Vasili III of Russia

There was a Basil III, Patriarch of Bulgaria c. 1254–1263. Vasili III Ivanovich was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1505 to 1533, he was the son of Ivan III Vasiliyevich and Sophia Paleologue and was christened with the name Gavriil. He had three brothers: Yuri, born in 1480, born in 1487 and Andrei, born in 1490, as well as five sisters: Elena, another Elena, another Feodosiya and Eudoxia, he is sometimes mockingly referred to as Vasili the Adequate due to his rule taking place between those of Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible, as well as the relative uneventfulness of his reign. Vasili III continued the policies of his father Ivan III and spent most of his reign consolidating Ivan's gains. Vasili annexed the last surviving autonomous provinces: Pskov in 1510, appanage of Volokolamsk in 1513, principalities of Ryazan in 1521 and Novgorod-Seversky in 1522. Vasili took advantage of the difficult position of Sigismund of Poland to capture Smolensk, the great eastern fortress of Lithuania, chiefly through the aid of the rebel Lithuanian, Prince Mikhail Glinski, who provided him with artillery and engineers.

The loss of Smolensk was an important injury inflicted by Russia on Lithuania in the course of the Russo-Lithuanian Wars and only the exigencies of Sigismund compelled him to acquiesce in its surrender. In 1521 Vasili received an emissary of the neighboring Iranian Safavid Empire, sent by Shah Ismail I whose ambitions were to construct an Irano-Russian alliance against the common enemy, the Ottoman Empire. Vasili was successful against the Crimean Khanate. Although in 1519 he was obliged to buy off the Crimean khan, Mehmed I Giray, under the walls of Moscow, towards the end of his reign he established Russian influence on the Volga. In 1531–32 he placed the pretender Cangali khan on the throne of Khanate of Kazan. Basil was the first grand-duke of Moscow who adopted the title of tsar and the double-headed eagle of the Byzantine Empire. Regarding internal policy, Vasili III enjoyed the support of the Church in his struggle with the feudal opposition. In 1521, metropolitan Varlaam was banished for refusing to participate in Vasili's fight against an appanage prince, Vasili Ivanovich Shemyachich.

Rurikid princes Vasili Shuisky and Ivan Vorotynsky were sent into exile. The diplomat and statesman, Ivan Bersen-Beklemishev, was executed in 1525 for criticizing Vasili's policies. Maximus the Greek, Vassian Patrikeyev and others were sentenced for the same reason in 1525 and 1531. During the reign of Vasili III, the landownership of the gentry increased, while authorities tried to limit immunities and privileges of boyars and the nobility. By 1526 when he was 47 years old, Vasili had been married to Solomonia Saburova for over 20 years with no heir to his throne being produced. Conscious of her husband's disappointment, Solomonia tried to remedy this by consulting sorcerers and going on pilgrimages; when this proved unsuccessful, Vasili consulted the boyars, announcing that he did not trust his two brothers to handle Russia's affairs. The boyars suggested that he take a new wife, despite much opposition from the clergy, he divorced his barren wife and married Princess Elena Glinskaya, the daughter of a Serbian princess and niece of his friend Michael Glinski.

Not many of the boyars approved of his choice. Vasili was so smitten that he trimmed his beard to appear younger. After three days of matrimonial festivity, the couple consummated their marriage, though it appeared that Elena was as sterile as Solomonia; the Russian populace began to suspect. However, to the great joy of Vasili and the populace, the new tsaritsa gave birth to a son, who would succeed him as Ivan IV. Three years a second son, was born. According to a story, Solomonia Saburova bore a son in the convent where she had been confined, just several months after the controversial divorce. Whilst out hunting on horseback near Volokolamsk, Vasili felt a great pain in his right hip, the result of an abscess, he was transported to the village of Kolp, where he was visited by two German doctors who were unable to stop the infection with conventional remedies. Believing that his time was short, Vasili requested to be returned to Moscow, where he was kept in the Saint Joseph Cathedral along the way.

By 25 November 1533, Vasili asked to be made a monk before dying. Taking on the name Varlaam, Vasili died at midnight, 4 December 1533. Rulers of Russia family tree

Kosmos 1481

Kosmos 1481 was a Soviet US-K missile early warning satellite, launched in 1983 as part of the Soviet military's Oko programme. The satellite was designed to identify missile launches using optical telescopes and infrared sensors. Kosmos 1481 was launched from Site 43/3 at Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Russian SSR. A Molniya-M carrier rocket with a 2BL upper stage was used to perform the launch, which took place at 19:21 UTC on 8 July 1983; the launch placed the satellite into a molniya orbit. It subsequently received its Kosmos designation, the international designator 1983-070A; the United States Space Command assigned it the Satellite Catalog Number 14182. This satellite self-destructed; as well as its main entry this satellite has catalogued debris such as: 1983 in spaceflight List of Kosmos satellites List of Oko satellites List of R-7 launches


In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a skillful architect and artist, was seen as a symbol of wisdom and power. He is the father of Icarus, the uncle of Perdix, also the father of Iapyx, although this is unclear, he invented and built the Labyrinth for King Minos of Crete, but shortly after finishing it King Minos had Daedalus imprisoned within the labyrinth. He and his son Icarus devised a plan to escape by using wings made of wax that Daedalus had invented, they escaped. The wax melted and Icarus fell to his death; this left Daedalus heartbroken. Daedalus's parentage was supplied as a addition, providing him with a father in Metion, Eupalamus, or Palamaon, a mother, Iphinoe, or Phrasmede. Daedalus had two sons: Iapyx, along with a nephew either Talos or Perdix. Athenians transferred Cretan Daedalus to make him Athenian-born, the grandson of the ancient king Erechtheus, claiming that Daedalus fled to Crete after killing his nephew Talos. Over time, other stories were told of Daedalus. Daedalus is first mentioned by Homer as the creator of a wide dancing-ground for Ariadne.

He created the Labyrinth on Crete, in which the Minotaur was kept. In the story of the labyrinth as told by the Hellenes, the Athenian hero Theseus is challenged to kill the Minotaur, finding his way with the help of Ariadne's thread. Daedalus' appearance in Homer is in an extended metaphor, "plainly not Homer's invention", Robin Lane Fox observes: "He is a point of comparison and so he belongs in stories which Homer's audience recognized." In Bronze Age Crete, an inscription da-da-re-jo-de has been read as referring to a place at Knossos, a place of worship. In Homer's language, daidala refers to finely crafted objects, they are objects of armor, but fine bowls and furnishings are daidala, on one occasion so are the "bronze-working" of "clasps, twisted brooches and necklaces" made by Hephaestus while cared for in secret by the goddesses of the sea. Ignoring Homer writers envisaged the Labyrinth as an edifice rather than a single dancing path to the center and out again, gave it numberless winding passages and turns that opened into one another, seeming to have neither beginning nor end.

Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, suggests that Daedalus constructed the Labyrinth so cunningly that he himself could escape it after he built it. Daedalus built the labyrinth for King Minos; the story is told that Poseidon had given a white bull to Minos so that he might use it as a sacrifice. Instead, Minos kept it for himself. For Pasiphaë, as Greek mythologers interpreted it, Daedalus built a wooden cow so she could mate with the bull, for the Greeks imagined the Minoan bull of the sun to be an actual, earthly bull, the slaying of which required a heroic effort by Theseus; the most familiar literary telling explaining Daedalus' wings is a late one, that of Ovid: in his Metamorphoses Daedalus was shut up in a tower to prevent the knowledge of his Labyrinth from spreading to the public. He could not leave Crete by sea, as the king kept a strict watch on all vessels, permitting none to sail without being searched. Since Minos controlled the land and sea routes, Daedalus set to work to fabricate wings for himself and his young son Icarus.

He tied feathers together, from smallest to largest so as to form an increasing surface. He secured the feathers at their midpoints with string and at their bases with wax, gave the whole a gentle curvature like the wings of a bird; when the work was done, the artist, waving his wings, found himself buoyed upward and hung suspended, poising himself on the beaten air. He next equipped his son in the same manner, taught him how to fly; when both were prepared for flight, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, because the heat of the sun would melt the wax, nor too low, because the sea foam would soak the feathers. They had passed Samos and Lebynthos by the time the boy, forgetting himself, began to soar upward toward the sun; the blazing sun softened the wax that held the feathers together and they came off. Icarus fell in the sea and drowned, his father cried, bitterly lamenting his own arts, called the island near the place where Icarus fell into the ocean Icaria in memory of his child. Some time the goddess Athena visited Daedalus and gave him wings, telling him to fly like a god.

An early image of winged Daedalus appears on an Etruscan jug of ca 630 BC found at Cerveteri, where a winged figure captioned Taitale appears on one side of the vessel, paired on the other side, with Metaia, Medea: "its linking of these two mythical figures is unparalleled," Robin Lane Fox observes: "The link was based on their wondrous, miraculous art. Magically, Daedalus could fly, magically Medea was able to rejuvenate the old"; the image of Daedalus demonstrates that he was well known in the West. Further to the west Daedalus arrived safely in Sicily, in the care of King Cocalus of Kamikos on the island's south coast. In an invention of Virgil, Daedalus flies to Cumae and founds his temple there, rather than in Sicily.