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Four ways in which Leonardo da Vinci was ahead of his time

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Republication from The Conversation

 

The prototype design of Da Vinci’s “tank”

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Leonardo da Vinci is generally recognised as one of the great figures of the Renaissance and one of the greatest ever polymaths. As the world marks the 500th anniversary of his death, it’s important to look at some of the ways in which he showed that – as well as being a painter, sculptor and engineer – he was a thinker who was way ahead of his time.

Engineering – Dr Hywel Jones

Leonardo da Vinci is renowned as much for his inventions as his works of art, studies of architecture and anatomical drawings. The documents that survive show us his ideas for a wide range of devices. They include some of the first concepts for gliders, helicopters, parachutes, diving suits, cranes, gearboxes and many types of weapons of war. Many of these may be seen in use today, having taken the best part of 400 years to become practical realities.

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Venetian expansion part II

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More maps on the Venetian territorial and commercial expansion. The first map notes the Venetian territorial expansion in North Italy and Dalmatia till 1509. The second image is a plan/depiction of the city in 1761.

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Venetian expansion part I

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Maps on the Venetian territorial and commercial expansion.
The first map (Wikimedia commons) notes the initial Venetian territory (dark red color), annexations till the 15th cent (red), annexations till 1797 (light red), temporary annexations (pink), principal trade routes (yellow), main Venetian emporia and the hostile Ottoman Empire (green).

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The origins of modern France and Germany: partition of the Frankish Kingdom (843)

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Partitions of the initial Frankish kingdom.
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Some interesting maps on the partition of the Frankish Kingdom by the treaties of Verdun (843) and Mersen (870). By the former treaty, the initial Frankish empire was divided into a West Frankish kingdom (ancestor state of modern France), an East Frankish kingdom (ancestor state of modern Germany) and Lotharingia in the middle. By the treaty of Mersen, the Kingdom of Lothair was limited in modern North Italy and Burgundy.

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Crusades

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Some interesting maps on the crusades and the states of the cruaders in Syria c.1100 AD.

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ROME MUST BE DESTROYED (Part II)

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ALEXANDER
Alexander the Great goes ashore in Asia (Minor). Artwork  by Tom Lovell.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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Continued from PART I

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I go on with some more text from my historical novel “Rome must be destroyed ” which belongs to the sub-category of Historical Fiction. For more info and text, read PART I. A reminder of the plot: Alexander the Great has not died in 323 BC (year of his death in reality). He goes on living and invades Italy, Carthage and the Western Mediterranean. The peoples of those regions (Italians, Carthaginians, Libyans, Celtiberians, Gauls and many others) fight against him under the leadership of Rome, Carthage and Samnium. The hero of my book is not a Greek but a Roman (Aelius Sembronius Vulca), originally a mercenary of Alexander and then an enemy of him. After a series of diplomatic and strategic detours, bloody battles and –finally – total warfare, the war results…..
The first part of the novel (Sogdiana) takes place in the steppes of Central Asia (modern Uzbekistan), the second part (Return) in Italy, the third (Carthage) in Carthage, the fourth and the fifth……
This is the first book of a trilogy that I wrote on this subject.

I apologize in case that the translation in English is not ”literary” enough (or maybe it is!). Copyright is mine, thereby for a probable reproduction of this text, please send to me an e-mail message.

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SOGDIANA

[continued]

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All the barbarians were dead, except two women. The older one had the common Asiatic appearance. Her heavy wound indicated that she was running out of time. The other woman had an uncanny beauty, a real temptation for us men from the Inner Sea. She was young and diminutive. We were impressed by her narrow slanted eyes that looked like reptilian, her protruding cheek bones in her face below the eyes, her small slender nose and her very pale, almost yellow skin. Her body which was silhouetted below her thin leather dress, appeared to be well formed. Her breasts were small, but firm and well rounded.

I knew that most of the Sauromatae people resembled in appearance to the Asiatics. I now verified from this woman and her other dead comrades, that some resembled to the Serae and the Phryni who live afar in the East, beyond India, around a large Yellow river as they call it. I have seen a few Serae merchants at Farthest Alexandria. They had the same strange appearance and the same yellowish skin. The local Sogdians speaking about them, say that they are exceptionally civilised, their kingdoms are powerful and their armies are worthy of the Greek ones. They may say it to tease the Macedonians!
Volsinius the Campanian who had captured her, was most enchanted by the reptilian-eyed woman.
“That is my trophy!” said with joy. He could not wait for the moment to enjoy her. He dragged her holding her stiffly by the hair, whilst she pounded and kicked him. Three of the soldiers, who were passionately looking at her, approached the young girl. They wanted to taste her … If they wanted her Volsinius was unable to deny. He had the right to enjoy the woman first and keep her for his own, after the others had done with her. However the Italian mercenary did not want to share the girl and he was holding tightly his bloodstained spear. Centauros who had seen the threatening situation spoke.
“We don’t have time for this. We are leaving immediately! “.
“We won’t be long Centauros …” said Numerius.
“The Sauromatae we killed were few. They surely belong to a larger raiding party. Somewhere, close by, more enemies are lurking…. “

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