhama, Kavya, Agni and Pivara. In Tapasa-manvantara, Lord Vishnu's avatar was called Hari. Tapasa/Tamasa, the brother of the third Manu, was the fourth Manu, he had ten sons, including Prithu, Khyati and Ketu. During his reign, the Satyakas, Haris and others were demigods, the seven great saints were headed by Jyotirdhama, Trisikha became Indra. Harimedha begot a son named Hari, the incarnation of Vishnu for this Manvantara, by his wife Harini. Hari was born to liberate the devotee Gajendra. Saptarshis list: Hirannyaroma, Vedasrí, Vedabahu, Sudhaman and Mahámuni. In Raivata-manvantara, Lord Vishnu's avatar was called Vaikuntha, not to be confused with Vishnu’s divine realm, of the same name. Vaikuntha came as the twin brother of Tamasa, his sons were headed by Arjuna and Vindhya. Among the demigods were the Bhutarayas, among the seven brahmanas who occupied the seven planets were Hiranyaroma and Urdhvabahu. Saptarshis list: Sumedhas, Havishmat, Madhu, Abhináman, Sahishnnu. In Chakshusha-manvantara, Lord Vishnu's avatar was called Ajita.
Ajita came as the son of the demigod Chakshu. He had many sons, headed by Puru and Sudyumna. During the reign of Chakshusa Manu, the King of heaven was known as Mantradruma. Among the demigods were the Apyas, among the great sages were Havisman and Viraka. Saptarshis list: Kashyapa, Vashista, Gautama, Bharadvaja. During Vaivasvata-manvantara, Lord Vishnu's avatar is called Vamana The seventh Manu, the son of Vivasvan, is known as Sraddhadeva or Vaivasvat, he has ten sons, named Ikshvaku, Dhrsta, Narisyanta, Tarusa and Vasuman. In this manvantara, or reign of Manu, among the demigods are the Adityas, Rudras, Maruts, Asvini-kumaras and Rbhus; the king of heaven, Indra, is known as Purandara, the seven sages are known as Kashyapa, Vashista, Gautama and Bharadwaja. During this period of Manu, Lord Vishnu took birth from the womb of Aditi, the wife of Kashyapa. Saptarshis list: Diptimat, Parasurama, Drauni or Ashwatthama and Ris
Hellenistic astrology is a tradition of horoscopic astrology, developed and practiced in the late Hellenistic period in and around the Mediterranean region in Egypt. The texts and technical terminology of this tradition of astrology were written in Greek; the tradition originated sometime around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE, was practiced until the 6th or 7th century CE. This type of astrology is referred to as "Hellenistic astrology" because it was developed in the late Hellenistic period, although it continued to be practiced for several centuries after the end of what historians classify as the Hellenistic era; the origins of much of the astrology that would develop in Asia and the Middle East are found among the ancient Babylonians and their system of celestial omens that began to be compiled around the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE. This system spread either directly or indirectly through the Babylonians to other areas such as China and Greece where it merged with preexisting indigenous forms of astrology.
It came to Greece as early as the middle of the 4th century BCE, around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE after the Alexandrian conquests this Babylonian astrology was mixed with the Egyptian tradition of Decanic astrology to create horoscopic astrology. This system is labeled as "horoscopic astrology" because, unlike the previous traditions, it employed the use of the ascendant, otherwise known as the horoskopos in Greek, the twelve celestial houses which are derived from it; the focus on the natal chart of the individual, as derived from the position of the planets and stars at the time of birth, represents the most significant contribution and shift of emphasis, made during the Hellenistic tradition of astrology. This new form of astrology spread across the ancient world into Europe, the Middle East. Additionally, some authors such as Vettius Valens and Paulus Alexandrinus took into account the Monomoiria, or individual degrees of a horoscope; this complex system of astrology was developed to such an extent that traditions made few fundamental changes to the core of the system, many of the same components of horoscopic astrology that were developed during the Hellenistic period are still in use by astrologers in modern times.
Several Hellenistic astrologers ascribe its creation to a mythical sage named Hermes Trismegistus. Hermes is said to have written several major texts which formed the basis of the art or its evolution from the system of astrology, inherited from the Babylonians and the Egyptians. Several authors cite Hermes as being the first to outline the houses and their meaning, thus the houses are thought to date back to the beginning of the Hellenistic tradition and indeed they are one of the major defining factors which separate Hellenistic astrology and other forms of horoscopic astrology from Babylonian astrology and other traditions in different parts of the world; this system of horoscopic astrology was passed to another mythical figure named Asclepius to whom some of the Hermetic writings are addressed. According to Firmicus Maternus, the system was subsequently handed down to an Egyptian pharaoh named Nechepso and his priest Petosiris, they are said to have written several major textbooks which explicated the system and it is from this text that many of the Hellenistic astrologers draw from and cite directly.
This system formed the basis of all forms of horoscopic astrology. In 525 BCE Egypt was conquered by the Persians so there is to have been some Mesopotamian influence on Egyptian astrology. Arguing in favour of this, Barton gives an example of what appears to be Mesopotamian influence on the zodiac, which included two signs – the Balance and the Scorpion, as evidenced in the Dendera Zodiac. After the occupation by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, Egypt came under Greek influence; the city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander after the conquest and during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, the scholars of Alexandria were prolific writers. It was in'Alexandrian Egypt' that Babylonian astrology was mixed with the Egyptian tradition of Decanic astrology to create Horoscopic astrology; this contained the Babylonian zodiac with its system of planetary exaltations, the triplicities of the signs and the importance of eclipses. Along with this it incorporated the Egyptian concept of dividing the zodiac into thirty-six decans of ten degrees each, with an emphasis on the rising decan, the Greek system of planetary Gods, sign rulership and four elements.
The decans were a system of time measurement according to the constellations. They were led by the constellation Sothis or Sirius; the risings of the decans in the night were used to divide the night into ‘hours’. The rising of a constellation just before sunrise was considered the last hour of the night. Over the course of the year, each constellation rose just before sunrise for ten days; when they became part of the astrology of the Hellenistic Age, each decan was associated with ten degrees of the zodiac. Texts from the 2nd century BCE list predictions relating to the positions of planets in zodiac signs at the time of the rising of certain decans Sothis. Important in the development of horoscopic astrology was the astrologer and astronomer Ptolemy, who lived in Alexandria in Egypt. Ptolemy's work; the earliest Zodiac found in Egypt dates to the Dendera Zodiac. According to Firmicus Maternus, the system of horoscopic astrology was given early on to an Egyptian pharao
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
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In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
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Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has the longest rotation period of any planet in the Solar System and rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets, it does not have any natural satellites. It is named after the Roman goddess of beauty, it is the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6 – bright enough to cast shadows at night and visible to the naked eye in broad daylight. Orbiting within Earth's orbit, Venus is an inferior planet and never appears to venture far from the Sun. Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" because of their similar size, proximity to the Sun, bulk composition, it is radically different from Earth in other respects. It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting of more than 96% carbon dioxide; the atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of Earth, or the pressure found 900 m underwater on Earth.
Venus is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System, with a mean surface temperature of 735 K though Mercury is closer to the Sun. Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light, it may have had water oceans in the past, but these would have vaporized as the temperature rose due to a runaway greenhouse effect. The water has photodissociated, the free hydrogen has been swept into interplanetary space by the solar wind because of the lack of a planetary magnetic field. Venus's surface is a dry desertscape interspersed with slab-like rocks and is periodically resurfaced by volcanism; as one of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus has been a major fixture in human culture for as long as records have existed. It has been made sacred to gods of many cultures, has been a prime inspiration for writers and poets as the morning star and evening star. Venus was the first planet to have its motions plotted across the sky, as early as the second millennium BC.
As the planet with the closest approach to Earth, Venus has been a prime target for early interplanetary exploration. It was the first planet beyond Earth visited by a spacecraft, the first to be landed on. Venus's thick clouds render observation of its surface impossible in visible light, the first detailed maps did not emerge until the arrival of the Magellan orbiter in 1991. Plans have been proposed for rovers or more complex missions, but they are hindered by Venus's hostile surface conditions. Venus is one of the four terrestrial planets in the Solar System, meaning that it is a rocky body like Earth, it is similar to Earth in size and mass, is described as Earth's "sister" or "twin". The diameter of Venus is 12,103.6 km —only 638.4 km less than Earth's—and its mass is 81.5% of Earth's. Conditions on the Venusian surface differ radically from those on Earth because its dense atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide, with most of the remaining 3.5% being nitrogen. The Venusian surface was a subject of speculation until some of its secrets were revealed by planetary science in the 20th century.
Venera landers in 1975 and 1982 returned images of a surface covered in sediment and angular rocks. The surface was mapped in detail by Magellan in 1990–91; the ground shows evidence of extensive volcanism, the sulfur in the atmosphere may indicate that there have been recent eruptions. About 80% of the Venusian surface is covered by smooth, volcanic plains, consisting of 70% plains with wrinkle ridges and 10% smooth or lobate plains. Two highland "continents" make up the rest of its surface area, one lying in the planet's northern hemisphere and the other just south of the equator; the northern continent is called Ishtar Terra after Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love, is about the size of Australia. Maxwell Montes, the highest mountain on Venus, lies on Ishtar Terra, its peak is 11 km above the Venusian average surface elevation. The southern continent is called Aphrodite Terra, after the Greek goddess of love, is the larger of the two highland regions at the size of South America. A network of fractures and faults covers much of this area.
The absence of evidence of lava flow accompanying any of the visible calderas remains an enigma. The planet has few impact craters, demonstrating that the surface is young 300–600 million years old. Venus has some unique surface features in addition to the impact craters and valleys found on rocky planets. Among these are flat-topped volcanic features called "farra", which look somewhat like pancakes and range in size from 20 to 50 km across, from 100 to 1,000 m high; these features are volcanic in origin. Most Venusian surface features are named after mythological women. Exceptions are Maxwell Montes, named after James Clerk Maxwell, highland regions Alpha Regio, Beta Regio, Ovda Regio; the latter three features were named before the current system was adopted by the International Astronomical Union, the body which oversees planetary nomenclature. The longitudes of physical features on Venus are expressed relative to its prime meridian; the original prime meridian passed through the radar-bright spot at the centre o