Testudo formation

In Ancient Roman warfare, the testudo or tortoise formation was a type of shield wall formation used by the Roman Legions during battles sieges. In the testudo formation, the men would align their shields to form a packed formation covered with shields on the front and top; the first row of men excluding the men on the flanks, would hold their shields from about the height of their shins to their eyes, so as to cover the formation's front. The shields would be held in such a way; the men in the back ranks would place their shields over their heads to protect the formation from above, balancing the shields on their helmets, overlapping them. If necessary, the legionaries on the sides and rear of the formation could stand sideways or backwards with shields held as the front rows, so as to protect the formation's sides and rear. Plutarch describes this formation as used by Mark Antony during his invasion of Parthia in 36 BC: Then the shield-bearers wheeled round and enclosed the light-armed troops within their ranks, dropped down to one knee, held their shields out as a defensive barrier.

The men behind them held their shields over the heads of the first rank, while the third rank did the same for the second rank. The resulting shape, a remarkable sight, looks like a roof, is the surest protection against arrows, which just glance off it. Cassius Dio writes about the testudo when describing the campaign of Mark Antony in 36 BC: This testudo and the way in which it is formed are as follows; the Baggage animals, the light-armed troops, the cavalry are placed in the center of the army. The heavy-armed troops who use the oblong, cylindrical shields are drawn up around the outside, making a rectangular figure, facing outward and holding their arms at the ready, they enclose the rest; the others who have flat shields, form a compact body in the center and raise their shields over the heads of all the others so that nothing but shields can be seen in every part of the phalanx alike and all the men by the density of the formation are under shelter from missiles. Indeed, it is so marvelously strong that men can walk upon it and whenever they come to a narrow ravine horses and vehicles can be driven over it.

The testudo was used to protect soldiers from all types of missiles. It could be formed by immobile troops on the march; the primary drawback to the formation was that, because of its density, the men found it more difficult to fight in hand-to-hand combat and because the men were required to move in unison, speed was sacrificed. As "phoulkon", it played a great role in the tactics employed by the Byzantines against their eastern enemies; the testudo was not invincible, as Cassius Dio gives an account of a Roman shield array being defeated by Parthian cataphracts and horse archers at the Battle of Carrhae: For if decided to lock shields for the purpose of avoiding the arrows by the closeness of their array, the were upon them with a rush, striking down some, at least scattering the others. The testudo was a common formation in the Middle Ages, being used by the Carolingian Frankish soldiers of Louis the Pious to advance on the walls of Barcelona during the siege of 800–801, by Vikings during the Siege of Paris in 885–886, by East Frankish soldiers under king Arnulf of Carinthia during the siege of Bergamo in 894, by Lotharingians under Conrad the Red at the siege of Senlis in 949, by Lotharingian defenders at the siege of Verdun in 984 and by the Crusaders of count Raymond IV of Toulouse during the Siege of Nicaea in 1097.

During the Euromaidan protests in Kiev, Ukraine in 2014 the Berkut riot police used the testudo tactic to protect themselves. Israeli forces have been known to use the formation. Mesopotamian military strategy and tactics Phoulkon Roman infantry tactics Scutum Dio Cassius, Roman History Book 49, 30, ed. Loeb Classical Library ISBN 0-674-99091-9 Bachrach, David S.. Warfare in Tenth-Century Germany. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-762-6. Bradbury, Jim; the Medieval Siege. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0851153575. Cowan, Roman Battle Tactics 109BC - AD313 Rance, Philip, “The Fulcum, the Late Roman and Byzantine Testudo: the Germanization of Roman Infantry Tactics?” in Greek and Byzantine Studies 44 pp. 265–326 Plutarch, Roman Lives, ed. Robin Waterfield ISBN 978-0-19-282502-5 Dio Cassius, Roman History Book 49, 30 ed. Loeb Classical Library ISBN 0-674-99091-9 Media related to Testudo formations at Wikimedia Commons

Postage stamps and postal history of Guam

The postage stamps and postal history of Guam is an overview of the postage stamps and postal history of the United States territory of Guam. Its postal service is linked to those of the Philippines during the Spanish Empire and, since 1898, to the United States of America. A peculiarity is; because the US Postal administration issued the same stamps in Guam as in the United States, cancellations are the only way to identify a stamp as having been used in the island. Between the 1930s and 1970s, during the creation of trans-Pacific airways, stops at Guam were commemorated with special illustrated marks. During the Spanish Empire, Guam was considered part of the Mariana Islands that were claimed by Spain since the 16th century. Between 1876 and 1882 stamps used are those of the Philippines illustrating a portrait of King Alfonso XII, the Spanish coat of arms and, after 1890, the child profile of Alfonso XIII. Following the victory of the United States in the war of 1898, in December 1898 Spain agreed by the treaty of Paris to sell the island of Guam, while the others Mariana islands became part of the German Empire.

US troops had been present since an invasion the previous June. In 1899, when it began to administer the island, the US Navy issued eleven postage stamps overprinted "GUAM"; these were from the definitive series illustrating with portraits of US presidents or major personalities. This series was first issued between 1890 and 1894; the denominations and colors used for Guam are from 1898 -- 1899 issues. When the United States Post Office Department took charge of the postal service of Guam in March 1901, the local population, soldiers from the US Navy base and indigenous Chamorros, had to use US stamps without any distinctive marks. Since 1901, only a Guam town cancellation indicates domestic posting; this situation is common to others insular unincorporated territories of the United States, such as, Northern Mariana Islands since 1944, Virgin Islands since 1917, Puerto Rico since 1900 and American Samoa since 1899. The existence of a local post at the beginning of the 1930s and the Japan occupation periods were exceptions.

Since its annexation, Guam was the subject of one postage stamp produced by the United States Postal Service. On June 1, 2007 a 90-cent stamp, part of the airmail series "Scenic American Landscapes" depicting a sunset on a beach and the Hagåtña Bay was released; the island's name was included on the central label of the 50th Anniversary of the World War II miniature sheets of ten stamps each, issued between 1991 and 1995. Until the 1930s, the USPOD office in Guam didn't deliver mail to addressee's home or businesses. To accomplish this, the military governor, Commander Willis Winter Bradley Jr. created a local post service on April 8, 1930. Bordallo's Taxi was used to carry the mail; the 15 miles run from Agana to Agat with stops in Asan and Sumay, was made twice a day, six times a week. The arrangements with Bordallo was on a gratis basis, but as the amount of mail increased, he was paid $5.00 per month. The service was equipped with bags, mail boxes, canceling stamps, signs with Bordallo's bus line as carriers for the mail.

Commissioners of the various villages served were given the duty of providing local postal service. These commissioners did not live in their village and so had to delegate authority to others to handle the mail. No specific records exists of the names of those persons who first handled the mails, but the following, listed in the "Guam Recorder" of January 1930 were the commissioners who can logically be called the first Guam Guard Mail Postmasters in their several villages: Agana: Chief Commissioner of Guam Island Antonio C. Suarez Agat: Tomas C. Charfauros Asan: Santiago A. Limitiaco Inarajan: Enrique P. Naputi Merizo: Juan E. Lujan Piti: Joaquin Torres Sumay: Joaquin C. Diaz On August 29, 1930 the Guam Guard Mail service was extended to the southern part of the island with stations at Merizo and Inarajan; this route included Umatac. The route was by bus from Agana to Piti and to Merizo via the semi-weekly boat service. From Merizo to Inarajan by Island Government truck. Stamps were issued to mark the payment of this service.

On April 8, 1930, two stamps of the Philippines were issued with the overprint in black GUAM / GUARD / MAIL: they are the 2 centavos green José Rizal" and 4 centavos red picturing president William McKinley. 2,000 of the 2-centavos and 3,000 of the 4-centavos were issued in sheets of 100. On July 10, 1930, two stamps were issued depicting the Guam coat of arms; these 1-cent and 2-cents are bi-color red, perforated 11 and without gum. 1,000 of 1 cent and 4,000 of the 2 cent were issued is sheets of 25. These two stamps were printed locally on Guam since the first issue had run out and the new supply of stamps had not arrived from the Philippines. On August 21, 1930 the 2-centavos and 4-centavos issued with the overprint in black GUAM / GUARD / MAIL, but using a different font from the first issue; this was necessary since not enough of the older typeset was available to overprint the greater number of stamps. 20,000 of the 2-centavo and 80,000 4-centavo were issued in sheet of 100 with the right handed selvage removed for most right handed sheets.

On December 29, 1930, Philippines stamps were issued with the overprint « GUAM / GUARD / MAIL » in red using the same font as the 3rd issue. The 2-centavos and 4-centavos were used again and a 6-centavos violet « Magellan », 8-centavos brown « López de Legazpi » and 10-centavos blue « Henry Ware Lawton ». 50,000 of the 2 and 4-centavos and 25,000 of the 6, 8, 10-centavos were issued in sheets

Jacksons Lane

Jacksons Lane Arts Centre is a multi-arts venue in Highgate, north London, located in a Grade II listed former Wesleyan Methodist church. The building is home to a 166 capacity theatre, a large scale dance and rehearsal studio, a cafe-bar and four other multi-purpose spaces. Jacksons Lane Arts Centre is'North London's Creative Space' based in Highgate, north London – a theatre, a centre for participation, a space for new circus theatre companies and artists to create and perform; the venue has a history of innovative work including experimental visual theatre companies, contemporary dance and circus. It was acknowledged in Sideshow Magazine's'State of the Circus' report in 2014 as the UK's leading presenter and supporter of contemporary circus. JLAC supports artists every year, it offers mentoring, production, technical support and production. In 2015 has commissioned two brand new productions as part of its 40th Birthday, involving emerging collective Silver Lining with Throwback and a brand new work from Gandini Juggling – Meta.

Jacksons Lane was hailed as'The Innovator' and'a breeding ground for fast-rising talent' By Time Out London magazine. The annual Postcards Festival runs each Summer with range of circus and performance. JLAC is a venue for Circusfest in association with The Roundhouse, hosts several productions each year as part of The London International Mime Festival and supports the annual Total Theatre Award for Circus at the Edinburgh Festival. Established names and companies such as Complicite, The Mighty Boosh, Shared Experience, Stephen Merchant, Out of Joint and Frantic Assembly have all performed or developed work at Jacksons Lane over the venue's 40-year history. Matt Lucas and David Walliams started out at Jacksons Lane. Jacksons Lane was the venue for the European Juggling Convention in 1980. Partners include Circus Space, Crying Out Loud, The Place and Sadlers Wells. JLAC is managed by a board of trustees, chaired by co-founder Melian Mansfield. JLAC has six spaces including its 166-person capacity main theatre, as well as one of the largest dance and rehearsal spaces in the UK.

The theatre itself won a RIBA Community Enterprise award for its design by Tim Ronalds Architects:'‘Socially and technically the design offers inspirational lessons". JLAC is funded by Arts Council England, John Lyons Charity and Children In Need. Highgate or Jackson's Lane Wesleyan Methodist church was opened in 1905, on the current site at the corner of Archway Road and Jacksons Lane; the building was of red brick with stone dressings, designed in an early Gothic style included a Sunday school and was designed by W. H. Boney of Highgate; the church seated 650 and the schoolroom 400. Jackson's Lane was well known during the 1960s for its community work; the church was closed in 1975 and reopened to begin its new incarnation as an arts centre and centre for the North London community. Official Site