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27 MAY
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OXGN price chartOn a May 27:
2003 The Swedish biopharmaceutical company Oxigene Inc. (OXGN) announces that it is forming a partnership with the charity Cancer Research UK to complete the preclinical and phase I trials of its compound OXi4503, designed to shut down the flow of blood to a tumor and starve it. On the NASDAQ 5.3 million of the 12.7 million OXGN shares are traded, surging from their previous close of $2.80 to an intraday high of $4.60 and close at $4.35. They had traded as low as $0.78 as recently as 26 December 2002 and as high as $26.00 on 06 March 2000. [5~year price chart >]
2002 The United Nations opens a 5-day session on slavery. Anti-Slavery International publishes a report according to which there are some 27 million slaves in the world, citing the following facts, among others. Millions of girls working as domestics are being forced into sexual slavery. In Sudan, 5000 to 14'000 persons have been abducted into slavery since 1983. Hundreds of boys aged four to 10 are taken each year, primarily from South Asia to Gulf countries, especially the UAE, to race camels, a dangerous and sometimes fatal sport.
click for more2001 Sun Myung Moon gets Catholic Archbishop married.
      In a group marriage ceremony presided by Sun Myung Moon, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 71, weds Marie Sung, 43, an acupuncturist from South Korea, which Moon had designated for him that same week. The Milingos plan to move to Africa.
      Milingo was archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, but had to resign in 1983 because of his practices of faith healings and exorcisms. He was then given a job at the Vatican in the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, but persisted in his healings and exorcisms. He was retired in 2000. Now he says that the Church must change and everyone must get married. Moon teaches that Jesus' ministry as Messiah failed because he did not marry. Milingo says that he is not leaving the Church and does not care if he is excommunicated.
      [click on photo for enlargement and more details >]
      “His Grace” [should be “His Disgrace”] Archbishop Milingo has a web site in his name, but seemingly made by Moonies, on which views attributed to him are expounded.
     Milingo would soon repent and, after an audience with the Pope, he would go on a retreat and, on 11 August 2001, write a short letter to the Pope saying that he is recommitting his life “in the Catholic church with all my heart, renouncing my living together with Maria Sung and my relationship with the Rev. Moon and the Family Federation for World Peace.” and concluding with the formula: “I am your humble and obedient servant.”— MORE
1999 The international war crimes tribunal indicts Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for war atrocities and the mass deportations carried out by his army in neighboring Kosovo.
1998 Netscape beat market expectations by posting a small profit for the second quarter of 1998. The company was struggling in the wake of an aggressive attack by Microsoft. Ultimately, Netscape's recovery was too late: AOL purchased the company in late 1998.
1996 Yeltsin and Chechen leader sign truce       ^top^
      After nearly eighteen months of bloody conflict, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev reached a truce to end fighting in the breakaway Russian state of Chechnya. With the collapse of the USS.R. in 1991, Chechnya, like many of the other republics encompassed by the former Soviet Union, declared its independence.
      However, unlike other former Soviet states, Chechnya, a Connecticut-sized enclave of some one million largely Muslim people, has traditionally been considered a region of the country of Russia (by the Russians but not by the Chechens). Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who permitted the dissolution of the Soviet Union, would not tolerate an independence movement within Russia proper. On 11 December 1994, in the largest Russian military offensive since the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks poured into Chechnya. Encountering only light resistance, by the evening Russian forces had pushed to the outskirts of the Chechen capital of Grozny, where several thousand Chechen volunteers vowed a bitter fight against the Russians.
      Over the next eighteen months, the Chechen rebels indeed demonstrated a fierce resistance in Grozny, and thousands of Russian troops died. In mid-1996, a cease-fire was declared and Russia troop withdrawal began, and in 1997, Boris Yeltsin and his Chechen counterpart Aslan Maskhadov signed a formal peace agreement, promising an end to hundreds of years of intermittent conflict, although no real compromise on the issue of Chechen independence was made.
1994 CompuServe unveils CD-ROM plan       ^top^
to publish a monthly CD-ROM, including music and movie previews. The company claims the CD-ROM would be the first ever provided by an online service. CompuServe says it will sell the disk to subscribers for $7.95, initially on a bi-monthly (then on a monthly) basis. CD-ROM drives had not yet become standard issue on personal computers: CompuServe estimated that about one-third of the company's two million subscribers owned a CD-ROM drive.
1994 First International World Wide Web Conference ends       ^top^
at CERN, the European Particle Physics Lab in Geneva. The two-day conference attracted some four hundred computer scientists from around the world. Sometimes referred to as the "Woodstock of the Web," the conference generated new ideas and directions for the Web. The Web had evolved at CERN under the guidance of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who in 1989 had started work on a hypertext system that would let documents "link" to each other easily. By 1990, he had created the basic structure of the World Wide Web, which was posted on the Internet in the summer of 1991. Berners-Lee continued to develop the Web through 1993, working with feedback from Internet users. By late 1991 and early 1992, the Web was widely discussed, and in early 1993 Marc Andreessen and other computer graduate students at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released the Mosaic browser, Netscape's precursor.
1991 Ethiopia ordered its troops to lay down their arms in the face of a rebel advance.
1990 Radical Democratic Party holds first political meetings in Moscow.
1987 Jim and Tammy Bakker appears on "Nightline" after PTL scandal
1985 In Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchange instruments of ratification of the pact returning Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.
1979 Pope John Paul consecrates John J. O'Conner as a bishop.
1972 President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet Communist Party chief Leonid Brezhnev sign an arms reduction agreement that becomes known as SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks).
1972 SALT agreements signed.       ^top^
      Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and US President Richard Nixon, meeting in Moscow, sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements. At the time, these agreements were the most far-reaching attempts to control nuclear weapons ever. Nixon and Brezhnev seemed unlikely candidates for the American and Soviet statesmen who would sign a groundbreaking arms limitation treaty. Both men carried reputations as hard-line Cold War warriors. Yet, by 1972, both leaders were eager for closer diplomatic relations between their respective nations. The Soviet Union was engaged in an increasingly hostile war of words with communist China; border disputes between the two nations had erupted in the past few years. The United States was looking for help in extricating itself from the unpopular and costly war in Vietnam. Nixon, in particular, wished to take the American public's mind off the fact that during nearly four years as president, he had failed to bring an end to the conflict. The May 1972 summit meeting between Nixon and Brezhnev was an opportune moment to pursue the closer relations each desired. The most important element of the summit concerned the SALT agreements. Discussions on SALT had been occurring for about two-and-a-half years, but with little progress. During the May 1972 meeting between Nixon and Brezhnev, however, a monumental breakthrough was achieved. The SALT agreements signed on May 27 addressed two major issues. First, they limited the number of antiballistic missile (ABM) sites each country could have to two. (ABMs were missiles designed to destroy incoming missiles.) Second, the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles was frozen at existing levels. There was nothing in the agreements, however, about multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle missiles (single missiles carrying multiple nuclear warheads) or about the development of new weapons. Nevertheless, most Americans and Soviets hailed the SALT agreements as tremendous achievements. In August 1972, the US Senate approved the agreements by an overwhelming vote. SALT-I, as it came to be known, was the foundation for all arms limitations talks that followed.
1971 Sweden announces humanitarian aid to Viet Cong       ^top^
      In Sweden, Foreign Minister Torsten Nilsson reveals that Sweden has been providing assistance to the Viet Cong, including some $550,000 worth of medical supplies. Similar Swedish aid was to go to Cambodian and Laotian civilians affected by the Indochinese fighting. This support was primarily humanitarian in nature and included no military aid.
1965 US warships begin bombardment of Viet Cong targets       ^top^
      Augmenting the vital role now being played by US aircraft carriers, whose planes participated in many of the raids over South and North Vietnam, US warships from the 7th Fleet begin to fire on Viet Cong targets in the central area of South Vietnam. At first, this gunfire was limited to 5-inch-gun destroyers, but other ships would eventually be used in the mission. Organized into Task Group 70.8, the ships were assigned from the fleet's cruiser-destroyer command, from the carrier escort units and amphibious units, from the Navy-Coast Guard Coastal Surveillance Force, and from the Royal Australian Navy. Ships and weapons included the battleship New Jersey, with 16-inch guns; cruisers with 8-inch and 5-inch guns; destroyers with 5-inch guns, and inshore fire support ships and landing ships. Naval gunfire support and shore bombardment ranged the entire coast of Vietnam, but most of the operations took place off the coast of the northernmost region of South Vietnam, just south of the Demilitarized Zone. During the 1968 Tet Offensive, Task Group 70.8 had as many as 22 ships at a time on the gun line, offering invaluable naval gunfire support to ground forces. In May 1972, as part of Operation Linebacker I, a 7th Fleet cruiser-destroyer group bombarded targets near Haiphong and along the North Vietnam coast, firing over 111'000 rounds at the enemy. One destroyer was hit by a MiG bombing attack and 16 ships were hit by communist shore batteries, but none were sunk.
1963 Kenyatta elected       ^top^
      Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta, one of modern Africa's earliest nationalist leaders, was elected the first prime minister of a newly autonomous Kenya. Of Kikyu descent, Kenyatta became a leader of his tribal association in 1928. In that capacity, he campaigned zealously for land reform and political rights for his people. After World War II, he founded the Pan-African Federation with other African nationalists and became president of the Kenya African Union. In the early 1950s, he joined the Mau Mau, a secret militant organization established to force the expulsion of the British and Dutch colonists of Kenya. Comprised primarily of Kikuyu tribesman like himself, the Mau Mau began a campaign of guerrilla action in 1952 against settlers in Kenya's so-called "white highlands." The settlers and British authorities retaliated against the Mau Mau Rebellion, and in 1953, Kenyatta and five other other Mau Mau leaders were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to seven years of hard labor. By 1956, British troops had arrested or killed the remaining Mau Mau, and the entire Kikuyu tribe was interned within a guarded area. In 1959, Kenyatta was released from prison but remained under house arrest. In 1960, he was elected president of the newly founded Kenya African National Union while in internal exile, and in the next year, he negotiated with the British for Kenyan independence. In 1963, Kenya was granted autonomy and Kenyatta became prime minister. The following year, the country became an independent republic with Kenyatta as Kenya's first president.
1961 Pres Kennedy announces US goal to reach the Moon
1960 Military coup overthrows democratic government of Turkey
1944 General Douglas MacArthur lands on Biak Island in New Guinea.
1942 Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich, 38, mortally wounded.       ^top^
      "Der Henker" (the Hangman) deputy Reichsprotektor for Bohemia and Moravia, is mortally wounded in an assassination attempt (and will die on 04 June) He was the German Nazi official who was Heinrich Himmler's chief lieutenant in the SS (Schutzstaffel). He played a key role in organizing the Holocaust during the opening years of World War II.
      Heydrich joined a Freikorps gang in 1919 and entered the German navy in 1922, rising to the rank of first lieutenant before he was forced to resign in 1931 for having trifled with the affections of a shipyard director's daughter. That same year he joined the SS, where he soon became Himmler's closest collaborator and rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming chief of the Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service: SD).
      After Hitler became chancellor in 1933, Heydrich was appointed chief of the political department of the Munich police force, and he soon helped bring the political police forces throughout Germany under Himmler's control. He was appointed SS chief for Berlin in 1934, and when Himmler became chief of all German police forces in 1936, Heydrich took charge of the SD, the criminal police (Kripo), and the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei: secret political police).
      In 1939 Heydrich became head of the Reich Security Central Office, which was in charge of all security and secret police throughout the Third Reich. Heydrich masterminded the fake "Polish" attack on the Gleiwitz radio transmitter that provided Hitler with a pretext for invading Poland on 01 September 1939.
      Soon afterward Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann began organizing the first deportations of Jews from Germany and Austria to ghettoes in occupied Poland. Heydrich also organized the Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing squads that murdered almost one million Soviet and Polish Jews in the occupied territories. On 31 July 1941, Hermann Göring commissioned Heydrich to carry out a "final solution of the Jewish question," authorizing him to take all organizational and administrative measures necessary for the extermination of the Jews. Heydrich chaired the infamous Wannsee Conference (20 Janualy 1942), at which bureaucratic measures to implement the Final Solution were discussed.
      In September 1941 Heydrich had been appointed deputy Reichsprotektor for Bohemia and Moravia. He combined repressive measures and mass executions with an attempt to mollify Czech peasants and workers by improved social and economic conditions. The success of his measures in "pacifying" the Czech population lulled Heydrich into a false sense of security, and on 27 May 1942, two Free Czech agents bombed and shot him while he was riding in his car without an armed escort. He died on 04 June in a Prague hospital. Gestapo officials exacted vengeance for his death by executing hundreds of Czechs and wiping out the entire village of Lidice.
1942 German general Erwin Rommel begins Operation Torch, a major offensive in Libya with his Afrika Korps.
1941 US President F. D. Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency"
1937 Golden Gate Bridge, SF, dedicated
1936 The Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary leaves Southampton for NY on maiden voyage
1935 The US Supreme Court declares President Franklin Roosevelt's National Recovery Act unconstitutional
1931 Piccard and Knipfer make first flight into stratosphere, by first use of pressurized cabin in a balloon (President George Washington watched aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard make the first aerial voyage in the New World)
1924 The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, meeting at Springfield, Maryland, repeals its ban on dancing and theater attendance.
1921 After 84 years of British control, Afghanistan achieves sovereignty
1920 Tatar ASSR established in Russian SFSR
1919 A US Navy seaplane completes the first transatlantic flight, in 11 days. (The US Army flew the first nonstop transcontinental flight from New York to San Diego in 1923)
1917 Benedict XV promulgates the "Codex iuris canonici." Divided into five books and 2414 regulations, the CIC is the first revision of canon law in the Catholic church in modern times, and goes into effect at Pentecost 1918.
1907 Bubonic Plague breaks out in San Francisco.
1905 Japanese destroy Russian fleet       ^top^
      During the Russian-Japanese War, the Russian Baltic Fleet was nearly destroyed at the Battle of Tsushima Strait, convincing Russia that further resistance against Japan’s imperial designs for East Asia was hopeless.
      On 08 February 1904, following the Russian rejection of a Japanese plan to divide Manchuria and Korea into spheres of influence, Japan had launched a surprise naval attack against Port Arthur, a Russian naval base in China. It was the first major battle of the twentieth century, and Russian forces there were decimated.
      During the subsequent war, Japan won a series of decisive victories over the Russians, who underestimated the military potential of its non-Western opponent. In January 1905, the strategic naval base of Port Arthur fell to Japanese naval and ground forces under Admiral Heihachiro Togo, and, in March, Russian troops were defeated at Shenyang, China, by Japanese Field Marshal Iwao Oyama.
      Russian Czar Nicholas II hoped that the Russian Baltic fleet under Admiral Zinovi Rozhdestvenski would be able to challenge Admiral Togo’s supremacy at sea, but during a two-day battle in the Tsushima Strait beginning on 27 May thirty-three Russian ships were lost. The Japanese suffered only minor losses.
      In August, the stunning string of Japanese victories convinced Russia to accept the peace treaty mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Japan emerged from the conflict as the first modern non-Western world power, and set its sight on greater imperial expansion. However, for Russia, the disastrous outcome of the war was one of the immediate causes of the Russian Revolution of 1905.
Oscar Wilde1895 Oscar Wilde sent to prison for sodomy       ^top^
      The 40-year-old playwright is taken to Holloway Prison in London after being convicted of sodomy. The famed writer of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest brought attention to his private life in a feud with John Douglas, the Marquess of Queensbury, whose son was intimately involved with Wilde. Homosexuality was a criminal offense and serious societal taboo at this time in Britain. Wilde had gone back and forth between hiding his sexual orientation and attempting to gain some measure of public acceptance.      After Queensbury, a virulent opponent of homosexuality, began spouting his objections to Wilde's behavior to the public, Wilde felt compelled to sue Queensbury for libel. Although advised that he was sure to lose, especially given the fact that Queensbury's charges were indeed true, Wilde insisted on going forward with the case. In his defense, Queensbury argued that Wilde had solicited 12 boys to commit sodomy between 1892 and 1894. The overwhelming evidence proving Wilde was homosexual produced a victory for Queensbury.
      This civil trial drew a great deal of public attention to Wilde's private life. Immediately after it was over, he was charged with indecency and sodomy by England's criminal courts. Rather than flee to France, Wilde decided to remain and stand trial. At a preliminary bail hearing, chambermaids testified that they had seen young men in Wilde's bed and a hotel housekeeper stated that there were fecal stains on his bed sheets. Wilde was denied bail. At Wilde's first criminal trial, he was cross-examined extensively on the "love that dare not speak its name." Wilde managed to secure a mistrial when a lone juror refused to vote to convict.
      The second trial began on May 21. Although many of the potential witnesses refused to betray Wilde by testifying, he was convicted. The judge remarked at his sentencing, "It is the worst case I have ever tried. I shall pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgment it is totally inadequate for such a case as this. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labor for two years." Wilde served his two years and then spent the last three years of his life in exile. He died of acute meningitis on 19001130 and was buried in Paris.
     Oscar Wilde won the Newdigate Prize in 1878 with a long poem, Ravenna. In 1881 he published Poems. In 1888 he published The Happy Prince and Other Tales, a romantic allegory in the form of a fairy tale. His only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in 1890. In Intentions (1891), he grouped previously published essays. In 1891 also, he published two volumes of stories and fairy tales: Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, and Other Stories and A House of Pomegranates. Wilde is best known as the writer of the plays Lady Windermere's Fan, Salomé (in French), A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and, above all, The Importance of Being Earnest.
1864 Battle of Pickett's Mill, Georgia
1863 First assault on Port Hudson, Louisiana
1863 Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi continues
1863 Ex parte Merryman issued       ^top^
      Chief Justice Roger B. Taney issues ex parte Merryman, challenging the authority of Abraham Lincoln and the military to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland. Early in the war, President Lincoln faced many difficulties due to the fact that Washington was located in slave territory. Although Maryland did not secede, Southern sympathies were widespread. On 27 April 1861, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus between Washington and Philadelphia to give military authorities the necessary power to silence dissenters and rebels. Under this order, commanders could arrest and detain individuals who were deemed threatening to military operations. Those arrested could be held without indictment or arraignment. On 25 May, John Merryman, a vocal secessionist, was arrested in Cockeysville, Maryland. He was held at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, where he appealed for his release under a writ of habeas corpus. The federal circuit court judge was Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who issued a ruling, ex parte Merryman, denying the president's authority to suspend habeas corpus. A Marylander himself, Taney shrilly denounced the heavy hand played by Lincoln in interfering with civil liberties and argued that only Congress had the power to suspend the writ.
      Lincoln did not respond directly to Taney's edict, but he did address the issue in his message to Congress that July. He justified the suspension through Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which specifies a suspension of the writ "when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Although military officials continued to arrest suspected Southern sympathizers, the incident led to a softening of the policy. Concern that Maryland might still secede from the Union forced a more conciliatory stance from Lincoln and the military. Merryman was remanded to civil authorities in July and allowed to post bail. He was never brought to trial, and the charges of treason against him were dropped two years after the war.
1862 Engagement at Hanover Court House (Slash Church), Virginia
1844 Samuel F.B. Morse completes first telegraph line
1813 Americans capture Fort George, Canada
1668 Three colonists are expelled from Massachusetts for being Baptists.
1610 Ravaillac déclaré coupable du meurtre de Henri IV.       ^top^
      Le 14 May 1610, Henri IV avait été assassiné à Paris, rue de la Ferronnerie, par Jean-François Ravaillac, né à Touvres (Charente) en 1578, qui avait été valet de chambre, clerc, puis maître d'école. Déséquilibré, Ravaillac aurait agi pour le parti espagnol et autrichien qui craignait l'attaque des Pays-Bas. Sont compromis : le duc d'Epernon, ancien favori de Henri III (sa maîtresse. Charlotte du Tillet, connaissait Ravaillac et lui donnait de quoi vivre ; le duc espérait prendre le pouvoir sous la régence de Marie de Médicis, mais se brouilla avec elle), la Marquise de Verneuil (maîtresse délaissée de Henri IV) et Marie de Médicis, manœuvrée par le parti espagnol et le parti italien à la cour (la veille, elle avait été couronnée reine, ce qui lui assurait la régence). Les dossiers de cette affaire disparaitront dans un incendie en 1618.
      Le 27 mai, Ravaillac est déclaré coupable. Le supplice eu lieu place de Grève: son bras, qui avait frappé le roi, fut plongé dans du soufre en feu; ses pectoraux furent arrachés par des tenailles: sur ses bras, cuisses et épaules, on déversa du plomb fondu, de l'huile et de la résine bouillantes; sur ses plaies on appliqua de la cire et du soufre brûlants; puis Ravaillac fut écartelé, la foule tirant sur les cordes pour aider les chevaux; Ravaillac ne dénonçant pas ses complices, l'écartèlement reprit et la foule lui arracha les membres à l'aide d'épées, couteaux et bâtons ; puis les lambeaux du corps furent portés dans divers quartiers et brûlés.
Arrêt de justice contre Ravaillac:
     Dit a esté que ladite Cour a déclaré et déclare ledit Ravaillac dûment atteint et convaincu du crime de lèse Majecté divine et humaine, au premier chef, pour le très méchant, très abominable, et très détestable parricide, commis en la personne du feu Roi Henri IV de très bonne et louable mémoire. Pour réparation duquel l’a condamné et condamne faire amende honorable devant la principale porte de l’Eglise de Paris où il sera mené et conduit dans un tombereay, là, nu en chemise, tenant une torche ardente du poids de deux livres, dire et déclarer que malheureusement et proditoirement il a commis ledit très méchant, très abominable et très détestable parricide, et tué ledit Seigneur Roi de deux coups de couteau dans le corps, dont se repent, demande pardon à Dieu, au Roi et à Justice ; de là, conduit à la place de Grève et un échafaud qui y sera dressé, tenaillé aux mamelles, bras, cuisses et gas des jambes, sa main dextre y tenant le couteau duquel a commis ledit parricide ard et brûlée de feu de soufre, et sur les endroits où il sera tenaillé, jeté du plomb fondu, de l’huile bouillante, de la poix raisine brûlante, de la cire et du soufre fondus ensemble. Ce fait, son corps tiré et démembré à quatre chevaux, ses membres et corps consommés au feu, réduits en cendres, jetés au vent. A déclaré et déclare tous et chacun ses biens acquis et confisqués au Roi. Ordonné que la maison où il a été né sera démolie, celui à qui elle appartient préalablement indemnisé, sans que sur le fonds puisse à l’avenir être fait autre bâtiment. Et que dans quinzaine après la publication du présent Arrêt à son trompe et cri public en la ville d’Angoulême, son père et sa mère videront le royaume avec défense d’y revenir jamais, à peine d’être pendus et étranglés, sans autre forme ni figure de procès. A fait et fait défenses à ses frères, soeurs, oncles et autres, porter ci_après ledit nom de Ravaillac, leur enjoint le changer en autre sur les mêmes peines. Et au subsitut du Procureur Général du Roi faire publier et exécuter le présent arrêt, à peine de s’en prendre à lui. Et avant l’exécution d’icelui Ravaillac, ordonné qu’il sera appliqué à la question pour la révélation de ses complices.
     Signé, Voysin
Suivant ledit Arrêt pour la révélation de ses complices, il fut appliqué à la question des brodequins : ce qui s’y passa est sous le secret de la Cour.
Lital Talker died on her 1st birthdayDeaths which occurred on a May 27:
2003 Luciano Berio, Italian composer born on 24 October 1925.
2002 Ruth Peled, 56, her 18-month-old granddaugher Sinai Kainan, and suicide bomber Jihad Titi, of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, ountside a coffee shop and ice-cream parlor at the small Em Hamoshavot outdoor strip mall, on Gissin street in the center of Petach Tikvah, Israel, at about 18:40. 27 persons are injured. The suicide bomber is the brother of Mohammed Titi, who was assassinated by Israel on 24 May 2002.
2001 Lital Talker, 1 on this day, of dehydration suffered on 25 May when her daycare provider, Hana Haim, after picking up the baby girl [photo >] at 07:30 from her home in Be'er Sheva, Israel, forgot her in the car, in her safety seat, with the windows rolled up, on a very hot day, until 12:30 when she found her unconscious.
1997 Un retraité de 64 ans tue l'ami de son fils, son beau-frère et sa belle-sœur à Gassin (Var). Il se sucide après avoir tué un gendarme et en avoir blessé un autre.
1973 Jacques Lipchitz, Lithuanian~French cubist sculptor born on 30 August 1891. — LINKSStudy for a Sculpture
1964 Jawaharlal "Pandit" Nehru, 74, of his third stroke, (pandit in Hindi, means "teacher") Independent India's first PM (1947-64), who established parliamentary government and became noted for his "neutralist" policies in foreign affairs. Before that he was one of the principal leaders of India's independence movement in the 1930s and '40s.
Ripley holding shrunken head1949 Robert LeRoy Ripley, 55, in NY.       ^top^
      He was the US cartoonist who was the founder of "Believe It or Not!," a widely popular newspaper cartoon presenting bizarre facts and oddities of all kinds. As an example, here is
Ripley holding a Shrunken Head during one of his many radio broadcasts.
      Ripley's stories of the odd and unusual entered millions of living rooms across America via radio. Amongst the rarest curiosities in the Ripley collection of unbelievable artifacts were shrunken heads from Ecuador, South America. Believe It or Not!, a shrunken head was once sent to Ripley with the following note: "Please take good care of this. It think it is one of my relatives!"
      The practice of shrinking heads was once common amongst the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador. It was a ritual that had been handed down through generations. The heads of slain warriors were valued as trophies or symbols of bravery. When a fighter killed his enemy, the victim's head was removed. The skin was then peeled away from the skull and hot stones and sand were poured into the cavity. The head was sewn shut and boiled in herbs until it had shrunk to the size of a fist.
1941:: Admiral Gunther Lutjens and another 2105 sailors of the 2221 aboard the the German battleship Bismarck as it is sunk by British naval and air forces off France three days after it sank the British battle cruiser Hood..
1940, Hell in Paradis: 97 POWs machine-gunned by SS       ^top^
      As the Dunkirk evacuation continues, 80 km away units from Germany's SS Death's Head division battle British troops. After holding off an SS company until their ammo was spent, 99 Royal Norfolk Regiment soldiers retreat to a farmhouse in the village of Paradis. Agreeing to surrender, they start to file out of the farmhouse, waving a white flag tied to a bayonet. They are met by German machine-gun fire. They try again and the British regiment is ordered by an English-speaking German officer to an open field where they are searched and divested of everything from gas masks to cigarettes. They are then marched into a pit where machine guns had been placed in fixed positions. The German order comes: "Fire!"
      Those Brits who survive the machine-gun fire are either stabbed to death with bayonets or shot dead with pistols. Of the 99 members of the regiment, only two survive, both privates: Albert Pooley and William O'Callaghan. They lie among the dead until dark, then, in the middle of a rainstorm, they crawl to a farmhouse, where their wounds are tended. With nowhere else to go, they surrender again, to other Germans who make them POWs.
      Pooley's leg was so badly wounded he was repatriated to England in April 1943 in exchange for some wounded German soldiers. Upon his return to Britain, his story was not believed. Only when O'Callaghan returned home and verified the story was a formal investigation made. Finally, after the war, a British military tribunal in Hamburg found the German office who gave the "Fire" order, Captain Fritz Knochlein, guilty of a war crime. He was hanged.
1928 Arthur Moritz Schönflies, German mathematician born on 17 April 1853. He worked first on geometry and kinematics but became best known for his work on set theory and crystallography. He classified the 230 space groups in 1891.
1896, 255 by tornado in St. Louis, Missoury, and East St. Louis, Illinois.
1837 William Anderson, British artist born in 1757.
1831 Jedediah Smith, trapper-explorer, killed by Commanches on the Santa Fe Trail.
Condamnés à mort par la Révolution: ^top^
BABEUF François Noël, (dit Gracchus) révolutionnaire français né à Saint Quentin 1760 - il fonda le journal le tribun du peuple où il exposa ses théories communistes chef de la conspiration des Egaux, * par le tribunal de Vendôme
DARTHÉ Augustin Alexandre Saint-Pol 1769 Vendôme http://rcombes.ifrance.com/rcombes/
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jesn.bon/ Augustin%20Alexandre%20Darth%8E%20%C4/ Genealogie_Darthe.html

1795 (8 prairial an III):
Domiciliés à Paris, par la commission militaire établie à Paris:
DUPUIS Ignace Nicolas, journalier, domicilié à Paris, comme convaincu d'être entré dans le sein de la convention et d'avoir participé à l'assassinat du représentant Ferraud, dans la révolte, du 1er prairial an 3.
HENNEQUIN Jean Nicolas, sculpteur, domicilié à Paris, comme convaincu d’avoir porté sur son chapeau, en signe de rébellion, les mots du pain et la constitution de 1793, et soupçonné d’avoir porté la tête du représentant Ferraud dans les journées des 1, 3 et 4 prairial an 3.
1794 (8 prairial an II):
BINET Antoine Augustin, 27 ans, coupeur de velours, sergent au 8ème bataillon de la Somme, né et domicilié à Amiens (Somme), comme convaincu d'avoir crié vive le roi, vive la reine, et traité les membres de la Convention de scélérats et d'accapareurs.
LELIEVRE Marin, tailleur, domicilié à Mont-Jean (Mayenne), comme brigand de la Vendée, par la commission militaire de Laval.
BARAGNON Jean Antoine, ex avocat, domicilié à Uzès (Gard), comme fédéraliste, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
GOIRAND Joseph Maurice, ex seigneur de la Beaume, juge du tribunal du district d'Uzès, domicilié à Uzès (Gard), par le tribunal criminel dudit département comme fédéraliste.
ROGER Hélène Françoise, âgée de 43 ans, née et demeurant à Arras, veuve de Develle Antoine Joseph, condamnée à mort
ADAM Louis Joseph, 30 ans, né à Nielles les Thérouanne, y demeurant, marchand de bestiaux, guillotiné à Arras .
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire séant à Cambray (Nord):
DOUAY Marie Anne Joséphine, ex vicomtesse de Baralle, âgée d'environ 92 ans, , par le tribunal révolutionnaire, séante à Cambray, département du Nord, comme convaincue de trahison envers la république.
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris:
JOURDAN Mathieu Jouve, chef d'escadron de gendarmerie, ci-devant négociant, 35 ans, né à St Génre (Haute Loire), domicilié à Avignon (Vaucluse), comme convaincu d'être complice d'un complot qui a existé dans le département des Bouches du Rhône, et particulièrement dans son district et de s'être procuré des biens nationaux à vil prix.
LECANDRE Etienne, 27 ans, capitaine au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, né et domicilié à Saintes (Charente Inférieure), comme contre-révolutionnaire.
      ...comme convaincus d'avoir été complices des manœuvres pratiquées de concert avec le traitre Dumourier, à l'époque de sa trahison, tendant à ébranler la fidélité des soldats en vers la nation, à marcher contre la Convention, et d’avoir voulu exécuter le projet de faire passer à l’ennemi deux escadrons du 1er régiment d’hussards:
ARNAUD Jean, 44 ans, né à Limoges, sous-lieutenant, au 17ème régiment de cavalerie.
BEAUREGARD Nicolas Jacques, 42 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment, domicilié à Versailles (Seine et Oise).
DONADIEU Jean, 50 ans, né et domicilié à Arles (Bouches du Rhône), maréchal des logis au onzième régiment de dragons, général de brigade de l'armée du Bas-Rhin.
FUREL Jacques Jean Laurent (dit Prébaron), 44 ans, chef d’escadron au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, né et domicilié à Salins (Jura).
HERY Emile Joseph Xavier, 19 ans, lieutenant au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à Chinon (Indre et Loire).
PRISIE Pierre Claude Marie, 46 ans, chef de brigade au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à Nevers (Nièvre).
PRUNEAU Pierre Félix, 52 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à Vaussay (Deux-Sèvres).
VERILLOT Etienne Philippe, 20 ans, sous-lieutenant au 7ème régiment, né et domicilié à Langres (Haute-Marne).
      ...comme conspirateurs:
AMAND Jean, sous-lieutenant au 17e régiment, domicilié à Limoges (Haute Vienne).
AVENET Jean Baptiste, dentiste, domicilié à St Germain-la-Campagne, canton de Bernay (Eure).
BONNOT Claude, 27 ans, né à Givet, adjudant au 17ème régiment domicilié à Genet, canton de Baumes (Doubs).
BUGNOLET Jean François, 25 ans, chirurgien major au 17ème régiment né et domicilié au Petit-Bay, canton de Gray (Haute-Saône).
HOURY Etienne, terrassier, 57 ans, né à Puzze-le-Robert, domicilié à Paris.
JOURDEUIL Etienne, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, 29 ans, né et domicilié à Bussière (Haute Marne).
JUDE Antoine Louis Michel, 46 ans, ex conseiller au Châtelet de Paris, domicilié à Paris.
JUY Claude, 26 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, né et domicilié à Langres (Haute Marne).
LEVIS-MIREFOIX Charles Philibert Mý Gaston, 41 ans, ex comte et maréchal de camps, et ex constituant, né à Martin-Detreaux, domicilié à Paris.
MOLLET Joseph, 48 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à St Michel (Basses-Alpes).
SOUBRY Pierre Jacques, 33 ans, né dans la Flandre Autrichienne, laboureur, domicilié à Paris.
MATHIEU Catherine, femme Vigneron, 51 ans, et VIGNERON Suzanne, 23 ans, nées et domiciliées à Nancy (Meurthe), ...ayant entretenu des correspondances avec Vigneron, émigré.
BOROT Gilbert, maréchal, domicilié à Aigueperse, canton de Riom (Puy de Dôme), comme contre-révolutionnaire, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
1785 Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Paon, French artist born in 1736, 1737, or 1738.
1734 (28 May?) Claude Audran III, French painter born on 25 August 1658.
1733 Carel van Faleus, Dutch artist born on 24 November 1683.
1717 Nicolas Colombel, French painter born in 1644.
1647 Achsah Young becomes first woman known to be executed as a witch in Massachusetts.
1596 Pellegrino Tibaldi da Bologna, Italian painter born in 1527. — MORE ON TIBALDI AT ART “4” MAYLINKS Adoration of the Christ ChildMadonna con Bambino
1564 John Calvin, one of the dominant figures of the Protestant Reformation, in Geneva
Births which occurred on a May 27:
2000 Lital Talker, would die on her first birthday from having been left for 5 hours in a closed car on a hot day.
1996 Enliven
      Narrative Communications Corporation, a start-up run by former Lotus executives, unveiled Enliven, an Internet technology designed to deliver animation and compelling graphics over the Web. The company sought to give Web advertisers more options to create dynamic ads to replace small advertising banners on Web sites.
1944 Christopher J Dodd (Gov / Sen-D-Ct)
1937 The Golden Gate Bridge
is completed and opened to pedestrian traffic. The following day at noon, President Franklin Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in the White House, and the bridge was opened to vehicular traffic. Until the Verrazano Narrows Bridge was completed in 1964, the Golden Gate's 1280-meter orange-painted structural steel suspension span was the longest in the world. (Today, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan boasts the longest span at over 2000 meters.)
1927 The very last Model T Ford.       ^top^
      Production of the Ford Model T officially ended after 15'007'033 units had been built. The Model T sold more units than any other car model in history, until the Volkswagen Beetle eclipsed its record in the 1970s. That a car produced domestically in the first three decades of the century could compete in production numbers with a car first produced in the '60s and distributed worldwide is testament to the dramatic genius of the Model T.
      Before the "Tin Lizzy's" introduction, no car was reliable or affordable enough to be any good to the average man. In 1908, the Model T had a price tag of $850 and sold 6389 units. In 1910, the price had dropped to $690 and the Tin Lizzy sold 34'528 units. By 1915, the price tag of Ford's "people's car" had reached an astounding $350 and sold, accordingly, 472'350 units. Ford's mass-production miracle even exceeded his own prophetic expectations. The Model T may have accomplished what the Monroe Doctrine only proposed. Here is Henry Ford's vision: "I will build a motor car for the great multitude, constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise ... so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one — and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."
1923 Henry Kissinger (Nobel Peace Prize winner for his efforts to end the Vietnam War.[1973] US Secretary of State: Nixon Administration (1973-77); political consultant: NBC News)
1921 Caryl Chessman kidnapper who got the death penalty (1960)
1917 Yasuhiro Nakasone (Prime Minister of Japan)
1915 Herman Wouk US, author (Caine Mutiny, Winds of War, Marjorie Morningstar)
1913 Otto Alfred Wolfgang Schultze-Battmann Wols, German artist who died on 01 September 1951.
1911 Hubert Humphrey (Sen-D-Minn) 38th VP, to Lyndon Johnson (1965-69), 1968 Presidential candidate
1907 Rachel Louise Carson ecologist/writer (Silent Spring)
1894 Louis-Ferdinand Céline France, novelist (Journey to End of Night)
1894 Dashiell Hammett, who grew up to author The Maltese Falcon       ^top^
      Hammett left school at age 13 and took a series of low-paying jobs, eventually landing at Pinkerton's detective agency. He worked as a detective for eight years and turned his experiences into fiction that set the mold for later writers like Raymond Chandler. Hammett's deadpan description of violent or emotional events came to be known as the "hard-boiled" style of detective fiction.
      Hammett published short stories in his characteristic deadpan style, starting in 1929 with Fly Paper. He published two novels in the same style that year, Red Harvest and The Dain Curse. The following year, he published The Maltese Falcon, which introduced detective Sam Spade. The novel was filmed three times: once in 1931; once in 1936 under the title Satan Met a Lady, starring Bette Davis; and again in1941, starring Humphrey Bogart.
      Hammett became involved with playwright Lillian Hellman (author of The Children's Hour in 1934 and The Little Foxes in 1939), who served as the model for Nora Charles in his 1934 comic mystery The Thin Man. The book was made into a movie the same year, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, and the characters of Nick and Nora Charles inspired several sequel films. Hammett and Hellman remained romantically involved until Hammett's death in 1961.
1887 (23 May?) Jakob Steinhardt, German Israeli printmaker and painter who died in 1968.
1883 Jessie Arms Botke, US decorative painter who died on 02 October 1971. — MORE ON BOTKE AT ART “4” MAY LINKSBlack Peacocks with Japanese PersimmonsWhite Peacocks and Copa de OroThe RanchCockatoos with Matilija PoppiesWhite Cockatoos and LoquatsJapanese Sacred Cranes
1881 Adolf Erbslöh, German artist who died in 1947.
1871 Georges-Henri Rouault, French Fauvist and Expressionist painter, printmaker, ceramicist, and stained glass artist, who died on 13 February 1958. — MORE ON ROUAULT AT ART “4” MAYLINKS ClownVieux RoiAutommeLa Parade [de cirque] — Christ and the Doctors Christ [crucified] — 63 prints at FAMSF one of which is Le Dictateur and another is La Favorite
1868 Charles E. Prendergast, Canadian US painter who died in 1948. — LINKSCircus
1862 John Edward Campbell, British mathematician who died on 01 October 1924. He is remembered for the Campbell-Baker-Hausdorff theorem which gives a formula for multiplication of exponentials in Lie algebras.
1858 Juan Jiménez y Martín, Spanish artist who died in 1901.
1837 Wild Bill (James Butler) Hickok (US Marshall, frontiersman, army scout, gambler, legendary marksman)
1819 Julia Ward Howe, American author and lecturer best known for her "Battle Hymn of the Republic.":       ^top^

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
l can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on. (Chorus)

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal;"
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on. (Chorus)

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on. (Chorus)

He has sounded form the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on. (Chorus)

ln the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on. (Chorus)

1818 Amelia Jenks Bloomer, in Homer NY, suffragette known for her pantaloons.
1794 Cornelius Vanderbilt, king of the Schooners and Rails, rail baron and arch-capitalist.       ^top^
      Born to a poor family in Staten Island, Vanderbilt left school at age eleven and headed to New York’s waterfront to begin what proved to be a long and fruitful career. In 1810, Vanderbilt began his first entrepreneurial venture with the launch of a small ferry business between Manhattan and Staten Island. Though Vanderbilt’s ferry enterprise soon began to thrive, he sold his schooners in 1818, opting instead to learn the shipping business under the tutelage of captain Thomas Gibbons. Though still young, Vanderbilt was a savvy and fiercely competitive entrepreneur, and by 1829 he had purchased his first steamer.
      Thanks in large part to his aggressive fares and lavishly decorated steamers, Vanderbilt eventually came to rule the shipping industry. By 1862, the nation’s burgeoning rail network beckoned and, utilizing his handsome capital resources, Vanderbilt built an empire that included the New York and Harlem Railroad, as well as the New York Central Railroad. Towards the end of his life, Vanderbilt tempered his competitive zeal with altruism — he donated $1 million to Central University (later renamed Vanderbilt University) and masterminded the construction of New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Cornelius Vanderbilt passed away in New York City during in early 1877.
1703 St. Petersburg       ^top^
     After winning access to the Baltic Sea through his victories in the Great Northern War, Czar Peter I founded the city of St. Petersburg as the new Russian capital. The reign of Peter I, who had become sole czar in 1696, was characterized by a series of sweeping military, political, economic, and cultural reforms in Russia based on Western European models. Peter the Great, as he became known, led his country into major conflicts with Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Sweden. Russian victories in these wars greatly expanded Peter’s empire and the defeat of Sweden won Russia territory on the Baltic Sea, a life-long obsession of the Russian leader. Here, Peter founded the new Russian capital of St. Petersburg, and Russia was now a major European power — politically, culturally, and geographically. In 1721, Peter abandoned the traditional Russian title of czar in favor of the European-influenced title of emperor. Four years later, he died and was succeeded by his wife, Catherine.
1616 Antoon Goubau, Flemish who died on 21 March 1698. — Ett sydligt landskap med marknad. — more
1265 Dante Alighieri       ^top^
     Dante would grow up to be the Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker, best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, a great work of medieval literature, a profound Christian vision of man's temporal and eternal destiny. On its most personal level, it draws on the poet's own experience of exile from his native city of Florence; on its most comprehensive level, it may be read as an allegory, taking the form of a journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise. The poem amazes by its array of learning, its penetrating and comprehensive analysis of contemporary problems, and its inventiveness of language and imagery. By choosing to write his poem in Italian rather than in Latin, Dante decisively influenced the course of literary development. Not only did he lend a voice to the emerging lay culture of his own country, but Italian became the literary language in western Europe for several centuries.
      In addition to poetry Dante wrote important theoretical works ranging from discussions of rhetoric to moral philosophy and political thought. He was fully conversant with the classical tradition, drawing for his own purposes on such writers as Virgil, Cicero, and Boethius. But, most unusual for a layman, he also had an impressive command of the most recent scholastic philosophy and of theology. His learning and his personal involvement in the heated political controversies of his age led him to the composition of De monarchia, one of the major tracts of medieval political philosophy. Dante died of malaria before dawn on 14 September 1321.
[click on image below for portraits of Dante]
Dante Alighieri La Divina Commedia
      Poema da Dante Alighieri in terza rima, iniziato nel 1307, composto di tre Cantiche (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) che comprendono 100 canti complessivi: 34 l'"Inferno", 33 ciascuno il "Purgatorio" e il "Paradiso". Argomento dell'opera è il viaggio compiuto da Dante nell'Oltretomba. Tre guide conducono il poeta: Virgilio nell'Inferno, e parte del Purgatorio, fino all'Eden; Beatrice, la donna amata da Dante in gioventù e il cui ricordo lo ha distolto dal traviamento, conduce il poeta fino all'Empireo, alla Rosa celeste; e San Bernardo che mostra a Dante la gloria di Dio. Il viaggio dura circa una settimana e ha inizio nella notte del Venerdì Santo, l'8 aprile 1300.
     Dante Alighieri nasce nel 1265 da una famiglia guelfa di Firenze, di piccola nobiltà. Amico di Guido Cavalcanti, di cui inizialmente subì l'egemonia culturale, partecipò con lui e con altri poeti al movimento del Dolce Stil Nuovo. Gran parte delle sue rime giovanili sono dedicate ad una "Beatrice", che viene tradizionalmente identificata con l'omonima figlia di Folco Portinari, sposata a Simone de' Bardi, e morta di parto l'8 giugno 1290. Il poeta tra il 1293 e il 1294 rielabora la storia spirituale del suo amore nella "Vita Nuova", un libriccino mescolato di versi e di prosa.
      Dopo questa data Dante comincia a partecipare alla vita politica di Firenze, del cui esercito ha fatto parte in diverse occasioni (nel giugno 1289 lo troviamo tra i "feditori" a cavallo nella battaglia di Campaldino contro i ghibellini di Arezzo, nell'agosto dello stesso anno è nell'esercito fiorentino che tolse ai pisani la fortezza di Caprona). Dante, che aveva trascorso un periodo di studi a Bologna, si iscrisse alla corporazione dei medici e degli speziali per iniziare la carriera politica (gli Ordinamenti di Giustizia di Giano della Bella riservavano il governo del comune solo ai cittadini iscritti a una delle corporazioni d'arti e mestieri).
      Nel 1300 le sue responsabilità politiche aumentarono, e Dante divenne uno dei Priori, dedicando la maggior parte delle sue energie a contrastare i piani del papa Bonifacio VIII. Questi infatti , approfittando del conflitto presente in Firenze fra i Bianchi, capeggiati dalla consorteria dei Cerchi, e i Neri guidati da quella dei Donati, cercava di di estendere la sua autorità su tutta la Toscana.
      Nell'ottobre del 1301 il papa inviò a Firenze Carlo di Valois, fratello del re di Francia, apparentemente come paciere: ma in realtà Carlo aveva l'incarico di debellare i Bianchi. Mentre Dante si trovava a Roma come ambasciatore del comune di Firenze presso il Pontefice, Corso Donati e i neri conquistarono, con uccisioni e violenze, il potere.
      Dante fu condannato all'interdizione perpetua dai pubblici uffici, a una multa e all'esilio per due anni, per furto del denaro pubblico, azioni ostili verso il papa e la città (non essendosi presentato a discolparsi fu condannato ad essere bruciato vivo se fosse caduto in mano al Comune). Dal 1302 comincia il periodo dell'esilio, che durerà fino alla morte del poeta. Iniziò un pellegrinaggio per l'Italia. Prese contatto con Bartolomeo della Scala a Verona e con i conti Malaspina in Lunigiana, e tra il 1304 e il 1307 compose il Convivio (poi rimasto interrotto) per acquisire meriti di fronte all'opinione pubblica (per lungo tempo coltivò l'illusione di poter essere richiamato nella sua città come riconoscimento della sua grandezza culturale). Appartiene allo stesso periodo il De Vulgari Eloquentia.
      Col passare degli anni Dante iniziò a vedere il suo esilio come simbolo del distacco dalla corruzione, dagli odi e dagli egoismi di parte, e si considerò guida per gli uomini alla riconquista di essa, della verità e della pace. Tale vocazione ispira la Divina Commedia, cominciata probabilmente dopo il 1307. Nel 1310 il nuovo imperatore Arrigo VII scese in Italia e Dante, scrisse delle lettere per esortare tutti ad accogliere colui che poteva riportare alla pace; scrisse inoltre il suo trattato politico più importante, la Monarchia. Ma nel 1313 Arrigo morì improvvisamente a Buonconvento presso Siena, e Dante abbandonò ogni speranza di tornare a Firenze. Negli ultimi anni, fu ospite di Can Grande della Scala a Verona e di Guido Novello da Polenta a Ravenna. Qui portò a termine l'ultima parte della Commedia, di cui era già stata pubblicata prima del 1315 la prima cantica, l'Inferno. Lo scrittore muore a Ravenna nella notte di 13 Sep a 14 Sep 1321.
A map of the earth showing Hell and Purgatory 
    Dante Alighieri's La Divina Commedia is the allegorical story of spiritual journey, one which began on Good Friday, 8 April 1300 — when Dante was 35 and thus midway through his allotted span — and lasted for just seven days; but it is also a bitter political polemic, excoriating those in authority in Italy, and above all in his native Florence, and denouncing the papacy for its wealth and corruption. It embraces the celestial and the terrestrial, the mythological and the historical, the practical and the ethical; it discusses reason and faith, of society and the individual;  finally, it claims to speak with the voice of God.
        The earth, we must understand, is the centre of the universe, of which only the northern hemisphere is inhabited. Within this hemisphere is hell, a vast funnel formed by the fall of Lucifer. The earth displaced by the fall descended to the southern hemisphere where it formed the mountain of purgatory, rising from the ocean.
      This too is conical, with seven ledges rising to its summit, paradise. Around the earth are nine concentric revolving heavens , encircling which is the empyrean, home to the nine orders or angels and the seat of God. Dante's journey therefore takes him through the entire universe. It begins in the dark wood of sin where he finds the poet Virgil, who undertakes to guide him. Down they go through the deepening circles, speaking with the damned, who are being punished according to their sins on earth.
      Some are mythological, some historical, some contemporary Florentines. Emerging in the southern hemisphere, Dante and Virgil sail to purgatory, on whose successive ledges they find those guilty of the seven deadly sins. They too suffer horribly but, unlike the denizens of Hell, they have hope; they are working up towards paradise. There the pagan Virgil must take his leave , while Dante finds his long-last Beatrice, through whom he is led to his final vision of God.
      Dante was not the first poet to write in Italian; but he, more than anyone, made his native Tuscan dialect the literary language of the whole peninsula. His limpid Italian might have been written yesterday. The work is not easy, but for anyone prepared to make the effort, the rewards are great.
     The Divine Comedy is a poem which describes the journey of Dante the Pilgrim as he is lead, firstly by Virgil through Hell and Purgatory and secondly by Beatrice through to Heaven. The poem is therefore separated into three volumes. Each volume (Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise) is of 33 cantos, except for Inferno which contains one extra introductory canto which serves as an overview to what will come.
     The interpretation of The Divine Comedy is much more than a simple poem. In fact Dante even tells us so in a letter he wrote. Dante says that in the literal sense his work is a description of 'the state of souls after death' but if his work is to be taken allegorically then the subject is ' Man-as, according to his merits or demerits in the exercise of his free will, he is subject to reward or punishment by Justice...'. The work therefore investigates Mankind's search for salvation where man must first descend into humility before he can raise himself to God. Before man can hope to climb the mountain of salvation he must first know what sin is. This is exactly what the Pilgrims journey represents as his pilgrimage takes Dante (who represents all Mankind) through all the types of sin in preparation for his ascent to God.

ART ABOUT DANTE ONLINE: [for maximum screen area in Windows: press F11]
A page from a Divina Commedia codexLa barque de DanteDante drinking the waters of the Lethe Beatrice Meeting Dante at a Marriage Feast, Denies Him Her SalutationDante's dream at the death of Beatrice The First Anniversary of the Death of Beatrice: Dante Drawing the Angel Beatrice addressing Dante from the whirlDante and Virgil entering Purgatory
Salvador Dali's illustrations for The Divine Comedy: http://narthex.com/gallerya.htm
Portraits of Dante: Allegoricalby Botticelliby Castagnoby Raphaelby Signorelli.

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