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          NRMA Travel Insurance Policy Booklet - Nrma Quote and Reviews      Cache   Translate Page      

NRMA provides the high range of products to their customers. They have their customers spread all over the world such as the countries like Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom. The company has all around more than $7.8 billion of insurance premium each year and employees more than thirteen thousand people all over the world.


          Watch Braehead Clan v Fife Flyers Live 1/07/2018      Cache   Translate Page      

Looking for Stream online Braehead Clan v Fife Flyers? Nowhere couldn’t find Online watch Braehead Clan vs Fife Flyers? Do You belive when someone says that Stream online Braehead Clan - Fife Flyers and others stream live are represented on a single web, specialized on the livestream? Congratulations! Online watch Braehead Clan v Fife Flyers is no longer a problem! Online streaming Braehead Clan v Fife Flyers on Yours PC Don’t miss a great battle between Braehead Clan v Fife Flyers online! Lay back and relax – enjoy Stream online Braehead Clan vs Fife Flyers and have a good time in front of Yours PC watching Braehead Clan v Fife Flyers online. So? Why are You stil here? live TV streaming Braehead Clan vs Fife Flyers - teams wouldn’t wait You

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          New 50p coin in UK is a Stephen Hawking black hole      Cache   Translate Page      
This black hole Stephen Hawking coin is bonkers. The United Kingdom’s Royal Mint just started a collection of real-deal coins that’ll be able to be used in the wild – but you’ll far more likely be keeping in your private collection. The collection is centered on British Science, and if Stephen Hawking’s black hole coin is any indication, it’s about … Continue reading
          Theresa May makes final push for her deal ahead of crunch Brexit vote      Cache   Translate Page      
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday made a final push for the United Kingdom Parliament to back her Brexit withdrawal deal in a crunch vot...
          计划要升学的学子,可以考虑申请这些奖学金      Cache   Translate Page      

3月是学子准备升学的月份,大马教育文凭考试(SPM)和大马高等教育文凭考试(STPM)的成绩都在3月放榜。

为了履行社会责任,国内各大品牌和公司都会推出自家的奖学金,并开放让民众申请。如果你或你家的孩子正打算要升学,那你们都可以考虑去申请这些奖学金。

以下就是其中几个,学生们可以依照自己的资格以及升学规划,去申请这项奖学金。详情可以去搜寻和浏览这些公司的网站,以了解更多详情。


1. Garden International School (GIS) Scholarship

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2. Dr. Goh Keng Swee Scholarship

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3. Yang di-Pertuan Agong (BYDPA) Scholarship

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4. Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship for Undergraduate Studies

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5. Shell Scholarship

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6. KTJ A-Level Scholarship

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7. HM The King’s & HM The Queen’s Scholarship

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8. Yayasan Sime Darby Undergraduate Scholarship(Local)

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9. Yayasan Sime Darby Pre-University Scholarship(United Kingdom)

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10. Yayasan Sime Darby Undergraduate Scholarship(Indonesia)

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11. Yayasan Sime Darby Pre-University Scholarship(China)

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12. Great Eastern Supremacy Scholarship Award

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13. Fair & Lovely Scholarship

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14. GREAT Scholarships – British Council

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15. OCBC Scholarship

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16. Khazanah Global Scholarship

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18. Khazanah-Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Merdeka Scholarship

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19. Khazanah Watan Scholarship

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20. Tunku Abdul Rahman Scholarship (BTAR)

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          Should You Be Worried If You're Flying On A Boeing 737 Max 8?      Cache   Translate Page      
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit DAVID GREENE, HOST: Let's say you have a flight booked and, given the recent news, you've looked more closely at the type of plane, and it turns out it is a Boeing 737 Max 8. Should you be scared? Should you try and switch flights? Well, today, the United Kingdom joined a handful of other countries in announcing that they are suspending all use of these planes. Here in the United States, the FAA has not done that. Southwest and American fly the 737 Max 8. United flies a similar 737 plane, and they're all still in the air. This is the type of plane that was involved in two fatal crashes in less than five months, including Sunday's crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed 157 people. David Soucie worked for the FAA as a safety regulator. He's co-author of the book "Why Planes Crash." And he joins us this morning. Welcome. DAVID SOUCIE: Hello. Good morning, David. GREENE: Would you board one of these planes right now? SOUCIE: Well, it
          Sen. Warren Joins Calls For U.S. To Ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 Planes      Cache   Translate Page      
The Democratic senator's call "to get these planes out of the sky" follows moves from several nations, including the United Kingdom, France and China, to suspend flights involving that aircraft.
           PlayStation Network Gift Card 45 GBP PSN UNITED KINGDOM za 206.33zł na G2A.COM      Cache   Translate Page      
Karta produktu: https://lowcygier.pl/sledzokazje/product/604840/
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          Titania McGrath’s Stark Brexit Warning      Cache   Translate Page      

Ahead of today’s crucial vote in parliament, here’s a reminder of what will come to pass if we don’t stop Brexit. pic.twitter.com/fcuQC81MCm — Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 12, 2019 Titania McGrath has a stark warning of the disasters that will immediately befall the United Kingdom if MPs fail to stop Brexit. This will weigh heavy […]

The post Titania McGrath’s Stark Brexit Warning appeared first on Guido Fawkes.


          UK parliament blocks May’s Brexit deal for second time      Cache   Translate Page      

London, United Kingdom – With the clock counting down to Britain’s scheduled departure from the European Union, UK legislators have voted down embattled Prime Minister Theresa May‘s Brexit deal for a second time this year. A second so-called “meaningful vote” on Tuesday ended with another heavy defeat for the prime minister, with 391 MPs voting against and 242 supporting […]

The post UK parliament blocks May’s Brexit deal for second time appeared first on France Times of News.


          British ISIS Bride Shamima Begum’s Baby Has Died In Syria      Cache   Translate Page      

Renu Begum, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo as she is interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, as the relatives of three missing schoolgirls believed to have fled to Syria to join Islamic State have pleaded for them to return home, on February 22, 2015 in London, England

Shamimia Begum’s newborn son has passed away, CNN is reporting. Begum has been at the center of controversy as of late as she begged to return to the United Kingdom after fleeing her home country of London to join ISIS in Syria when she was 15 years old. In response, U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the controversial decision to revoke her British citizenship. Now age 19, Begum gave birth to a child named Jarrah in a Syrian refugee camp in February, who ultimately died a few hours after being transferred from al-Hawl camp to the main hospital in al-Hasakah City in northern Syria.

Click here to continue and read more...


          Brexit uncertainty dubbed 'biggest problem' for property market - will it stabilise?      Cache   Translate Page      


BREXIT may well be fast-approaching, with the United Kingdom set to withdraw its membership from the European Union on March 29 at 11pm UK time. How will Brexit affect the property market, and is it better to try to sell your home now rather than later?
          Audi: A Pleasure To Follow      Cache   Translate Page      

TV Commercial Songs
Audi: A Pleasure To Follow

This is a commercial ad of Audi. This commercial was released in March 2019 in United Kingdom. Under the title of “Audi R8: A Pleasure To Follow”. The new Audi R8 is turning heads again and causing quite a commotion. It’s nothing this V10 engine can’t handle, though. 3.1 seconds will have it speeding away, leaving its followers behind admiring its exquisite rear. It was done by BBH, London advertising agency. And, the commercial by Production Company is Rogue Films and is directed by Sam Brown. Lyrics: ♬Why do birds suddenly appear Every time you are near? Just like me,

Audi: A Pleasure To Follow
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          [Upwork] Fitness sales person      Cache   Translate Page      
From Upwork // We run a successful online fitness business and are opening a new gym facility in Buckinghamshire.

We are looking to hire a part time sales person for selling our services online, over the phone and potentially in person


Posted On: March 12, 2019 22:02 UTC
Category: Sales & Marketing > Telemarketing & Telesales
Skills: Customer Service, Email Handling, Sales
Location Requirement: Only freelancers located in the United Kingdom may apply.
Country: United Kingdom
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          UK Prime Minister Backs Offshore Wind Industry In Wake Of Sector Deal      Cache   Translate Page      
The United Kingdom's embattled Prime Minister, Theresa May, promised on Friday  that "Brexit will not be a race to the bottom" for the country as she spoke at Danish energy giant Orsted's offshore wind factory in Grimsby, heralding the importance of offshore wind to the future of the country a day after her government had launched its long-awaited Offshore Wind Sector Deal. 
          Will Boeing 737 Max 8 Groundings Cause Flight Cancellations or Delays? Here’s What You Should Know      Cache   Translate Page      
As the number of countries grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes grows following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, some flights that have a connection to the aircraft have been cancelled or delayed — and the list of impacted flights could grow. China, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Argentina, the European Union and others…
          Cambridge      Cache   Translate Page      

brett.m.johnson posted a photo:

Cambridge

Cambridge (/ˈkeɪmbrɪdʒ/[3] KAYM-brij) is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students.[2][4] Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.

The world-renowned University of Cambridge was founded in 1209.[5] The buildings of the university include King's College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory, and the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world. The city's skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital and St John's College Chapel tower. Anglia Ruskin University evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology has its main campus in the city.

Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen with industries such as software and bioscience and many start-up companies born out of the university. More than 40% of the workforce have a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average[citation needed]. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world, is soon to house premises of AstraZeneca, a hotel and the relocated Papworth Hospital.[6]

Parker's Piece hosted the first ever game of association football. The Strawberry Fair music and arts festival and Midsummer Fairs are held on Midsummer Common, and the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on Jesus Green. The city is adjacent to the M11 and A14 roads, and Cambridge station is less than an hour from London King's Cross railway station.


          Cambridge      Cache   Translate Page      

brett.m.johnson posted a photo:

Cambridge

Cambridge (/ˈkeɪmbrɪdʒ/[3] KAYM-brij) is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students.[2][4] Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.

The world-renowned University of Cambridge was founded in 1209.[5] The buildings of the university include King's College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory, and the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world. The city's skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital and St John's College Chapel tower. Anglia Ruskin University evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology has its main campus in the city.

Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen with industries such as software and bioscience and many start-up companies born out of the university. More than 40% of the workforce have a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average[citation needed]. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world, is soon to house premises of AstraZeneca, a hotel and the relocated Papworth Hospital.[6]

Parker's Piece hosted the first ever game of association football. The Strawberry Fair music and arts festival and Midsummer Fairs are held on Midsummer Common, and the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on Jesus Green. The city is adjacent to the M11 and A14 roads, and Cambridge station is less than an hour from London King's Cross railway station.


          British Parliament Rejects Prime Minister May's Brexit Plan For A Second Time      Cache   Translate Page      
With just 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, members of Britain's parliament voted against Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan by 149 votes.
          Principal Medical Writing Scientist - Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies - Spring House, PA      Cache   Translate Page      
We are recruiting for a Principle Medical Writing Scientist in Titusville, NJ / Spring House, PA / Raritan, NJ in the USA, or High Wycombe in the United Kingdom...
From Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies - Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:07:01 GMT - View all Spring House, PA jobs
           Nursing knowledge and the expansion of day surgery in the United Kingdom       Cache   Translate Page      
Mitchell, MJ 2006, 'Nursing knowledge and the expansion of day surgery in the United Kingdom' , Ambulatory Surgery, 12 (3) , pp. 131-138.
          Meghan e Kate si baciano davanti ai fotografi. La moglie di Harry si commuove, la duchessa di Cambridge è tesa      Cache   Translate Page      

Pace fatta e tensioni smentite con un bacio? Meghan Markle in total white all'ottavo mese di gravidanza, e Kate Middleton, splendida di rosso vestita, si sono scambiate un saluto apparentemente affettuoso incontrandosi all'Abbazia di Westminster, poco prima della funzione religiosa che viene celebrata ogni anno per il Commonwealth Day. Lo riporta il Daily Mail.

Alla presenza della regina Elisabetta e delle principali autorità politiche britanniche, le Duchesse avrebbero mostrato animi distesi. Le due sono apparse insieme per la seconda volta dal giorno di Natale, in occasione del 70esimo anniversario dalla nascita Commonwealth moderno (nato dopo la dissoluzione dell'impero britannico), evento ufficiale che ha visto riunirsi quasi tutta la famiglia reale.

Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019. - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been the Head of the Commonwealth throughout her reign. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Pohle / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read RICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Così, oltre alla regina Elisabetta (capo dei 53 paesi che fanno parte del Commonwealth), all'Abbazia sono arrivati anche il principe Carlo insieme alla moglie Camilla e Andrea Duca di York. Durante la cerimonia, Meghan ha anche ceduto alla commozione quando il tenore Alfie Boe ha iniziato a intonare Run, degli Snow Patrol.

Alla presenza dei fotografi, Meghan e Kate si sono scambiate un bacio che sta facendo mormorare i tabloid: sintomo di ritrovata concordia o saluto di circostanza per salvare le apparenze? Solo qualche giorno fa, le mogli di Harry e William erano tornate a presenziare insieme ad un evento ufficiale per la celebrazione dei 50 anni da principe di Galles del suocero Carlo.

Il 5 marzo 2019, infatti, Buckingham Palace aveva organizzato un grande evento commemorativo con tutta la famiglia reale per festeggiare il cinquantesimo anniversario dell'investitura di Carlo d'Inghilterra a principe del Galles, avvenuta nel 1969.

(L-R) Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019. - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been the Head of the Commonwealth throughout her reign. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Pohle / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read RICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images)


          British Parliament overwhelmingly rejects May’s Brexit deal      Cache   Translate Page      
With just 17 days until it leaves the EU, the United Kingdom faces growing possibility of crashing out of the bloc without an agreement
          Service Support Team Operator - Excelitas Technologies - St. Asaph      Cache   Translate Page      
A good level of general education (minimum of C grade or above in Maths and English at GCSE level). St Asaph, , United Kingdom....
From Excelitas Technologies - Thu, 24 Jan 2019 14:10:14 GMT - View all St. Asaph jobs
          Amazon Account Manager both SC and VC (U.S, E.U, CA, JP) - Long term part time contract - Upwork      Cache   Translate Page      
Qualification:

1. Experience with multiple channel account management.
2. Experience with contacting Amazon seller support and performance teams
3. Experience with opening inactive listings and dealing with account health issues
4. Have insider contact into Amazon to deal with various issues
5. Overall understanding with Amazon

Posted On: March 13, 2019 01:11 UTC
ID: 215726411
Category: Web, Mobile & Software Dev > Ecommerce Development
Skills: Amazon Web Services, Amazon Webstore, Virtual Assistant
Country: United Kingdom
click to apply
          AWSM statement on Extinction Rebellion      Cache   Translate Page      
Press Release – Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement Extinction Rebellion was established in the United Kingdom in October 2018 as a movement that aims to use tactics of nonviolent direct action in order to avert the effects of climate change. Since its formation it has rapidly spread to at least … Extinction Rebellion was established in […]
          IRD wins 'tax avoidance' case against Eric Watson's Cullen Group over $52 million tax debt      Cache   Translate Page      

Below is a press release issued by the Inland Revenue Department on Tuesday afternoon. The judgment is here. It dismisses Cullen Group’s challenge to the IRD’s assessment of Cullen Group as liable for about $51.5 million of tax, plus use of money interest and penalties.

Inland Revenue has won a High Court case against Eric Watson’s Cullen Group over a nearly $52 million tax debt.

After a nine-day trial in Auckland in August and September last year,  Justice Palmer delivered a written decision today dismissing the Cullen Group’s challenge to the $51,496,127.38 tax assessment.

IRD Legal Services Leader Karen Whitiskie says Justice Palmer’s decision today is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people.

"The outcome of the High Court process is the result of hard work and dedication by the Inland Revenue team, Crown Law and Counsel. This was a long running issue and shows the dedication of our people in unravelling what went on.

Eric Watson moved from New Zealand to the United Kingdom in 2002 and restructured his business affairs so his shares in Cullen Investments Ltd (CIL) were replaced by loans owed by Cullen Group Ltd (Cullen Group) to companies in the Cayman Islands.

“Mr Watson retained a high degree of control over the relevant entities and was on both sides of the loans. The Court found it was a tax avoidance arrangement and void against the Commissioner,” Karen Whitiskie says. 

“Cullen Group was paying tax at a lower rate than it should have been. It paid Approved Issuer Levy (AIL) at two percent when it should have paid Non-Resident Withholding Tax (NRWT) at 15 per cent.”

Justice Palmer dismissed the challenge and ruled Cullen Group is liable for the $51.5m of tax, plus use of money interest.

The parties will now carefully consider the judgment and have until Tuesday, 9 April 2019 to file an appeal.


          NZD received a boost Friday after broad based declines in the USD; NZD continues to improve on the AUD; GBP recovered off last week low of 0.5230 against the NZD      Cache   Translate Page      

By Neven Fisher*:

Major Announcements last week:

  • RBA leave rates unchanged at 1.50% - statement was dovish
  • Australian quarterly GDP prints down at 0.2% from 0.5% expected
  • Canadian Trade Balance comes in much lower than markets expect at -4.6B from -2.4B
  • Bank of Canada leave the overnight cash rate unchanged at 1.75%
  • Australian m/m Retail Sales print 0.1% from 0.3% expected
  • ECB leave the overnight rate unchanged and introduce new bank loans to improve liquidity and growth
  • US Non-Farm Payroll prints at 20,000 from 180,000 expected
  • US Unemployment drops to 3.8% from 3.9%

NZD/USD

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) received a boost Friday after broad based declines in the US Dollar (USD) took the kiwi off the low of 0.6744 to close at 0.6800. This week the theme has continued with a mix of “risk on” sentiment based on Brexit positiveness before tomorrow’s vote and big dollar sellers. Fed chairman Powell said the Fed was in no hurry to change interest rates again and will watch how the slowing economy progresses. Brexit headlines will hold market focus over the remaining week, we suspect sentiment will change tomorrow and take the kiwi back below 0.6800.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD/USD 0.6831 0.6745 0.6900 0.6745- 0.6839

NZD/AUD (AUD/NZD)

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) continues to improve on the Australian Dollar (AUD) picking up 54 points last week to 0.9660 (1.0350) where it currently trades Tuesday lunch. Last week’s poor Aussie data continues to weigh on the currency in a week with no economic data printing. Financial markets are locked in a “risk on” mood as hopes of a Brexit deal improve heading into tonight’s parliamentary vote. The kiwi benefiting as investors start thinking about parity parties all over again. We can’t see the cross going below 0.9600 (1.0420) this week.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / AUD 0.9672 0.9615 0.9680 0.9582- 0.9679
AUD / NZD 1.0335 1.0330 1.0400 1.0332- 1.0436

NZD/GBP (GBP/NZD)

The British Pound (GBP) recovered off last week low of 0.5230 (1.9115) to push back to 0.5155 (1.9400) against the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). A last minute pre 12 March parliament vote is on the cards as Theresa May tries one more time. May is on route to meet European Commission President Juncker in Strasbourg. Analysts are suggesting negotiations have reached a point where there might be an agreement. Certainly with the Pound spiking overnight the sentiment barometer is high. UK m/m GDP prints tonight along with Manufacturing Production. News just in: PM May has supposedly secured legally binding changes to her Brexit deal that will strengthen and possibly improve her withdrawal agreement.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / GBP 0.5164 0.5120 0.5200 0.5135- 0.5257
GBP / NZD 1.9365 1.9220 1.9540 1.9023- 1.9474

 NZD/CAD

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) continued last week rally against the Canadian Dollar (CAD) extending to 0.9155 as risk improved. Equity markets are up on the day as well as Crude Oil to 56.86 but the NZD was preferred. The Bank of Canada downgraded earlier predictions that cash rates would track higher suggesting further uncertainty. Recent Canadian economic data releases have been poor. We expect price to track higher towards 0.9250 the 12 month high.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / CAD 0.9151 0.9110 0.9250 0.9030- 0.9163

NZD/EURO (EURO/NZD)

Optimism towards a Brexit deal being done has lifted risk sentiment in the markets with the Euro (EUR), New Zealand Dollar (NZD) cross continuing last week’s push from the open to 0.6080 (1.6450). Risk currencies have benefited, US equities have closed over 1% higher and the US Dollar was sold off further from Friday’s NFP figure. Also assisting the kiwi is the ECB’s downgraded inflation and growth forecast which could really bite. Long term we are heading towards resistance around 0.6130 (1.6320) of December 2018, any upside moves through this area and we are well into multi year highs. This pair has no scheduled data this week to release, direction will be guided by risk sentiment.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD/EUR 0.6065 0.5980 0.6100 0.5980- 0.6084
EUR/NZD 1.6488 1.6400 1.6720 1.6436- 1.6723

NZD/YEN

Monday saw the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) recover off last week low of 75.00 to regain losses against the Japanese Yen (JPY) back to 76.00 Tuesday. This week’s focus is the Bank of Japan (BoJ) interest rate statement. Comments around ramping up stimulus will be key in relation to achieving their 2.0% inflation target, Kuroda could signal more easing due to lower inflation and growth forecasts. The kiwi is still trading in th 2019 bullish channel and looks to retest 76.50 this week if risk continues.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / YEN 76.05 75.00 76.50 75.01- 76.30

AUD/USD

The Australian Dollar (AUD) closed the week on a high at 0.7040 against the US Dollar (USD), reversing off the weekly low of 0.7002 after risk sentiment improved. Risk markets continued into Monday with US equities posting gains of over 1.0% as the cross got through to 0.7080 Tuesday. The hangover from last week’s abysmal Non-Farm Payroll figure also continues to pressure the greenback along with Powell making comment that the Fed would try to influence the US Dollar lower through trade policy. The 50% retracement of the low of 0.7002 and high of 0.7200 could influence price towards 0.7100 before turning lower.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / USD 0.7062 0.7000 0.7130 0.7003- 0.7092

AUD/GBP (GBP/AUD) 

The Australian Dollar (AUD) has given back most of last week’s gains versus the British Pound returning to 0.5370 (1.8620) as hopes improve a Brexit deal can be negotiated. Last minute EU concessions have pushed buyers into the Pound as Theresa May travels to Strasbourg to meet with EU President Juncker. The aim of the trip is to finalise an agreement prior to the parliamentary vote tonight. Anything positive from the EU would be bullish for the Pound and push the currency higher. UK m/m GDP and Manufacturing data prints tonight.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / GBP 0.5338 0.5290 0.5430 0.5325- 0.5438
GBP / AUD 1.8733 1.8420 1.8900 1.8393- 1.8779

AUD/EURO (EURO/AUD)

Risk sentiment improved overnight Tuesday after hopes a last minute concession on Brexit from the EU would allow the UK parliament to vote into law a EU-UK deal. The Australian Dollar (AUD) improved to 0.6285 (1.5910) against the Euro (EUR) from the open of 0.6265 (1.5950) extending last week’s gains and looks to 0.6320 (1.5820) early February resistance levels. All eyes this week will be firmly focused on a Brexit outcome which is lucky because the calendar is dry this week. Last week’s dovish ECB outlook should give the Aussie further fuel to appreciate further.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD/EUR 0.6269 0.6240 0.6290 0.6203- 0.6291
EUR/AUD 1.5951 1.5900 1.6020 1.5896- 1.6121

AUD/YEN

The Australian Dollar (AUD) has recovered off last weeks low of 77.72 against the Japanese Yen (JPY) as risk improved in markets with price pushing back to 78.70. Later this week in focus is the Bank of Japan (BoJ) interest rate statement. Comments around ramping up stimulus will be key in relation to achieving their 2.0% inflation target. The BoJ have said recently they would weigh the benefits and costs with further policy easing. If Kuroda signals more easing due to lower growth and inflation expectations, we could see a devalued JPY.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD/YEN 78.64 78.00 79.50 77.73- 79.33

AUD/CAD

The Australian Dollar (AUD) surged back towards the five week high of 0.9483 Tuesday against the Canadian Dollar. Risk markets preferring the slightly more stable AUD after comments from last week out of the Bank of Canada (BoC) meeting highlighted they would not be looking to raise rates based on uncertainty and a deteriorating economic outlook. It’s a quiet week of data for the pair with just RBA assistant governor Debelle speaking today and Canadian Manufacturing figures Friday.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / CAD 0.9462 0.9400 0.9520 0.9389- 0.9482

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Australia

The RBA left rates unchanged at 1.50% with governor Lowe suggesting rates are consistent with GDP growth and inflation forecasts. Inflation remains low but stable and should pick up over the coming years. With all aspects of the economy showing weakening data the RBA seem to be upbeat that wage growth and low unemployment should improve in the coming months. Quarterly GDP released lower than expectations adding fuel to the depreciating AUD with Retail Sales also printing down at 0.1%. Trade Balance has surprised markets when figures showed an increase of nearly 2B to 4.55B after 2.85B was forecast. The only reason the Aussie has bounced off 0.7000 against the greenback is the buoyant Trade figure. Analysts are predicting a pick up in the Aussie towards the end of April based on seasonal import/export figures and solid iron ore values, I’m not so sure? It’s a quiet week on the calendar this week with only RBA assistant governor Debelle speaking today.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Dollar followed the Australian Dollar lower in the early stages of last week bottoming out against the US Dollar at 0.6744 before things changed. US (NFP) Non-Farm Payroll jobs data showed only a further 20,000 people were added to the workforce - the figure significantly down on the expected 180,000 number. Unemployment came in better than expected at 3.8% from 3.9% but the US Dollar traded softer allowing the kiwi to regain early week losses. Global Auction Milk prices have again posted another positive result of 3.3%, this is the seventh increase in prices since November 20th with farmgate prices set to improve over time. Another quiets week for data for the local currency suggesting outside influences will impact for the second week running.

United States

Larry Kudlow has made the suggestion that the ongoing Trump/China trade talks are making "headway" as mixed reports suggested the two parties were miles away from agreeing on a deal. China has suggested a compromise to the US Govt that would allow them to impose an enforcement provision if conditions were not met. Currently the US, based on the current deal conditions, have all the rights to charge China reimposed tariffs if they failed to meet with structural changes to its economy. China have highlighted this as unfair and wish to even the playing field with their own set of what if's penalties as they seek an equal rights trade deal. Erin Ennis senior vice president of the US/China business council has said "we could definitely see ourselves in yet another period of uncertainty" the longer differences continue. Trump is to set to demand another 8.6 Billion in wall funding to build additional sections of the wall along the Mexico/US border in a new set of new battles with congress. The US Dollar retreated late Friday after Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) printed down on expectations of 180,000 at 20,000 as markets sold the Dollar. US unemployment is still low coming in down at 3.8% from 3.9% as well as Average hourly earnings also printing positive at 0.4% from 0.3%. Equity markets closed lower but the kiwi and Aussie pushed up slightly off recent lows as news broke.

Europe

The ECB left the overnight rate unchanged and will look at stimulating the economy’s growth through 2019-2020 with a product called (TLTROs) Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations as a potential method to inject liquidity to boost growth. The ECB cut its inflation and growth forecast and delayed any shift to rate hikes by at least three months with the current rate on hold until at least the end of this year. They have also introduced a bunch of cheapish long term loans (TLTRO) in the hope of loosening liquidity conditions later in 2019. Draghi said that the likelihood of a recession was low and the Eurozone growth outlook was still swayed to the downside. It’s a quiet week for tier one data with only less significant economic releases to print.

United Kingdom

The British Pound depreciated further heading into the weekly close and opened Monday on the defensive. Against the US Dollar it traded from around 1.3070 down to 1.2965 based on the EU rejecting May's latest offer. The EU made a fresh offer of letting Britain exit the backstop but keeping Northern Ireland in it which was not acceptable to May. The parliament vote which takes place on Tuesday 12th March (Wednesday morning in NZT) is expected to be dreadful for May. Several members of cabinet have discussed whether May's time is coming to an end if the vote is a "no" Tuesday. The EU are in the driver's seat as they can either deny the UK an extension and ask them to leave or demand an increase of the "divorce payment" as a trade off for offering an extension of time for article 50. One possible scenario which could play out if support grows for the UK to not leave the EU if the current deal is scrapped, the EU could offer an extension and the UK have another referendum which would turn out "no leave". This week the Pound will be by far the most volatile currency, expect wild swings as news hits the wires. In breaking news, the Pound outperformed Tuesday morning travelling to 1.3280 on hopes a last gasp deal on Brexit can be agreed. Theresa May is on her way to Strasbourg where she will meet European Commission President Juncker.

Japan

The Japanese Yen closed the week outperforming its rivals on the main currency board after risk aversion drove market sentiment and rallied the JPY. Turning a corner after five weeks of losses against the US Dollar the Yen remained in control. Bouncing from 112.13 the pair closed the week around 110.90 as the ECB's decision to launch another round of TLTRO's sent markets in search of safety. Chinese trade figures were also a risk factor with Chinese exports falling more than 20% in February. The trade surplus m/m came to 4.12B much weaker than the 26.3B markets were expecting. Japan's GDP grew by more than 1.90% for the last quarter of 2018 coming in ahead of predictions of 1.80%. The economic watchers survey also supported the Yen releasing at 47.5 for the month of February after 45.6 was expected. This weeks (BoJ) Bank of Japan policy rate is announced on Friday and will remain unchanged.

Canada

Overnight Canada entered DST (daylight saving time) with clocks moved forward 1 hour. The Bank of Canada maintained its 1.75% rate last week saying the global slowdown has been worse than predicted and widespread than the bank had forecast especially in the fourth quarter of 2018. Inflation is forecast to be a little less than 2.0% for most of 2019 but given the pressures on lower Oil prices CPI has eased to 1.4% in January. The BoC are uncertain about future timing of rate increases and will watch developments in Oil markets, household spending and US trade policy. The Canadian Dollar sank across the board and travelled to a yearly low against the greenback. The US Non-Farm Payroll figure Friday was not as rosy as predicted putting the US Dollar under pressure and taking the CAD off its lows. A quiet week for Canadian data on the docket with only Manufacturing Sales to print.

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          Brexit in tatters as MPs overwhelmingly reject Theresa May's EU divorce deal      Cache   Translate Page      

The British Prime Minister suffers a second crushing defeat of her maligned Brexit withdrawal deal, plunging the United Kingdom into further uncertainty over how it will leave the European Union.


           Comment on A Nation Going to Pot by Donald Marinkovich       Cache   Translate Page      
This piece is bogus. Marijuana is a very harmless substance.it is proven in many studies to help people including helping people cope enough to get to WORK.you can't Overdose on it,yes it could cause a car crash,but if you don't drink and drive you don't toke up and drive either.this piece is about lambasting the Democrats,but what the public does NOT see or hear is any REAL' Respect from the GOP for the working class.Nothing being said or Done about "Liveable Wages and Guaranteed Pensions", Nothing! The Democrats don't care either.yhe GOP yells socialism.well democratic socialism works well.look at Canada,the United kingdom,and most of Europe.and even in countries where they legalized mist drugs like in Spain and Portugal, most people are NOT doing drugs,but it has eliminated gangs, because the drugs made by thirr government ae at a low dose and safe and cheap.we can have lower dose THC marijuana here, nice and Natural and NO'; most people will not be doing it.just the voters who wantto and for the most part only occasionally.thank you.
          All the Different Names (and Nicknames) Queen Elizabeth II Has Had      Cache   Translate Page      

For most people, the title "the Queen" can only evoke one person: Queen Elizabeth II, the long-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Elizabeth II is an icon, which makes it easy to forget that she's also just a person like all of us. One thing she doesn't have in common with the rest of us, though, is the sheer variety of names, nicknames, and titles she carries. Here's a quick guide:

At birth, the Queen was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Her first name honors her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, while her two middle names are nods to her great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and her paternal grandmother, Queen Mary. Technically, she has a surname of Windsor, but senior members of the royal family do not use last names. Instead, because her father was then Prince Albert, Duke of York, she was officially titled Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York.

When her father became King George VI, she retained the style of Her Royal Highness but dropped the "York," instead becoming simply The Princess Elizabeth. For a few years, between her 1947 marriage to Prince Philip and her 1952 accession to the throne, she had a pretty unwieldy title that included her own royal title and her husband's ducal title: Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh.

Once George VI died and Elizabeth became queen, the question of what she would call herself was immediately raised. In some cases, monarchs do not use their own first names, but instead take a "regnal name" that is typically one of their middle names. Her own father did this: his real first name was Albert, but he used George, one of his middle names, as a regnal name in order to honor his father, George V, and imply a sense of continuity and a return to stability after the brief and controversial reign of his brother, Edward VIII.

It's also occasionally used when a certain name becomes controversial for some reason. For instance, it's rumored that Prince Charles may not become Charles III when he becomes king, since that was the title claimed by an infamous Scottish "pretender" to the throne (Bonnie Prince Charlie, who's recognizable to Outlander fans for sure). Elizabeth, however, decisively kept her own name, unused for a queen regnant since Elizabeth I in the 1500s. Properly, she's now referred to as Her Majesty the Queen, or Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen's most famous nickname is "Lilibet," which is reportedly based on how she pronounced her own name as a child. Her close family, such as her parents and her sister Princess Margaret, often called her that. According to Marie Claire, however, Prince Philip has given her a nickname that only he uses: "Cabbage." Supposedly, it's a play on words from the idiomatic French expression "mon petit chou" which translate directly as "my little cabbage." Prince William reportedly called the Queen "Gary" when he was a little boy, before he got the hang of "Granny," according to the Daily Mail.

On the flip side, Queen Elizabeth II has had at least one nickname that's not so flattering. As viewers of The Crown will remember, Edward VIII (aka Edward, Duke of Windsor) and his wife, Wallis Simpson, had catty nicknames for his family members, who they mostly resented and disliked. Published letters of the duke and duchess's reveal that they referred to Elizabeth as "Shirley Temple," presumably as a reference to her youth and her curly hair. If you ever meet the Queen, though, there are just two very simple names to remember: "Your Majesty," for the first introduction, and "Ma'am" later in conversation!


          US, UK, Japan to Kick Off Submarine Hunting Drills in Western Pacific      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A submarine-hunting exercise featuring warships from the United States, United Kingdom and Japan will begin on Thursday in support of open navigation in the Indo-Pacific region, the US Navy announced in a press release.
          Alice Eve makes eyes at the camera and makes eyes pop with her hot dress      Cache   Translate Page      

Alice Sophia Eve is an English actress best known for her roles in the films Starter for 10, Crossing Over, She”s Out of My League, S** and the City 2, The Raven, Men in Black 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness. Born: February 6, 1982 , London, United Kingdom Height: 1.66 m Parents: Sharon Maughan, … Continued

The post Alice Eve makes eyes at the camera and makes eyes pop with her hot dress appeared first on Entertainment Exclusive Photos.


          Iphone 4-What It Can Offer You      Cache   Translate Page      
The Apple is a very renowned mobile manufacturing company in the united kingdom. The smart phones of Apple brand are of greater quality, high durability and advanced technology. All across the United Kingdom, millions of mobile users like to gain advantage of the sophisticated and elegant looking gadgets of this brand. Apple iphone 5 is […]
          May secures “legally binding” Brexit deal changes from EU at Strasbourg meeting..gets beaten at home      Cache   Translate Page      
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-12/theresa-may-concessions-european-union-brexit-deal-strasbourg/10891520 UK Prime Minister Theresa May has clinched legally binding Brexit assurances from the European Union in a last-ditch attempt to win over rebellious British MPs who had threatened to vote down her divorce deal again. Scrambling to plot an orderly path out of the Brexit maze just days before the United Kingdom was due […]
          x-dream-distribution and partners at CabSat2019      Cache   Translate Page      

Following our success at CabSat 2018, we decided to bring our innovative products and services to it once again. Join x-dream-distribution GmbH in Dubai from 12-14 March 2019 at CabSat on the Bavarian booth in Hall 3.

x-dream-distribution GmbH presents innovative ingest, Social ingest andoutgestsolutions by Woody Technologies and transcoding and live broadcasting software by Capella Systems, as well as ingest and playout software by Libero Systems, and microservices toolkit for broadcaster by Squared Paper.

All the latest features that have been presented at BVE2019 and even more, will be available to all our visitors at CabSat in Dubai, Middle East & Africa's only event for content, broadcast, satellite, media & entertainment industry professionals looking to create inspiration, action & reaction.

Partner products and news CabSat 2019

Capella Systems (USA)

Cambria FTC // Cambria Cluster

Already in 4th generation, the Cambria FTC and Cambria Cluster are an innovative transcoding product… Most resentstandardfeatures:

•    SD / HD / UHD and up to 8K
•    xAVC, ProRes, DNxHD, JPEG2000
•    H.264 & H.265
•    HDR support
•    DASH, HLS, MSS
•    Dolby E & Dolby Vision
•    S3 read&write

Cambria Live // Cambria Broadcast Manager // Live Edit

New release of Cambria Live Series v4.1, a software-based production suite for professional live streaming broadcast production. This all-in-one system handles live switching, production functions, encoding, and distribution.

•    MPEG-DASH and CMAF support for Akamai
•    Failover (backup stream) support for DASH/HLS with Akamai
•    Ad Pre-fetch request to Yospace HLS/DASH targets
•    Software-based cue tone trigger feature
•    Embed splice_event_id from SCTE into Ad Preset

Flow Works (Germany)

Distributed MAM with distributed workflow support for media processing.
•    FlowCenter - highly integrated, complete workflow and asset management solution.
•    Flow ANT - micro media management appliance with GPU acceleration
•    All-new Flow Archive GUI (Editorial GUI).

Libero (Turkey)

•    Libero Playout is a software-based playout automation system which provides powerful, flexible and user-friendly broadcasting solutions via a client-server architecture.
•    Libero Ingest is a flexible multi-channel ingest, transcoding and encoding software with powerful and user-friendly features.

Metaliquid (Italy)

Customized on-premises and cloud state of the art AI recognition and classification services to meet specific industry needs. Metaliquid has developed a proprietary deep learning framework and neural network architectures.

•    Face recognition
•    Shot and setting recognition
•    Sensitive contentdetection
•    Opening and closingcreditsdetection
•    Sport actionsclassification
•    Content type, audio and language classification

Squared Paper (United Kingdom)

The Busby Enterprise Service Bus & microservices toolkit is specially designed for the broadcast industry:

•    monitoring hardware and software systems and applications
•    workflow orchestration from small to large and complex
•    event recording for SLA reporting and later analysis
•    controlling external devices and services, etc.

Teamium (France)

Feature rich, simple to use resource scheduling and collaboration management solution exclusively designed for video production.
•    Cloud-basedproductionmanagement
•    Resourceplanning and scheduling
•    User definedbusinessprocesses
•    Consumer grade userexperience
•    Realtime financialdashboard

Woody Technologies (France)

•    Version 3.1 of all Woody software will be released, bringing several major enhancements.
•    New Woody in2it Server, a unique client-server ingest tool for all media formats, with web-based intuitive UX and strong workflow control features, streamlining local and remote ingest workflows.

•    Woody in2it Go, the ultimate tool for reporters on the field to encode, transfer and notify their footage or stories to the broadcaster facility.
•    Woody Social, ingest from any social network directly to your production environment.
•    Woody in2it Server, Woody Ingest, Woody Outgest and Woody Social can now be deployed in a scalable architecture containing multiple nodes. This brings two major improvements - redundancy and load balancing – for large Woody deployments.

x-dream-media (Germany)

Software integrator with an entire commitment to the media IT developing its own software products for file-based workflows and asset management.
 
•    Signiant Managers + Agents and XDM WFM – workflow manager with integrations to many 3rd parties file processing and publishing software
•    OneGUI – job, workflow and farm monitoring & reporting, search & filtering, multi-tenant, various 3rd parties (e.g. Harmonic, Telestream, Capella, MOG, Interra)
•    Ingest Browser – media browsing, previewing, trimming and workflow start, watchfolder, storage indexing, file search
•    MFP – multi format player with frame accurate positioning, side-by-side view, audio leveling, SDI output and playlist support
•    SERVUS node – software-only videoserver, recorder and IP-streamer

 

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/300x300/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/11/x-dream.jpg?itok=AQjolE4I

          PWC: Director Insurance External Audit      Cache   Translate Page      
Competitive: PWC: A career in PwC's Financial Services Audit practice, within External Audit services, will provide you with the opportunity to provide a range of Assur United Kingdom
          China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, European Union ground Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after crash      Cache   Translate Page      

Ethiopian Airlines(LONDON) -- A growing list of airline carriers and aviation regulators around the world are grounding fleets of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in the wake of a crash of the same model that killed all 157 people on board.

A new Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines went down in clear weather on Sunday morning just minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia's capital. The American-made jet was headed to Nairobi, Kenya.

A total of 149 passengers and 8 crew members were believed to be on board Flight 302, according to Ethiopian Airlines.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States said it's sending a team of four to assist in the probe. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it plans to join the NTSB in assisting Ethiopian authorities.

Ethiopian Airlines said two black boxes -- the digital flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder -- have been recovered from the wreckage in the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa.

Another 737 Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff from Indonesia on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.

Ethiopian Airlines, the flag carrier of the East African nation, decided to ground its remaining Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft "until further notice."

"Although we don't yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution," the state-owned airline said in a statement early Monday.

Airlines in other countries also have announced the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 fleets, including Cayman Airways, the flag carrier airline of the Cayman Islands, South Africa-based airline Comair, Aeromexico, Mexico's flag carrier airline, Aerolineas Argentinas, Argentina's largest airline and flag carrier, Gol, Brazil's largest airline, Royal Air Maroc, Morocco's national carrier, South Korean airline Eastar Jet, Turkish Airlines, Turkey's national flag carrier airline, and Norwegian Air Shuttle, Norway's largest airline.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency on Tuesday suspended all flight operations of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 aircraft models from flying into or out of Europe, "as a precautionary measure," amid the ongoing investigation into Sunday's crash.

A number of nations had already issued restrictions on the embattled jetliner.

China's aviation regulator has ordered all Chinese airlines to suspend operations of the Boeing 737 Max 8, nearly 96 jets. Using those planes won't resume until "confirming the relevant measures to effectively ensure flight safety," the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement Monday.

Indonesia has temporarily grounded its Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet while aircraft inspections are carried out to ensure "flight-worthy conditions." The country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation has been supervising operations of the 737 Max 8 since the crash in October.

Singapore's aviation regulator has indefinitely banned all Boeing 737 Max aircraft from flying into and out of the country. The suspension affects five airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a statement Tuesday.

Australia has temporarily suspended operations of Boeing 737 Max planes to or from the country. While no Australian airlines operate these aircraft, two foreign airlines fly them to the country, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia said in a statement Tuesday.

Malaysia has also suspended operations of Boeing 737 Max 8 jets flying to or from the country "until further notice."

Oman's aviation regulator has indefinitely banned Boeing 737 Max aircraft from flying into and out of the nation.

The United Kingdom has ordered a suspension on any Boeing 737 Max 8 commercial passenger flights arriving, departing or overlying the country's airspace. The temporary ban is "a precautionary measure," the U.K. Civil Aviation Authoritiy said in a statement Tuesday.

The Irish Aviation Authority has temporarily suspended the entry and exit of all Boeing 737 Max aircraft from Ireland's airspace.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a "continued airworthiness notification to the international community" on Monday evening for Boeing 737 Max 8 operators, signaling confidence in the jetliner.

The Boeing Company said it currently "does not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators" of its 737 Max 8 model.

"We have engaged our customers and regulators on concerns they may have -- and would refer you to them to discuss their operations and decisions," a Boeing spokesperson told ABC News in a statement Monday morning. "Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved. The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators."

In a letter sent to employees later Monday, Boeing's president, chairman and CEO said "the Max family has completed hundreds of thousands of flights safely. We are confident in the safety of the 737 Max."

The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer has supplied more than 370 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to 47 airlines since the model entered service in May 2017. Seventy-two of them are currently flying in the United States, according to Boeing.

At least eight Americans were among those killed. The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia said it is "working to determine their identities."

ABC News has confirmed with family members that Melvin and Bennett Riffel from Redding, California, Antoine Lewis from Matteson, Illinois, and Matt Vecere, a California resident originally from New Jersey, died in the plane crash.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at least 21 U.N. staff were aboard the doomed flight.

"Our colleagues were women and men -- junior professionals and seasoned officials — hailing from all corners of the globe and with a wide array of expertise," Guterres said Monday. "They all had one thing in common -- a spirit to serve the people of the world and to make it a better place for us all."

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared Monday a national day of mourning.

Boeing said it was "deeply saddened" by the crash.

"We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team," the company said in a statement Sunday. "A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


          Why Princess Diana Was Never Replaced By Cherie Blair As Fashion Icon      Cache   Translate Page      
During and after her marriage to Prince Charles, Princess Diana received an immense amount of praise for her charitable work, but, she was also known as a fashion icon. Her trendy style choices often earned her attention from the media, however, years after her death, Cherie Blair reportedly tried to win over the spotlight that was no longer dominated by the Princess of Wales. Cherie, who is the wife of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, reportedly took a sudden interest in fashion after her husband rose to power.
          ‘Political meltdown’ grips UK after Theresa May’s Brexit defeat      Cache   Translate Page      
The United Kingdom continues to face political turmoil over Brexit, as Prime Minister Theresa May failed to find enough support in Parliament for her amended agreement with the European Union. Judy Woodruff talks to Sir Peter Westmacott, former British ambassador to the U.S., about the most likely courses of action now, May’s “extremely fragile” majority and why Brexit matters across the globe.
          U.S. Lawmakers Call To Ground The Boeing 737 MAX 8. FAA Says 'No' For Now       Cache   Translate Page      

As countries worldwide continue to ground their Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, aviation officials in the U.S. have been hesitant to follow suit.

The Federal Aviation Administration says there is "no basis to order the grounding of the aircraft." That's according to a statement Tuesday evening from Daniel Elwell, the acting FAA administrator.

"The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX," the statement reads. "Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft. Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action."

Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed on Sunday, killing all 157 passengers and crew on board. Just five months earlier, a 737 MAX jet flown by Lion Air crashed off the coast of Indonesia killing all 189 people on the plane.

Tuesday, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency announced it was suspending all flight operations of the Boeing series of jets involved in the crashes. That follows similar moves by China, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and others to either ground the planes or temporarily ban them from their airspace.

And on Capitol Hill there is a growing chorus of lawmakers from both parties calling for the FAA to do the same.

Speaking on NPR's All Things Considered, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the FAA has a responsibility to put "safety ahead of airline profits."

"Right now there's more than ample reason for airline passengers to be greatly concerned. In fact, justifiably frightened about the safety of these airplanes and the ability of pilots to handle a malfunction," Blumenthal said.

In a statement Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, agreed.

"I believe it would be prudent for the United States likewise to temporarily ground 737 Max aircraft until the FAA confirms the safety of these aircraft and their passengers."

Cruz, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, said he plans to hold hearings on the matter, "to investigate these crashes, determine their contributing factors, and ensure that the United States aviation industry remains the safest in the world."

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah have also called on the FAA to ground the planes.

According to NPR White House Correspondent Scott Horsley, President Trump spoke to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday. It's a sign of just how extreme the stakes are for one of the nation's most prominent companies.

In a pair of morning tweets, which came before the Trump's conversation with Boeing's CEO, the President weighed in on Ethiopian Airlines tragedy by lamenting that present-day planes are becoming "far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT."

The FAA said in its notice on Monday that as part of its "ongoing oversight activities" it expects Boeing to complete flight control system enhancements "which provide reduced reliance on procedures associated with required pilot memory items."

The FAA said it expects those updates sometime next month.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


          Dozens Of Countries Ground Boeing's 737 Max 8 Following Deadly Crash In Ethiopia       Cache   Translate Page      

Airline regulators across the globe are grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, joining an ever expanding list of countries banning the plane from their airspace. This comes in the wake of Sunday's deadly plane crash in Ethiopia that killed all 157 people on board. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The latest move came Tuesday from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) when it announced a suspension of two Boeing 737 Max models in all flights in the European bloc.

The wave of bans follows the Civil Aviation Administration of China's decision on Monday to order the country's airlines to suspend all commercial operations of their Boeing 737 Max 8 jets.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration does not plan to ground the jets in the United States but is facing growing pressure to do so.

The FAA announced Monday that it would require a series of design changes for the Boeing 737 Max fleet.

In the U.S., Southwest Airlines uses a fleet of 34 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and is not planning any change in service. Likewise, American Airlines, which operates 24 of the planes, is not planning to ground them.

The full list of countries and airlines that have announced a ban is below:

—Argentina (Aerolíneas Argentinas)
—Australia
—Austria
—Belgium
—Brazil (GOL Linhas Aéreas)
—Cayman Islands (Cayman Airways)
—China
—Ethiopia
—EASA member states
—France
—Germany
—Iceland (Icelandair)
—India
—Indonesia
—Ireland
—Italy
—Malaysia
—Mexico (Aeromexico)
—Mongolia (MIAT Mongolian Airlines)
—Morocco (Royal Air Maroc)
—Netherlands
—Norway (Norwegian)
—Oman
—Poland
—Singapore
—South Africa (Comair)
—South Korea (Eastar Jet)
—Turkey
—United Kingdom (TUI Airways)

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

          Los Bravos      Cache   Translate Page      

Summary:


{{Template}}

'''Los Bravos''' were a [[Spain|Spanish]] [[beat group]], formed in 1965 and based in [[Madrid]]. Their single "[[Black Is Black]]" reached No. 2 in the [[United Kingdom]] in July 1966 and No. 4 in the [[United States]] (the first Spanish group to do so), selling over a million [[gramophone record|records]].

{{GFDL}}

          Magical Mystery Tour      Cache   Translate Page      

Summary:


{{Template}}

'''''Magical Mystery Tour''''' is an album by the English [[rock music|rock]] band [[the Beatles]] that was released as a [[double extended play|double EP]] in the United Kingdom and an [[LP album|LP]] in the United States. Produced by [[George Martin]], it includes the soundtrack to the 1967 [[Magical Mystery Tour (film)|film of the same name]]. The EP was issued in the UK on 8 December 1967 on the [[Parlophone]] label, while the [[Capitol Records]] LP release in the US occurred on 27 November and featured eleven tracks with the addition of songs from the band's 1967 singles. The first release as an eleven-track LP in the UK did not occur until 1976.

Despite widespread media criticism of the ''Magical Mystery Tour'' film, the soundtrack was a critical and commercial success and a number one [[Grammy Award|Grammy-nominated]] album in the US. When [[EMI]] issued the Beatles' catalogue on [[compact disc]] in 1987, the track listing of the 1967 US LP was adopted rather than the six-song UK release.
{{GFDL}}

          As MPs Reject UK PM Theresa May’s Plan, EU Warns of No-Deal Brexit      Cache   Translate Page      

The United Kingdom Parliament has rejected UK PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Wednesday, 13 March. The deal has been defeated again by 391 votes to 242 – a majority of 149. The House of Commons threw out the agreement by an overwhelming majority in January, sending May back to the EU to seek changes. […]

The post As MPs Reject UK PM Theresa May’s Plan, EU Warns of No-Deal Brexit appeared first on TickTick News.


          [Upwork] Looking for someone to design a postcode flyer for start-up company      Cache   Translate Page      
From Upwork // Would like something designing fairly quickly. For a start up company so the flyer will need to draw attention and intrigue people.


Posted On: March 13, 2019 00:02 UTC
Category: Design & Creative > brand_identity_strategy
Skills: Flyer Design, Illustration, Print Design, Print Layout Design
Location Requirement: Only freelancers located in the United Kingdom may apply.
Country: United Kingdom
click to apply
          3/13/2019: The Views: Daesh brides need help and guidance      Cache   Translate Page      

Critics of the United Kingdom Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to revoke Shamima Begum’s British citizenship say that he effectively killed her baby. Anyone who saw her TV interviews will have found her hard to like. Some of her comments...
          Syneos Health: Trial Master File Lead      Cache   Translate Page      
negotiable: Syneos Health: An exciting opportunity for a TMF expert to join or global TMF operations team. United Kingdom
          Syneos Health: SSU & Regulatory Maintenance Specialist      Cache   Translate Page      
Negotiable: Syneos Health: An exciting opportunity for a recent graduate or experienced individual to join an entry level position in to our study start up department. United Kingdom
          Syneos Health: Sr Site Contracts Specialist      Cache   Translate Page      
Negotiable: Syneos Health: Site contract negotiation expertise required for our UK country SSU team. United Kingdom
          United Kingdom grounds all Boeing 737 MAX airplanes      Cache   Translate Page      
Following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, the United Kingdom joined other countries that decided to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes. The Federal Aviation Administration still says the plane is airworthy.
          The White Raven      Cache   Translate Page      
Coronis
Painting by Adam Elsheimer
Though a beautiful land of vast plains and towering mountains, Thessaly, in northern Greece, held a dread curse over her ruling house. The house of Phlegyas was damned by Olympus, as the King of the Thessalian Lapith tribe had blasphemed terribly against the most high. Both children of Phlegyas would feel the wrath of gods. The King's son, Ixion, dared vengeance upon Zeus himself, and was now condemned to be bound to a wheel of fire that roared through the vaults of Heaven until the end of times. The fate of the King's daughter, Coronis, hung in the balance...

The maiden of Larissa, the hand of Coronis was sought after far and wide, by mortal, and immortal. But far from winning the hand of any earthly prince, she won something more - the heart of the Sun god himself, Apollo the son of Zeus. While travelling with her father to the land of the Epidaurians deep in the Argolid, when alone one night, the son of Zeus came down to her from on high. Finding the Thessalian princess alone from her kin, out of sight and out of earshot, the god made his strike. Coronis, overwhelmed by the glory of an immortal god, succumbed to the allure of the son of Zeus.

Some months passed, and soon time bore witness to the swell in the belly of the Larissan maid. Apollo, son of Zeus and lord of light, rejoiced at the coming of his child. Commanding his faithful servant, a raven of purest white, he bade the bird keep watch on Coronis, and bring tidings of her to Olympus. Down to the earthly plain it flew, a glimmer of white, for in those days of old the raven was as white as the first winter snow, and 'soft as the swan'.


              " But his own bird the raven chanc'd to find
                The false one with a secret rival joyn'd
                Coronis begg'd him to suppress the tale,
                But could not with repeated pray'rs prevail "
                     - THE RAVEN UNCOVERS THE INFIDELITY OF CORONIS


Grim were the tidings indeed, for it seemed the absence of Apollo had hit Coronis hard. The Thessalian princess had since fallen for Ischys, a Thessalian boy, and it was her meeting with the lad that the snowy raven caught sight of now. Cold dread flooded him icier than the snows like which he seemed. The raven agonised over what to do, should he defend his master's honour, and furiously peck the stranger away? Should he chastise Coronis for dishonouring the father of her unborn child? Should he do nothing? At length, the mischievous nature of the raven took flight, and the snowbird soared to the skies, hurtling to the Kingdom of the Sun.


            " The raven to her injur'd patron flew,
               And found him out, and told the fatal truth
              Of false Coronis and the favour'd youth "
                   - THE RAVEN REVEALS CORONIS

Terrible was the fury of the god, cuckolded by a mere mortal, and worse, when the lady was with his child. All colour drained the Sun god's ever youthful complexion bar the red of rage. Madness of jealous anger flooded him, banishing afar reason and good sense. His radiant hand as a flash of his father's lightning darted toward his bow, the dread of giants and all creatures of darkness. With a scream, he wrenched the string back, feathered arrow nocked, and released. Sure and true, the golden dart raced through the Heavens and Earth, and transfixed itself in the breast of Coronis. Where once the sun god had touched in life, he now struck in death. To her knees fell the maiden of Thessaly, gentle groans, and no words, as her life-force trickled out from the burning wound. Apollo's fire grew not cooler, but hotter still, as he found no release from grief at his fell deed. As her soul leaked from her wound, Coronis cried with her last breath:


          " Ah cruel god! Tho' I have justly dy'd,
            What has, alas! my unborn infant done,
            That he should fall, and two expire in one? "
                    - CORONIS' PLEA

The Argolid
Photograph taken by the author
With that, her noblest words, she departed life, as the fires of the sun god's dart consumed her mortal form. Her words pierced both fire and sky, and reached Apollo's ears. A thundering remorse pulsed through him, as he was seized with grief and regret. So great was the heat that emanated from within him the snowy raven was scorched, his magnificent plumage, once pure as hope, now blackened with grief. Charred deeply, from that day the raven and all his descendants would bear the mark of that day, and that is why the raven has black feathers. Soaring down to her body, the sun god heard the cries of a baby, and resolved to protect the child. The son of an immortal god, the child could not die, alas her mother bore not the same shield against Death. From amongst the embers, the screaming child was ripped, a ray of the sun god's hope. To him was given the name of Asclepius, who would one day be the god of healing and rejuvenation. Apollo set him in the land which conceived him, the land of the Epidaurians in the Argolid, there to be raised by the finest tutor of the age, the centaur, Chiron, who had taught Achilles himself. For the god of healing, it was the beginning....



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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          The Lycian Peasants      Cache   Translate Page      

Leto in the Wilderness
Artist Unknown
Mother to two of the greatest of the deities of Olympus, the Titaness Leto was a force to be reckoned with. Niobe had felt her dread wrath, and that of her brood. The daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, much of her origins were shrouded in the mysteries of Asia. Though when at last a maiden of Heaven she became, and the eyes of Zeus the Thunderer met her gaze, revealed at last was she. Hera, Queen of the gods, ever paranoid of the wandering affections of her consort, hounded Leto across the face of the Earth. Heavy with the seed of Zeus, Leto grew weary of the chase. Enraged, Hera ordered the Fates to forbid Leto to give birth on terra firma under the Sun. When at last the pains of labour struck, with nowhere else to turn, turned away by the vile words of Hera, the Titaness came to the island of Delos. Finding a measure of peace at last under the weeping boughs of a forgotten glade, the goddess fought that ungodly pain. First came forth Artemis, the lady of the moon and hunt. Nine days and nights the Titaness laboured still, until with the help of her daughter, a twin was brought into the world -  Apollo, god of light, healing and truth. Sympathetic nymphs, naiads and dryads had shielded Leto from the servants of Hera, but when the screams of the newborn deities pierced the skies, the lady of Olympus was made aware of them, and seethed with rage once more. Vowing never to give Leto rest, She sent forth all manner of dark creatures to hound her and her brood. Far and wide she fled, desperate for respite.


Leto Fountain, Palace of Versailles
Photograph taken by Daniel Gaudry
"At last, outwearied with the toil, and parched with thirst", the exhausted matriarch came to the arid and harsh land of Lycia, where once the fearsome Chimaera had once tread. A blasted land, with little verdance in its hills, the eyes of Leto spied a rare pool of crystal water. Parched with thirst, it played on her mind as the mirage does on the desert traveller. Shimmering in the light, the parched Titaness could resist no longer, and sped with all haste to its banks. Some of the rustic folk of Lycia were there at the lake's shores, reaping the bending osiers, the dank bulrushes and fragrant weeds. The Lycian folk, a people not known for their warmth of hospitality with strangers, eyed the stranger with deepest suspicion. A threatening buzz arose from within their wretched ranks, as Leto came in her approach. Wearied and near broken with toil, she eyed the peasants with more than a dash of humility. They angrily called out to her to stay away, and come not near the crystal waters, so wickedly opposing her primal need. Leto called out to them:


                   " Water I only ask, and sure 'tis hard
                      From Nature's common rights to be debarr'd,
                      This, as the genial sun, and vital air,
                      Should flow alike to ev'ry creature's share.
                      Yet still I ask, and as a favour crave,
                      That which, a public bounty, Nature gave... "
                             - LETO'S PLEA


Leto desperately invoked the pity of her newborn twins, yet still the fiendish folk would not desist, nor with vulgar words restrain. Young Apollo stretched out his arm in supplication, a mere baby, yet no more than his mother's word to the hearts of the Lycian peasants could it reach.

Feeling the pains of dehydration now, Leto moved to cup the crystalled water in her hands, but the dastardly folk spoiled her relief. Foul, abusive words they hurled, and worse still "with spiteful feet the villains trod, over the soft bottom of the marshy flood, and blacken'd all the lake with clouds of rising mud". A once crystal lake was now a murky depth, its purity defiled by the evil whims of a hostile crowd.

The Transfiguration of the Peasants
Painting by Johann Georg Platzer
Now the desperation of a Titaness turned to rage, as "her thirst by indignation was suppress'd". Vengeance coursed through her godly veins, all worries of hydration cast aside as the serpent sheds his skin. The frustrations of long chase, the pains of twin labour and the pangs of thirst mingled as Leto cast her gaze to the Heavens. "May you live, she passionately cry'd, doom'd in that pool for ever to abide". No sooner had her words of wrath left her parched lips, than the wretched folk dived into the pool, void of all shame. To the murky depths they plunged, and as swiftly as they fell, their last vestiges of humanity were gone. When next they pierced the crystal surface, no shouts of insults would come forth, but instead a hoarse croak. Wrenched wide by their bawling, their mouths grew cavernous; a mottled green, their backs. Seldom to see the light, their bellies grew a pale white, their eyes wide and alert. Men and women no more were they, but frogs, condemned forever to dwell within the mud...


United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          The Children of Niobe      Cache   Translate Page      

The Children of Niobe
Painting by Jacques Louis-David
Cursed indeed was the House of Tantalus. A divine and royal line descended from Zeus the Thunderer, polluted by murder and betrayal. For Tantalus, the King of Phrygia, had dared to deceive the gods, had slain his own son and now lay condemned for eternity in the dark unyielding night of unholy Tartarus. Yet far above the blackened plain the accursed king left a daughter, Niobe, a sister to Pelops. Alas that the sole heiress to the line inherited her father's pride! For oft did Niobe dare to think, that she and she alone stood high as the gods, oblivious to Arachne's fate.


There came a day in that Phrygian city, as all years, when the folk gathered from across the land to honour Leto, the Titaness upon whom the eyes of Zeus had once lingered. Hither and thither the Phyrgians strayed, all the land caught up in the hustle and bustle of festival & ceremony, song and dance.  But one among their kind was far from awash with joy, as among the royal guard there appeared proud Niobe bedecked in state., "and mad with rage, yet lovely to behold". Never forgetting her father's fate, a wrathful contempt had she for the Olympians high above. Why do these fools worship the reckless gods above, said she, with a house as mighty as hers within plain sight. Her line, who had dined with gods, held Phyrgia within her grasp, knew the Titan Atlas as an ancestor who bears the Heavens above, and groaned beneath the riches of Asia? Why look to the distant gods beyond, when all this lay here and near? But of no thing was Niobe more proud than the children she bore:

                   " Seven are my daughters, of a form divine,
                     With seven fair sons, an indefective line...
                     There Leto a mother was, of two at most,
                     Only the seventh part of what I boast.
                     My joys are all beyond suspicion fix'd,
                     With no pollutions of misfortune mix'd,
                     Safe on the Basis of my pow'r I stand,
                     Above the reach of Fortune's fickle hand... "
                            - THE HUBRIS OF NIOBE

Far beyond and high above, atop the shady Mount Cynthus the goddess lurked, and clear as daylight did she hear the wicked words. A godly anger rippled through her form, Niobe's offence driven deep to her heart. To her two great children, Apollo and Artemis, she turned. "Nay more, the imp of Tantalus has flung reflections with her vile paternal tongue; has dared prefer her mortal breed to mine, and call'd me childless; which, just fate, may she repine!". In haste golden Apollo set about his vengeful mission, hearkening to his mother's will. Swift behind soared Artemis the lady of the hunt, whose deadly wrath mortals had come to fear.

The Dying Niobid
Sculpture by James Pradier
Beyond the walls of the Phrygian city there was a boy riding on the plain. The first of Niobe's brood, Ismenos, sighed deeply, when Apollo's dart speared his breast, and from his towering steed his body crashed. Sipylus next met deadly fate, when upon seeing his brother's end, he dared to flee. As the stormy winds he flew, but Apollo's aim was true. Transfixed in the neck, paralysed he stood, life force leaking where it could. At youthful Phaedimus the sun god took aim, and his brother Tantalus who bore his grandsire's name. Both brothers were wrestling on the plain, straining every nerve and muscle in their game. With a mighty shot Apollo pierced them both, their life turned black as coal, as from their mortal forms fled their soul. Grieving Alphenor saw their plight, beating his chest with sorrow, he moved to embrace the fallen boys, before by keen aimed dart he fell. Pierced through the heart, for Apollo had aimed for no other part. Damasichthon next, beardless and young, cried out for mercy, but alas the god heard him late. Two arrows sheared his form, one the knee one somewhere warm.

Swiftly did the news reach Niobe's ear, grief and anger mingled into one. But humility she knew not, as towering was her pride still. Poor Amphion her husband, stricken with the darkest thought, had sheathed a dagger and driven into into his breast. Tears streaming from her eyes, Niobe roared in defiance "Tho' seve'n are slain, superior in number I remain". Her daughters looked upon her, seeing the doom their mother had brought on them now. Far above Leto screamed, and to her call deadly Artemis soared. The bow's thunderous twang echoed through the vale, as in terror all wondered what it would hail.

Around the pyres of their seven brothers they stood, seven daughters who need not have suffered, clad in garments of mourning black. From the eyes of one and the eyes of all fell a tear of purest grief. When that one was stung a sudden by more than emotion, the others tried in vain to remove the lethal dart. "But to grim death her blooming youth resigns, and o'er her brother's corpse her dying head reclines". A silent arrow, winged death, arcs through the skies, more cries silenced. The deadly huntress of the moon, so skilled in tracking game, found no challenge in her dark work, as one by one the seven fell, each pierced by a different death.


The Weeping Mountain
Image taken from the Wikimedia Commons
How lamentable now was Niobe's state, hardened with woe, and dying with grief, for my her own word had she condemned herself, and fourteen lives otherwise pure. Her hair moved to no rippling wind, her eyes faded and fixed within her head. Her deadly tongue called no more, within her veins the blood began to stall. Transfixed in stone her body was, atop Mount Sipylus, the Weeping Mountain. Unafflicted by stormy winds, yet pierced by grief and wounded pride, there she stands even today, a warning of unearthly pride, for no rest can she find...






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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          Cain and Abel      Cache   Translate Page      
Though much is written, read, preached and even painted of the fall of Adam and Eve, somewhat less is their fate after their expulsion spoken of. But the trials and pains of the first Man and Woman had barely begun when their teeth first sank into the Forbidden Fruit...

Abel - Son of Adam and Eve
Painting by Theophanes the Greek
Fear and guilt their only companions now, Adam and Eve took their first steps beyond the Gates of Eden, a cherubim hovering high above, sword of piercing fire gleaming bright. Outcasts, accursed and exiled they were, but free. The whole world stretched before them, a world before the dominion of Men. For seven days and seven nights they mourned and lamented in grief. But on the eighth day, the tears stayed their fall, and the blow softened. A new emotion rose within, for in place of sadness their struck the pangs of hunger. For seven days the first Man and Wife wandered the bare land in search of food, a long time indeed for us today, longer still for the couple who once called Eden home. Far and wide they searched and still no food they found. Then at last they came to the Tigris river. Grieving at the pain of loss and pain of hunger, Eve wept by the banks of the great river. Then it was that Satan the Adversary, Lucifer of old, came down to her. With honeyed words the Fallen Archangel soothed her and led her back to Adam, but Adam, fooled once but not again, saw the truth behind the veil of beauty. "Hast thou again been ensnared by our adversary, by whose means we have been estranged from our abode in paradise and spiritual joy?"

It was then that Eve saw through it too at last, and loud was her wail, as she railed against the accursed one "Woe unto thee, thou devil. Why dost thou attack us for no cause? What hast thou to do with us? What hath we done to thee?... Why dost thou harry us, thou enemy and persecute us to the death in wickedness and envy?".

It was then at last that He the Adversary of Man, Satan was allowed the chance to vent his fury upon the two:


         " All my hostility, envy, and sorrow is for thee, since it is for thee that
           I have been expelled from my glory, which I possessed in the Heavens,
           for in the midst of the angels and for thee was I cast out in the Earth...

          ...and Michael the Archangel went out and called the angels saying:
          Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded...
          and I answered, I hath no need to worship Adam..
          Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being
          that I, for I am his senior in the Creation, before he was made was I already made.
          It is his duty to worship me... "
               - THE CRAFT OF SATAN

Bided rage and wounded pride did he pour upon the first Man and Woman, his disguises cast aside, Serpent no longer, but Fallen Angel. But near his match was the anger of Adam, who saw the very source of his ruin before him now. "O Lord my God, my life is in thy hands. Banish this Adversary far from me, who seeketh to destroy my soul", spake he, and in that moment the Lord of Hell vanished from sight, the gentle breeze all that punctuated the silence. But a moment had passed when a flash of light heralded the arrival of the Archangel Michael, who bore the pity of Heaven to the first couple, and unto Adam he imparted the knowledge of the land, how to work it, and how he might grow food from it so that he might be sustained. To Eve he brought tidings of coming pain, "Prepare thee to bear", said he, and to Heaven he swiftly returned.


The Fratricide of Cain
Painting by Peter Paul Rubens
Adam beheld his wife and saw she was with child, and soon enough the progeny was born who would bring such disaster to the Line of Adam. Upon the grass the babe lay, and in his tiny hand he took a blade of grass, and eagerly gave it to Eve. To him they gave the name of Cain. It was not so long later that Eve gave birth again, to a son again. To him they gave the name of Abel. But the birth was far from easy, for a terrible nightmare afflicted Eve. A gory phantasm had emerged in the blackness of her dreams, the blood of her newborn son in the hand of Cain, and her first born was gulping it down as a ravenous beast. From whence, or whom, this ghastly vision had been sent, was a mystery, though it came when the Morning Star was at its brightest. The last time so wretched a vision had come to her, terrible indeed were the consequences...

Adam, fearful of this premonition, acted swiftly, determined to avoid further catastrophe in their lot in life. He decreed that the boys would be separated from each other, and each would live in his own dwelling. Adam raises Cain in his own ways, a tiller of the ground and tender of Earth, whilst Abel becomes a shepherd of his flock, caring for his sheep.


Adam and Eve weep over the body of Abel
Painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
So the sons of Adam grew strong, and under their care the earth grew bountiful in Cain's flora, and Abel's fauna. But over time, lonely Cain grew envious of his brother and the company of his flock, where he had naught but plants to share his plot with. When the time came to pass, and the first harvest rose from Earth's tilled pastures, Cain offered the bounty of the land to God. When the first lambs breathed the air of the pure skies, Abel offered the finest of his flock unto God. God looked kindly upon the offer of Abel, "but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell". Feeling humiliation course through him, Cain's anger grew at with injustice. The Morning Star glowed brightly. Denied the presence of God, Cain looked upon Abel, and saw not a brother of his flesh, but one who had taken the favour of the Lord in place of him. Then it was that Cain spake with his brother, and it came to pass that together they walked in his long tamed fields. Brighter still glowed the Morning Star. The fire of injustice burned in the veins of Cain, and, seizing a bough from his own tree, the first born of Adam struck Abel upon his crown, and slew him upon the face of the Earth. His bearing regaining as he panted with the exertion, Cain looked upon the broken corpse of Abel, and an ominous feeling gripped him, as it had his father when the flesh of the apple had touched his lips.

The sky darkened, and the voice of the Lord sounded unto Cain. "Where is Abel thy brother? And Cain spake, I know not: am I my brother's keeper? To him the Lord called, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground". Cain fell to his knees, for he knew that nothing could be hidden from the Most High. The judgement of God thundered across the fields of the Earth, "And now thou art cursed from the Earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the Earth...". The punishment was more than Cain could bear, and he feared that any who found him would slay him now. "Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him".

Banished to the Land if Nod to the east of Eden, Cain set forth upon his ageless exile, unable to face his mother and father after what he had done. So was set the curse of Cain, that would linger in his descendants, that the Great Flood would one day seek to purge. Great was the lamentation of Adam and Eve when they came upon the body of Abel, their son, and sorrow too was to be found even in the eyes of his flock, who wept for their fallen master. But the trials of the first family were far from over...
         

The story of Cain and Abel can be found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter four of the Biblical Old Testament. However, much more can be found in several of the many books rejected from the original Bible, a collection of scripts known as the Apocrypha. Cain's treachery can be found in the following excerpts:


United Kingdom

The Apocrypha
The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, Vol. 14 of 14: With an Historical Survey and Descriptions (Classic Reprint)
(Containing many books rejected from the Bible more than a thousand years ago, adding enormously to the stories of Genesis)

United States

The Apocrypha
The Lives Of Adam And Eve From The Old Testament Apocrypha
(Containing many books rejected from the Bible more than a thousand years ago, adding enormously to the stories of Genesis)

          Theseus and the Minotaur      Cache   Translate Page      
The legend of the hero Theseus is matched only by the infamy of the beast he slew - the Minotaur. When the city's hour of need was at its greatest, the hero came forth to face the threat beyond the sea...


Theseus discovers the sword
Painting by Antonion Balestra
Long ago, before the days of Hellenic greatness, before even the Trojan War, there sat Aegeus on the throne of Athens, eighth in line since great Cecrops had received the olive from the goddess Athena and founded the city which forever honours her name. As a young man, Aegeus had sought a Queen to secure the still fragile Athenian dynasty, and came to the city of Troezen, a power in the nearby Eastern Peloponnese. Smitten with Aethra, daughter to King Pittheus, the humble Aegeus pledged himself to her. When the night of their betrothal came, and the wedding was consummated, a god's will compelled Aethra out of the Palace and into the night. Drawn far from the walls, her foot touched the glassy waters of the ocean, as she waded to the island of Sphairia. There, embraced in Poseidon's realm, she was embraced too by the god of the watery realm. Thus was her son to have two fathers, one a mortal man, the other a god, a son of Kronos. When Dawn arrived, and the enchantment lifted, Aethra was racked with guilt, and confessed to Aegeus. Distraught, the Athenian King resolved to return to Athens. But before he did, he left a trial for his yet unborn son. Taking his own sword and sandals, he dug a ditch just wide enough, and concealed the regalia within, and sealed them in their earthen tomb below a mighty boulder such that no man who lacked royal or divine blood could lift. Aegeus told Aethra that when the time came, the boy might come to him bearing the sword and sandals, and his birthright would then be his.

Thus was the infant boy, who was gifted the name of Theseus, raised in the land of his mother. With royal blood of both mortal and immortal kind flowing in his veins, a strong young lad he became, the envy of all in his company. Then one day he asked his mother of his father, for rumours had he heard of his mystical parentage. Aethra told the boy of the boulder, and that he should take what he found beneath it to King Aegeus of Athens, and follow his path there. Finding the great stone, in the grip of vines and of moss, Theseus placed his strong hands on either side, and heaved. Royal blood and divine sinew strained, and the pinnacle was torn from the ground. A flash of sunlight shone from below, and there no more tarnished than the day they were lain there, the sword glinted, and the sandals too. Taking them, a warmth in his fingers, Theseus set out on the long road to Athens.

When at last the Acropolis appeared on the horizon, Theseus arrived in a city of misery, for Athens was submit to the will of the wrathful King of Crete - Minos. Long ago, enraged by the assassination of his son at the hands of jealous Athenians, Minos had warred down Athens to the point of capitulation. In desperation, the Athenians begged the Oracle of Delphi for advice. Her words were unsually unambiguous - submit to Minos' wish. The ambassadors of Athens came before the Cretan King, and offered surrender, if he would spare their city. Minos offered them peace, but on one terrible condition. Every nine years, Athens must send to Crete the seven most promising young boys, and the seven most beautiful young girls, where they were to be thrown deep into the labryinthine dungeons of Knossos. Rumours abounded in the courts of the world, terrible stories of unspeakable horror. Long ago, the great architect Daedalus had designed the Labyrinth for one grisly purpose, to contain the monstrous brood of Queen Pasiphae and the Cretan Bull, a creature both man in body and beast in head, the bloodthirsty Minotaur. The Ambassadors balked. The choice that lay between King Aegeus now, either humiliation or destruction. Resigned to his fate, a grieving Aegeus had accepted the cruel tribute that was demanded of him, to sacrifice the few for the survival of the many. The day Theseus arrived in Athens was the third time the emissary of Crete had arrived to exact the tribute, and Athens mourned her third loss.

Theseus, alone happy in a sea of mourning, approached the broken King ahead, holding high the shining sword, and clad in the fine sandals of the House of Erechtheus. A glint of sunlight, the King raises his head. He sees the blade he cast beneath the earth so long ago, and for the first time in many long years,a  ray of happiness pierced his life, for well did he know that there was but one person who could have claimed them. A rare smile breaks his face, as he runs to give his child his first embrace, just as many others around wail as they give their last. Tomorrow will be the day when the ships sail for Crete's dark domain, and the last victims are yet to be chosen to meet their fate. Aegeus welcomed Theseus to the city, and honoured him as a citizen of Athens, and the people cheered, momentarily distracted from the dark day ahead.

Long ago King Aegeus had decreed that there was only one way to decide fairly, and that was a lottery of all the citizens of Athens, with no exceptions. Evening came, and the lottery of death could be delayed no more. Athenian fathers and mothers wept as their children placed their tokens in the vessel. Woe that the King should see his son return on this day, for Theseus too honoured the pact, and placed his own mark within. Tense was the atmosphere, and grievous the anticipation. All men felt as though the gallows awaited, the base dread of every parent incarnate, present, and inevitable. Seven stones were chosen from the girl's ballot box, seven families broken, and the palace groaned beneath their cries. The screams had barely abated when seven more were chosen from the boy's box. Six rolled out, and six mothers screamed, yet when the seventh rolled out, it was the King himself who joined them, for there, unambiguously, was the stone that poor Theseus had cast within. Never had a father known such joy and such terror in one day. Aegeus embraced the prodigal son, but his rules were absolute, and Aegeus was a just ruler. Theseus would be joining his thirteen fellow citizens on their final voyage. But Theseus, no stranger to danger, filled with valour and bravado in equal measure, vowed to slay the monster that lurked below the King's Palace. With such longing, anything to distract him from clear logic, Aegeus dared to trust in him.

Dawn arrived, Light and impending doom both carried in her wake. The ferrymen readied black sails upon the ships, for it seemed a funeral sail. But it was then that Theseus, son of two fathers, who boldly commanded the black be cast aside in favour of white. He vowed before the men and women of Athens that he would conquer the Minotaur, and that the dark days would soon be at an end. Fresh hope filled the hearts of the Athenians, and people dared to wonder. Aegeus took the boy aside and asked him one thing, that should he succeed against the odds, to fly the white sail on his return, so that Athens may know in advance of his fate. Theseus agreed, and father and son embraced for what all around believed the last time. Sails white as the snow on Olympus' lofty heights billowed, and the voyage was begun. Twice before the ferrymen had made this journey, twice before had they steeled themselves against the soft weeping of yore. This time however, a different atmosphere prevailed. Buoyed by the limitless reserve of fortitude that Theseus seemed to possess, the thirteen clung to the one thing Pandora had saved so long ago - hope.


Dolphin Fresco
Image taken from the Queen's Megaron, Palace of Knossos
When at last the ferrymen hurled their ropes on Cretan docks, fear lanced through the Athenians more terrible than ever, for no mere emissary stood to await them, but Minos himself and his daughter, Ariadne. Now Minos was no simpleton nor ignorant fool. News reached his ears from far and wide. Least of all could Crete escape the stories of the twice fathered son. Yet there was one part of the legend the King, himself a son of Zeus and Europa, longed to know. Thus he cried:


                     " You, if Troezenian Aethra bore you to Poseidon the earth shaker,
                      bring this splendid gold ornament on my hand back from the depths
                      of the sea, casting your body boldy down to your father's home... "
                                - KING MINOS CHALLENGES THESEUS

From his finger the King took his sovereign's ring, and cast it into the azure sea, a tiny flash of gold against the ripples of blue. The spirit of Theseus within held no fear, as without a moment's fear, he dived from the Athenian prow into the waves. Out of the murky blackness of the deep a dolphin soared, and beckoned Theseus to follow. Down and down into the foot of the ocean they went, until the halls of Poseidon they reached, bright with the spirit of gods. Shining Nereids played hither and thither, hippocampi wallowing in the surf. There ahead sat enthroned Amphitrite, the consort of the god himself upon the coral throne. There at the foot of it all sat the ring, an insignificant band before the lady of the ocean herself.

High above the Cretans and Athenians sat anxiously, the Minoans smiling, the Athenians tense. But then, the surface of the Ocean was rent asunder, as a powerful hand burst forth from the azure waves, clasping a sovereign's ring. Behind it came the body of Theseus, the twice fathered son if Poseidon. The Athenians shouted with joy, hope sprang anew. Even the Cretans were struck dumb. But Minos, himself heaven born, was not swayed. He saw now a mere equal, yet Theseus was son to the god of the sea, whereas he was son to the god of gods himself. To him he summoned his guards, and bade them cast the Athenians into gaol.


Ariadne gifts the twine to Theseus
Painting by Niccolo Bambini
In the dungeons of Knossos, a city whose beauty concealed a secret spattered with blood, the Athenians were sealed for their final night, one last night Minos granted them before they gazed upon the face of death. But it was not only Minos who had noticed something about Theseus, for in the moment she first saw him, Ariadne, struck by the barb of Cupid, had been drawn to the young prince. Well did she know of the horror with the Labyrinth's walls, and great was her pity for the young Prince. Coming to his cell, she bore a gift, a simple gift which no guard would question. A simple ball of string. Through the bars she passed the invaluable twine, instructing Theseus to tie one end at the entrance to the unconquerable maze, and hold the other at all times, so that he might see the light of day again should he prevail against the odds. She gave to him one further thing, a piece of knowledge great Daedalus himself had once told her. "Go forwards, always down and never left nor right". Theseus, overwhelmed, gave thanks to Ariadne, and swore to come for her if he triumphed. With a smile she withdrew into the night.

Dawn arrived to a blood red sky over the idyllic island of Crete, as the jailer arrived to unlock the cells. Black were the omens, grieving the moods. Just one among the Athenian party looked straight ahead. Theseus, heart pounding, gazed into the dark entrance of the Labyrinth. A torch burned in a bracket in the dark tunnel ahead. Fumbling, his hand found the ball of twine, and wisely did he fix one end upon the bracket. The thirteen followed close behind him, daring not to be without him in the house of death. Bold Theseus led the way, and faithful was he to Ariadne's word, for onward he strode, never a branch in the dark path did he take.


Theseus victorious
Painting by Charles-Edouard Chaise
For an age, or so it seemed, this strange procession took place, the presence of the twice fathered heir to the throne the only thing preventing the thirteen falling into ruinous panic. A shattered human bone came into view from the darkness, a race of pulses. Further in and further down they went, when soon a most nauseating stench rose to their nostrils. The stink of death, and rotting cadavers. The pounding hearts dared to shake the walls, matched only by the unearthly sound of snoring in the darkness beyond, as Theseus bade his kin remain silent, lest their presence be revealed. Further in and further down, as though down the throat of Hell they went now, until a clearing suddenly opened up before them. There, in the heart of the great Labyrinth atop a mound of mangled bones spattered with blood, lay the dealer of so many Athenian deaths. "A mingled form and hybrid birth of monstrous shape... two different natures, man and bull, were joined in him...". The monstrous brood of the Cretan Queen and the Cretan Bull lay stretched out, snoring loudly as it slept, gorged on human flesh. Then the courage of one of them failed, the sight of so many of their kin cruelly slaughtered, and a scream. A heavily lidded taurian eye wrenched open, and snores turned to roars. Theseus moved quick as a flash, and leaped onto the creature's back, swift as an arrow, before it found its feet. Nerves racing, Poseidon and Aegeus' son summoned all his might, divine and royal blood thundering through his veins, and flung his arms around Asterion's mighty neck. More than once the Minotaur's lethal horns near pierced his chest, as the crew of Athens gasped, their own lives on the line now. Tighter was the hero's iron grip, fiercer the monster's rage, wakened from its nine year slumber. Slammed against the great Labyrinth's walls, no other man could have held on, but no other man was Theseus. Seeing the terror on the faces of his kin, he had all the motivation he needed, and Theseus wrenched one last time with all his strength, forcing the creatures on one knee. The Minotaur snorted loudly, and breath left its body. With a loud crunch, the massive form fell upon the bones of its victims, cast down to the Inferno, never again to rise and trouble the realm of men. Blood still pounding in his ears, Theseus did not at first hear the screams all around, but no screams of fear were they, but sheer relief mingled with joy...



United Kingdom

The Life of Theseus:
Plutarch's Lives: Theseus and Romulus, Lycurgus and Numa, Solon and Publicola (Loeb Classical Library): Vol 1
(A series of well written biographies of great men of ancient Greece and Rome, including Theseus, and the most complete and in depth source for him. Fun to read and not at all academic or dull!)

United States

The Life of Theseus:
Plutarch Lives, I, Theseus and Romulus. Lycurgus and Numa. Solon and Publicola (Loeb Classical Library®) (Volume I)
(A series of well written biographies of great men of ancient Greece and Rome, including Theseus, and the most complete and in depth source for him. Fun to read and not at all academic or dull!)

          Atalanta      Cache   Translate Page      
Strength, wisdom, charisma and valour - all virtues of a heroic persona. But contrary to popular belief, heroism was not a male monopoly in the ancient world, even in Greece. Sometimes a heroine could beat a hero at his own game. No finer an example of this was there than Atalanta.


Orchomenos of fair Arcadia
Photograph taken by Heinz Schmitz
In the idyllic pastures of Arcadia, there was once born a princess to King Iasus. But the King, who desired above all other things a son to continue his Royal House, was greatly dismayed. So the King ordered the baby to be left to die in the mountains, as was custom in Greece at the time for the unwanted (a practice frequently used by the Spartans to deal with deformed children who were believed to be incapable of growing into active citizens - for more on this, read here). But, like the shepherd who was ordered to do the same with young Oedipus, the man tasked with the grisly labour found himself, at the last moment, unable to condemn a child to such a fate. Taking pity on the wailing child, he carried her deep into the Arcadian mountains. Upon the slopes of Mount Partheneon, he struggled up the escarpment, coming to rest near a mountain spring. Reasoning here a better place than many others, the man lay the baby down in the grass, and took his leave. But what the herder had failed to spot was the mouth of the cave beyond the clearing, in the dense scrub.  From deep within the darkness, a furry muzzle emerged. Swift behind it the form of a great bear, a mother who had recently lost her cubs to hunters. Staying her savage instinct, the bear took pity on the feeble child before her, and suckled the child. Taking the child as her own, bear and girl lived together in the mountains.


Over time, Atalanta grew, and learned to hunt and fight as the bear, and became hardened to the world. Slowly, she began to grow into a woman, and a striking one at that. The match of any Arcadian girl in beauty, and surpassing them all in strength, endurance and sheer will. Years of exposure to the Sun had reddened her cheeks, so that she seemed to be perpetually blushing. This was one of her most formidable qualities - the other, was that any man who looked upon her would be at once charmed and stricken with fear, for a reason they would never know. She grew into a truly exceptional hunter, such that the goddess of the hunt herself, Artemis, favoured her greatly. Atalanta valued her solitude in the mountains, and committed herself, like her great patron, to a lifetime of chastity.


Meleager presents the head of 
the Calydonian Boar to Atalanta
Painting by Peter Paul Rubens
There came a time, however, in the kingdom of Calydonia, when a great blasphemy was committed. King Oineus one day gave thanks to the Olympian gods, but became distracted, and forgot to honour the lady Artemis. The fierce huntress was consumed with rage, and to the Calydonian lands she sent a monstrous boar, berserk fury in its mind, to curse the realm of men. Livestock was devastated, crops were destroyed and men sent to slay the beast were gored to death. Soon the whole kingdom was thrown into disarray. King Oineus grieved, and the king's son, Prince Meleager, issued a summons across the Greek world, for the greatest hunter of each kingdom to join him in the hunt. Meleager did not fear the creature, for he had heard a prophecy that his end would only come when a brand that burned in the family hearth would be consumed by fire. What risk lay there in the hunt? Legends had spread to Calydonia of the fierce maiden of the peaks, raised by beasts, and Meleager sent heralds to Atalanta to aid them. Her bear indued hunter's instinct fired, Atalanta agreed to help, and for the first time she descended from the mountains. Meleager, from the moment he saw her, was smitten, and invited her to his hunting party.


With a blast of Meleager's horn, the hunt began. The Calydonian Boar was outlandishly fast, however, and the hunters from far and wide tried in vain to gain on the creature. With all the world's great hunters left in the dust, it was young Atalanta who bore down upon the forbidden quarry now. On the sprint, she wrenched back her bowstring, and loosed a lethal barb ahead. The dart struck the boar and drew blood, the first time any weapon had pierced its hide. Slowed by its wounds, the boar stumbled, and Meleager pounced, slaying it with his spear. Awed by Atalanta, Meleager skinned the beast and offered its hide to the huntress, for it had been she who had first drawn blood. Plexippus and Toxeus, the uncles of Meleager, infuriated that the prize had been granted to a woman, tried to seize it from her. Blinded by passion and shame for the conduct of his family, Meleager struck them down where they stood. It was then that Althaea, Meleager's mother, distraught with grief and anger for her son's deeds, cast a log upon the fire. The ancient prophecy fulfilled, the brand was wreathed in flames, and when the wood burned out, the lifeforce of Meleager waned...


It was then that the legend of Atalanta spread across the land, admiration of her prowess that had shamed the greatest men of Greece. King Iasus heard the tale, and came to her. At once, he saw in her his own line, and rejoiced to see her, grateful now of the daughter he had in place of a son. Yet hopes of continuing his line had not died, and he asked Atalanta to be wed. Atalanta, oblivious to her father's former sentence of certain death against her, and feeling little loyalty to the man, having known only a bear as a parent, said bluntly "I will not be won, till I am conquered first in speed". Having bested the might of Greece in the hunt, Atalanta saw little in the men of the world now. The king proposed a contest among the bachelors of Greece, that they might come from far and wide and win the hand of the greatest huntress of them all. Atalanta half heartedly agreed, but only under lethal terms. The bear's wrath and a hunter's endurance waxed strong that day, for she decreed that any would be suitor would be subject to a grueling ordeal. The course was laid, and the suitor would begin the foot race, unarmed. After a set time, Atalanta would enter the field, and if she caught the suitor before the course bound was met, he would be immediately slain. Should she fail to catch him, that man would be her groom.


Hippomenes casts the Golden Apples
Painting by Nicolas Colombel
Suitors came from kingdoms far and kingdoms wide, drawn by the grisly allure of the prize. From the furthest reaches of the known world, they came in droves, all eager for the huntress' hand, the favoured of forest. Many set forth from the starting line, none ever passed the finish. Many a hope was dashed on the point of Atalanta's spear, as her frustration grew at the lack of true competition. Then one day came the charming and wise Hippomenes, a humble fellow Arcadian. Hippomenes, seeing the dead litter the path to the glade, and pure of heart, prayed to on high for guidance. The goddess Aphrodite, lady of passion, took pity on him, and could not bear to see a pure soul transfixed like so many before him on Atalanta's spear. Just before the race, the goddess gave to Hippomenes three apples of the brightest gold, as alluring to the female eye as the face of Atalanta was to the male. Atalanta saw her new challenger approaching, and fought the instinct within when she looked fondly upon him. Her wild nature took flight once more, and the red descended over her eyes. So the lines were drawn, and the race was begun, and quite literally did bold Hippomenes run for his life. A good start it was, as under the watchful eyes of Aphrodite did the eager boy compete. Then, the blast of the horn, and Hippomenes heard the sound of death begin her march. The heart rending sound of approaching, running, footfalls would have struck cold the hearts of any other man, but not Hippomenes. Fighting fear, and keeping his head clear, he took the first of the blessed apples, and cast it upon the ground behind him.

Atalanta, death in her eyes, caught sight of a glint of gold on the earth ahead, and was intrigued. She came to the source of the light, and bent down to pick it up. She saw that it was an apple, but the most luxurious she had ever seen, and was consumed with desire. Shaking her head, she recalled her task. Stowing the blessed fruit in her tunic, she set off at a sprint once more. But precious time had the huntress squandered in her distraction, for now bold Hippomenes had taken the lead.

Soon, the huntress was hot on the Arcadian's heels once more. Trusting in Aphrodite, with a prayer, he cast the second apple. For a second time, Infatuation conquered Atalanta, and for a second time, Hippomenes widened the lead. Then, the end of the course in sight, Hippomenes rejoiced. His euphoria nearly deafening him, Atalanta was now barely a spear thrust behind him. Trusting the gift for a third time, he released the last of his gilded fruit. Aphrodite blessed the last with the most potent incantation of all, and in the moment of her victory, Atalanta was irresistably drawn to the flash of gold. The split second cost her the last thrill of the hunt, and the foot of Hippomenes fell upon the finishing line. A shout went up from the crowd. A bewilderment came over Atalanta, joy over Hippomenes and admiration over the king. Impressed by the boy's ingenuity, he declared the Arcadian the winner. At last, a king, a huntress, and a farm boy had found peace...




United Kingdom

The Library of Mythology:
Library of Mythology
(A vast collection of the myths of old Greece, written in ancient times, and a great intro)

Aelianus:
Historical Miscellany (Loeb Classical Library)
(A 3rd century AD collection of all manner of weird and wonderful stories, including the most detailed account of Atalanta that survives from Antiquity)

United States

The Library of Mythology:
Library of Mythology
(A vast collection of the myths of old Greece, written in ancient times, and a great intro)

Aelianus:
Aelian: Historical Miscellany (Loeb Classical Library No. 486)
(A 3rd century AD collection of all manner of weird and wonderful stories, including the most detailed account of Atalanta that survives from Antiquity)

          Orion      Cache   Translate Page      
Ursa Major was not the only of the great constellations of the night sky to draw the attention of the ancients. Indeed all the major stars and their formations were well known in ancient times. All of them had their own origins and stories well recorded in lore, some in as many variants as the stars themselves. One such example is the story of the constellation Orion.


Blind Orion seeks the rising Sun
Painting by Nicolas Poussin
Long ago in Hellas, a place men now call Greece, there was a divine and regal birth. Brood of the god Poseidon, Lord of the Sea, and Euryale, daughter of King Minos of Crete, this would never be a normal child. Gigantic in stature, like his cousin the Cyclops Polyphemus, the boy towered over all of his peers, in ability as much as height. The boy was named Orion, and though good at heart, warred with the violent instincts that ran through the veins of all the Giants. As a result of his being son of the Lord of the Ocean, Orion found himself one day able to walk upon the surface of the ocean without falling through it - he could walk on water, unmolested by the horrors of the deep. As Orion grew, vaster than any mortal, though not blessed with a great mind he acquired a particular passion for hunting, a noble pursuit for a man in such days, and a way he might turn his aggression away from harming his peers. Soon his reputation was legend even as a teenager, as game fled his presence on sight, for well did they know that no being could escape Orion's hurled spear. In all things, Orion was never to be seen without his one true friend and loyal companion, his hound Sirius.


Searching for distant lands for ever more challenging game, great Orion ventured to the island of Chios, its isolation from the mainland no problem for the water walking giant, carrying faithful Sirius aloft. As Orion placed his vast foot on the sandy shore, he was welcomed to the island by King Oenopion and his entourage. Though much of the regal language was lost on simple Orion, the face of the King's daughter, Merope, was not. Intrigued by the foreign princess, and perpetually condemned to solitude, the giant desired a friend more than almost anything, save perhaps the choicest game under the Heavens. Oenopion invited his larger than life guest back to the palace, and threw a banquet in honour of him, for hospitality is a concept employed by the people of Chios with spectacular finesse. Orion, who had scarcely seen so many great things to eat, was overwhelmed. Due to his requiring more food than most simply to sustain him, the party dined well into the night. The hour grew late, and Merope retired for the night, leaving the revellers to their banquet, and Orion fell sad, though knew not why. The King, ever attentive to his guests, ordered the strongest wine brought to the table. When presented with a bucket sized goblet of shimmering red liquid, Orion knew nothing of it, having never before tasted wine of such potency, and drank as though he would water. The men of Chios laughed heartily, as the giant grew dazed and confused. The drink played its evil tricks on Orion's mind, already at war in the half human and half giant. Stumbling from the banqueting chamber, the drink lead him to Merope's quarters, sapping him of his human will. Crashing through the low threshold of the door, he fell into the princess's bedchamber, to the fright of Merope. As she ran to offer what help she could, Orion, lost to his senses, seized her with more strength than a man should. The racket caused by the door summoned the King immediately. When he saw the sight before him, the darkest suspicions reigned supreme. He at once, outraged at the abuse of his hospitality, ordered Orion condemned.


The Constellation Orion
Photograph by Rogelio Bernal Andreo
The King gave command that Orion should be blinded, so that his last vision would forever be that of the woman he longed for, and forced himself upon. Furthermore, Orion was banished from the kingdom. SO, once again, Orion set out on the road, destitute and ragged, with naught but his torn thoughts of grief and faithful Sirius to accompany him. One day, whilst on Lemnos, he encountered a stranger on the road, a stranger his eyes could not reveal as the god Hephaestus. Hephaestus took pity on the giant, and told Orion that if he sought the rays of the Sun as they were born, he would see again. His despair turned to joy, Orion eagerly asked the stranger where they could be found. Since the giant was blind, Hephaestus gave to Orion his own assistant from the forge, Cedalion. Taking up position of Orion's shoulder, Cedalion shouted directions in the giant's ear, and together they set off in search of the Land of the Sun. The vast journey, impossible for mortal feet, was swift for a giant, aided at all times by Cedalion upon his shoulder, and Sirius by his leg. At last the triad arrived at the Kingdom of the Sun, Cedalion and Sirius averting their eyes, Orion shielding them from the heat. Helios, the god of the Sun, indeed took pity on the giant, and as Orion closed his blind eyes from the heat, suddenly a slit of purest white appeared before him. He wrenched open his lids, and saw blinding light. He turned to his side, and saw a dog, and Cedalion on his shoulder, and rejoiced at his newfound sight. Thanking Helios dearly, the giant was filled with ecstasy.

For so long he had been denied the pleasure of the hunt, his great passion, and set off at once. Coming to the island of Crete, the home of his ancestors, he chased the game from sunrise to sunset. Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, was impressed by the hunter's prowess like never before in a mortal. Coming down to the Earth she offered him a unique honour, to join her in the hunt. He leapt for joy, and the games began.

Hither and thither the godly party went, and never before has so great a quarry been taken in sport. Deer, boar, bird and hare fell to the spears of Orion and arrows of Artemis. Soon near all Crete was empty of living beasts. At the moment of his pride, his giant instinct holding sway, Orion shouted to the Heavens that there was no creature on Earth that he, Orion, could not slay. But the balance of the cosmos had been tipped, that subtle yet ever levelling power which ensured no man or woman could ever be too powerful or too beautiful without disaster befalling them. Gaia, Mother Earth, was appalled at the slaughter on her body, and outraged at Orion's words. So the Titaness crafted a new beast to best the giant in his own game. Eight armoured legs she gave it, two crushing pincers and a lethal tail, brimming with fiery venom. To her new creation she gave the name of Scorpion, and thus was born the first of that race, the King of all Arachnids.


Artemis mourns the body of Orion
Painting by Daniel Seiter
At his side, Orion noticed the ground quake and churn as Mother Earth's revenge burst into the fresh air, divine fury in every inch of its chitinous hide. Orion drew back, wary of this new foe, and never was he to face such a terrible foe. He launched his spear, but alas, it span away, turned aside by the beast's armour. No arrow or blade would pierce that hide. So, across the valleys and mountains of Crete their duel raged, neither one able to best the other, Orion too swift for the creatures arms, the Scorpion impervious to Orion's blades. At last, with no more of the island left to run to, Orion, worked up to a giant's rage, hurled himself upon the monster, using his mighty strength to grapple the beast. The Scorpion writhed and injured the giant many times, but slowly, yet surely, Orion began to crush it inside its own armour. When at last victory seemed near Orion raised his head high and shouted in triumph. But alas, the momentary lapse of concentration cost him dear, for the creature's lighting flash of a move saw its stinger dart into Orion's shoulder, a lethal shot of venom upon its barb. The Scorpion died, but died avenged. Orion staggered away from the body of his conquered foe, the fiery venom robbing him of life. Lamenting his misfortune in life, he sought his last solace in the distraught eyes of Sirius, who licked his master's face one last time. So under the tears of his one true friend, Orion, the great hunter, felt the darkness close on his eyes.


Artemis, lady of the hunt, was devastated when she found his body, and appealed to Zeus the Thunderer, lord of the sky, for mercy. The god of gods was might, but could not turn the wheel of fate. Impressed by Orion's skill, yet warm human heart, he cast the giant into the skies, ever to shine in the night sky. To this day he is still there, the constellation Orion. Impressed too by the fearsome Scorpion, Zeus decided to make sure man would never forget to challenge Mother Earth, and cast it too to the skies. To this day, the constellation of Scorpio can be seen, set to rise when Orion falls. But one fellow lay not forgotten, and for his loyalty to his master and purest heart, Zeus the Thunderer placed Sirius in the skies, and the brightest of all stars he is to this day, amid the constellation of Canis Major...


United Kingdom

The Library of Mythology:
Library of Mythology
(A vast collection of the myths of old Greece, written in ancient times, and a great intro)

United States

The Library of Mythology:
Library of Mythology
(A vast collection of the myths of old Greece, written in ancient times, and a great intro)

          The Birth of Bacchus      Cache   Translate Page      
Of all the Olympian deities at the head of the Classical Pantheon, one was something of an enigma among the rest. Dionysus, or Bacchus as the Romans knew him, had a curious pedigree. His mother was no grand spirit of the forest nor thundering deity, but an otherwise ordinary mortal woman. His father, on the other hand, was none other than Zeus the Thunderer, King of the Gods and son of the Titan Kronos. From this peculiar union came a peculiar child, brought forth in a most peculiar birth...


Jupiter and Semele
Painting by Sebastiano Ricci
Daughter of Cadmus, founder of the great city of Thebes and sower of the Dragon's Teeth, and Harmonia his wife, Semele lived a relatively ordinary life in the Boeotian countryside as a priestess of Zeus. That was, although, until the day came when after a sacrifice, she swam in the river Asopus. Far overhead, an eagle soared. Regal though the imperial bird was, its feathered form within concealed the true Emperor of the Sky. For no eagle it was in truth, but Zeus himself, come to collect his offering. But the eyes of an eagle are keen indeed, and from on high the Thunderer spotted the one from whom this offering had come. Under the gentle, glassy surface of the Asopus his baleful gaze pierced, and there his priestess he saw. Not for the first time nor the last did the Son of Kronos become ensnared by a mortal woman. Down to the earthly plain the thunderous monarch descended, and so began the affair that would spell her doom. No mortal yet had resisted the charms of Zeus, and hapless Semele would not be the first. The deed done, back to Olympus he retreated, assured of secrecy. Or so he thought.

Hera alone, Queen of the gods, ever watchful of the infidelities of her husband, scoured the earthly plain. Her feud with Semele's kin ran deep, for she "joy'd to see the race of Cadmus bleed; for still she kept Europa in her mind". A nameless spy in her league brought word to her that Semele, daughter of Cadmus was rich with the seed of a god, and carried in her womb a future god. Her paranoia and suspicions flared, and to terrible fury was she roused. "Are my reproaches of so small a force? 'Tis time I then pursue another course: It is decreed the guilty wretch shall die, if I'm indeed the mistress of the Sky". In the Classical World, the dark powers had no fury like a Hera scorned, and she concocted a vile stratagem in her vengeful mind, and vowed that Semele would die, and her slayer would be none other than Zeus himself.


In a golden cloud she descended to the Earth, coming to the gates of Semele's lodge. But no divine form did she take, but the wrinkled visage of Beroe, Semele's nurse. "In her trembling gait she totters on, and learns to tattle in the nurse's tone". Greeting oblivious Semele as only the special bond between nurse and child can, she was welcomed warmly into the daughter's house. Veiling her rage, Hera beguiled Semele with softly spoken stories and fables of old. Semele confided in her nurse the affair, and that she indeed bore the seed of Jove. If her veins of ichor thundered with anger, the goddess buried it deep within. She sowed doubt in Semele's mind, and asked how she could know that this man was indeed the Lord of Olympus. To test the veracity of her suspicion, the nurse proposed a simple test:


                  " Bid him, when next he courts the rites of your affection,
                    Descend triumphant from th' ethereal sky,
                    In all the pomp of his divinity,
                    Encompass'd round by those celestial charms... "
                         - HERA'S RUSE


The Birth of Bacchus
Painting by Nicolas Poussin
The unwary girl, snared on Hera's trap, was racked with doubt at what she said. Who was in truth the father of her as yet unborn child? She had to know, and would not rest until she knew. So when Zeus the father of gods and men came once more to the maiden's fold, Semele confronted him, though hid her ruse. She asked the Son of Kronos if she could have but one thing. Zeus replied "Whate'er you ask, may Styx confirm my voice, choose what you will, and you shall have your choice". Powerful indeed are the winds of Fate, for though mighty indeed was the ruler of Olympus, even he to Fate must bow, and to renege on a promise would be to overturn the cosmos in fire. He dare not refuse her request now. "Then", said Semele, "when next you seek my arms, may you descend in those celestial charms...". Zeus immediately felt a pang of dread, for no mortal could bear to look upon a god in his full glory, too fiery to behold to mortal eyes. He longed to defeat her call, but he had given his word and dare not refuse.


Bacchus Enthroned
Painting by Rubens
So resigned to his beloved's fate, Zeus the Thunderer rose to Olympus. "To keep his promise he ascends, and shrouds his awful brow in whirlwinds and in clouds; whilst all around, in terrible array, his thunders rattle, and his light'nings play". The Son of Kronos to him summoned all ethereal powers of the Heavens, the very essence of a god, the powers which wove the Universe together, the power to rend it asunder, the power to level mountains and the power to induce love and hate, the power to shatter pride and citadel alike, the power to melt the Earth and freeze the Sea, the power to give rise to live and the power to obliterate it all. To him now he called these things, there to show the true power of no mere god, but the god of gods himself. Worked up to holy fire and divine conflagration, radiating with power, "the illustrious god, descending from his height, came rushing on her in a storm of light". As the mightiest tidal wave summoned from Poseidon's depths crashes upon the lowliest shell upon the beach, the power of Zeus fell upon mortal Semele now. To feeble her frame, to weak her sight, even with eyes closed, in face of ageless omnipotence and thunder's fury, amidst all the wonders she desired Semele was consumed, her mortal form blasted asunder as Hera knew it would be. So her vile schemes bore the accursed fruit, for her rival had been undone by the adulterer himself.

Torn with grief, a tear dropped from the eye of Zeus, until through saddened sight he saw one ray of hope. A child, where once Semele stood, lonely and alive amid the destruction screaming lay. Spared his poor mother's fate, for within his veins flowed the life force of the father, Bacchus drew his first breath. Yet the boy was not yet fully formed. Nine cycles of the moon had not yet come to pass since his conception:


                 " But, to preserve his offspring from the tomb,
                   Jove took him smoking from the blasted womb:
                   and, of on ancient tales we may rely,
                   Inclos'd th' abortive infant in his thigh... "
                         - ZEUS TAKES THE INFANT BACCHUS


So the Thunderer took his son under his alas omnipotent wing. Months passed and Zeus felt a pain in his leg. Knowing the time had come, to the land of the Niseans he came, and from the thigh of Zeus was Bacchus born again, complete at last. To the care of their people the Thunderer placed the babe, where in peace and serenity he would be raised nurtured on Nisean milk. But the adventures of Bacchus had all but begun, and the rage of Hera was far from quenched...



United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          The Great Bear      Cache   Translate Page      
To the curious and logical human mind, all things must have reason, some purpose and indeed some explanation for existence. It is the inquisitive nature of man to seek the answers to these. Where Science fails, Mythology steps in to take up the slack. Few things were, are, and will continue to be more mysterious than the very stars themselves...


Zeus Disguided and Callisto
Painting by François Boucher
When one day the World was settled upon its course, wide around its celestial dome trod Zeus the Thunderer, Lord of the Sky and god of gods. Across the Earth far below he raked his omniscient eyes, across mountains tall, oceans deep and plains vast. Over the fair, unspoiled meadows of Arcadia he oft enjoyed to cast his gaze, for there was no more idyllic land in all Greece. Just then, in the shade of some Arcadian grove, the Son of Kronos saw her, and he was afire. A nymph, reclining upon a tree, though no ordinary spirit of the forest. Simply clad, dressed for the hunt, hair tied, quiver slung and spear ready. Daughter of accursed Lycaon, her name was Callisto, and she was a loyal and chaste follower of Diana, the lady of the hunt and goddess of the moon.

The Sun far above the mortal plain waxed strong now, burning heat pounding Arcadian fields.  The young nymph had been sent panting to the grove, and flung herself now upon the cool grass. Far above, Zeus spied 'the charming huntress unprepar'd, stretch'd on the verdant turf, without a guard'. Wary of Hera's prying gaze, Zeus cast an anxious glance to and fro before his move he made.
Sensing that this one would no easy catch be, his form he shifted. King of all gods no more, he took the shape of the lady Diana herself, softening his regal features and relaxing his dread visage. In the huntress' voice he spoke "How fares my girl? How went the morning chase?" to whom chaste Callisto replied "All hail, bright deity, whom I prefer to Zeus himself". Closer by far was the Thunderer than she thought, to her soon to come regret. With warm words and embrace Zeus worked his charm until the form of Diana could no longer hold the god of all gods, and the truth at last was bared. But when has a mortal ever had the power, or the will to resist the master of the Heavens? "Possess'd at last of what his heart desir'd, Back to his Heav'ns, th' exulting God retir'd". Fair Callisto, poor Callisto, rising from the grass that failed as her respite, with cast down eyes awash with shame as much as tears, flew from the guilty place, almost leaving her bow behind, such her haste.


Diana and Callisto unveiled
Painting by Titian
But now Diana, the fiercely virgin goddess, returned to the glade, close in tow her hunter's train. The oblivious goddess called to Callisto, who when she saw her mistress, quaked with fear. Suspecting some other fraud, some deception of the flesh, she trod carefully, flushed in her face. Terror cursing her every step, she joined the parade, her defilement to all others yet concealed.

Nine months in the world of men passed, until a warm day once more came to pass. Diana wiped the sweat from her heavenly brow, and commanded her maids to join her in the bathe, the sentinel careful to see that no prying eye might look upon them in their modesty. All maids comply, all joyful but one. For when they as one cast their tunics aside, the plight of Callisto was revealed, her form swollen with child. The eyes of Diana flashed dangerously. Wrath burned through her veins, and in that moment, Tartarus had no fury more terrible than hers. "Begone!" the goddes cried with outrage, "Begone! nor dare the hallow'd stream to strain". Tears streaming from her eyes, writhing with injustice, Callisto fled for her life, forever banished from Diana's presence.

Far above Hera, Queen of the gods, heard the commotion, and the nymph's cries. Long had she bided her time, awaiting the moment when she might punish her husband for his infidelities, and her rage she now directed upon the nymph with whom he had lain. To fire her more, the pains of labour struck Callisto now, as the fruit of Zeus' advance was born. A flash of lightning and Hera's wrath was vented upon the nymph. Sensing some dark craft, Callisto raised her hands in mercy, but before her eyes, her arms grew thick and shaggy with hair, her nails warped and stretched into evil claws:


               'Her hands bear half her weight, and turn to paws;
                her lips that once cou'd tempt a god,
                begin to grow distorted in an ugly grin .
                And, lest the supplicating brute might reach
                The ears of Jove, she was depriv'd of speech:
                Her surly voice thro' a hoarse passage came
                In savage sounds...'
                   - CALLISTO CURSED


Her form twisted to that of a towering and ferocious bear, but her mind remaining, she begged of Zeus for aid, desperate now, but all that came forth was an echoing roar that caused birds to flee the canopies in fear. How such fear flew within her now, with such dread she though of roaming the meadows she once called her own, with blinding terror from her own hounds she fled, thinking to avoid poor Actaeon's fate. How she felt for her father Lycaon now, their forms both horribly mutated now, one by Zeus, one by the deeds of Zeus.

Fifteen long summers passed on the earthly plain, and the son of Callisto was growing into a mighty boy. Like his mother before him he was skilled at the hunt, and from her he had taken fine reflexes and a deadly aim. Conqueror of the plains vast and mountains high, to the depths of the forest he stalked in search of prey. By chance he came across his mother where she lay, broken hearted and overflowing with sorrow. One eyelid flickered, and she caught sight of the hunter. Fondly she gazed, 'she knew her son, and kept him in her sight'. She moved to approach, eager to embrace the boy she long thought lost. But a cruel hand had Hera dealt, for only fright rippled through the boy, as a rampaging bear he saw toward him bound. He nocked an arrow on his bow and pulled it tight, aiming at his own mother's heart...

But it was then that Zeus the Thunderer, hidden from Callisto for so many years by Hera, saw at last the scene below. Fifteen years of guilt and pity boiled to their head, and anger at Hera's callous spite. The string of the bow strained, and the boy's grip began to loose. A lone tear welled in the eye of the bear. But Zeus forbade this crime, and with all godly haste he flashed down to the earth, taking both mother and son into his grasp. Looking to his own domain, the son of Kronos fixed them both in the vault of the sky to watch forever over the cosmos, forever united side by side. The mother, the Great Bear, came over time to be called by the Latin race Ursa Major, the son Ursa Minor, and still today can both be seen clearly in the night sky. But Hera looked above too, and saw her rival glowing among the stars, and burned with rage anew. To Oceanus, the Titan of the seas, she turned. Oceanus welcomed the Queen of the gods, and begged of her the reason for her unusual visit. Hera commanded Oceanus to never grant Callisto or her kin the simple pleasure of water, that they might never meet the surface of his domain. That is why Ursa Major and Ursa Minor never sink below the horizon...

Ursa Major - The Great Bear

United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          The Trident and the Spear      Cache   Translate Page      
Every city which rises to greatness does so from humble beginnings. So high can a nation rise that so mythic can her origins seem. Every great thing, be it a nation, a person, even an idea, has to start somewhere. To our ancestors of old, greatness was a sure sign of favour from on high. For the hand of a god must surely have been at work when one of the most influential cities in human history, for better or worse, was born.


Athena
2nd century AD Roman bust  from Velletri
The Olympians had fought a terrible fight for mastery of the Cosmos. Their forefathers and creators of the Universe, the Titans had not yielded their divine grip easily. After so great a struggle, the harmony of the World was worth more than anything to the gods, even to Zeus the Thunderer, King of the gods and Lord of the Sky. Now fidelity was one thing that Zeus the Thunderer knew not, and many a hero of the ancient world owed his existence to the philandering adventures of the god of gods. It was little surprise therefore, when Zeus undertook a clandestine affair with the beautiful Titaness Metis. However, when the Fates prophesied that the child of Metis would be mightier in spirit and wiser in understanding than its father, Zeus the father of gods and men was convulsed with fear. Long ago, his father Kronos had heard similar words, with dire consequences. The Heavens had groaned under the Titanomachy, and could ill afford so ruinous a war for a second time. So Zeus the Thunderer decided on a little evil for a greater good. Weaving his divine powers of transfiguration, the shape of Metis he shifted to that of a common fly, and the god swallowed her whole, so that she may never give birth to this legendary child.

Time passed, but troubles did not for the Lord of Olympus. As the days grew late, a terrible pain struck the god inside. What began as an ache inside his royal head, soon swelled to a pounding agony that would not die. Time soon came when even the Thunder himself, conqueror of Typhon and Heaven could bear the torment no more, and summoned to his side Hephaestus, the god of the forge and weaver of fire. "Take up thy hammer and rend asunder this head that pains me so, lest this torture afflict me for all the ages to come", said Zeus. The lame god of the smith stood dumbstruck by this command - split open the head of Zeus? But the father of gods and men was inexorable, and irresistible. So Hephaestus took up his hammer and tongs, and with a mighty strike, he breached the Divine Crown. A roar of thunder and a flash of light rolled over the skies. Then, in a blur of speed an apparition appeared. From the fissures in the skull of Zeus there leapt a figure, strongly built yet distinctly feminine, agile yet fully armed, wise yet ready for war, a new goddess entered the cosmos. Athena, goddess of wisdom, mistress of stratagem, lady of the spear and patron of heroes.

Around this time, far below on the mortal plain, the tribes of Attica came together under their King, Cecrops. Born of Mother Earth herself, Cecrops taught the Atticans the still young arts of reading and writing, of literature, of burial and brought the institution of marriage to the tribesmen. Civilisation as we know it, was being born. Soon, however, the simple villages of Attica groaned under the advance of the people, and a new home was needed. Under the leadership of their vibrant King, the Atticans set off through the harsh landscape of Attica, where open plains give way to beaten rock. After a time they came to a place in the West, largely flat yet punctuated by towering pinnacles of rock. The sea lay yonder, yet wise Cecrops knew that to build their new city on the shore itself was too dangerous in an era of rampant piracy on the high seas. Away from the shore then, yet near enough for trade, the people set foot upon a mount with a commanding position over the plain and the sea. Here would be founded their new city, and grandiose would it be. But every new city needed a patron god, but who?


Poseidon
The Artemision Bronze
Word reached Olympus of the gathering under Cecrops upon the Mount. Just then,  the Fates declared that the city that would be founded upon that place would rise to a greatness rivalling the best of all Greece. Glory and honour would walk hand in hand to whomsoever should become her patron. A frenzy gripped Mount Olympus, and the all the divine array wondered. Two among them immediately took the floor. Athena, ever ready with sharpened word and thought, leapt to her newborn feet. But Poseidon, god of the sea, shaker of the earth and lord of horses, bowed to few. Even Zeus himself, King of all gods kept a close eye on his ambitious younger brother, for most vexed was Poseidon when he lost the Heavens in the division of the cosmos. Torn between loyalty to his brother, however unruly, and care for his daughter, despite the danger she posed as his successor, Zeus decreed that the people should decide the patron of their city. Immediately, the two deities spirited down from Olympus and made landfall upon the mountain. With a blinding flash and a roar of thunder, the people cowered at the sight of the divine array. Fearful lest they choose one over the other, the people knew not what to do. Cecrops their King, however, decided. Turning to his gods, he declared that the patronage of the new city would belong to the one who presented the greatest gift to it. Poseidon and Athena, uncle and niece, eyed each other, and readied their contest.


The Sea of Olives, Delphi
Photograph taken by the author
Both god and goddess, stood aside the towering pinnacles of the Acropolis, poised for the prize of glory. Poseidon, shaker of the Earth, took the first move. Raising his mighty Trident high into the air, with a rush of godly strength he plunged the three blades into the mountain side. A deafening rumble rippled across the Earth, and the people were thrown to the ground, terrified. There, where the central prong penetrated the summit (a place today commemorated by the Erechtheion), the wounded rock spat forth a spring of water thick with brine. The Emperor of all Oceans granted to the people the gift of the sea itself, and the assurance that one day they would master it. A fabulous gift indeed. Next the virgin goddess stepped forth. The eyes of Athena looked into the souls of all mortals present, and she senses their hopes and fears. Confident, and unyielding, the daughter of Zeus took up her spear and flung it into the mount. The people watched, entranced, for before their eyes the lance began to shift. The wooden shaft lengthened and broadened, from the blade branches sprang forth, rich with the bounty of its dark fruit. To the people Athena gave the gift of the humble olive tree. Poseidon looked on, bemused and anxious.


Athens at her height
Painting by Leo von Klenze
The primordial Athenians looked on the lowly sprig with wonder and amazement, as the goddess instilled some of her divine wisdom in their minds. Cecrops beckoned his people round to cast their vote. Poseidon's gift was mighty indeed, as was his promise. Mastery of the Ocean? 'Tis the dream of empires! A great destiny had been given to them. But that all looked a long way off to the primitive people, as they looked to and fro, and saw naught but barren rock. One citizen splashed some of the water over his face, and recoiled at its salty taste. The people turned to the sapling, Athena's gift. One fellow took a blackened grape from its boughs, and crushed it in his hands, and oil splashed across his palm. Into his mouth he tossed the olive and pleasing was its taste. Seeing the thick and robust trunk too, he saw the greatness of Athena's gift. Poseidon had given them a taste of great nations, but Athena had given them a source of food, of wood and oil, and something they could trade with others. The people sank to their knees with joy, and hurled themselves at the foot of Athena, daughter of Zeus and maiden of Olympus. Poseidon, god of the seas, was infuriated, but his niece had won the day. Cecrops declared Athena the one true patron of their new city. He declared that this place, the Acropolis, would ever be sacred to her. He declared too, that in her honour the city would be named. To the roar of approval from the first Athenians, he named the city. Athens, the glory of Athena...



United Kingdom

The Library of Mythology:
Library of Mythology
(A vast collection of the myths of old Greece, written in ancient times, and a great intro)

United States

The Library of Mythology:
Library of Mythology
(A vast collection of the myths of old Greece, written in ancient times, and a great intro)

          The Sword of Damocles      Cache   Translate Page      
Across the stride of human history, many things do not change. Man has always had to eat, to breathe, has always known pride, humility, envy, joy and grief and has always grumbled about taxes. Some things, however, do change. Sometimes even words.


Syracuse
Photograph taken by the author
Take the word 'tyrant' for example, a label of condemnation frequently deployed in the world of today. Originally, however, the word 'tyrant' held no negative connotations at all. The Greek word τύραννος (tyrannos) simply means 'lord of a city'. The most common usage of 'tyrant' in antiquity referred to a ruler of a city state who had come to power unconventionally, neither through inheritance nor election, and does not refer to character. It was a completely neutral word, and 'tyranny' was a relatively common system of government in the world of Classical Greece, especially in Greek colonies. No Greek colony was so famous for tyranny than the great city of Syracuse, arguably the most prestigious and powerful colony of old Greece. Throughout much of their five centuries of independence, the Syracusans rejected democracy in favour of tyranny, and under the Tyrants, Syracuse became a great power in the central Mediterranean, bordered to the West by the maritime superpower of Carthage, and to the East by the growing power of Rome. High were her walls, mighty her navy and rich her coffers. It was said that the majesty of the Syracusan court rivalled that of any Kingdom, the wealth of her treasury that of any Eastern despot. The Tyrants were great patrons of the arts and sciences, and indeed one of Syracuse' citizens was none other than Archimedes himself. Strong authoritarians, the Tyrants for five hundred years kept foreign powers at bay, and when at last the great city fell to the Romans in 212 BC, it did so only after one of the most legendary sieges in history. Here is the story of a Syracusan Tyrant, and a flatterer who longed for power.

Long ago, when the power of Syracuse waxed strongest, and her treasuries earned the envy of the world,  their ruled over the city a man who had been a student of Plato himself. Dionysius II of Syracuse was a man of philosophical intent, yet alas weary with the apparent failure of men to live up to this ideal. Ever in the shadow of his father, who had warred down Carthage and raised his city to the height of its glory, he groaned under the weight of the greatest tyrant of all - expectation. For fear of any treacherous hand felling him by blade or poison, young Dionysius was restricted as a boy to the Syracusan Acropolis, forbidden from ever leaving, lest evil men seek to take advantage of him. The close instruction of Plato, most learned of men alive in the world, not merely then, but perhaps of all time, rigorously conditioned the mind of the boy. With Dionysius, it seemed, Plato's dream may come true at last, that the world would be ruled by the finest governmental system of them all - the philosopher king. An absolute ruler, firmly endowed with virtues and a solid grasp of ethics, immune to flattery and an inspiration to his people.

Down below in the city by the waterfront, a man of quite different spirit and birth had grown up. Damocles was a man who lived ever in want, and knew only envy. Where Dionysius held virtue, Damocles held vice; ambition tempered with greed, a most dangerous combination. From a young age he had set his sights high. Not on wealth, nor military prowess, but on the tyranny itself, and worked his life towards his treacherous goal. Through connections, flattery and other corrupt endeavours, he was enrolled as courtier to the tyrant himself. Triumph, it seemed, loomed close now.


Damocles stepped into the audience chamber of the royal palace, and stood breathless, robbed of words by
the awesome spectacle that greeted his eyes. A traveller of distant lands might enter this grand chamber and believe inside that he had crossed the threshold of Heaven itself. Lavish decoration abounded, in the gold that gilded the walls and ceiling, the marble columns and triumphant statues, silken damask and priceless stones from all corners of the Syracusan trade empire. Never in his life had Damocles truly believed all he had heard of this place, that it really was true. Laughter abounded, banquets prevailed and merriment thrived. But there at the head of it all, seated in resplendent glory, was Dionysius himself, neither smiling nor frowning, a stoic figure in a sea of riches. Damocles rejoiced, though confused in his foolish mind as to why the tyrant rejoiced not too at his merry lot in life.

One day, when the tyrant was not at business, Damocles approached his master. Weaving his sycophancy as he had many a time before, but never upon so mighty a target, he eulogised the tyrant. "Fortunate art thou my tyrant, in the majesty of thy rule, the bounty of thy riches, the magnificence of thy palace and all other things, for never hath there been a man more blessed by Heaven". Dionysius, well educated and philosphically conditioned, despaired of the naive ignorance of the man before him. Thus did the tyrant vow to teach the man a valuable lesson:


                           " So, Damocles, since this life delights you,
                             do you wish to taste it yourself and make trial of my fortune? "
                                   - THE OFFER OF DIONYSIUS


Difficult it was, to determine who stood more shocked, Damocles himself or the tyrant's advisers who looked on. The tyrant's retinue protested, but Dionysius bade them stay their words. Damocles, faced more openly than ever he wished with that which he sought, was overcome with joy and fervour. Replying immediately that he did wish this, Dionysius at once gave command that the royal power be bestowed upon Damocles, that he be laid upon the golden throne, set upon the finest woven rug embroidered with the feats of great heroes and kings of the past. He ordered the fineries of silver and gold be laid out before the new tyrant, hither and thither, to frame the new ruler. He ordered him clad in robes of the most decadent crimson, and the sceptre of rule placed in his hand. He ordered chosen courtiers to dote upon him and pander to his every whim, to place a garland upon his head and await with perfumes and unguents. He ordered the kitchens bring forth their finest produce and most envied dishes. The last command of Dionysius seemed a peculiar one, he ordered a shimmering sword be fastened to the glittering ceiling, and be held firm not with rope nor cord robust, but by a single horse hair, and that the blade's point should be poised over the neck of the one who sits upon the throne.  It was then that Dionysius stepped back, and the new tyrant was seated upon the Syracusan throne.


The Sword of Damocles
Painting by Richard Westall
Thus was Damocles triumphant at last, as well he thought. Bathed in all the riches of which he had dreamed there seemed no limit to his power or pleasure. He admired the finery in which he was clad. His eyes burned with the fulfilled ambitions of a vice ridden man. His gluttony arose when he cast a glance at the magnificent plates of gold. His pride welled when he saw his entourage, bowing before him. His greed conquered the most towering of pinnacles when he saw the gold, silver and gemstones overflowing from the coffers of the world. "Fortunate am I", he softly said. But then the sycophant caught a glimpse of a glint of metal in the corner of his greedy eye. Intrigued, he cast his newly royal gaze to the Heavens. With a gasp he saw the sharp, silver point hanging over his neck. Further up, there it was, the pommel held fast, or not so fast, by a single hair from the tail of a horse. The sword swayed gently in the rafters, silent as the grave. It was then that Damocles looked not at the abundance of his possessions. He looked not at the oils and unguents nor at the bowing courtiers. Neither did he look at the burnished gold nor shining silver. The woven rug might have been the coarsest hemp now, the crimson robes tattered cloth. The wreath slipped from his head.

Dionysius approached. "You see now the folly of your wish? See now the thread upon which a ruler's life hangs at every moment? The one who rules in an imperfect world has everything to lose, and those around him, everything to gain. The riches of the world are naught compared to the danger a ruler at all times is faced with, only with virtue may we stay fate's blade. Do you still consider yourself a fortunate man, Damocles?"

"No!", wailed Damocles, "I beg you, my tyrant, grant me leave, take back this burden, for I no longer wish to be fortunate!". Thus Dionysius relieved the changed man of his terror, and released him from the fear of fate. To Dionysius the sceptre was returned, to Damocles relief. So Damocles learned that day that power, even absolute, is not the rosy bliss it seems...


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The Tusculan Disputations (Loeb Classical Library):
Philosophical Treatises: Tusculan Disputations v. 18 (Loeb Classical Library)
(The philosophical work which contains the story of the sword of Damocles, the version with the original Latin and English side by side)

The Tusculan Disputations (Digireads):
Tusculan Disputations
(The philosophical work which contains the story of the sword of Damocles, the cheap and cheerful version!)

United States

The Tusculan Disputations (Loeb Classical Library):
Tusculan Disputations (Loeb Classical Library) (v. 18)
(The philosophical work which contains the story of the sword of Damocles, the version with the original Latin and English side by side)

The Tusculan Disputations (Forgotten Books):
The Tusculan Disputations of Cicero (Classic Reprint)
(The philosophical work which contains the story of the sword of Damocles, the cheap and cheerful version!)

          Hyacinthus      Cache   Translate Page      
Envy is a terrible thing. It tears friendships asunder, levels cities and topples nations. An emotion the gods of the pagan world were no less susceptible to than their human subjects. Mortality was never a barrier to jealously, as the curse to never be content with one's lot in life afflicted the Olympians as much as men. Sometime the gods even envied their own worshippers. Here is the story of one.


Zephryus the West Wind
Painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Long ago, before the high days of ancient Greece, in the days before even Agamemnon the High King, the city state of Sparta was in its infancy. Long before the days when Spartans reigned inexorable on land, the richly destined city was little more than a village, deep in the valley of the Eurotas in the shadow of Mount Taygetus. King Amyclas ruled over a modest realm of simple folk, pious and rustic. One day a boy was born to the royal house of Sparta, Prince Hyacinthus was his name. Joy erupted in verdant Sparta, and Spartans far and wide flocked to catch a glimpse of the handsome Prince. Spartan mothers were swift to sing the praises of the boy's beauty, Spartan fathers of the strength in his arms. Not even the Olympians were blind to the event, all celebrating the birth of such a fine heir, and the great grandson of Zeus the Thunderer himself. The spirits of the cosmos were no less taken, and one above others, Zephryus the lord of the West Winds. In the days of the Classical World, it was the societal practice for an older man to take a young boy under his wing, and teach him the ways of the world, free from the constraints and biases of the boy's family. No less so at Sparta, renowned for this custom. The West Wind took a shine to the boy, and moved to greet the Prince.


Apollo & Hyacinthus
Painting by Jean Broc
But it was the golden rays of the Sun which smiled most fondly upon the Prince. Apollo the keen eyed archer, father of the arts, was smitten at once with the Spartan Prince, and moved without delay. "Phoebus Apollo for thee too, Hyacinth, design'd a place among the Gods, had Fate been kind...". In Hyacinthus Apollo 'plac'd his Heav'n, and fix'd his joy". The Sun shone brighter than ever before on the golden valley of the Eurotas, and the Spartans bathed in warmth. The god's hands forgot the string of the bow and chords of the harp, as Apollo's mind was turned to the Spartan Prince. All the while the West Wind blew a gentle breeze, Zephryus pursuing young Hyacinthus, eager to take the boy under his celestial wing. But young Hyacinthus, awed by the light, turned to Apollo of the golden mount. Phoebus Apollo was overwhelmed with joy, delight that his should be the fate of the Spartan Prince. Meanwhile Zephryus lurked in despair and grief, soon to turn to envy and wrath.


Sunlight flooded Eurotas, as Apollo and Hyacinthus ran in the ancient plains. The wisdom of a god Hyacinthus gained from Apollo, the innocence of youth Apollo from Hyacinthus. Then came a day, a day of days, when Hyacinthus was old enough to learn the ways of a man. To the young Prince Apollo yearned to teach the feats of the martial body and of athletic glory. To the noble sport of the discus the sun god turned, a majestic sport for a Spartan boy, to build good strength and competitive spirit. Hyacinthus marvelled at the golden disc, as though the Sun obeyed Phoebus in his hand. Apollo bade the boy watch him well, and took a deep breath and poised for the throw. Divine sinews groaned, and godly muscles unfurled for the feat. With a cry,

 " A well-pos'd disk first hasty Phoebus threw,
   It cleft the air, and whistled as it flew;
   It reach'd the mark,a  most surpising length;
   Which spoke an equal share of art, and strength.
   Scarce was it fall'n, when with too eager hand
   Young Hyacinthus ran to snatch it from the sand... "
          - APOLLO'S DEADLY THROW

The Death of Hyacinthus
Painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Awed by the supernatural throw, swift footed Hyacinthus ran in pursuit, eager to fetch the discus for his master. To the young Prince the sun god called, but in vain, for Hyacinthus alas could not be swian. Zephryus the Western Wind, his jealousy raw, took a deep breath and blasted raw. The wind then blew the discus from the straight and true, and Apollo looked on, helpless as the mighty disk, flew now a weapon of death. The metallic star slammed into Hyacinthus' head, and with a scream of final innocence, the boy fell to the land, never to rise again. The West Wind smiled in spiteful malice. Apollo shouted in disbelief, and ran over to the dying youth. The coldness spread through the Spartan Prince, and the light left his eyes, as Phoebus Apollo raised his head to the stars and wailed his grief. Taking the nearby herbs of Taygetus, he to the lethal wound vainly applied. "The wound is mortal, and his skill defies". Just as a wilting lily lowers its head, so too now Hyacinthus bowed to Death.

But Apollo would not his Fate accept. "O thou art gone, my boy, Apollo cry'd, defrauded of thy youth in all its pride!". Not now would Hades take his fill, not from so fair a spirit so cruelly snuffed out. "On my tongue thou shalt forever dwell; thy name my lyre shall sound, my verse shall tell". In that moment the sun gods power the young body transfigured. Youthful Prince white in the clutches of Death no more, now a beautiful flower, as yet unnamed, blood from the fatal wound, its petals coloured, mingled with the tears of the god of the Sun. Forever, Apollo decreed, would it bear the boys name. The flower we call Hyacinth today...


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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          Cyparissus      Cache   Translate Page      
The Cypress Tree
Painting by Vincent Van Gogh
Considered the iconic tree of the Mediterranean, the symbol of the rolling hills of Tuscany or the rugged mountains of Greece, the humble cypress tree had a far more potent, and sinister, meaning to the Ancient Romans. Even today, journeying through Italy, you will find many a shadow of a cypress falling across a graveyard, a silent sentinel watching over the darker places of the world. Its characteristic pencil like form is never far away in this land, and rarely absent from the tourist's photograph. But why this mournful association? Why the favoured foliage of the afterlife? It all began with a story nearly two thousand years ago, the story of a young boy who would give the cypress its name, and its story...




Long ago, on the idyllic pastures of the island of Caea, there was bred a mighty stag, its stature and beauty never before known. In majesty and power, all of his kind he excelled. A wonder to behold, to the nymphs of Cartha he was sacred held. Dignity was written in his face, vast were his antlers, enough to grant him ample shade. The horns gilt seemed, as the sun beams danced of their shining points, casting all around in their radiant glow. So brilliantly burnished was his coat, it seemed as though all the precious stones of the world were embedded in every lock. Nature itself seemed to bow before his stride, and soon the fear of the locals was lost, and even strangers would come forth to pat his proffered neck.

But there was a young boy among the Caeans who adored him most. By all accounts an ordinary boy, blessed with no great strength of arm, divine beauty nor unearthly wit, but a heart of gold he hid within. A country boy, he cared nothing for the grand affairs of the world, but cared in abundance for what his eyes could see and ears could hear. An uncommon empathy he held too for all living things, for in the wild he lived, and learned to reside in peace with the creatures, and spirits of the forest. Then one day, came the regal stag, and all was changed:


       " Much was the beast by Caea's youth caress'd,
         But thou, sweet Cyparissus, lov'dst him best:
         By thee, to pastures fresh, he oft was led,
         By thee oft water'd at the fountain's head:
         His horns with garlands, now, by thee were ty'd,
         And, now, thou on his back wou'dst wanton ride;
         Now here, now there wou'dst bound along the plains,
         Ruling his tender mouth with purple reins. "
              - CYPARISSUS AND THE STAG


Cyparissus, Apollo & Hyacinthus
Painting by Alexander Ivanov
Many came before the stag awed by the beauty of its form. Cyparissus came, drawn by the beauty within, for he sensed a grace within, bound with his adoration of nature and al living things. Soon both boy and beast began a friendship such that man and loyal animal only can, like the shepherd and his faithful hound. Many a lazy afternoon could you find them, resting by a pool in the forest glades, retreating from the burning rays of Apollo's sun. Across the far reaching plains the boy and his stag would race, their contest the amusement of the gods high on Olympus. The villagers were puzzled, but delighted for young Cyparissus and his unconventional friendship, sensing the hand of the divine at work.


Then one day, Cyparissus went into the forest hunting, hoping to bring back some prize boar for his family, a spectacular feast indeed. A scorching summer day, the burning arms of the Sun pierced the foliage, and sweat fell from the boy's brow. His faithful companion had bounded joyfully ahead into the brush, bidding the boy on. But, suffering from the heat too, the mighty stag sought refuge in the shade of the bushes, laying his weary limbs across the grass. Suddenly, distracted, the boy heard the snort of a boar close by. Not twice does opportunity strike, not two moments does one wait when hunger strikes. Cyparissus levelled his spear and took his aim, wary of his nearby friend. Bringing back his hunting arm, he launched with all his might, but no! A bead of sweat brought forth from the fiery Sun fell into his eye. A stinging sensation swept his eye, and the boy blinked, and his aim went awry. A blood chilling cry rose to the skies, as Cyparissus rubbed his sore eye. The pain passed, he looked up, excited to find his quarry.


Cyparissus mourns
Painting by Jacopo Vignali
Horror swept through his mortal frame, and cold dread, when he saw no boar thrashing at the foot of the tree. Unknowingly, unwillingly, oblivious, Cyparissus had cast the deadly dart, but his worst nightmare had it transfixed upon its brazen point. There lay the mighty stag, and never a more tragic sight there lay. The hideous truth of his error laid bare, the young boy fell to his knees, tears welled up inside. The stag writhed in pain, blood spattering the forest floor, its cries rending the air. Frantically, Cyparissus tried to staunch the wound, but the hands of a boy are scarce enough to stem the flow of blood that gushed forth that day. Calling out in desperation, the folly dawned upon him, and his heart began to break. At last, the cries grew silent, the body still, and the stag lay motionless, its staring into the wilderness. Cyparissus howled to the skies. He would have taken his own life there and then, had not Phoebus Apollo, lord of the Sun, taken pity on the boy. Had not his burning rays caused the boy's aim to go wide... Cyparissus, determined to feel his guilt for all time, and expiate his crime, asked the god to allow him to mourn for all time. Himself fighting back his tears, Apollo granted his final wish, moved was he. The blood drained from the boy, his legs fused together, and leaves grew where one was his skin, and hard weeping bark underneath. A thin and lanky young boy, so too was the form of the tree which he took.

Apollo looked on in grief, and declared that this was ever after to be present at the ritual of mourning, and the tree was named. Cypress, the tree of mourning. Still today it watches over graves...



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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)



          Arachne      Cache   Translate Page      
It is often falsely believed that our ancestors of the ancient world lived in slavish devotion to their gods, that they prayed daily, sacrificed often and repented frequently, and that the fate of nations lay in the words of Heaven. But like any other culture, there were rebels. Here is the story of one such rebel.


Arachne's admired craft
Fresco by Francesco del Cossa,
Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara
There once was a young maiden, skilled in craft. Sacred was her gift, profane her piety. "Low was her birth, and small her native town, she from her art alone obtain'd renown". Dead was her mother, a dyer of Tyrian purple, her father. Content in their small hamlet until Arachne's adolescent years, when the daughter first turned her hand to her immortal craft. Immensely skilled at the loom, the most dazzling displays of weaving were the maiden's forte, and it was not long before her fame began to spread far from her home. Across the plain word spread, over the hills and far through Lydia and beyond her legend grew. From the mortal to the immortal plain her name spread, and oft would the nymphs of the fountains, trees or hills take leave of their hiding places. From the golden rivers the Naiads came, all of them drawn by her legendary art. For the spirits of nature there was little finer that to observe the shapeless wool she wound with fluid motion on the spindle, as the masterpiece took slow but mighty shape. The goddess Minerva, weaver of the gods on high, was woven into every thread, yet scorned was the mistress by the maiden. Never once did Arachne honour the goddess nor reveal the source of her knowledge, neither praising nor cursing, pure and plain silence.


The Spinning Contest
Painting by Diege Velázquez
Upon Arachne Minerva bent her "vengeful mind", angered by the indifference of the maiden toward the gods gion high. "Let us, she cries, but to a trial come, and if she conquers, let her fix my doom". The goddess took the form of a woman bent with age, and came to the house of Arachne. Coming before the prodigal girl, the old woman declared "Young maid attend, nor stubbonly despise the admonitions of the old, and wise; for age, tho' scorn'd, a ripe experience bears". Her experience could lend the girl skill greater still, but only if she petition the gods on high, and pardon her bold presumption that she be greater than the gods. With temper fired Arachne rose, and to the veiled goddess she spoke. She despised the elderly counsel and her blasphemy grew. "If your skilful goddess better knows, let her accept the trial I propose!". "She does", wrathful Minerva replies, "and cloth'd with heavenly light, sprung from her disguise". The nymphs of the plains leapt back in fright, the ladies of hamlet trembled before the awe of divinity. Only the maiden stood unafraid, confident of her earthly, human talents. A brief blush in the cheek she allowed, but swiftly her composure regain'd. Across from each other the board was set, and the looms deployed, both ready to test their skills before the other, and all looked on in apprehension.


At once skilled fingers darted hither and thither across the mantle, human and inhuman, plying their trades as never before. Shining colours lit up the room, finest golds shimmering from the Minervan loom, royal purple from the maiden's mantle, gift of her father. Shades and light were wed on the wool, "as when a show'r transpierc'd with sunny rays, its mighty arch along the heav'n displays". Minerva the glories of the gods on high wove, high on Olympus on lofty thrones. Jupiter the subject, seated proud, and the centre of heaven and the centre of her loom. With awing majesty he all the rest excell'd, but there tood were woven his kin and those of heaven. There too was the hoary lord of the seas, Neptune the son of Saturn, wielding his three pronged trident high, ready to smite the jagged rocks, his steed the hippocampus ready for its master. There herself even, Minerva wove the very image of her own. Blazoning with glory, with glittering arms. With lavishly crested helm and braided hair, shining cuirass and shield resplendent, the image of the goddess stood poised, lance ready at the tilled earth. There the blade struck, and a towering olive blossomed into glorious life. Then, to warn the maiden Arachne,a  rival now, the goddess wove, and wove well. In all the corners four she wove a tale of mortals past, mortals who dared provoke the wrath of gods. In one there was spun Rhodope, King of the warlike Thracians who dared assume the titles of Jupiter, transfigured to a mountain for his pride. In the second corner there lay the image of the venomous Pigmaean dame, who dared profane Juno's holy name, now no more than a feathered crane. To the third Minerva's hands flew, whence the pride of young Antigone grew. Another to scorn the wife of Jove, with her self admired beauty she vyed with the Empress of the Skies. At last to the final corner Minerva flew, and there the image of weeping Cinyras drew. To crown it all at the centre stood, the mighty olive tree woven finer than any mortal could.

Arachne meanwhile chose triumphs of the divine, yet of a somewhat different kind. To the vices of on high she turned, and of the dalliances of Jove she wove. Through the rising surf and roaring tide, Zeus the Thunderer bore Europa upon his stride. Fearful of the ocean deep, up drew the feet of the maid, as though of Poseidon's domain she was afraid. Their too lay Leda a resplendent swan, for whom Jove could be the only one. Appear'd in a shower gold, came the god to Danaë's hold. To Neptune next the maiden turned her hand, casting the hypocrisy of heav'n across the land. Then upon a bursting scene, Arachne wove a valley pristine. Apollo next, roving through the plain, rousing song to banish all pain. Bacchus too could not escape his fate, as ever a slave to the accursed grape.

Minerva's Wrath
Painting by Rubens
All this the bright eyed goddess saw, and grew worried at the outcome of this war. Minerva was moved, great was her anger yet inwardly she approv'd. Magnificent was the maiden's taste, yet greater still Minerva's haste. The scenes she saw of heavenly vices made her wonder, but not before her wrath tore the loom asunder. Upon the terror struck maiden the goddess lunged from great height, retribution for her insubordinate spite. In fear and grief Arachne resolved, to be be of this life absolved. So Minerva watched as Arachne from the beam hung, pity rising as she swung. Calming now, the goddess her regret did announce, though swift was her judgement to pronounce:


     " Live, but depend, vile wretch, the goddess cried, doomed
       suspense forever to be tied; that all your race,
       to utmost date of time, may feel the vengeance, and detest the crime "
              - MINERVA'S CURSE


Turning to leave, Minerva upon the girl a potion poured, and before her eye's was Arachne's new body formed. Not two but eight legs now, the array wondered but knew not how. Her body a spider's now "from which she a thread gives, and still by constant weaving lives".

So came the spider into name, and how their family name 'Arachnid' became...


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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          Pygmalion's Statue      Cache   Translate Page      
Mythology is not lacking in tales of punished vice. But so too is it abundant with tales of rewarded virtue. Humility could as readily reward you with joy as Pride could punish you with retribution. This is the story of one such humble man who harboured a dream which came true.


Pygmalion at work in his studio
Painting by Jean Baptiste Regnault
There was once on the isle of Cyprus the seedling of a dangerous idea. In the city of Amathus there lived an accursed crowd, the Propoetides by name. A godless crew, drunk on the riches that the veins of gold in the Earth had bestowed upon them, they soon began to turn away from their gods. Numberless were their heresies, but one graver than all the rest. An array of women, the daughters of Propoetus, dared to deny the existence of the goddess Venus, the lady of desire. To Venus, this was deeply blasphemous. "With just abhorrence, and with wrath purs'd", the goddess was unleashed. But seeing no reason to inflict vengeance on the innocent pastures and cities of her former lands, she bent her anger on the daughters, the sinners themselves. Blasted from their mind was their remaining sense of dignity, honour and shame. Outcast from the people, and shunned by society the Propoetides took to prostitution, the first to do so, and the first to feel the blind eye of fellow men and women, "the first that sold their lewd embraces for gold... unknowing how to blush, and shameless grown."

There was, however, one man in particular who bore witness to their dread crimes. A lonely but noble spirited young man, Pygmalion was his name. A poor sculptor, Pygmalion spent his life crafting the forms of the divine, his chisel hewing perfection out of the coarse stone. While his craft was widely admired, and his skills with marble adored, he lived a life cut off from society. One day in Amathus, Pygmalion caught a glimpse of the apostate Propetides. Rarely entering the city, he was appalled at the heinous debauchery on display that day. Shocked to his very core, he resolved never to have anything further to do with womankind, and abhorred marriage, convinced that there was not one well spirited woman in all the world.


Pygmalion admires his work
Sculpture by Étienne Maurice Falconet 
Wracked with hopeless longing, Pygmalion turned to his one true solace. Taking up his chisel and hammer, he began to hew a new ivory block. Tears came as he struck the matter, the artist carving out some new image of perfection. Working day and night, Pygmalion, fearing idleness lest it remind him of his plight, worked harder and harder, and shards of ivory flew hither and thither across the master's workshop. Scarcely could Nature herself have bettered Pygmalion's craft, so fine were his cuts and smooth the polished surface. Ever pious to the deities on high, the sculptor made sure that the summit of the sculpture was carved finely too, where man could not see but the gods could. "Pleas'd with his idol, he commends, admires, adores; and last, the thing ador'd, desires". At last, Pygmalion set down his chisel and hammer, and stepped back from his masterpiece. So great had been the sculptor's skill, he was taken in by his own art. Stood before him was the image of a perfect maiden, pure and serene, untroubled by vice, unburdened with guilt. At any moment she might have stepped down from her pedestal, so incredibly lifelike was she. Such perfection was there, and such pollution in the real world! With this realisation, Cupid's arrow struck, and Pygmalion could never look at his beloved statue with anything but deep longing.

The day soon came, however, for the feast of Venus on Cypriot shores. A sombre day to which quiet prayers were owed, the day was a chance for all Cypriots to honour the goddess they had once scorned. Gild horned bulls were lead through the streets, slaughtered and by the high altars they bled. Pygmalion, however, shunned the procession and came to the shrine of Venus, and bowed before the image of the goddess.


            " Almighty Gods, if all we mortals want,
              If all we can require, be yours to grant;
              Make this fair statue mine, he wou'd have said,
              But chang'd his words for shame; and only pray'd,
              Give me the likeness of my iv'ry maid... "
                   - PYGMALION'S PRAYER


Galatea born
Painting by Jean Raoux
Terrible was the sound of Pygmalion's grief. Mere silence, as a tear rolled down his grizzled cheek. But high on Olympus' lofty heights, Venus heard his sadness, and her divine heart was moved beyond pity.Hearing his prayer, and knowing the true prayer that lay in Pygmalion's heart, the goddess recognised that there was one in that accursed land who was a true and noble servant of Heaven. The altar flame roared, and the fire rose high, and Pygmalion leapt back, suddenly afraid. Daring to hope, longing perhaps, he dashed back home. There she was still, in harmony, glazed eyes and fixed stare, his beloved statue. So afire was Pygmalion, he ran to embrace the statue. Feeling at first the cold hard ivory he despaired. But swiftly did his despair turn to ecstasy. For at his touch, he felt the ivory soften, saw the whiteness lessen, the cold white lips redden, the coldness warm. The Blessing of Venus passed to the statue, as the goddess's gift was bestowed upon humble Pygmalion. Ivory no more, but living flesh. Stony silence no more, but beating pulse. Frozen stance no more, but animated form. The transformation complete, Pygmalion and his statue stared at each other, robbed of words. Barely a moment of tranquillity passed before each ran to embrace the other, and Venus smiled. Pygmalion, his deepest wish granted, gave the woman a name, Galatea. The two were wed, and scarcely has such devotion been seen among the domains of men. Pygmalion and Galatea had a son, Paphos, and the House of Pygmalion lived a life of joy 'till the end of days.


United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

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Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

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Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)


          The Blood of Adonis      Cache   Translate Page      
Many a time in ancient lore did a mortal fall afoul of the gods, for offences slight or grievous. Often did the Olympians strike back with overwhelming vengeance, so as to discourage insubordination in the future, and preserve the pristine honour of Heaven. But just sometimes, that vengeance rebounded upon its creator, and gods would know the pain of mortals. The story of Adonis is one such example.


The Birth of Adonis
Painting by Marcantonio Franceschini
There was once Cinyras on the throne of Assyria, with his adoring Queen Cenchreis. The family had just one heir, their young daughter, Princess Myrrha. As they watched their daughter grew, the Royal Family and the Assyrians marvelled at her beauty. Some called it Heaven bestowed. Others good fortune. But when the time came when Myrrha came of age, Queen Cenchreis proudly boasted that her daughter's beauty surpassed even that of Venus herself. A glowing compliment for a daughter. A blasphemous offence to a goddess. High on Mount Olympus, the goddess heard her. Never had so terrible a wrath been wrought upon so innocent a crime. Such fury behind the fair face of Heaven's most beloved daughter. The goddess' righteous fury sped down from Olympus as a flash of lightning, delivering forbidden passion into the mind of the Princess. Venus condemned her, rebounding her natural passion upon her own family, and thereafter she would forever have eyes for only her father. Overcome with frenzied passion, disguised by her loyal maids, Myrrha pursued her father with all her energy, employing every trick of deception to fool him of her true identity. Dark was the hour of man when at last she caught her quarry. The following day, when King Cinyras discovered the identity of his seducer, he tore the sword from his scabbard and pursued her, devastated and outraged by her perverse corruption.

Maddened by grief and the affliction that cursed her mind, Myrrha resolved to end her life. She had just prepared the rope from which she would swing when her handmaiden stayed her hand. High on Olympus, Vengeful Venus at last knew pity, and decided to end her suffering. At the goddess' command, the Princess shifted and became a beautiful tree. Ever after mortals would call it the fairest in the grove, the most beautifully scented, the myrrh tree.


The Birth of Venus
Painting by  Nicolas Poussin
Eight months passed, and the world it seemed, lay in peace. Then, on the ninth, the tree burst asunder, revealing a baby boy who would be the envy of all men - Adonis. Pity still afflicted Venus, but when she cast her godly eye over the myrrh tree, all was forgotten when she saw the boy. Knowing immediately that he would grow to become the most handsome man who ever lived, she was at once obsessed with the boy. Fearing for harm that may come to the boy, she bound him in an adamant casket and entrusted it to Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, for there was no safer place than the Underworld, where all the bounty of the Earth ultimately hails. For many a year, young Adonis grew up and grew strong away from the light, but safe.


Adonis in glory
Painting by Benjamin West
Time soon passed, and a boy he was no more. Venus made the journey to reclaim the boy, but found trouble lay ahead. For Persephone fell immediately for Adonis' astonishing beauty, and had no intention of relinquishing her charge. But when Venus saw Adonis, man at last, she was stunned. The goddess of love felt her own power take hold of her, as Cupid's arrow struck her with irresistible force - a thing never to happen before. Profane love indeed, for Adonis was a cursed man. Conceived through incest, a violation of nature, the Fates had spun a finite thread for the fairest of all men. Both goddesses quarrelled intensively over him, until Jupiter the Thunderer, lord of Heaven and Earth, was forced to intercede. The King of the Gods ruled that for Adonis, the year would be divided three ways. Four months he would spend in the Underworld with Persephone, four with Venus, and four were to be given to him to do as he will. Both goddesses bowed at this compromise and eagerly prepared for their turn.



Venus and Adonis
Painting by Francois Lemoyne
Over time, however, it became apparent to which goddess Adonis himself preferred. Having grown up neverknowing the feel of the sun, the touch of grass nor the sound of birds singing, he could not wait to escape the world of Underland. The four precious months of his very own he therefore decided to spend with Venus too. Persephone fumed in Hades, Venus rejoiced on Earth. Many an hour did man and goddess spend together walking the pastures and forests of the Earth. A naturally athletic man, Adonis took to hunting, a noble pastime for men of the age. Soon both men and gods began to envy him. Mortal men longed for his looks and his muscles. Gods resented the affections of a goddess directed at a mortal. Jealous of Venus, Persephone revealed the affair to Mars, god of war and deeply smitten with Venus. Furious, the lord of battles and bloodshed plotted his vengeance on this upstart mortal. But far down on the Earth, Venus and Adonis were oblivious to all others, each perfect in all ways. Venus liked to watch Adonis hunt, but feared for him as his quarries grew mightier and mightier in stature. Eventually, fearing for his safety, she begged him not to hunt the wildest and most dangerous beasts. "Thus cautious Venus school'd her fav'rite boy; but youthful heat all cautions will destroy... his sprightly soul beyond grave counsels flies..."


The Death of Adonis
Painting by Luca Giordano
One hot summer's morning, Adonis awoke bright and early for the day's hunt. As the Sun rose higher in the day, the dogs caught a strange new scent, barking loudly. Adonis, eagerness peaked by the sound, seized his spear and set off on the chase into the scrub. The smell of sweat drew the hounds near, and there the object of his hunt lay. A mighty boar, powerfully built and sharply tusked, stood defiantly in the forest clearing. As soon as Adonis looked upon it, he was overcome with an urge to hunt it, claim it as the trophy of his prizes. No finer a beast had ever he seen, let alone caught. Some magic or other ill was at work that day, as thirst for glory drove the warnings of his beloved far from his mind. With a heart of valour, Adonis lifted his faithful spear, and with the strength of a hunter of prodigious skill, he hurled the metalled barb at the beast. A strange boar this war, for boar it was not. Shadow covered the glade, and in that moment the deception was laid bare. It was no common boar, nor any other beast of game, for there lay the war god himself in disguise. Terror chill gripped Adonis. Too late did he recall the words of Venus, and he turned to run. But one does not attack a god without consequence:


            " The trembling boy by flight his safety sought,
              and now recall'd the lore, which Venus taught;
              but now too late to fly the boar he strove,
              who in the groin his tusks impetuous drove,
              On the discolour'd grass Adonis lay,
              The monster trampling o'er his beauteous prey... "
                   - MARS' REVENGE


The Adonis River
Photograph taken by Adrien Valentine
A piercing scream rent the air apart and echoed through the valleys. To the godly bone it chilled Venus. Knowing all too well the voice, her heart froze. Fear gripped her fair body, an emotion few gods could say they knew, a terrible sensation at all times, yet worse when it is new. Immediately she sped to his side, as quietly Mars triumphantly stole away into the forest. Blood leaked from the tusk wound in the boy's side, and deathly was his pallor. Gentle groans emanated from his lips, tears from the eyes of Venus. The blood of Adonis ran through the nectar of the flowers, and where the droplets fell upon the earth, the anemone burst into life, brimming with colour. The river near where he lay ran red for many ages after, and to this day bears his name. So the curse of Adonis' family came to pass, and the ultimate revenge of Myrrha upon her tormentor. Ever after was Venus broken, though nine months later, she too gave birth, this time to daughter, Beroe. It is after this daughter that the city of Beirut is named...




United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          Orpheus and Eurydice      Cache   Translate Page      
The son of the Thracian King Oeagrus, Prince Orpheus, seemed to many who met him an unremarkable man, neither tall of stature like Hercules, nor divinely handsome as Adonis. He was not a renowned warrior, as Achilles, or even notably silver tongued as Odysseus. The son of a King, and the Muse Calliope, Orpheus did however possess two qualities so rare in the great men of his time. For the Thracian Prince was blessed with a heart of gold, and was gifted lyre player, a trait handed down from his mother and grandfather - the god Apollo. Both of these things would be his greatest asset, and his ultimate ruin...


Orpheus serenades the Nymphs of the Forest
Painting by Charles Jalabert
While the lyre was the creation of the god Hermes, it was Orpheus who perfected it. As a young child Apollo gifted his favoured grandson with a lyre of burnished gold, and his mother, the patron of lofty poetry, taught him many a verse of heroic lore, and the Prince set it all to heart-warming music. Any doubts old King Oeagrus may have had at his son's disinterest in military pursuits were at once silenced the moment young Orpheus began to play, for the hearts of the King and all his court were moved by the heavenly notes. Many a summer's afternoon would young Orpheus spend in the wild forests of Thrace, his refuge of body, his music, his sanctuary of mind. Oblivious he was too, to the enchanting power of his tunes. The nymphs of the forest lay all around, entranced by the Prince's songs, as they had been for his brother Marsyas. The beasts of the glades, boars, wolves and the like all stood alert and spellbound. Even the stones of the forest floor lent their attention to the sound that soothed the air, such was the power of the music that Orpheus created. The Prince's quiet life, however, did not endure for long. As a young man, Orpheus volunteered to join Jason and his fellow Argonauts on their arduous quest to the ends of the Earth for the Golden Fleece (a story which shall be told in the future on this site). The crew of heroes, including mighty Hercules himself, grew to respect and admire Orpheus, whose humble demeanour and beautiful compositions came to their rescue on many an occasion when morale was low, saving the lives of the whole crew when faced with the deadly Sirens.


When at last the voyage was over, Orpheus returned a grown man to his native Thrace, desiring a quiet life as of old. He soon grew to care for a nymph, Eurydice, a spirit who once admired his songs deep in the forest. Over time both Orpheus and Eurydice became deeply attached to one another, and the Prince was overjoyed when she agreed to wed him. The day arrived, and it was wondrous to behold, such was the array of beings present. Apollo made the rays of the Sun touch all the fields and faces that day, his grandson's wedding day. In their tens and hundreds the dryads and naiads marched forth from their abodes, bedecked in garlands and fine robes. It was a happy day, and even high on Olympus the joy was felt. Alas that such calamity would strike utopia that day. In the commotion and revelry, a drunken Satyr chased the bride through the party. Eurydice, surprised, fled into the fields, but ruinous was her fortune. Into the long grass of the meadow she fled. She turned to try and catch a glimpse of her pursuer, but in that moment she felt a lethal pain in her foot. She screamed and looked for the source of her doom. There at her feet, a viper. A glance she stole at Orpheus, face white with raw terror, before death moved to claim her on her wedding day.


The River Styx
Painting by Joachim Patinir
Devastation was the mere beginning of feeling which struck Orpheus now. Holding her close to him, he grieved terribly, and the whole world grieved with him. Shattered as a man, for an age after, a new song pierced the air, but it was not the tune of joy which touched the soul, it was a lament, a tearful mourning indeed. The spirits of the forest could restrain their pity no more. His heart afire with longing and despair, Orpheus refused to accept his loss of Heaven. At the urging of the nymphs, he decided to take the dark road to Hades himself and plead for mercy. So the Prince set off on his morbid journey, one fraught with danger. Seldom had a mortal ventured into the land of the dead and ever seen the light of day again. But even the hearts of the gods on high were with him that day. At his approach, fearsome Cerberus skulked away in the darkness at the gates of death. Eerie silence fell on the Prince's ears. Such a heavy silence the greatest musician in the world had never before heard, and it saddened him. Taking out his lyre, he did the only thing he knew, he played. Even the monstrous guardian of Hell was soothed by the song, and allowed his passage. Charon, the ferryman of the dead, taking pity too, granted him a journey across the River Styx, the true boundary between the Overworld and Hades. The smell of decay grew overwhelming, and at last, to the throne room of the god of the dead himself he came in humility. Hades and his Queen Persephone were astonished at the sight of the broken man, his robes defiled with filth and tears, and heard his call.


Orpheus came forth and spake his mind, "I come not curious to explore thy domain, nor come to boast... My wife alone I seek, for her sake these terrors I support, this journey take". The gods high on Olympus, powerless in the abode of death, wept for Orpheus. The Prince, wavering at the fearsome gaze of Hades, continued:


             " A hope within my heart prevails...
               Let me again Eurydice receive,
               Let Fate her quick spun thread of life re-weave...
               She, when ripen'd years she shall attain,
               Must, of avoidless right, be yours again:
               I but the transient use of that require,
               Which soon, too soon, I must resign entire... "
                  - ORPHEUS' PLEA TO HADES


Orpheus leads Eurydice
Painting by Jacopo Vignali
The Prince's fingers moved toward his lyre, he couldn't help it, it was his only solace now. He began to play, and even the bloodless shades of the dead turned to see. Far in Tartarus,  Sisyphus laid down his mighty burden to listen, far above Ixion squirmed for a glance, and away in the pool Tantalus forgot his hunger and thirst. Even the vengeful Furies relaxed their snarls, tears stinging their ferocius cheeks. The hand of Queen Persephone tensed. Too well did she know what it was like to be torn from a dear one. To her husband, the lord of death did she intercede, asking pity this one time. Not even the cold heart of Hades remained unmoved that day. To the grieving Prince the son of Kronos turned, and declared that he would grant his wish, and restore Eurydice to life, but upon one condition. The rules of the cosmos were absolute - Hades commanded Orpheus to return to the Overworld, but until both he and Eurydice had crossed the threshold of the land of the living, he was forbidden to look behind him into the deadlands. If he did, the pact would be forfeit, and he would lose Eurydice forever. The Thracian Prince nodded gently, and Hades snapped his fingers. A troop of deathly shades approached from the darkness, bearing in their midst the shadowy form of the his beloved. Wincing slightly from the deadly bite, she stopped perfectly still at the sight of her Prince, joy spreading through her body, reviving now with breath, though as yet unable to speak. It was as though her wretched misfortune had never befallen her, as Orpheus, crying with joy, moved to embrace her. Alas they passed through her, for the ritual was not yet complete. Thanking the dead god and his Queen from the deepest chamber of his heart, Orpheus bid Eurydice come with him quick before the Sun set that day, so they might enjoy anew an evening upon the Earth. Leading the way Orpheus put his first foot upon the deathly stairs, rising high above the Halls of Hell.


Immediately his resolve was tested to breaking point, such was his desire and the temptation to look behind. Lost and again found, alas that he was forbidden to look back at his beloved and that he must lead the way!

   
                     " Now thro' the noiseless throng their way they bend,
                       And both with pain the rugged road ascend;
                       Dark was the path, and difficult, and steep... "
                              - ORPHEUS' ESCAPE


Orpheus found the dread silence agony to bear, unbroken by song. For the laws of the cosmos decreed it easy for a man to enter the realm of the dead, but far harder to leave, and both hands did the Prince require on the ascent. As the sweat poured from his brow, he fought his urge to turn and assist, terrified of breaking his oath. He called to her, naught but heavy silence replied. Not until restored fully to life would breath pass her lips again. Trying desperately to cast his thoughts away from horrid visions of his beloved lost far below in the darkness, Orpheus continued his climb.


Eurydice lost
Painting by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein
At last, after what seemed days of silent struggle, the black shroud seemed to ease all around. Colour could be seen again, and the harsh, jagged rocks around the tunnel. They seemed as teeth of the jaws of some infernal beast, binding the dead within that realm, never to leave. Orpheus' excitement grew - at last, redemption lay just over the crest! For hours and hours he toiled against the rock, alone to his ears. As the light grew, hand in hand with it walked his paranoia. Was Eurydice still there? Had Hades deceived him? The desire to look grew painful to resist. With every reserve of will, Orpheus forced his head forward. Up and over the last precipice, the rays of the late afternoon Sun struck his forehead, embracing him with their reassuring heat. Ecstatic, he hauled himself up and over, and rushed into the cool air, blazing with light. In that moment his happiness was absolute, unbroken and willed to live for ever. Puzzled he was, however, when the cry of freedom at his side he could not hear. Doubt racked his mind again - was she there? He wheeled around, seeking Eurydice. There she stood after all, she had followed him all the way from the root of the Earth, but something was amiss. He glimpsed her fair face, near full again, but the expression upon it he would never forget. White as snow, a look of terror on her face, a visage to freeze the soul. The joy of Orpheus stopped dead in its tracks. Cold dread flooded every inch of him, as he saw too late his folly. A mere footstep it was from the mouth of the Underworld his beloved stood. Behind it. His legs and arms began to shake, a soft no all he could utter, and his eyes welled up. The word of Hades rang in his ear, and for the second time Death claimed Eurydice, this time for good. One last look of hopeless longing she gave him, before the darkness took her spirit, as Orpheus fell to his knees...


United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          This Troublesome Priest      Cache   Translate Page      
The young boy from Cheapside who grew up to be the nemesis of the King of England, and later, a Saint. The life and achievements of St. Thomas Becket are impressive no matter the times. Just as famous as his deeds however, was his infamous end...


The Angevin Empire at its height
Map created by the author
The twelfth century was a tumultuous time for the young Kingdom of England. Fifty two years before 1118, the year of Thomas' birth, the Saxon dynasty had been overthrown forever, replaced with the iron rule of the Normans. The lives of many, on both sides of the Channel, were changed forever. Around this time, Gilbert Becket decided to move his family from the village of Thierville in Normandy to London, there to seek a new life in the new Norman domain. By the time his son Thomas was born, he was a wealthy and respected London merchant and landowner. Young Thomas spent many a summer on the Sussex estates of the family friend Richer de L'Aigle, whiling away the sunny days hunting and hawking, fine pursuits of a young man. Schooled at Merton Priory and later Grammar School in London, young Thomas received a fine education for the day, thanks to his father's success in business. But dark times were coming. The peaceful days of King Henry I were soon overthrown in a ruinous civil war. After the tragic shipwreck which claimed the life of Prince William Adelin, the broken hearted Henry was left with only his daughter, Matilda, as his hope for an heir. Long did the King try to persuade the English barons to accept her, the first woman to reign in her own right in the history of England. Matilda, whose husband the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V had died not long before, was soon wed to Geoffrey of Anjou, so that Henry I might gain an alliance with the mighty County of Anjou in France. To the relief of the King, the couple produced a male heir, Henry. But when the King died in 1135, the ever suspicious Norman lords refused to acknowledge Matilda, throwing in their lot for Stephen, the Count of Blois, triggering a near twenty year devastating civil war in England between the forces loyal to Matilda, and those loyal to Stephen, in a period infamously known to history as The Anarchy. The war laid waste to vast swathes of Albion, and it was in this destruction that Gilbert Becket once prosperous trade crumbled. Young Thomas took up a job as a clerk to help the family, and soon ended up in the employ of Theobald of Bec, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most powerful avatar of Christendom in the realm.


King Henry II of England
Image taken from the Manuscipt of the
Historia Anglorum of Matthew Parris
Escaping the turmoil that England had been hurled into, young Thomas marched forth as an emissary of Canterbury to Rome, spending many years in Europe learning the intricacies of many laws of the Church. After what seemed an age without end, there seemed to be hope at last for the dystopic British Isles. In December 1154, after a generation of endless war, the Norman dynasty lay in flames, when Henry the son of Empress Matilda landed on the southern coast of England. On the 19th of December, he was crowned King Henry II of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou, Duke of Aquitaine and Lord of Ireland, alongside his new Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The House of Normandy was over. The House of Plantagenet, a dynasty that would rule England longer than any other, even to this day, had begun. By conquest and by marriage, King Henry now ruled one of the mightiest realms in Europe, a vast state known as the Angevin Empire. In those bygone days, the kings of England ruled more of France than the King of France did. The lawlessness of the Anarchy was over, and once again the people of England enjoyed peace. With order restored, young Thomas returned triumphantly to the British Isles, and was granted the honour of Archdeacon of Canterbury, and offices in Lincoln Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral. The merchant's son was rising rapidly within the ranks of Feudal England...


Thomas Becket Enthroned
Nottingham Alabaster
With all the tenacity and determination that so characterised him, Becket hurled himself into his mission, impressing Archbishop Theobald with his whirlwind efficiency. Such was his drive, within a year the Archbishop recommended Becket directly to the King himself. Further up the rungs of the ladder of state did young Thomas go, when the King appointed him Lord Chancellor, arguably the most powerful minister of the kingdom, and custodian of the Great Seal of the Realm, a spectacular honour for one of such relatively humble birth. Fro seven years Thomas shone once more as comptroller of the King's finances, gaining the King's trust to such a degree that the heir to the throne the young Prince Henry was even sent to live in Becket's household. It was once remarked that the Prince once said that Becket became more a father to him than the King himself. When Theobald died in 1162, the mightiest Bishopric in England fell vacant, and to many there was no doubt as to whom should succeed. A deeply pious man at heart, Becket cast aside the Chancellorship and took the cloth on the 3rd of June, taking vows of asceticism, and pledging to champion the cause of Christendom in England. Storm clouds began to gather between the King and his new Archbishop, dismayed as Henry was that Becket had put the Church before State. It began with the rejection of the authority of secular courts over the clergy by Becket, which challenged the power of the state. Alarmed at this sudden thinking, King Henry conspired to turn the other Bishops against him. Yet rumours of treachery ran common, and in 1164, the King decreed, near four hundred years before Henry VIII, that England would not automatically bow to the wishes of the Pope of Rome (due to his fame, one often considers Henry VIII as the man who grappled with the Pope - the truth is that the Kings of England had wrestled with Rome for centuries by the time the Reformation took place). It took all of Henry's charisma and majesty with words to sway the gathered courts at Clarendon, but carry the day he did. Archbishop Becket however, refused to sign the heretical treaty. The board was set. Thomas Becket was ordered to present himself before the royal council on charges of contempt of royal authority. The Council, jealous of Becket's upstart power, convicted him, and the Archbishop was banished from the realm.


Evading the King's men, Becket fled to France where he was given sanctuary by King Louis VII in the monastery of Pontigny. For near two years he resisted in exile, excommunicating his foes in the English Church, for no precedent existed for removing the Archbishop of Canterbury from power. Meanwhile, King Henry seethed. The looming eyes of Pope Alexander III were ever watchful, but when Becket threatened the King of England himself with excommunication (a fate worse than death in the medieval world), the King's frustration turned to anger. When the Pope agreed a truce, Becket returned to England, immune to earthly shackles, and continued to excommunicate all in his path. When he heard that Prince Henry had been crowned in his absence, an act only the Archbishop of Canterbury could perform, he excommunicated the Archbishop of York.


King Henry was in Normandy when the news reached him. As news of rifts in his vast empire fell upon his ears, a cry of rage shook the hall, with words that to this day have been in dispute:


                 " What miserable fools and traitors hath I nourished and
                    raised in my household, who grant their Lord be so trifled
                   by so low born a cleric! "
                           - KING HENRY II ON BECKET


Some say his fury was stronger still, and that the King roared in frustration:

                 " Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?! "
                          - KING HENRY II's LETHAL WISH


The Murder of Thomas Becket
English Psalter of 1250,
currently in the Walters Art Gallery,
Baltimore
Legendary was the wrath of the Plantagenet Kings, and all who looked on feared what irrational deeds anger would inspire in the King. Standing there that day were four knights, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy, Richard le Breton and Reginald FitzUrse, all eager to serve and please their King. Mistaking the King's fiery words for royal command, the four rode forth from court to carry out their terrible deed. On sunset of the fifth day of Christmas 1170, the four knights arrived in Canterbury town, their eyes set on the towering cathedral. As evening fell on Canterbury, the clergy and the Archbishop were celebrating the Vespers service. A certain Subdeacon of the cathedral beckoned the knights in, a name since blackened in history. The monks loyal to the Archbishop moved to bar the doors, but their hand was stayed by Becket. "'Tis not proper", spake he, "that a house of prayer,a church of Christ, be made a fortress". Seizing their chance, the knights burst in in full armour, sharpened swords gleaming in the failing light. "Where is Thomas Becket, traitor of the King and Kingdom", one demanded to the congregation. Silence reigned. "Where is the Archbishop!" they cried aloud. At this Becket rose to his feet and faced his foe. "The righteous will be like a bold lion and free from fear", said he. Into the evenlight he moved, "Here I am, not a traitor of the King but a priest; why do you seek me?". At the altar Archbishop Becket stopped, and turned to face the image of the holy confessor St. Benedict. The four men of steel bore down upon him, "Absolve and restore to communion those thou hast excommunicated, and reconcile those who hath been banished", the knights commanded. "No penance hath been made, so I shall not absolve them", the Archbishop coolly replied. "Then you", spake they, "will now die and will suffer what thou hast earned". "And I", said he, "am prepared to die for my Lord, so that in my blood the Church will attain liberty and peace; but in the name of Almighty God I forbid that thou striketh my men, cleric or layman should he be".


"With rapid motion they laid sacrilegious hands on him", and moved to drag him from the sanctum, for to strike down a man of the cloth was sin enough, but to do so on hallowed ground was the devil's work indeed. But Archbishop Becket was loath to release his grip upon the stone pillar. Seeing Reginald coming near, Archbishop Becket spoke his last command. "Touch me not, Reginald, you who oweth me faith and obedience, you who foolishly follow these men". A burning rage did this spark in the knight, who rounded on Becket, "I owe thee neither faith nor obedience when faced with fealty I owe my King". Seeing Doom coming now, Thomas Becket lowered in prayer when Reginald's blade sang through the air. With one mighty blow, as the heavenly crown was laid on the Archbishop's head, his earthly one was hewn by steel. A second blow met its mark, but not yet over was it. On the third strike he sank to his knees, "for the name of Jesus I am ready to embrace death", said he. So forceful was the knight's blow, the blade of the sword was shattered upon the cold stone below. An accomplice in the Church, loyal to the King, spoke the last. "We can leave this place, knights, he will rise no more".


The Becket Casket
Reliquary made c. 1180-1190,
Currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Soon after news of the impious deed spread like wildfire through Europe, and with it admiration for the pious Becket. Crowds across the continent chanted his name and called him martyr. two years later, Pope Alexander III declared him a saint. The four assassins fled north to Knaresborough Castle, and holed up for a year. All four were excommunicated by the Pope, yet journeyed to Rome, braving threats of lynching, to plead before the Vicar of Christ. Pope Alexander was merciful, and decreed that each man serve penance for fourteen years in the Holy Lands. To Outremer were they henceforth banished. But it was King Henry who was racked with grief and guilt at the horrible deed. Never truly meaning his death, after all, they had once been friends, the King fell into a desperate sorrow, and a fear for his immortal soul. On the 12th July, 1174, the King performed an unprecedented humility. By the Church of St. Dunstans, the King of England set out barefoot and clad in sackcloth, and undertook his pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral, whipped along the road to redemption. The monks, afraid of relic thieves, buried Becket beneath the floor in the East of the Cathedral. Fifty years later, King Henry III, grandson of Henry II, gave them a lavish new setting in pride of place within the Cathedral. There they regally sat until they were destroyed by order of King Henry VIII in 1538. The most intact relic survives today in the so called Becket Casket. Canterbury has ever since been a great pilgrimage site in Christendom, with images of the Saint all over the Christian World. Quite a legacy for the boy from Cheapside...



United Kingdom

The Biography
Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim: A 900-Year-Old Story Retold
(A grand tale of Becket's life, easy to read and with links to the original accounts)

United States

The Biography
Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel
(A grand tale of Becket's life, easy to read and with links to the original accounts)

          The Flute and the Flayed      Cache   Translate Page      
Ancient lore is ripe with tales of gods and monster, heroes and heroines and their wars, affairs and voyages. Oft is fate written in the stars, virtue praised and pride punished. When mortals rise above their stations, they are punished. But the divine powers are flawed too. Sometimes even the gods could go too far...


Athena
2nd Century AD Roman copy of a Greek original
Legend says that a long time ago, in the Golden Age of the Olympians and heroes, the goddess Athena, daughter of Zeus the Thunderer, was wandering in the sunny vales of the forest of Phrygia. The goddess' chaste ears pricked up at the sound of the birdsong in the breeze, a soothing accompaniment to the percussion of the rustling leaves. Filled with a peculiar joy, she was filled with a passion to make merry in the forest. Taking from the leaf strewn earth the bones of a young doe, the goddess fashioned from them a strange instrument. Whittling a series of pipes from the matter, she lashed them together and considered her new craft. With a modest intrigue, she placed the pipes to her mouth and blew. What a fair sound it was indeed; a soft vibration, a gentle melody and hypnotising note. Spurred on, bolstered by the music of the forest, the virgin goddess could scarcely put them down. Soon her absence was noted on the snowy peaks of lofty Olympus, and gossip flew to and fro, from scheming god and intrigued goddess. All too happy to share her new art, Athena proposed to show them all the sweet sounds at a lavish banquet in Heaven's Halls.


The eve came and the resplendent array of the skies awaited, fascinated by what was to come. When the moment came, the goblets were empty, the ambrosia consumed, the goddess rose to her feet. Brimming with excitement and nerves, she began to play. In the beginning, all was well, as the dulcet tune serenaded the divine array, and seldom were such sweet tones heard in the Palace of Olympus. Zeus the father of gods and men looked merrily on, proud of his daughter's talents. Hephaestus, master of the forge, sat entranced by the music so seldom heard in the roar of the furnace. Ares, lord of war, for whom the screams of the dying were oft his cadence, could scarce hide his delight. But it was then that the eyes of Pallas Athena saw Hera and Aphrodite. Far from listening with rapture, it was with a fits of laughter they returned her song. Though fair and noble, terrible could be the warrior maiden's fury. In anger she departed, seeking solace in the wilderness. When strolling the paths of the Forest of Ida, she stopped by a great pool of glassy water, her joy poisoned by doubt. She took up the pipes once more, and for the last time did she play. In the soft ripples of the water did she see her image cast, and within was held the revelation she sought. She had not noticed until now that as she played, she puffed her cheeks out proudly, their oft white complexion soon a crimson red. Frustrated by the immaturity of her fellow goddesses, with whom she bore a ruinous rivalry, she cast her creation aside. Laying upon the pipes a curse, she vowed calamity upon whomsoever should play them again. Woe that her malediction should have found a mark.


Marsyas in the Forest
Painting by Pyotr Basin
One day, when the memory of the pipes had passed into legend, there lived a shepherd who made Forest of Ida his serene home. His name was Marsyas the son of Oeagrus, and no man was he, but a Satyr. A servant of the god Bacchus, the Satyrs lived a merry life of revelry, dancing and song, frequently spreading havoc and drunken anarchy where their cloven feet trod. Marsyas, however, possessed a gentler spirit, preferring the solitude of the forest to the chaos of the plains. There came a day, however, that neither the Satyr nor the forest would ever forget. Stumbling upon a clearing in the thick canopy of the trees, where lay a crystal pool of ice cool water, Marsyas stopped to refresh. Throwing the pleasant water over his face, he gave a sigh of satisfaction, droplets from his tangled beard breaking the mirror like reflection of the surface. Turning to dry his face, however, he spotted a strange yet curious thing cast in the bushes at the water's edge. Stained with earth and covered in moss, it seemed a relic of an ancient past. Picking the strange object up, the Satyr, acquainted as all Satyrs are with the ways of merriment, realised at once that it bore the form of an instrument. Scraping aside the grime and muck, dousing it in the clear water, he saw the simple pipes in their fresh glory.


Tentatively, the Satyr put the pipes to his lips and blew. The note was rough, but charming. He blew again. Better, but a shade of the performance of the instruments original creator. For an age did Marsyas obsess over the pipes, unable to resist the allure he could not explain, the will to keep playing. Throughout the hours when the sun drenches the Earth did the Satyr practice anew, studious and assiduous. Day by day the Satyr's prowess grew, and with his talent came music sweeter than ever before. Birds began to perch upon nearby boughs, listening intently to Marsyas' song, the notes fairer even than their own. Creatures and being from far and wide began to marvel at the Satyr's song, but before long the curse began to manifest. Pride, the ruin of the great, wove its intoxicating spell in the Satyr's mind, as his humility could deflect the shower of praise no more. Time passed, and soon Marsyas declared himself a musician beyond compare in the world. The fatal hour arrived when the Satyr challenged Apollo, the god of music himself, to a contest.


High on Olympus, Apollo heard his challenge, and the god was angered by the daring of a mortal. Soaring down from the frozen summit, Phoebus Apollo came before Marsyas, and the admiring crowds scattered in fear and awe. Shaking with rage, Apollo declared the contest begun. The Muses, the spirits of the arts, were summoned to judge, and the terms were set. Whoever showed the greater mastery of music would triumph, and the victor won the right to treat the defeated as he pleased. Alas that Marsyas was deaf to the subtle warning that lay veiled within, as the curse brandished its edge, and the proud Satyr accepted. The stage was set. Marsyas took the pipes his beloved pipes, Apollo the lyre with which he was so skilled. The god played first. What ambience the grove had never known! With each pluck of the god's fingers upon the strings, soothed was the soul of all beings present, and the Muses sighed in awe of their master. When the god finished his piece, all gathered saw the end coming for the Satyr. But Marsyas, spurred on by the curse, boldly raised the pipes to his lips. With a jolt the gathered assembly was stunned into silence. With each honey soaked note, the very forest itself seemed to sing, vibrating with raw power. All earthly woes lay distant and forgotten for all mortals there that day, and warmed were the hearts of the Muses. Incensed by fire, alas, was the heart of Apollo. Just as the Satyr neared the boundary of the grove, victory near at hand, the god called to him. If the Satyr could play as he could now, Apollo would concede defeat. Intrigued, yet proud, Marsyas agreed. Without delay did the sun god spin his lyre around, striking a haunting melody, his instrument upside down. The Muses, delighted, applauded the god's performance, before turning to Marsyas, expectant. With a glint of malice in his eye, well did Apollo know that it was impossible to play the pipes upside down. Too late did the Satyr realise this too. His mouth went dry with terror, as the judges were struck with disappointment. To the son of Zeus was triumph assigned, and to the Satyr, ignoble defeat

Marsyas Flayed
Painting by Titian
Near dumbstruck, the Satyr watched helplessly as the god approached, vengeance that only a god could muster flaming in his eyes. Poor Marsyas searched for words but none could be found, none to quench the fire before him now. Hands grabbed him from all around, and terror flooded his veins. Thus was begun a punishment terrible to behold. Strapped to a nearby oak was the quivering Satyr, and tightly bound. The servants of Apollo seized their blades and descended upon poor Marsyas.







                  " 'Why do you tear me from myself, he cries?
                     Ah cruel! Must my flesh be made the prize?
                     This for a mere pipe?' He roaring said,
                     Meanwhile the skin from off his limbs were flay'd.
                     All bare, and raw, one large continu'd wound,
                     With streams of blood his body bath'd the ground.
                     The blueish veins their trembling pulse disclos'd,
                     The stringy nerves lay naked and expos'd;
                     His guts appear'd, distinctly each express'd,
                    With ev'ry shining fibre of his breast... "
                      - THE PUNISHMENT OF MARSYAS


His muffled screams were the last song of Marsyas, raw muscle and tendon bare to the elements now. Such was the justice of Apollo, so great the price of a mortal daring to raise himself above a god.

But not all beings shared Apollo's wrath. The fauns, silvans, nymphs, naiads and spirits of the forest, once serenaded by the Satyr's song, came to his mutilated corpse. Tears flowed from their eyes at their gaping loss, the knowledge that his pure song might never woo them again. It is said that even vengeful Apollo himself was later moved to regret, and not readily did he string his lyre in ages to come, remorseful of his act. "With their tears that flow'd, a kindly moisture on the earth bestow'd, that soon, conjoin'd, and in a body rang'd, sprung from the ground, to limpid water chang'd; which, down thro' Phrygia's rocks, a mighty stream, comes tumbling to the sea, and Marsya is its name..."

Like poor Actaeon before him, Marsyas felt the terrible fate of stumbling innocently in the path of a god. It was the folly of a fool to violate the laws of Heaven, but to challenge them openly, why only those blind to all other things would dice with such death. Nevertheless, even in the ancient world there were many who questioned the magnitude of poor Marsyas' punishment...

United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

          At the foot of the Mountain      Cache   Translate Page      
Dante & Virgil at the foot of the Mountain
Engraving by Gustave Doré






" To course o'er more kindly waters now
   my talent's little vessel lifts her sails,
   that leaves behind a sea so cruel;

  And of that second kingdom will I sing,
   wherein the human spirit doth purge,
   becoming worthy of ascent to
   Heaven... "
      - DANTE & VIRGIL IN PURGATORY









Dante Alighieri may have endured Hell, quite literally, and all its horrors and chills, but the journey was not complete. It seemed an age since that night he had walked the dark forest path, midway through life, but adventure lay far ahead yet. The terrible retribution suffered by the souls of the damned was but a part of the hand dealt by God to man when the hour of reckoning comes...

Bursting forth from the dank and unforgiving realm of Lucifer's gaol, it was with a deep breath that Dante greeted the cool air again. Noxious fumes and at once stifling heat and piercing freeze was cast aside, replaced by a serener ambience. Stars punctuated the night sky, as both Dante and his guide and master, the mighty Virgil, found themselves at the root of a mountain more vast than any that towered over the world of still breathing men. Down and down in Inferno had they travelled, yet here in the Midworld, the only path lay up. This was Purgatory, neither damnation nor salvation, Heaven nor Hell, here nor there. Here dwell man and woman alike after death, awaiting judgement. Noble yet flawed in life, here they atone for their earthly sins, before they are welcomed in Heaven above. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, the Gate of Hell had declared. Yet here in Purgatory, it is hope which lifts the spirits of all. For all here will one day enter Heaven, when their sentence is served.


The Death of Cato
Painting by Pierre Bouillon
With a start our pilgrim was made aware of a presence at his side. "Who are ? Ye who counter the blind river, have fled away from the eternal prison?", the stranger barked. None before had broken out of the dark abyss, since when had the damned been cast upon the root of the penitent Mount? "Who guided you?" he demanded. To Dante's rescue, silver tongued Virgil came. "A Lady from Heaven descended, at whose prayers I aided this one with my company", the poet declared. Beckoning at his companion, he argued that as he was not yet among the ranks of the dead, he was not subject to the ancient laws of the afterworld, and he sought only liberty. It was then that Virgil, spying a bloodied wound on the stranger's chest, that he recognised the man. A fellow Roman of yore, there stood before them Cato, staunch enemy of Caesar and Republican to the bitter end, who took his own life at Utica when his designs came to naught, and the Republic of the Romans breathed its last. Virgil informed Cato that Dante lived with hope to see his beloved Beatrice again, high in the Kingdom of Light. The hardened expression on their interrogator softened at once, moved with memories of the Marcia he once knew. "Marcia so pleasing was unto mine eyes whilst on the other side I dwelled...", he reminisced. "Now that she dwells beyond the evil river, she can no longer move me..." he lamented. Go forth, he commanded, and dally not under the command of the Lord. 'Do not return this way, and follow the rising Sun', his last words were. Dante looked at the path ahead. Steep indeed it was. Looking back, Cato's spirit was no more.


The Arrival of the Waiting
Engraving by Gustave Doré
Dawn had broken, and already the Sun had crested the horizon of the endless ocean. Through the haze Mars glowed a burning red, when suddenly a light flashed across the surf, heading to the base of the Mountain. A whiteness, blinding with brilliance, pierced the waves, and Virgil called to Dante "Make haste, make haste to bow the knew! Behold the Angel of God!". The radiance grew, and the craft beached upon Purgatory's shore. "In exitu Israel de Aegypto!", the Heavenly host cried, and from the boat a throng of souls emerged, recently hurled headlong from their earthly bodies. Around in incredulity and puzzlement they gazed. Spotting the two poets not far from they, the spirits rushed to embrace them. "If ye know, show us the way to go unto the mountain", one among them called out to Dante. "Ye believe perchance that we have knowledge of this place, but we are strangers even as yourselves", Virgil retorted. Downcast, one among them suddenly noticed the rising and falling of Dante's chest, and realisation dawned upon his breathless face. Pallid with amazement, they saw that he was still alive, and rejoiced. One moved forward to throw his arms around our pilgrim, but nay, it was not to be. Moved by the kind reception, Dante moved to embrace him too, but only through air did his arms pass. Three times they tried, but hope lay not there. Several among the shades recognise Dante, they were once men of Florence too. The one who would embrace revealed himself as Casella, a friend in life of our poet. Long had he dwelled in the middleworld, and into merry song he burst, flexing the mighty voice he once prized in life. A tear rolled down Dante's cheek at the memories relived, before a growling voice shattered the serenity. Cato spurred them on, urging them not to delay, for nightfall would be coming soon. So with fresh vigour did the ethereal party disband, and higher did they climb.

The path ahead seemed a gruelling one indeed, so steep was the embankment. Dante stuck close to his master, fearful that any slip would send him to the ranks of all around. The blood red rays of the Sun grew dazzling now, as the light flooded over the crags in the mountain. Marvelling at the old poet's agility, Dante suddenly noticed that Virgil cast no shadow in the blazing sun. "Dost thou not think me with thee, and that I guide thee?" Virgil remarked, noticing his anguish. All all too painful reminder it was for Dante, that his newfound friend and master was in fact dead. Since his mortal body long ago vanished, no more could his spirit cast a shadow, in Naples now are his last remains. "Marvel not at it more than at the Heavens", Virgil soothed the distraught Dante, for "insane is he who hopeth that our reason can traverse the illimitable way". Painfully aware that there would come a time when they  must part ways, Dante struggled on up, up and up the endless cliff. Scarcely, it seemed, could any being unequipped with wings ascend it, yet with determination did those two prevail.


After reaching something of a plateau, the two stopped; Dante for breath and Virgil for thought. Then, there on the left, another array of souls approached. As sheep they flocked, for those at the rear seemed oblivious to the matter around them, only following those in front. Timidly holding their heads low, they skulked forward, until the lead spirit, "modest in face and dignified in gait", spotted the shadow cast by Dante's form. With a start he jumped, and so too did his fellows behind, though they knew not why. "Without your asking, I confess to you this is a human body you see", Virgil called to them. By mandate of Heaven had they come this far, and the spirits bowed in recognition, beckoning the way forth.


King Manfred
Image take from the Chronicle
of Giovanni Villani
As they turned to move, however, a soft voice sounded behind. "Whoe'er thou art, thus going turn thine eyes, consider well if e'er thoun saw me in the other world". Intrigued, Dante spun around, to a haunting sight. A fair man stood yonder, with kindly face and blonde hair, one of his eyebrows split by some blow of war. His bearing was noble, no serf this was. Humbly, Dante admitted that he knew the man not. Smiling, the figure revealed the ghastly wound upon his chest, flecked with blood. "I am Manfred, grandson of the Empress Costanza; therefore, when thou returnest, I beseech thee, go to my daughter fair, the mother of Siciliy's honour and Aragon's, and the truth tell her, if aught else be told". Dante, who knew Manfred's tale well, was overcome with reverence. Fifty years earlier, Manfred, son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, faithfully obeyed his father's will in Southern Italy. It was a time when strife between the Empire and the Papacy was at its zenith, and the territorial extent of the Holy Roman Empire seemed well on its way to reclaiming the glory of its ancient namesake. At 18, his father died and rebellion was raised in the southern domains. Energetic and enthusiastic, Manfred crushed the rebellion in Naples. But Pope Innocent IV, spying an opportunity with the death of his nemesis, Frederick Stupor Mundi, demanded the surrender of Sicily from Imperial hands, intending to gift it to the son of King Henry III of England. Manfred, disgusted by the Vicar of Christ's earthly corruption, refused. Retribution arrived swiftly, a bull of excommunication. He was now a spiritual outlaw, shunned by the Catholic Church, and forbidden from entering Heaven. This was a sentence that made death seem trifling. The Pope deplored his daring to rule beyond papal permission, and his willingness to form alliances with Muslims, and raised arms against young Manfred. But the Imperial Prince was an able leader, and crushed the armies of the Papal States. Not long after, he was hailed by the Sicilians as their saviour and King. Triumphant, Manfred declared his candidacy for his father's throne, that of Holy Roman Emperor itself. The new Pope Alexander IV declared excommunication once again, rallying war against the precocious Prince. Charles of Anjou heard the Pope's call, and marched on Sicily. The two sides met at Benevento, and battle was joined. Outnumbered and overwhelmed, the Imperial forces were broken, but never would Manfred abandon the field. Alone did the Sicilian King hurl himself against the Angevin line, and with great honour his life did wane. Not content with his mere death, the Pope ordered the remains to be dug up and thrown out of the territory of the Papal States.

"Horrible my iniquities had been", Manfred bemoaned, "but infinite goodness hath such ample arms, that is receives whatever turns to it". In his final moments on the field of war, the Emperor's son had prayed to the Almighty for forgiveness. By divine law, those penitent at death, but outside the grace of the Church, must dwell here in Purgatory for thirty times the duration of their time of sin before they are permitted to move on. Serving this time now was Manfred, along with others excommunicated in recent times, and desperate to feel Heaven's light was he. But greater hope remained, for the Almighty had decreed that should any on the earthly plain mourn and pray for the spirit, hastened would his time in Purgatory be.


                                        " See now if thou hast power to make me happy,
                                             By making known unto my good Costanza
                                             How thou hast seen me, and this ban beside... "
                                                   - KING MANFRED'S PLEA


It was then that Dante, so moved by Manfred's tale, realised he had lost track of time, as the day was far advanced now. Something sadder than Inferno seemed at work here. Whereas in the Infernal Pit, men wicked at heart were condemned, here were ordinary, good people, robbed of Heaven's light, sadly delayed from the Judgement. Resenting the interference of the Pope in temporal affairs, and that Italy had never been right since a Caesar had sat upon his rightful throne, Dante was consumed with melancholy. With a start, a nearby soul exclaimed the discovery of the path to the Mountain above. The road grew on, and time could not be wasted. Weirder and more wonderful adventures lay beyond neither here nor there...

United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Purgatorio (Penguin Classics)
(A translation which retains much of the poetic meter, with good illustrations and notes, as well as the original Italian alongside the English)

Oxford World's Classics
The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics)
(A combined translation of all three parts of the Divine Comedy; the Inferno, the Purgatorio and the Paradisio, all in a highly accessible style)


United States

Penguin Classics
The Divine Comedy, Part 2: Purgatory (Penguin Classics) (v. 2)
(A translation which retains much of the poetic meter, with good illustrations and notes, as well as the original Italian alongside the English)

Oxford World's Classics
The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics)
(A combined translation of all three parts of the Divine Comedy; the Inferno, the Purgatorio and the Paradisio, all in a highly accessible style)

          Icarus      Cache   Translate Page      
A long time ago, there lived an eccentric but brilliant inventor in the city of Athens. His name was Daedalus, and his was a destiny of immortality, but hand in hand walked tragedy. Renowned far and wide for his mastery of craftsmanship and design, it was not long before his great name spread far beyond the borders of Attica. Delighted and humbled by success, when word arrived one day that he had been commissioned by the great King Minos of Crete, he hardly dared refuse. It was to be a decision that would change his life forever...


The Island of Crete
Photograph taken from the NASA Earth Observatory
King Minos ruled over a powerful nation, mastery of the seas and the envy of Greece was his.But he concealed a dark secret. A dreadful abomination had been born unto his family, a creature that had thus far been death to all who came in its way. This affliction had come about not long earlier, for , drunk on glory and the riches of his nation, Minos vowed to sacrifice to the gods the first thing which came from the Ocean. Hearing his words, Poseidon the Earthshaker and master of the Ocean, sent forth a shining white bull from the depths. Stunned, and entranced by the beats majesty, Minos had second thoughts. Forgetting his promise, the King kept the bull for his own, and sacrificed a lesser creature in its place. But the eyes of a god are always watching. Angered by his attempt at deception, Poseidon sent a terrible curse to drive madness into the monster's brain, all docility and peace banished from its raging mind. Worse still, the god placed a curse upon Queen Pasiphae, wife of the King, and inspired within her an unyielding lust for the monster. Minos was distraught at the destruction which was dealt to his lands. Only mighty Heracles was able to humble the Cretan Bull, and spirit it away to distant lands, but the beast left a legacy more horrific than Minos could ever have imagined. Powerless against her retribution, his wife gave birth to the monster's blighted seed. From the impious union was born a bloodthirsty fusion of man and bull - the Minotaur. Rumour began to spread on Crete of the princess's ghastly deed, and the King desperately tried to cover his family's dark secret, and thus turned to Daedalus.


Coming before the King, Daedalus heard Minos' terrible plight and dilemma. He could not slay the creature, as it was his own blood, and the murder of a family member was a crime against the gods that would pollute his royal line forever. He could not let it walk free either, lest his terrible shame be common knowledge. It was cunning Daedalus who concocted the solution. He devised an incredible feat of engineering within which to house the beast, "where rooms within themselves encircled lye, with various windings, to deceive the eye". The Great Labyrinth, upon its completion, defied all else that had come before it. Indeed, it was said that so intricate and outlandishly complex was the warren of passages and tunnels, even Daedalus himself only discovered the way out with great difficulty. Ever after, anything complicated has been called labyrinthine in English. Deep into the bowels of the darkness was the Minotaur cast, by his own grandfather, there forever to dwell and languish away from the touch of Apollo's rays (his fate is another story, and will come in a later post).


Daedalus and Icarus
Painting by Frederic Leighton 
Time passed on the idyllic island, yet Daedalus began to long for the home he had not seen for so long, to raise his young son, Icarus, in peace. But cruel Minos had other plans. Such was his shame and furious sensitivity at his Queen's unholy brood, and his envy of Daedalus' talents, he ordered both the inventor and his son thrown into the high tower over the Royal Palace, lest the secrets of the Labyrinth ever became public. The mighty Cretan navy patrolled the sea lanes around the island, and ruled the waves. Escape by sea was impossible. The Minoans ruled the trade routes by land. Escape by land was impossible. Cunning Daedalus knew there was but one choice, if they should ever hope to see home again, and it lay above:


  " In tedious exile now too long detain'd,
    Daedalus languish'd for his native land,
    The sea foreclos'd his flight; yet thus he said:
    Tho' Earth and water in subjection laid,
    O cruel Minos, thy dominion be,
    We'll go thro' air; for sure the air is free... "
         - DAEDALUS HAS THE IDEA


So began his most ingenious work. Taking the tools that were cast in gaol with him, and using all materials he could find, he began to fire the bellows, and sweat dripped from his brow. High was the tower, refuge only to the birds of the sea as company to the illustrious duo, and Daedalus plucked the quills from their feathered forms, letting not one go to waste. Each one he honed and perfected, and arrayed them in rows, rising by degree from end to end. Through the middle he laid a twine of flax, and by wax was the plumage held fast. Life went on far below, convinced as Minos was that his secret was safe, as all the while the wings took majestic shape. All the while youthful Icarus, not yet wizened to the designs of men, idly played with the feathers and toyed with the wax, much to the father's amusement and frustration.


Then, at long last, the day of reckoning arrived. The final stroke of Daedalus' hammer fell upon the brazen wings, and together did they neatly fit. Four had he made, two for the father and two for the son. With steady hand he lashed them to his back, and took his first flap. With flawless balance he rose into the air, and for the first time did man know the sensation of flight. But purpose was not forgotten by the old master, and he at once bade young Icarus hurry. Chance, which seldom comes twice, was now to be seized. Thus did the father bid the son:


                                          " My boy, take care,
                                            To wing your course along the middle air;
                                            If low, the surges wet your flagging plumes;
                                            If high, the sun the melting wax consumes:
                                            Steer between both: nor to the northern skies,
                                            Nor south to Orion turn your giddy eyes;
                                            But follow me... "
                                                 - DAEDALUS WARNS ICARUS


Icarus Fallen
Painting by  Herbert James Draper
So with concern and fear for the audacious breakout, Daedalus fixed a pair of wings to his son, tears rolling down his cheek. All ready now, he embraced his son,knowing not it would be his last. Turning now to vast window, father and son took position, and together leapt into the azure yonder.With the joy of the winds in his hair, young Icarus soared triumphantly to the domain of the clouds, excitement fused with the thrill of adventure of the god's own land. Daedalus lead them on, as Crete fell far behind. The isles of the sea punctuated the haze far below, Delos, Paros on the left, Samos and Lebynthos on the right. For an age the air was their abode, but it was then that the warnings of his father began to desert headstrong Icarus. With the world at his feet, to the Heavens he now aspired, pride rising higher than his wings. Thundering forth, poor Daedalus was left behind. The father called out to the son, but upon deaf ears his cries fell. To the dominion of Helios Icarus set his sights, and to the burning orb he spurred his wings. So great his hubris, so hungry his eyes, he thought nothing of the rising heat. His body withstood the burning glow, but not all things could. The quills which bore him flight were bound in wax, and the radiant sun began to undo the work of the master. Softer and softer did it run, as Icarus soared on and on. Soon no more could it take, and vaporised it soon became. The eyes of Icarus widened in terror, as he saw his folly laid bare before him, but too late. Feathers tumbling all around, the haughty boy lingered for a moment in silence before with a deafening scream he plummeted from the Heavens. For an age the foolish boy fell, until there on the crest of the ocean he met his fate, in waters which henceforth bore his name.

Poor Daedalus meanwhile, desperate to find his son, called out in vain, for father he was no more. "Ho Icarus! Where are you? As he flies; Where shall I seek my boy? He cries again, and saw his feathers scatter'd on the main...". Far below on the calm surface of the water he spied the feathers his own hands had bound. Feeling the warmth of the sun high above, he knew at once. Grief insurmountable gripped poor Daedalus, and against his own craft he cursed, and the island below he named Icaria in his son's memory. For an age it seemed, the great inventor mourned on high, hoping on hope it was not true, All had been in vain, his great breakout for naught. Against King Minos he raged, whose cruelty had forced him into a cage.

Fatigued at last from wearying flight, on the fertile Sicilian pastures he came to rest, where Cocalus, King of that realm, gave the great man sanctuary, for great was the name of the Daedalus, and great the esteem in which he was held. Hanging up his wings for the last time, the inventor prayed to Apollo, offering his gift of flight. For a time Apollo granted him peace, until disturbing news arrived. Minos, enraged that his quarry had escaped his clutches, had set out in hot pursuit, hunting them down through all the kingdoms of Greece. But the bitter Cretan King knew well that Daedalus was no fool, and would not remain in plain sight, and enacted a cunning scheme to lure him out. In the court of each city he presented a dilemma. Brandishing from his robes a spiralled seashell, he promised great reward to the one who could run a string through its heart without breaking it apart. Many times he presented his challenge, and every time his hosts failed.

Then one day to Cocalus a messenger of the heartless King approached, and once more did he produce the shell. Cocalus, oblivious to the identity of the stranger's master, summoned his newfound friend. The wizened old inventor, marvelling at the task, yet unaware of its creator, saw at once a plan. Setting a drop of honey at one end, he released an ant at the other, and round the creature a string tied. The tiny insect soldiered through the shell, fixed on the honey, bearing the string with it in tow. Marvelling at the wisdom of Daedalus, Cocalus proudly presented the result to the messenger, who at once alerted his King. Well did Minos know that only Daedalus could have solved this riddle, and demanded at once that Cocalus hand him over. Seeing the malevolent nature of Minos, and the humble genius of Daedalus, however, Cocalus made his choice. He agreed, though persuaded Minos to bathe first. It would prove to be the Cretan's last. Some say the agents of the Sicilian slew the King as he bathed, others that the inventor boiled the water. For certain, however, Daedalus was at last avenged, and his nemesis ended. Some small measure of peace was at last his...


United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which goes all out on archaic high poetry)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A version which favours ease of understanding than high poetry)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A version which goes all out on archaic high poetry)

          Eden Lost      Cache   Translate Page      
From the moment the apple's flesh touched the lips of Eve, the destiny of Man would never be the same again. Though her corrupter, the fallen angel Satan, suffered even now along his vile brethren in Hell, his evil deed was done. Hope, it seemed, was memory as lost as the Paradise in which it once dwelled...

Adam and Eve in agony
Fresco by Masaccio
As the rift between the Earth and Hell remained open, Sin and Death, the offspring of Satan, seized their chance. Soaring into the as yet still ethereal plains of Earth, Sin spread fear, doubt, envy, anger, sloth, hate, want, pride to ravage the World. Death brings down upon the land the scythe of time, undiscriminating, unbiased and even, bestowing his withering sentence upon all living things. Meanwhile, high above on the highest throne, the Almighty was made aware of this blasphemy. But it was the lot of man, his curse for his breaking the oath of God, to inhabit a lesser World now, until the day cometh when all will be purified. When that day arrives both Sin and Death will be hurled headlong to the dark pit from whence they came. "Then heav'n and earth renewed shall be made pure, to sanctity that shall receive no stain: till then the curse pronounced on both sides precedes". The host gathered sang in jubiliation, wonder at the ways of the Lord, and joyful at the promised time when the blight will be lifted and all will be free. At once the Creator set about making the new world. At his command, the blazing Sun moved, so that the Earth might feel heat and cold, from the south resplendent Summer, from the north Winter scarcely tolerable. To the Moon the Lord set in her place. To the winds he turned next, their way to blast the sea, the air and shore to the symphony of thunder.

Far below in Eden, the first man beheld the coming plight with despair. "O miserable of happy! Is this the end of this new glorious world, and me so late the glory of glory?" The curse of death weighed heavily upon his mind, as his thoughts turned to his descendants. "Who of all ages to succeed, but feeling the evil on him brought by me, will curse my head, I'll fare our ancestor impure, for this we may thank Adam". With anger he railed against the Almighty, anger at his fall for another's sin. Woe that he had been made at all, he declared:


                             " Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
                               To mould me man, did I solicit thee
                               From darkness to promote me, or here place
                               In this delicious Garden? "
                                    - ADAM BEWAILS HIS CREATION


Adam and Eve expelled from the Garden
Engraving by John Baptist Medina
The loss of Paradise was his sentence, but to this grave retribution the Most High added endless woes. Adam considered, wondering at the ways of God. It was then that Eve, matriarch of man and companion to Adam from whose rib she once sprung, came to him. "God made thee of choice his own, and of his own to serve him; thy reward was of his grace; thy punishment then justly is at his will", she spake.  Willingly to her fate does Eve submit, filled with guilt and devouring remorse is she. Both broken hearted and dejected, lament that it is better to end all and return to the Earth from whence they came, for what left now but a life a shade of before? But Eve held one last hope:


   " Yet one doubt pursues me still,
      lest all I cannot die,
      Les that pure breath of life, the spirit of man,
      Which God inspired, cannot together perish,
      With this corporeal clod... "
                                                                       - EVE'S HOPE


How can the Almighty sentence his creation to torment without end? Adam sank deeper still:


                              " Me now your curse! Ah, why should all mankind
                                For one man's fault thus guiltless be condemned,
                                If guiltless? But from me what can proceed,
                                But all corrupt, both mind and will depraved,
                                Not to do only but to will the same
                                With me? "
                                        - THE DESTINY OF MAN?


Both ponder as to why the scythe of Death has not already struck them, but Death comes not yet. Divine justice it was which slowed her pace, as today, ordered to pronounce her foul sentence without haste. To Adam's restless state Eve sent soothing words which calmed his soul. She remembered suddenly the curse of God. The Almighty spake of a time when the progeny of the first Man and Woman will exact justice upon the Serpent, and righteous retribution will be done by their own seed. Her lowly and newfound humble words touched the anger of Adam, and some small measure of peace returned to him, not known since Eden. No longer could he find it in his heart to look upon Eve with furious eyes. He had eaten of the accursed orb so as to remain with Eve. In this some hope remained. "Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems to argue in thee something more sublime and excellent...". Firm in his resolve, his will restored, Adam declares it is their duty to rid the world of the corruption which their sin brought to the fore. Terrible may be the path along the road to redemption, and long may it be, but at the end of the road redemption remained still. Hope remained. Woman had been cursed to suffer terrible pain in childbirth, but is not such agony soon recompensed by the result? With sweat, toil and grit must man now earn his bread."What harm?", Adam thought, "idleness had been worse". With terrible remorse the first man and woman accepted their fate, hoping upon hope that one day, after their sufferings and prayers, the heart of the Almighty might be moved to pity, and Paradise regained.


The Messiah intercedes
Painting by William Blake
Their repentance, and prayers of humility winged their way to Heaven more swiftly than the loudest acclamation, dampened by no gale until the throne of the Almighty they reached. But it was not God himself who was moved so at hearing their pleas, but his Son the Messiah. Turning to the Father, he spoke with heartfelt words of the pity he felt for the first man and woman. So the intercession of the Messiah was begun, and the destiny of the World set in motion. Hearing the words of Adam and Eve, he spake them anew, and with enchanting charisma, and the will of the Lord began to move. Allow me to stand for him and interpret for him, the Son said. It was then that he made his startling revelation which turned many an angelic head in Heaven:


                    " All his works on me,
                      Good or not good ingraft; my merit those
                      Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.
                      Accept me, and in me from these receive
                      The smell of peace toward mankind, let him live
                      Before thee reconciled, at least his days
                      Numbered, though sad, till death, his doom
                      To better life shall yield him, where with me
                      All my redeemed may dwell in joy and bliss,
                      Made one with me as I with thee am one "
                               - THE MESSIAH INTERCEDES FOR MAN


Upon deaf ears the Great Redeemer's words fell not. With calm serenity the Father relented, "All thy request for man, accepted Son". However, no longer may man dwell in the place called Eden, a Garden too pure for man corrupted now with Satan's malevolent touch. Hope remains, in the words of the Lord:


                   " I at first with two fair gifts
                     Created him endowed, with happiness,
                     And immortality: that fondly lost,
                     This other served but to eternize woe;
                     Till I provided Death; so death becomes
                     His final remedy, and after life
                     Tried in sharp tribulation, and refined
                     By faith and faithful works, to second life,
                     Waked in the renovation of the just,
                     Resigns him up with heav'n and earth renewed... "
                              - WHY MEN DIE


But now came the time for man to enter his new abode, to leave his lost Paradise, but forever no more. With a deafening blast the heralds of Heaven rallied the angelic host to the throne of the Almighty, there to await the will of the Divine...



United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics)
(The raw poem in original verse with the commentary at the back)

Oxford World's Classics
Paradise Lost (Oxford World's Classics)
(The raw poem with a commentary on the same page)

United States


Penguin Classics
(The raw poem in original verse with the commentary at the back)

Oxford World's Classics
Paradise Lost (Oxford World's Classics)
The raw poem with a commentary on the same page)

          Phaethon      Cache   Translate Page      
Do not take on that which is not meant for you, and leave no advice or warning unheeded. That is the moral of the story of Phaethon. If your identity was suddenly revealed to you as the offspring of a deity, what would you do? Would you be humble or would you be proud?


Phaethon Proud
Painting by Gustave Moreau
When Clymene, Queen of the Ethiopians, told her son Phaethon one day that he was in truth not the son of her husband, King Merops, but of the sun god himself, the boy was stunned into silence. Though he had always suspected something was not quite right, something he could never place in all the time he had spent with the King, the words which rang in his ears now still sowed the most profound shock mingled with disbelief. He, just a boy like no other, the son of a god? Not just any god, but Helios, one of the Titans, who ruled in the kingdom of the skies far over the mortal Earth, the very incarnation of the Sun. Disbelief flooded young Phaethon first, doubt close on its heels, as his mother's confession grew stronger yet. A tormented sleep did the young Prince endure, turning in the night, racked with angst. In his good friend Cygnus did Phaethon confide this revelation strange, and his bewilderment at what to do. The two boys marvelled at the possibilities if such a thing could be true. There seemed only one thing for it, and that was to travel to the Kingdom of the Sun and seek out the Titan himself to learn the truth.

Bidding farewell to his native land, to his mother and to Cygnus, Phaethon set forth on his fateful quest, his eyes upon the Eastern horizon firmly fixed. After an age it seemed, the realm of men was falling behind, the realm of the divine approaching. There, just ahead, 'the Sun's bright palace, on high columns rais'd, with burnish'd gold and flaming jewels blaz'd'. The gleam of the surface of the gate, reflected a burning light. Far had the young boy come, too far to turn back now. Upon the solar threshold a weary step the Prince did place, and never again the coolness of night touched young Phaethon's face.

Deeper and deeper into the Palace of the Sun he trod, and higher and higher the temperature soared, until at last, a blinding light of purest white heralded the throne of he, Helios the lord of the Sun. High on his blazing throne he sat, exalted and resplendent, the hours bowing at his hands. The Titan saw the proud youth loitering, "My son!" said he, "Come to thy father's arms! For Clymene has told thee true; a parent's name I own, and deem thee worthy to be called my son":


                         " 'As a sure proof, make some request, and I,
                            Whate'er it be, with that request comply;
                            By Styx I swear, whose waves are hid in night,
                            And roul impervious to my piercing sight.'
                            The youth transported, asks, without delay,
                            To guide the Sun's bright chariot for a day... "
                                     - PHAETHON'S WISH


Immediately did regret flood the Titan's mind, for the one thing of which Phaethon asked was the one thing he was not fit to bear. To steer the Chariot of the Sun was a task entrusted to none but Helios himself, for within was bound grave responsibility, and peril. The Titan, torn between his word and his care for his son, implored Phaethon to choose again. "There is not one of all the gods that dares to mount the burning axle but I, not Zeus himself, the ruler of the sky, that hurls the three forked thunder from on high...". But alas in vain, for the greater the god tried to dissuade him, the grander Phaethon's ambition grew, and his will to resist. "If downwards from the Heav'ns my head I bow, and see the Earth and Ocean hang below, ev'n I am seiz'd with horror and afright", the Titan pleaded, but alas in vain. Terrifying is the Chariot's race across the Heavens, a will of steel needed for such an undertaking as the horses tear through the sky. Helios tried and tried again to convince his son to accept a humbler prize, some kingdom or grand fortune far below in the domain of man, but unmoved was the ambitious prince.

It was beyond the point of return now, the River Styx had heard the Titan's oath. One last plea, one last turnéd ear. So with heavy heart Helios lead young Phaethon to the blazing Chariot, glimmering with gold, spoked with silver and seated with gems. With unbridled joy Phaethon surveyed his prize, his pride gorged. Helios looked up. The stars were receding, the time had come. At his command the hours brought forth the steeds, monstrous horses snorting raging fire. One last chance to save his son, the Titan anointed his body with celestial oil, to proof him against the staggering heat. A tear in his eye, he whispers one last phrase; "Take this at least, this last advice my son, keep a firm rein, and move but gently on: the courses of themselves will run too fast, your art must be to moderate their haste. Drive them not directly through the skies, but where the Zodiac' winding circle lies...". Phaethon offered his thanks, which the Titan with remorse received.

Phaethon Falls
Painting by Johann Liss
The mighty stallions neighed with restless wanton, flames roaring from their mouths, stamping upon the clouds. The time had come. Night gave way, and together they hurled forward as one, the beasts thundering forth, Phaethon soaring through clouds and breezing air. With dizzying speed they outstripped all winds. Though a little light for the Chariot, at first the Prince rode well, heeding the Titan's word. Following the course of the Zodiac, the Chariot moved with irresistible, yet steady, force. But as time passed, Phaethon grew proud of his feat, to equal the Sun god himself? The monstrous steeds sensed weakness in the hand of their master, and their unruly nature took hold. As soon as the Prince's gaze was turned, violently did they veer from the Zodiacal path. Pandaemonium reigned in the skies that day. Phaethon was cast against the Chariot's fore, and knew not which way to turn, whether to yank the reins or let them lie. The horses charged above, and the Sun veered to the stars, which retreated before its fiery heat. Far below ice with frozen hand began to throttle the land, snow fell upon the peaks and Oceanus shivered.

Far above, Phaethon looked behind, and saw the vast expanse of the Earth falling away behind him, panic stricken now. Pulling hard upon the reins, he tried to restore control. The horses, incensed, bolted to the side and careered toward the Earth:


                " The clouds disperse in fumes, the wond'ring Moon
                   Beholds her brother's steeds beneath her own;
                   The highlands smoke, cleft by the piercing rays,
                   Or, clad with woods, in their own fuel blaze.
                   Next o'er the plains, where ripen'd harvests grow,
                   The running conflagration spreads below.
                   But these are trivial ills: whole cities burn,
                   And peopled kingdoms into ashes turn... "
                           - THE EARTH SCORCHED


Down and down the Chariot plummets, and the incredible heat takes its fiery toll on the world. The high mountains buckle in the inferno, snow replaced with flames. The Ocean boils, and Poseidon the Earthshaker, god of the sea, brandishes his trident in defiance. Monstrous Typhon, deep below the Earth, grows restless in his infernal prison, and Mount Etna above explodes forth with redoubled fury. Even far off Scythia on the nomadic Steppe sees her frosts melt, and her plains burn. Verdant Africa bore the brunt, and ever after has been a mighty desert. Great Olympus, towering high above, shakes, as the rocks splinter and rend asunder, wreathed in fire. The world burns, and flames lick the Heavens. Mother Earth screams in agony, her ashes floating to the stars. Phaethon beheld the devastation before his eyes and realised the folly of his wish. The furnace heat of the world reached the sky, and the axle of the Chariot began to glow. The Euphrates fleed, the Danube too, the swollen Ganges, the Tiber, nurse to a promised Empire, too. Even the mighty Nile retreated in terror, and the seas plunged. The intense heat cracked the Earth, and fissures began to split it apart. Deep in the Underworld, pallid Hades recoiled from the light his kingdom knew not.

At last Gaia, Mother Earth, could bear no more. Denouncing the Olympians for allowing such a tragedy come to pass, she called upon her grandson to act. So did Zeus the Thunderer, King of gods and men, summon the divine array. Helios came before Zeus and tried to move his heart, but no ally did the Titan find. Taking up his burning throne, Zeus seized a bolt of thunder which glowed brighter even than the Earth. "Then, aiming at the youth, with lifted hand, full at his head he hurl'd the forky brand". The deadly dart of Heaven arced across the sky, striking Phaethon square in the head. At once from the shackles of life and the sun god's chariot was the Prince thrown. The horses charged back to the hands of their true, but weeping, master. The flaming body of Phaethon fell through the skies, gold and wheel falling too. Like a dying star he plummeted to the Earth his folly had ruined, until his ruined body struck the Po in the West.

Never again would someone dare such hubris as to emulate the Sun, and never again would a god make so bold an offer. Far below, few wept for Phaethon, cause of such ruin, except one. By the water's edge Cygnus sat, tears in his eyes for his friend. All their lives they had been partners in crime, mischievous together, now separated by Zeus's hand. The gods heard him weep, and pity moved their hearts. At their command his form was changed. Where once there were hands, now wings, where once mouth, now blunted beak, where once flesh, now pure white feathers. Ever after, the youthful swan has borne Cygnus' name...


United Kingdom

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
(A more prosaic and easier to understand version of the Roman poem)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A high poetical version of the Roman poem)

United States

Penguin Classics
Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
(A more prosaic and easier to understand version of the Roman poem)

Oxford World's Classics
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(A high poetical version of the Roman poem)

          Gigantomachia      Cache   Translate Page      
The story of the ascension of the Olympian Gods to mastery over the Heavens is an epic one indeed. After a cosmic struggle which endured for ten years, the Titans, the elder race of gods, were cast down into the depths of infernal Tartarus (for the story please click here). The young gods were victorious, and a new age of peace was at hand. The Earth was made, and mankind created. Heroes rose and fell, kingdoms and peoples too. Yet an ancient vengeance ever lay in the shadows, with cataclysmic forebodings...


The Giants Rise
Painting by Giulio Romano,
Sala dei Giganti, Palazzo del Te, Mantua
There came a time, many long ages of men after Zeus the Thunderer was crowned upon the throne of Olympus, when a poison ran through the Earth. For Gaia, matriarch of all things and Mother Earth herself, was roused to anger. Mother to the Titans, she could bear the suffering of her children no more. How could the Olympians rest sound and safe, knowing their own fathers and mothers, her sons and daughters, were cruelly bound in the depths of the Earth, far from the touch of the Sun's rays? As the Olympians rejoiced in peace and made merry on the golden plains of the Earth, Gaia's anger was building. In a fit of rage, Mother Earth gave birth once more. But it was no god or fair creature that her womb bore now. Her form bursting with her monstrous brood, at the Plains of Phlegra they at last burst forth, with a roar of thunder which caused the stars to shake. From the tear in her side they came. Towering high over all other beings on the Earth, the Gigantes breathed their first. Malevolant spirits like no other, some walked in the shapes of men, other twisted and contorted into grotesque shapes, writhing with serpents and strong beyond belief. The Giants sprang from Gaia's womb clad in the vestments of war, hate their first thought, to the skies their first gaze. A dark shadow spread across the Earth. Stars grew pale. The Great Bear fled below the Ocean, and the creatures of the Ocean frantically dived to the root of the World in fear. The Giants grew swiftly, nine inches every month, until soon their might could scarcely be supported by the vaults of matter. The Gods high on Olympus were in grave consternation. Who were these creatures, and what was their purpose? The anger of a scorned mother terrible to behold, Gaia spoke to her brood, and roused them to her fury;

           " Children, ye shall conquer Heaven: All that ye see is the prize of victory;
             win, and the Universe is yours. At last the son of Kronos shall feel the weight
             of my wrath; he shall recognise Earth's power... Why has Earth no honour?
             There hangs luckless Prometheus in yonder Scythian vale, the vulture feeding
             upon his breast; yonder, Atlas supports the weight of the starry Heavens upon
             his head, and his grey hair freezes solid with cruel cold. Arise, my avengers,
             the hour is come at last, shatter the chains of the Titans; rally to the aid of thy
             mother... Go forth and conquer; throw Heaven into disarray, tear down the towers
             of the Sky! "
                        - GAIA ROUSES THE GIGANTES TO WAR

The words of Earth are as the first trickles of a thundering waterfall, as the Giants bellow to the skies. The injustice of millennia, and endless age of hate, every injury of a lifetime is bound into the moment. In their minds, each already feels the victory. They imagine Poseidon bound in chains, dragged threw the oceans that once he ruled. Ares lies vanquished upon the mortal plain, Venus defiled and Athena conquered. With dreadful din, the Giants charge, eyes burning. The greatest among them, Alcyoneus, leads the path to war, the glory of invulnerability his, whilst favoured by the Earth - and far, far below, tremors in the Earth herald the revolution deep in Tartarus, as the Titans awake.

Chaos on Olympus
Painting by Francisco Bayeu
Watching from on high, Iris, the the herald of Olympus, frantically calls to the Gods. Soaring through the skies astride the rainbow that was her steed. Spirits far and wide answered her call, the nymphs and naiads and dryads, all rallied to Heaven's defence. Even Hades, lord of the Underworld, for whom the affairs of the Overworld were so often so trivial, readied his brazen chariot and prepared once again to stand side by side with his brothers. From the wide Oceans, Poseidon came, royal fingers gripping his shining trident. There seated in all his glory, lightning blazing before his glistening throne, was Zeus the Thunderer, Son of Kronos and King of the Gods. To his kin and faithful few, the Son of Kronos called now to steady their nerve:

          " Deathless host, whose dwelling place is, and ever must be, the sky, ye whom
            no adverse fortune can ever harm, mark ye how Earth with her new children
            conspires against our kingdom and undismayed has given birth to another brood?
            Wherefore, for all the sons she bore, let us give back to their mother as many
            dead; let her mourning last through the ages as she weeps by as many graves
            as she now has children. "
                      - ZEUS RALLIES THE GODS

The fire of hope sparked in the divine ranks, "the clouds echo the blast of Heaven's trumpets", as the might of Heaven and Earth entered the field of War. From the peak of Olympus the Gods marched forth in blinding array, from fiery Phlegra the Giants stormed upon the roots of the mountain, spirits burning with the fire of vengeance. The very surface of Mother Earth is thrown into chaos. Islands abandon the seas, mountains are thrown to the deep, the rivers thunder through the land, as Gaia's anger flares, and the sinews of her offspring  swell with radiating power. Alyconeus and Porphyrion, the mightiest of the brood, lead the charge, their wrath bent upon the highest crags of the mountain. Far behind, a giant tears up Athos the towering mountain, and hurls it upon the Olympian host, who scatter in fear. Oeta claims Pangaeus and sends it soaring through the sky. A terrible din rends the air, as the two lines clash, bloodthirsty Ares leading the Olympian charge. "Brighter than flame shines his golden shield, high towers the crest of his gleaming helm". Into the fray he hurls his mighty form, the battle rage rising in him, as he hurls his sword into the chest of the Giant Pelorus. The serpents which writhed in place of legs hissed their defiance, and in that moment a deathly silence fell. The first had fallen, and the Gigantes saw the broken body of their brother. The words of Gaia were words no more, and their rage was terrible to behold. The Giant Mimas seized the island of Lemnos and hurled it at the lord of war, meaning to shatter his divine skull. Within an inch of ruin the war god came, had not his javelin found its unfortunate mark. Chaos enveloped the world, as the cosmos erupted in all out war.

The Gigantomachia
Image taken from a 5th - 4th century Attic Amphora,
Musée du Louvre

Spurred on by their wounds, not weaker did the hideous brood of Gaia grow, but stronger still. Porphyrion, rippling with power, fell upon the gods as a tidal wave upon the broken coast. The immortal gods were thrown to the ground, and the march of the Giants was relentless. Then came the blasphemy greatest of all. Otus and Ephialtes, their stature beyond compare, fixed their gaze upon the crest of Olympus. Together, they raised Mount Ossa high into the air, and with all their might, cast it upon the summit of Pelion. The way was open now. Together the brothers stormed Olympus, the summit of their vile construction aiding their climb. As the foot of the Giants fell yonder upon the Hall of the Gods, that Artemis, the keen eyed archer saw their wicked scheme. All too well had poor Actaeon known the wrath of the huntress, that spirit now turned upon the defiling Giants. But it was with great shock that spread through the gods, for it was not enough this time. The Lady of the Hunt was relentless, but Otus and Ephialtes were greater still. The accursed Apostates moved in, victory near at hand. Far, far below, impious Tartarus shuddered as the bonds of the Titans began to weaken. It was in this moment, that Apollo, brother to Artemis, saw his sister in her plight. His mind racing, his aim with the bow was unparalleled, yet he had not time to slay them both. In desperation he sent a deer between the two. In the confusion, Artemis took flight, and the brothers, bellowing their frustration of their missed chance, hurled their spears at the deer. Yet their aim was not that of their tormentor, and in their folly each transfixed the other. With a terrific din, their vast bodies fell from Olympus, crashing to the Earth far below, and Gaia's fury grew stronger yet.

Far below, the Olympians were distraught. No foe had ever set foot on sacred Olympus, their omnipotence shattered forever it seemed. In their hour of darkness, an Oracle was heard in the vaults of Olympus, a prophecy. The arcane verse spoke of a ray of hope, and Zeus listened. The Gigantes were fearsome indeed, and no immortal hand would stay their destruction. When Gaia heard of this, she sought out a herb that would render her brood immune, sensing danger. But the Thunderer, lord of the skies, commanded Dawn, the Moon and Sun to rise upon his command only, and in the darkness Mother Earth could not find the herb. No immortal hands could harm her brood, the prophecy had said. So to the mightiest of mortals the Olympians turned, their last hope. In a dream Athena, lady of wisdom and mistress of stratagems, came to Heracles, slayer of beasts and sacker of citadels. The time had come for him to prove his rightful place as the son of Zeus, and aid his father in his darkest hour. Seizing his bow, the mighty hero heard her call, and made haste with all speed to the plain of Phlegra.


Where Alyconeus and Porphyrion marched, devastation fell in their wake. Not one among the Olympians could stand before them, so terrible was their power. It was to them that Heracles raced now. His fingers feeling for the feathers of an arrow, the son of Zeus loosed a deadly shaft at Alyconeus. With a roar the Giant fell from the Mountain, a strike fatal to all other beings. But this was not all other beings. With a deafening crash his body struck Mother Earth. From the moment his flesh touched that of Gaia, his wounds began to heal. The voice of Athena sounded in Heracles' ear - Alyconeus could not be killed whilst he fought in the land in which he was born. So mighty Heracles dragged the bellowing Giant from the plains of Pallene, there to die. The fury of the Giants reached its apex, as one among them made forward to crush Ares. Athena, spying the danger, rushed forward and raised her deadly Aegis, upon the face of which was emblazoned the face of the Gorgon. Wise Athena knew that she needed not the deadly point of any spear, the dreadful visage of her shield was enough. The Giant, seeing her, let out a cry and charged. "When, at a distance from his foe, without a wound, he found himself rooted to the ground, and felt the murderous glare turn him, little by little, to stone, he called out 'What is happening to me? What is this ice that creeps o'er my limbs? What is this numbness that holds me prisoner in these marble fetters?'". Fear flooding him for the first time, he felt the cold chill of death envelop him, as his powerful flesh became unyielding stone. Echion, nearby, sensing his brother's doom, snarled and charged the wise goddess. Valiant was his duty to his kin, but audacious his assault. His blade cut the very air as it hurtled towards her crown, and victory would have been his, had not he glimpsed the Gorgon's stare in the corner of his eye. Athena's spear pierced his side, as the other froze in rock.

The Fall of the Giants
Painting by Guiliano Romano
Sala dei Giganti, Palazzo del Te, Mantua
Panic swept through the Gigantes, as hope rekindled the spirits of the gods. Yet nothing would dent the fury that spurred on every inch of impious Porphyrion's gargantuan form. The roaring serpents that formed his legs bore him into the heart of the Ocean, as he grasped the island of Delos in his crushing grip. The Aegean trembled with terror, Thetis and her kin fled from the depths, the Palace of Poseidon, the pride of the deep, lay abandoned now. High on Mount Cynthus, the peaks rang to the cries of the nymphs upon it, the spirits that had once taught young Apollo to shoot the wild beasts, in cold dread now. Now they called out in desperation, the people of Delos, a plea for help. As the mighty Giant turned on Heracles and Zeus together, Cupid loosed an arrow at him, filling him with untimely desire. As his eyes saw Hera standing near, he was filled with irresistible desire. Releasing Delos, Porphryion charged after her, and the cosmos shuddered. Spirits and gods fled in fear before his warpath, none stood in his way. He laid his hand upon the daughter of Kronos, and she screamed out in fear. Seizing the weapon forged for him and him alone, Zeus the father of gods and men hurled a thunderbolt at the defiling giant. In the breast the bolt struck him, and the Apostate was thrown to the ground. Down but unvanquished, Porphyrion rose once more, and his eyes were as the pits of Tartarus, burning as glowing coals. Seizing their chance, Heracles and Apollo rushed to Zeus's aid. Taking an arrow each, they fired. The dart of Heracles struck true into the Giant's right eye, Apollo's his left, and at last the bane of Olympus fell cold to the ground. Hope spread through the gods, and they fell upon the dismayed brood. Dionysus conquered Eurytus, Hecate slew Clytius and with molten iron did Hephaestus immolate Mimas. Encelados turned to flee, but Athena crushed him beneath Mount Vesuvius, there bound forever in torment. Ever after has the mountain spat forth fire and quaked the Earth. Polybotes charged through the Ocean, and wrought terrible carnage, before Poseidon, the son of Kronos, smote him with the island of Nisyrus. Hermes, invisible to all other eyes, for he bore the helm of Hades, conquered Hippolytus, and Artemis, rejoining the fray, brought down Aigaion. The Three Fates laid low Agrios and Thoon, and Zeus the Thunderer hurled his flaming darts to and fro, the anger of the king of the gods unstoppable, the fury at the desecration of his holy places. In his wake strode his son, Heracles, saviour of the gods. The blood of the Giants soaked the Thracian lands, and ever after her people were a hostile and savage nation. The War was ended, and the greatest threat to Olympus had been cowed, as the Titans fell back to their slumber, dormant once again...

The importance the Ancient Greeks placed on the myth of the War of the Giants, or Gigantomachia, cannot be overstressed. There is scarcely a temple in the Greek world which does not bear an image of it, including the Parthenon itself, and the Great Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Now at last, the peaceful rule of the Olympian Gods was assured. Ever after the titanic struggle between the gods and the Giants served as inspiration to the Greeks when under attack from foreign foes, especially one that lay just across the Ocean...


United Kingdom

Metamorphoses:
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(The grand poem of the Gigantomachia, in archaic glory)

United States

Metamorphoses:
Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics)
(The grand poem of the Gigantomachia, in archaic glory)

          The Wizard's Prophecy      Cache   Translate Page      
Rome, AD 595. It is one hundred and nineteen years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Much of Europe is in turmoil, overrun by barbarian tribes. Nevertheless, life continues in the Eternal City. Market day arrives, and His Holiness Pope Gregory the Great and his entourage came to admire the array of produce as eagerly as anyone, for in these days the Pope of Rome lived simply, favouring a monastic life. Among the fine crops and exotic fruits on sale that day was the slave market, always the talk of trade. Then something caught the eye of the Pope. A group of young boys, fair haired and skinned, chained together in slavery, awaiting their fate. A strange feeling gripped Gregory, wonder fused with pity...


"Not Angles, but Angels..."
Image taken from a mosaic of Westminster Cathedral,
London
"From what country or nation were they brought?", he asked a companion. Upon enquiring with the slave dealer in a strange foreign tongue, he replied. "They are from the island of Britain, whose inhabitants are of such personal appearance". Pope Gregory, entranced, asked, "are those islanders Christians, or still pagans?". When he discovered that they were pagans, he voiced his anguish, "Alas! What a pity", said he, "that the author of darkness is possessed of men of such fair countenances". "What is the name of that nation?", he asked, more keenly still. "They are called Angles", came the reply, for the land of Britain was at that time overrun with the tribe of the Angles. "Right", said he, "for they have an angelic face, and it becomes such to be co-heirs with the Angels in Heaven. They are not Angles, but Angels". Sensing Divine Providence that day, Pope Gregory turned to a nearby Prior, Augustine was his name, and commanded him to lead a mission to this far away land, and spread the word of Christ, with half a mind to undertake the task himself. The British Isles would never be the same again. But what of the people of Britain, and the destiny of that race? The story begins almost two hundred years earlier...


As the fifth century dawned, much of the known world was plunged into turmoil. For the lives of many, and of their ancestors for many hundreds of years too, the mighty Empire of the Romans was not only the world's greatest power, but civilisation itself. So much so that millions of people who had never even seen the Eternal City, would not have been able to locate the City on a map, who had not a drop of Roman blood in their bodies, called themselves Romans. Now, Rome, which had once seemed a power that would know no end, was on its knees. Plague, Famine, War, Strife and Economic crisis have each destroyed nations. It took all of them combined to bring about the final destruction of the Roman Empire. Yet from the ashes of Rome, her former provinces would arise as new nations, one of them an island far on the boundaries of the Empire - Britannia.


On New Year's Eve AD 406, at a rupture in the frontier of the Western Roman Empire on the River Rhine, a horde of barbarian tribes poured across the border. Vandals, Alans, Alemanni, and a formidable array of tribesman swept into Roman provinces, and the struggling Western Empire desperately tried to stem the inexorable advance. City after city was burned and pillaged, and areas the size of modern countries were laid waste. It was at this time that the Roman province of Britannia was in revolution. As the Romans in Italy were reeling from another invasion of the Visigothic tribes, Northern Europe seemed defenceless, and the people of Britain feared that they would be next. Longing for order, in a world now seemingly in the brink of the Apocalypse, the Britons threw their support behind the Roman general Constantine, thinking with melancholy of the days of Constantine the Great some one hundred years earlier. Constantine moved quickly. Landing on the beaches of northern France, called Gaul in ancient times, Constantine brought with him all the garrisons of Britain. Not one Roman soldier was left behind in Britannia, it was all or nothing for Constantine now. Setting himself up as the new Western Roman Emperor Constantine III, in direct opposition to the true Emperor Honorius, Western Europe rose in all out war. Roman marched on Roman, and Roman blood flowed by the hand of other Romans, and all the while, people died in their thousands, slaughtered by vengeful barbarians. Constantine pushed back the troops loyal to Honorius at first, seizing the province of Hispania (the future Spain), being recognised as joint Emperor with Honorius. But the barbarian advance was relentless. Ravaging the entirety of Gaul, they reached the Pyrenees. At this time, the Saxons landed on the East coast of Britannia. The British people, feeling betrayed by Constantine, abandoned him to his fate, as his eldest son Constans was elevated to power. Constans, who had before taken the life of the cloth, a pious man, was ill-prepared for secular rule. Naive, his brief reign was dominated by the schemings of his chief advisor, Vortigern, who one day overthrew his master and seized the throne of Britain for his own. The surviving brothers of Constans, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Uther Pendragon, fled to Brittany to escape Vortigern's wrath.


Merlin and Vortigern
Image taken from a 13th century Illuminated
Manuscript, now in the British Library
Great was Vortigern's fear of Ambrosius, and Uther in particular, but so too was his fear of the Picts, a fearsome tribe that lurked in the Highlands of Scotland. The fledgling Britain was ill able to repel the Picts alone, and Vortigern turned abroad for aid. Readily answering the usurper's call, a force of Angles, Saxons and Jutes arrived on England's eastern shores, under two brothers, Hengest and Horsa. With his new allies, Vortigern triumphed over the Picts time and again. Though elated at the throwing back of the Picts, more than a few among the Britons began to question the ambitions of these new 'allies'. The King's son, Vortimer, aghast at his father's submissiveness, urged him to restrain the Saxons before the hour grew too late. But Vortigern refused counsel on such matters. So when, one day, cunning Hengest asked the King for permission to invite over to these shores more of his countrymen, to strengthen Vortigern's position further, the naive King eagerly agreed. As Saxons landed in Britain in their thousands, the enraged Vortimer, with the support of the Britons, overthrew his father and determined to rid Britannia forever of foreign invaders. Upon the Saxons he fell, and terrible was his attack. Four times the Saxons stood, and four times they were broken, and even Horsa was slain, yet so too was Vortimer's brother, Catigern. Victory seemed near, but tragedy struck, when Vortimer was slain too. Such woe fell upon Britannia as never before, as the vengeance of the Saxons was terrible indeed. Vortigern, seizing back his throne once more, fled to Cambria, Wales of old, desperate now, for the fate of Britain, and his own, hung in the balance. It was then that his followers urged him to raise a mighty castle, so magnificent that no foe could storm it, so majestic that no eye could behold it without awe. Upon Mount Eryri the first stone was laid, as the King of the Britons summoned to him all the finest craftsman and masons in Britannia. Despair soon fell upon the Britons however, for when they awoke upon the second day, all their hard work had vanished, and the stones had sunk into the land. Once again they tried, and once again all was lost. Vortigern turned to his sages once more, and asked what may be done. The soothsayers and mages present their bade the King seek out a boy who had no father, and that his blood shouls be sprinkled upon the mortar and stones, so that the great citadel should never fall.


All through the land the messengers of the King searched for such a boy, and for an age it seemed a fruitless quest. Then one day horsemen came to the city known as Carmarthen, and saw a young lad playing at the gates. A fight broke out between the lad and another boy over some petty quarrel. "None knoweth what thou art, for never a father hadst thou!", the other boy shouted. At these words, the King's heralds were filled with hope. "What is thy name?" one asked the first boy. "Merlin", replied the lad. It transpired that indeed the boy had a father unknown by all, and his mother, a nun in St. Peter's Church, spoke of a vision she once had before she gave birth to the unfathered boy. Such a thing could only mean a supernatural prodigy of this boy, and when Vortigern heard this, he at once ordered Merlin brought before him without delay.


As he was thrown at the feet of Vortigern, young Merlin asked the King why he had been brought here. "My wizards have declared it unto me as their counsel that I should seek out one that had never a father, that when I shall have sprinkled his blood upon the foundation of the tower my work should stand firm". To which the young lad replied "Bid thy wizards come before me, and I will convict them of having devised a lie". Amazed at the boy's audacity, Vortigern summoned his mages. Merlin denounced them all, mocking their foolish ways. Turning to the King, he urged him to summon his workmen and dig below the tower, and there he would find a great pool of water, the source of such woe. So dig they did, and found the pool, they did. The mages were dumbfounded, and Vortigern impressed. But Merlin was not finished. "Command, O King, that the pool be drained by conduits, and in the bottom thereof shalt thou behold two hollow stones and therein two dragons asleep". When it was found to be thus, all around marvelled greatly at the gift of foresight this young boy had been blessed with, and even then there some who said that Merlin possessed some of the spirit of God.


The Dragon Struggle
Image taken from a 15th century Illuminated Manuscript,
now at Lambeth Palace, London
It was then, as Vortigern looked on, that the two dragons, one red and one white, clambered out of the pool, and when they met, with a terrible roar they fell upon each other. The Earth shuddered and the cavern rang, and fire spouted forth from their jaws, and it seemed the White Dragon would prevail, as the Red Dragon was cast to very shore of the lake. But then, the Scarlet Wyrm turned in defiance, and with renewed vigour threw itself upon the White, forcing him back. King Vortigern, turning to Merlin, enquired as to the meaning of this peculiar spectacle now played out before them. The power of prophecy filled the great wizard, and tears his eyes, as the awesome power of foresight was his once more:



        " Woe unto the Red Dragon, for his extermination draweth nigh; and his caverns
          shall be occupied of the White Dragon that betokeneth the Saxons
          whom thou hast invited hither. But the Red signifieth the race of Britain
          that shall be oppressed of the White. Therefore shall the mountains
          and the valleys thereof be made level plain and the streams of the valleys
          shall flow with blood. The rites of religion shall be done away and the ruin
          of the churches be made manifest. At the last, she that is oppressed shall prevail
          and resist the cruelty of them that come from without. For the Boar of Cornwall
          shall bring succour and shall trample their necks beneath his feet.
          The islands of the Ocean shall be subdued unto his power, and the forests of Gaul
          shall he possess. The house of Romulus shall dread the fierceness of his prowess
          and doubtful shall be his end. Renowned shall he be in the mouth of the peoples... "
                   - THE PROPHECY OF MERLIN


At the sound of these words, a remarkable feeling swept over all who heard it. Heads weary with despair lifted with the fire of fresh hope. The pure of heart were warmed with faith, and the impure with fear. Who was this great saviour, this Boar of Cornwall, who was coming? Word spread throughout the realms of England. Hope came in its stead. Their champion was coming. Alas that not one there knew his name, when all the world does today...



United Kingdom

The Legends of the Kings of Britain
The History of the Kings of Britain (Classics)
(A history of Britain written in the Middle Ages, including the days of King Arthur)

The Ecclesiastical History of the English
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford World's Classics)
(The story of Saxon England, written by the Venerable Bede)

United States

The Legends of the Kings of Britain
The History of the Kings of Britain (Penguin Classics)
(A history of Britain written in the Middle Ages, including the days of King Arthur)

The Ecclesiastical History of the English
Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Penguin Classics)
(The story of Saxon England, written by the Venerable Bede)

          The 20 Coolest Sneaker Stores In The World      Cache   Translate Page      
The best sneaker stores in the world across the United Kingdom, Europe, America, Asia and the rest of the world. This is where to find limited edition drops, the hottest collaborations and retro sneakers you thought were long gone.
          Three things we learned from City 7 Schalke 0      Cache   Translate Page      

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 13 – Manchester City smashed Schalke 7-0 to comprehensively book their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League 10-2 on aggregate on Tuesday. Sergio Aguero struck twice before Leroy Sane came back to haunt his former side before the break. Sane then turned provider for Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and […]

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MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 13 – Manchester City thrashed Schalke 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to romp into the Champions League quarter-finals and keep their quadruple bid alive. City had snatched two late goals to win the first leg 3-2 and they made the most of that fightback with a ruthless demolition job […]

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          Sicily Holiday Deals | Sicily Holiday Packages (United Kingdom)      Cache   Translate Page      
If only anyone can describe the beauty of Sicily in one word, it would have been "Breath-taking" as it is not just beyond comparison to any other place across the globe but also has everything for everyone! Book this incredible **[Sicily Holiday Deals and Packages][1]** designed by Citrus Holidays and flood your mind with astonishing memories the city will offer you. Book now! Address: 3 Princes Street, London, W1B 2LD You can call us on 0203 011 3451 or Mail us at info@citrusholidays.co.uk ...
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British MPs crushed Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal on Tuesday, thrusting the United Kingdom deeper into crisis and forcing parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay, Reuters reports. The lawmakers voted against May’s amended Brexit deal by 391 to 242 as her last-minute […]
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To Apply visit this link: http://cips.io/b68300Our schools are looking for teachers from the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, between the ages of 23 years old to 30 years old. The candidate should possess a bachelor's degree (degree in Education preferred) with 2 years of teaching experience post-grad, but most importantly, possess good temperament and patience with children. We also prefer candidates who are able to provide reference letters/contacts or teaching
          Pan European Regulator: Key Weapon In Money Laundering War?      Cache   Translate Page      
Among the latest headlines swirling in FinTech: Digital bank Revolut, based in the United Kingdom, has taken on an adviser, along with filling new positions, to bolster compliance teams at the firm. As has been reported,  the company has faced concerns over suspected money laundering, as noted in the Financial Times and elsewhere, and has […]
          Re: The Killer Inside Me      Cache   Translate Page      
HELLO EVERYONE.. FEW MUNINETS TO REDY THIS INFOR ON HERPES CURE 2018..
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          10 Page Argumentative Research Paper Outline Essay      Cache   Translate Page      

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December    10,826
                     174,027 

(365 Days: Daily Average: 477; Total Average Page Views: 504)

2016

January      15,182
February     11,255
March         11,778
April           10,166
May            20,385
June           29,314
July            39,839
August        27,863
September   24,507
October       22,459
November    18,209
December      7,927
                     238,884 

(366 Days: Daily Average: 653; Total Average Page Views: 529)

2017

January      11,553
February       8,172
March         16,555
April            20,586
May            16,217
June           11,992
July            16,142
August        15,176
September   16,516
October       17,173
November    14,353
December    28,197
                     192,632 

(365 Days: Daily Average: 528; Total Average Page Views: 529)

2018

January      24,151
February     40,533
March         50,751   (Dec. 2017 – Mar. 2018 = 143,632 total page views)*
April             8,899
May              9,474
June             7,864
July            17,482
August        12,692
September   12,475
October       12,516
November    10,833
December    10,823
                     218,493 

(365 Days: Daily Average: 599; Total Average Page Views: 538) 
*Predominately from France and the United Kingdom

2019

January        8,043
February     13,398         
March 11      3,629


My TOP TEN POSTS for EIGHT YEARS:

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012
1. Illinois Pension Reform Is Without Legal and Moral Justification https://teacherpoetmusicianglenbrown.blogspot.com/2012/05/sb-1673-is-without-legal-and-moral.html

MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013
2. Illinois Senate Bill 1, the So-called “Pension Reform” Bill (or Attempt to Break a Constitutional Contract with Public Employees and Retirees)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 2018
3. Thinking about voting for Daniel Biss in the next Illinois gubernatorial election?

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2017
5. The Continuing Demoralization of University and College Adjunct Faculty

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012
6. A Pension Discussion with Eric Zorn, a Columnist for the Chicago Tribune https://teacherpoetmusicianglenbrown.blogspot.com/2012/05/discussion-with-eric-zorn-columnist-for.html

SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2016
7. ILLINOIS PENSION THEFT: 90 LINKS TO MORAL AND LEGAL ANALYSES, COMMENTARIES, AND ARGUMENTS FOR PROTECTING PUBLIC PENSIONS https://teacherpoetmusicianglenbrown.blogspot.com/2016/05/64-links-to-moral-and-legal-analyses.html

TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012
8. A Pension Discussion with Eric Zorn, Pt. 2

TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2018
9. English IV: Literature & Composition AP

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018
10. Morality & Justice





          New Game: Everybody's Golf: Kat from Gravity Rush - Character and Costume      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Jul 24, 2013
Published by:  Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: Everybody's Golf: Kat Costume      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Jul 24, 2013
Published by:  Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: Everybody's Golf: Kat from Gravity Rush      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Jul 24, 2013
Published by:  Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: High Roller Casino      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Sep 24, 2014
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - High Roller Casino      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Sep 24, 2014
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Upgrade - High Roller Casino      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Sep 24, 2014
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Upgrade - Starship Troopers      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  May 15, 2015
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: Little Shopping      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  Nintendo Switch
Countries:  United States, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Date:  Mar 12, 2019
Published by:  Ultimate Games S.A.
Developed by:  Tenkai.pl
Developed by:  Ultimate Games S.A.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: BombFall      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  Nintendo Switch
Countries:  United States, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Date:  Mar 12, 2019
Published by:  Tackorama Ltd
Developed by:  Tackorama Ltd
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: Claybook      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  Nintendo Switch
Countries:  United States, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Date:  Mar 12, 2019
Published by:  Second Order
Developed by:  Second Order
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Upgrade - Phantom of the Opera      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  May 15, 2015
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - Starship Troopers      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  May 15, 2015
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Starship Troopers      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  May 15, 2015
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Phantom of the Opera      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  May 15, 2015
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Upgrade - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Jan 19, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Jan 19, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Jan 19, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Upgrade - TX-Sector      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 18, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Upgrade - Last Action Hero      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 18, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - TX Sector      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 18, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - Last Action Hero      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 18, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: TX Sector      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 18, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Last Action Hero      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 18, 2016
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - Al's Garage Band Goes On A World Tour      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 31, 2017
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - Gottlieb's Centigrade 37 / Jacks Open      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 31, 2017
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Pro Pack - Frank Thomas' Big Hurt      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 31, 2017
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Cactus Jack's      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 31, 2017
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Al's Garage Band Goes On A World Tour      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 31, 2017
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: The Pinball Arcade: Gottlieb's Centigrade 37 / Jacks Open      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Oct 31, 2017
Published by:  FarSight Technologies Inc.
Release Comments:  download release


          New Game: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - Gold Teeth (Skelzor)      Cache   Translate Page      

Release Information
Platform:  PlayStation 3
Countries:  United Kingdom
Date:  Aug 15, 2012
Published by:  Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd.
Release Comments:  download release


          Naomi Johnston Joins Jumbla as GM      Cache   Translate Page      
Former Starcom General Manager Naomi Johnston has joined Melbourne animation house Jumbla to drive the studio’s expansion among top-tier advertising clients. Johnston was tapped to build Jumbla’s public relations and acquisition strategy as Group General Manager, responsible for the studio’s Australia and United Kingdom offices. The 20-year industry veteran assumes the newly-created role after a […]
          Create a cryptocurrency and advise on the use - Upwork      Cache   Translate Page      
I would like to have my own cryptocurrency. I have the people to use the currency and will market it myself. You can ask me any questions and I will reply promptly

This job was posted from a mobile device, so please pardon any typos or any missing details.

Budget: $500
Posted On: March 13, 2019 04:48 UTC
Category: Web, Mobile & Software Dev > Other - Software Development
Skills: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Cryptography
Country: United Kingdom
click to apply
          Oyster 55 Magic Dragon, EUR 264.798,-      Cache   Translate Page      
Werft: Oyster MarineDesigner: Holman & PyeFlagge: United KingdomMaeLänge über alles: 55 ft 0 inBreite: 15 ft 11 inL.W.L.: 45 ft 5 inTiefgang min.: 7 ft 6 inVerdrängung: 50000 lbsMaschineGesamtleistung: 80 HPMaschine 1:Marke des Motors: PerkinsMotortyp: M90Motor Typ: InnenbordmotorMotor-/Treibstoffart: DieselBetriebsstunden: 5170Propeller: 3-Blatt PropellerAntrieb Typ: Sail driveMotorleistung: 80 HPTanksAnzahl Wassertanks: 1 GFK (202)Anzahl Treibstofftanks: 1 GFK (220)KabinenAnzahl an Stockbetten: 1Anzahl an Doppelbetten: 2Anzahl Kabinen: 3Anzahl Toiletten: 2ElektronikKompaCD-SpielerCockpit LautsprecherGPSRadioComputerAutopilotWindmeanlageNavigationseinheitUKW-FunkRadarKartenplotterTVLogBesegelungRollgrosegelRollgenuaSturmfockSpinnakerTakelageSteuerradElektrische WinschSpinnakerbaumInnenausstattungBatterieladegerätMikrowelleBugstrahlruderBilgepumpe manuellOfenWaschmaschineHeizungGefrierschrankKühlschrankFrischwasserbereiterWarmwasserMarine-WCElektrische AusstattungLandanschluGeneratorWechselrichterStrom: 24VDeckausstattungCockpit TeakDavitsGangwayCockpittischCockpitduscheCockpitpolsterTeakdeckRettungsinselBadeleiterBeibootAussenbordmotor-HalterungAnkerwinde elektrischVerdeckeSprayhoodBimini TopMagic Dragon - Detailed SpecificationHULL NUMBER Oyster 55/36.HULL CONSTRUCTIONGRP hull, single skin hand laid with stringers and frames, plus Kevlar reinforcement to forward half of hull.Gel and outer layers of laminate in isophthalic resin.Moulded in Lloyds approved facility.HULL FINISH?White? hull with cove line and boot top lines in ?Blue.?DECK CONSTRUCTIONMoulded in GRP with balsa core.Deck features Oyster renowned ?Sovereign? deck saloon configuration with modern ?eyebrow? and forward opening windows.DECK FINISHTeak laid decks.KEELModerate draft fin design, moulded integral with hull, lead encapsulated within the GRP moulding.RUDDERFully protected skeg-hung rudder. NB waterlogged foam removed, resealed and glassed over in 2016.STERN DESIGN?Sugar scoop? stern design with bathing platform trimmed with teak slats and stainless steel steps for access to the stern deck.ANCHORCQR 34kg (75lb) anchor with 100m (328?) of 12mm (1/2?) galvanised chain.Bruce kedge 20kg (45lb) anchor.Spare CQR 34kg (75lb)WINDLASSLewmar V1-6 and deck switches ? new 2016.DECK ACCESS Stainless steel 71cm (28?) stanchions and guard rails with gates amidships.Gate to pushpit.Stainless steel bathing ladder.Besenzoni stainless steel passerelle.HATCHESLewmar deck hatches.Longer ?Sovereign? saloon hullports.Opening ports to cockpit from galley, aft cabin and port guest cabin.CANVASWORKFold down companionway sprayhood in Greyacrylic (new 2018) with stainless steel grabrail to aft end.Grey acrylic bimini (new 2018) on stainless steel hoops sliding on tracks.Closed cell (flotation) foam cockpit cushions with Red acrylic covers. (new covers 2018).DECK PLUMBINGHot and cold deck shower in transom locker.Electric deck and anchor wash.COCKPITTeak-laid cockpit.COCKPIT TABLECustom made cockpit table.STEERING Whitlock steering pedestal.Leather-covered steering wheel.OUTBOARD BRACKET 2 x outboard brackets on pushpit with teak pad.DAVITSSingle stainless steel davit for lifting outboard on transom (with twin sockets).GENERAL Stainless steelpulpit and pushpit.Midship cleats and fairleads.Two deck lockers, plus large lazarette locker with stainless steel gas struts.Liferaft mounting forward of the mast.Stern quarter pushpit seats in stainless steel and teak, with fender stowage under.Stainless steel granny bars at mast.Full spinnaker sheet and guy chainplates.Lewmar tracks.MAST and RIGGINGCutter rig.Hood Stoway electric in mast furling ? white painted mast and boom.Preventer bails to each side of boom.Hood Yacht Systems solid strut vang.Harken mechanical backstay adjuster.1 x 19 stainless steel standing rigging with Dyform forestay and backstay.12 x folding mast steps up to first spreaders.Communications FM/TV aerial (Glomax) fitted to mast below radar dome.HEADSAIL FURLINGHood Seafurl headsail and staysail furling systems.WINCHESBy Lewmar:2 X 66 ST electric self-tailing primary winches.2 x 54 ST secondary winches.2 x 48 ST halyard winches.1 x 48 ST electric self-tailing mainsheet winch.2 x 16 ST traveller control line winches.SPINNAKER GEAR Single spinnaker pole stowed vertically on mast with Sidewinder line control.SAILSHoodFurling Mainsail with Vectran vertical battens.Aker yankee with UV strip and seafoam luff. (2014)Aker staysail with UV strip and seafoam luff. (2014)Hood spinnaker.Storm staysail.Squeezer.MPG and top reef furling.GENERALEight berths in four cabins, excluding the saloon. All sea berths have lee screens.Interior joinery finished in teak, fitted out in Oyster ?classic? styling, which is designed to be modern and coordinated, whilst remaining practical and durable at sea.Cabin sole in teak and holly.Surfaces in galley and heads in ?Blue Mist? Avonite.Chrome taps throughout. (replaced 2017)Headlining in cream vinyl.Cream vinyl foam-backed saloon table cover.All upholstery in ?Cream? Alcantara.Mast cover in Cream Alcantara.Curtain system to windows in saloon and cabins.Skyscreen blinds/bug screens to all deck hatches.8 x 12V Hella fans.Prosser weather trend barometer.FORWARD DOUBLE CABINFull-width double berth with stowage drawers beneath.Settee to port.Hanging locker and ample storage drawers.Dressing table and mirror.Large hatch, two small hatches and two opening ports.FORWARD HEAD AND SHOWER/DAY HEAD Shared port forward heads compartment with Jabsco manual marine toilet,washbasin with mirror over and separate shower stall.Vanity and cabinet stowage.Row of six hooks for hanging oilskins to dry.Opening port and small hatch.STARBOARD FORWARD TWIN CABINUpper and lower berths, hanging locker, chest of drawers and ample stowage space.Two small hatches and one opening port.SALOONFeaturing a full-width deck saloon with opening forward hatches and windows to port and starboard.Large U-shaped dining area to starboard with seating for eight.Fixed saloon table with burr walnut veneered top and removable fiddle rails.Stowage bins under seating and drawer and cupboard in table pedestal.Two-seater settee to port with stowage beneath, which can extend to provide an excellent sea berth.Drinks and glasses cabinets. Bookshelves and brass ship?s clock.NAVIGATION AREAThe navigation area with forward facing full size chart table and seat is situated to port at the aft end of the saloon and is customised around the flush-mounted electronics and navigational equipment.Stowage provided for Admiralty charts, almanacs and navigational books.AFT PORT TWIN CABIN Situated to port with upper and lower berths. Hanging locker and stowage.Access to owner?s heads compartment.GALLEYTo starboard with plentiful storage lockers and drawers.Customised crockery stowage.SINKSTwin stainless steel sinks, one with teak chopping board.COOKER/HOB GN Espace Oceanchef 3 burner cooker, grill and oven ? new 2016. Gas installation checked and certified in 2016, checked again in 2018.MICROWAVE Russel Hobbs flatbed microwave oven ? new 2016.REFRIGERATOR/FREEZERRefrigerator and freezer with Grunert 3/4hp AC compressor to eutectic holdover plate system. Digital gauges. Checked and re-gassed in 2016.WASHER/DRYER AEG washer/dryer.OWNER?S STATEROOMWith double berth and drawers beneath.Curved settee to port, which converts to a child?s berth.Hanging locker, dressing table and mirror. Stowage lockers and shelves.Opening hatch to aft deck and six opening ports.EN SUITE HEAD/SHOWERTo port with separate shower stall and folding seat. Jabsco manual marinetoilet, washbasin, vanity and cabinet stowage.Opening port.AUDIO VISUAL SYSTEMS JVC CD/radio with twin speakers in saloon and twin waterproof speakers in cockpit.Samsung 32? televisionENGINEPerkins M90 (80hp) 4-cylinder diesel engine with Scatra Aquadrive coupling (Engine and gearbox reconditioned in 2016).Racor in-line fuel filters on both fuel lines. Dual switchover unit to engine added in 2016.ENGINE HOURSApproximately 5170 at February 2019.PROPELLERMax Prop 3-bladed feathering propeller (2000).ROPE CUTTER Rope cutter on shaft.ALTERNATORS100A engine alternator with Adverc regulator to charge domestic batteries.40A engine alternator to charge engine start battery.GENERATORKohler 220V (7kW) diesel generator.GENERATOR HOURS Approximately 640 at February 2019.BOWTHRUSTER Sleipner (10hp) bowthruster.STEERING SYSTEM Whitlock cable steering system.HEATINGWebasto DW80 heating system with five outlets. Checked 2018 ? new burner and sensor fitted.WATERMAKER ECO Systems watermaker (30 litres per hour), 24 volt ? new 2016FUEL1,000 litres approximately (220 Imp gallons/264 US gallons) in one GRP tank.WATER920 litres approximately (202 Imp gallons/243 US gallons) in two GRP tanks. One 620 litres and one 300 litres.TANK TENDER GAUGESTank tender gauges for three tanks, plus standby dipsticks.HOT WATERImmersion heater and hot water tank. Replaced 2018PRESSURISED HOT AND COLD FRESHWATER SYSTEM Pressurised hot and cold water, plus standby freshwater and saltwater pumps.HOLDING TANKS Holding tank to forward head.SHIP?S SUPPLY24V.RING MAIN220V AC ring main with four double UKoutlet sockets located as appropriate within the layout.OTHER ELECTRICAL SOCKETS12V dropper and socket at chart table and companionway.BATTERIES24V domestic battery system ? 400Ah capacity. New 2016.Separate 12V batteries for engine and generator starting. New 2016.BATTERY MANAGEMENT Mastervolt 75A battery charger from shorepower or generator.Magnetronic battery state meter.Adverc regulator.INVERTER Mastervolt 4500W inverter.SHOREPOWER Dockside power cable. Hubbell socket.INTERIOR LIGHTING LED lighting throughout. (excluding berth lamps.)Red halogen lights at chart table, both heads and galley.Additional red LED ceiling lights in galley, saloon and corridor.EXTERIOR LIGHTING Boom light over cockpit table.LED Navigation lights bow and stern.LED Steaming light on mast.LED Under boom light.LED Tri-white anchor/navigation light at masthead.COMPASSES Sestrel steering compass.Autohelm electronic compass.SAILING INSTRUMENTSAutohelm ST50 instruments:5 in console over companionway hatch, plus multi-function displays at chart tableWindspeed transponder added at masthead 2016.Echo sounder transponder added 2016.CAMERARaymarine camera added to mast in 2016GPS Raymarine GPS.RADAR Raymarine 48-mile radar.CHART PLOTTERTwo Raymarine E120 plotters ? one at chart table and one in cockpit.Radar/GPS/plotter/autopilot all interfaced.AUTOPILOTRaymarine Evolution EV1 (new 2017) autopilot with twin rams (Spare ram included) upgraded to ?Ocean? specification.Autopilot controls in cockpit and at chart table.WINDEXWindex at masthead.NAVTEXNasa Easy Navtex.VHF RADIO Raymarine Ray50 VHF radio with cockpit speaker ? new 2016.Icom IC-25 handheld VHF radio ? new 2018NavicomRT300 handheld VHF radio ? new 2017.SSB RADIOIn situ but in need of repair.SATELLITE PHONEIridium satphone.LIFERAFTViking self-righting 6-person liferaft in a valise, with a separate grab bag. New 2016.Next service due 2019.EPIRB 406MHz EPIRB ACR Artex ? new 2016RADAR REFLECTORFirdell blipper on mast.BILGE PUMPSElectric and manual bilge pumps.Emergency driven bilge pump.DECK SAFETY 1 x horseshoe lifebuoy.Jonbuoy and MOB recovery sling.Webbing jackstays.Emergency tiller.Portable 12V searchlight.FIRE EXTINGUISHERS Various including manual fire extinguisher in engine bay with pull handle at companionway.OTHER SAFETY FEATURESRaytheon RAY430 loudhailer/foghorn.Watertight bulkhead and door between forward cabin and rest of accommodation.Stainless steel storm board fitting inserts and half set of ply boards.RIB/DINGHY AB dinghy (9UL) New in 2016.Stainless steel davits (added 2017)Tohatsu 8hp outboard engine with stowage on pushpit.WARPS AND FENDERS10 fenders plus 3 inflatable fenders.6 mooring warps.ASSORTED TOOLS, SPARES AND MANUALS Comprehensive chart set.Various spares.NB: All personal belongings and all other items not expressly listed in the above inventory are excluded from the sale.Viewing through Oyster Brokerage.Issue 1 (GS/OA/bm)In this case we are acting as Brokers only. Whilst every care has been taken in their preparation, the correctness of these particulars is not guaranteed. The particulars are intended only as a guide and they do not constitute a term of any contract. A prospective Buyer is strongly advised to check the particulars and where appropriate at his own expense to employ a qualified Marine Surveyor to carry out a survey and/or to have an engine trial conducted which if conducted by us shall not imply any liability for such engine on our part. Life-saving appliances do not form part of the inventory and it is for the buyer to ensure they are in date and suitable for his purposes.OysterThe Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.
           Trading plan for 03/12/2019      Cache   Translate Page      

Well, how are we without Brexit? Of course nothing! Last night, Theresa May made another loud statement that brought enthusiasm to the entire financial world. The Prime Minister announced that she will submit new additions to the divorce agreement to the House of Commons for today. This will happen exactly before the parliamentarians cast their votes on this most unfortunate agreement. This alone was enough to pound, making the single European currency rush up. It is true when we say that it feels like no one was listening to what was said. After all, the text of the agreement itself remains unchanged. This is not surprising, since the Europeans completely refused to even discuss the possibility of amending the text of the agreement, which they have already approved. Theresa May brought not regular promises of the Brussels bureaucracy but a new agreement to London. Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister of Great Britain David Lidington said that two documents will be submitted to parliamentarians, supplementing the existing divorce agreement. One of them is supposedly a promise of the European Union not to include the mechanism of "backstop", implying the preservation of the existing border regime between Northern Ireland and Ireland. After all, if the UK leaves the European Union and the border and customs situation on the Emerald Isle remains the same, the United Kingdom is not only in a very disadvantageous economic situation, but also risks acquiring a threat to its territorial integrity. The second document talks about the assurance of the parties on their desire to replace "backstop" with a full-fledged trade agreement by December 2020. Moreover, Teresa May said that obviously, before voting in the House of Commons, a pullback is worth noting both in pound and in the single European currency. But then, the situation is almost unpredictable.

analytics5c8761c4251b9.png

After all, Jeremy Corbin, unlike many, did not only read the headlines, but also read the question more deeply. And immediately, he saw that no new agreement was made, but only regular promises and best wishes. Great Britain has a vast experience in the management of the colonial empire. In fact, its politicians are well aware on their promises to do something about the prices in the future. The leader of the Labor Party has already declared that parliamentarians should reject the agreement and all related promises that are cheaper than the paper on which they are written. Thus, it is most likely that the House of Commons will again reject the agreement with the European Union, and after which, the question of postponing the eviction of Great Britain from a European dormitory will be considered. Therefore, we are expecting for a sharp decline in the pound, as well as the single European currency. In this case, a new growth against the background of new optimistic expectations shows that London will finally agree with Brussels.

analytics5c8761df8b942.png

The euro / dollar currency pair showed moderate movement, aimed at the correction. Probably, a temporary fluctuation in the range of 1.1250 / 1.1270 is assumed. Also, we will be listening to the information background and we'll be waiting for possible bursts.

analytics5c876202e3333.png

The currency pair pound / dollar on the information background has managed to show high volatility, jumping up to the level of 1.3286. We'll probably assume for a temporary rollback to 1.3170, then continue to listen to the background information and wait for new bursts.

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The material has been provided by InstaForex Company - www.instaforex.com
          GBP / USD: Theresa May did the almost impossible, and now the word for the British Parliament      Cache   Translate Page      

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British Prime Minister Theresa May and the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, agreed on changes to the terms of Brexit, reports Reuters.

It is reported that the parties, in particular, agreed on the absence of control at the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland - an EU member.

At the same time, Jean-Claude Juncker said that the European Union would not agree to further negotiations and concessions. "There will be no third chance," he said.

"The choice is quite simple: either this deal or Brexit may not happen at all," he added.

Against the background of the emergence of positive news around the upcoming release of Britain from the EU, the pound sterling rose sharply against the dollar, exceeding $ 1.32.

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It should be recognized that progress in the negotiations between London and Brussels was made very timely since today the British Parliament will have to re-vote on the divorce agreement.

If this time the lawmakers do not approve the deal promoted by T. May, then on Wednesday in the House of Commons there will be a vote on leaving the country from the EU without any deal at all. If this option does not suit anyone (it is possible that she will not receive the necessary support also), then the Brexit deadline postponement will remain on the table at a later date.

Strategists at National Australia Bank believe that the implementation of the "hard" scenario can still be avoided.

"If the new deal is approved, it will be a driver for the growth of the pound sterling. In this case, the British currency can strengthen against the dollar to $ 1.35," said by the representatives of the financial institute.

"The pair GBP / USD can sink to the level of 1.20 if British parliamentarians reject the divorce agreement on Tuesday or reject the exit without a deal on Wednesday. However, more importantly, the pound may fall in price if lawmakers do not vote to postpone Brexit on Thursday," Societe Generale believes.

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          portknockie, united kingdom, nature pictures, shore, shore scotland united kingdom portknockie, scotland, nature      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Berkshire Hathaway Names Heads of Marine and Property in UK and Ireland      Cache   Translate Page      
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has appointed Pedro Mairos as head of marine and Sean Mannion as head of property for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Both will be based in London. Mairos ...
          Offer - MSD SERVICNG LIMITED - UK      Cache   Translate Page      
Website: https://msdservicing.co.uk Address: 1-3 MANSON PLACE LONDON, Greater London SW7 5LT Phone: 02071835307 keywords: decoration, construction, design, flooring, painting Description: MSD Ltd is based in Kensington, London, United Kingdom. With several years’ experience, you can be rest assured that you have chosen the right company for your project as our professional and skilled staff members always put their heart and soul in every project. Business Email info@msdservicing.co.uk
          Judgement Day for May’s Brexit deal      Cache   Translate Page      
Theresa May’s chances of winning the Brexit vote tonight were in deep trouble from mid-morning. The hammer blow came with the Attorney General’s advice that despite her late night deal in Strasbourg, the risk of the United Kingdom being indefinitely trapped in the backstop had not gone away. By the time time the Prime Minister…
          Don’t promote Barbados-type Brexit, says political scientist      Cache   Translate Page      

Barbadians are being urged to stay clear of the ‘xenophobic’ rhetoric promoted by those who oppose government’s efforts to deepen regional integration.

In fact, political scientist Peter Wickham has warned that such sentiments, if allowed to fester, could trigger the type of “self harm” brought upon the British people by the 2016 Brexit referendum, when that country voted to leave the European Union.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY, the regionalist argued that Barbadians were being bombarded with misinformation from people who should know better.

“I think it’s unfortunate that it has become controversial, quite frankly. I think a lot of the people who are criticizing it ought to know better, because a single market is simply just that. You try to ensure that as people move from country to country they enjoy the same benefits and privileges, which other persons who are living here would enjoy.

“I do worry, because if these views are not kept in check, that’s ultimately where it ends and I’m hoping that as we watch the level of self-harm that the British are bringing on themselves by way of a similar level of xenophobia, it is enough to tell us to check ourselves and realize that we’re not that special.

“I fear that Barbados becomes like the United Kingdom and we bring a Brexit on ourselves on the basis of misinformation. It would be quite sad if we reach the stage where we begin to think like the British and we develop a level of xenophobia that matches theirs,” said Wickham.

Over the last few days there has been robust public debate about the implications of the CARICOM amendment bill and the Protocol of Contingent Rights which extends basic rights to the spouse, young children, and dependent parents of skilled CARICOM nationals, in the host territory, allowing them to enter and leave the country without restrictions.

Barbados has also decided to grant the children of skilled CARICOM nationals, access to both primary and secondary level education. It has also made provision for these families to access primary health care.

While some believe the amendment could result in CARICOM nationals placing an unwarranted burden on the country’s already struggling social welfare system, Wickham argued that an influx of regional migration could strengthen it.

“We are in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme that is brought on by the fact that our economy is under substantial pressure. One of the ways that we can grow is by reaching out to people across the region. We are in a situation where our national insurance is telling us that they are running out of resources because they’re not enough working-age people in Barbados because of the declining birthrate. Regionalism has a way of dealing with that also.

“This is the kind of logic that we need to be aware of and we need to closely monitor this proclivity or this inclination toward xenophobia that appears to have become so popular now,” he again warned.

Wickham also argued that a greater level of public awareness on the benefits of free movement within CARICOM was needed.

“If you look at education for example and
you look at the results of the Caribbean Examinations Council and the fact that the country that performs best is Guyana; clearly there is something happening in Guyana that should make us want to go there to seek education at a secondary level.

“Barbadians seem to think for some reason that their product is better. I do not understand what disparity people are speaking about. There are a lot of misunderstandings being peddled for reasons that are purely political.

“I think if the majority were able to speak you would see an entirely different situation consistent with research that I would have done back in the early 2000’s.

“I think we are completing a circle which we have already started. We started the process back in the 1960’s with CARIFTA and then you go to the CARICOM single market agreement that was signed back in 2004. I think that it is necessary to complete it.”

Wickham added: “Perhaps it might be a wise thing for people to get out and look around the region and see what is on offer and try to understand a bit better before rushing to judgment about something on which they know nothing.”

The post Don’t promote Barbados-type Brexit, says political scientist appeared first on Barbados Today.


          (WATCH) Andrew Lawton: Tommy Robinson might be headed back to jail      Cache   Translate Page      

British activist Tommy Robinson might be headed back to jail now that the United Kingdom attorney general has ordered a new contempt of court hearing.


          United Kingdom-Lochgilphead: Air transport services      Cache   Translate Page      
Argyll and Bute Council Kilmory Lochgilphead PA31 8RT Christine Todd +44 1546604194 christine.todd@argyll-bute.gov.uk http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/Search_AuthProfile.aspx?ID=AA00063 https://www.publictendersscotland.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk https://www.publictendersscotland.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk Provision of Air Services between Oban and the Islands of Coll, Colonsay and Tiree The provision of air services between Oban and the islands of Coll, Colonsay and Tiree. 2048828 Oban and the islands of Coll, Colonsay and Tiree Argyll and Bute Council has a fixed subsidy of 2 048 828 GBP to provide air services between Oban and the islands of Coll, Colonsay and Tiree over the next 4 years 16.10.2019 – 15.10.2023. This equates to a fixed subsidy of 512 207 GBP available per annum. Argyll and Bute Council do not wish to restrict operators in any way and are keen to encourage operators to consider different solutions for the routes. 2019-10-16 2023-10-15 Possible renewal in 2023. 2018/S 158-362141 2019-05-02 12:00 2019-05-02 12:00 Possible renewal in October 2023. The buyer is using PCS-Tender to conduct this ITT exercise. The Project code is 12998. For more information see: http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/info/InfoCentre.aspx?ID=2343 Community benefits are included in this requirement. For more information see: http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/info/InfoCentre.aspx?ID=2361 A summary of the expected community benefits has been provided as follows: Community benefits clause: Argyll and Bute Council is committed to maximising community benefits from its procurement activities in order to build economic, social or environmental conditions into the delivery of Council contracts. In the tender submission, the bidder will be required to detail any social, economic and environmental benefits associated with contract performance during the contract term in the event of their appointment, in particular, within any of the following areas: — social benefits: e.g. jobs, work experience, training, apprenticeships and mentoring. — economic benefits: e.g. use of Small, Medium Enterprises, promotion of opportunities to Social Enterprises and the Voluntary Sector, community consultation, young person engagement, and community sponsorship. — environmental benefits: e.g. public art projects, community improvement projects, resources for community environmental initiatives and physical infrastructure. Such social, economic and environmental benefits are hereinafter referred to as “Community Benefits”. If there will be no community benefits, the bidder should state this in the submission. If there will be community benefits, the tender submission should include a methodology/plan/statement as to how this will be delivered. The information included in the tender submission in terms of this clause is hereinafter referred to as the “Community Benefits Information”. Under this procurement exercise, the community benefits information will in no way be scored/evaluated/taken into account beyond the requirement that the community benefits information is included in the bidder's tender submission. While the community benefits Information will in no way be scored/evaluated/taken into account beyond the requirement that it is included in the bidder’s tender submission, if the community benefits Information contains any community benefits, these will be enforceable as part of the contract. Accordingly, where a contract is awarded to a bidder whose tender submission included community benefits, the bidder will be required to deliver those community benefits as part of the contract. (SC Ref:574317) Argyll and Bute Council Kilmory Lochgilphead PA31 8RT +44 1546604239 http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk 2019-03-05
          Recruitment Advertising Tender Kent      Cache   Translate Page      

Recruitment Advertising Tender Kent To review, update and create advertising briefs. 4 Lots. United Kingdom-Canterbury: Advertising and marketing services 2019/S 050-115156 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses 2gether Support Solutions on behalf of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust NHS Foundation Trust Headquarters Kent and Canterbury [...]
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          Independent Mental Health Advocacy Support Services Contract London      Cache   Translate Page      

Independent Mental Health Advocacy Support Services Contract London London Borough of Newham invites tender for a community based independent mental health advocacy support services that improve outcomes for people and their carers. United Kingdom-London: Community health services 2019/S 050-115222 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses London Borough [...]
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          Dementia Support Service Tender Lincolnshire      Cache   Translate Page      

Dementia Support Service Tender Lincolnshire North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group hereby invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced providers to provide a dementia support service in North East Lincolnshire for a 3-year period. United Kingdom-Grimsby: Social work services 2019/S 050-115261 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses [...]
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          Manchester City Council Security Services Tender 2019      Cache   Translate Page      

Manchester City Council Security Services Tender 2019 Manchester City Council are looking for a professional security services provider (or providers) to support the authority in delivering The “Our Manchester” strategy. United Kingdom-Manchester: Security services 2019/S 050-115254 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses Manchester City Council 3rd Floor [...]
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          University of Bath CCTV Maintenance Tender      Cache   Translate Page      

University of Bath CCTV Maintenance Tender Includes supply and installation of digital CCTV equipment. United Kingdom-Bath: Surveillance and security systems and devices 2019/S 050-115267 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom Contact person: Lisa Pritchard E-mail: l.j.pritchard@bath.ac.uk NUTS code: UKK12 [...]
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          University of Westminster Cleaning Services Tender      Cache   Translate Page      

University of Westminster Cleaning Services Tender University of Westminster wishes to invite tenders for the provision of cleaning the academic and residential buildings. United Kingdom-London: Cleaning services 2019/S 050-115282 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses Tender of cleaning services for University of Westminster 309 Regent Street London [...]
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          Integrated Sexual Health Services Tender Cumbria      Cache   Translate Page      

Integrated Sexual Health Services Tender Cumbria The Council are looking to procure an integrated sexual health service to complement existing lower level sexual health services commissioned from general practice and community pharmacy providers. United Kingdom-Carlisle: Health services 2019/S 050-115336 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses Cumbria County [...]
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          Liverpool City Council Tender Enforcement Agency Services Tender      Cache   Translate Page      

Liverpool City Council Tender Enforcement Agency Services Tender Liverpool City Council are seeking to appoint 4 enforcement agencies to provide enforcement agency services. United Kingdom-Liverpool: Bailiff services 2019/S 050-115343 Contract notice Services Legal Basis: Directive 2014/24/EU Section I: Contracting authority I.1)Name and addresses Liverpool City Council 4th Floor, Cunard Building Liverpool L3 1DS United Kingdom [...]
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          Theresa May's Brexit deal fails once again — with just 17 days to go      Cache   Translate Page      
The defeat comes only 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the E.U., raising the question of whether Brexit will occur on the scheduled date or at all.
          Worldwide Clinical Trials: RFI Coordinator      Cache   Translate Page      
Super salary plus benefits: Worldwide Clinical Trials: RFI Coordinator - UK or Europe - Can be based in Nottingham UK, or Home based in the UK or Europe. United Kingdom Office or Home based or EU Homebased
          Nigerians dominate in the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Longlist      Cache   Translate Page      

The United Kingdom's most prestigious literary prize, the Women's Prize for Fiction, announced its 2019 longlist. The judging panel managed to whittle down the 163 entries to 16 amazing authors, three of which are Nigerian.

The post Nigerians dominate in the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Longlist appeared first on This Is Africa.


          Interview with Peter Kimani author of Dance of the Jakaranda      Cache   Translate Page      
Peter Kimani is an award-winning Kenyan author and journalist. He works across a broad spectrum of genres, from fiction to non-fiction, poetry and plays. His latest novel, Dance of the Jakaranda, was published in New York in February 2017, to great critical acclaim. Peter Kimani received his formal education in Kenya, the United Kingdom and the …
          Principal Medical Writing Scientist - Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies - Spring House, PA      Cache   Translate Page      
We are recruiting for a Principle Medical Writing Scientist in Titusville, NJ / Spring House, PA / Raritan, NJ in the USA, or High Wycombe in the United Kingdom...
From Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies - Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:07:01 GMT - View all Spring House, PA jobs
          Multiple incidents of plagiarism helped doom Joe Biden's first presidential run in 1988      Cache   Translate Page      

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), right, walks with his wife Jill after announcing his candidacy for president, Tuesday, June 9, 1987, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/George Widman)

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden mounted an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1988.
  • When incidents of plagiarism in campaign speeches and during his time in law school came to light, his campaign was soon suspended.
  • "My intent was not to deceive anyone,'' Biden wrote at the time. ''For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.''
  • Biden is mulling another run at president in 2020, of which an announcement could come this month.

Before Joe Biden was vice president during the Barack Obama administration, and before he bowed out of the 2008 presidential race, the longtime senator from Delaware unsuccessfully ran for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.

Incidents of plagiarism both on the campaign trail and during his time at the Syracuse University College of Law became some of the final issues that dogged Biden before he ultimately suspended his floundering campaign.

Read more: Joe Biden's long history in public life could come back to haunt him if he decides to run for president

During his failed 1988 run, Biden lifted portions of a speech by United Kingdom Labour MP and Margaret Thatcher challenger Neil Kinnock.

New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd reported on the fiasco in September 1987.

During an event at the Iowa State Fair, Biden mimicked entire portions of Kinnock's speech from earlier in the year. At one moment, Biden repeated the line that he was the first "in a thousand generations" to graduate from college, gesturing to his wife in the exact same way Kinnock did, while also saying the same line about her education and lineage.

Biden would later acknowledge that he in fact did have relatives who attended college, directly contrasting the Kinnock lines. 

As Dowd reported, Biden's staffers were defensive about the allegations of blatant plagiarism. Nevertheless, Biden dropped out of the race by the end of the month. 

According to another 1987 article in The Times, Biden acknowledged plagiarizing a law review journal for a paper during law school, and asked school administrators not to be expelled. But Biden also said he made a mistake in the citation process.

"My intent was not to deceive anyone,'' Biden wrote at the time. ''For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.''

The scandal erupted at the same time Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was overseeing the infamously partisan confirmation process of the failed-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.

Biden's plagiarism became a hot campaign issue which his 1988 Democratic rival, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, used in a video attack ad that was passed around to several media outlets, according to a Washington Post article in 1987.

At the time, Biden dismissed the distribution of the video by other campaigns as dirty politics.

"Look, I'm a big boy,'' he said. ''I've been in politics for 15 years. This is not my style. If they want to do it this way, so be it."

Dukakis — who would go on to win the nomination but lose the general election to the late-President George HW Bush — ultimately fired his political director Paul Tully and campaign manager John Sasso over the ad.

In a telling moment demonstrating how much more collegial primary battles were just three decades ago, Dukakis even held a news conference where he apologized to Biden, "his family and his friends for what happened and for the involvement of my campaign in this whole situation," The Times reported in 1987.

Biden reiterated that he was wrong, but did not deliberately intend to plagiarize while in law school.

"I was wrong, but I was not malevolent in any way,'' he said. ''I did not intentionally move to mislead anybody. And I didn't. To this day I didn't."

''When I was at Syracuse,'' Biden added, ''I was married, I was in law school, I wore sports coats. You're looking at a middle-class guy. I am who I am. I'm not big on flak jackets and tie-dyed shirts. You know, that's not me.''

SEE ALSO: The 20 companies and groups that spend the most money to influence lawmakers

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What happens when the president declares a national emergency


          LIVE: MPs vote down Theresa May's Brexit deal      Cache   Translate Page      

Theresa May

  • Theresa May heading for another defeat on her Brexit deal after her Attorney General refuses to change his legal advice on the controversial backstop.
  • Geoffrey Cox says the legal risk of the United Kingdom being kept in the Northern Irish backstop against its will is "unchanged."
  • This big blow comes ahead of a crunch House of Commons vote on the deal on Tuesday evening.
  • If defeated, May will trigger a series of votes on delaying Brexit.
  • So far, a small number of Conservative MPs who opposed the deal in January have been persuaded to back it this time around.

LONDON — Theresa May is heading for another defeat on her Brexit deal with the European Union after the Attorney General refused to change his legal advice on the revised Withdrawal Agreement.

Geoffrey Cox told MPs that the "legal risk" of the United Kingdom being kept in the controversial Northern Ireland backstop against its will remained "unchanged."

However, he said the deal did "reduce the risk" of the UK being held in their indefinitely.

It comes as the House of Commons prepares to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement for a second time, having rejected a previous version of the deal by a record-breaking margin of 230 votes in January.

The UK prime minister traveled to Strasbourg, France on Monday evening, where she agreed a series of add-ons to the deal with EU leaders including European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Critics of the deal — the European Research Group of pro-Brexit MPs plus the Democratic Unionist Party which props up May's government — will decide whether to vote for the revised deal after hearing legal advice from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon.

If the prime minister's deal is rejected for a second time, MPs will later this week have the opportunity to vote to either accept a no-deal Brexit or delay the UK's exit from EU in order to pursue an alternative.

Scroll down for the latest developments in Westminster. All times are in GMT.

SEE ALSO: 'No third chances': Theresa May puts revised Brexit deal to crunch vote for second time

20:35: So, now what?

With Theresa May's Brexit deal in tatters, what happens next? Business Insider's Adam Bienkov and Thomas Colson have you covered

"The prime minister has committed to holding two key votes this week. The first, on Wednesday, will ask whether MPs support a no-deal Brexit. The second, on Thursday, will ask them whether they wish to delay Brexit by extending Article 50.

"A majority of MPs have already voted to express opposition to no deal, and parliament will likely express its opposition again on Wednesday.

"The more significant question is what happens on Thursday. If parliament votes for an Article 50 extension, May will be forced to request one in Brussels, a move which will be deeply unpopular with her own party."

Read Business Insider's full analysis on the likely outcomes »



20:22: Theresa May's Brexit deal is voted down in a landslide.

Theresa May has suffered a landslide defeat on her Brexit deal for a second time after MPs rejected her revised agreement with the EU.

The House of Commons voted by 391 to 242 to reject May's deal and the new "legally binding" assurances she had negotiated with the EU.



18:49: ERG to vote against the deal, result expected in 30 minutes

The European Research Group of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs have just ended its meeting.

Group leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told journalists including Business Insider's Adam Payne that a "majority" of ERG MPs would be voting against the deal this evening.

That, plus the fact that the DUP is voting against the Withdrawal Agreement, points to another defeat for the prime minister. Forecasts suggest it could be by well over 100 votes. 

Voting will begin at 19:00 with a result expected at around 19:15.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
          UK: Yet Another Muslim Rape Gang Is Charged      Cache   Translate Page      

The BBC reported Monday that “eleven men have been charged with child sex offences in Sheffield.” The names of those charged make it clear that this was yet another Muslim rape gang – one of a seemingly endless stream. No one in Britain will dare to acknowledge it as such, but this dispiritingly recurring featuring of modern life in the United Kingdom is yet another product of the cultural hegemony of the Left.

Of course, the immediate culprit is Islamic teaching. One survivor of a Muslim rape gang in the UK said that her rapists would quote Quran to her, and believed their actions justified by Islam. The Qur’an teaches that Infidel women can be lawfully taken for sexual use (cf. its allowance for a man to take “captives of the right hand,” 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (33:59) The implication there is that if women do not cover themselves adequately with their outer garments, they may be abused, and that such abuse would be justified.

But there is another reason why it keeps happening as well. 1,400 British non-Muslim children were gang-raped and brutalized by Muslims in one city alone, and “several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought as racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”

Why did they fear being thought of as racist? The Muslim rape gangs went unreported, unprosecuted, and in general unstopped because of far-Left organizations including Hope Not Hate, Faith Matters, and Tell Mama, which waged relentless war against anyone and everyone who spoke out about the issue. These are the British equivalents of the Southern Poverty Law Center. They demonized as “Islamophobic,” “hateful” and “bigoted” anyone who said that there were Muslim rape gangs at all, and that they had to be stopped. They led the campaign to ban Pamela Geller and me from entering the country, when one of the events we had discussed going to was a rally against the Muslim rape gangs.

Hope Not Hate has scrubbed the evidence, but it used to be possible to search for “grooming” (as these gangs are usually called “grooming gangs” in the British media) at Hope Not Hate’s site. You would have seen that the vast majority of the articles mentioning this practice were attacking those who were calling attention to it and protesting against it.

Who is responsible for the mass gang-rape of British girls by Muslims? The British Left — in particular the fascist “anti-hate” crusaders Nick Lowles and Matthew Collins of Hope Not Hate, Fiyaz Mughal of Faith Matters and Tell Mama, and their friends, supporters, and allies.

The lives of at least 1,400 girls are ruined today because of Lowles, Collins, Mughal, and their cohorts. If Britain were even close to being a sane society today, these people would be being subjected to scorching criticism, and there would be a thorough public reevaluation of how much the Left’s alliance with Islamic supremacism and smear campaign against foes of jihad terror has harmed the nation and its people.

But Britain is not a sane society today, and these sinister, cynical, authoritarian Leftists — Lowles, Mughal, and the rest of them — continue to wield their considerable power and influence in British society, working assiduously to crush all dissent. If Britain is ever to recover itself and stave off chaos, civil war and Sharia, Lowles, Collins, Mughal and others like them must be decisively repudiated and removed from all positions of influence, and their organizations exposed for what they are.


          Re: UPDATE: Health Officials: New HIV Cases Cause of Concern      Cache   Translate Page      
HELLO EVERYONE.. FEW MUNINETS TO REDY THIS INFOR ON HERPES CURE 2018..
2017 MY MOTHER WAS DIAGNOSED OF HERPES/ KNOWN AS GENITAL WARTS ,I SPENT A LOT OF MONEY ON HER MEDICATION TILL A POINT I EVEN LOST HOPE,BECAUSE MY MOTHER WAS GRADUALLY DYING AND LOST HER MEMORY TOO, I WAS SO DESPERATE TO GET MY MOTHER BACK TO NORMAL, ONE DAY MY UNCLE WHO LIVES IN LONDON UNITED KINGDOM TOLD ME ABOUT DR OLIHA ,WHO HELPED HIM GET RID OF HERPES /GENITAL WART WITH HERBAL MEDICINE AND HIS HERBAL SOAP ,I WAS SO SHOCKED WHEN HE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS ,ALTHOUGH I NEVER BELIEVE IN HERB BUT, I KEEP TO BELIEVE BECAUSE MY UNCLE CAN'T TELL ME LIES WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH CONDITION I CONTACTED DR OLIHA VIA HIS EMAIL; OLIHA.MIRACLEMEDICINE@GMAIL.COM , YOU CAN TALK TO HIM VIA CALL OR WHATSAPP MESSENGER ON +2349038382931 , HE REPLIED AND ASK ME TO SEND MY HOME ADDRESS AND MY MOTHER'S DETAIL AND THEN I PURCHASED THE HERBAL MEDICINE,SENT ME THE HERBAL MEDICINE THROUGH COURIER SERVICE, WHEN I RECEIVED THIS HERBAL MEDICINE USED IT FOR 2 WEEKS, AND 4 DAYS OF USAGE THE WARTS FELL OFF, MY MOTHER I NOW TOTALLY CURED AND MY MOTHER IS LIVING FREE AND HAPPY AGAIN.
Posted by Elizabeth Matheus
          WIKI TIKI WEDNESDAY - STAMPING OUT HER MAJESTY      Cache   Translate Page      



‘THE SAINT’
“THE SCALES OF JUSTICE”


From the IMDb:
Five members of the board of a company called Combined Holdings have all been murdered.

Each of those board members who were murdered (in a way which resembled natural causes) received a postcard telling them that they would die.  This was how Simon Templar was able to suss out the murderer – he had “sent” himself a postcard as well, addressed to his father whom he claimed had been murdered in a similar fashion.  But the father had died from the natural causes which the son would later emulate for his victims.  


However the father had died in January of 1968 and the stamp used on the postcard wasn’t issued until June of that year.  The son had forged the postmark. (O’Bservation - The episode was broadcast on December 1st of 1968, but probably took place in October of that year due to the apparent mildness of the weather in the episode.)


Wishing to learn more about the history of this particular stamp and the adherence to that history in this episode (for the ravenous blogbeast must always be fed), I consulted with renowned stamp expert Dr. Philately via his spokesman Eliot Wagner.

Dr. Philately’s reply:
These stamps are part of the Machin definitive series of UK stamps. Machin is the name of the designer. This series has been ongoing for about 50 years now.

The 2d stamp was issued in 1968. The 3p stamp is not that early. The UK changed from the old non decimal currency to the new decimal currency in 1971. The d is the notation for the old pence (d itself it goes back to the Romans), while p is the notation for the new pence. The 3p stamp was issued in 1971 when the currency change occurred.



He then directed me to Wikipedia:
The Machin series /ˈmeɪtʃɪn/ of postage stamps is the main definitive stamp series in the United Kingdom, used since 5 June 1967. It is the second series to figure the image of Elizabeth II, replacing the Wilding series.

Designed by Arnold Machin, they consist simply of the sculpted profile of the Queen and a denomination, and are almost always in a single colour.

After five decades of service, the series has encompassed almost all changes and innovations in British stamp printing. This has been encouraging an abundant specialised philatelic collectors' market and associated literature.

Arnold Machin's 1964 effigy of the Queen was replaced on British coins in 1984 by an older-looking effigy by Raphael Maklouf. However, the effigy on British Machin stamps has never been updated, and the last proposals to these ends were rejected by the Queen herself.


For more information… information… information, click here.

BCnU!




          The @protestinstitut continues its series of protest surveys. In cooperation with colleagues from they will be at the global #FridaysForFuture this week. https://twitter.com/protestinstitut/status/1105414022751498242 …      Cache   Translate Page      

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          United Kingdom-Morden: Transport services (excl. Waste transport)      Cache   Translate Page      
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          United Kingdom-London: Public road transport services      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Written Ministerial Statements — Prime Minister: Exiting the European Union (11 Mar 2019)      Cache   Translate Page      
Theresa May: This is a statement, for the purposes of section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, that political agreement has been reached. I am of the opinion that an agreement in principle has been reached in negotiations under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union on the substance of:the arrangements for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, andthe framework...
          BOTANICA      Cache   Translate Page      

Synopsis: A garden-center employee fears his possible infertility and realizes that sometimes you have to swallow your pride to let love overcome.

Director: Noël Loozen
Writers: Joeri Kloppert, Noël Loozen
Stars: Sytske van der Ster, Guido Pollemans, Jiri Loozen, Olivia Lonsdale, Victor Peeters
Cinematographer: Tim Kerbosch
Production company: Halal Amsterdam
Production: Max de Wolf

Festival list:

Nederlands Film Festival, Netherlands (20 – 29 September, 2017)
Gouden Kalf Competition
Warsaw Film Festival, Poland (13 – 22 October, 2017)
Short Film Competition
Brest European Short Film Festival, France (7 – 12 November, 2017)
Special program
Exground Filmfest, Germany (17 – 26 November, 2017)
Supporting film screening
Porny Days – Film Kunst Festival, Switzerland (24 – 26 November, 2017)
Short Film Competition
International Short Film Festival Leuven, Belgium (2 – 9 December, 2017)
European Competition
Eindhovens Film Festival, the Netherlands (6 – 10 December, 2017)
Official Selection
Zubroffka – International Short Film Festival, Poland (6 – 10 December, 2017)
World Wide Shorts Competition
Limburg Film Festival, the Netherlands (12 – 14 January, 2018)
Korte Film Competitie
La Boca Erotica Film Festival, Spain (February, 2018)
Landshut Short Film Festival, Germany (14 – 19 March, 2018)
Official Competition
Aspen ShortsFest, United States (3 – 8 April, 2018)
Official Competition
Go Short – International Short Film Festival Nijmegen, the Netherlands (11 – 15 April, 2018)
Dutch Competition
Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, United States (12 – 18 April, 2018)
Official Selection
cellu l’art Short Film Festival, Germany (24 – 29 April, 2018)
International Competition Won: Youth Award
Cinema Perpetuum Mobile International Short Film Festival, Belarus (28 April – 1 May, 2018)
Thematic program: Taboo
Maryland Film Fest, United States (2 – 6 May, 2018)
Shorts Selection
Seattle International Film Festival, United States (17 May – 10 June, 2018)
Short Film Competition
Figari Film Fest, Italy (16 – 24 June, 2018)
International Short Film Competition
Palm Springs International ShortFest, United States (19 – 25 June, 2018)
Official Selection
NexT – International Film Festival, Romania (22 – 26 June, 2018)
International Competition
Valencia International Film Festival Cinema Jove, Spain (22 – 29 June, 2018)
Short Film Competition
Lago Film Fest International Festival of Short and Documentaries, Italy (20 – 28 July, 2018)
International Competition
Indie Street Film Festival, United States (21 – 25 July, 2018)
Official Selection
Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art, Ukraine (6 – 12 August, 2018)
International Competition
La Guarimba International Film Festival, Italy (7 – 11 August, 2018)
Short Fiction Competition
En Plein Public, Netherlands (8 – 24 August, 2018)
Official Selection
Zomerparkfeest, the Netherlands (9 – 12 August, 2018)
Short Film Program
Concorto Film Festival, Italy (18 – 25 August, 2018)
Special Program : Deep Night
Portobello Film Festival, United Kingdom (30 August – 6 September, 2018)
Dutch Focus
Quebec City Film Festival, Canada (13 – 22 September, 2018)
International Competition
Calgary International Film Festival, Canada (19 – 30 September, 2018)
Official Selection
Middle Coast Film Festival, United States (21 – 23 September, 2018)
Official Selection Won: Best Actor
Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival, United States (27 – 30 September, 2018)
Official Competition
Edmonton International Film Festival, United States (27 September – 6 October, 2018)
Official Selection
Timishort Film Festival, Romania (3 – 7 October, 2018)
International Competition
Drunken Film Fest Oakland, United Stated (7 – 12 October, 2018)
Official Selection
BRNO 16 International Short Film Festival, Czech Republic (10 – 13 October, 2018)
International Competition
Adelaide Film Festival, Australia (10 – 21 October, 2018)
Official Selection
15 Short Film Festival, United States (14 October, 2018)
DTLA Film Festival, United States (17 – 21 October, 2018)
Competition
shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival, Switzerland (18 – 29 October, 2018)
International Competition
Filmets Badalona Film Festival, Spain (19 – 28 October, 2018)
Official Selection
Kurz.Film.Spiele International Short Film Festival, Germany (20 – 21 October, 2018)
Official Competition
Tofifest – International Film Festival, Poland (20 – 28 October, 2018)
ShortCut Film Competition
Soria International Film Festival, Spain (11 – 25 November, 2018)
Out of competition
Fish & Chips International Erotic Film Festival, Italy (17 – 20 January, 2018)
Official Competition Special Mention
Pendance Film Festival, Canada (31 January – 3 February, 2018)
Official Selection
gLocal Film Festival, Italy (5 – 10 March, 2019)
Fish&Chips special
Skepto Film Festival, Italy (3 – 6 April, 2019)
Fish&Chips special
Formentera Film - International Festival, Spain (16 – 19 May, 2019)
Competition

Cast: Noël Loozen


          Re: The Killer Inside Me      Cache   Translate Page      
HELLO EVERYONE.. FEW MUNINETS TO REDY THIS INFOR ON HERPES CURE 2018..
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West Berkshire District Council RG14 5LD Newbury Mark Brown +44 1635519145 mark.brown1@westberks.gov.uk https://www.westberks.gov.uk https://in-tendorganiser.co.uk/westberks https://in-tendhost.co.uk/westberks/aspx/Home https://in-tendhost.co.uk/westberks/aspx/Home Tree Maintenance Services P00000109 Tree Maintenance Services: West Berkshire Council invites applications from suitably experienced organisations who wish to be considered for selection to tender for the provision of tree maintenance services. The contract is expected to commence on 1.7.2019 and will initially be for a period of 5 years with an option to extend for a further 3 years. 1000000 West Berkshire. West Berkshire Council invites applications from suitably experienced organisations who wish to be considered for selection to tender for the provision of tree maintenance services. The contract is expected to commence on 1.7.2019 and will initially be for a period of 5 years with an option to extend for a further 3 years. 1000000 60 5 2019-04-04 12:00 2019-04-17 4 West Berkshire Council Council Offices Newbury RG14 5LD 2019-03-01
          Advocate says forcing passengers to fly Boeing 737 Max 8 is 'unethical' as Sunwing suspends use of aircraft       Cache   Translate Page      

Canadian airlines aren’t doing enough to help customers worried about flying on a type of aircraft that has been grounded around the globe following a deadly crash, according to at least one passenger rights expert.

Numerous countries have banned the Boeing 737 Max 8 from their airspace after one of the planes operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed Sunday minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

The disaster killed 157 passengers and crew, and came less than five months after a 737 Max operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the ocean, killing all 189 people on board. Similarities between the two incidents have stoked concerns about the plane among aviation authorities worldwide.

But while China, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency have suspended flights using the 737 Max, Canada and the United States have not followed suit, and many airlines in those countries are still flying the planes.

Air Canada operates 24 of the Boeing 737 Max planes, while WestJet has 13, and Sunwing four. According to a third-party flight tracking site, Air Canada had 49 flights using the 737 Max 8 scheduled on Wednesday, while WestJet had 38.

In a statement sent late Tuesday night, Sunwing said that while the Federal Aviation Administration had declared the 737 Max 8 air-worthy, the company had decided to “temporarily suspend” its use of the aircraft due to “evolving commercial reasons unrelated to safety, including airspace restrictions being imposed by some of our partner destinations.” The airline said it was in the process of revising its schedule and hoped to minimize the impact to customers. The planes make up less than 10 per cent of its fleet.

Read more:

Boeing 737s continue to fly Canadian skies despite being grounded abroad

Ottawa considers ‘all potential actions’ as it weighs safety of Boeing 737 Max aircraft

Ottawa exempts Boeing 737 Max jets from standards meant to minimize passenger injuries

The companies hadn’t committed to waiving change or cancellation fees for customers worried about flying on the 737 Max, as of Tuesday evening.

Whitby resident Jonathan Holliwell was in Maui with his wife and three daughters on Tuesday, scheduled to return home Sunday on a 737 Max operated by Air Canada. He said the couple was considering switching to a WestJet flight using a different type of aircraft, but they were concerned they would face significant upfront costs.

“She’s just not in the mood to get on that plane going home,” Holliwell said of his wife. “I’m a little concerned, for sure. Who wouldn’t be?”

He said he was disappointed Air Canada hadn’t committed to waiving its fees.

“Our rights are nothing right now,” he said.

Gabor Lukacs, founder of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group, said it’s wrong of airlines not to let worried passengers change planes at no cost. Although there is no conclusive evidence that the 737 Max is unsafe, he said, other countries’ decisions to bar the planes means passengers’ fears “are grounded in real fact.”

“I would say the risk at this point is such that forcing passengers to fly on that (model of aircraft) is unethical,” Lukacs said.

Lukacs said that the government deciding to ground all Max 8s would be the “nuclear option,” but recommended Canadian officials do so unless airlines make it easier for worried customers to change flights.

“Because the airlines are not willing to do what is reasonable, there is really only one way for the governments to protect passengers, which is to ground the fleet,” he said.

Air Canada announced Tuesday that it had cancelled four flights between London, U.K., and the Canadian cities of Halifax, N.S., and St. John’s, Nfld., “due to the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority banning all Boeing 737 Max aircraft operations.” The flights had been scheduled to take place between Tuesday and Thursday.

In a statement the airline said it was “working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible through our Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa hubs.” The company advised affected customers that they could change their flights to another date at no charge, but warned that “due to anticipated call volumes, customers can expect delays” reaching call centres.

“Safety is always our overarching principle, and based on real information and data, and ongoing consultations with government safety regulators including Transport Canada and the (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration), we have full confidence in the safety of our fleet,” said Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said that Air Canada has instituted a “flexible rebooking policy” for customers “who for their own personal reasons do not wish fly on the 737.” The policy “includes options to change their flights to another aircraft, if available, space permitting.”

He said the airline would deal with customer requests on a “case by case basis” but didn’t rule out that they could face cancellation or change fees.

Morgan Bell, a spokesperson for Calgary-based WestJet, said none of its flights had been impacted by other countries banning the plane.

“WestJet remains actively involved in discussions with Transport Canada, Boeing and fellow Canadian operators of the Boeing Max 737 aircraft and reassures our guests and employees that we will continue to fly with their safety and best interests at the forefront,” she said.

Bell acknowledged “guests may have questions and concerns surrounding their travel plans” but said “WestJet’s normal change/cancel policies will apply” to any who wish to alter their flights.

According to the company’s website, customers who make changes to flights more than 24 hours after booking can be subject to fees of between $100 and $400. Customers who cancel their flights 24 hours after booking aren’t issued any refund if they booked a basic fare, while some other travel classes are given a credit and charged a cancellation fee of between $100 and $600.

Sunwing didn’t return a request for comment on flight change information.


          Naomi Johnston Joins Jumbla as GM      Cache   Translate Page      
Former Starcom General Manager Naomi Johnston has joined Melbourne animation house Jumbla to drive the studio’s expansion among top-tier advertising clients. Johnston was tapped to build Jumbla’s public relations and acquisition strategy as Group General Manager, responsible for the studio’s Australia and United Kingdom offices. The 20-year industry veteran assumes the newly-created role after a […]
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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit DAVID GREENE, HOST: Let's say you have a flight booked and, given the recent news, you've looked more closely at the type of plane, and it turns out it is a Boeing 737 Max 8. Should you be scared? Should you try and switch flights? Well, today, the United Kingdom joined a handful of other countries in announcing that they are suspending all use of these planes. Here in the United States, the FAA has not done that. Southwest and American fly the 737 Max 8. United flies a similar 737 plane, and they're all still in the air. This is the type of plane that was involved in two fatal crashes in less than five months, including Sunday's crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed 157 people. David Soucie worked for the FAA as a safety regulator. He's co-author of the book "Why Planes Crash." And he joins us this morning. Welcome. DAVID SOUCIE: Hello. Good morning, David. GREENE: Would you board one of these planes right now? SOUCIE: Well, it
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Following the second deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max airliner in just over four months on Sunday, countries around the world — including Australia, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Argentina, Mexico, the United Kingdom, European Union, and India — have grounded the plane until a full investigation can determine whether the two crashes were the result of a flaw in the plane itself. But in the United States, as The Associated Press reports, the federal Aviation Administration has so far refused to order U.S. air carriers to keep their 737 Max planes out of the sky.

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          United Kingdom-Coventry: Patient-transport vehicles      Cache   Translate Page      
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, Wayside House, Wilsons Lane Coventry CV6 6NY Christopher Dobson +44 2476536785 christopher.dobson@covwarkpt.nhs.uk https://www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk/ http://covwark.g2b.info/ Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust 50 Summer Hill Road Birmingham B1 3RB bsmhft.customerrelations@nhs.net https://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/contact-us/ Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Steelhouse Lane Birmingham Birmingham bwc.communications@nhs.net https://bwc.nhs.uk/ University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Birmingham B15 2GW Chris.Hannon@uhb.nhs.uk https://www.uhb.nhs.uk/contact.htm The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust Russells Hall Hospital Dudly Dudley dgft.communications@nhs.net http://www.dgft.nhs.uk Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Delta House West Bromwich B70 9PL bcpft.enquiries@nhs.net https://www.bcpft.nhs.uk Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Sandwell General Hospital West Bromwich B71 4HJ swbh.comms@nhs.net http://www.swbh.nhs.uk/ Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust Trafalgar House, Dudley DY2 8PS dwmh.communication@nhs.net http://www.dwmh.nhs.uk Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Manor Hospital Walsall WS2 9PS kevin.davies@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk https://www.walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk/ Secure Patient Transport OP13 Coventry and Warkwickshire Partnership Trust, acting as lead Trust, are seeking expressions of interest from potential providers of Secure Patient Transport (also known as Mental Health Transport) for the purposes of early market engagement. Secure patient transport shall include the transportation of patients who are detained under the mental health act sectioned and voluntary patients at risk of absconding; causing harm to themselves, others and/or in the interests of safety. For more information on this please contact Christopher Dobson christopher.dobson@covwarkpt.nhs.uk 8000000 2 Subject to change: Lot 1: Secure Patient Transport without Medical Intervention; Lot 2: Secure Patient Transport with Medical Intervention. This may involve a joint procurement on behalf of a number of NHS Trusts and/or other Health bodies predominately within the Counties of the West Midlands and Warwickshire. who may award on an individual basis. Secure Patient Transport 1 & 2 West Midlands (ENGLAND). Secure patient transport shall include the transportation of patients who are detained under the mental health act sectioned and voluntary patients at risk of absconding; causing harm to themselves, others and/or in the interests of safety. Journeys may include but not restricted to: — emergency transfer to and from A&E departments transfers between mental health units, — to and from physical health appointments where transport on routine PTS is not suitable, — admission and discharge from mental health units, — emergency transfer to and from A&E departments where conveyance in a 999 ambulance may not be appropriate due to safety reasons and risk, — collection of patients from police stations transferring patients to mental health units and/or Acute Trusts, — return to mental health units following patients absconding, — out of area transport requests from healthcare and other professionals. Coventry and Warkwickshire Partnership Trust, acting as lead Trust, are seeking expressions of interest from potential providers of secure patient transport (also known as mental health transport) for the purposes of early market engagement. 2019-11-01 If you are interested in tendering for this opportunity please contact Chris Dobson in Procurement at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust christopher.dobson@covwarkpt.nhs.uk for more information. This may involve a joint procurement on behalf of a number of NHS Trusts and/or other Health bodies predominately within the Counties of the West Midlands and Warwickshire. These may include but not restricted to as listed in the notice To view this notice, please click here: https://www.delta-esourcing.com/delta/viewNotice.html?noticeId=382219949 GO Reference: GO-201937-PRO-14265266 2019-03-07
          Heckfield Place, United Kingdom      Cache   Translate Page      
A country haven sculpted over centuries by ancient heather, woodland, garden and meadows, Heckfield Place is a beautiful piece of English history.
https://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/heckfield-place
          Intern - Excelitas Technologies - St. Asaph      Cache   Translate Page      
Mechanical, Electronic, Mechatronic, Process or Chemical Engineering preferred. St Asaph, UK, United Kingdom.... £345 a week
From Excelitas Technologies - Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:09:34 GMT - View all St. Asaph jobs
          Engineering Manager - Excelitas Technologies - St. Asaph      Cache   Translate Page      
Location: St Asaph, , United Kingdom Description The Engineering Manager is responsible for all engineering and technical disciplines contributing to an...
From Excelitas Technologies - Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:10:31 GMT - View all St. Asaph jobs
          Industrial Engineer - Excelitas Technologies - St. Asaph      Cache   Translate Page      
Hold a degree in an engineering discipline (Electrical, Mechanical, Industrial) . St Asaph, UK, United Kingdom....
From Excelitas Technologies - Thu, 27 Dec 2018 20:09:35 GMT - View all St. Asaph jobs
          “Festival of Hunting”      Cache   Translate Page      

It’s not too early to make plans for special event coming up on July 17, 2019, especially if you’re already in Europe. The historic and prestigious, “Festival of Hunting” is the greatest gathering of hounds in the United Kingdom, one of the few times that hunting people come from all over Britain and Ireland to […]

The post “Festival of Hunting” appeared first on National Purebred Dog Day®.


          3/13/2019: FRONT PAGE: Watson’s Cullen Group owes $100m-plus      Cache   Translate Page      

the rich lister a big bill in the process. Watson moved to the United Kingdom in 2002, selling his personal effects, closing his bank accounts and cancelling credit cards in New Zealand. He restructured his business affairs so that shares in Cullen...
          Offer - How Does This Dietary Supplement Works? - USA      Cache   Translate Page      
VexGen Keto is the latest prescribed dietary supplement that promotes healthy weight loss by boosting the ketosis process. It arrives with 100% refund back policy and is available for a free trial period so you need to grab this opportunity for safe and quick fat burning results. Mind reading more about this supplement? If not then go ahead and read this brief review given to brush your knowledge. It is a prescription dietary supplement that requires no special instruction as you need to take one capsule twice daily with an empty stomach. Drink a lot of water to keep the body hydrated and avoids taking oily and junk foods for a better health condition. If you are a minor or having high blood pressures do not take the pills. VexGen Keto Shark Tank might be useful for all healthy adults in busting their fat structure making body uneven with the shape. It is clinically composed weight management formula that has helped millions to achieve their goals and get the slim and lean shape. The manufacturer of the supplement is Media LLC based at the United Kingdom that deals in varieties of online health and wellness products, tested clinically and GMP certified. They are helping individuals since the past five years to achieve healthy weight loss goals and have never experienced any complaints ever from the user side. They also claim that every single product is loaded with botanical extracts and is free from artificial fillers or hazardous chemicals. You may check the official website to know more about their product collections and price list. It improves the metabolic rate for fast fat absorption to energy level making an impact with quick calorie burn process. You are able to produce long workout or exercise hours with a boost to energy and strength level that keeps you active and performing. The hunger craving gets reduced making you feel full throughout with reduced munching habits.https://www.timesforhealth.com/vexgen-keto-pills/
          How Valentine’s Day is Celebrated in 28 Countries around the World?      Cache   Translate Page      
Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of this centuries-old holiday, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England.

The Legend of St. Valentine

The history of Valentine’s Day – and the story of its patron saint – is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and, most importantly, romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

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Origins of Valentine’s Day: A Pagan Festival In February

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

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Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romance

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

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What would you do if your beloved gave you a wooden spoon on Valentine's Day?

Although you might be confused if you are used to chocolates in a heart-shaped box, if you happen to have grown up in Wales, that would be perfectly normal. Young men there typically present "love spoons" to their paramours, a tradition inspired by Welsh sailors creating homemade gifts for their sweethearts while at sea. The "love spoon" exchange, along with many other global Valentine's Day traditions, shows that old-fashioned romance is not dead.

Countries around the world have one-of-a-kind customs that range from Estonia's "love bus" rides for singles to mass weddings in the Philippines. While the actual practices can vary in date and target audience (some traditions specifically celebrate the singles among us!), citizens of many countries set aside time to commemorate some sort of commitment. In some places, the difference in approach to the day is even more stark, as public displays of love and affection are outright banned on February 14.

While you probably will not want to adopt all of the cultural customs highlighted below, read and consider those, which may refresh your romantic relationship, show your creative approach, and make this day unforgettable for your partner and yourself. Or, maybe, make up your own unique ritual to show your love and affection.

1.       USA
In the United States of America, there have been many varieties of cards given over the course of the years, some of which have often been rude or even quite cruel in their humor. In the times of the Civil War, cards were flagged with rich colors accompanied by patriotic and/or political motifs. Early American valentine cards were especially lithographed and hand-colored, beautiful and distinctive in design, produced with intricate lace paper and decorated with such ornaments as beads, sea shells, cones, berries and all manner of seeds. Cards were also available decorated with seaweed or moss, in addition to dried and/or artificial flowers, all of which were attached to a string which was pulled and could then be suspended, thereby creating a three-dimensional picture. Many early American cards were imported from abroad, given the poor quality of American paper at the time which was not particularly suitable for embossing. Today, American children usually exchange valentines with their friends and there may even be a classroom party.

2.       Canada
Valentine’s Day festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Canada. Valentine's Day balls and parties are organized all over the country where people express love for their spouses and sweethearts and enjoy to the hilt. Roses, chocolates, candies and cards are the most popular gifts for the romantic occasion. As a tradition, children in Canada exchange Valentine's Day gifts with their friends. In several schools, classroom Valentine's Day Parties are organized where children put all the valentines in a decorated box. Later, teacher or a child distributes the cards. Kids are encouraged to prepare handmade valentine. Many children also gift fancy Valentine’s Day card to parents and teachers. Songs, skits, plays and concerts are also organized by schools and societies to celebrate Valentine's Day. Students in senior school hold Valentine's Day dance parties to cherish the joyful festival.

3.       United Kingdom
The aura of mystery is alive and well on Valentine's Day in the U.K. In a tradition dating back to the Victorian era, Brits traditionally send anonymous valentines to their romantic interests. The Victorians believed signing your name on the card was considered bad luck. The U.K. also claims responsibility for starting the practice of giving roses on Valentine's Day, since that flower was traditionally seen as the favorite of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

4.       Australia
During the Australian gold rush period, miners who were suddenly in possession of money from the new-found wealth of the Ballarat Mines were willing to pay a princely sum for elaborate valentines and merchants in the country would ship orders amounting to thousands of pounds at a time. The most extravagant Australian valentines were made of a satin cushion, perfumed and decorated in an ornate manner with flowers and colored shells. Some might even be adorned with a taxidermied humming bird or bird of paradise. This treasure, contained within a neatly decorated box, was highly valued, being both fashionable and extremely expensive.

5.       Wales
So it's not technically a Valentine's Day tradition, but rather than professing their love on February 14, the Welsh celebrate St. Dwynwen's Day on January 25. Wales Online explains that St. Dwynwen is the "Welsh patron saint of lovers" and men traditionally give women hand-carved wooden spoons as a romantic gesture. The custom is thought to have originated when Welsh sailors carved designs into wooden spoons while at sea to bring back to the women at home.

6.       Scotland
In Scotland, Valentine's Day is celebrated with a festival. At this festival, there is an equal number of unmarried males and females, each of whom write their name (or a made-up name) on a piece of paper which is then folded and placed into a hat...one hat for the ladies and one for the men. The females then draw a name from the hat containing the men's names and vice versa. Of course, it is highly likely that the two drawn names will not match, in which event, it is usually expected that the male partner with the female who selected his name. This rite having been completed, the company split up into couples and gifts are given to the ladies. The females would then pin the name of their partner over their hearts or on their sleeves. A dance often follows and, at the end of the festival, it is not unusual for marriages to take place. According to another Scottish custom, the first young man or woman encountered by chance on the street or elsewhere will become that individual's valentine. Valentine's Day gifts in Scotland are frequently given by both parties in the form of a love-token or true-love-knot.

7.       Germany
In Germany, it has become customary for the young man of a courting couple to present his beloved with flowers on February 14. Valentine gifts in Germany are usually in the shape of love tokens, complete with endearing messages. However, these are not distributed solely on Valentine's Day, but on any occasion. Even early German baptismal certificates or marriage certificates were considered at one time to have been valentines, but were more likely simply decorative and pictorial documents which contained lovely verses.

8.       France
In France, a custom known as "drawing for" once occurred. Unmarried individuals, both young and not so young, would go into houses facing each other and begin calling out across from one window to another, pairing-off with the chosen partner. If the young man failed to be particularly enthralled with his valentine, he would desert her. As a result, a bonfire would be lit later where the ladies could burn images of the ungrateful sweetheart and verbally abuse him in a loud tone as the effigy burned. This ritual was eventually abandoned since it left much room for nastiness, ridicule or even outright malice and the French government finally handed-down a decree officially banning the custom. Elegant French greetings cards known as cartes d'amities, which contained tender messages, were given not totally as a Valentine but chiefly as a result of a fashion which was popular in England at the time.

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9.       Italy
In Italy, Valentine's Day was once celebrated as a Spring Festival, held in the open air