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Zanj

Zanj was a name used by medieval Muslim geographers to refer to both a certain portion of Southeast Africa and to its Bantu inhabitants. This word is the origin of the place-names Zanzibar and the Sea of Zanj; the latinization Zingium serves as an archaic name for the coastal area in modern Kenya and Tanzania in southern East Africa. The architecture of these commercial urban settlements are now a subject of study for urban planning. For centuries the coastal settlements were a source of ivory and slaves, from sections of the conquered hinterland, to the Indian Ocean world. Geographers divided the eastern coast of Africa at large into several regions based on each region's respective inhabitants. Arab and Chinese sources referred to the general area, located to the south of Al-Misr, Al-Habasha and Barbara as Zanj. Zanj transliterated as Zenj or Zinj, was situated in the Southeast Africa vicinity and was inhabited by Bantu-speaking peoples called the Zanj; the core area of Zanj occupation stretched from the territory south of present-day Ras Kamboni to Pemba Island in Tanzania.

South of Pemba lay Sofala in modern Mozambique, the northern boundary of which may have been Pangani. Beyond Sofala was the obscure realm of Waq-Waq in Mozambique; the 10th-century Arab historian and geographer Abu al-Hasan'Alī al-Mas'ūdī describes Sofala as the furthest limit of Zanj settlement, mentions its king's title as Mfalme, a Bantu word. The Zanj traded with Arabs and Indians, but according to some sources, only locally, since they possessed no ocean-going ships. According to other sources, the Bantu Swahili peoples had seafaring vessels with sailors and merchants trading with Arabia and Persia, as far east as India and China. However, Zanj refers more to the state of religion than origin; the Swahili, a non-contemporary enthnonym, included both Zanj, non-believers, the Umma, Islamic community. Since Arab and Persian identity is patrilineal, elite Swahili claimed fictionalized, prestigious Asian genealogy. Modern misconceptions of cultural fusion or Asian origins developed from the tendency of wealthy Swahili to claim Asian origins and the disproportionate 19th century importation of Omani elements to Zanzibari and Swahili society (standard Swahili is the Zanzibari dialect and thus includes far more Arabic loanwords than the other, older Swahili dialects.

Prominent settlements of the Zanj coast included Malindi and Mombasa. By the late medieval period, the area included at least 37 substantial Swahili trading towns, many of them quite wealthy. However, these communities never consolidated into a single political entity. While the urban ruling and commercial classes of these Swahili settlements included some Arab and Persian immigrants, the vast majority were African Muslims. Mythic origins from Persia or Arabia should not be taken but rather as a widespread element of Islamic society to legitimate elite status; the Bantu peoples inhabited the coastal regions, were organized only as family groups. The term shenzi, used on the East African coast and derived from the Swahili word zanji, referred in a derogatory way to anything associated with rural blacks. An example of this would be the colonial term shenzi dog; the name of a well-known dog breed, means'of the blacks'. The Zanj were for centuries shipped as slaves by Arab traders to all the countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

The Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs recruited many Zanj slaves as soldiers and, as early as 696 AD, we learn of slave revolts of the Zanj against their Arab masters in Iraq. Ancient Chinese texts mention ambassadors from Java presenting the Chinese emperor with two Seng Chi slaves as gifts, Seng Chi slaves reaching China from the Hindu kingdom of Sri Vijaya in Java; the sea off the south-eastern coast of Africa was known as the Sea of Zanj, included the Mascarene islands and Madagascar. During the anti-apartheid struggle it was proposed that South Africa should assume the name Azania, to reflect ancient Zanj. Arab descriptions of the Zanj peoples have been inconsistent. A negative view is exemplified in the following passage from Kitab al-Bad' wah-tarikh, by the medieval Arab writer al-Muqaddasī: As for the Zanj, they are people of black color, flat noses, kinky hair, little understanding or intelligence. In 1331, the Arabic-speaking Berber explorer Ibn Battuta visited the Kilwa Sultanate in the Zanj, ruled by Sultan Hasan bin Sulayman's Yemeni dynasty.

Battuta described the kingdom's Arab ruler as making slave and booty raids on the local Zanj inhabitants, the latter of whom Battuta characterized as "jet-black in color, with tattoo marks on their faces." Kilwa is one of the most well-constructed towns in the world. The whole of it is elegantly built; the roofs are built with mangrove pole. There is much rain; the people are engaged in a holy war. Their chief qualities are devotion and piety: they follow the Shafi'i sect; when I arrived, the Sultan was Abu al-Muzaffar Hasan surnamed Abu al-Mawahib... on account of his numerous charitable gifts. He makes raids into the Zanj country, attacks them and carries off booty, of which he reserves a fifth, using it in the manner prescribed by the Koran; the Zanj Rebellion was a series of uprisings that took place between 869 and 883 AD near the city of Basra in present-d

Buddleja agathosma

Buddleja agathosma is endemic to western Yunnan, China. Identified as B. agathosma by Ludwig Diels, it was sunk as Buddleja crispa by Leeuwenberg in 1979, treated as such in the subsequent Flora of China published in 1996. However, the shrub remains known by its former epithet in horticulture. Buddleja agathosma is a deciduous shrub of sparse habit; the toothed leaves are white, owing to a dense coating of hairs, but appear greyish. The plant is self-fertile, can produce copious viable seed. Softwood cuttings can be struck in June. A specimen is grown as part of the NCCPG national collection of Buddleja at Longstock Park Nursery, near Stockbridge, England. Hardiness: USDA zones 8–10.'Agathosma', from the Greek words'agathos', meaning pleasant, and'osma', meaning smell. Bean, W. J.. Trees & Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles, 8th ed. Vol. 1.. London

Francysk Skaryna

Francysk Skaryna or Francisk Skorina was a Belarusian humanist, physician and one of the first book printers in Eastern Europe, laying the groundwork for the development of the Belarusian language. Skaryna was born into the family of a wealthy merchant in Polatsk a major trade and manufacturing center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, his older brother, was a merchant. The brothers had a property ancestral, in Polatsk. Skaryna was born in 1470; the year 1490 is proposed based on the assumption that he was 14 when he came to study in Kraków in 1504. The date is an upper boundary. N. Shchakacihin suggested that the overlapping sun and moon on Skaryna's personal emblem indicates he was born around the time of the 1486 solar eclipse, observed in Polatsk, it is conjectured that he received his primary education in Polatsk and partly in Vilnius. In 1504, Skaryna is recorded as a student of Jagiellonian University. In 1506, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1512, after passing all required tests, he received a doctorate in medicine at the University of Padua in Italy.

The records suggest that he requested to take his examination in Padua but had not studied in the city. Earlier, he obtained an "artium doctor" degree. Skaryna arrived in Prague by 1517. According to one hypothesis, he had been a student of Charles University in Prague, but there is no documentary evidence. In the same year, he rented the printing house from merchant Severin in Prague and started publishing a new translation of the Bible with his own prefaces. On 6 August 1517, his first edition was released in the Old Belarusian: “The Psalter”. “The Psalter” comprises nearly all of other biblical books of Holy Scripture. “It contains everything people needed for the welfare of human life on earth.” He released a new book every two months. On the 10th of August, he published four books at the same time; the culmination of his life's work was printing a translation of the Bible in twenty-three books in 1517–1519. In 1520, Skaryna became involved in combating an epidemic of a deadly disease in Prague.

The epidemic subsided that year but civil unrest broke out in the autumn in Bohemia. Skaryna moved to Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1522, Skaryna opened the first printing house in Vilnius, he published “The Little Travel Book”. In 1525 “Apostol” was published. "Apostol" was released in the same order. In the late 1520s or early 1530s, he visited Moscow, he was unsuccessful. Skaryna married the widow of a Vilnius city councilor. In 1529, following his brother's death, he obtained a share of Ivan's property. In 1530, he moved with his wife to Königsberg but they soon returned to Vilnius; the 1530 fire in Vilnius destroyed three-quarters of the city including Skaryna's publishing house. In 1532, he worked as a secretary of John, Bishop in Vilnius. After two years creditors of his brother Ivan considered Skaryna as the main brother’s heir and put him into Pazan jail, he was there for several months. Roman Skaryna, Ivan's son and Francysk’s nephew helped his uncle in this situation.

Roman had a meeting with the king. When Skaryna was released he sent a complaint letter with a counterclaim against the creditors to the King Sigismund I. In the response to the complaint letter, he was awarded two royal privilege certificates; those certificates exempted him from the jurisdiction of all authorities except the King. The last information about Skaryna is mentioned only in the archives of 1534, he moved from Vilnius to Prague. He served in the royal garden in Prague until his death. According to some theories, Skaryna taught as a professor at the Charles University in Prague, it is possible. He died in 1551 or 1552. In 1552, his son Simeon Rus Skaryna got a royal certificate according to which he, as the sole heir, was given all the property of his father; the property included manuscripts and books. It is not known for sure whether Skaryna was Orthodox, his name is Catholic, but it is suggested that he changed it before entering the university. A single copy of a document in which he is called Georgius Franciscus instead of just Franciscus gave birth to a theory that Georgius was his original name.

In any case the once popular theory that he changed his name from Georgius to Franciscus to be able to enter the university is without ground: the name Georgius was popular among the Catholic and the Orthodox in the region, in fact in Skaryna's year there were more students named Georgius than Franciscus in Kraków. In 1552, after Skaryna's death king Sigismund August mentioned in a letter that a man from his country printed a translation of the Bible and tried to sell his edition in Moscow, the books were burned there because they were produced "by a subject of the Roman Church"; the books mentioned in the letter are most Skaryna's. Skaryna devoted his life to the publication of the biblical texts, he sought