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Thucydides

Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" by those who accept his claims to have applied strict standards of impartiality and evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect, without reference to intervention by the deities, as outlined in his introduction to his work, he has been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the political behavior of individuals and the subsequent outcomes of relations between states as mediated by, constructed upon, the emotions of fear and self-interest. His text is still studied at military colleges worldwide; the Melian dialogue is regarded as a seminal work of international relations theory, while his version of Pericles' Funeral Oration is studied by political theorists and students of the classics. More Thucydides developed an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plagues and civil war.

In spite of his stature as a historian, modern historians know little about Thucydides's life. The most reliable information comes from his own History of the Peloponnesian War, in which he mentions his nationality and birthplace. Thucydides says that he fought in the war, contracted the plague, was exiled by the democracy, he may have been involved in quelling the Samian Revolt. Thucydides identifies himself as an Athenian, telling us that his father's name was Olorus and that he was from the Athenian deme of Halimous, he survived the Plague of Athens, which killed many other Athenians. He records that he owned gold mines at Scapte Hyle, a coastal area in Thrace, opposite the island of Thasos; because of his influence in the Thracian region, Thucydides wrote, he was sent as a strategos to Thasos in 424 BC. During the winter of 424–423 BC, the Spartan general Brasidas attacked Amphipolis, a half-day's sail west from Thasos on the Thracian coast, sparking the Battle of Amphipolis. Eucles, the Athenian commander at Amphipolis, sent to Thucydides for help.

Brasidas, aware the presence of Thucydides on Thasos and his influence with the people of Amphipolis, afraid of help arriving by sea, acted to offer moderate terms to the Amphipolitans for their surrender, which they accepted. Thus, when Thucydides arrived, Amphipolis was under Spartan control. Amphipolis was of considerable strategic importance, news of its fall caused great consternation in Athens, it was blamed on Thucydides, although he claimed that it was not his fault and that he had been unable to reach it in time. Because of his failure to save Amphipolis, he was exiled: I lived through the whole of it, being of an age to comprehend events, giving my attention to them in order to know the exact truth about them, it was my fate to be an exile from my country for twenty years after my command at Amphipolis. Using his status as an exile from Athens to travel among the Peloponnesian allies, he was able to view the war from the perspective of both sides. Thucydides claimed that he began writing his history as soon as the war broke out, because he thought it would be one of the greatest wars waged among the Greeks in terms of scale:Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, believing that it would be a great war, more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it.

This is all that Thucydides wrote about his own life, but a few other facts are available from reliable contemporary sources. Herodotus wrote that the name Olorus, Thucydides's father's name, was connected with Thrace and Thracian royalty. Thucydides was connected through family to the Athenian statesman and general Miltiades and his son Cimon, leaders of the old aristocracy supplanted by the Radical Democrats. Cimon's maternal grandfather's name was Olorus, making the connection quite likely. Another Thucydides lived before the historian and was linked with Thrace, making a family connection between them likely as well. Combining all the fragmentary evidence available, it seems that his family had owned a large estate in Thrace, one that contained gold mines, which allowed the family considerable and lasting affluence; the security and continued prosperity of the wealthy estate must have necessitated formal ties with local kings or chieftains, which explains the adoption of the distinctly Thracian royal name Óloros into the family.

Once exiled, Thucydides took permanent residence in the estate and, given his ample income from the gold mines, he was able to dedicate himself to full-time history writing and research, including many fact-finding trips. In essence, he was a well-connected gentleman of considerable resources who, after involuntarily retiring from the political and military spheres, decided to fund his own historical investigations; the remaining evidence for Thucydides' life comes from and rather less reliable ancient sources. According to Pausanias, someone named Oenobius had a law passed allowing Thucydides to return to Athens shortly after the city's surrender and the end of the war in 404 BC. Pausanias goes on to say that Thucydides was murdered on his way back to Athens, placing his tomb near the Melite gate. Many

Kazem Rajavi

Dr. Kazem Rajavi was a renowned human rights advocate and elder brother of Iranian Mujahedin leader Massoud Rajavi, he engaged in international endeavors to defend human rights in Iran. At the age of 56, he held six doctorate degrees in the fields of law, political science, sociology from the universities of Paris and Geneva, he is believed to have been assassinated by Islamic Republic of Iran agents. Kazem Rajavi was Iran's first Ambassador to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Shortly after his appointment, he resigned his post in protest to the "repressive policies and terrorist activities of the ruling clerics in Iran", he intensified his campaign against mass executions, arbitrary arrests, torture carried out by Iran's theocratic leadership. He became the representative of the People's Mujahedin of Iran's opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran in Switzerland, where he was a university professor in Geneva. 162 members of Congress referred to as "a great advocate of human rights, who had dedicated his life to establishment of democracy in his homeland."Rajavi had received several threats from agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but continued his work as a dissident and human rights activist.

On 24 April 1990, he was gunned down in broad daylight by several agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security of Iran as he was driving to his home in Coppet, a municipality near Geneva. Rajavi's assassination required enormous resources, extensive planning, coordination among several of the Iranian governments' organizations. After extensive investigations, Roland Chatelain, the Swiss magistrate in charge of the case, Swiss judicial and police officials confirmed the role of Iran's government under Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and the participation of thirteen official agents of the Iranian government who had used "service passports" to enter Switzerland for their plot. Swiss magistrates issued an international arrest warrant for a former Iranian intelligence minister, Ali Fallahian. Fallahian along with 13 Iranian diplomats are wanted on charges of murdering Kazem Rajavi; the European Parliament "condemned the Islamic Republic both for the assassination and for the continuous violation of human rights inside and outside the country."

In 1992, French security agents arrested two people in Paris suspected of assassinating Kazem Rajavi. Swiss security agents requested their extradition, a French court authorized it. However, the French government refused the extradition, explaining that "that it was of a superior interest to France not to extradite them"; the two suspects, named Mohsen Sharif Esfahani and Ahmed Taheri, were extradited to Iran. In 1996 during a trip to Turkey to help Iranian refugees, Rajavi's wife Zahra Rajabi and a senior figure in the NCRI were killed by a hit squad. Ruthless Assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi Swiss orders arrest of Iranian ex-minister

Monique Velzeboer

Monique Cornelia Annamaria Velzeboer is a Dutch skater and photographer. At the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988 she won Gold and bronze in the short track skating discipline, when short-track speed skating was held as a demonstration sport, she ranked 4th in the 500 metres of the 1992 Winter Olympics. Her life as an elite sport star ended early, during a training for the 1994 Winter Olympics Monique had a bad fall in Font-Romeu and she broke both her wrists and became paraplegic. After a difficult period Monique is now full of life. Monique is a photographer and travels around the world to the most impressive places to photograph, she was in Mexico, Rwanda and Nepal. Monique photographs for the Liliane Fund, a Fund, committed to children with disabilities in developing countries. Through the Monique Velzeboer Foundation, she sells photos, calendars and the proceeds are going to the Liliane Fund, her two siblings and Mark were speed skaters. Monique Velzeboer Foundation Monique Velzeboer Photography