Manufactured by Chiappa in Italy, based on the Winchester M1892 repeating rifle. .44-40 WCF 6-round tubular magazine, lever-action repeater, large lever loop. As used by Steve McQueen in his role as Josh Randall.
There were many other Kingdoms in Africa, not just the Kingdom of Egypt, that are worthy of praise and honour. Indeed, Egypt played a great role in civilization, but it was only one of many on the continent. Below are few of the many greats:
While Europe was experiencing its Dark Ages, a period of intellectual, cultural and economic regression from the sixth to the 13th centuries, Africans were experiencing an almost continent-wide renaissance after the decline of the Nile Valley civilizations of Egypt and Nubia.
The leading civilizations of this African rebirth were the Axum Empire, the Kingdom of Ghana, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire, the Ethiopian Empire, the Mossi Kingdoms and the Benin Empire.
The Aksum or Axum Empire was an important military power and trading nation in the area that is now Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, existing from approximately 100 to 940 A.D.
At its height, it was one of only four major international superpowers of its day along with Persia, Rome and China. Axum controlled northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, northern Sudan, southern Egypt, Djibouti, Western Yemen, and southern Saudi Arabia, totaling 1.25 million square kilometers, almost half the size of India. Axum traded and projected its influence as far as China and India, where coins minted in Axum were discovered in 1990.
Axum was previously thought to have been founded by Semitic-speaking Sabaeans who crossed the Red Sea from South Arabia (modern Yemen) on the basis of Conti Rossini’s theories —but most scholars now agree that when it was founded it was an indigenous African development.
Kingdom of Ghana
Centered in what is today Senegal and Mauritania, the Kingdom of Ghana dominated West Africa between about 750 and 1078 A.D. Famous to North Africans as the “Land of Gold,” Ghana was said to possess sophisticated methods of administration and taxation, large armies, and a monopoly over notoriously well-concealed gold mines.
The king of the Soninke people who founded Ghana never fully embraced Islam, but good relations with Muslim traders were fostered. Ancient Ghana derived power and wealth from gold and the use of the camel increased the quantity of goods that were transported. One Arab writer, Al-Hamdani, describes Ghana as having the richest gold mines on Earth. Ghana was also a great military power. According to one narrative, the king had at his command 200,000 warriors and an additional 40,000 archers.
After the fall of the Kingdom of Ghana, the Mali Empire rose to dominate West Africa. Located on the Niger River to the west of Ghana in what is today Niger and Mali, the empire reached its peak in the 1350s.
The Mali Empire was founded by Mansa (King) Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa. He was the grandson of Sundiata’s half-brother, and led Mali at a time of great prosperity, during which trade tripled. During his rule, Mansa Musa doubled the land area of Mali; it became a larger kingdom than any in Europe at the time.
The cities of Mali became important trading centers for all of West Africa, as well as famous centers of wealth, culture and learning. Timbuktu, an important city in Mali, became one of the major cultural centers not only of Africa but of the entire world. Vast libraries and Islamic universities were built. These became meeting places of the finest poets, scholars and artists of Africa and the Middle East.
The Kingdom of Mali had a semi-democratic government with one of the world’s oldest known constitutions – The Kurukan Fuga.
The Kurukan Fuga of the Mali Empire was created after 1235 by an assembly of nobles to create a government for the newly established empire. The Kurukan Fouga divided the new empire into ruling clans that were represented at a great assembly called the Gbara. The Gbara was the deliberative body of the Mali Empire and was made up of 32 members from around 29 clans. They were given a voice in the government and were a check against the emperor’s (mansa’s) power. It was presided over by a belen-tigui (master of ceremonies) who recognized anyone who wanted to speak including the mansa. The Gbara and the Kurukan Fuga remained in place for over 40o years until 1645.
According to Wikipedia, Disney’s “Lion King” movie was based on the real life narrative of Mansa Sundiata Keita.
The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire, was the largest state in African history and the most powerful of the medieval west African states. It expanded rapidly beginning with King Sonni Ali in the 1460s and by 1500s, it had risen to stretch from Cameroon to the Maghreb. In 1360, disputes over succession weakened the Mali Empire, and in the 1430s, Songhai, previously a Mali dependency, gained independence under the Sonni Dynasty. Around thirty years later, Sonni Sulayman Dama attacked Mema, the Mali province west of Timbuktu, paving the way for his successor, Sonni Ali, to turn his country into one of the greatest empires sub-Saharan Africa has ever seen.
Perhaps, it’s most popular leader was Muhammad Askia the Great. At its peak, the Songhai city of Timbuktu became a thriving cultural and commercial center. Arab, Italian and Jewish merchants all gathered for trade. By 1500, the Songhai Empire covered over 1.4 million square kilometers.
The Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia covers. It existed from approximately 1137 (beginning of Zagwe Dynasty) until 1975 when the monarchy was overthrown in a coup d’état. In 1270, the Zagwe dynasty was overthrown by a king claiming lineage from the Aksumite emperors and, hence, Solomon. The thus-named Solomonic Dynasty was founded and ruled by the Habesha, from whom Abyssinia gets its name.
The Habesha reigned with only a few interruptions from 1270 until the late 20th century. It was under this dynasty that most of Ethiopia’s modern history occurred. During this time, the empire conquered and incorporated virtually all the peoples within modern Ethiopia. They successfully fought off Italian, Arab and Turkish armies and made fruitful contacts with some European powers, especially the Portuguese, with whom they allied in battle against the latter two invaders.
The Mossi Kingdoms were a number of different powerful kingdoms in modern-day Burkina Faso which dominated the region of the Upper Volta River for hundreds of years. Increasing power of the Mossi kingdoms resulted in larger conflicts with regional powers. The Kingdom of Yatenga became a key power attacking the Songhai Empire between 1328 and 1477, taking over Timbuktu and sacked the important trading post of Macina.
When Askia Mohammad I became the leader of the Songhai Empire with the desire to spread Islam, he waged a Holy war against the Mossi kingdoms in 1497. Although the Mossi forces were defeated in this effort, they resisted attempts to impose Islam. Although there were a number of jihad states in the region trying to forcibly spread Islam, namely the Massina Empire and the Sokoto Caliphate, the Mossi kingdoms largely retained their traditional religious and ritual practices. Being located near many of the main Islamic states of West Africa, the Mossi kingdoms developed a mixed religious system recognizing some authority for Islam while retaining earlier African spiritual belief systems.
Once a powerful city-state, Benin exists today as a modern African city in what is now south-central Nigeria. The present-day oba (King) of Benin traces the founding of his dynasty to A.D. 1300. The Benin Empire was a pre-colonial Edo state. Until the late 19th century, it was one of the major powers in West Africa. According to one eye witness report written by Olfert Dapper, “The King of Benin can in a single day make 20,000 men ready for war, and, if need be, 180,000, and because of this he has great influence among all the surrounding peoples… . His authority stretches over many cities, towns and villages. There is no King thereabouts who, in the possession of so many beautiful cities and towns, is his equal.”
When European merchant ships began to visit West Africa from the 15th century onwards, Benin came to control the trade between the inland peoples and the Europeans on the coast. When the British tried to expand their own trade in the 19th century, the Benin warriors killed their envoys.
before i start off with this i wanna say that i’m basing this off my own experiences and while i’ll try to be generic, each region in italy has a very different culture, and as much as we’d like to think there are no differences, there are…several aspects that differ between the north and the south.
here we go:
- her mom is the italian one in the family, but was born and raised in the states. her grandparents were most likely immigrants who, if voltron was set during the present time, would have probably moved out approximately post ww2
- neither pidge nor matt have learned to speak italian properly, and only know pretty basic stuff like ciao, buongiorno, buonanotte etc
- has never been to italy except for a small vacation the whole family took when she was a baby, probably to rome and they have 25 photos of them posing in front of the colosseum all around their house
- huge football fans. bc football “calcio” if you will, is the true religion in italy. they root very hard everytime the italian football team plays. it’s a huge occasion to reunite with the rest of the family (and be super loud in true italian style) all wearing the player’s jears obviously. you’re not italian if you don’t sing POPOPOPOPOPO after every goal. (and the national anthem at the beginning of every match)
- italian families are usually huge and very respectful of certain traditions™. pidge was definitely named after her grandma or some other relative. it’s pretty typical to do that. it can cause…family wars trust me i know some shit
- hand gestures. ye…we have to go there. as stereotypical as it is, it is indeed true that italian use them a lot. especially ….if we’re angry (we cuss a lot too but shh)
- always has to kiss and greet every single relative during families reunions. if she doesn’t, they’d hold a grudge against her forever
- lunches especially during festivities such as xmas, last entire days. Can’t leave the goddamn table. but no matter what her grandma will always tell her she doesn’t think she’s eaten enough
- “i didn’t know what to buy for you here take the money” - grandma (only in an envelope though, it has to look official)
- knows perfectly most of the food that are passed off as “”“italian”“” in the us are not actually italian. (this shocks hunk a little. but no worries pidge is there to explain all about the real italian cuisine)
- is able to recognize another italian from the way they act….or drive
- her parents drink coffee after every meal. or….everytime someone comes for a visit. coffee is the way. She’s always liked it (the italian coffee™) but has never quite taken the habit of drinking it in the morning, and after lunch. unlike matt. he made shiro tried it once, but it was too strong for him
- secretely knows every popular italian song™
- the team: *does some fuckshit*
pidge: no maria io esco
Last night was horrible to say the least. Running into Bill had ruined her night, a night she was excited about, desperately needed and pulled herself together for, which made her all the more upset. Today she was going to a café for lunch with Maddie and Victoria, the latter was about to pick her up in a few minutes. She knew that she was not going to bump into Bill and that made the idea a whole lot more appealing.
She had just finished applying her makeup when there was a knock on the door, breaking her from her thoughts.
After quickly wrapping a scarf around her neck, she hurried to the front door.
‘It’s going to be a good day, a very good day. No more surprises; no more Bill.’ She thought, unlocking the door and twisting the knob before pulling the door open fully.
So much for no surprises.
She shifted uncomfortably where she stood.
She had told him that he could see her another time, she just didn’t think he would actually remember. He was completely wasted after all.
“Y/N-” Bill began.
“I’m going out for lunch with friends.” She blurted out.
He stuck his hands into his jacket pockets, looking down at her with a shy expression.
“Are you?” He wondered, softly.
She reached for her black trench coat, which laid disregarded on the stool instead of its usual place on a hook; she had simply tosses it aside when she got home the previous night, in no mood to care for such frivolous tasks.
She slipped the dark fabric over her body before knotting this ties around her waist and grabbing her purse.
“Yes.” She said, sternly. “Just like yourself, I’m an open book.”
His eyebrows furrowed.
“Would you rather I not have told you? Just waited until the truth somehow came out?”
She sighed, crossing her arms around her waist.
“No. I wish you hadn’t have slept with someone.” She retorted, expression becoming harder.
He knew that he was in the wrong, she had every reason to be mad at him, never want to see him again. Yet, he still wanted to be apart of her life; he was going to get her back, no matter what.
His pale green eyes settled on hers.
“When will we talk about it?” He pressed.
She looked down at her feet. Would she ever be ready to discuss things with him? Wouldn’t it just set off another wave of emotions? She did not want to feel anymore. However, she owed it to him to at least speak civilly like adults.
“Okay.” She agreed, meeting his gaze once again.
He exhaled deeply.
Was he nervous?
“Are you available on Friday?” He asked, looking down at her smaller frame.
He got a nod in return.
“Does dinner at Amore’s sound good? Seven o'clock?”
Everything hurt then. Amore’s was a tiny Italian café just off the water in Old Town, where they had many of their dates, one of which was the most memorable.
The chairs were rustic wood, vines adorned the patchy brick walls of the outdoor seating area and the lighting was always dim, as to not interfere with the small candle in the middle of the table. Yes, Amore’s was the best old-fashioned Italian restaurant in all of Sweden.
She fiddled her fingers nervously, the waiter having taken their orders a few minutes ago, leaving her with an important question to ask him.
“Bill?” She spoke, quietly.
He nodded whilst chewing on some bread dipped in an olive oil and balsamic concoction.
She knew what words she needed to say, they were fairly simple, yet the concept was not; it was life changing.
He noticed her internal fretting and placed his large hand over her smaller one, running his thumb over the back of her hand.
“What’s up?” He asked, trying to be casual to downplay whatever emotion she was feeling.
She looked up at him and bit her lip.
“I… I was wondering if you maybe… wanted to move in together?” She spoke, shyly.
His full lips cracked into a smile and he laced his fingers with hers.
“Of course I do.” He assured her, beaming a wide smile.
She was hesitant for a second longer: “Are you sure? I mean you don’t have to. I was just throwing it out there as a possibility.”
He laughed, that beautiful, deep laugh that melted all of her fears; he wanted this too.
“I’m certain.” He confirmed.
She allowed herself to smile and squeezed his hand back, glad that they could finally begin a journey that would last them the rest of their lives.
“Y-Yeah, sure.” She agreed.
He had just opened his mouth to speak when a voice came from behind him.
“Bill?” Victoria asked, knowing fully well it was him. Her voice was stronger and far more stern than her usual tone, wondering why he would be at her best friend’s door.
He turned his body around halfway to give the raven haired woman a nod, to which she only looked at him suspiciously.
“We’re uh- going to be late.” She told her friend, looking past Bill.
Y/N nodded, “Of course. Let me grab my keys and we can head out.”
With an awkward look to Bill, she strode into the living room, picked up her keys from the leather sofa, then went back to the door. When she returned, she noticed that he looked incredibly uncomfortable as well.
“I’ll uh- being seeing you, I guess.” He said, nervously.
She played with the frigid silver keys in her hand and nodded.
“Friday.” She confirmed.
He nodded before agreeing, “Friday.”
She gave him a nervous half-smile before stepping out of the apartment beside him. He turned to leave, only to be met with Victoria’s dark expression; if looks could kill, he was a dead man. He swallowed and walked down the hall, out of sight.
Once she finished locking her apartment, she turned to her friend and looked at her, absolutely dumbfounded; she had not expected to encounter Bill twice in the space of less than twenty-four hours.
“What did he want?” Victoria asked, sharply.
Y/N stuffed her keys into her purse and the two began to stroll down the long hallway to the elevators.
“He wants to talk about what happened.” She explained, calmly.
Her friend only snorted.
“I couldn’t even begin to guess what he plans on saying. He’s an asshole who doesn’t deserve your time, why even meet up with him?” Victoria questioned.
She sighed and pressed the down arrow on the elevator before looking at her friend.
“I promised him last night.” She confessed.
Victoria’s eyes went wide, “You spoke to him?”
She fiddled with the ends of the ties on her coat, not wanting to speak about the previous night in the rain. She just wanted to focus on something other than Bill, something that lunch at the café would provide.
“Yes. He saw me leaving the bar and ran after me, begging to speak with me soon. I only agreed because he was so drunk, I thought he wouldn’t even remember.” She admitted.
Victoria seemed lost in thought.
“Anyways, can we just have a peaceful lunch? I’m in no mood to think about him anymore.”
Her friend instantly smiled, just as the elevator doors slid open. The pair stepped inside and Victoria pushed the “GROUND” floor button, causing the lift to begin it’s trek to the reception.
“Agreed. No more Bill for the day.” Victoria promised.
She truly did have the greatest friend.
He pressed her against the wall with one hand, while closing the door with the other.
She reached down to unbuckle the strap of her heels, until a strong hand pulled her body back upright.
“Bill!” She squealed, back hitting the wall again.
He captured her lips with his own, taking her smaller hands into his and pushing them up the wall.
“Bill.” She whined, arms almost completely straight.
His eyes gleamed at the sight of her; thin blazer falling off her shoulder, wisps of hair covering her forehead and eyes looking right into his.
“We don’t even have sheets yet.” She tried to reason.
His expression caused her to giggle; he didn’t care if there were bed sheets or not, he wanted to have her in their new home.
She allowed him to pick her up by her legs and slung her arms around his neck, lips meeting his again. They kissed feverishly as he made his way to their bedroom, her hands running through his already messy locks.
The apartment was painted completely white, the “Classic Eight” as they call it; you see the whole house “naked” before choosing your palette, something she thought sounded incredibly fancy when put that way.
He tossed her onto the mattress, a smile forming on his lips when he saw her look around the room before laughing at the fact that the only piece on furniture in the whole bedroom was the boxspring, headboard and mattress.
His lips crashed back down on hers when he slipped on top of her, careful to not put too much of his weight on her body.
“I like it.” She said between kisses.
He ground his hips into hers, eliciting a breathless moan to flow through her lips.
“I like it too. I still don’t know if it’s big enough though.” He countered, making her laugh again.
This had been quite a large discussion point when it came to the apartment.
“It’s plenty. Plus, I don’t know how many children you think I’m going to have, but it won’t be enough to warrant another home.” She giggled, feeling his lips place soft kisses along her sensitive neck.
He pulled back to look her in the eye, raising one of his brows.
“You are not getting six children. I still don’t know how your mother did it.” She confessed, taking ahold of his arms and pulling him back down on top of her.
He slid a hand up her inner thighs while his lips moved with hers.
“Yet, she got six wonderful children.” He teased, overdoing it on the 'wonderful.’
She snorted and moved his hand away from her legs.
“Yes, five wonderful children.”
He pulled back and gave her a faux sour look, “Just five?”
“Mhm.” She hummed, lips curling into a playful grin.
He sat up before slipping her dark-wash jeans down her legs, discarding her laced black underwear on the floor as well.
His usually pale eyes were darker than normal, but still had a glint of good humour. His hand ran down her stomach, right to her heat. Instantly, he slipped his fingers through her slick folds and curled them upwards inside of her. Her eyes shut and she allowed her head to fall back against the mattress.
“Which of the five can do this to you?” He wondered, tone dripping with mischief.
She moaned as he hit a particularly sensitive spot inside of her and he kept on with it, pumping those deliciously long fingers deep inside of her until she spoke.
“None.” She whispered, eyes closed and hands attempting to grab a hold of the bed as best as she could.
“I’m sorry?” He asked, pretending to not quite hear her.
She continued to squirm under his touch, those fingers swirling and dipping inside of her.
“None of them.” She repeated, louder this time.
He smiled at the sight of his lover before him, “Open your eyes, Baby.”
She did and was met with his gorgeous green ones before he bent down, fingers still penetrating her, and pressed his lips to hers.
She clung to him desperately, glad to finally be able to touch him as he moved his digits in and out of her.
One exceptionally hard push had her eyes closed again and she murmured, “One day…”
He took his fingers from her and lifted his tall body off of her, reaching to the hem of his shirt to tug it off. With one swift motion, his shirt was off and his hands were at his belt, undoing the buckle before slipping it out of the loops of his trousers.
“One day?” He pressed, wanting her to finish.
His pants fell to the ground along with his boxers and he climbed back on top of her. She ran a hand through his clean hair, tracing her fingers down to his jaw.
“One day we’ll have kids of our own, beautiful children who grow up and fall in love, just like us.” She spoke, feeling his smooth skin.
His lips spread into the most undeniably happy smile he had ever given her, which she reciprocated, placing her hand on the back of his neck.
“You’ll be an incredibly mother.” He said, earnestly.
She gave his lips a chaste kiss.
“You’ll be the most amazing father. One day.”
With that, the couple went back to their lovemaking, thinking that some day, they will bear children of their own.
Lunch was pleasant, the quaint café had the most delightful sandwiches, soups and salads that the group munched on.
Yet she felt sick to her stomach, unable to shake off Bill’s unexpected visit earlier that day. She tried to enjoy her food, but ended up only picking at it, not in the mood for too much. The thoughts wouldn’t stop and she truly thought that this man would be the death of her; he consumed her everything.
She had stressed herself so much that she had to excuse herself to the washroom. Bending over the porcelain toilet, she hurled until she could throw up no more. Damn, him.
She returned to their table, utterly exhausted. What she really needed was a nice, steaming mug of tea and a television to wash away her fears.
when I’m sad I like to think about the fact that when england was formulating this disguise he must have at some stage grabbed some poor random italian off the street and ripped off his hair-curl to sellotape onto his own head idk it’s the little things in life that make it worth living y'know