Dalmatia (Roman province)

Dalmatia was a Roman province. Its name is derived from the name of an Illyrian tribe called the Dalmatae, which lived in the central area of the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It encompassed the northern part of present-day Albania, much of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia, thus covering an area significantly larger than the current Croatian region of Dalmatia. Originally this region was called Illyria (in Greek) or Illyricum (in Latin).

The province of Illyricum was dissolved and replaced by two separate provinces: Dalmatia and Pannonia.

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Fall of the Western Roman Empire

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called Fall of the Roman Empire or Fall of Rome) was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which it failed to enforce its rule, and its vast territory was divided into several successor polities. The Roman Empire lost the strengths that had allowed it to exercise effective control over its Western provinces; modern historians mention factors including the effectiveness and numbers of the army, the health and numbers of the Roman population, the strength of the economy, the competence of the Emperors, the internal struggles for power, the religious changes of the period, and the efficiency of the civil administration. Increasing pressure from barbarians outside Roman culture also contributed greatly to the collapse. The reasons for the collapse are major subjects of the historiography of the ancient world and they inform much modern discourse on state failure.

Relevant dates include 117 CE, when the Empire was at its greatest territorial extent, and the accession of Diocletian in 284. Irreversible major territorial loss, however, began in 376 with a large-scale irruption of Goths and others. In 395, after winning two destructive civil wars, Theodosius I died, leaving a collapsing field army and the Empire, still plagued by Goths, divided between his two incapable sons. By 476 when Odoacer deposed the Emperor Romulus, the Western Roman Emperor wielded negligible military, political, or financial power and had no effective control over the scattered Western domains that could still be described as Roman. Invading barbarians had established their own power in most of the area of the Western Empire. While its legitimacy lasted for centuries longer and its cultural influence remains today, the Western Empire never had the strength to rise again.

The Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events; the period described as Late Antiquity emphasizes the cultural continuities throughout and beyond the political collapse.

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Western Roman Empire

In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any one time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court, coequal with that administering the eastern half, then referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire. The terms "Western Roman Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are modern inventions that describe political entities that were de facto independent; however, at no point did the Romans themselves consider the Empire to have been split into two separate Empires, but rather continued to consider it a single state but governed by two separate Imperial courts of administrative expediency. A system of government of this kind is known as a diarchy.

Though the Empire had seen periods with more than one Emperor ruling jointly before, the view that it was impossible for a single emperor to govern the entire Empire was established by Emperor Diocletian following the disastrous civil wars and disintegrations of the Crisis of the 3rd century. His ideas were instituted in Roman law by the introduction of the Tetrarchy in AD 286, which divided the position of Augustus (Emperor) into two; one in the East and one in the West, each with an appointed Caesar (junior Emperor and designated successor). Though the tetrarchic system would collapse in a matter of years, the East-West geographical administrative division would endure in one form or another for centuries to come. As such, the Western Roman Empire would exist intermittently in several periods between the 3rd and 5th centuries. Though some emperors, such as Constantine I and Theodosius I, would manage to rise to the position of Augustus in both halves and as such reunify the Empire, it would often divide again upon their deaths. After the death of Theodosius I in AD 395, the Empire was divided between his sons after which it would never again be unified. Eighty-five years later, in 480, following various invasions and the collapse of central control in the West, Zeno of the Eastern Empire recognized the reality of the Western Empire's reduced domain—effective central control had ceased to exist even in the Italian Peninsula after the depositions of Julius Nepos and Romulus Augustulus—and therefore abolished the Western court and proclaimed himself the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

The rise of Odoacer and his germanic foederati to rule over Italy in 476 was popularized by the eighteenth-century historian Edward Gibbon as a demarcating event for the end of the Western Empire and is sometimes used to mark the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Odoacer's Italy, and other Barbarian kingdoms, would maintain a pretence of Roman continuity through the continued use of the old Roman administrative systems and nominal subservience to the Eastern Roman court. Direct Imperial rule would be reimposed in large parts of the West, including the prosperous regions of North Africa and the ancient Roman heartland of Italy as well as parts of Hispania, in the sixth century by the armies of the Eastern Empire under Emperor Justinian I. Political upheaval in the Eastern heartlands, combined with foreign invasions and religious issues, made efforts to retain control of these territories difficult and they were gradually lost, this time for good.

Though the Eastern Empire retained territories in the south of Italy until the eleventh century, the influence that the Empire had over Western Europe had diminished significantly with the papal coronation of the Frankish king Charlemagne as "Roman Emperor" in AD 800. His imperial line would come to evolve into the Holy Roman Empire, which presented a revival of the Imperial title in Western Europe but was in no meaningful sense an extension of Roman traditions or institutions. The Great Schism of 1054 between the churches of Rome and Constantinople further diminished the authority the Emperor in Constantinople could hope to bring forth in the west.

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In Ancient Rome the month of March was the traditional start of the campaign season, and the Tubilustrium was a ceremony to make the army fit for war. The ceremony involved sacred trumpets called tubae.

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In ancient Roman religion, the Armilustrium was a festival in honor of Mars, the god of war, celebrated on October 19. On this day the weapons of the soldiers were ritually purified and stored for winter. The army would be assembled and reviewed in the Circus Maximus, garlanded with flowers. The trumpets (tubae) would be played as part of the purification rites. The Romans gathered with their arms and armour on the Aventine Hill, and held a procession with torches and sacrificial animals. The dancing priests of Mars known as the Salii may also have taken part in the ceremony.

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Battle of Pydna

The Battle of Pydna took place in 168 BC between Rome and Macedon during the Third Macedonian War. The battle saw the further ascendancy of Rome in the Hellenistic world and the end of the Antigonid line of kings, whose power traced back to Alexander the Great. The battle is also considered to be a victory of the Roman legion's flexibility over the Macedonian phalanx's rigidity.

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Tables of Heraclea

The Tables of Heraclea (Lat.Tabulae Heracleenses) were bronze tablets found a short distance from the site of Heraclea Lucania, between it and Metapontum. They are significant for the study of Roman Law.

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Premier Grand Lodge of England

The organization known as the Premier Grand Lodge of England was founded on 24 June 1717 as the 'Grand Lodge of London and Westminster'. Originally concerned with the practice of Freemasonry in London and Westminster, it soon became known as the Grand Lodge of England. Because it was the first Masonic Grand Lodge to be created, convention calls it the Premier Grand Lodge of England in order to distinguish it from the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons according to the Old Constitutions, more usually referred to as the Ancient Grand Lodge of England, and the Grand Lodge of All England Meeting at York. It existed until 1813, when it united with the Ancient Grand Lodge of England to create the United Grand Lodge of England.

The basic principles of the Grand Lodge of England were inspired by the ideal of tolerance and universal understanding of the Enlightenment and by the Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century.

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Der Stricker

Der Stricker is the pseudonym of a 13th-century Middle High German itinerant poet whose real name has been lost to history. His name, which means "The Knitter," may indicate he was a commoner; he was likely from Franconia but later worked in Austria. His works evince a knowledge of German literature and practical theology, and include both adaptations and works with no known sources.

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The Mirror for Magistrates

The Mirror for Magistrates is a collection of English poems from the Tudor period by various authors which retell the lives and the tragic ends of various historical figures.

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Tales of Count Lucanor

Don Juan Manuel's Tales of Count Lucanor, in Spanish Libro de los ejemplos del conde Lucanor y de Patronio (Book of the Examples of Count Lucanor and of Patronio), also commonly known as El Conde Lucanor, Libro de Patronio, or Libro de los ejemplos (original Old Castilian: Libro de los enxiemplos del Conde Lucanor et de Patronio), is one of the earliest works of prose in Castilian Spanish. It was first written in 1335.

The book is divided into four parts. The first and most well-known part is a series of 50 short stories (some no more than a page or two) drawn from various sources, such as Aesop and other classical writers, and Arabic folktales. Story 28, "Of what happened to a woman called Truhana", a version of Aesop's The Milkmaid and Her Pail, was claimed by Max Müller to originate in the Hindu cycle Panchatantra.

Tales of Count Lucanor was first printed in 1575 when it was published at Seville under the auspices of Argote de Molina. It was again printed at Madrid in 1642, after which it lay forgotten for nearly two centuries.

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Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena

Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (5 May 1282 – 13 June 1348) was a Spanish medieval writer, nephew of Alfonso X of Castile, son of Manuel of Castile and Beatrice of Savoy. He inherited from his father the great Seigneury of Villena, receiving the titles of Lord, Duke and lastly Prince of Villena. He married three times, choosing his wives for political and economic convenience, and worked to match his children with partners associated with royalty. Juan Manuel became one of the richest and most powerful men of his time, coining his own currency as the kings did. During his life, he was criticised for choosing literature as his vocation, an activity thought inferior for a nobleman of such prestige.

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Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan (also seen as de Pisan; French pronunciation: [kʁistin də pizɑ̃] (About this sound listen) ; 1364 – c. 1430) was an Italian French late medieval author. Her most famous literary works are The Book of the City of Ladies and The Treasure of the City of Ladies. She served as a court writer for several dukes (Louis of Orleans, Philip the Bold of Burgundy, and John the Fearless of Burgundy) and the French royal court during the reign of Charles VI. She wrote both poetry and prose works such as biographies. She completed forty-one works during her 30-year career from 1399 to 1429. Her success stemmed from a wide range of innovative writing and rhetorical techniques that critically challenged renowned writers such as Jean de Meun, author of the Romance of the Rose, which she criticized as immoral.

She married in 1380 at the age of 15, and was widowed 10 years later. Much of the impetus for her writing came from her need to earn a living to support her mother, a niece and her two surviving children. She spent most of her childhood and all of her adult life in Paris and then the abbey at Poissy, and wrote entirely in her adopted language, Middle French. Her early courtly poetry is marked by her knowledge of aristocratic custom and fashion of the day, particularly involving women and the practice of chivalry. Her early and later allegorical and didactic treatises reflect both autobiographical information about her life and views and also her own individualized and humanist approach to the scholastic learned tradition of mythology, legend, and history she inherited from clerical scholars and to the genres and courtly or scholastic subjects of contemporary French and Italian poets she admired. Supported and encouraged by important royal French and English patrons, she influenced 15th-century English poetry.

In recent decades, Pizan's work has been returned to prominence by the efforts of scholars such as Charity Cannon Willard, Earl Jeffrey Richards and Simone de Beauvoir. Certain scholars have argued that she should be seen as an early feminist who efficiently used language to convey that women could play an important role within society. This characterization has been challenged by other critics, who say that it is either an anachronistic use of the word or a misinterpretation of her writing and intentions.

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De Casibus Virorum Illustrium

De Casibus Virorum Illustrium (On the Fates of Famous Men) is a work of 56 biographies in Latin prose composed by the Florentine poet Giovanni Boccaccio of Certaldo in the form of moral stories of the falls of famous people, similar to his work of 106 biographies De Mulieribus Claris.

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Isis was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Old Kingdom(c. 2686–2181 BCE) as one of the main characters of the Osiris myth, in which she resurrects her slain husband, the divine king Osiris, and produces and protects his heir, Horus. She was believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, and she was considered the divine mother of the pharaoh, who was likened to Horus. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people. Originally, she played a limited role in royal rituals and temple rites, although she was more prominent in funerary practices and magical texts.

In the first millennium BCE, Osiris and Isis became the most widely worshipped of Egyptian deities. Rulers in Egypt and its neighbor to the south, Nubia, began to build temples dedicated primarily to Isis, and her temple at Philae was a religious center for Egyptians and Nubians alike. She absorbed many traits from other deities, particularly Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times. Isis' reputed magical power was greater than that of all other gods, and she was said to protect the kingdom from its enemies, to govern the skies and the natural world, and to have power over fate itself.

In the Hellenistic period (323–30 BCE), when Egypt was ruled and settled by Greeks, Isis came to be worshipped by Greeks and Egyptians, along with a new god, Serapis. Their worship diffused into the wider Mediterranean world. Isis' Greek devotees ascribed to her traits taken from Greek gods, such as the invention of marriage and the protection of ships at sea, and she retained strong links with Egypt and other Egyptian deities who were popular in the Hellenistic world, such as Osiris and Harpocrates. As Hellenistic culture was absorbed by Rome in the first century BCE, the cult of Isis became a part of Roman religion. Her devotees were a small proportion of the Roman Empire's population, but her worship was found all across its territory. Her following developed distinctive festivals such as the Navigium Isidis, as well as initiation ceremonies resembling those of other Greco-Roman mystery cults. Some of her devotees said she encompassed all the other divine powers of the ancient world.

The worship of Isis was ended by the rise of Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries CE. Her worship may have influenced some Christian beliefs and practices, such as the veneration of Mary, but the evidence for this influence is ambiguous and often controversial. Isis continues to appear in Western culture, particularly in esotericism and modern paganism, often as a personification of nature or the feminine aspect of divinity.

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Europa (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Europa (/jʊəˈrpəjə-/; Ancient Greek: Εὐρώπη, Eurṓpē, Attic Greek pronunciation: [eu̯.rɔ̌ː.pɛː]) was the mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman with Phoenician origin of high lineage, and after whom the continent Europe was named. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white bull was a Cretan story; as classicist Károly Kerényi points out, "most of the love-stories concerning Zeus originated from more ancient tales describing his marriages with goddesses. This can especially be said of the story of Europa."

Europa's earliest literary reference is in the Iliad, which is commonly dated to the 8th century BC. Another early reference to her is in a fragment of the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, discovered at Oxyrhynchus. The earliest vase-painting securely identifiable as Europa dates from mid-7th century BC.

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Libya (mythology)

Libya (from Greek: Λιβύη) is the daughter of Epaphus, King of Egypt, in both Greek and Roman mythology. She personified the land of Ancient Libya in North Africa, from which the name of modern-day Libya originated.

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In ancient Greek and Roman legendary history, Marpesia (Greek: Μαρπησία "Snatcher"; sometimes wrongly spelled Marthesia) was Queen of the Amazons with Lampedo ("burning torch"), her sister, as a co-ruler. They ruled with Hippo ("horse") after the death of Lysippe.

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Lampedo (Greek for "burning torch"; also Lampeto) is an Amazon queen mentioned in Roman historiography. She ruled with her sister Marpesia. The sisters called themselves daughters of Mars to put terror in the heart of their enemies to show they were incredible warriors to be feared. Her name was speculated to refer to traditional New Moon torchlit processions in honor of Artemis, goddess of the hunt.

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Pyramus and Thisbe

Pyramus and Thisbē are a pair of ill-fated lovers whose story forms part of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The story has since been retold by many authors.

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