jueves, 25 de marzo de 2010

The renaissance art


Auteur: Raphael.

Work: Painting.

Type of work: Is a oilpainting handmade.

Funcion or subject:
The Virgin Mary helps the Child Jesus to mount on a lamb under the look of San Jose, which rests on a rod.

Decoration or Characteristics: The colors and brushstrokes are a very good match to the original. The scene places in an idyllic landscape in that can be recognized to the bottom a church, the tower of a castle and some houses. In the Christian simbología, the Lamb refers to Christ's Passion.


Auteur: Donatello.

Work: Statue.

Type of work: Bronze statue.

Function or Subject: The statue shows the David's victory on Goliat.

Decoration or Characteristics: Donatello shows a teen David, with the foot on Goliat's head, which has just cut with the own sword of his enemy and which david still holds in right hand, with another hand he supports the stone with the one that hurt Goliat. It has the serene expression and covers hi
s head with typical hat of straw of the Toscana of which they fall the locks of hair of the hair he takes also a wreath of leaves of amaranth in clear allusion to the Greek heroism and his feet are born by a few boots. In Goliat's head one finds a worn out helmet to the detail with storied reliefs and plant typical adornments of the first Renaissance.


Auteur: Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera.

Work: Is a monastery.

Type of work: A monastery by granite.

Function or Subject: The king Philiph II gave the orders to construct the monastery to commemorate the victory of San Quintin's battle on the frenchmen on August 10, 1557.

Decoration and Characteristics: Contemplated from out, the monastery of El Escorial looks like an enormous horizontal, closed an hermetic structure splashed by the vertical accents of the towers that surround the central dome. Constructed in granyte his gray mass is warmed reaching dyes glided in his fronts shoutern and western. The roofs realised bassed on slate shine as if it was a question of sloping walls of silver. The solid and closed character accents was even more for the relative smallness of his vains ones which rhythmically aligned pluck his walls. This stile desornament is the element typical of El Escorial. From the exterior of the monastery we can observed the Strap, the Corridors of the Sold and the gradens.

lunes, 22 de marzo de 2010

Marco polo's journey

Marco Polo was a merchant from the Venetian Republic who wrote Il Milione, which introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned, and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married and had 3 children. He died in 1324, and was buried in San Lorenzo.

Marco Polo was accompanied in his trips by his father and uncle (both of whom had been to China previously), though neither of them published any known works about their journeys. The book was translated into many European languages within Marco Polo's lifetime, but the original manuscripts are now lost. About 150 copies in various languages are known to exist. However during copying and translating many errors were made, so there are many differences between the various copies. The first English translation is the Elizabethan version by John Frampton, The most noble and famous travels of Marco Polo.The first attempt to collate manuscripts and provide a critical edition was in a volume of collected travel narratives printed at Venice in 1559.The editor, Giovan Battista Ramusio, collated manuscripts from the first part of the fourteenth century, which he considered to be "perfettamente corretto" ("perfectly correct"). He was of the opinion, not shared by modern scholars, that Marco had first written in Latin, quickly translated into Italian: he had apparently been able to use a Latin version "of marvelous antiquity" lent him by a friend in the Ghisi family of Venice.

The edition of Luigi Foscolo Benedetto, Marco Polo, Il Milione, under the patronage of the Comitato Geografico Nazionale Italiano (Florence: Olschki, 1928,) collated sixty additional manuscript sources, in addition to some eighty that had been collected by Sir Henry Yule, for his 1871 edition. It was Benedetto who identified Rustichello da Pisa, as the original compiler or amanuensis, and his established text has provided the basis for many modern translations: his own in Italian (1932,) and Aldo Ricci's The Travels of Marco Polo (London, 1931).The oldest surviving Polo manuscript is in Old French heavily flavoured with Italian; for Benedetto, this "F' text is the basic original text, which he corrected by comparing it with the somewhat more detailed Latin of Ramusio, together with a Latin manuscript in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.An introduction to Marco Polo is Leonard Olschki, Marco Polo's Asia: An Introduction to His "Description of the World" Called 'Il Milione', translated by John A. Scott (Berkeley:University of California) 1960; it had its origins in the celebrations of the seven hundredth anniversary of Marco Polo's birth.

The women in Al Andalus

This thesis presents an analysis of the Islamic presence in the Peninsula Iberica through a comparison of the ancient society called al-Andalus (711bc-1492bc) and the contemporary Spain, filled with Islamic immigrants, with a particular reference over the Muslim women and their lifestyle. This work is also aimed at discovering the Islamic roots of Spain, going back to its origins and to the history of the people that contributed to the creation of this nation. In order to do my research, I used books and articles from different authors taken from the internet. The first chapter is devoted to a cultural and historical description of the al-Andalus era, and it is focused on all the aspects that characterized this society: the architecture, the way of life in the major cities, the food and the beauty products and the main aspects of the Islamic religion. In the second chapter, it is explained how marriage and family were a fundamental part in the life of Islamic women of al-Andalus, while in the third chapter I present women jobs and activities, stressing the fact that al-Andalus was a quite liberal society, especially in comparison with others from the medieval era. In the last chapter, I shift the focus of the analysis on the present Spain, a nation that often forget or even reject their Islamic roots. I analyze several stereotyped images about the supposed discrimination of Arabic-Muslim women which are widespread in the Occidental culture. Firstly, I identify some topics about the supposed discrimination of Muslim women in general, which are also attributed to Spanish press, then I argue that other factors are more relevant for gender discrimination in Maghreb countries, which are actually important causes of female emigration to Spain. Secondly, I focused on the description of the lifestyle of Islamic women in Spain, and I handle the controversial issue regarding the use of hijab.

jueves, 11 de marzo de 2010

King Henrry VIII of England

Henry VIII was a significant figure in the history of the English monarchy. Although in the great part of his reign he brutally suppressed the influence of the Protestant Reformation in England, a movement having some roots with John Wycliffe in the 14th century, he is more popularly known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry's struggles with Romeº ultimately led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. He remained an advocate for traditional Catholic ceremony and doctrine throughout his life, even after his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church following the annulment of his marriage to first wife Catherine of Aragon and the marriage to his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Royal support for the English Reformation began with his heirs, the devout Edward VI and the renowned Elizabeth I, whilst daughter Mary I temporarily reinstated papal authority over England. Henry also oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542. He is also noted for his six wives, two of whom were beheaded.


Financially, the reign of Henry was a near-disaster. After inheriting a prosperous economy (augmented by seizures of church lands) heavy spending and high taxes damaged the economy.
For example, Henry expanded the Royal Navy from 5 to 53 ships. He loved palaces; he began with a dozen and died with fifty-five, in which he hung 2,000 tapestries. He took pride in showing off his collection of weapons, which included exotic archery equipment, 2,250 pieces of land ordnance and 6,500 handguns.
From 1514 to 1529 Thomas Wolsey (1473–1530), a Catholic cardinal, served as lord chancellor and practically controlled domestic and foreign policy for the young king. He negotiated the truce with France that was signaled by the dramatic display of amity on the Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520). He switched England back and forth as an ally of France and the Holy Roman Empire. Wolsey centralized the national government and extended the jurisdiction of the conciliar courts, particularly the Star Chamber. His use of forced loans to pay for foreign wars angered the rich, who were annoyed as well by his enormous wealth and ostentatious living. Wolsey disappointed the king when he failed to secure a quick divorce from Queen Katherine. The treasury was empty after years of extravagance; the peers and people were dissatisfied and Henry needed an entirely new approach; Wolsey had to be replaced. After 16 years at the top he lost power in 1529 and in 1530 was arrested on false charges of treason and died in custody. Henry then took full control of his government.


The wives of Henry VIII were the six queen consorts married to Henry VIII of England between 1509 and 1547.
The six wives (queens consort) of King Henry VIII were, in order: Catherine of Aragon (annulled), Anne Boleyn (annulled then beheaded), Jane Seymour (died, childbed fever). Anne of Cleves (annulled), Katherine Howard (annulled then beheaded), and Catherine Parr. Because annulment legally voids a marriage, technically speaking Henry would have said he had only 2 "wives", but his marriage to Queen Catherine of Aragon was declared legal and valid during the reign of his daughter Queen Mary I. It is often noted that Catherine Parr "survived him"; in fact Anne of Cleves also survived the king and was the last of his queens to die. Of the six queens, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour each gave Henry one child who survived infancy—two daughters and one son, all three of whom would eventually accede to the throne. They were Queen Mary I, Queen Elizabeth I, and King Edward VI.

The catholic monarchs

The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with consanguinity by Sixtus IV. The title of "Catholic King and Queen" was bestowed on them by the Pope Alexander VI. They married on October 19, 1469, in the city of Valladolid; Isabella was eighteen years old and Ferdinand a year younger. Their marriage united both crowns under the same family.


Isabella was named heir to the throne of Castile by her half brother Henry IV of Castile in the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando. She became Queen of Castile in 1474. Her niece, Juana of Castile, attempted to gain the throne by bringing in the foreign help of Afonso V of Portugal. This led tothe War of Castilian Succession. Isabella's supporters came out ahead in 1479 via the Treaty of Alcacovas. Ferdinand became the King of Aragon in 1479; their marriage united the two kingdoms, leading to the beginnings of modern Spain.


The Catholic Monarchs set out to restore royal authority in Spain. To accomplish their goal, they first created a group named the Holy Brotherhood. These men were used as a judicial police force for Spain. To replace the courts, the Catholic Monarchs created the Royal Council, and appointed chief magistrates to run the towns and cities. This establishment of royal authority is known as The Pacification of Castile, and can be seen as one of the crucial steps toward the creation of one of Europe's first strong nation-states.
Ferdinand and Isabella were noted for being the monarchs of the newly-united Spain at the dawn of the modern era. The Kings had a goal of completing the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula and to conquer the Muslim kingdom of Granada. The beginnings of a series of campaigns known as the Granada War began with the attack of Alhama, a city in Andalusia. The attack was led by two Andalusian nobles Rodrigo Ponce de León and Diego de Merlo. The city fell to Andalusian forces in 1492. The Granada War was aided by Pope Sixtus IV by granting the monarchs a tithe and implementing a crusade tax to invest in the war. After 10 years of many battles the Granada War ended in 1492 when the Emir Boabdil surrendered the keys of the Alhambra Palace in Granada to the Castilian soldiers.

jueves, 4 de marzo de 2010

The black death

The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. It is widely thought to have been an outbreak of bubonic plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, but this view has recently been challenged. Usually thought to have started in Central Asia, it had reached the Crimea by 1346. From there, probably carried by fleas residing on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships, it spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe.
The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population, reducing the world's population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400. This has been seen as creating a series of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover. The plague returned at various times, resulting in a larger number of deaths, until it left Europe in the 19th century.

-How was transmitted?

The three forms of the Black Death were transmitted two ways. The septicemic and bubonic plague were transmitted with direct contact with a flea, while the pneumonic plague was transmitted through airborne droplets of saliva coughed up by bubonic or septicemic infected humans.
The bubonic and septicemic plague were transmitted by the the bite of an infected flea. Fleas, humans, and rats served as hosts for the disease. The bacteria (Yersinia pestis) multiplied inside the flea blocking the flea's stomach causing it to be very hungry. The flea would then start voraciously biting a host. Since the feeding tube to the stomach was blocked , the flea was unable to satisfy its hunger. As a result, it continued to feed in a frenzy. During the feeding process, infected blood carrying the plague bacteria , flowed into the human's wound. The plague bacteria now had a new host. The flea soon starved to death.
The pneumonic plague was transmitted differently than the other two forms . It was transmitted through droplets sprayed from the lungs and mouth of an infected person. In the droplets were the bacteria that caused the plague. The bacteria entered the lungs through the windpipe and started attacking the lungs and throat.

-Where did the plague arrive from?

The first recorded appearance of the plague in Europe was at Messina, Sicily in October of 1347. It arrived on trading ships that very likely came from the Black Sea, past Constantinople and through the Mediterranean. This was a fairly standard trade route that brought to European customers such items as silks and porcelain, which were carried overland to the Black Sea from as far away as China.

-How did the Black Death effect European civilization?

It affected Europe's population and also its economy. Changes in the size of civilization led to changes in trade, the Church, music and art, and many other things.
The Black Death killed off a massive portion of Europe's population. The plague is more effective when it attacks weakened people and Europe at the time was already weakened by exhaustion of the soil due to poor farming, the introduction of more sheep which reduced the land available for corn, and persistent Scottish invasions.
Fleas infected with the Bubonic Plague would jump from rats to travelers, killing millions and infesting the continent with world shaking fear. Normal people were tormented by the threat of death, causing them to change their views on leisure, work, and art. Even children suffered.

-What changes produced in the economic?

The economy was probably hit the hardest of all the aspects of Europe. The biggest problem was that valuable artisan skills disappeared when large numbers of the working class died. Therefore,those who had skills became even more valuable than the rich people. The society structure began to change giving formally poor laborers more say. The peasants and artisans demanded higher wages. Serfs seeking liberation from tilling their lord's land were told by decree and statue to return to their master's duties. The poor people saw so much death they wanted to enjoy life. Serfs began to leave their land and not engage in the planting of crops. Unattended crops and stray animals died of starvation because of the lack of care. Several domesticated animals began to roam the forest. Farming communities became rare. The lack of sufficient law enforcement personnel promoted lawlessness. People called "Bechini" pillaged homes, murdering and raping people. They dressed in red robes with red masks and only their eyes showed. The horror of the Black Death had taken on a new victim, the economy.