Pompeii was an ancient Roman city near modern Naples in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Volcanic ash buried inhabitants who did not escape the lethal effects of the earthquake and eruption. Preserved under the ash, the excavated city offers a unique snapshot of Roman life, frozen at the moment it was buried and providing an extraordinarily detailed insight into the everyday life of its inhabitants. Organic remains, including wooden objects and human bodies, were entombed in the ash and decayed away, making natural molds; the numerous graffiti carved on the walls and inside rooms provides a wealth of examples of the lost Vulgar Latin spoken colloquially, contrasting with the formal language of the classical writers. Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with 2.5 million visitors every year.
Excavations recommenced in several unexplored areas of the city, in 2018 new discoveries were reported. Pompeii in Latin is a second declension plural noun. According to Theodor Kraus, "The root of the word Pompeii would appear to be the Oscan word for the number five, which suggests that either the community consisted of five hamlets or it was settled by a family group." The ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern town of Pompei and about 8 km away from Mount Vesuvius. It stands on a spur about 40 m above sea level formed by an ancient lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River. Three sheets of sediment from large landslides lie on top of the lava triggered by extended rainfall. Today, Pompeii is some distance inland, it covered a total of 64 to 67 hectares and was home to 11,000 to 11,500 people, on the basis of household counts. The first stable settlements on the site date back to the 8th century BC when the Oscans, a people of central Italy, founded five villages in the area.
With the arrival of the Greeks in Campania from around 740 BC Pompeii entered into the orbit of the Hellenic people and the most important building of this period is the Doric Temple, built not near the centre, but in a more isolated position in what would become the Triangular Forum, as the Greeks wanted to control just the streets and the port. At the same time the cult of Apollo was introduced. Greek and Phoenician sailors used the location as a safe port. Around the 6th century BC, it merged into a single community on the important crossroad between Cumae and Stabiae and was surrounded by a tufa city wall, it began to flourish and the first maritime trade started with the construction of a small port near the mouth of the river. The earliest settlement was focussed in regions VII and VIII of the town as identified from stratigraphy below the Samnite and Roman buildings. 524 BC saw the arrival and settlement of the Etruscans in the area including Pompeii, finding in the river Sarno a communication route between the sea and the interior.
To the Greeks, the Etruscans did not conquer the city militarily, but controlled it and Pompeii enjoyed a sort of autonomy. Pompeii became a member of the Etruscan League of cities. Recent excavations have shown the presence of a 6th-century BC necropolis. Under the Etruscans a primitive forum or simple market square was built, as well as the temple of Apollo, in both of which objects including fragments of bucchero were found by Maiuri. Several houses were built with typical of this people; the city wall was strengthened in the early 5th century BC with two façades of thin, vertically set, slabs of Sarno limestone some 4 m apart filled with earth. In 474 BC the Greek city of Cumae, allied with Syracuse, conquered the Etruscans definitively at the Battle of Cumae and gained control of the area; the period between about 450–375 BC witnessed large areas of the city being abandoned while important sanctuaries such as the Temple of Apollo show a sudden lack of votive material remains. The Samnites, people coming from the areas of Abruzzo and Molise, allies of the Romans, conquered Greek Cumae between 423 and 420 BC and it is that in advance, all the surrounding territory, including Pompeii, was conquered around 424 BC.
The new rulers imposed their architecture and enlarged the town. From 343 BC the first Roman army entered the Campanian plain bringing with it the customs and traditions of Rome and in the Roman war against the Latins the Samnites were faithful to Rome. Pompeii, although governed by the Samnites, entered in effect in the Roman orbit, to which it remained faithful during the third Samnite war and in the war against Pyrrhus; the city walls were reinforced in Sarno stone in the early 3rd century BC. It formed the basis for the visible walls with an outer wall of rectangular limestone blocks as an enormous terrace wall supporting a large agger, or earth embankment, behind it. After the Samnite Wars from 290 BC, Pompeii was forced to accept the status of socii of Rome, however and administrative autonomy. From the outbreak of the Second Punic War in which Pompeii remained faithful to Rome, an addit
Rainer Maria Latzke
Rainer Maria Latzke is a German artist working in the field of Trompe l'oeil and mural painting. He is founder of the Institute of Frescography. Latzke is Honorary Professor of the Fudan University and Guest Professor of the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art. Latzke is named by the Forbes magazine as one of the most influential painters of the 90´s decade and ranked by Artists Trade Union of Russia amongst the world-best artists of the last four centuries, he is a cousin of Poland´s wealthiest entrepreneur Jan Kulczyk. Rainer Maria Latzke was born in Germany in 1950, he was raised near Cologne along with his 8 siblings by his Father Alfons, an art teacher, his mother Lisa, an artist. His father´s family comes from Poland, while his mother was a born Kohlschütter, a family of famous scientists such as Arnold and Ernst Kohlschütter. Latzke studied art and Educational Science at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz Germany, continued Art studies from 1972 to 1976 at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts under the supervision of Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter.
In 1974 he earned a master's degree in Pedagogy, Philosophy and in 1976 the title of a Master Student as well as a master's degree in Arts. After teaching art for two years, he quit and traveled to Italy in 1980 where he studied Renaissance painting techniques and fresco painting in Florence and Rome. In 1981 he married Doris Boecke, with whom he had three children, Rene Marcus, married to English artist Paula Hammond, Katharina Maria and Maurice Amadeus. In 2008 his first grandchild, Tristan Francis, was born to Katharina, married to US citizen Paul Smith. In 1982 his career as a muralist started to advance: His collaboration with Harrods in London opened doors to prominent clients, like royal families in the Middle East, he worked for Mercedes Benz, for whom he designed the artwork for their 100-year celebration exhibition "Welt Mobil", prominent rock bands like The Scorpions, for whom he created the computer-controlled electronic mural "Night over Manhattan". In 1992 he was featured by the European issue of Forbes magazine in the article "Stars of tomorrow - cultural trendsetters with major input of the decade".
In 1984 Latzke acquired the 1760 built "Chateau Thal" in Belgium and restored the 38-room castle as well decorated it with numerous murals. He taught mural painting to apprentices in the castle's studio, who opened their own wall painting studios which led to a new Renaissance of wall painting in contemporary Interior Design. After his move to Monte Carlo in 1995 he acquired the "Villa Paradou" the former residence of late Henri Chrétien, the Oscar-winning inventor of the Cinemascope technique, in 1998; the villa, built by French architect Charles Garnier was due to after being abandoned for a longer time in poor condition. Latzke refurbished the estate consisting of two buildings situated in an overgrown park and restored the existing wall paintings. In 1998 he published the book "Traumwelten - Die Kunst der Dritten Dimension" and in 1990 "Dreamworlds, the making of a room with illusionary painting". In the Villa Paradou he continued his work in developing new techniques for the production and reproduction of murals, which he had started in Belgium in 1988 with the "Artscape"-technique.
In 2000 he was awarded a patent for his invention of the Frescography. He engaged himself in music, composing songs and lyrics, worked together with South France studio musicians and Phil Palmer, who worked with Roger Daltrey, the Dire Straits. In 2009 Latzke founded the Institute of Frescography, a research and educational Nonprofit organization for mural art. In the late'80s Rainer Maria Latzke began to develop new techniques for the production of murals, which led to the invention of the Frescography and the CAM Software; this patented technique consists of a computer programme, the Dreamworlds Design Studio, which allows the user to assemble individual mural designs using a large selection of cut-out images. Prior to starting a design the dimensions of the wall are entered into the software to create a workspace reflecting the project wall; the designs are transferred in the artist's studio onto a single canvas in wall size and attached on site using a similar procedure as with wallpaper.
Frescographies take only a few hours to design on the computer, are produced and delivered within a short period of time. Retailers advertise, it is being sold by over 300 franchisees in Europe. Frescographies can be seen in public buildings such as the Vienna Rathaus or the world's largest sailboat, the Royal Clipper. There are around 300 Dealers in Europe distributing Latzke's Frescographies under the brand name Frescomaster. In 2009 Rainer Maria Latzke founded the Institute of Frescography; the IOF is an recognized institution. It researches on art history, digital reproduction, printing processes and materials, restoration techniques of mural art. In cooperation with the German Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte the IOF houses a 40,000 images archive of European wall and mural paintings; the archive covers the period between the Gothic ages to the end of the 19th century. Another IOF archive, the "World of Ornaments" consists of 5,000 motifs based on the two greatest encyclopedic collections of ornament from the 19th century chromo-lithographic tradition: Auguste Racinet's L"'Ornement polychrome Volumes I and II" from 1875–1888 and "M. Dupont-Auberville's L'Ornement des tissus" from
Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona was an Italian Baroque painter and architect. Along with his contemporaries and rivals Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, he was one of the key figures in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture, he was an important designer of interior decorations. He was born Pietro Berrettini, but is known by the name of his native town of Cortona in Tuscany, he worked in Rome and Florence. He is best known for his frescoed ceilings such as the vault of the salone or main salon of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome and carried out extensive painting and decorative schemes for the Medici family in Florence and for the Oratorian fathers at the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella in Rome, he painted numerous canvases. Only a limited number of his architectural projects were built but nonetheless they are as distinctive and as inventive as those of his rivals. Berrettini was born into a family of artisans and masons, in Cortona a town in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, he trained in painting in Florence under Andrea Commodi, but soon he departed for Rome at around 1612/3, where he joined the studio of Baccio Ciarpi.
He was involved in fresco decorations at the Palazzo Mattei in 1622-3 under the direction of Agostino Ciampelli and Cardinal Orsini had commissioned from him an Adoration of the Shepherds for San Salvatore in Lauro. In Rome, he had encouragement from many prominent patrons. According to Cortona's biographers his gifted copy of Raphael's Galatea fresco brought him to the attention of Marcello Sacchetti, papal treasurer during the Barberini papacy; such contacts helped him gain an early major commission in Rome, a fresco decoration in the church of Santa Bibiana, being renovated under the direction of Bernini. In 1626, the Sacchetti family engaged Cortona to paint three large canvases of The Sacrifice of Polyxena, The Triumph of Bacchus, The Rape of the Sabines, to paint a series of frescoes in the Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano, near Ostia, using a team that included the young Andrea Sacchi. In the Sacchetti orbit, he met Pope Urban VIII and Cardinal Francesco Barberini, the papal nephew, their patronage of Cortona provided him with ample scope to demonstrate his abilities as a painter of frescoes and canvases.
Fresco cycles were numerous in Cortona's Rome. In 1633, Pope Urban VIII commissioned from Cortona a large fresco painting for the main salon ceiling of the Barberini family palace, it was completed six years following Cortona's influential visit to northern Italy where he would have seen at first hand perspectival works by Paolo Veronese and the colour palette of Titian. Cortona's huge Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power marks a watershed in Baroque painting. Following the architecture of the room, he created the painted illusion of an open airy architectural framework against which figures are situated seen'al di sotto in su' coming into the room itself or floating far above it; the ornamented architectural framework forms five compartments. The central and most significant part celebrates the glorification of the reign of Urban VIII in a light filled scene populated with allegorical figures and Barberini family emblems; the illusion of spatial extension through paint, the grandiose theme and the skill of execution could only astonish and impress the visitor.
However, Cortona's panegyric trompe-l'œil extravaganzas may be less popular in a world familiar with minimalism and such like, yet they are precursors of the sunny figures and cherubim infested with rococo excesses. They contrast markedly with the darker naturalism prominent in Caravaggisti works and with the classicising compositions by painters such as Domenichino and Andrea Sacchi, remind us that Baroque painting could be grand in an epic manner and exuberant in spirit. Cortona had been patronized by the Tuscan community in Rome, hence it was not surprising when he was passing through Florence in 1637, that he should be asked by Grand Duke Ferdinando II de' Medici to paint a series of frescoes intended to represent Ovid's Four Ages of Man in the small Sala della Stufa, a room in the Palazzo Pitti; the first two frescoes represented the "ages" of silver. In 1641, he was recalled to paint the'Bronze Age' and'Iron Age' frescoes, it is said he was guided in the formulation of the allegorical designs by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger.
He thus began work on the decoration of the grand-ducal reception rooms on the first floor of the Palazzo Pitti, now part of the Palatine Gallery. In these five Planetary Rooms, the hierarchical sequence of the deities is based on Ptolomeic cosmology; these ornate ceilings with frescoes and elaborate stucco work celebrate the Medici lineage and the bestowal of virtuous leadership. Pietro left Florence in 1647 to return to Rome, his pupil and collaborator, Ciro Ferri, was left to complete the cycle by the 1660s. For a number of years, Cortona was involved for decades in the decoration of the ceiling frescoes in the Oratorian Chiesa Nuova in Rome, a work not finished until 1665. Other frescoes are in Palazzo Pamphilj in Piazza Navona. In 1660, he executed The Stoning of Saint Stephen for the church of San Ambrogio della Massima in Rome; the work hangs in the Hermitage. Towards the end of his life he devoted much of his time to architecture
Parma is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its architecture, art, prosciutto and surrounding countryside. It is home to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world. Parma is divided into two parts by the stream of the same name; the district on the far side of the river is Oltretorrente. Parma's Etruscan name was adapted by Romans to describe the round shield called Parma; the Italian poet Attilio Bertolucci wrote: "As a capital city it had to have a river. As a little capital it received a stream, dry". Parma was a built-up area in the Bronze Age. In the current position of the city rose a terramare; the "terramare" were ancient villages built of wood on piles according to a defined scheme and squared form. During this age the first necropolis were constructed; the city was most founded and named by the Etruscans, for a parma was a Latin borrowing, as were many Roman terms for particular arms, Parmeal and Parmnial are names that appear in Etruscan inscriptions.
Diodorus Siculus reported that the Romans had changed their rectangular shields for round ones, imitating the Etruscans. Whether the Etruscan encampment was so named because it was round, like a shield, or whether its situation was a shield against the Gauls to the north, is uncertain; the Roman colony was founded in 183 BC, together with Mutina. Parma had a certain importance as a road hub over the Via Claudia, it had a forum, in. In 44 BC, the city was destroyed, Augustus rebuilt it. During the Roman Empire, it gained the title of Julia for its loyalty to the imperial house; the city was subsequently sacked by Attila, given by the Germanic king Odoacer to his followers. During the Gothic War, Totila destroyed it, it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna and, from 569, of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy. During the Middle Ages, Parma became an important stage of the Via Francigena, the main road connecting Rome to Northern Europe. Under Frankish rule, Parma became the capital of a county. Like most northern Italian cities, it was nominally a part of the Holy Roman Empire created by Charlemagne, but locally ruled by its bishops, the first being Guibodus.
In the subsequent struggles between the Papacy and the Empire, Parma was a member of the Imperial party. Two of its bishops became antipopes: Càdalo, founder of the cathedral, as Honorius II. An independent commune was created around 1140. After the Peace of Constance confirmed the Italian communes' rights of self-governance, long-standing quarrels with the neighbouring communes of Reggio Emilia and Cremona became harsher, with the aim of controlling the vital trading line over the Po River; the struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines was a feature of Parma too. In 1213, her podestà was the Guelph Rambertino Buvalelli. After a long stance alongside the emperors, the Papist families of the city gained control in 1248; the city was besieged in 1247–48 by Emperor Frederick II, however crushed in the battle that ensued. Parma fell under the control of Milan in 1341. After a short-lived period of independence under the Terzi family, the Sforza imposed their rule through their associated families of Pallavicino, Sanvitale and Da Correggio.
These created a kind of new feudalism, building castles throughout the city and the land. These fiefs evolved into independent states: the Landi governed the higher Taro's valley from 1257 to 1682; the Pallavicino seignory extended over the eastern part of today's province, with the capital in Busseto. Parma's territories were an exception for Northern Italy, as its feudal subdivision continued until more recent years. For example, Solignano was a Pallavicino family possession until 1805, San Secondo belonged to the Rossi well into the 19th century. Between the 14th and the 15th centuries, Parma was at the centre of the Italian Wars; the Battle of Fornovo was fought in its territory. The French held the city in 1500–1521, with a short Papal parenthesis in 1512–1515. After the foreigners were expelled, Parma belonged to the Papal States until 1545. In that year the Farnese pope, Paul III, detached Parma and Piacenza from the Papal States and gave them as a duchy to his illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, whose descendants ruled in Parma until 1731, when Antonio Farnese, last male of the Farnese line, died.
In 1594 a constitution was promulgated, the University enhanced and the Nobles' College founded. The war to reduce the barons' power continued for several years: in 1612 Barbara Sanseverino was executed in the central square of Parma, together with six other nobles charged of plotting against the duke. At the end of the 17th century, after the defeat of Pallavicini and Landi the Farnese duke could hold with firm hand all Parmense territor
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. The members are called Jesuits; the society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, cultural pursuits. Jesuits give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, promote ecumenical dialogue. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque nobleman from the Pyrenees area of northern Spain, founded the society after discerning his spiritual vocation while recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of Pamplona, he composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber and professed vows of poverty and obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope in matters of mission direction and assignment. Ignatius's plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by a bull containing the "Formula of the Institute".
Ignatius was a nobleman who had a military background, the members of the society were supposed to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. Accordingly, the opening lines of the founding document declared that the society was founded for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." Jesuits are thus sometimes referred to colloquially as "God's soldiers", "God's marines", or "the Company", which evolved from references to Ignatius' history as a soldier and the society's commitment to accepting orders anywhere and to endure any conditions. The society participated in the Counter-Reformation and in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is led by a Superior General. The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome.
The historic curia of Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit mother church. In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis; as of 2012, the Jesuits formed the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The Jesuits have experienced a decline in numbers in recent decades; as of 2017 the society had 16,088 members, 11,583 priests and 4,505 Jesuits in formation, which includes brothers and scholastics. This represents a 42.6 percent decline since 1977, when the society had a total membership of 28,038, of which 20,205 were priests. This decline is most pronounced in Europe and the Americas, with modest membership gains occurring in Asia and Africa. There seems to be no "Pope Francis effect" in counteracting the fall of vocations among the Jesuits; the society is divided into 83 provinces along with six independent regions and ten dependent regions. On 1 January 2007, members served in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and the US.
Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics, 65.5 years for brothers. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Arturo Sosa; the society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is active in the Philippines and India. In the United States the Jesuits have historical ties to 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools; the degree to which the Jesuits are involved in the administration of each institution varies. As of September 2018, 15 of the 28 Jesuit universities in the US had non-Jesuit lay presidents. According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, "the number of Jesuit priests who are active in everyday operations at the schools isn’t nearly as high as it once was". Worldwide it runs 172 colleges and universities. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, lifelong spiritual and intellectual growth, training men and women for others.
Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the "Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus", "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent official documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, community life, apostolate of the new religious order, its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background: Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, further by means of ret
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy and capital of the province of the same name. In 2016, Mantua became Italian Capital of Culture. In 2017, Mantua was the European Capital of Gastronomy, included in the Eastern Lombardy District. In 2007, Mantua's centro storico and Sabbioneta were declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic and musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole. Mantua is noted for its significant role in the history of opera, it is the place where the composer Monteverdi premiered his opera L'Orfeo and where Romeo was banished in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It is the nearest town to the birthplace of the Roman poet Virgil, commemorated by a statue at the lakeside park "Piazza Virgiliana". Mantua is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes, created during the 12th century, as the city's defence system; these lakes receive water from the Mincio River, a tributary of the Po River which descends from Lake Garda.
The three lakes are called Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo, Lago Inferiore. A fourth lake, Lake Pajolo, which once served as a defensive water ring around the city, dried up at the end of the 18th century; the area and its environs are important not only in naturalistic terms, but anthropologically and historically. These dated, without interruption, from Neolithic times to the Bronze Age and the Gallic phases, ended with Roman residential settlements, which could be traced to the 3rd century AD. In 2017, Legambiente ranked Mantua as the best Italian city for the quality of the life and environment. Mantua was an island settlement, first established about the year 2000 BC on the banks of River Mincio, which flows from Lake Garda to the Adriatic Sea. In the 6th century BC, Mantua was an Etruscan village which, in the Etruscan tradition, was re-founded by Ocnus; the name may derive from the Etruscan god Mantus. After being conquered by the Cenomani, a Gallic tribe, Mantua was subsequently fought between the first and second Punic wars against the Romans, who attributed its name to Manto, a daughter of Tiresias.
This territory was populated by veteran soldiers of Augustus. Mantua's most famous ancient citizen is the poet Virgil, or Publius Vergilius Maro, born in the year 70 BC at a village near the city, now known as Virgilio. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire at the hands of Odoacer in 476 AD, Mantua was, along with the rest of Italy, conquered by the Ostrogoths, it was retaken by the Eastern Roman Empire in the middle of the 6th century following the Gothic war but was subsequently lost again to the Lombards. They were in turn conquered by Charlemagne in 774, thus incorporating Mantua into the Frankish Empire. Partitions of the empire in the Treaties of Verdun and Prüm led to Mantua passing to Middle Francia in 843 the Kingdom of Italy in 855. In 962 Italy was invaded by King Otto I of Germany, Mantua thus became a vassal of the newly formed Holy Roman Empire. In the 11th century, Mantua became a possession of Boniface of marquis of Tuscany; the last ruler of that family was the countess Matilda of Canossa, according to legend, ordered the construction of the precious Rotonda di San Lorenzo in 1082.
The Rotonda still exists today and was renovated in 2013. After the death of Matilda of Canossa, Mantua became a free commune and strenuously defended itself from the influence of the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1198, Alberto Pitentino altered the course of River Mincio, creating what the Mantuans call "the four lakes" to reinforce the city's natural protection. Three of these lakes still remain today and the fourth one, which ran through the centre of town, was reclaimed during the 18th century. Podesteria Rule From 1215, the city was ruled under the podesteria of the Gallic-Guelph Rambertino Buvalelli. During the struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, Pinamonte Bonacolsi took advantage of the chaotic situation to seize power of the podesteria in 1273, he was declared the Captain General of the People. The Bonacolsi family ruled Mantua for the next two generations and made it more prosperous and artistically beautiful. On August 16, 1328, Luigi Gonzaga, an official in Bonacolsi's podesteria, his family staged a public revolt in Mantua and forced a coup d'état on the last Bonacolsi ruler, Rinaldo.
Ludovico Gonzaga, Podestà of Mantua since 1318, was duly elected Captain General of the People. The Gonzagas renovated the city in the 14th century. During the Italian Renaissance, the Gonzaga family softened their despotic rule and further raised the level of culture and refinement in Mantua. Mantua became a significant center of humanism. Marquis Gianfrancesco Gonzaga had brought Vittorino da Feltre to Mantua in 1423 to open his famous humanist school, the Casa Giocosa. Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua, married Fra
In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes or letters are joined as a single glyph. An example is the character æ as used in English; the common ampersand developed from a ligature in which the handwritten Latin letters e and t were combined. The origin of typographical ligatures comes from the invention of writing with a stylus on fibrous material or clay. Businessmen who needed a way to speed up the process of written communication found that conjoining letters and abbreviating words for lay use was more convenient for record keeping and transaction than the bulky long forms; the earliest known script, Sumerian cuneiform, includes many cases of character combinations that, over time evolve from ligatures into separately recognizable characters. Ligatures figure prominently in many historical manuscripts, notably the Brahmic abugidas, or the bind rune of the Migration Period Germanic runic inscriptions. Medieval scribes who wrote in Latin increased their writing speed by combining characters and by introducing notational abbreviations.
Others conjoined letters for aesthetic purposes. For example, in blackletter, letters with right-facing bowls and those with left-facing bowls were written with the facing edges of the bowls superimposed. In many script forms, characters such as h, m, n had their vertical strokes superimposed. Scribes used notational abbreviations to avoid having to write a whole character in one stroke. Manuscripts in the fourteenth century employed hundreds of such abbreviations. Modifications to script bodies like these originate from legal and monastic sources, with the emphasis shifting from business to monastic sources by around the 9th and 10th centuries. In hand writing, a ligature is made by joining two or more characters in atypical fashion by merging their parts, or by writing one above or inside the other. In printing, a ligature is a group of characters, typeset as a unit, so the characters do not have to be joined. For example, in some cases the fi ligature prints the letters f and i with a greater separation than when they are typeset as separate letters.
When printing with movable type was invented around 1450, typefaces included many ligatures and additional letters, as they were based on handwriting. Ligatures made printing with movable type easier because one block would replace frequent combinations of letters and allowed more complex and interesting character designs which would otherwise collide with one another. Ligatures began to fall out of use due to their complexity in the 20th century. Sans serif typefaces used for body text avoid ligatures, though notable exceptions include Gill Sans and Futura. Inexpensive phototypesetting machines in the 1970s generally avoid them. A few, became characters in their own right, see below the sections about German ß, various Latin accented letters, & et al.. The trend against digraph use was further strengthened by the desktop publishing revolution starting around 1977 with the production of the Apple II. Early computer software in particular had no way to allow for ligature substitution, while most new digital typefaces did not include ligatures.
As most of the early PC development was designed for the English language dependence on ligatures did not carry over to digital. Ligature use fell as the number of traditional hand compositors and hot metal typesetting machine operators dropped due to the mass production of the IBM Selectric brand of electric typewriter in 1961. A designer active in the period commented: "some of the world's greatest typefaces were becoming some of the world's worst fonts."Ligatures have grown in popularity over the last 20 years due to an increasing interest in creating typesetting systems that evoke arcane designs and classical scripts. One of the first computer typesetting programs to take advantage of computer-driven typesetting was Donald Knuth's TeX program. Now the standard method of mathematical typesetting, its default fonts are explicitly based on nineteenth-century styles. Many new fonts feature extensive ligature sets. Mrs Eaves by Zuzana Licko contains a large set to allow designers to create dramatic display text with a feel of antiquity.
A parallel use of ligatures is seen in the creation of script fonts that join letterforms to simulate handwriting effectively. This trend is caused in part by the increased support for other languages and alphabets in modern computing, many of which use ligatures somewhat extensively; this has caused the development of new digital typesetting techniques such as OpenType, the incorporation of ligature support into the text display systems of macOS, applications like Microsoft Office. An increasing modern trend is to use a "Th" ligature which reduces spacing between these letters to make it easier to read, a trait infrequent in metal type. Today, modern font programming divides ligatures into three groups, which can be activated separately: standard and historical. Standard ligatures are needed to allow the font to display without errors such as character collision. Designers sometimes find contextual and historic ligatures desirable for creating effects or to evoke an old-fashioned print look.
Many ligatures combine f with the following letter. A prominent example is ﬁ; the tittle of t