Battle of Chrysas

The Battle of Chrysas was a battle fought in 392 BC in the course of the Sicilian Wars, between the Carthaginian army under Mago and a Greek army under Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse, who was aided by Agyris, tyrant of the Sicel city of Agyrium. Mago had been defeated by Dionysius at Abacaenum in 393, which had not damaged the Carthaginian position in Sicily. Reinforced by Carthage in 392 BC, Mago moved to attack the Sicles allied with Syracuse in central Sicily. After the Carthaginians reached and encamped near the river Chrysas, the Sicels harassed the Carthaginian supply lines causing a supply shortage, while the Greek soldiers rebelled and deserted Dionysius when he refused to fight a pitched battle. Both Mago and Dionysius agreed to a peace treaty, which allowed the Carthaginians to formally occupy the area west of the River Halycus, while Dionysius was given lordship over the Sicel lands. The peace would last until 383, when Dionysius attacked the Carthaginians again.

Dionysius attacked the Phoenician city of Motya in 398 BC, igniting the first of four wars he was to lead against Carthage between 398 -368 BC. After the sack of Motya, Dionysius retired to Syracuse, while Himilco of Carthage arrived in Sicily with 50,000 men along with 400 triremes and 600 transports to continue the war. in 397 BC.

Himilco first stormed Motya, where the mostly Sicel garrison under Biton was easily overcome, then lifted the siege of Segesta

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, and Dionysius retired to Syracuse instead of offering battle in Western Sicily against a superior army. Himilco returned to Panormus, garrisoned the Carthaginian territories, and then sailed to Lipara and collected 30 talents of silver as tribute. The Carthaginian force next sailed for Messana and easily captured and sacked the city. Himilco founded the city of Tauromenium and populated it with allied Sicels, then moved south towards Catana. Dionysius moved his forces to Catana also but, due to the rash tactics of his brother Leptines, the Greek fleet was heavily defeated at the naval battle of Catana. Himilco next besieged Syracuse itself in the autumn of 397 BC. After the Carthaginian forces were devastated by a plague, Dionysius managed to decimate the Punic fleet and shut up the army survivors in their camp. Himilco, after bribing Dionysius, fled to Africa with Carthaginian citizens, while Dionysius enslaved the abandoned Carthaginian soldiers.

The Sicilian Greek cities which had become tributary to Carthage after 405 BC had all revolted in 398 BC, and along with the Sicels and the Sikans had joined Dionysius in his attack against Motya. After the defeat at Catana the Sicilian Greek soldiers had returned to their respective homes when Dionysius decided to withstand a siege in Syracuse against their wishes. The Sicels had also turned against Dionysius and had sent soldiers to help Himilco during the Carthaginian siege of Syracuse in 397 BC.

The return of Himilco after abandoning his troops to the mercy of Dionysius did not sit well with either the Carthaginian citizenry or their African subjects. Himilco publicly took full responsibility for the debacle, dressed in rags visited all the temples of the city pleading for deliverance and finally committed suicide. The divine was not mollified as a plague swept through Africa weakening Carthage further, and to top things off, the Libyans, angered by the desertion of their kinsmen in Sicily, gathered an army numbering 70,000 men and besieged Carthage itself.

Mago, the victor of Catana, (and possibly a member of the Magonid family) took command. The standing Punic army was in Sicily and recruiting a new one would have been time consuming and probably very costly (Himilco’s abandonment would have made mercenaries wary), so he rallied Carthaginian citizens to man the walls while the Punic navy kept the city supplied, as the Libyans had no ships to counter the Carthaginian fleet. Mago then used bribes and other means to quell the rebels.

After securing the safety of Carthage, Mago moved to Sicily, where the Punic city of Solus had been sacked by Dionysius sometime in 396 BC. Carthage was unwilling or unable to provide Mago with additional forces, and he had to make do with the Punic garrison left by Himilco and whatever forces he could gather in Sicily. The Carthaginians caught a break when Dionysius chose not to invade the Punic territories in Western Sicily immediately lifting the siege of Syracuse. The Elymians had stayed loyal to Carthage since the start of the war, while the Sicilian Greeks and Sikans were not threatening and most of the Sicels were not hostile when Mago arrived in Sicily.

Instead of trying to recover the lost Punic conquests through force, Mago adopted a policy of cooperation and friendship, giving aid to Greeks, Sikans, Sicels, Elymians and Punics regardless of their prior standing with Carthage. Many of the Greeks had been victims of the duplicity and aggression of Dionysius (he had destroyed Greek cities Naxos, Leontini and Catana and driven out the population) and even preferred to live under Punic rule.

The Carthaginians allowed Greeks from Naxos, Catana and Leontini, made refugees by Dionysius, along with Sicels and Sikans to settle in Punic territory, while alliances were made with Sicel tribes being threatened by Dionysius. The Greeks cities, free of Carthaginian over lordship since 398 BC, now moved from a pro Syracuse position to a neutral one, either feeling threatened by Dionysius or because of the activities of Mago. Mago was forced to take up arms after Dionysius attacked Tauromenium in 394 BC, a Carthaginian alley.

Dionysius did not immediately attack Punic Sicily after lifting the siege of Syracuse in 396 BC, although no formal treaty had been made ending the war with Carthage. The war had been costly and he may have been short of money, he also had to deal with a revolt of his mercenaries, and furthermore, he feared a fight to the finish with Carthage as it might end up finishing him. After securing Syracuse and resettling the rebellious mercenaries at Leontini (or having them killed after taking them to Leontini in the pretext of handing the town to them), Dionysius began to secure his position in Eastern Sicily.

The destruction of Messana had left Rhegion, a Greek city hostile to Dionysius, in a position to dominate the Strait of Messina, and Carthage with an opportunity to join hands with Rhegion and threaten Syracuse from the north. Dionysius first rebuilt and repopulated Messina with colonists from Locri and Medma from Italy and some from Messene, who were later relocated to Tyndaris when Sparta objected to settling the Messenians in Messana. The original inhabitants of Messana, homeless since the sack of their city in 397 BC, were settled at Tyndaris, another city built by Dionysius after he forced the Sicel city of Abacaenum to cede lands to the new colony. The founding of Messana and Tyndaris helped secure the north eastern coast of Sicily for Dionysius. Rhegion, fearing Dionysius might use Messana as a base against them planted Mylae between Messana and Tyndaris and populated the city with the refugees of Naxos and Catana, however, in 394 BC the Messanians defeated a Rhegion attack on Messana and took Mylae.

After settling Messana Dionysius attacked the Sicels and took Smeneous (exact location unknown) and Morgantina, around which the Punic city Solus and Sicel city Cephaloedium was betrayed to him, the Sicel town of Enna was sacked and the booty fattened his coffers. Syracusan territory by now had expanded to border Agyrium.

Agyris, tyrant of Agyrium was a ruthless man, having become rich after killing the leading citizens of Agyrium, commanded 20,000 citizens and many fortresses and was second only to Dionysius in Sicily. Furthermore, Agyris had aided the Campanian mercenaries sent by Carthage to rescued Dionysius in 403 BC (when the Greek rebels had him besieged in Syracuse and he was close to capitulating), so Dionysius had a personal debt to consider. Dionysius chose not to provoke Agyris or Damon, ruler of Centuripae but made alliances with the Sicel cities of Agyrium, Centuripae, Herbita, Assorus (this city had stayed loyal to Syracuse after other Sicels had deserted to Himilco when Tauromenium was founded in 397 BC) and Herbessus. creating a buffer zone for Syracuse in central Sicily. Dionysius next besieged Tauromenium in the winter, but was forced lift the siege after his night assault failed. Dionysius next attacked Rehgion, but his attack failed, and he returned to Sicily after concluding a treaty with Rhegion to prevent their joining Carthage.

It normally took Carthage some time to organize armies so Mago did not await reinforcements from Africa to arrive. He gathered together whatever forces he could in Sicily and set out for Messana, which had deposed out the partisans of Dionysius after his debacle at Tauronemium. Dionysius managed to intercept Mago near Abacaenum and the Carthaginians were heavily defeated, losing 8,000 soldiers. The defeat did not weaken the Carthagnian position in Sicily. Carthage reinforced Mago, and the stage was set for another confrontation.

Himilco had brought 50,000 men along with 400 triremes and 600 transports to Sicily in 397 BC.The majority of this army had been destroyed at Syracuse, and the size of the force Mago commanded at Abacaenum is not known except that it had shrunk by a further 8,000 men after the battle. Carthage sent an army of 80,000 soldiers to Sicily, recruited from AfricSardinia and Campania hydration belts for runners. No Iberian recruits are mentioned, perhaps the presence of Iberians at Leontini and in the army of Syracuse had made Carthage wary of hiring them. Carthaginian troop numbers may have been exaggerated by a factor of two, but it is likely Mago’s force outnumbered the Greeks.

Dionysius had mustered an army of 40,000 foot and 3,000 horsemen, from both citizens and mercenaries (at least 10,000, if not more) for attacking Motya in 398 BC, perhaps along with 40,000 Greek, Sicel and Sikan volunteers. At Catana in 397 BC Dionysius commanded 30,000 foot and 3,000 horse, perhaps he was short of cash to hire mercenaries and part of his forces were manning Syracuse. In 392 BC Dionysius organized an army of 20,000 men, perhaps garrison duty and cash shortage prevented assembling of a larger contingent. The Sicels mustered an army of 20,000 troops to support Syracuse.

The Libyans supplied both heavy and light infantry and formed the most disciplined units of the army. The heavy infantry fought in close formation, armed with long spears and round shields, wearing helmets and linen cuirasses. The light Libyan infantry carried javelins and a small shield, same as Iberian light infantry. Campanian, Sardinian, Sicel and Gallic infantry fought in their native gear, but often were equipped by Carthage. Sicels and other Sicilians were equipped like Greek Hoplites, as were the Sicilian Greek mercenaries. Mago’s force had no Iberian soldiers.

The Libyans, Carthaginian citizens and the Libyo-Phoenicians provided disciplined, well trained cavalry equipped with thrusting spears and round shields. Numidia provided superb light cavalry armed with bundles of javelins and riding without bridle or saddle. Iberians and Gauls also provided cavalry, which relied on the all out charge. Carthage at this time did not use elephants, and there is no mention of war chariots being present in Mago’s army. The Carthaginian officer corps held overall command of the army, although many units may have fought under their chieftains.

The mainstay of the Greek army was the Hoplite, drawn mainly from the citizens by Dionysius had a large number of mercenaries from Italy and Greece as well. Sicels and other native Sicilians also served in the army as hoplites and also supplied peltasts, and a number of Campanians, probably equipped like Samnite or Etruscan warriors, were present as well. The Phalanx was the standard fighting formation of the army. The cavalry was recruited from wealthier citizens and hired mercenaries. Dionysius also had the services of a number of Iberian troops, former members of Himilco’s army. The Iberian infantry wore purple bordered white tunics and leather headgear. The Heavy infantry fought in a dense phalanx, armed with heavy throwing spears, long body shields and short thrusting swords.

Carthage had launched 3 major campaigns in Sicily in 409, 406 and 397 BC and the Punic navy had played a major role in combat, transport and logistical roles, as all 3 campaigns had progressed along the coast of Sicily bpa free reusable water bottles. There is no mention of Carthage mobilizing a naval contingent to serve in Sicily in 392 BC, so Mago probably chose an inland route to take on Syracuse. The Carthaginians probably intended to deal with the Sicels allied with Dionysius and not launch a direct attack on Syracuse. The exact route of Mago’s march is not known, except that many Sicel cities formally under Dionysius broke away and declared for Carthage. Mago faced little problems until he reached the territory of Agyris near the River Chrysas.

The Carthaginian army was probably dependent on supplies from their strongholds and allies, being inland the Punic fleet could not have supplied them. Mago marched in the territory of Agyris, but failed to persuade him to switch sides. The Carthaginians then moved to intercept the Greek army, but Dionysius, heavily outnumbered, fell back and luered the Carthaginians away from Agryium.

Hamilcar Barca during the first Punic war and Quintus Fabius Maximus during the second had adopt a strategy on encamping near their enemy and constantly skirmishing without engaging in pitched battle. Successive Carthaginian commanders faced similar tactics from the Greeks during their campaign in 406 BC, when the Greeks harassed the Punic supply lines and brought them close to disaster. Dionysius now adopted the same strategy. He encamped with his army but refused battle, while the Carthaginians camped nearby, the Sicels were employed to do the harassment.

Dionysius personally visited Agyris and secured his cooperation after promising him extensive territories and to supply whatever he needed in future. Agyris sent supplies of corn and other essentials to the Greek camp, then joined Dionysius with his whole army. The Carthaginian army outnumbered the combined armies of Syracuse and Agryium, so the Greeks sat tight while the Sicels began to harass the Punic supply train and foragers. Constant ambushes and skirmishing followed, and the Sicels, operating in their home ground, got the better of things and soon the Carthaginians faced a supply shortage. However, Fabian strategy is time consuming and that in itself can create fatal drawbacks, as Fabius and Hamilcar would discover in the future and Dionysius discovered at Chrysas.

Greek commanders had put the Carthaginians in similar situations at Akragas and Gela only to have their schemes scuttled by other factors. Like the plague that derailed Carthaginians campaigns in Sicily, Dionysius often was beset by mutiny and desertion. Sicilian Greeks left his army after his retreat from Gela in 405 BC and from Catana in 397. Syracusan soldiers had mutinied in 405 and 403 BC and almost toppled him, his mercenaries mutinied after his victory at Syracuse in 396 BC. While mercenaries fought as long they got paid, Greek citizen soldiers liked short campaigns. When Dionysius refused to heed their call for battle and decided to persist with the guerrilla tactics, the Syracusans simply left his camp and went home.

Dionysius made up his depleted numbers by freeing the slaves of the departed Greeks and arming them, but his army had shrunk both in numbers and fighting quality. It is not known if Mago got wind of his predicament or why he took no action. Dionysius had to cope with the possibility of a Carthaginian attack and also possible betrayal by the Sicels, victims of many a Greek scheme in the past. Mago had 3 options: sue for peace, retreat or fight a pitched battle. With both parties seeking a way out of their predicaments without battle, peace negotiations were opened and concluded.

Himilco and Dionysius had concluded a peace treaty in 405 BC after the Carthaginians had sacked Akragas, Gela and Camarina, with only the plague stopping them from attacking Syracuse. The terms of that treaty were:

The Sicilian political situation in 392 BC had changed considerably. Carthage was in control of Phoenicians, Sikans and Elymians, but the triburary Greeks cities had become independent of Carthaginian control. Dionysius had occupied Leontini while Messene was allied with Syracuse. The Sicels were divided, some were under Greek occupation or allied with Dionysius, while others, especially Tauromenium, was allied with Carthage. Dionysius and Mago agreed to terms, which are not clearly known but which reflected the ground reality:

Although both Mago and Dionysius were in a jam at Chrysas, it was probably possible for them to disengage and continue the war. However, the following factors may have influenced their agreeing to the peace pact:

Mago sailed back to Carthage after the treaty and the Carthaginian army was disbanded. Carthage launched no wars in the Mediterranean. Dionysius took bloodless possession of Tauromenium in 391 BC and replaced the Sicel population with his mercenaries. If Dionysius compensated Agyris for his crucial services, the details are not known. The Syracusan rebels joined Dionysius before the treaty was signed and he promptly returned the freed slaves to their masters. After settling his affairs in Sicily, Dionysius began a campaign against Rhegion in 390 BC. He failed to take the city in 390 and 389 BC and finally succeeded in 387 BC. 3 years later, again he started a war with Carthage that lasted until 375 BC and ended in his defeat at the Battle of Cronium.

Parimutuel betting

Parimutuel betting (from the French: Pari Mutuel or mutual betting) is a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and the “house-take” or “vigorish” are removed, and payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool among all winning bets. In some countries it is known as the Tote after the totalisator, which calculates and displays bets already made.

The parimutuel system is used in gambling on horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai, and all sporting events of relatively short duration in which participants finish in a ranked order. A modified parimutuel system is also used in some lottery games.

Parimutuel betting differs from fixed-odds betting in that the final payout is not determined until the pool is closed – in fixed odds betting, the payout is agreed at the time the bet is sold.

Parimutuel gambling is frequently state-regulated, and offered in many places where gambling is otherwise illegal. Parimutuel gambling is often also offered at “off track” facilities, where players may bet on the events without actually being present to observe them in person.

Consider a hypothetical event which has eight possible outcomes, in a country using a decimal currency such as dollars. Each outcome has a certain amount of money wagered:

Thus, the total pool of money on the event is $1028.00. Following the start of the event, no more wagers are accepted. The event is decided and the winning outcome is determined to be Outcome 4 with $110.00 wagered. The payout is now calculated. First the commission or take for the wagering company is deducted from the pool; for example with a commission rate of 14.25% the calculation is: $1028 × 0.1425 = $146.49. This leaves a remaining amount of $881.51. This remaining amount in the pool is now distributed to those who wagered on Outcome 4: $881.51 / $110.00 = 8.01 ≈ $8 per $1 wagered. This payout includes the $1 wagered plus an additional $7 profit. Thus, the odds on Outcome 4 are 7-to-1 (or, expressed as decimal odds, 8.01).

Prior to the event, betting agencies will often provide approximates for what will be paid out for a given outcome should no more bets be accepted at the current time. Using the wagers and commission rate above (14.25%), an approximates table in decimal odds would be:

In real-life examples, such as horse racing, the pool size often extends into millions of dollars with many different types of outcomes (winning horses) and complex commission calculations.

Sometimes, the amounts paid out are rounded down to a denomination interval—in the United States and Australia, 10¢ intervals are used. The rounding loss is sometimes known as breakage and is retained by the betting agency as part of the commission.

In horse racing, a practical example of this circumstance might be when an overwhelming favorite wins

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. The parimutuel calculation results might call for a very small winning payout (say, $1.02 or $1.03 on a dollar bet), but the legal regulation would require a larger payout (e.g., $1.10 on a dollar bet). In North America, this condition is usually referred to as a minus pool.

In an event with a set of n possible outcomes, with wagers W1, W2, …, Wn the total pool of money on the event is

After the wagering company deducts a commission rate of r from the pool, the amount remaining to be distributed between the successful bettors is WR = WT(1 − r). Those who bet on the successful outcome m will receive a payout of WR / Wm for every dollar they bet on it.

The parimutuel system was invented by Catalan impresario Joseph Oller in 1867.

The large amount of calculation involved in this system led to the invention of a specialized mechanical calculating machine known as a totalisator, “automatic totalisator” or “tote board”, invented by the Australian engineer, George Alfred Julius. The first was installed at Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland, New Zealand in 1913, and they came into widespread use at race courses throughout the world. The U.S. introduction was in 1927, which led to the opening of the suburban Arlington Racetrack in Arlington Park, near Chicago and Sportsman’s Park in Cicero, Illinois, in 1932.

Unlike many forms of casino gambling, in parimutuel betting the gambler bets against other gamblers, not the house. The science of predicting the outcome of a race is called handicapping.

It is possible for a skilled player to win money in the long run at this type of gambling, but overcoming the deficit produced by taxes, the facility’s take, and the breakage is difficult to accomplish and few people are successful at it.[citation needed]

Independent off-track bookmakers typically have a smaller take and thus offer better payoffs, but they are illegal in some countries. However, the introduction of Internet gambling led to “rebate shops”. These off-shore betting shops promise to return some percentage of every bet made to the bettor. They may reduce their take from 15-18% to as little as 1 or 2%, while still generating a profit by operating with minimal overhead. Rebate shops allow skilled horse players to make a steady income.[citation needed]

There may be several different types of bets, in which case each type of bet has its own pool. The basic bets involve predicting the order of finish for a single participant, as follows:

In Canada and the United States, the most common types of bet on horse races include:

Win, place and show wagers class as straight bets, and the remaining wagers as exotic bets. Bettors usually make multiple wagers on exotic bets. A box consists of a multiple wager in which bettors bet all possible combinations of a group of horses in the same race. A key involves making a multiple wager with a single horse in one race bet in one position with all possible combinations of other selected horses in a single race. A wheel consists of betting all horses in one race of a bet involving two or more races. For example, a 1-all daily double wheel bets the 1-horse in the first race with every horse in the second.

People making straight bets commonly employ the strategy of an “each way” bet. Here the bettor picks a horse and bets it will win, and makes an additional bet that it will show, so that theoretically if the horse runs third it will at least pay back the two bets. The Canadian and American equivalent is the bet across (short for across the board): the bettor bets equal sums on the horse to win, place, and show.

A parlay, accumulator or roll-up consists of a series of bets in which bettors stake the winnings from one race on the next in order until either the bettor loses or the series completes successfully.

In Australia, certain exotic bet types can be laid as “flexi” bets. Usually the price of an exotic bet is determined by a set multiple of the outcome, for example $60 for a five horse boxed trifecta at one unit ($1)—or $30 at half unit (50c). If the bet is successful, the bettor will get either the full winning amount shown on the board, or half the winning amount. Under a flexi system the bettor can nominate their desired total wager, and their percentage of payout is determined by this wager’s relationship to the full unit price. Using a five horse box trifecta, the bettor may wish to lay only $20 on the outcome. Their percentage of winnings is now calculated as $20/$60 = 33.3%. If the bet is successful, the payout will be 33.3% of the winning amount for a full unit bet.

In recent times the “Roving Banker” variant for Trifecta and First4 betting is now offered. For a Roving Banker First4 the player selects one, two or three runners they believe will definitely finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th, and up to three selections as Roving Banker(s) with other runners to fill the remaining place(s). A Roving Banker Trifecta is where the player believes that one or two runners will definitely finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd. The bet can be placed by picking the player’s favourite runner to finish in any place within the bet and complete the Trifecta with any number of other runners to fill the other placing(s).

The following pools are operated at meetings in mainland Britain:

Exotic wagers are usually made on horses running at the same track on the same program. In the United Kingdom bookmakers also offer exotic wagers on horses at different tracks. Probably the Yankee occurs most commonly: in this the bettor tries to pick the winner of four races. This bet also includes subsidiary wagers on smaller combinations of the chosen horses; for example, if only two of the four horses win, the bettor still collects for their double. A Trixie requires trying to pick three winners, and a Canadian or Super Yankee trying to pick five; these also include subsidiary bets. There are also other bets which are large combinations of singles, doubles, trebles and accumulators some of them are called Lucky 15, Lucky 31, Heinz, Super Heinz, Goliath. The term nap identifies the best bet of the day.

Tote Ireland operates the following pools:

Bet types for harness racing (trotting):

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) operates the following bet types and pools.

In Japan, Keiba (競馬, horse racing), Keirin (競輪, professional cycling)

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, Kyōtei (競艇, hydroplane racing), and Auto Race (オートレース, motorcycle racing) operate the following bet type. Wager must be a multiple of 100 yen except Each-way.

The following bet type are offered by the government-controlled betting agency Paris Mutuel Urbain (PMU).

Tiercé, Quarté+ and Quinté+ bets are typically only offered on the largest race of the day.

Dei Consentes

Die Dei consentes oder Dii consentes waren eine Gruppe von 12 Göttern, die von den Römern besonders verehrt wurden. Der Dichter Ennius nannte im 3. Jahrhundert v. Chr. die folgenden 6 männlichen und 6 weiblichen Götter:

Ihre vergoldeten Statuen standen auf dem Forum Romanum

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, später anscheinend in der Porticus Deorum Consentium, deren Wiederherstellung durch Vettius Agorius Praetextatus im Jahr 367 durch eine entsprechende Inschrift belegt ist

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. Die Götter wurden beim Lectisternium, einem Bankett der Götter, verehrt. Dabei wurden die Statuen der Götter auf Kissen gestellt und ihnen ein Mahl offeriert.

Die Zahl 12 wurde von den Etruskern übernommen, welche auch ein Pantheon von 12 Göttern verehrten. Daher stammt auch die Bezeichnung Consentes, da die römischen Schriftsteller die etruskische Bezeichnung mit Consentes (von „übereinstimmen“) bzw. Complices (von „zusammenlegen“) wiedergaben, also die Bezeichnung einer Art von Ratsversammlung. Dieser etruskische Götterrat beriet den obersten Gott Tinia, die etruskische Entsprechung von Jupiter, vor allem dann, wenn es um das Schleudern einer bestimmten Art von Blitzen ging. Über die Zusammensetzung dieser Ratsversammlung ist weiter nichts bekannt.

Identifiziert wurden die römischen Dei consentes mit den griechischen olympischen Göttern. Die ersten drei Götter Jupiter

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, Juno und Minerva bildeten die Kapitolinische Trias und führten die anderen.

Tomas Baranauskas

Tomas Baranauskas (born September 12, 1973 in Kaunas) is a Lithuanian historian specializing in the history of medieval Lithuania. He is the author of the book “The Formation of the Lithuanian State”.

Baranauskas spent his youth in Žeimelis and Anykščiai. In 1998, he graduated from the Faculty of History at the Vilnius University. Since September 1996 he works in the Lithuanian Institute of History.

At the end of May 2000, he published The Formation of the Lithuanian State (“Lietuvos valstybės ištakos”). In the book Baranauskas argued that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania formed earlier than generally accepted; i Pentagram Necklace.e. that the state was founded before King Mindaugas

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. The book received mixed reviews from the academics.

Since June 22, 2000, Baranauskas maintains the largest site on the medieval history of Lithuania on the Internet – “Medieval Lithuania”. Since March 2003 he also administers the official website of the Lithuanian Institute of History.

Einstein’s Gift

Einstein’s Gift is a play written by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen in 2003. Through the recollections of Albert Einstein, the play focuses on the life and career of German chemist Dr. Fritz Haber, who helped improve living conditions with his work on nitrogen fixation. His work was later used by the German army to produce chlorine gas used in Second Battle of Ypres in the First World War. As Dr. Haber becomes increasingly involved with the German army, the play depicts how his actions and newly forged military connections affect his relationship with his wife, Clara, and his assistant, Otto. As his passion in science intertwines with nationalistic pride, Haber manifested himself a scientist devoted to a country that never accepted his Jewish origin.

Einstein’s Gift is a memory play that loosely recounts the life of Dr. Fritz Haber from 1905 until his death in 1934. The play is presented as the memories of Albert Einstein as he looks back upon Haber’s life. Through the interactions of Einstein, Haber, Haber’s two wives, scientific colleagues and political and military minders, it addresses the connections between pure and applied science

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, faith and nationalism, and imagination and knowledge. Fritz Haber was a Nobel Laureate and German chemist. Haber converted from Judaism to Christianity to help further his scientific career as even at that time in Germany there existed discrimination against Jewish people. He was the co-inventor of the Haber-Bosch process. The process, used to make nitric acid, revolutionized the production of agricultural fertilizer. This invention helped to prevent the starvation of millions of people. However, he was also involved in the use of chlorine gas by the German military. This gas was used in as a weapon in Ypres during World War I. Haber also developed Zyklon B.

The first act works to develop the meaningful yet complicated relationship between the characters Einstein and Haber, drawing upon the dynamic differences between both their scientific and moral principles. Morals that are discussed between (Albert) Einstein and Haber during this act include nationality, religion/faith, and what it means to change these factors in one’s life; for example, Haber does not fully embrace Christianity, but is baptized so that he can increase his chances of gaining professorship. Haber’s decision to get a baptism is motivated by his career goals. This not only demonstrates his devotion to science, but also his ambition to acquire fame and recognition as a scientist.

Very early on, it is established that Einstein and Haber are each other’s foil, both with a very different outlook on life and the future of science. While Einstein does not care much for his nationality and cultural identity, Haber, who is strongly nationalistic, feels obliged to serve his country. In the opening scene, Haber praises the German education system as “the best in the world”, while Einstein retorts that being a German born and raised was “no privilege for [him]”, detesting the structure and interconnecting the differing stances the two brilliant scientists have on nationality and scientific belief (Thiessen 10). Their differing views arise later, as the two once again find themselves at odds with each other through their contrasting perspective on the sciences – Haber scoffs at the impracticality of physics, while Einstein views chemistry as unimaginative. Their differing views regarding science’s involvement in war create tension between the pacifist Albert Einstein and the war involved Haber. Haber argued that, if he were to assist the military in the production and utilization of lethal chlorine gas, the war would come to an end sooner due to the gas’s effectiveness in trench warfare. Einstein, however, reasoned that science should, under no circumstances, be used for such purposes.

In addition to the discrimination towards religion that is addressed in the play, there is the topic of prejudice towards women in the early twentieth century. Focussing on the scientific community as women began to advance into the many fields of science, it is represented in the play through the chemist and Fritz Haber’s wife Clara Immerwahr, the first woman to receive a PhD from the University of Breslau. Clara was also Jewish and of German descent.

Thiessen presents non-stereotypical scientists with varying points of view toward their disciplines: Haber is willing to compromise his faith, the people in his life, and morals to further his career ambitions through practical use of science; Haber’s wife Clara practices science to serve the greater good through applications of her work; Einstein believes that science is composed of ideas and imagination; and Otto only wishes to make a difference. In this play, the clash of these scientists’ ideologies is explored through their relationships. On one hand, Haber’s views differ with his assistant, Otto

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, who, in act one, is portrayed as an idealistic young man who truly believes that science will yield a better future, and desires no power or recognition for his efforts; Haber, on the other hand, issues a command, by order of General Deimling of the German Army, to release chlorine gas, causing the death of several enemy soldiers, fearing he would be stripped of his precious titles and posting if he did not comply. Haber’s drive to advance his career by developing chemical warfare also places a great deal of strain on his relationship with his wife, Clara Immerwahr. Clara and Haber both believe in the practical application of science. But, Clara is more interested in serving “greater humanity” while Haber is more concerned with helping his own country, furthering his career and, in Clara’s eyes, gaining recognition. This causes Clara to constantly challenge Haber. Through her arguments and criticisms, Clara displays how Haber has become overly obsessed with being accepted by a country that, as she puts it, will never see him as a “real German.”

In the ending scene of Act 1, Haber along with Colonel Peterson and General Deimling release chlorine gas in Ypres to “create havoc.” Haber is hoping that the release of chlorine gas will bring the war to an abrupt halt; however, Deimling disregards Haber’s strategy and orders him to release it without “full reserves.” Haber listens to General Deimling due to his flaw of searching for fame and recognition. Otto, Haber’s assistant, notices that Haber will do whatever it takes to further his career even if that involves murdering other men. This is supported by Deimling’s comment: “Well done, Haber. I’m sure a promotion to captain will be in order…” After the chlorine gas is released, Haber sees firsthand the mass murder he has caused in order to be famous. His actions not only astonished him at the atrocity that took place but also lead to his wife committing suicide. She killed herself because she felt betrayed by her husband, and could not live with the knowledge that her husband had used the scientific processes in which they had created together for evil rather than for the original purpose of establishing a more productive society.

In the second to last scene during Act 2, Einstein shares with Haber his opinion about the differences in their own respective approaches to life and science. Einstein explains how he is undeserving compared to Haber because he has “[kept] a safe distance from life” and lived inside himself, whereas Haber “struggled with the world” and is therefore more deserving of recognition, praise and respect.

In his play, Einstein’s Gift, Theissen explores theme balance between career ambition and morals; faith and nationality; and practicality and imagination; by juxtaposing two brilliant scientists with opposing points of view toward their common discipline, Theissen demonstrates that both scientists’ lack of balance leads to their downfall.

In the 2005 production by The Gateway Theatre and Firehall Theatre the set consists of a number of platforms with various mathematical equations covering them.

The characters have been played by various actors in different productions:

The crew positions have been occupied by different people in different productions:

The play has been performed at:

The play has seen some success, and, therefore, knows some criticism: the New York Times Theatre Review states that “Science may need less sugar than Mr. Thiessen and the Epic Theatre company suppose”; whereas, PH.D Theatre critic Irene Backalenick says for www.jewish-theatre.com “Einstein’s Gift is a gift to us all.”