ceremonial functions


Greek Bronze and Gold Short Sword and Dagger, C. 1450-1300 BC

The daggers and early swords of the Aegean Bronze Age represent some of the most striking artifacts of the period in terms of their opulence, craftsmanship and display of technical virtuosity. Whilst some were used solely for ceremonial use, many were functional instruments of war, attested by the clear developments in form, according to fighting preferences and practices. The short sword, which developed from the dagger, is one of the most interesting innovations of the Bronze Age, often signifying social status in societies in which hierarchy and one-on-one combat were primary concerns. The present dagger and short sword probably originate from Crete, in the locality of the great palaces at Knossos, or from Mycenae. The Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were renowned for their wealth, richness of culture, technical sophistication, and strong influence across the Greek world for centuries to come. These are the weapons of the fabled heroes of Troy, the great treasures of powerful kings like Agamemnon, who ruled over the kingdom of Mycenae.

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anonymous asked:

Exactly when in the Scandalore au do you think they realized that obi wan is the Duke of Mandalore, legitimately? Not just as a joke, as Satine's husband he is technically the ruling Duke even if she probably ranks above him. Also does that mean he needs to wear fancy clothes for formal events now? Was there a belated coronation type thing? If so he probably climbed into the Jedi temple rafters to hide and mace is #sodone

Ohhhh my God, I sure as hell hope Obi-Wan had to have a Fancypants Coronation Ceremony, and that he has to wear some kind of Special Ceremonial Cape at certain functions. 

CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE ANAKIN AT OBI-WAN’S DUKE OF MANDALORE CORONATION?! I’m not sure if he’d be dying of laughter or like “He’s SO BEAUTIFUL PADME LOOK AT HIM” while sobbing happy tears into a commemorative Duke of Mandalore handkerchief.

Leading Suspects - Chapter 4

Summary: When an old friend in need reaches out to Katniss, she returns to the small town she swore she’d never set foot in again. Help Madge and then leave, she decides. But a murder investigation and one sheriff with stupid blue eyes and dimples all conspire to keep her where she thought she’d never want to be.

WARNINGS: RATED E for mentions of domestic abuse, character death, mild language to include racial slurs, an obscene love affair with coffee, and explicit sexual content.

Chapters 1 and 2 have been cross posted and can now be read on AO3 and FF.net! I’ll get the rest up there in the next few days. In the meantime, Chapter 3 is still only on tumblr HERE, and chapter 4 is below the cut.

Sorry, @peetabreadgirl, this will not be completely posted by your actual birthday, but hey! That means you can continue the party for a bit longer, yeah? Enjoy!

“This is a terrible idea,” Madge says nervously as I shove aside glass bottles until I find the one I want.

“Bailey’s is never a bad idea,” I insist. “Especially not if we’re going to be drinking shitty insta-coffee. Honestly Madge, you shoulda divorced his ass just for subjecting you to that torture.”

Madge snorts and curls her feet onto the couch as I crow in triumph and pull the still sealed bottle from the back of the generously stocked bar. She holds up both mugs of coffee for me to add a generous amount of Bailey’s to each. Setting the bottle on the coffee table, I accept my mug from her.

“Besides, when have I ever had a bad idea?” I ask and sigh at the first sip of what is more Bailey’s than coffee concoction.

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Headcanon: Percy has seen Vex clean up for formal events plenty of times. That doesn’t really fluster him. (I mean, she looks stunning and he’d be the last person to deny that, but then - Vex is always stunning to him, so formal or travel clothes doesn’t change how he sees her)

However, the first time Vex’ahlia is involved in the Grey Hunt (which I’m guessing is some kind of ceremonial hunting thing that Whitestone has every year), and is in some kind of appropriately ceremonial but still functional hunting attire -

(which I’m just picturing being like the fox hunting attire, from like Downton Abbey:

only in like, Whitestone- in like, De Rolo colors. In like the deep blue with gold and white accents, the family crest is probably on there somewhere)

- and Percy seeing Vex’ahlia in it, playing this part, in this ancient, lofty and ritualistic aspect of his home, something he grew up around… and she looks so comfortable in this role, even as she pulls at the hem of the hunting coat and asks him if he thinks she looks all right in it. 

Percy would look at her, in that moment, and would probably forget how to speak. How to breathe. 

Marie Leszczynska - Queen of France
born: June 23, 1703, Breslau, Silesia
died: June 24, 1768, Versailles, FranceMarie

Leszczynska, wife of Louis XV, lived most of her married life secluded in a few small rooms at Versailles. Meanwhile, her husband had a succession of mistresses and excluded her from the life of the court.

Marie was the daughter of Stanislas Leszczynski, who was placed on the thrown of Poland in 1704 when King Charles XII of Sweden gained this territory in a military campaign. Stanislas was driven from power in 1709 when Swedish forces left the area, leaving him without military support. Stanislas, a king without a country, then wandered from one place of refuge to another, including Turkey and Sweden. In 1725, he was living on the on the charity of the French court in Weissembourg, a little village in Alsace.

Marie Leszczynska was chosen to be the wife of Louis XV over 99 marriageable princesses. The decision in favor of the Polish princess was, in reality, an attempt on the part of the Duc de Bourbon and his mistress, Madame de Prie, to secure power for themselves. They selected Marie due to her extreme poverty believing she would gratefully assist them in controlling the king, as she owed her elevation to their favor alone.

Marie Leszczynska was 23 and Louis age 16 at the time they were married. Marie was a very quiet, gentle, and extremely religious person who fulfilled her obligation by having ten children, and provided an heir to the throne. During the first nine years of marriage, Louis was the paragon of husbands, due to his religious upbringing and the ordinary bashfulness of youth.

In 1733, at age 25, the king took his first mistress. This relationship was kept secret for four years. In 1737, the Queen had her tenth and last child. From that time onward, Louis treated his wife with frigid courtesy, never speaking to her except when others were present. He paid her short visits every day as a matter of etiquette. Otherwise, they led separate lives.

The Queen held her own court in her chambers, receiving guests and carrying out ceremonial functions. When Voltaire and Emilie du Chatelet were at Versailles, Emilie attended the Queen’s court and had the high privilege to sit in the presence of the Queen.

Marie Leszczynska was deeply religious, and heard mass in the morning and again at one o'clock with all the court. Louis XV preferred the company of his mistresses and Marie was not included in the daily activities of the king’s court.

In great contrast to Louis, who was bored by everything, the Queen was fond of music, she painted a little, embroidered, and played the guitar and harpsichord. In the evening she dined with a small group of friends who enjoyed conversation and they often played cards. The Queen did not become involved in court intrigues and lived a quiet, peaceful existence. She died in 1768 at the age of 65.


I used to think that “First Lady” simply meant “the president’s wife”, but I learned in the past few months that traditionally the president’s wife is also “the hostess of the White House” who “organizes and attends official ceremonies and functions of state either along with, or in place of, the president”, and that this unofficial position has been filled in several cases by women not married to the president, “when the president was a bachelor or widower, or when the wife of the president was unable to fulfill the duties of the First Lady herself”. (Quotes from Wikipedia.)

I don’t like the idea that the president’s wife is expected to fulfill these duties just because she’s the president’s wife, but it is interesting that, with Melania Trump living in NYC, we currently don’t have a First Lady in the “hostess” sense.

Rings of the Free Cities

1. Braavos, known as Braavos of the Hundred Isles, is the greatest and most powerful of the Free Cities, located in a lagoon on the northwestern end of Essos, where the narrow sea and the Shivering Sea meet. There is a stretch of land to the south called the Braavosian Coastland that is claimed by Braavos. The ruler of Braavos is known as the Sealord and it is from the sea that the city’s power and wealth flows. Because was established by former Valyrian slaves, the founders of Braavos vowed that no man, woman, or child in the city should ever be a slave, thrall, or bondsman. This became the First Law of Braavos, engraved in stone on the arch that spans the Long Canal. The city is comprised of a hundred islands linked together by small stone bridges spanning the many canals throughout the city. There are no trees to be found within the city (except in the courts and gardens of the mighty), making Braavos a city of stone architecture and granite monuments. The streets are lined with houses made of grey stone, built so close that they lean upon one another.

2. Pentos is a large port city, and may be one of the most populous of the Free Cities. It lies on the Bay of Pentos off the narrow sea, with the Flatlands plains and Velvet Hills to the east. The city has many square brick towers, controlled by the spice traders. Most of the roofing is done in tiles. Pentos is a city where wealth equals power, ruled over by a prince with a council of magisters. The prince has a mostly ceremonial function while the rich magisters rule. The prince is chosen from the forty families, and presides chiefly over balls and feasts,[3] is carried from place to place in a rich palanquin with a handsome guard and each new year he must deflower two maidens: the maid of the sea, and the maid of the fields to ensure prosperity on land and sea. However, if there is famine or war is lost, the magisters sacrifice the prince and slit his throat to appease the gods, then choose a new prince.

3. Myr is one of the Free Cities. It is known for its lace and its green nectar. The inhabitants of the city are renowned for being great craftsmen. Its main exports are its finished goods, such as its carpets and lace. The best glass comes from Myr; a clear pane is worth its weight in spice. The best far-eyes are also made in Myr, and are as a result known as Myrish eyes. Myr produces gowns made of Myrish lace. The city also has artisans skilled in creating crossbows and carving. Myr sits on the eastern shore of the Sea of Myrth, along the western coast of Essos.

4. Lys, known as Lys the Lovely, is one of the nine Free Cities of Essos. It is a small city clinging to rocks surrounded by stormy seas. Lys is known for the alchemists who work in the city, who are known to make poisons, the strangler and the tears of Lys among them. The people of Lys curl and perfume their hair. Blue eyes are common among the Lyseni and blonde hair is a common trait among those native to Lys. Many Lysene have valyrian features such as the white white-blond hair and purple eyes, as the blood of the old Freehold still runs strong there. Slaves outnumber the freeborn three to one. One of the greatest temples of R'hllor stands in Lys.  

5. Qohor, also known as the City of Sorcerers in folklore, is one of the nine Free Cities located in western Essos. It lies near a great forest, the Forest of Qohor. The city was founded by religious dissidents that abandoned Valyria, rejecting the religious tolerance practiced by the Freehold. It is widely believed that the dark arts, such as divination, blood magic, and necromancy are practiced in Qohor. The Qohorik worship the deity known as the Black Goat, who demands daily blood sacrifice, calves, bullocks, and horses are the animals most often brought before the Black Goat’s altars, but on holy days condemned criminals are sacrificed by the god’s priests; and in times of crisis, the nobility of the city offer their own children to placate the god. The city’s defense is made up entirely of Unsullied. Qohorik artisans are famed. Qohorik tapestries, woven mostly by women and children, are just as fine as those from Myr, though less costly. Exquisiste, yet disturbings, wood carvings can be bought in Qohor’s markets, while Qohorik swords, knives, and armor are superior even to the best castle-forged steel of Westeros. Qohorik blacksmiths have the ability to meld paint in with the metals. Some blacksmiths also preserve the secret of how to reforge Valyrian steel, guarding it jealously.

6. Lorath is one of the Nine Free Cities. It is situated in a group of islands in the Shivering Sea near the northern coast of Essos. Lorath is ruled by a council of three princes. The Harvest Prince is chosen by a vote of all those who owned land on the islands, the Fisher Prince by all those who owned ships, and the Prince of the Streets by the acclamation of the free men of the city. Once chosen, each prince serves for life. The princes continue to sit today, though their titles are purely ceremonial; the true authority now lies in a council of magisters made up of nobles, priests, and merchants. Lorath is accounted as the poorest of the Free Cites, as well as the most isolated. Though possessing a large fleet of fishing vessels, the Lorathi build few warships and have little military power.

7. Tyrosh is a harbor city and one of the Free Cities. It sits on an island to the north of the Stepstones, just off the coast of the Disputed Lands of Essos at the entrance to the harbour sits the Bleeding Tower. The ruler of Tyrosh is called the Archon. He is chosen from among the members of a convlace of the wealthiest and noblest of the city. Tyroshi are renowned for their greed. They constantly fight to gain control of the Stepstones and Disputed Lands.They love bright colors, even coloring their hair brightly. Their inventors are known for creating ornate helmets and ingenious torture devices. Their dialect is a corrupted form of High Valyrian. Slaves and sellswords are common in Tyrosh. It is renowned for its pear brandy, and Tyroshi armorsmiths can make fantastic helmets shaped like birds and animals, chased with precious metals.

8. Volantis, is a city in southwestern Essos, located at the mouth of the Rhoyne on the Summer Sea. It is the oldest and the proudest of the Nine Free Cities. Volantis is the oldest of the Free Cities. It was the first colony of the Valyrian Freehold - her “first daughter”- and still maintains many of its traditions. After the Bleeding Years following the Doom, they considered themselves the heirs to the Freehold and rightful rulers of of the world. The city is divided by the Black Wall. A great oval of fused black stone built two hundred feet high by the Valyrians when Volantis was no more than an outpost of their empire. It protects the oldest part of the city on the eastern shore, often called Old Volantis. It is wide enough for six four-horse chariots to race around its top abreast, as is done each year to celebrate the founding of the city. No outlander, freeman, or foreigner is allowed inside the Black Wall save at the invitation of those who dwell within. Only scions of the Old Blood who can trace their ancestry back to Valyria itself may live within the Black Wall. Volantis is ruled over by three triarchs, each of whom rules for a year. Each year the freeborn landholders of Volantis can elect a new triarch or reelect a current one. There are precious few voters west of the river Rhoyne. The elections are ten days of madness, with much campaigning and bribery.Only those of Old Blood who can trace their ancestry back to Valyria can be a triarch. The triarchs belong to either the elephant or tiger political parties. The elephants are the party of the merchants and moneylenders, while the tigers are old aristocracy and warriors. The elephants advocate trade and the tigers advocate the sword. Volantis is key to the slave market, trading heavily with the cities of Slaver’s Bay to the east. It is said there are five slaves to every free man in the city. Tattooing is very common among the populace. Slave owners tattoo their slaves to prevent theft and to show the slave’s purpose. Tears are tattooed on the cheeks of pleasure slaves; flames on the cheeks of slaves of R'hllor; tiger stripes on the cheeks of the city guard; flies on the slaves who clean up dung;

9. Norvos, called Great Norvos by its people, is one of the nine Free Cities. It lies in the interior of Essos, between Pentos and Qohor. Norvos sits among the Hills of Norvos, it is a land of rolling hills and terraced farms, surrounded by small walled villages that support the larger city. The city is divided into two sections, with the High City on the tallest hill in the region, and the Low City located at the base of the hill by the river. The lower city if full with riverman’s haunts, brothels, and taverns. It is where the lowborn Norvoshi, out of sight of priests, nobles, or soldiers, find entertainment, away from the wind and prayer of the higher city. Bears are known to be made to dance down the Sinner’s Steps. There are three bells throughout the city, each given its own name:Noom having a deep sound, Narrah having a strong sound, Nyel having a higher pitched sound. Norvos is nominally ruled by a High Magister and a council of religious protectors, chosen by the bearded priests. Among the Norvoshi only the bearded priests are allowed beards. The freeborn of the city, both noble or lowborn favor long, unswept mustachios, whilst slaves and women are shaved bare. Norvoshi women shave off all of their hair, though noblewomen don wigs, specially when in company of men from other lands and cities. Norvoshi are known as masters at creating intricate textiles, including fine tapestries that are renowned the world over, and for an annual festival that features bears dancing.

Imagine Ahsoka and Anakin commentating as Force Ghosts

-Like they got their “sorry-I-abandoned-you-I-(maybe)-murdered-you” apologies out of the way years ago and now they just watch from the sidelines, taking immense joy in doing so together.

-“I bet he’s an asshole.” It is the moments after Ben Solo’s birth, and Anakin and Ahsoka have gathered themselves together for this time. Anakin gives Ahsoka a look. She raises an innocent eyebrow. “What? I’m just saying. He seems like an asshole to me.”

-“That,” Anakin growls, “is my grandson.”

-“Well then, it’s going to be extra hard for me to lose.”

-The two of them attend all of Leia’s award ceremonies and the important functions of Luke’s Jedi school, imbuing them with special powers of the Force simply by being there.

-Anakin never manifests himself directly, but he still feels a tingle in his belly because he swears Luke looks right at him as he cuts a Padawan’s braid.

-“Bank left! Left!” Ahsoka is white-knuckling Rey’s impromptu flight of the Falcon, Anakin at her side.

-“What?” Anakin screams back. “Don’t tell her to bank left, we’ll be blown into smithereens!”

-“You don’t know what you’re talking about, Skyguy!”

-“We’re about to die again, Snips, and I’m the best pilot in the galaxy, so quiet down and let me influence the Force for once!”

-Anakin and Ahsoka have had far more influence over the galaxy than their deaths would suggest.

-They’ve planted the idea of rebellion into a young girl’s mind, a girl who owned nothing but a name: Erso.

-They’ve steered a pirate’s hands towards a lightsaber in the depths of the Cloud City.

-Together, they have guided the crew of the Ghost into victory as many times as they could, they not even the Chosen One could do more than ease the pain of their final fiery deaths.

-And on the day when Anakin’s son-in-law is murdered, Ahsoka says nothing, only puts her hand on her friend’s shoulder and lets him weep.

-They are there. They exist, and they exist together.

anonymous asked:

my heart is beating so fast, I'm trying not to scream but I cANT *Dies* I MEAN GOOD GUY GALRA LOOKs LIKE KEITH I MEAN????? he looks so fatherly and why would he like help the guys hmmmmmm🤔🤔👀👀👀👀 gtg im dying


I’m making it that deep goddamn it.

Here’s the evidence I’ve compiled about the similarities between Keith and 3G:

  • Same eyebrows. Like, they actually do have the same eyebrows. Look at that curve. The angles. These are the eyebrows of people who mean business.
  • They both have goofy hairstyles. Granted, everyone in the Galra empire looks like a cross between a kitten and a bat, but still.
  • They both love Fighting™

Here are some pictures of their respective knives:

Sorry for the slightly blurry quality, Netflix can suck my big toe. Anyway.

  • Keith’s knife is like… A baby version of 3G’s knife. 
    • I argue that 3G’s knife is a big and ceremonial (but still functional) blade that was given to him due to his high status in Zarkon’s forces. That’s why it’s so much bigger, has more decorative engravings, and looks like something out of Tron.
  • Keith’s knife is plainer, but no less functional. To me, it doesn’t look like a normal human blade. It’s shaped so weirdly, like a piece of pizza. This isn’t a pocket knife, you can’t hide this at all, so why does Keith have it? Where did Keith get it?
  • Also, the hilt of Keith’s blade is covered. 
    • On the hilt of 3G’s blade, we see a symbol. It could mean anything; his rank, his blood type, or his name. We don’t know. But it marks 3G’s blade as distinctly alien. 
    • Keith’s blade is covered in the exact same area. Why? To hide something that would make it stand out on Earth.

Mary Lincoln’s purple velvet skirt with daytime bodice is believed to have been made by African American dressmaker Elizabeth Keckly. The first lady wore the gown during the Washington winter social season in 1861–62. Both pieces are piped with white satin, and the bodice is trimmed with mother-of pearl buttons. An evening bodice was included with the ensemble. The lace collar is of the period, but not original to the dress.

After Abraham Lincoln’s death, Mary went into mourning and remained in widow’s clothes until her own death in 1882. She gave some of her White House finery to family members. Her cousin, Elizabeth Todd Grimsley, received this purple velvet ensemble. In 1916 Grimsley’s son, John, sold the ensemble to Mrs. Julian James for the Smithsonian’s First Ladies Collection.

John Grimsley attributed this dress to a “seamstress of exceptional ability” who “made nearly all of Mrs. Lincoln’s gowns.” Although he mistook her name as “Ann,” he most likely was referring to Elizabeth Keckly.

The Civil War made it particularly important that the ceremonial functions of the administration appear dignified and competent. This public image helped calm domestic critics and reassure foreign governments, especially England and France, which were being courted by the Confederacy. The Lincolns faced the challenge of maintaining proper decorum without appearing self-indulgent when so many were sacrificing so much. Their background made this task even more difficult, as they had to overcome eastern stereotypes of “uncultured” westerners.

Mary Lincoln took her role as first lady very seriously. Some newspapers portrayed her as “the republican queen,” elegant and admirable at public occasions. Others criticized her for conspicuous consumption in time of war and sacrifice. Although she came from a genteel Kentucky family, she was the wife of “the rail splitter,” and many people expected her to embarrass the nation with uncouth western manners.

Bequest of Mrs. Julian James, 1923

Culture: American

Date: 1861-1862

Material: Velvet, lace, satin

What girl doesn’t love a look that easily transitions from day to night?! I did notice that the color of the dress in the photos taken by The Smithsonian look a little off so I went digging. 

It is more of a rich purple than that heinous electric color, we won’t blame the dress, no one looks good in such intense light. Also, it hurts my heart that the sleeves on the afternoon bodice are very noticeably replacements. 

~Mirror Back.
Date: 7th–10th century
Geography: Mexico, Mesoamerica, Veracruz
Culture: Veracruz
Medium: Slate

The scrolls and interlaces that frame this stone plaque are characteristic of the art of Veracruz. Possibly a back support for a mirror, the plaque has a drilled hole (for suspension?) at its top edge. Such mirrors served as costume elements connoting the high rank or authority of the wearer. They perhaps served a ceremonial function as well. The image depicts the profile of a young man with a small bead beneath his nose that may refer to speech. A net cap with a prominent knot is over the hair, a large earflare with a tooth- or claw-shaped pendant adorns the ear, and a three-tiered beaded collar is around the neck. Along the jaw line, protruding out from his chin, there is a scroll resembling a beard, the extension of which pictorially balances the nose of the figure. The lively, free-flowing scrollwork at the edge of the plaque contrasts with the rigid geometric elements of the image. This combined with the slight incline of the figure and the asymmetry of the design imbue the carved surface with dynamism, creating a visually compelling composition.

What a Maid of the fields would wear in Pentos, Valentino

Pentos is ruled over by a prince with a council of magisters. The prince has a mostly ceremonial function while the council of rich magisters rule. The prince is chosen from the forty noble families, and presides chiefly over balls and feasts.  Each new year he must deflower two maidens: the maid of the sea, and the maid of the fields, to ensure prosperity on land and sea. However, if there is famine or war is lost, the magisters sacrifice the prince and slit his throat to appease the gods, then choose a new prince.


The Parallels between Marie Antoinette and Alexandra Feodorovna

Almost 117 years separate the births of Maria Antonia of Austria and Alix of Hesse, who became Queen Marie Antoinette of France and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia respectively, but there are some eerie similarities and parallels to be drawn between these two most unfortunate woman. 

1. German Identity

Both these woman were German born (In Marie Antoinette’s time, Austria was still part of the German Confederation.) and in each case this accident of birth were to haunt them in later years when their adopted countries went to war with their countries of Birth

 Marie Antoinette was called “l’autrichienne”, meaning “ the Austrian or Austrian Bitch. She was accused of selling state secrets to her two brothers who succeeded each other as Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph and Leopold.

Alexandra was named the German Bitch, or German Spy. She was also accused of selling state secrets to her cousin, Wilhelm II. Even though Alix always maintained that she was more English than German, it was her German background that she was most associated with in the end.

2. Formative years

Both Marie Antoinette and Alexandra were the youngest daughters of their parents (Alexandra, being the youngest surviving daughter) and both would come to attain the grandest position of all their sisters.

  Both woman had very strong female figures in their lives while growing up. Marie Antoinette’s mother was, after all, Empress Maria Theresa who against all odds succeeded in keeping the Holy Roman Empire in tact in the face of adversity during the war of the Austrian Succession, showing that although she was a woman, she had the mind and heart equal to any King. Alexandra was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who took over all responsibility of her education after the death of Princess Alice.

Both woman lost a beloved parent at an early age. Emperor Francis I died when Marie Antoinette was almost 10 years old and Alexandra lost her mother at the age of 6.

3. Preparation for fulfilling their future roles.

As the youngest daughter and 15th child, Marie Antoinette’s education was neglected and not up to scratch. When Maria Theresa started negotiations for the marriage of her daughter, she realised this lapse in care on her part and a hard and intense crash course was provided to the young archduchess to try and fill the gaps and prepare her for her role as Queen of France. Even though Marie Antoinette learned the french language and could speak it continually better, she retained a slight german accent. 

Alexandra, who had a better overall general education also had to undergo an intense crash course to prepare her as empress since her future father in law fell ill and died unexpectedly quick before she had enough time to really learn all the intricacies of the Russian court nor did she ever learn to speak Russian fluently.

4. Adaption to their new situations

Both woman grew up in relatively relaxed and informal courts, where there was a separation between formal state occasions and informal private family life, and both married  into extremely formal courts with very stiff etiquette and a rigid protocol to follow.

Marie Antoinette was known to rebel against the strict rules and make fun of and ridicule the over pompous ceremony that formed her new life. She loathed living every moment  of every day in full view of the hordes who came to watch her dress in the morning, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and then again undress at night. She would eventually spend more and more time secluded in her private residences, the Petite Trianon in the park of Versailles and the Chateau of Saint Cloud.

Alexandra also hated the ceremonial life, in her case due to debelitating shyness, which came across as arrogance to her court. Neither was there much love lost between Alexandra and her inlaws and the courtiers. Alexandra viewed them as loose, immoral and debauched libertines, whereas they viewed her as a stiff, uncultured and arrogant prude. In response to the hostility she experienced at court, she secluded her family and herself in the Alexander Palace, performing and attending very little ceremonies and functions, pleading ill health as an excuse. 

5. “Inappropriate” Friendships

Marie Antoinette ruffled many a feather when she formed close friendships with courtiers deemed of insufficient rank. The system at versailles gave certain rights and privileges to certain ranks of the courtiers, the best going to the highest ranking and descending from there on down. Many high ranking courtiers became disgruntled that they should be excluded from salons and other gatherings, such as house parties and picnics, given by the dauphine, and later the queen, where they had a certain right to attend. Many of them started damaging and malicious rumors about the queen ranging from wild sex orgies to lesbianism with her friends, the Duchess de Polignac and the Princess de Lamballe.

Alexandra, with her distaste of the irreputable aristocrasy and her sense of discomfort in her new family, who she felt judged her as definitely not up to par to being Tsarina, formed close friendships with people from the minor nobility. To a court who centered their whole existence around the Tsar and Tsarina, they felt robbed of their way of life and created many enemies of Tsarina. It was the seemingly intimate friendship with a peasant who claimed to be a holy man, namely Grigory Rasputin,  that sparked the most scurrilous rumours and in the end helped to ruin Alexandra’s reputation entirely.

6. Weak Husbands

Louis XVI was a dear and genuinely good person, but a terrible ruler. He lacked any form of backbone and majestic presence. He felt the burden of being king terribly. It was inevitable that his young, charming and vivacious wife would outshine him at any event which is probably where the notion came into existence that Marie Antoinette ruled him. Although they probably never in love, I believe that as the years passed, and with mounting adversity, they formed a deep and trusting friendship.

Nicholas II may be a carbon copy of Louis XVI, with the exception that he was athletic, where Louis was fat and that he was passionately and deeply in love with his darling Alix, whereas Louis was resigned to the marraige he was forced into. Nicholas feared the day he would become Tsar and from the beginning relied heavily on the opinions and advise from his wife, but was also bombarded with orders from his relatives, especially his uncles and he relented to their will most of the time. 

Louis and Nicholas both had a stubborn streak as well, not to be confused with a sense of self. Both believed in their God-given right to rule as autocrats and were too short sighted to make concessions to preserve their thrones. 

7. Struggling to do their prime duty: Providing the heir

Marie Antoinette was bombarded by admonishing letters from her mother year after year by not providing an heir. In Marie Antoinette’s case it was the case that Louis either did not know how to make a baby, that he had some medical problems or that he could not bring himself to sleep with his wife either out of shyness because he felt inferior or out of apprehension because he was suspicious of her in the early years due to the influences of the anti Austrian courtiers. It took 11 years for her to fulfill her duty and gave birth to a son Louis Joseph, after giving birth to a daughter 3 years previously. The longed for heir was not up to scratch though and was a sickly child. Louis Joseph died at the age of 7.

Alexandra had no trouble consummating the marriage and gave birth in quick succession to 4 daughters. Daughters however could not succeed and Alexandra began to turn to the more mystic spiritualism, bordering on the occult, in the hopes of providing the crucial heir. After 10 years, (one year earlier than Marie Antoinette), she succeeded after giving birth to a son. This son and heir was not a healthy prince either. He suffered from hemophilia. 

8. Personal connections

Marie Antoinette and Alexandra had some more personal connections as well. 

Marie Antoinette formed a very close childhood friendship with Princess Charlotte of Hesse Darmstadt, ( Later the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) who was her exact contemporary, both being born in 1755. They kept a close correspondence throughout the years until the death of Charlotte in 1785.

During a state visit to France, Alexandra spent a night in Marie Antoinette’s apartments in Versailles. (What that must have been like?! Josephine Bonaparte did not relish occupying Marie Antoinette’s apartments in the Tuileries palace, saying it felt haunted)

Alexandra had an embroidered copy of the portrait of Marie Antoinette with her children in one of her rooms in the Alexander palace. Strange that she never took a lesson from that, in respect to her own actions, when looking at this picture.

9. Horrible deaths

Marie Antoinette was imprisoned with her family and afterwards in the Conciergerie Prison totaling up to almost a year before being taken to the scaffold to be beheaded. 

Alexandra was imprisoned for a year in Siberia, first in Tobolsk and the Ekaterinburg, before she was led down to the cellar of the prison, with her family, and executed. 

Both woman is synonymous with revolution and is almost always given as the one of the biggest contributors (some reasons undeservedly and unjustly put on them),  to the downfall of their thrones 

Ahmose-Nefertari does not get enough credit.

·      Grew up during a war, which claimed the lives of most of her male family members, which resulted in her getting guidance and learning how to rule from her mother Ahhotep.  Ahhotep who was buried with military honours and is recorded that “(She is) one who cares for Egypt. She has looked after it; she has brought back its fugitives and collected together its deserters; she has pacified Upper Egypt and expelled its rebels”

·      She boasts literally almost all the titles a Queen can have in Ancient Egypt, she is; Daughter of the King, Sister of the King, Wife of the King, Chief Wife of the King and Mother of the King.  Not to mention she is the Gods Wife of Amun, a title which transcends the political sphere and makes her an important player in the Religious figure.

·      With the title of Gods Wife of Amun, she became the owner of a vast number of lands and estates as well as goods and administrations.  This Title also came with a vast number of duties, both ceremonial and functional.

·      She is associated with a great deal of religious and monument building and quarrying (including Memphis Limestone Quarry’s and Asyut Alabaster Quarry’s) independent of her husband and son.

·      Together with her husband Ahmose they built a series of mortuary monuments to their Grandmother Tetisheri, the Abydos Stela shows Ahmose asking for Ahmose-Nefertari’s approval on the project.

·      After her husband died she continued to be a powerful figure in the Ancient Egyptian Empire, heavily involved in the reign of her son Amenhotep I.  Together they founded the workers village Dier el-Medina, where the builders and artisans of the Royal Tombs and Funerary lived.  She was revered by the members of this community and after her death was worshipped as a Patron Goddess.

·      She was so accomplished, living in the reign of at least 5 Pharaohs (her father Seqenenre Tao II, his successor Kamose, her husband Ahmose, her son Amenhotep I and his successor, her possible grandson-in-law Thutmose I) that she eclipsed the lives of the women around her.  Her daughter Meritamun and possible grand-daughter Aahmes didn’t enjoy the titles, lands or power she held, even in her old age.

·      After her son died, she lived into the reign of the following Pharaoh Thutmose I.  If Thutmose I’s wife Aahmes, is in fact the daughter of Amenhotep I, that would conclude that their daughter Hatshepsut was the Great Granddaughter of Ahmose-Nefertari.  The Donation Stela, which outlines the purchase of the second Priesthood of Amun states that Ahmose-Nefertari was able to pass her position on to her ancestors. In the later years of her life, Ahmose-Nefertari gave her treasured title of Gods Wife of Amun to Hatshepsut, who would go on to become Pharaoh in her own right.

·      She was worshipped outside Dier el-Medina, in Karnak in the 19th Dynasty.  Ramesses II is depicted on a wall scene in Karnak standing before the deified Ahmose-Nefertari in the presence of the rest of the Gods. Ahmose-Nefertari was Queen during the 18th dynasty, her worship a great deal of time after her life and death prove how important she was.

Egyptian Menat Necklace, Reign of Amenhotep III

Excavated from the Malkata palace at Thebes, dating to the New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, circa 1390-1353 BC. Made of faience, bronze or copper alloy, glass, agate, carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise.

A menat necklace consists of a heavy, keyhole-shaped counterpoise (menat) and many strands of beads. Although the necklace is sometimes shown being worn, it was more often carried by females participating in religious ceremonies. It functioned as a percussion instrument that was shaken to create a soothing noise that was thought to appease a god or goddess. In the New Kingdom the menat necklace and the systrum were attributes of women who held the title “Singer of Amun-Re.”

apple-grass-and-smiles  asked:

What are your thoughts on the Literal Queen Padmé Amidala? Especially her rise in the political world and how it affects her different relationships in life. Or even if you just have any good meta about her. (Also, you're brilliant.)

Oh goodness, thank you!

Okay, so this question is pretty broad. I’m gonna try to talk about different things than I did in my previous Padmé meta, but we’ll see where it goes. Probably going to be lots of Naboo headcanons in here, too.

It seems clear that the Naboo have a tradition of encouraging political involvement while young, and that a lot of their politicians, in particular their monarchs, have been young, and frequently  have been children. Padmé says in AOTC that she wasn’t the youngest Queen ever elected, though she wonders now if she was actually ready. (Note that she doesn’t wonder, though, if she was old enough, just if she was ready.)

This is mainly headcanon, but I suspect the role of monarch on Naboo is a largely ceremonial function. Not that the elected monarch does no governing - I’m sure she does. But I think most of the actual governing is done in conjunction with a governing council (the people we see in the Queen’s throne room in both TPM and AOTC), and most if not all of the members of that council are adults. So the elected office of the Queen is, in some ways, almost like a very high profile political internship. The Queen does have real power, but it’s far from absolute, and I don’t think she would make any major policy decisions unilaterally. People who are elected to the throne are probably expected to go on to hold other political offices as adults, such as Senator, Governor, or members of the advisory council themselves. (What I’m less certain about is whether the Queen’s advisory council is also elected by the people, making them akin to a congress in a representative democracy, or whether they are appointed by the Queen herself. But I lean towards the former, if only because Padmé and the Naboo in general seem to place such a high value on democracy.)

So the Trade Federation blockade was a crisis not only for Naboo, but for Padmé personally, because she was suddenly faced with this horrible situation where her planet is on lockdown, her people are dying, and there‘s no one who can speak for them except her.

Everyone expects her to fail. Everyone expects her either to capitulate, or else to deliver her message to the Senate and then just wait, to be completely ineffectual.

Palpatine’s initial plan is reliant on her being easily controlled, and when it turns out she’s not, at all, he has to devise a new strategy on the fly. He still uses her to get himself elected Chancellor (though I think he could have pulled that off pretty easily without her there, and was probably planning to originally.) But the war he planned to start on Naboo fizzles and dies, because not only was Queen Amidala not easily controlled, she also wasn’t content simply to speak for her people. She took action. And the actions she took showed a very shrewd mind, not only politically, but even militarily. He wasn’t expecting that at all. Padmé Amidala was meant to be only a minor player in Palpatine’s grand performance, but TPM taught him what a drastic miscalculation that was. It’s no coincidence that she’s central to his plans in both AOTC and ROTS, and that in both films, he’s quite concerned with her ending up dead. (How and why Padmé actually dies in ROTS is an endless fandom debate which I will not get into here, but I think we can all agree there was no way Palpatine planned to let her live into his new Empire. He learned his lesson in TPM. Padmé Amidala is too dangerous to be kept alive.)

So for me, TPM shows us the core of who Padmé is. She’s someone who, when she finds herself in over her head, and when everyone else expects her to either capitulate or defer to others, will instead step up and tackle the situation with unexpected wit and finesse.

She’s also someone who succeeds so well, both in politics and in the complex guerrilla tactics of retaking a planet, in large part because she sees what others overlook. And, more specifically, she sees the people that others overlook.

The three most crucial players in her plan to retake Naboo, other than Padmé herself, are Sabé, Jar Jar Binks, and Anakin Skywalker.

The Jedi are largely irrelevant. “We can’t fight a war for you,” says Qui-Gon, and he says it because he assumes that Padmé will be doing the most obvious thing - that is, planning around her most powerful and most important assets, which are obviously the Jedi.

And I think because of Qui-Gon’s line, people sometimes overlook the fact that the Jedi were never part of Padmé’s plan in the first place. Because she’s not looking at the situation the way most politicians and “important people” would. She sees what the Jedi overlook.

The linchpin of Padmé‘s plan is the Gungan army, and the linchpin to forging an alliance with the Gungan army is Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar Binks, the bumbling Gungan Qui-Gon consistently treats in a paternalistic, dismissive, and infantilizing way, the “pathetic lifeform” Obi-Wan doesn’t even have the time of day for, the “uncivilized” swamp-dweller that most of the rest of the Naboo look at with distaste or pity. But Padmé always treats Jar Jar with respect and, most importantly, she always treats him as a sentient being equal to herself. (The only other person who does so in TPM is Anakin, who falls into the “pathetic lifeform” category himself.)

Padmé is successful in forging an alliance with the Gungans precisely because she doesn’t approach them with a colonialist mindset. (On a sidenote, I do think there must be a long history of colonialism on the part of the Naboo towards the Gungans, so Padmé’s approach to Boss Nass, and her kneeling before him and acknowledging his sovereignty, is not only the beginning of a military alliance but, more importantly, it’s the beginning of healing and reconciliation between their peoples.) Jar Jar is willing to take her to their sacred place because he knows her to be genuinely respectful, and Boss Nass is willing to hear her and to ally with her because she approaches him as an equal, as one leader of a people to another. (Compare Qui-Gon’s audience with Boss Nass at the beginning of the movie, where he was noticeably paternalistic, tried to tell the Gungans about their own culture and correct their understanding of the world, and ultimately had no qualms about using a mind trick to get what he wanted, with Padmé‘s approach to Boss Nass at the end, where she respects his culture and his understanding of the world, implicitly acknowledges the ways in which the Naboo have been at fault in their treatment of the Gungans in the past, and makes herself vulnerable as a show of good faith.)

As for Sabé, she is Padmé‘s decoy, and Padmé values that and respects Sabé‘s own skills and expertise. She entrusts the bulk of the Palace invasion to Sabé, a girl who has been mostly overlooked as “just a handmaiden” (as they all have, including Padmé herself).

And then there’s Anakin. Now, obviously Padmé didn’t plan for him to be involved in the space battle. She didn’t have any plans for him. In fact, she and Jar Jar are the only ones in the movie who don’t, aside from Shmi herself, who just wants her son to be free.

Qui-Gon is interested in Anakin because of his extraordinary potential with the Force. He frees him specifically because he wants to train him as a Jedi. Obi-Wan resents him at first, but ends up wanting to train him out of a duty to his dead master. The Jedi Council is afraid of him (forever amused that Anakin’s fear is their chief stated objection to training him, because wow, projecting much Yoda? - but I digress). Palpatine, obviously, has all kinds of plans for him once Anakin comes into his radar.

But Padmé befriends Anakin. In the midst of this terrible situation, where she is horribly out of her depth and holding the lives of her people in her hands, she still finds it important to take the time to build a genuine friendship with a lonely, scared, traumatized boy, at a time when everyone else (except Jar Jar, who is also a truly wonderful person for seeing the importance of the little things) is far more focused on the important matters at hand.

And that’s what I love most about Padmé. She can put aside her own personal desires and feelings for the sake of the many, but she also places a lot of importance and value in individuals, and she never gets so caught up in the bigger picture that she can’t see the people around her. She consistently makes efforts to include and even prioritize the seemingly unimportant people, the invisible people who are so often left out of the political sphere and major galactic decisions. We see this with Jar Jar and Anakin, with Artoo, with her concern for Shmi in AOTC (and arguably Obi-Wan as well), with Ahsoka in TCW. Padmé‘s politics and her personal life are always tied together, because she always tries to live out her principles in both.

anonymous asked:

What is the difference between a wakizashi and a katana (physically I know that the wakizashi is smaller) but what are the differences in advantages and the like?

The wakizashi is smaller. I mean, that is the difference. The wakizashi was carried by samurai as a backup in case they broke their katana.

As I recall, the wakazashi was sometimes used to commit seppuku, normally a tanto would have been used. It was carried by female members of the samurai class (they weren’t allowed to carry katanas). It may have been used in some other ceremonial functions, in place of a katana, or other blade.

Also, you could use the wakizashi indoors. Which says less about the wakizashi, and more about the techniques used to protect the katana’s (surprisingly fragile) blade. Katanas do not work well in tight spaces. Including ones that will easily accommodate other varieties of swords. So, that’s more of an inherent disadvantage for the katana, not really an advantage for the wakizashi.

You might want to read this article about the implications for reach. What I said there applies as much with this as it did when I was talking about European longswords.


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