All About Famous Tahitian Dances

One of the most widely recognized images of the islands is the world famous Tahitian dance. The ‘ote’a (sometimes written as otea) is a traditional dance from Tahiti, where the dancers, standing in several rows, execute figures. This dance, easily recognized by its fast hip-shaking and grass skirts, is often confused with the Hawaiian hula, a generally slower more graceful dance which focuses more on the hands and storytelling than the hips.

The ʻōteʻa is one of the few dances which existed in pre-European times as a male dance. On the other hand, the hura (Tahitian vernacular for hula), a dance for women, has disappeared, and the couple’s dance ‘upa’upa is likewise gone but may have reemerged as the tamure. Nowadays, the ʻōteʻa can be danced by men (ʻōteʻa tāne), by women (ʻōteʻa vahine), or by both genders (ʻōteʻa ʻāmui = united ʻō.).

All About Famous Tahitian Dances

The dance is with music only, drums, but no singing. The drum can be one of the types of the tōʻere, a laying log of wood with a longitudinal slit, which is struck by one or two sticks. Or it can be the pahu, the ancient Tahitian standing drum covered with a shark skin and struck by the hands or with sticks. The rhythm from the tōʻere is fast, from the pahu it is slower. A smaller drum, the faʻatete, can be used.

The dancers make gestures, reenacting daily occupations of life. For the men the themes can be chosen from warfare or sailing, and then they may use spears or paddles.

For women the themes are closer to home or from nature: combing their hair or the flight of a butterfly, for example. More elaborate themes can be chosen, for example, one where the dancers end up in a map of Tahiti, highlighting important places. In a proper ʻōteʻa the story of the theme should pervade the whole dance.

The group dance called ‘Aparima is often performed with the dancers dressed in pareo and maro. There are two types of ʻaparima: the ʻaparima hīmene (sung handdance) and the ʻaparima vāvā (silent handdance), the latter being performed with music only and no singing. Newer dances include the hivinau and the pa’o’a.

Why Americans travel to Europe for what?

Why Americans travel to Europe for what?

Americans go to London for social triumph, to Rome for art’s sake, and to Berlin to study music and to economize; but they go to Paris to enjoy themselves. And there are no young men of any nation who enter into the accomplishment of this so heartily and so completely as does the young American.

Paris determined to see all that any one else has ever seen, and to outdo all that any one else has ever done, and to stir that city to its suburbs. He saves his time, his money, and his superfluous energy for this visit, and the most amusing part of it is that he always leaves Paris fully assured that he has enjoyed himself while there more thoroughly than any one else has ever done, and that the city will require two or three months’ rest before it can read just itself after the shock and wonder due to his meteoric flight through its limits. Paris, he tells you, ecstatically, when he meets you on the boulevards is “the greatest place on earth,” and he adds, as evidence of the truth of this, that he has not slept in three weeks. He is unsurpassed in his omnivorous capacity for sight-seeing, and in his ability to make himself immediately and contentedly at home.

The American visitor is not only undaunted by the strange language, but unimpressed by the signs of years of vivid history about him. He sandwiches a glimpse at the tomb of Napoleon, and a trip on a penny steamer up the Seine, and back again to the Morgue, with a rush through the Cathedral of Notre Dame, between the hours of his breakfast and the race-meeting at Longchamps the same afternoon. Nothing of present interest escapes him, and nothing bores him. He assimilates and grasps the method of Parisian existence with a rapidity that leaves you wondering in the rear, and at the end of a week can tell you that you should go to one side of the Grand Hôtel for cigars, and to the other to have your hat blocked. He knows at what hour Yvette Guilbert comes on at the Ambassadeurs’, and on which mornings of the week the flower-market is held around the Madeleine.

While you are still hunting for apartments he has visited the sewers under the earth, and the Eiffel Tower over the earth, and eaten his dinner in a tree at Robinson’s, and driven a coach to Versailles over the same road upon which the mob tramped to bring Marie Antoinette back to Paris, without being the least impressed by the contrast which this offers to his own progress. He develops also a daring and reckless spirit of adventure, which would never have found vent in his native city or town, or in any other foreign city or town. It is in the air, and he enters into the childish goodnature of the place and of the people after the same mariner that the head of a family grows young again at his class reunion.

The Château Rouge was originally the house of some stately family in the time of Louis XIV. They will tell you there that it was one of the mistresses of this monarch who occupied it, and will point to the frescos of one room to show how magnificent her abode then was. This tradition may or may not be true, but it adds an interest to the house, and furnishes the dramatic contrast to its present wretchedness.

Japan: From Kyoto to Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyushu Island, Korea

Japan: From Kyoto to Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyushu Island, Korea

From Kyoto

Thanks to its perch in the relatively high latitudes, northeast Asia is the only part of the region that enjoys four distinct seasons-a climatic oddity that makes it curiously familiar for Westerners traveling in Japan, Korea, and parts of northern China. Cherry-blossom time is perhaps the best season to visit Japan (though beware of the crowds), and fall the best for Korea (where the colors easily rival those of New England). In China’s north and Russia’s far east, high summer or midwinter are best-warm sunlit evenings in July or magnificent snowy vistas in December.

Forget Tokyo as a base: Its monstrous international airport, Narita, happens to be so inconveniently sited-at the very least, two and a half hours from the average Tokyo hotel room-that it is actually the very last place to choose. By contrast, Osaka’s handsome new airport proves a very good jumping-off point and is well connected to its neighbor cities, and not least to the exquisite old Japanese capital of Kyoto-which means that you can spend a meditative morning communing with the stones in Ryoan-ji Temple or strolling the Philosopher’s Walk from Eikan-do to Ginkaku-ji before setting out, via what is called the new Kansai airport, on your adventure.

There ate–two further practical advantages to Osaka. First, flights from the Kansai field to Tokyo land not at the far away Narita but at the much handier Haneda Airport, only minutes from Tokyo’s city center; and second, Osaka-where there is a brand-new Imperial Hotel that is well worth seeing-is nearer to the major centers of South Korea, essential destinations for anyone wanting to have the full picture of what northeast Asia is all about.

To Tokyo

This, of course, has to be the prime destination, but it is invidious to offer specific sites of pilgrimage-the Imperial Palace, the Ginza, the 5 A.M. auctions at the Tsukiji fish market. Better to suggest things to do, such as Kabuki theater (marathan sessions are held at the Kabuki-za Theater in Ginza), or No drama (at the nearby Ginza No-Gakudo), or simply the amazing nightlife in such areas as Shinjuku or Roppongi. Whereas in smaller Japanese cities and towns it’s a good idea to have the (incredibly expensive) experience of staying in a local inn, a ryokan, in Tokyo you are better advised to stay at a Western-style hotel, of which the Seiyo Ginza and the Imperial remain among the best.

To Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji and the nearby hot spring region of Hakone are well within the two-hour range for train journeys from Kyoto. You climb the mountain (in Japan they say the wise man climbs it but only the fool climbs it twice), taking about four hours up, two down; warm clothing is essential if you climb at night-as you should, in order to witness goraiko, the sunrise, from the summit.In Hakone, where you can stay at astonishingly costly hotels like the Fujiya, one ofthe oldest Western-style hotels in the country, the attractions are legion-lakes, mountains, mud baths, ancient forests, and, if you’re lucky, morning views of Fuji-san looming over all.

To Kyushu Island

Here is where you come to know Japan best of all, however, by experiencing her traditions and her curiosities rather than by seeing her cities and her sights. But doing this demands same valor on the part of the casual visitor-nowhere more so than in the sampling of the onsen, the open-air bath. Try Beppu, where you can either bathe in a variety of types and temperatures of water or be buried up to the neck in hat sand on a volcanic beach. In Yufu-in, inland and near-by, the scene is more genteel and more beautifully and classically Japanese, and there are plenty of smaIl hotels with adjoining baths.

Also on Kyushu is the reborn town of Nagasaki-famous for its role as the first open city in pre-Meiji Japan and as the second city to be devastated by the American nuclear attacks in 1945. Hiroshima, two hours by train southwest of Osaka and still on the main island of Honshu, is equally well worth visiting.The two other main islands of Japan-the small and temple-filled Shikoku and the large and largely agricultural Hokkaido-are less frequently visited. For those with time (six weeks if on foot, a day if by bus), there is a memorable pilgrimage route that takes in all 88 temple site s on Shikoku; and for those with wintertime energy, the skiing around Sapporo is excellent. The Shikotsuko Hokkai Hotel here offers one of the few affordable Japanese ryokan experiences in the country.

To Korea

From Osaka Airport, it is quick and easy to reach Seoul, Pusan, and, with a little more effort, the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. While the sight of the Cold War, still very much alive and well at the armistice village of Panmunjom, may enthrall some, the little-known countryside of South Korea remains spectacularly beautiful: The unforgettable temple of Haein-sa near the city of Taegu is among the most notable places.Within locked rooms and guarded by monks lies one of the original Buddhist woodenblock libraries, the Tripitaka Koreana, carved in the thirteenth century; and the temple itself sits in a dreamlike panorama of misty mountains of unparalleled beauty-the perfect spiritual link to the fragile loveliness of the Kyoto temples.

Why and when to travel to Jamaica

Why and when to travel to Jamaica

An insider’s guide to Jamaica, featuring the island’s best hotels, restaurants, bars, attractions and things to do, including how to travel there and around. By James Henderson, Telegraph Travel’s Jamaica expert. Click on the tabs below for the best beaches, including the top spots to stay stay, eat and drink.

Why go?

Jamaica is the liveliest, most captivating and most compelling island in the English-speaking Caribbean – and among the most beautiful too. It has the beaches and the hotels, but Jamaica also has more depth, with culture in its history, art and of course its music. The Caribbean experience is stronger here – Jamaica takes familiar strains from around the Caribbean and amplifies them.

When to go

The best time to visit is when the weather is at its worst and coldest in the UK, between mid-December and mid-April (the official winter season). In Jamaica this is also the driest part of the year. However, prices are at their highest then, so you may want to consider the shoulder season, up until July, when hotel prices reduce by as much as a third and the weather is not that different. The summer months are hot and sometimes muggy. You may want to avoid September and October because of the risk of hurricanes and November because it is the rainy season.

Why and when to travel to Jamaica

Know before you go

Flight time

London to Jamaica takes between nine and 10 hours.


The currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar, or ‘J’, which floats on the international exchange (currently £1 = J$175 approx). However, many people use the US dollar (hotel bills are quoted in this currency). You should check the rate and make the calculations to see what exchange rate you are being offered.

Local laws and etiquette

Personal safety is an issue in several islands around the Caribbean. Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach nor in a car. Do not walk in remote areas in the main towns nor on remote beaches, certainly not at night. If in doubt ask your hotel reception what they do. Largely speaking the Jamaicans are charming and if you stop to ask them advice or directions they are delighted to help. Be careful when you are approached, however – consider what you would do at home if approached by someone you didn’t know – and act in a similar manner.

Things to do in Downtown Los Angeles

Things to do in Downtown Los Angeles

A few decades ago, nobody wanted to touch DTLA. There simply weren’t enough things to do in Downtown Los Angeles, aside from being a firsthand witness to the decline of a once great city center. These days, it’s a different story. While Downtown is still a little bit rough around the edges, it’s in the midst of a cultural and architectural resurgence that’s turning the area into a walkable, Metro-friendly destination dotted with museums and beautiful buildings. Get to know Bunker Hill, the Historic Core and beyond with these 20 things to do in Downtown Los Angeles.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

As the $274-million crown jewel of the LA Music Center, Disney Hall opened in 2003 to rave reviews. The novelty hasn’t yet worn off: both inside and out, this is a terrific venue. Designed by Frank Gehry, the hall features a 2,265-capacity auditorium with an open platform stage. The hall is the home of the LA Philharmonic and the LA Master Chorale, but the schedule is surprisingly varied throughout the year. The complex also includes the 250-seat Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre, a gallery and a roof garden.

Music Center

The Center Theatre Group programs two of the halls that make up DTLA’s original cultural complex. At the north end, the Ahmanson Theatre presents pre- or post-Broadway fare, while the smaller Mark Taper Forum stages a wide range of new plays. Also part of the Music Center, the grand Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is the home base for LA Opera, as well as occasional concerts and dance events. Last, but certainly not least, the Center also includes the previously mentioned Disney Concert Hall.

Things to do in Downtown Los Angeles

Bradbury Building

Walk through the archway entrance of this otherwise nondescript brick building and you’re greeted with a stunning, light-flooded alley of wood, iron and brick. You’ll have to do all of your gawking from the ground floor (and half a flight of stairs) as the rest of the building is private office space. History buffs will appreciate its place as Downtown’s oldest commercial building (1893); movie buffs will recognize the zigzagging staircases from the climax of Blade Runner.

Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours

We could fill an entire list with nothing but Downtown’s stunning architecture (unsurprisingly, quite a few of our picks for the most beautiful buildings are in DTLA). Instead, we’ll point you in the direction of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s acclaimed walking tours. Choose between tours of modern skyscrapers or the Historic Core, Art Deco icons or Victorian mansions. Most tours meet at Pershing Square, near the mini-groves of orange trees.

Grand Central Market

This European-style food hall has been operating on the ground floor of the iconic Homer Laughlin Building since 1917. Even if you’re not there for the food, it’s worth a trip; people from all corners of LA mix and mingle among rows of spices, produce and vintage neon signage. Of course, if you’re hungry it’s a great place to get cheap pupusas, carnitas tacos and aguas frescas, as well as food from handsome, trendy eateries like Sticky Rice, Horse Thief BBQ, Eggslut and G&B Coffee.

Things to do in Downtown Los Angeles

Grand Park

The slow, lumbering mission to turn Downtown LA into a vibrant cultural hub got a lift when a portion of Grand Park’s 12 acres officially opened to the public in July 2012. Dotted with fountains, picnic lawns, bright pink benches and plenty of nooks from which to sit and people-watch, Grand Park is a bright urban oasis that proves the city has a sense of romance. The park plays host to performances, gatherings and other community events.

The Broad

LA’s newest contemporary art museum, the Broad, is the public home for Eli and Edythe Broad’s collection of 2,000 post-war works. The free museum, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has added yet another cultural anchor to Grand Avenue. Find out more in our complete guide to the Broad.

Union Station

Train travel has gone in and out of fashion, but the last of the great American rail stations is just as handsome as the day it opened: its Mission-style exterior opens up into a grand waiting area with marble tiles, faux-wood beamed ceilings and Art Deco touches. Wander through its halls and courtyards and you’ll find a building rich with history, locomotion and—with the coming of a high-speed rail and a new concourse—progress.

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

As the oldest section of Los Angeles, where the city was first established in 1781 as a farming community, El Pueblo has an authentic, Spanish-style feel. The area comprises 26 historical structures, 11 of which are open to the public, as well as the famous Olvera Street, which is full of local independent vendors selling a range of goods.

Punta del Este Resort and Beach in Uruguay

Punta del Este Resort and Beach in Uruguay

Punta del Este is a city and resort on the Atlantic Coast in the Maldonado Department of southeastern Uruguay. Although the city has a year-round population of about 9,280, the summer tourist boom adds to this a very large number of non-residents. Punta del Este is also the name of the municipality to which the city belongs. It includes Punta del Este proper and Península areas.

The city is located on the intersection of Route 10 with Route 39, southeast of the department capital Maldonado and about 140 kilometres (87 mi) east of Montevideo.

In 2011 Punta del Este had a population of 9,277 and 23,954 households and apartments. According to the Intendencia Departamental de Maldonado, the municipality of Punta del Este has an area of 48 km2 (19 sq mi) and a population of 15,000.

A Brief History of Punta del Este

The first Europeans to set foot in what is now Punta del Este were the Spanish at the beginning of the 16th century. However, the colonization of the area actually began around Maldonado at the end of the 18th century due to Portuguese expansionism.

Punta del Este and its surroundings (Maldonado and Punta Ballena) at the end of the 19th century were kilometers of sand and dunes, but in 1896 Antonio Lussich bought 4,447 acres (1,800 ha) of uninhabited land and there he started a botanical garden, Arboretum Lussich, and planted trees and plants from all over the world. Later the trees started to spread on their own, and now the area is full of mostly Pines, Eucalyptus, Acacias and various species of bushes.

On 5 July 1907, it was declared a “Pueblo” (village) by Act of Ley 3.186.[2] Its status was elevated to “Ciudad” (city) on 2 July 1957 by the Act of Ley Nº 12.397.

Punta del Este hosted an American Summit in 1967 attended by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. In September 1986, Punta del Este played host to the start of the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations. These negotiations ultimately led to the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994.

Climate of the Pacific Islands

Climate of the Pacific Islands

One feature of oceanic islands which distinguishes them from continents and from many of the continental islands is the climate. The great body of water which surrounds oceanic islands never becomes so warm and never so cold as the land on and near continents.

Therefore the temperature of the air over the open ocean and around and over the oceanic islands does not rise so high or fall so low. For the same reason the winter and summer temperatures are not very far apart, and the climate does not differ much from month to month. Places in Mexico in the same latitude as Hawaii and places in Australia in the same latitude as Rapa have cold winters and hot summers.


The average annual temperature of nearly all the Pacific oceanic islands is 70 degrees. Only in a region extending west from Fiji does the average reach 80 degrees, and only in the Aleutian Islands and in the islands lying south of New Zealand are the winters uncomfortably cold.


Because of the vast stretches of water over which they may blow without interruption, the winds of the Pacific are more regular and uniform than are the winds in any other part of the world. These winds blow in different directions in different parts of the Pacific. In the belt of ocean lying approximately between the parallel of latitude 3 degrees north, which runs through Midway Island, and the parallel of latitude 60 degrees north, near the Bering Sea, the winds come generally from the west and are known as ” westerly winds.”

From latitude 30 degrees north to near the equator the winds come from the northeast. For more than three hundred days in the year they blow so regularly and evenly that they have been called northeast trade winds (trade is the English form of an old word trod, which means path). Along the equator the winds blow feebly, generally from the east. From near the equator to latitude 30 degrees south are the southeast trade winds, and still farther south is the belt of strong westerly winds known to sailors as the “roaring forties.”

In the two trade-wind belts, the winds sometimes blow from a direction opposite to their usual course, bringing with them the kind of weather known in Hawaii as “Kona storms.” Sometimes the winds become hurricanes or typhoons. Most of these hurricanes occur in the region between the Marshall Islands and China and west and southwest of Samoa — in Micronesia, Melanesia-and farther west in the Indian Ocean.

But they sometimes occur in the winter months in Polynesia and are then very destructive. The houses may be torn down and. the trees broken and uprooted. The hurricane winds and the high waves which come with them have swept some low coral islands bare of trees, buildings, and men and have sunk the canoes along the shores. These winds and the ocean currents made by the winds have aided boats in sailing in some direoctions and hindered them in sailing in other directions.

Historical Origins of the Italians

Historical Origins of the Italians

Passing over the uncertain mysteries of the Stone Age and the Age of Bronze, it is no exaggeration to assert that already in the Greek civilization of Southern Italy one can divine the origin of some of the essential characteristics of the Italian of today.

Three or four centuries before Christ the way of life and of thought of the Siciliots and the Italic peoples, descendants of those Greeks who long before them had passed into Sicily and into the south of the peninsula, was entirely analogous to that of Hellas itself. The Polis, the city state, constituted the sole base of every political and social organism. One might say the same of Etruria, where between the Arno and the Tiber there was, until the Roman conquests, just a federation of twelve cities, a federation with extremely strict religious ties, but with a wide autonomy for each city.

When the dominion of Rome was extended over all Italy, things changed but little morally and socially; the civitas continued to be the base and the key to the life of all Italians. There is no other nation whose traditions, legends and popular epic are compelled so constantly to look to the city for their origin. Even in the Middle Ages while in France they sang the deeds of Roland, Italian poetry sang that Rome came from Alba Longa, Alba Longa from Lavinium and Lavinium from Troy through Aeneas. The perennial popular glory of Virgil among the Italians has depended upon this fact, that he sang the origins of their country in the one and only manner that they delighted in, that is, as the genealogy of the city state.

Even today the names of the Italian regions that we think so real, Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria. . . do not belong to the natural use of the people. The native of a town, for instance, of that Ligurian bow that is bent from the French frontier along the sea to Genoa, and from Genoa to the south as far as the Magra, will never call his region Liguria, he will call it rather Genoa or perhaps Genovesato. It was always thus, contrary to what obtained in Gaul, where most often the name of the city is lost and that of the region has taken its place. Lutetia, the capital of the Parisii, became Paris, Avaricum of the Biturgi, Bourges, and so it is with Amiens, Reims, Rennes, and many other cities of France.

This voluntary binding of the peasant to the city, that exists almost everywhere in Italy, is one of the permanent strands of the Italian social fabric. In no other country is patriotism in its normal, healthy and fruitful form — not in the baseness of racialism and nationalism — so fundamentally bound to the city, to the town, as in Italy. Francesco De Sanctis in a speech to the Neapolitans in 1874 declared: “Italy is not an abstraction. She is the home (casa), the family, the commune, the province, the region. They who feel themselves bound to these, are the best Italians. . . I say to you: If you want to be good Italians begin by being good Neapolitans. Woe to those who only see an Italy of the Academies or Schools.”

Thus, fifty years before the Fascist adventure, De Sanctis condemned one of the most widespread, trumped-up and artful of Fascist devices: the attack on the ancient tradition of local patriotism. That attack ought to have been enough to expose how contrary all Fascist action was to the Italian character.

The secular bonds which bind our Italian generations were created by the city and the town. The history of the Italian cities is so long and tenacious that it often leads us back not only to Rome but to pre-Roman Italy. The small jealousies still alive today between Milan and Pavia, between Crema and Cremona, and the differences in the dialects, go back to traditions beyond the Roman Empire.

When Rome succeeded in imposing her dominion upon all Italy, almost every municipiam from the Alps to Sicily had to cede a part of its territory to a Latin colony which created around itself a circle of influences, imposing its own customs, its own manners, its own language, in such a way that the majority of the natives learned to speak in Latin, although they preserved their native accent. And even today, if you go from Rome to Florence, to Piacenza and on to Milan, you will find, in dialects very different, the notes never obliterated of ancient Gentes differing one from another.

This is not so north of the Alps in the Germanic countries. The frequent immigration of tribes without cities, the absence of precise frontiers between the regions they occupied, did not allow the formation of countrysides with characteristics of their own.

Under Republican Rome, Italy in reality was only an immense federation of cities, each free to administer itself in its own way within its own territory; something which reminds us of the British Empire in its most recent form, when the democratic term Commonwealth has been substituted for the haughty term Empire. The beginning of the decadence of the cities appeared in the Roman Empire in the time of Hadrian. Until then the municipia and coloniae had been governed by that wealthy and active citizen class out of which came the Fabii.

The decemviri elected from among the notables (people with very large incomes) carried out the administration from the Tribunal — the high court of Justice. But with Hadrian the officers of the Imperial administration progressively made themselves masters of all local affairs; and under Diocletian the Totalitarian State (as one might say today) was completely established.

The ancient courts, freely elected by the citizens, became corporations bound by numerous restrictions; they quickly lost all vitality; even the defensor civitatis became no more than a functionary to whom men looked — though it was but a pretence — for a denunciation of the errors of his superiors. And soon, whether by encroachment of the military or by reason of the distrust of the citizens, there remained only prefectures entrusted to comites sent from the Capital.

Under the Emperors of the East these comites, become even more corrupt, were called duces, whence came the title Doge which was for centuries the name of the head of the aristocratic Republics of Venice and Genoa. Thus, already under Diocletian, the Barbarians had invaded Italy; a work of the military anarchy of the third century rather than of certain starving tribes descending from Germany; out of which German vanity, and the desire of the Italians to attribute their ills to a foreign cause, have later made “the invaders” and their uncontrollable onrush.

The old and empty German boast became an official dogma under Nazism, which imposed on the schools of the Reich that to the new generation they should insist on the “fundamental part which the German emigrations had in diffusing the new civilization of the Middle Age, in northern Italy, in France and in England”.One might well ask what the few young Germans who seriously studied history thought, if they thought at all, when they discovered:

1. That the Goths did not know how to make their dominion in Italy last more than sixty years.

2. That in Spain they were defeated by those Semites who were the Arabs, and lost everything in a single day.

3. That the Lombards, although invited into Italy by a part of the population, never succeeded in occupying the coasts, never dared to measure themselves with the young and growing defences of Venice, nor with the ancient walls of Rome, and that their dominion ended in confusion and contempt.

Without the decomposition provoked by the Empire when fallen on the one hand into a military anarchy and on the other into a bureaucratic despotism, the German tribes would never have succeeded in establishing themselves here at all. The Italian cities would have opposed a sufficient resistance if the Empire had not broken their vitality.

Under Constantine, on the eve of the catastrophe, one might believe for a moment that the overflowing barbarism could have been dammed. The cities appeared about to renew themselves with fresh life, since they had acquired under other forms a certain autonomy chiefly through the action of the Bishops, elected, as they were, by the citizens; indeed, the nomination of a Bishop by acclamation was generally the result of an authentic popular movement. But it was too late. With their suffocating taxation and with foreign military chiefs, the Emperors had taken away every possibility of hope from the Italian cities.

They had become indeed Dead Cities, as the great capitals of the East appeared to our fathers of the nineteenth century, those for example of Turkey and of Persia; Istanbul and Teheran were once metropolises not less rich and not less fair than Milan and Naples in the Middle Age. There was a Turkish art and even more surely a Persian art. But the cities were without municipal liberty, without autonomous life and therefore servile. If Byzantium before becoming Istanbul succeeded in conserving a little of its life, it was because under its Basileus the municipal tradition was not utterly destroyed, as was that of the Italian cities by the Caesars.

The demi — comparable to the “contrade” of Siena — remained in Byzantium the focal points of municipal life as corporations, such as they are described to us in the Libro del Prefetto of the tenth century, with their relative freedom. The demi and the autonomous corporations offer us the keys of the real life of Byzantium, of its unexpected resistance and of its revolutions. But Byzantium remains an unique case, in the East; all the other metropolises, notwithstanding their occasional splendours, have been, if not inert masses, over disciplined, without an atom of the vitality that animated the anarchic Athens of Aristophanes even in its worst moments.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cyprus

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cyprus

Cyprus is an island state in the eastern Mediterranean Sea 60 miles west of the coast of Syria and 40 miles south of Turkey. It has an area of 3,572 square miles. The island is 140 miles from east to west and around 60 miles from north to south. It is somewhat of a box shape except a long peninsula going to the northeast.


Cyprus consists of two mountain ranges and a central lowland. The Kyrenia Range lies close to the north coast and consists mainly of limestone. To the south is the Mesaoria Plain, in which the densest population is found. The southern half of the island is occupied by the rugged Troodos Mountains, composed mainly of volcanic and igneous rocks. They have a maximum elevation of 6,407 feet.

Temperatures vary with the elevation, but January averages are about 50 degrees F and those of July about 80 degrees F. Rainfall occurs mainly in winter, and is rarely more than 15 in. in the lowlands but is higher in the mountains. Surface drainage is by short, small streams that are usually dry in summer. The native vegetation is adapted to the climate and consists mainly of drought-resisting scrub and conifers including eucalyptus, pine, acacia, and cypress.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cyprus

People and Economy

The island includes both Greek and Turkish peoples. The Greeks make up about 77% of the total population, and 18% of the rest are Turkish. The Turkish people live mainly on the northern part of the island. In addition to the ethnic and linguistic differences, there are religious differences. The Greeks are primarily Orthodox Christians and the Turks are mostly Muslims. Hostility has always existed between the two groups. Much of the population is rural and agricultural. Apart from Nicosia, the capital, Limassol and Famagusta, the towns are very small.

The economy is mainly agricultural, with fruits and vegetables as the chief exports. Farming is highly mechanized, and irrigation is widely used. Since prehistoric times, Cyprus has been known for its minerals. In fact, the word copper is derived from the islands name. Although the island has copper, iron pyrites, chrome, and asbestos mining is no longer as important as it once was.

The construction industry, textile manufacturing and other light industries have expanded rapidly in recent times in the Greek sector. It has also become a banking, telecommunications, and trade center for corporations in dealing with the Middle East. The Turkish region has a shortage of skilled labor, trade, and diplomatic links to the rest of the world.

History and Government

Cyprus, having a good position in the Mediterranean Sea, affected. During the 2nd millennium BC, it supplied copper to the surrounding areas. In 709 BC, Cyprus gave in to the Assyrian king Sargon II. After the Assyrians lost power, there was a time of Persian Domination. When Alexander the Great conquered the

region in the 4th century BC, Cyprus was united politically with the rest of the Greek world. At this time Cyprus consisted mainly of city-states held together under the rule of Alexander’s successors. In 58 BC, the island was annexed by the Roman Empire.

Cyprus was Christianized early on when it was visited by St. Paul. Cyprus went under the control of the Byzantine Empire after the split up of the Roman empire. The Byzantine Empire continued to rule it until 1191 BC when Richard I of England conquered it. In 1192, the island was given to Guy de Lusignan, who founded a French-speaking monarchy. The island came under Venetian control in 1489. The ruined castles and Gothic churches of Cyprus date from this period.

Cyprus was subjected to many attacks by the Turks. In 1570-71 the Turks overran the island. It was under Turkish rule until 1878. During this time, many Turks settled there. In 1879 the British occupied Cyprus to aid Turkey against Russia. In 1914 it was annexed by Great Britain. Soon afterward a movement started with the Greek Cypriots for a union with Greece. This movement became stronger after World War II. At the same time Archbishop Makarios III became the leader of the movement for an independent Cyprus.

In 1959, after a time of guerilla war, Cyprus finally became independent. Despite this, Great Britain kept its military bases. Some people still wanted union with Greece, and other wanted the division of Cyprus along its ethnic borders. Fearing that the Greek government was preparing to annex Cyprus, the Turks invaded in 1974 and forced a partition of the island in 1975.

The Greek sector, known as the Republic of Cyprus, is led by President Glafcos Clerides, who was elected in 1993. The Turkish zone, under the leadership of Rauf Denktash, declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983 but is recognized only by Turkey. UN-sponsored talks on reunification were held intermittently in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Cyprus: The Divided Touristic Paradise

Cyprus: The Divided Touristic Paradise

Cyprus is a divided country, which is now split into two halves. On the south is where the Greek Cypriots live and on the north is the Turkish Cypriots. Turkey now owns the north of Cyprus.

In July 1974, the Turks invaded Famagusta situated on the north. The Greek Cypriots were given thirty minutes to leave their homes and all their belongings behind, whilst they quickly had to move to the south side.

Anyone left behind were put into prison camps by the Turks. Today, Famagusta has been left how it was since that day. Many tourists visit Famagusta by taking excursions. They go there to witness the state it has been left in. Cars are seen abandoned and left open, washing still left hanging on lines and hotels still not built. They call this area the ghost town.

The Turks invaded Nicosia and battled their way into Cyprus. Many people were killed. Greek Cypriots had to flea their homes and move into the south of Cyprus. Today, there is a divided line through Cyprus. This is known as the Green Line. After many years, tourists are now able to visit the north of Cyprus. They can go there on excursions or if they visit Nicosia, they can walk across by walking down Ledra street. T his is an area of many shops.

Cyprus: The Divided Touristic Paradise

In the north, there is unspoilt areas of beauty, such as Kyrenia. Everything on this side of the Island is far cheaper than it is in the south and there are no copyright laws, which means there are many clothe shops that sell designer copies, such as nike, addidas and many other expensive labels. There are, also, bargain markets over there and many people that live on the south visit them regularly.

There are a few excursions by Thomas Cook, Thomsons and First Choice that take tourists over to the north of Cyprus. One of them takes you to Nicosia, where you can walk over to the other side providing you have your passport with you. There is, also, in Nicosia, an eleven floor Debenhams. On the eleventh floor you can see the whole of Cyprus and into the north. This floor has been made into an observatory, where binoculars. It’s an experience to go there and see the magnificent views all around.