Monthly Archives: April 2017

DSC_0833

DSC_0833

Posted by Lee Sydney on 2017-04-09 21:47:19

Tagged: , uwe africa week , african , africa , culture , africa week 2017 , africa week uk , uwe africa week 2017 , uwe frenchay , uwe bristol , bristol uk , frenchay ecc , showcase , gala , night , dance , celebration , womens , fashion , girl , modelling , runway , catwalk , show , designer

focus…

focus...

Why does no one comment my photos..? They only get favorited.. You know, I enjoy getting comments too. *hint hint*

Posted by Megan is me… on 2009-11-05 03:24:24

Tagged: , meg , megan , megan is me , self , portrait , photography , rainbow , rainbows , feather , hair clip , clip , sun , sunny , sunlight , natural , light , bright , neon , colorful , colored , dyed , hair , color , sfx , special , effects , nuclear , red , napalm , orange , bleached , yellow , limelight , green , iguana , fishbowl , blue , mayhem , jerome , russell , punky , colours , colors , violet , plum , rose , rose red , patterns , stripes , tie , dye , diy , clothing , clothes , unique , unusual , style , fashion , tights , stockings , leggings , silly , faces , face , handmade , hand , made , lampwork , beads , beaded , necklace , macrome

11:11

11:11

style// dinami.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/1111/

Posted by Levi Megadon // *OMG* on 2016-10-25 20:43:39

Tagged: , SL , SECOND LIFE , MEN , MENS , MALE , BLOGGER , BLOG , LOTD , LOOK , STYLISH , STYLE , COOL , OUTFIT , EVENT , MESH , FASHION , CLOTHES , CLOTHING , MOON , HAIR , SEUL , BAND , TEE , SHIRT , LOOSE , BAGGY , PARKA , COAT , JACKET , UBER , FLI , FIELD , BOOTS , MILITARY , MEN ONLY MONTHLY , MOM , LOCK&TUFT , SPELLBOUND , FACIAL , BEARD , RONOMONO , FLIGHT , LEATHER , INVICTUS , PANTS , DENIM , SUSPENDERS , JEANS , TIGHT , FITTED , SLIM , VERSOV , VANS , DIRTY , WORN , RIPPED , TORN , GRUNGE

Henry III of England

Henry III of England

BRISTOL’S ROYAL CONNECTION

Did you know that this ancient, walled city was once a royal residence? Henry III – second of the Plantagenet kings and son of the despised King John – lived here for a while after he had been crowned at Gloucester Abbey in 1216.

A mere boy of nine when he ascended the throne, the times were troubled and the country split into factions. Many of the powerful barons supported the cause of Louis, Dauphin of France, and wanted him on the throne rather than the old king’s son.

Maybe it was an ill omen, for at Henry’s coronation, an improvised crown fashioned from a simple band of gold had to be used since the one which had served previous kings was at the bottom of the sea. His father had lost it in The Wash, along with many other treasures, in a misfortune which befell him shortly before his death.

But ill omen or not, Henry went on to reign for an astonishing 56 years.

John was, reputedly, the most unpopular king to ever sit on the English throne. ‘Foul as hell is’, wrote a chronicler after his death, ‘it is defiled by the fouler presence of King John.’

The son’s long reign was almost as inauspicious, for though he had few of his father’s worst vices, he was weak and indeterminate, a poor ruler, impractical, a schemer, a liar and a simpleton.

His reign was half a century of waste and war.

Yet great events happened during it, including the fledgling beginnings of our parliamentary system.

Not only was there civil war and strife but famines and floods, a grinding down of the people under insufferable taxes plus an embittered persecution of the Jews.

The year 1256 was a time of famine. As the price of wheat in Bristol rose from sixpence (3p) a bushel to 16 shillings (80p), so the poor slowly starved.

The following summer, there followed terrible tempests and violent rains. The Severn Vale was flooded, cornfields submerged and the ripening grain swept away.

As well as livestock, many people lost their lives. The countryside was impoverished with people left homeless, foodless and penniless.

After his crowning, with London considered unsafe and full of enemies but the Severn Vale full of friends, Henry was advised to take up residence in Bristol.

It’s said that he made his home in a small mansion his father had built in Baldwin Street, near where Queen Charlotte Street is today.

This house, then near the old course of the river Frome, stood almost surrounded by water and was thus well defended, as though on an island.

Holding a council in the great hall of the Norman castle (situated where Castle Park is today), Henry granted the faithful burghers a charter.

This meant they could officially elect their own officials to run the town. Very shortly, a sheriff, a bailiff and the town’s first mayor, Adam le Page, assumed office.

Although second only in importance to London, Bristol in the early 13th century was still a relatively small place, confined within protective walls.

There were plenty of rich merchants but the poorer classes were poor indeed.

You can imagine them crowding the narrow streets – here and there venturing a cheer – to see the young king as he rode to the castle.

Behind him came mounted barons, bishops, knights and ladies, with pages and heralds afoot.

But there was yet another royal personage to gawp at as she passed by. Eleanor of Anjou, a claimant to the English throne, was kept prisoner in Bristol castle.

Remaining there until her death in 1241, she was laid to rest in St James Priory. Her body, it’s said, was later removed to a nunnery at Amesbury in Wiltshire.

Eleanor was not treated harshly – she had her own maids and limited freedom.

But she was young and beautiful and the people pitied her as she passed by, holding the gilded reins of her palfrey and wearing a bright green cloak beneath a richly furred cape.

Despite the troubles of Henry’s reign, the town, importing wine and exporting cloth, expanded quickly.

So much so, in fact, that a new outer defensive wall around part of Redcliffe had to be built.

It was also a time of great spiritual activity, with new churches, religious houses and charitable hospitals being founded.

It was during Henry’s reign that a remarkable engineering feat – the diverting of the natural course of the river Frome in order to create a new harbour, The Quay – was executed.

The trench, today’s St Augustine’s Reach, was 2,400ft long, 120ft wide and 18ft deep.

Imagine the sheer magnitude of this work in an age without explosives or modern machinery.

When it was finally completed in 1247, after seven years’ labour, it was to be the town’s first improvement.

At the same time, the first stone-built Bristol Bridge, complete with shops, houses and a church, was taking shape.

These two enterprises point eloquently to the wealth and power of the town in those days.

By then, the town had long ceased to be the king’s place of residence.

The weakly child had attained maturity. But it was not a comely maturity, for he was short and ungainly with a light-coloured beard, semi-curled after the fashion, and with shoulder-length hair.

He also had a facial peculiarity which wasn’t immediately noticeable, one drooping eyelid. And in his irritable moments, which were many, he was subject to nervous twitching.

Physically strong, Henry was neither strong nor resolute of mind. He was, in fact, weak and mean.

In 1258, he lost Anjou, Poitou and Normandy to the French.

In 1264, Bristol, once his friend, turned against him. Although the castle held out for him the merchants sided with the barons’ revolt under Simon de Montfort.

But the 11 Bristol ships sent to support the barons’ cause were either sunk or taken.

Edward, Henry’s son, arriving in the town in 1265 – the year the rebels were defeated at Evesham and de Montfort killed – fined the burghers £1,000 for their disloyalty.

Posted by brizzle born and bred on 2009-03-14 09:26:10

Tagged: , king-henry , history , 1216 , throne , king-john , jews , bristol castle , gloucester abbey , England , UK , France , UK-History

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Posted by have2have1 on 2017-03-26 07:03:15

Tagged: , instagram app , square , square format , iphoneography , uploaded:by=instagram

Viet Fashion Week 2015

Viet Fashion Week 2015

Viet Fashion Week 2015

The Red Carpet

The evening will begin with a 1 hour red carpet event for our VIP guests to pose for photos with the press.This exclusive hour allows our VIP guests time to arrive early; have photo opportunities with the press; network with other VIPs; take a sneak peek behind-the-curtains and meet the designers, models, and stylists; enjoy some complimentary hors d’oeuvres; and get situated before the arrival of the general audience.

Fashion Show

The Rose Center in Westminster, CA will be transformed into a model’s dream runway showcasing almost 200 of the latest looks from 8 Vietnamese designers over a 2 day period. Vocal artists Andy Quach and Helena Ngoc Hong will be performing their latest hits.

After Party

Guests are invited to Bleu Lounge for the after party celebrating Viet Fashion Week’s kick-off. Guests will have the opportunity to take photos with the designers and models. Opportunity for networking and socializing to connect designers with buyers, editors, and others in the fashion industry.

International Exposure

Viet Fashion Week will be aired on Vietface TV – Direct TV channel 2076 nationwide and Vietface TV – OC channel 57.2 for Orange County in a series of episodes airing each week. The weekly series will showcase each designer and will include clips of the behind-the-scenes leading up to the main event, highlighting the models’ auditions, designer fittings, stylist consultations, dress rehearsal, VIP guests arriving on the red carpet, backstage preparations, post-mixer, and exclusive interviews with designers, models and sponsors.

Posted by Leo-Ngo on 2015-04-14 21:56:43

Tagged: , fashion , fashion show , canon , eos , model , sexy , hot , hottest , catwalk , runway , stylist , trend , event , baby , babes , babe , 6d , miss , beauty , beautiful , lady , girl , cute , design , designer , glamor , vfw , vfw15 , san diego , viet fashion week , fashion week , art , behind fashion , hair , nails , makeup , responsive textiles , responsive , textiles , Couture , collection , Swimwear , orange county fashion show , vfs , vfw2015 , vietnam , viet fashion

Siena

Siena

Siena è un comune di 54.391 abitanti della Toscana centrale, capoluogo dell’omonima provincia.
La città è universalmente conosciuta per il suo patrimonio artistico e per la sostanziale unità stilistica del suo arredo urbano medievale, nonché per il suo famoso Palio; il centro storico è stato infatti dichiarato dall’UNESCO patrimonio dell’umanità nel 1995.
Siena fu fondata come colonia romana al tempo dell’Imperatore Augusto e prese il nome di Saena Iulia.
All’interno del centro storico senese sono stati ritrovati dei siti di epoca etrusca, che possono far pensare alla fondazione della città da parte degli etruschi.
Il primo documento noto in cui viene citata la comunità senese risale al 70 e porta la firma di Tacito che, nel IV libro delle Historiae, riporta il seguente episodio: il senatore Manlio Patruito riferì a Roma di essere stato malmenato e ridicolizzato con un finto funerale durante la sua visita ufficiale a Saena Iulia, piccola colonia militare della Tuscia. Il Senato romano decise di punire i principali colpevoli e di richiamare severamente i senesi a un maggiore rispetto verso l’autorità.
Dell’alto Medioevo non si hanno documenti che possano illuminare intorno ai casi della vita civile a Siena. C’è qualche notizia relativa alla istituzione del vescovado e della diocesi, specialmente per le questioni sorte fra il Vescovo di Siena e quello di Arezzo, a causa dei confini della zona giurisdizionale di ciascuno: questioni nelle quali intervenne il re longobardo Liutprando, pronunziando sentenza a favore della diocesi aretina. Ma i senesi non furono soddisfatti e pertanto nell’anno 853, quando l’Italia passò dalla dominazione longobarda a quella franca, riuscirono ad ottenere l’annullamento della sentenza emanata dal re Liutprando. Pare, dunque, che al tempo dei Longobardi, Siena fosse governata da un gastaldo, rappresentante del re: Gastaldo che fu poi sostituito da un Conte imperiale dopo l’incoronazione di Carlo Magno. Il primo conte di cui si hanno notizie concrete fu Winigi, figlio di Ranieri, nel 867. Dopo il 900 regnava a Siena l’imperatore Ludovico III, il cui regno non durò così a lungo, dal momento che nel 903 le cronache raccontano di un ritorno dei conti al potere sotto il nuovo governo del re Berengario.
Siena si ritrova nel X secolo al centro di importanti vie commerciali che portavano a Roma e, grazie a ciò divenne un’importante città medievale. Nel XII secolo la città si dota di ordinamenti comunali di tipo consolare, comincia a espandere il proprio territorio e stringe le prime alleanze. Questa situazione di rilevanza sia politica che economica, portano Siena a combattere per i domini settentrionali della Toscana, contro Firenze. Dalla prima metà del XII secolo in poi Siena prospera e diventa un importante centro commerciale, tenendo buoni rapporti con lo Stato della Chiesa; i banchieri senesi erano un punto di riferimento per le autorità di Roma, ai quali si rivolgevano per prestiti o finanziamenti.
Alla fine del XII secolo Siena, sostenendo la causa ghibellina (anche se non mancavano, le famiglie senesi di parte guelfa, in sintonia con Firenze), si ritrovò nuovamente contro Firenze di parte guelfa: celebre è la vittoria sui toscani guelfi nella battaglia di Montaperti, del 1260, celebrata anche da Dante Alighieri. Ma dopo qualche anno i senesi ebbero la peggio nella battaglia di Colle Val d’Elsa, del 1269, che portò in seguito, nel 1287, alla ascesa del Governo
dei Nove, di parte guelfa. Sotto questo nuovo governo, Siena raggiunse il suo massimo splendore, sia economico che culturale.
Dopo la peste del 1348, cominciò la lenta decadenza della Repubblica di Siena, che comunque non precluse la strada all’espansione territoriale senese, che fino al giorno della caduta della Repubblica comprendeva un terzo della toscana. La fine della Repubblica Senese, forse l’unico Stato occidentale ad attuare una democrazia pura a favore del popolo, avvenne il 25 aprile 1555, quando la città, dopo un assedio di oltre un anno, dovette arrendersi stremata dalla fame, all’impero di Carlo V, spalleggiato dai fiorentini, che cedette in feudo il territorio della Repubblica ai Medici, Signori di Firenze, per ripagarli delle spese sostenute durante la guerra. Per l’ennesima volta i cittadini senesi riuscirono a tenere testa ad un imperatore, che solo grazie alle proprie smisurate risorse poté piegare la fiera resistenza di questa piccola Repubblica e dei suoi cittadini.
Dopo la caduta della Repubblica pochi senesi guidati peraltro dall’esule fiorentino Piero Strozzi, non volendo accettare la caduta della Repubblica, si rifugiarono in Montalcino, creando la Repubblica di Siena riparata in Montalcino, mantenendo l’alleanza con la Francia, che continuò ad esercitare il proprio potere sulla parte meridionale del territorio della Repubblica, creando notevoli problemi alle truppe degli odiati fiorentini. Essa visse fino al 31 maggio del 1559 quando fu tradita dagli alleati francesi, che Siena aveva sempre sostenuto, che concludendo la pace di Cateau-Cambrésis con l’imperatore Carlo V, cedettero di fatto la Repubblica ai fiorentini.
Lo stemma di Siena è detto "balzana". È uno scudo diviso in due porzioni orizzontali: quella superiore è bianca, quella inferiore nera,con la Lupa che allatta Senio e Ascanio. Secondo la leggenda, starebbe a simboleggiare il fumo nero e bianco scaturito dalla pira augurale che i leggendari fondatori della città, Senio e Ascanio, figli di Remo, avrebbero acceso per ringraziare gli dei dopo la fondazione della città di Siena. Un’altra leggenda riporta che la balzana derivi dai colori dei cavalli, uno bianco ed uno nero, che Senio e Ascanio usarono nella fuga dallo zio Romolo che li voleva uccidere e con i quali giunsero a Siena. Per il loro presunto carattere focoso che, si dice, rasenta la pazzia, anche i senesi sono definiti spesso "balzani".

Siena (em português também conhecida como Sena) é uma cidade e sede de comuna italiana na região da Toscana, província do mesmo nome, com cerca de 52.775 (ISTAT 2003) habitantes. Estende-se por uma área de 118 km2, tendo uma densidade populacional de 447 hab/km2. Faz fronteira com Asciano, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Monteriggioni, Monteroni d’Arbia e Sovicille.
Siena é universalmente conhecida pelo seu património artístico e pela notável unidade estilística do seu centro histórico, classificado pela UNESCO como Património da Humanidade.
Segundo a mitologia romana, Siena foi fundada por Sénio, filho de Remo, e podem-se encontrar numerosas estátuas e obras de arte mostrando, tal como em Roma, os irmãos amamentados pela loba. Foi um povoamento etrusco e depois colónia romana (Saena Julia) refundada pelo imperador Augusto. Era, contudo, uma pequena povoação, longe das rotas principais do Império. No século V, torna-se sede de uma diocese cristã.
As antigas famílias aristocráticas de Siena reclamam origem nos Lombardos e à data da submissão da Lombardia a Carlos Magno (774). A grande influência da cidade como pólo cultural, artístico e político é iniciada no século XII, quando se converte num burgo autogovernado de cariz republicano, substituindo o esquema feudal.
Todavia, o esquema político conduziu sempre a lutas internas entre nobres e externas com a cidade rival de Florença. Data do século XIII a ruptura entre as facções rivais dos Guibelinos de Siena e dos Guelfos de Florença, que seria argumento para a Divina Comédia de Dante.
Em 4 de Setembro de 1260, os Guibelinos apoiaram as forças do rei Manfredo da Sicília e derrotaram os Guelfos em Montaperti, que tinham um exército muito superior em armas e homens. Antes da batalha, toda a cidade fora consagrada à Virgem Maria e confiada à sua protecção. Hoje, essa protecção é recordada e renovada, lembrando os sienenses da ameaça dos aliados da Segunda Guerra Mundial de bombardearam a cidade em 1944, o que felizmente não veio a acontecer.
Siena rivalizou no campo das artes durante o período medieval até o século XIV com as cidades vizinhas. Porém, devastada em 1348 pela Peste Negra, nunca recuperou o seu esplendor, perdendo também a sua rivalidade interurbana com Florença. A Siena actual tem um aspecto muito semelhante ao dos séculos XIII-XIV. Detém uma universidade fundada em 1203, famosa pelas faculdades de Direito e Medicina, e que é uma das mais prestigiadas universidades italianas.
Em 1557 perde a independência e é integrada nas formações políticas e administrativas da Toscana.
Siena também deu vários Papas, sendo eles: Alexandre III, Pio II, Pio III e Alexandre VII.
Os dois grandes santos de Siena são Santa Catarina (1347-1380) e São Bernardino (1380-1444). Catarina Benincasa, filha de um humilde tintureiro, fez-se irmã na Ordem Terceira dominicana (para leigos)e viveu como monja na casa dos pais. É famosa pelo intercâmbio interior com o próprio Cristo, que num êxtase lhe disse: "Eu sou aquele que é e tú és aquela que não é". Apesar da origem modesta, influenciou papas e príncipes com sua sabedoria e seu exemplo, conseguindo inclusive convencer o papa de então, contra a maioria dos cardeais, a regressar a Roma do exílio de Avinhon na França. Quanto ao franciscano São Bernardino, ele é célebre por ter sido o maior expoente, no Catolicismo, da via espiritual de invocação do Nome Divino, que encontra similares em todas as grandes religiões, do Budismo (nembutsu) ao Islã ([[dhikr]]) e ao Hinduísmo (mantra). Os sermões que Bernbardino fez na praça central de Siena provocaram tal fervor religioso e devoção ao nome de Jesus que o conselho municipal decidiu colocar o monograma do nome de Jesus (composto pelas letras IHS, significando "Jesus salvador dos homens")na fachada do prédio do governo. Do mesmo modo, muitos cidadãos o pintaram sobre as fachadas de suas casas, como até hoje se pode ver na cidade.

Siena also widely spelled Sienna in English) is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.
The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation’s most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008.[1] Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the palio.
Siena, like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans (c. 900–400 BC) when it was inhabited by a tribe called the Saina. The Etruscans were an advanced people who changed the face of central Italy through their use of irrigation to reclaim previously unfarmable land, and their custom of building their settlements in well-defended hill-forts. A Roman town called Saena Julia was founded at the site in the time of the Emperor Augustus. The first document mentioning it dates from AD 70. Some archaeologists assert that Siena was controlled for a period by a Gaulish tribe called the Saenones.
The Roman origin accounts for the town’s emblem: a she-wolf suckling infants Romulus and Remus. According to legend, Siena was founded by Senius, son of Remus, who was in turn the brother of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. Statues and other artwork depicting a she-wolf suckling the young twins Romulus and Remus can be seen all over the city of Siena. Other etymologies derive the name from the Etruscan family name "Saina," the Roman family name of the "Saenii," or the Latin word "senex" ("old") or the derived form "seneo", "to be old".
Siena did not prosper under Roman rule. It was not sited near any major roads and lacked opportunities for trade. Its insular status meant that Christianity did not penetrate until the 4th century AD, and it was not until the Lombards invaded Siena and the surrounding territory that it knew prosperity. After the Lombard occupation, the old Roman roads of Via Aurelia and the Via Cassia passed through areas exposed to Byzantine raids, so the Lombards rerouted much of their trade between the Lombards’ northern possessions and Rome along a more secure road through Siena. Siena prospered as a trading post, and the constant streams of pilgrims passing to and from Rome provided a valuable source of income in the centuries to come.
The oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their line to the Lombards’ surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. At this point, the city was inundated with a swarm of Frankish overseers who married into the existing Sienese nobility and left a legacy that can be seen in the abbeys they founded throughout Sienese territory. Feudal power waned however, and by the death of Countess Matilda in 1115 the border territory of the Mark of Tuscia which had been under the control of her family, the Canossa, broke up into several autonomous regions.
Siena prospered as a city-state, becoming a major centre of money lending and an important player in the wool trade. It was governed at first directly by its bishop, but episcopal power declined during the 12th century. The bishop was forced to concede a greater say in the running of the city to the nobility in exchange for their help during a territorial dispute with Arezzo, and this started a process which culminated in 1167 when the commune of Siena declared its independence from episcopal control. By 1179, it had a written constitution.
This period was also crucial in shaping the Siena we know today. It was during the early 13th century that the majority of the construction of the Siena Cathedral (Duomo) was completed. It was also during this period that the Piazza del Campo, now regarded as one of the most beautiful civic spaces in Europe, grew in importance as the centre of secular life. New streets were constructed leading to it, and it served as the site of the market and the location of various sporting events (perhaps better thought of as riots, in the fashion of the Florentine football matches that are still practised to this day). A wall was constructed in 1194 at the current site of the Palazzo Pubblico to stop soil erosion, an indication of how important the area was becoming as a civic space.
In the early 12th century a self-governing commune replaced the earlier aristocratic government. The consuls who governed the republic slowly became more inclusive of the poblani, or common people, and the commune increased its territory as the surrounding feudal nobles in their fortified castles submitted to the urban power. Siena’s republic, struggling internally between nobles and the popular party, usually worked in political opposition to its great rival, Florence, and was in the 13th century predominantly Ghibelline in opposition to Florence’s Guelph position (this conflict formed the backdrop for some of Dante’s Commedia).
On 4 September 1260 the Sienese Ghibellines, supported by the forces of King Manfred of Sicily, defeated the Florentine Guelphs in the Battle of Montaperti. Before the battle, the Sienese army of around 20,000 faced a much larger Florentine army of around 33,000. Prior to the battle, the entire city was dedicated to the Virgin Mary (this was done several times in the city’s history, most recently in 1944 to guard the city from Allied bombs). The man given command of Siena for the duration of the war, Bonaguida Lucari, walked barefoot and bareheaded, a halter around his neck, to the Duomo. Leading a procession composed of all the city’s residents, he was met by all the clergy. Lucari and the bishop embraced, to show the unity of church and state, then Lucari formally gave the city and contrade to the Virgin. Legend has it that a thick white cloud descended on the battlefield, giving the Sienese cover and aiding their attack. The reality was that the Florentine army launched several fruitless attacks against the Sienese army during the day, then when the Sienese army countered with their own offensive, traitors within the Florentine army killed the standard bearer and in the resulting chaos, the Florentine army broke up and fled the battlefield. Almost half the Florentine army (some 15,000 men) were killed as a result. So crushing was the defeat that even today if the two cities meet in any sporting event, the Sienese supporters are likely to exhort their Florentine counterparts to “Remember Montaperti!”.
The limits on the Roman town, were the earliest known walls to the city. During the 10th and 11th centuries, the town grew to the east and later to the north, in what is now the Camollia district. Walls were built to totally surround the city, and a second set was finished by the end of the 13th century. Much of these walls still exist today.[2]
Siena’s university, founded in 1240 and famed for its faculties of law and medicine, is still among the most important Italian universities. Siena rivalled Florence in the arts throughout the 13th and 14th centuries: the important late medieval painter Duccio di Buoninsegna (1253–1319) was a Sienese, but worked across the peninsula, and the mural of "Good Government" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Palazzo Pubblico, or town hall, is a magnificent example of late-Medieval/early Renaissance art as well as a representation of the utopia of urban society as conceived during that period. Siena was devastated by the Black Death of 1348, and also suffered from ill-fated financial enterprises. In 1355, with the arrival of Charles IV of Luxembourg in the city, the population rose and suppressed the government of the Nove (Nine), establishing that Dodici (Twelve) nobles assisted by a council with a popular majority. This was also short-lived, being replaced by the Quindici (Fifteen) reformers in 1385, the Dieci (Ten, 1386–1387), Undici (Eleven, 1388–1398) and Twelve Priors (1398–1399) who, in the end, gave the city’s seigniory to Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan in order to defend it from the Florentine expansionism.
In 1404 the Visconti were expelled and a government of Ten Priors established, in alliance with Florence against King Ladislas of Naples. With the election of the Sienese Pius II as Pope, the Piccolomini and other noble families were allowed to return to the government, but after his death the control returned into popular hands. In 1472 the Republic founded the Monte dei Paschi, a bank that is still active today and is the oldest surviving bank in the world. The noble factions returned in the city under Pandolfo Petrucci in 1487, with the support of Florence and of Alfonso of Calabria; Petrucci exerted an effective rule on the city until his death in 1512, favouring arts and sciences, and defending it from Cesare Borgia. Pandolfo was succeeded by his son Borghese, who was ousted by his cousin Raffaello, helped by the Medici Pope Leo X. The last Petrucci was Fabio, exiled in 1523 by the Sienese people. Internal strife resumed, with the popular faction ousting the Noveschi party supported by Clement VII: the latter sent an army, but was defeated at Camollia in 1526. Emperor Charles V took advantage of the chaotic situation to put a Spanish garrison in Siena. The citizens expelled it in 1552, allying with France: this was unacceptable for Charles, who sent his general Gian Giacomo Medici to lay siege to it with a Florentine-Imperial army.
The Sienese government entrusted its defence to Piero Strozzi. When the latter was defeated at the Battle of Marciano (August 1554), any hope of relief was lost. After 18 months of resistance, it surrendered to Spain on 17 April 1555, marking the end of the Republic of Siena. The new Spanish King Philip, owing huge sums to the Medici, ceded it (apart a series of coastal fortress annexed to the State of Presidi) to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy in the 19th century. A Republican government of 700 Sienese families in Montalcino resisted until 1559.
The picturesque city remains an important cultural centre, especially for humanist disciplines

Posted by Rodrigo_Soldon on 2010-11-24 01:24:52

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