Ooooh, thanks Astronuc, I didn't know! I will definitely watch! My favorite book on the dark ages is by Michael Wood.
Hmmm! Another book to add to my library. :uhh:I will definitely watch! My favorite book on the dark ages is by Michael Wood.
You won't regret it. Wood writes with so much genuine interest and excitement that his works are an absolute joy to read.Hmmm! Another book to add to my library. :uhh:
by Michael Wood
Not to worry, I've got it covered. Meanwhile, your PM inbox is full.AARGGGH, I sent you a PM.
The Acts of Union were a pair of Acts of Parliament passed in 1706 and 1707 (taking effect on 1 May 1707) by, respectively, the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts were the implementation of the Treaty of Union negotiated between the two states.
The Acts created a new state, the Kingdom of Great Britain, by merging the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. The two countries had shared a monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, but had retained sovereign parliaments.
The Acts of Union dissolved both parliaments and replaced them with a new Parliament of Great Britain, based at Westminster, the former home of the English Parliament. This is referred to as the Union of the Parliaments.
It is important to note that the Acts that had the will of both political establishments behind them, but not the will of the people of Scotland.While there had been three attempts in 1606, 1667 and 1689 to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, these were the first Acts that had the will of both political establishments behind them, albeit for rather different reasons. In the English case, the purpose was to establish the Royal succession along Protestant lines in the same manner as provided for by the English Act of Settlement 1701, rather than that of the Scottish Act of Security 1704. The two countries had shared a king for much of the previous century. The English were now concerned that an independent Scotland with a different king, even if he were a Protestant, might make alliances against England.
The empire of the Romans in the West, its origins tracing back more than a thousand years, drew its last breath in 476 A.D., when a barbarian army led by a warrior named Odoacer, half Hun and half Scirian, defeated an imperial army that his barbarians had only a few months earlier been a part of. Odoacer captured and killed the imperial commander. He entered the city of Ravenna, then serving as an imperial capital, and deposed a youngster named Romulus Augustus, who had reigned as emperor for little more than a year. Odoacer was scarcely less worthy of authority than many previous usurpers. He was in fact well schooled in the ways of Rome, and he was a Christian, as most Romans by then were. There was no social implosion after he seized power, no rape and pillage. Rome didn't "fall" the way Carthage had, six centuries earlier, when the Romans slaughtered the inhabitants and razed the city, or the way Berlin would, fifteen centuries later, blasted into rubble. Rome itself wasn't touched on this occasion, and throughout the former empire life went on, little different for most people in 477 from what it had been in 475. Many regions had been autonomous for years, under barbarian rulers who gave lip service to the titular emperor. In Italy the Roman bureaucracy continued to sputter along.
What changed was this: Odoacer was not recognized as legitimate by the eastern emperor, in Constantinople. There would never be another emperor of the West. The historical symmetry is almost too good to be true — that the last emperor's name, Romulus, should also be that of Rome's founder. (Imagine if the demise of America were to occur under a president named George.) But more than symbolism was at play. Odoacer understood full well that something had come to an end: he declared himself king of Italy, and sent the imperial regalia of the Western empire to Constantinople. The pretense of Western unity was abandoned. Europe would now become a continent of barbarian kingdoms — in embryo, the Europe of nation-states that exists today.
Thirteen centuries later, on a gloomy evening in 1764, gazing out from a perch on the Capitoline Hill, above the overgrown debris of central Rome, Edward Gibbon was seized with a sense of loss as he contemplated the collapse of a civilization. Monks sang vespers in a church nearby. Gibbon resolved at that moment to undertake the great project he would call The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. "I can neither forget nor express the strong emotions which agitated my mind as I first trod, with lofty step, the ruins of the Forum," he later wrote. A decade after this twilight epiphany Gibbon's restless pen evoked the collapse of the empire: "Odoacer was the first barbarian who reigned in Italy, over a people who had once asserted their just superiority above the rest of mankind. . . . The least unfortunate were those who submitted without a murmur to the power which it was impossible to resist." Gibbon's life was in many ways a sad and lonely one, but The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was recognized at once as a masterwork, its sonorous cadences enlivened with a dry and biting wit. He observes gratuitously of a monk named Antiochus, for instance, that "one hundred and twenty-nine homilies are still extant, if what no one reads may be said to be extant." Although his picture of the fall may be more cataclysmic than the immediate reality seems to have been, Gibbon established for people ever after that a page of history had been decisively turned. In the West, "decline and fall" has been a catchphrase and a source of anxiety ever since.
The city of Washington, of course, also has a Capitoline Hill — Capitol Hill, named explicitly for its Roman forebear. The view to the west takes in a vast expanse of classical porticoes and marble monuments; gilded chariots and curtained litters would not seem out of place against this backdrop. Washington rose out of a malarial marsh on a river upstream from the coast, as Rome did. Its people, like the Romans, flee the sweltering city in August. The Romans cherished their myth of origin, the story of Romulus and Remus, and on the Palatine Hill you could be shown a thatched hut said to be the hut of Romulus — yes, the very one. Washington doesn't have anything quite like the hut of Romulus, but on Capitol Hill you can find sacred national touchstones of other kinds, such as the contents of Lincoln's pockets when he was assassinated. (They're in the Library of Congress.) Washington resembles Rome in many ways. The physical similarities are visible to anyone. The similarities of spirit are more salient. Materialistic cultures easily forget that "mental outlook" is not some limp and passive construct, of interest chiefly to anthropologists. Mental outlook can drive events and change the world, as the rise of militant Islam makes plain. Washington, too, has been animated by a special outlook. Long ago it was a notion of republican virtue that Romans of an early era would immediately have recognized. Today it's a strutting sense of self and mission that Romans of a later era would have recognized just as readily. Foreigners are well aware of this outlook, friends and enemies alike. It's a pungent quality — an internal characteristic that gives rise to outside counterforces.
. . . . more at NPR.org
Maximus is a fictional character, and according to the movie Commodus kills Marcus Aurelius then tries to have his some of his guard kill Maximus and sent soldiers to kill Maximus's family (wife and son, as son would be heir and rival). It's historical fiction.Is this the massacre that the movie Gladiator alludes to? (Romans go after Maximus's family to rape, murder and burn the entire village.) Remember, Maximus is a Spaniard -- a barbarian.
Abstract: Princeton University. The thesis is a reconsideration of several questions of chronology and interpretation concerning the Marcomannic wars of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. It is argued that, already before Verus' Parthian triumph in October 166, major Roman initiatives on the northern frontier were in train which indicate a planned offensive, not a defensive reaction. These plans were thwarted, partly by plague, but mainly by the abruptness of the attack whereby, in the summer of 167, the Marcomanni and Quadi pierced the limes and reached northern Italy. Dislocation in the coin supply, the effects on the careers of several Roman officials, and the creation of a special praetentura to guard the Alpine approaches to Italy in 168, supplement the meagre literary evidence to give a date of 167 for this invasion, rather than the commonly held 170. After a tour of the Danube lands in 168 and the death of Verus early in 169, Marcus made Carnuntum his headquarters for three years. A peace with the Quadi enabled him to focus a great Roman offensive on the Marcomanni in 170. This offensive was disastrously defeated; the praetentura held the Germans out of Italy, but the provinces were devastated, and the limes were breached at several other points. But by the end of 172 the Marcomanni had come to terms. Arguments purporting to date the 'weather miracles' to 172 or 173 are based on misinterpretations of evidence on the coins and the column of Marcus. In 173 the Iazyges were defeated in Pannonia, and again, in the winter of 173/174, in a battle fought on the frozen Danube. Beginning in 174, the evidence of the column comes into play; it helps date the 'rain miracle' against the Quadi to this year, followed shortly by the 'lightning miracle' against the Iazyges, with Marcus, now based at Sirmium, in attendance. By the opening of the campaign of 175, the Quadi and Marcomanni both had treaties; nothing here indicates an annexationist policy. As for the Iazyges, some sources mention extermination as a possible Roman objective, but not annexation. In any case, a successful offensive against the Iazyges was interrupted by news of Avidius Cassius' eastern rebellion. News of Cassius' assassination reached Marcus shortly after his peace with the Iazyges, but he contented himself with the exaction of large military levies from the Danubian tribes. By 177 the northern provinces were again insecure; Marcus sent tried commanders to the lower Danube. The attention of Marcus and Commodus was focused on the Marcomanni and Quadi when they left Rome in August 178. A hard-fought victory in 179 was followed by the physical occupation of the territory of the Marcomanni and Quadi; to judge by the column reliefs, the war was one of slaughter and intimidation, and annexation seems the inevitable aim. But any such plan lost impetus after the death of Marcus in March of 180. Even after a successful campaign, Commodus withdrew Roman forces south of the Danube; not even after his triumph did he affect GERMANICUS or SARMATICUS on his coinage. [Author]