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Thanatos

In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the personification of death. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology referred to but appearing in person, his name is transliterated in Latin as Thanatus, but his equivalent in Roman mythology is Mors or Letum. Mors is sometimes erroneously identified with Orcus, whose Greek equivalent was Horkos, God of the Oath; the Greek poet Hesiod established in his Theogony that Thánatos is a son of Nyx and Erebos and twin of Hypnos. Homer confirmed Hypnos and Thanatos as twin brothers in his epic poem, the Iliad, where they were charged by Zeus via Apollo with the swift delivery of the slain hero Sarpedon to his homeland of Lycia. "Then gave him into the charge of swift messengers to carry him, of Hypnos and Thanatos, who are twin brothers, these two presently laid him down within the rich countryside of broad Lycia." Counted among Thanatos' siblings were other negative personifications such as Geras, Moros, Momus, Eris and the Acherousian/Stygian boatman Charon. Thanatos was loosely associated with the three Moirai Atropos, a goddess of death in her own right.

He is occasionally specified as being exclusive to peaceful death, while the bloodthirsty Keres embodied violent death. His duties as a Guide of the Dead were sometimes superseded by Hermes Psychopompos. Conversely, Thanatos may have originated as a mere aspect of Hermes before becoming distinct from him; the god's character is established by Hesiod in the following passage of the Theogony: And there the children of dark Night have their dwellings and Death, awful gods. The glowing Sun never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven, nor as he comes down from heaven, and the former of them roams peacefully over the earth and the sea's broad back and is kindly to men. Thanatos was thus regarded as merciless and indiscriminate, hated by – and hateful towards — mortals and gods alike, but in myths which feature him, Thanatos could be outwitted, a feat that the sly King Sisyphus of Korinth twice accomplished. When it came time for Sisyphus to die, Zeus ordered Thanatos to chain Sisyphus up in Tartarus.

Sisyphus cheated death by tricking Thanatos into his own shackles, thereby prohibiting the demise of any mortal while Thanatos was so enchained. Ares, the bloodthirsty god of war, grew frustrated with the battles he incited since neither side suffered any casualties, he handed his captor over to the god. Sisyphus would evade Death a second time by convincing Persephone to allow him to return to his wife stating that she never gave him a proper funeral; this time, Sisyphus was forcefully dragged back to the Underworld by Hermes when Sisyphus refused to accept his death. Sisyphus was sentenced to an eternity of frustration in Tartarus where he rolled a boulder up a hill and it would roll back down when he got close to the top. A fragment of Alcaeus, a Greek lyric poet of the 6th century BC, refers to this episode: "King Sisyphos, son of Aiolos, wisest of men, supposed that he was master of Thanatos. Sisyphus, son of Aiolos was a more than mortal figure: for mortals Thanatos presents an inexorable fate, but he was only once overpowered, by the mythical hero Heracles.

Thanatos was consigned to take the soul of Alkestis, who had offered her life in exchange for the continued life of her husband, King Admetos of Pherai. Heracles was an honored guest in the House of Admetos at the time, he offered to repay the king's hospitality by contending with Death itself for Alkestis' life; when Thanatos ascended from Hades to claim Alkestis, Heracles sprung upon the god and overpowered him, winning the right to have Alkestis revived. Thanatos cheated of his quarry. Euripides, in Alcestis: "Thanatos: Much talk. Talking will win you nothing. All the same, the woman goes with me to Hades' house. I go to take her now, dedicate her with my sword, for all whose hair is cut in consecration by this blade's edge are devoted to the gods below." An Orphic Hymn that invoked Thanatos, here given in late 18th century translation: In eras, as the transition from life to death in Elysium became a more attractive option, Thanatos came to be seen as a beautiful Ephebe. He became associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise.

Many Roman sarcophagi depict him as a winged boy much akin to Cupid: "Eros with crossed legs and torch reversed became the commonest of all symbols for Death", observes Arthur Bernard Cook. Thanatos has been portrayed as a slumbering infant in the arms of his mother Nyx, or as a youth carrying a butterfly or a wreath of poppies, he is shown carrying an inverted torch, representing a life extinguished. He is described as winged and with a sword sheathed at his belt. In Euripides' Alcestis, he is depicted carrying a sword. Thanatos was portrayed in art without his twin brother Hypnos. Thanatos is famously shown on the Euphronios Krator where he and his brother Hy

Eleanor Spence

Eleanor Spence was an Australian author of novels for young adults and older children. Her books explore a wide range of issues, including Australian history, autism, bigotry and alienation, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2006 Australia Day Honours. Eleanor Rachel Therese Spence was born on 21 October 1928 in Australia, she attended the University of Sydney, gaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. During the next decade she worked as a children's librarian; these experiences led to her interest in writing for young people. Her first novel, Patterson's Track, was published in 1958. Eleanor Spence was awarded the CBCA Book of the Year in 1964 for The Green Laurel and in 1977 for The October Child. Me and Jeshua and The Family Book of Mary Claire received CBCA commendations, Seventh Pebble won the Ethel Turner prize. In 1999, Eleanor Spence received the Australia Council for the Arts Emeritus award for her outstanding and livelong contribution to Australian literature.

In 2006 she became a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to Australian literature and her services to autism. She died in Erina, New South Wales on 30 September 2008, aged 79. All Eleanor Spence's books are set in New South Wales, with an emphasis on authentic Australian settings and characterisations; the Family Book of Mary Claire covers the extraordinary history of two families on the NSW coast. The Switherby Pilgrims and Jamberoo Road are about early settlers in the state, orphaned "pilgrims" from England, struggling to establish a new home in the untamed Australia of the 1820s. Two books, Me and Jeshua and Miranda Going Home, are set by contrast in first century Palestine; the first is about the childhood of Jesus of Nazareth, the second about the daughter of a mixed marriage between a Jewish woman and a Roman centurion. Many of her books demonstrate acute observation of family life, revealed with sensitivity and humour; the Somerville family in The Green Laurel is one example.

She has spoken of a childhood fascination with orphans: "I yearned to adopt neglected infants, had to settle for adopting stray kittens or turning my assortment of dolls into orphanage-waifs." and orphans feature in her books, notably the settler books and The Left Overs. Eleanor Spence was one of the first authors for older children to include issues such as disability and homosexuality in her books. Glen, the protagonist of The Nothing Place is deaf, he strikes up a friendship with another "outsider", Reggie, an old meths drinker. Douglas in The October Child resents having to look after his younger brother Carl, whose autism has disrupted their happy family. In A Candle for St. Antony Justin's friendship with Rudi develops an intensity he lacks the maturity to deal with; the Seventh Pebble deals with teen pregnancy. In Time to go Home Rowan's decision to coach an Aboriginal boy to play his beloved Rugby Union leads to trouble. In her books she presents the situation of the young person, in some way an outsider in his social setting.

This alienation becomes the springboard for learning to overcome difficulties and growing in self-knowledge and self-confidence. Maurice Saxby, the children's literature expert, wrote: "More than any other writers, Eleanor Spence and Joan Phipson have helped guide the direction of Australian children's literature in the past 30 years, they have both expressed in their novels of family life not only social changes but the concerns and preoccupations of a growingly complex Australian society." "Her fine characterizations, touches of humor, insight into youth give Mrs. Spence's novels appeal far beyond her own land.""Eleanor Spence: Observer of Family Life" in Innocence and Experience: Essays on Contemporary Australian Children's Writers, by Walter McVitty, pp 67–98. This is an overview and analysis of Spence's work, including a brief biographical sketch and a bibliography of her books. "Eleanor Spence is a writer with whose work increased familiarity breeds content—beyond the apparent blandness a richly rewarding experience awaits the reader, prepared to give it the close attention it deserves."

"A Conversation with Eleanor Spence," by Paul J. Bisnette, in Orana: Journal of School and Children's Librarianship 17. Spence discusses her work in an interview. "Eleanor Spence: A Critical Appreciation" by Ruth Grgurich, in Orana 18, analyses Spence's fiction for teenagers. Patterson's Track The Summer In Between Lillipilly Hill The Green Laurel The Year of the Currawong The Switherby Pilgrims Jamberoo Road The Nothing Place Time to go Home The October Child A Candle for St. Antony Seventh Pebble The Left Overs Me and Jeshua Miranda Going Home Deezle Boy Another October Child: Recollections of Eleanor Spence The Family Book of Mary Claire Another Sparrow Singing Obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald

Astino Abbey

Astino Abbey is a former Roman Catholic monastery in the Astino Valley, in the Province of Bergamo, region of Lombardy, Italy. It is no longer active; the buildings were restored in 2015. Astino Abbey was founded around the year 1070 by a group of members of the Vallumbrosan Order led by John Gualbert during a time in which, through reforms, clerics were trying to revive the Catholic Church's position; the Romanesque church and the first conventual buildings were built by Bertario, the first abbot, who supervised the abbey for 21 years until 1128. The monastery was suppressed on 4 July 1797 by the civil authorities of Bergamo, its assets were given to the nearby hospital and run by the monks. In 1832 the site was put to use as a psychiatric hospital, which it remained until 1892, it was used for agricultural purposes, was sold to private buyers in 1923. In 1973 the property was acquired by a private company for conversion into a golfing centre, but the plan ran into so much opposition that it never came to fruition, the monastery buildings had been left neglected until 2015.

The Church of "Santo Sepolcro" had been rebuilt over the centuries. The base of the belltower now has a baroque superstructure; the building includes a cloister of the 15th century and a chapel to the memory of Blessed Guallo de Roniis, exiled bishop of Brescia. Fulvio Adobati, Moris Lorenzi. Astino e la sua valle. Clusone, Ferrari editrice, 1997. Maria Luisa Angelini. I monasteri di Bergamo. Bergamo, La Rivista di Bergamo, 1979. Manela Bandini. La Valle d'Astino, in Progetto il colle di Bergamo. Bergamo, Lubrina. Mario Locatelli. Bergamo nei suoi monasteri. Bergamo ed. Il Conventino, 1986. Mario Lupo. Codex diplomaticus ecclesiae Bergomatis. Bergamo, 1784-1788. AA. VV. Il parco dei colli di Bergamo: introduzione alla conoscenza del terriotrio. Bergamo, 1986. AA, VV. La presenza dei benedettini a Bergamo e nelle bergamasca. Bergamo, APB, 1984. "Overview". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22