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A word derived ljcas Longobardia and used during the Middle Ages to designate the country ruled over by the Longobards, which varied in extent with the varying fortunes of that race in Italy.
During their greatest power it included Northern Italy, part of Central Italy, and nearly all Southern Italy excepting only Calabria inaccessible because of its mountainous characterand a narrow strip of land along the west coast including the cities of Naples, Gaeta, Amalfi, and Terracina.
Geographically it was divided into eight regions: In the ninth century the name Lombardy was synonymous ahhi Italy. Politically the country was divided into thirty-six duchies, of which we know with any certainty the names of only a few; these are: After the kingdom had passed into the hands of the Franks and the frontier duchies had asserted their independence, and new principalities had been set up, e.
These are its boundaries at the present time. Actually, Lombardy is one of the thirteen regions into which Italy is divided and it contains eight provinces: It is the most populous province of Italy, with 4, inhabitants and an area of sq. The wealth of the country consists in the fertility of the soil, which in the main lies within the basin of the Po valley.
Only on its northern reaches is it conterminous with lucax Alpine chain, where Bernese Alps keep watch over the Provinces of Sondrio and Bergamo, and advance among the wooded valleys of Camonica, Seriana, Brembara, and Valtellina. In these mountains many streams have their sources, the principal ones being the Ticino, the Olono, the Adda, the Oglio, and the Mincio, all tributaries of the Po on ,eys left bank; while the Trebbia, fed from the Appennines, flows in on the right bank.
Several of these rivers during their long course spread out into lakes famous for the beauty of their shores, rich in vegetation, and bordered by picturesque villages and lovely villas, the favourite summer haunts of the great and the wealthy. Other similar lakes like Lake Varese and those nestling among the gentle slopes of the Brianza have won for this strip of Lombardy the name of “Garden of Italy “. The climate of Lombardy varies with its elevation; it is cold in the mountain districts, warm in the plains.
The chief products are grain, maize, rice. The pasture lands are many and the flocks numerous. Ever since the fifteenth century the greater part of Lombardy has been artifically irrigated. Innumerable canals branch off from the rivers and carry their waters over the fields on a gentle slope, so skilfully arranged that a thin sheet of water can be made to pass lightly over the surface, fertilizing the soil so that as many as seven crops of hay are taken in one year.
Several of these canals, e. The mean annual crop of rice from to was 4, quintals a quintal is about lbs. Milk is so plentiful that butter agi cheese are among the chief exports: The more famous cheeses are the Grana wrongly called Parmigiano or ParmesanGorgonzola, and Stracchini. With the introduction of the mulberry-tree during the Middle Ages the feeding virne silkworms began and has gone on prospering, so that it now forms one of the staple sources of income, the average output per annum being about 15, kilos of cocoons.
The silk is woven on the spot and gives employment according to statistics for topersons of both sexes who work 1, spindles for straight and twisted silk, feeding 16, looms that turn out 10, kilos of grey or unbleached silk. There are moreover in activity 36, looms, andspindles for cotton and 10, looms for flax, hemp, jute, etc. Other industries are moulding wood and iron for machinery, carriage-building, railway works, furniture making, bleaching works, tailoring establishments, and printing.
The country does not boast lucad great mineral wealth although there are iron pyrites and copper pyrites in the valleys of Bergamo and Brescia ; zincblende and carbonate of zinc in Val Seriana; lignite in the same valley; and peat in the Varese valley davkd along Lake Garda. There are rich granite quarries at San Fedelino, porphyry in Val Ganna, black marble at Varenna, and limestone at Botticino.
The growth of ahj soon caused the need of means of rapid communication to be felt, and besides the public highways, there are aboutmiles of splendid roads in Lombardy, railways were soon opened, that from Milan to Monza in being the second in Italy. At present a network of 1, miles of railway lines and more thanmiles of steam-tramways cover the surface of Lombardy. In its ecclesiastical divisions Lombardy naturally biene the influence of its civil history.
When the Longobards swarmed down from the Alps the peoples in that region had long been evangelized and the Church had a hierarchy in the chief cities. Among these Milan is certainly the most ancient of all Ayi Italy ; Aquileia comes next; then Verona and Brescia and luca other sees that sprang up rapidly after peace had been given to the Church by Constantine.
Milan was the metropolitan see of the region and its bishop took the title of archbishop as early as the middle of the eighth century.
It is doubtful lyes Pavia belonged to Milan in ancient times, but from a very remote date until the beginning of the nineteenth century it depended directly on the Holy See. In the seventh century Como was separated from Milan and became subject to Aquileia but was davld to Milan when the Patriarchate of Aquileia was suppressed. The jurisdiction of Milan was gradually restricted.
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luucas Genoa vien an archdiocese in with Savona, Ventimiglia, and Tortona as suffragan sees. Likewise, in Turin became an archdiocese with Asti, Albi, and Acqui as suffragans. Finally, Vercelli in was made an archdiocese with Alessandria, Casale, Vigevano, and Novara as suffragans. At the present time Lombardy is divided into nine dioceses: A noteworthy peculiarity in the liturgy is the special rite in use throughout all the Diocese of Milan with the exception of a few parishes, a rite that goes back to very primitive times, fiene known as the Ambrosian Rite.
When the Longobards are first mentioned by Latin historians they are described as the fiercest of the German barbarians Velleius Paterculus while Tacitus praises them for their intrepidity.
It would seem their original name was Winnili, and that they were called Longobards from the length of the beards they wore. We first meet them along the Elbe near the Baltic; according to Bluhime they came from Jutland.
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Their quarrels with the Vandals were of ancient ulcas ; afterwards they took possession of the lands of davud Heruli when these tribes poured into Italy under Odoacer. Alboin slew Cunimund, and as was the custom of his race, fashioned a biene cup from the king’s skull.
Ill-defended, and torn by the rivalries of the Greek leaders or generals, Italy fell an easy prey. Alboin met with no resistance either in Friuli or in Veneta; he advanced as far as the Adda, taking possession of all the towns on his way, with the exception of Padua, Mantua, and Monselice.
Many of the inhabitants fled for refuge to the islands in the lagoons. The following year, finding none to bar his progress, he pushed forward, occupied Milan, and leeys Liguria meeting resistance only in Pavia davir Cremona.
The inhabitants fled, even as far as Genoa. Pavia held out for three years, then fell, and became the capital of Alboin’s short-lived kingdom. Rosamunda, whom the barbarian forced to drink out of her father’s skull, in revenge had him assassinated, and then fled with her accomplices to Ravenna.
The Longobards chose as his successor Clefi, chief of the troops which had remained at Bergamo ; he was more cruel even than Alboin in oppressing the conquered, driving them from their lands and putting them to death under any pretext.
During all this time the exarch, Longinus, sent from Constantinople to replace Narses, had been unable to defend Italy, and shut himself up in Ravenna leaving the people to their cruel fate. The Longobard invasion of Italy, the last stage in the Germanic invasion of the West, marks the end of the Roman world and the beginning of a new historical epoch, which was to bring about deep changes in the social life of those peoples, who, hitherto, under the leyw of Heruli and Goths, had indeed changed their masters but not their customs dvid their manner of life.
With the new conquerors it was quite otherwise. At their head was a king usually chosen by the chiefs of the tribe nearly always from the stock of the same family. He was the civil and military head of the nation, but his power was shared with the leaders heerzoge chosen by him for life, one for each territorial division, and subject to xhi de jurethough de facto independent and even hereditary, as was the case in Friuli, Spoleto, and Beneventum.
Those nearer at hand, however, found it more difficult to escape his authority, but outbreaks were not infrequent and were the cause of weakness and decay from within. Viceroys pure and leyss were the gastaldi nominated and dismissed by the king, administering his biene and representing him in the various territories to which they were appointed.
On the other hand the gasindi vene part of his household and members of his Court. By playing off the one against the other, and by increasing their power the royal authority was augmented and the throne consolidated. Then again the dukes had their gasindi and skuldahis to assist them, and among those nobles and favourites the conquered lands were distributed.
Whether these lands were part of the imperial domain or belonged to private individuals who had been slain or who fled, they were parcelled out in fiefs or given away in freehold. The conquered became tributary, and had to pay thirds of all fruits and in most cases they seem to have been reduced to the state of aldiior villains, who passed from owner to owner with the land. Only one citizenship was recognized, the Longobardic, and all had to belong to it, the barbarian auxiliaries, the Romans who remained freemen, and later the priests and the guargangior strangers who came to settle in Longobard territory.
The quality of being a freeman frei was inseparable from that of soldier heermann: We can form an idea of the social and legal condition of the conquered peoples from the wieder-geldor fine imposed for a murder or any damage done by one inhabitant to another. The fine was always increased when a Longobard was the injured party.
The Roman was cut off from all government positions and was always looked upon as an inferior. Among the list of offices and honours, and even in the public documents of the Longobards, there never once appears the name of an Italian inhabitant.
The main consequence of this antagonism was that the two peoples remained politically apart. In spite of the heavy disadvantages under which they laboured it must not be imagined that the conquered were civilly dead.
The Dacid numbered hardly more thansouls without a code of laws and without unity of governing methods to oppose to those already in existence, and which it was only natural they should go on using in their dealings with the Italians on all points not foreseen by their own barbarian customs. That this was the case is seen from the fact that hardly had the oppression come to an end when we find the Roman municipium once more arising and thriving in the comune.
But the preservation of the traditions of Rome was due to another cause-religion. The Longobards at the time of the lkcas were for the most part pagan ; a few had imbibed Arianism, and hence their ferocity against priests and monks whom viens put viwne death.
They destroyed churches and monasteries ; they hunted and killed many of the faithful who would not become pagan ; they laid waste their property, and seized Catholic places of worship, to hand them over to the Arians. The holy pontiff, Gregory the Great, does not cease ahj lament the desolation caused by the Longobard slaughter throught Italy. Slowly however the light of faith made way among them and the Church won their respect and obedience.
This meant protection for the conquered. Gradually the Church’s constitution and customs spread among the barbarians the ideas of Roman civilization, until at last, in defence of her own liberty and that of the people which the Longobards continued to imperil, she was forced to call in the aid of the Franks, and thus change the fate of Italy. The succession of the Longobard kings is as follows: In this list of kings prime importance attaches to the civil and religious influence of Queen Theodolinda, a Frank by birth, a Catholic in faith, the wife of Autari and afterwards of Agilulf whom she won over from barbarism and converted to Christianity.
To her is due the foundation of many churches and monasteries, among others St. John’s at Monza, where the iron crown was kept and protection granted to the Irishman, St. Columbanus, founder of Bobbio and apostle of the religious life in Gaul, Britain, Switzerland, and Italy. Agilulf had much trouble with his dukes; who had grown haughty in their independence, and were perhaps angered at his conversion to the religion of the conquered.
Rothari was also an Arian ; during his reign the first Lombard code was published. With much carnage and devestation he overthrew Genoa and conquered the Ligurian coast. For sixty years following Rothari and until the time of Liutprand intense anarchy prevailed.
During this period control was in the hands of Grimoald, Duke of Beneventum, converted through the zeal of Saint Barbatus, bishop of that town. Grimoald enlarged Rotari’s code by the addition of laws concerning prescription and voting, in which the influence of Roman law is manifest, as such ideas were altogether foreign to Teutonic legislation. Liutprand finally overcame this anarchy.
He was the greatest and perhaps the best of the Lombard princes. His legislation bears increasing traces of Christian and Roman influences.