Saturday, February 26, 2005

Deanna's World: Reflections of the Renaissance

Deanna's World: Reflections of the Renaissance. Underlines the creativity of the Renaissance by including artwork, literature, historical facts, and specific biographical information. Featured artists include Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. You may wish to turn the sound off as the music gets annoying real fast.

From the site:

The Renaissance was an era of beautiful artwork and structures which flourished all over western Europe. Although it began in Italy where there was always a residue of classical-styled architecture, it might have been expected to appear first in Rome. During the 14th and early 15th centuries, however, Rome's political situation was very unfavorable for artistic endeavor, unlike that of Florence.

From Florence, the early Renaissance style spread gradually over Italy. It is noticeable that in the architecture of northern Italy, there was a greater interest in the depictions of pattern and colour. Colour was emphasized by the use of diverse marble inlays, as in the facade of the church of the Certosa di Pavia or in most Venetian architecture. The most popular building material of northern Italy was brick with terra-cotta trim and decoration, a combination of a pattern of light and dark, which was created over an entire building. When stone was used, the blocks were cut with facets forming a diamond pattern on the facade. This was actually a decorative treatment of rustication. Even the classical orders were affected by this decorative approach. Classical pilasters often had panels of candelabra and arabesque decoration in delicate relief on the surfaces of their shafts; the lower third of a column was frequently carved with relief sculpture.

After the creation of several impressive Roman structures, the early Renaissance was on its way to newer heights. The artists began to be more expressive and creative in their designs.
The early Renaissance in Rome was rapidly approaching the simplicity, monumentality, and massiveness of the High Renaissance of the early 16th century. It renounced the exploits of the Medieval master-mansions, and defined beauty as fidelity at the expense of all other considerations. Some of the most noted artists, architects, and sculptors of the High Renaissance include Donato Bramante, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

Friday, February 25, 2005

History of Dominica

History of Dominica. This is a general overview to the history of the island nation of Dominica.

From the site:

The island's indigenous Arawak people were expelled or exterminated by Caribs in the 14th century. Columbus landed there in November 1493. Spanish ships frequently landed on Dominica during the 16th century, but fierce resistance by the Caribs discouraged Spain's efforts at settlement.

In 1635, France claimed Dominica. Shortly thereafter, French missionaries became the first European inhabitants of the island. Carib incursions continued, though, and in 1660, the French and British agreed that both Dominica and St. Vincent should be abandoned. Dominica was officially neutral for the next century, but the attraction of its resources remained; rival expeditions of British and French foresters were harvesting timber by the start of the 18th century.

Largely due to Dominica's position between Martinique and Guadeloupe, France eventually became predominant, and a French settlement was established and grew. As part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris that ended the seven years' war, the island became a British possession. In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, the French mounted a successful invasion with the active cooperation of the population, which was largely French. The 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, returned the island to Britain. French invasions in 1795 and 1805 ended in failure.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Analysis of the Holocaust

Analysis of the Holocaust. This is an essay which examines the big picture of the Nazi Holocaust. It is a little weak on the references but it is a worthwhile read for someone who wants a basic introduction to the topic.

From the site:

Of all the examples of injustice against humanity in history, the Jewish Holocaust has to be one of the most prominent. In the period of 1933 to 1945, the Nazis waged a vicious war against Jews and other "lesser races". This war came to a head with the "Final Solution" in 1938. One of the end results of the Final Solution was the horrible concentration and death camps of Germany, Poland, and other parts of Nazi-controlled Europe. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, people around the world were shocked by final tallies of human losses, and the people responsible were punished for their inhuman acts. The Holocaust was a dark time in the history of the 20th century.

One can trace the beginnings of the Holocaust as far back as 1933, when the Nazi party of Germany, lead by Adolf Hitler, came to power. Hitler's anti-Jew campaign began soon afterward, with the "Nuremberg Laws", which defined the meaning of being Jewish based on ancestry. These laws also forced segregation between Jews and the rest of the public. It was only a dim indication of what the future held for European Jews.

Anti-Jewish aggression continued for years after the passing of the Nuremberg Laws. One of these was the "Aryanization" of Jewish property and business. Jews were progressively forced out of the economy of Germany, their assets turned over to the government and the German public. Other forms of degradation were pogroms, or organized demonstrations against Jews. The first, and most infamous, of these pogroms was Krystallnacht, or "The night of broken glass". This pogrom was prompted by the assassination of Ernst von Rath, a German diplomat, by Herschel Grymozpan in Paris on November 7th, 1938. Two days later, an act of retaliation was organized by Joseph Gobbels to attack Jews in Germany. On the nights of November 9th and 10th, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed, 175 synagogues demolished, nearly 100 Jews had been killed, and thousands more had been injured, all for the assassination of one official by a Jew ("Holocaust, the." Microsoft Encarta 96). In many ways, this was the first major act of violence to Jews made by the Nazis. Their intentions were now clear.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

American Powderhorns

American Powderhorns. A collection of antiques American powderhorns dating as far back as the French and Indian War. Also muskets, Kentucky Rifles and flintlock pistols.

From the site:

The powderhorn was the companion to every musket in early America. Carried by huntsman, soldier and explorer alike, the powderhorn is an original American art form. They would vary from crude carvings to elegant scrimshaw, depicting scenes from nature, maps, and battles to verse and history.

The horns displayed on this site are from the private collection of Rich Nardi. Rich has been fascinated by colonial American antiques since childhood, and has been collecting now for almost 30 years.

Rich also has researched many of the pieces in his collection; through books, public records and even the US Congress. From horns to Kentucky rifles to sabers - This collection represents the birth of a nation and the people who made it happen.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Elizabethan Heraldry

Elizabethan Heraldry. Includes a history of heraldry through the renaissance, information on officers of arms in England and a primer of blazonry.

From the site:

The early histories of heralds and armory are roughly contemporary but separate stories. Heralds were originally free-lancers who specialized in the running and scoring of tournaments. Early (12th and 13th century) payment records lump them in with minstrels (i.e. they were considered a specialist "sub-class" of minstrels). Heralds were migratory, going from tournament to tournament and had an unsavory reputation in this period (medieval "carnies"). Period romances refer to them as lazy (i.e. "get a real job!").

Armory originated in the 12th century in the Anglo-Norman lands and quickly spread to much of Europe. At that time the full face helm came into vogue making it difficult to identify armored men in battle and in tournaments (which were free-for-all melees in this period, far different from the formalized jousts of Elizabethan times). Great lords (and soon thereafter all knights) decorated their shields and surcoats ("coats of arms") with distinctive designs--their "arms".

Heralds became experts at identifying knights by their arms since that was part of the herald’s job as a tourney officiant. The next step was for heralds to start recording arms; they developed armorials-a reference book or roll picturing or describing (blazoning) arms. Since heralds were familiar with arms they were consulted by knights wishing to assume arms. The herald could tell the knight if their desired design conflicted with an established one ("Certes, sir, a red shield with three gold lions passant would look smashing but those arms are already taken by the king of England").

Monday, February 21, 2005

History of Denmark

History of Denmark. This is a decent overview to the history of the European nation of Denmark although the emphasis is on modern history.

From the site:

During the Viking period (9th-11th centuries), Denmark was a great power based on the Jutland Peninsula, the Island of Zealand, and the southern part of what is now Sweden. In the early 11th century, King Canute united Denmark and England for almost 30 years.

Viking raids brought Denmark into contact with Christianity, and in the 12th century, crown and church influence increased. By the late 13th century, royal power had waned, and the nobility forced the king to grant a charter, considered Denmark's first constitution. Although the struggle between crown and nobility continued into the 14th century, Queen Margrethe I succeeded in uniting Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland under the Danish crown. Sweden and Finland left the union in 1520; however, Norway remained until 1814. Iceland, in a "personal union" under the king of Denmark after 1918, became independent in 1944.

The Reformation was introduced in Denmark in 1536. Denmark's provinces in today's southwestern Sweden were lost in 1658, and Norway was transferred from the Danish to the Swedish crown in 1814, following the defeat of Napoleon, with whom Denmark was allied.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Prehistory of Ontario

The Prehistory of Ontario. Information about the palaeo-Indians of Ontario, in particular their tools, and their development into the modern woodland tribes of Ontario today.

From the site:

One of the questions most frequently asked of archaeologists who study Ontario's prehistoric past is, "to which tribe did these people belong?"

The names used by archaeologists to describe and sort evidence of past peoples do not represent tribal names or specific cultures. Names such as "Point Peninsula" or "Blackduck" are simply used to describe the people who left behind collections of artifacts, distinct from those left by other peoples and other times. Apart from in very rare cases, it is not possible to associate a particular archaeological 'culture', 'tradition' or 'complex' with a specific tribe. Throughout the long span of prehistory, the people that lived in this province certainly had names for themselves. Unfortunately, these names are lost to us.

Throughout the text of this program you will find frequent references to 'Iroquoian' , 'Algonkian' or 'Siouan' people. These are not tribal names, but indicate that the people being discussed spoke a language belonging to the 'Iroquoian' , 'Algonkian' or 'Siouan' family of languages.