Napoleon crossing the Alps: between art and propaganda

Two versions of the same historical image that, in reality, never happened. That really is political propaganda

The painting of the neoclassical artist  Jacques-Louis David ‘ Napoleon crossing the Alps ‘ navigates, for the course of History, between art and propaganda, like practically all the paintings referring to kings, dictatorships and leaders of the time and centuries following, when there was no photography or other means that allowed to perpetuate his image for posterity; let there be a witness to how ‘great’ they were. 

‘Napoleon crossing the Alps’ is a painting consisting of 5 different versions, for some it is exaggerated, loaded with excessive action, too suspenseful. But, we suppose, it is what Napoleon wanted: an image that spoke of his power, of his prestige, above good, evil and of History itself.

For others it is the beginning of the end of David’s career, before he officially became Napoleon’s artist. Although many call him a lackey. However, what could be said of this Napoleon crossing the Alps is that he is, without a doubt, the most famous portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte ever painted.

Napoleon crossing the Alps. First version

The last version of the painting is said to have been painted in just four months, although the ‘series’ took him to work on canvas from 1801 to 1805.

After a decade of terror and uncertainty following the French Revolution , the country was emerging as a great power once again. At the heart of this resurgence, of course, was General Napoleon Bonaparte who, in 1799, organized an uprising against the revolutionary government, installed himself as First Consul and effectively became the most powerful man in France, to proclaim himself, within a few years later as Emperor.
In May 1800 he led his troops through the Alps in a military campaign against the Austrians that ended in their defeat in June at the Battle of Marengo. It is this achievement that the painting commemorates.

Napoleon crossing the Alps. Second version


Napoleon was not a good model for David to work on executing the painting. Napoleon said something like: ” Nobody knows if the portraits of great men look like them, it is enough that their genius lives there .” David had to work on an earlier portrait and the uniform that Napoleon had worn at the Battle of Marengo.

It was one of David’s sons who, apparently, replaced him. This probably explains the youthful physique of the Emperor figure because he was not that young at the time.

Napoleon crossing the Alps. Final version

Napoleon, however, did help somewhat in the process of making the painting. He was the one who contributed the idea that the portrait was an equestrian portrait: ” calme sur un cheval fougueux ” (calm on a fire horse), were the brief instructions that he offered the artist.

The curious thing is that he did not actually lead his troops through the Alps.

And  Jacques-Louis David  obeyed. After all, what better way to demonstrate Napoleon’s ability to display his power than that noble and feisty composure.

The most curious thing is that he did not actually lead his troops through the Alps, but followed them a couple of days later.

Like many equestrian portraits, a genre favored by royalty, as we said at the beginning, ‘Napoleon Crossing the Alps’ is more than a portrait of the reflection of his authority. In the final version, Napoleon is presented to us astride an Arab stallion. Before him, to his left, we see a mountain, while in the background, largely obscured by rocks, French troops drag a great canon and, beyond the line, the national tricolor of France flutters in the wind, on a leaden sky that enhances the figure of the protagonist.

Napoleon crossing the Alps. Version by Paul Delaroche. More realism and more propaganda if possible

Some time later, in 1848, a great collector of works of art, specifically the figure of Napoleon, Arthur George, third Earl of Onslow, visited the Louvre Museum in Paris with the painter Paul Delaroche, to whom he commented on the lack of realism and verisimilitude. of David’s painting. He had a moment of inspiration and commissioned Delarouche to produce a more accurate version representing Napoleon on his journey to war. Of course, the picture is different.

In the first place, because it is not at all clear that this trip through the Alps means that he is accompanying his troops. It can represent the days of difference that the cold ‘ diaspora ‘ made. Secondly, because his gesture does not pretend to show the grandiloquence of David’s, nor the arrogance, nor that look of the General who knows how to direct or govern his country and his army.

On a mule, not a beautiful Arabian horse. But Napoleon had died in exile on St. Helena Island twenty years earlier. Had he been alive he would have spat on Arthur George, Paul Delaroche and even the poor mule. Almost sure.

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Who was the world’s first dictator?

Today we think of the dictators of today’s countries as “he who arrogates or receives all political powers , and supported by force, exercises them without legal limitation “. At least that is what the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy says. But, as the same dictionary also says, ” among the ancient Romans, “the dictator was a supreme and temporary magistrate, appointed in times of danger for the Republic.”

Therefore,  the word “dictator” in history had a very different meaning than how we understand it today.

So, and how could it be otherwise, there was a first dictator, a position as such created for the first time by the Roman Senate in 510 BC. And that first dictator was Tito Larcio.

Its mission, as the dictionary describes, was based on attending to emergency matters, mainly that there were no rebellions.

During this time, the Republic of Rome was governed by two consuls, and the Senate decided that in some cases it was necessary for a single person to make certain decisions. For this reason, on occasions, one of these consuls became a dictator.

With regard to Tito Larcio, as dictator , he composed a census of citizens, he was in charge of solving the problems that arose between Romans and Latins. It is striking that, before his term expired, he resigned. So, the concept of dictator, seen in this way, has hardly anything to do with what we understand today. But, let’s see, because everything has a reason.

What were the powers of the dictator?

The dictators enjoyed many privileges. First, they had authority over all other politicianscould not be held legally responsible for their actions, and could not hold office for more than six months.

They had the power to change Roman law. On the contrary, they could not use any public money other than what the Senate granted them and, while their office lasted, they could not leave Italy. It was common for dictators not to complete those six months in office, as did the first: Tito Larcio.

In fact, Tito Larcio, who had been consul, was chosen dictator to put down a rebellion organized by several cities that wanted to restore the most recent Roman king: Tarquinio the Proud. 

Dictators were appointed to office only when strictly necessary.

Lucio Cornelio Sila, dictator without limits

Lucio Cornelio Sila Félix, was appointed dictator without term limit and without the restrictions of previous dictators between 81 and 80 BC.

Who was the first dictator in history. What powers did he have? And who was the first dictator in modern history?

He governed during those two years and went down in history for executing a good number of political opponents and for confiscating their properties. His successor was Julius Caesar , who was appointed dictator for life  until he was assassinated, at which point the figure of dictator was abolished due to the corruption that it had brought about.

Napoleon Bonaparte: the first modern dictator?

Napoleon Bonaparte is considered by some historians to be the first dictator in modern history . Napoleon was already a general during the French Revolution , a period of great social and political upheaval in the country.

As of 1789, France ceased to be a monarchy and became a republic, until Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor. Amid summary executions, coups, and notable confusion, Napoleon became consul under a new provisional government. Emperor, dictator… it didn’t matter what name he received: after all, he claimed all political powers, and supported by force, he exercised them without limitation, so it seems that he fits the definition of dictator.

Fauvism, what is its meaning?

What is Fauvism?

It is said that of the artistic movements of the 20th century, Fauvism was the most fleeting and the most difficult to define.

Les fauves , the beasts , Fauvism was called the style of painting that during the years 1904 and 1907 was developed mainly by Henri Matisse (one of the artists whose most paintings have been stolen) , André Derain , Maurice Vlaminck and Braque- during a short space of time-, and whose geographical center was located in Paris .

As we can see, the chronological period that he understood is brief.

The  Fauvists , if they can be called that as we will now see, were based on freedom of expression, the use of pure colors, exaggerating perspective and drawing.

His work was experimental, but as we said, calling something  Fauvism  is complicated because not even Matisse himself  , perhaps the least, recognized the existence of a pictorial movement as such. All denied that they participated in a School or Doctrine.

Although they shared the qualification of “beasts” due to the abrupt and violent method used in their painting, something contrary to impressionism or neo-impressionism.

They also shared tastes:  Baudelaire ,  Zola ,  Van Gogh …

The “Salon d´Automne” and the “Salon des Indèpendants”

What happened is that since 1905 all of them participated in two of the main modern art exhibitions held in Paris, the “Salon d´Automne” and the ” Salon des Indèpendants “.

This circumstance made them appear to be a group, even saying of them, of  Fauvism , that it was “an introduction to cubism”, as Apollinaire anticipated. Or more directly, that cubism was first elaborated in André Derain’s mind.

Above we can see Matisse’s painting, «The joy of living». In the lower image, Picasso’s painting «The young ladies of Avignon».

Picasso, The Ladies of Avignon

Seeing it like this, Apollinaire’s words make sense. More if possible considering that Picasso was included in the Fauvist movement for his 1900 paintings.

Gustave Moreau’s workshop

The training of all these artists was forged in Gustave Moreau’s workshop.

In 1895, Marquet, Manguin, Camoin, Puy or Rouault were also studying there, who at the same time were cataloged as  Fauvists . Moreau tried to open the eyes of his pupils by criticizing his own work, reviewing the classics, but without the intention of perpetuating a closed style.

This attitude provoked antipathies among critics. Especially because Moreau’s philosophy focused on the lack of importance given to the themes of pictorial works. For him it seemed that the time had come to seek less orthodox paths.

But Moreau died soon, in 1898, and his workshop, without the main tutor, was closed.

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 Happening as an Artistic Trend

Analysis: The Persistence of Memory. Salvador Dali

Matisse  looked for another school. He enrolled in the workshop of Cormon, a painter who, unlike his previous teacher, asked his students to abide by the academic rules. A  Matisse  he made up all that theory and that form of enteder reality. He soon had to understand how Cormon was asking him to leave his school.

From what we see, at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a clear difference between two ways, two techniques, two visions of facing the artistic fact. Perhaps the reality required a renovation, as in the beginning of the XXI century.

Thus, far from polemics or discussions about what should be, something different emerged from the joint work between Derain and  Matisse  , the beginning of  Fauvism .

From then on, perhaps without looking for it, they already had a name for the History of Art.

They both went to Coilloure in 1906, a town also famous for being the place of exile and eternal rest for Antonio Machado.

In the French people they begin to use pointillism, as Derain would do; or leave spaces unpainted on the canvas, giving an idea of ​​fluctuating space. Derain was presented with garish red, green and yellow landscapes.

The critics did not like the carelessness in the termination. What would be considered the great success of the

it was Matisse’s play   , “The Joy of Living.” With the only one that appeared, and that time later is always compared with “The Women of Avignon”, as we saw before.

Later,   Matisse was  worse off. The portrait of a woman with a hat, in addition to being described as distasteful, was considered a «caricature of femininity» Eccentric due to the family theme treated.

Time seems to have taken reasons away from these twentieth-century critics. Something similar to what happens in the beginning of the XXI.

Matisse Luxe Calme et Volupté. 1904

This painting by  Matisse : “Luxe Calme et Volupté” from 1904 is said to stem from the influence of  Baudelaire 

Is the video of Bruce Lee playing ping pong real?

Check out the following video. It’s about Bruce Lee playing ping pong with some nunchucks. The images are spectacular …

But this sporting boast is not real. Unfortunately.

As a full version of the video shows, which can be seen below these lines, the recording is only a “digital creation” intended to develop an advertising campaign that intended to go viral (and it succeeded) to promote the Nokia N96 Limited Edition phone. Bruce Lee , produced in 2008, thirty-five years after Lee’s death, who is still in fashion, even appearing, figuratively, in the recently released Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Nokia N96 (Limited Edition Bruce Lee) phone advertising images

This advertising work was carried out by the advertising agency JWT (J. Walter Thompson), located in Beijing.

In the video we think we see Bruce Lee himself, but it was not him but a double who, in the distance, seems the real one. The movements synchronized with the sounds of a real ping pong match, adding the audio and visual image of the ball added to the clip in post-production, generate the idea of a real match where Lee does not miss a ball, returning it. with the rotundity of his martial art.

In addition, the year 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the (strange) death of Bruce Lee, which was also a source of inspiration for the advertising agency, by way of tribute: “Our task was to make people feel excited. Enough to visit the Nokia website and make the Nokia N96 Bruce Lee Limited Edition visible, not to communicate a complete and independent product selling proposition, which is the goal behind most TV commercials. JWT agency, to which they added: “Bruce Lee had ‘very’ amazing skills and we knew we had to be true to the legend. Fortunately, we also have a ‘very open’ client who advocates and knows the value of great creativity ‘.

And the campaign was a success, in just twenty-four hours they had exceeded 700,000 views.

The advertising campaign began as a fictional game, but that was only the beginning, soon after the full version was launched with the image of the product and the address of the website where the public could gather more information about the product, which was from ‘ limited edition’. Without a doubt, an original idea.

This is how Bruce Lee handled the nunchucks … in the movies …

The illegitimate children of Ferdinand the Catholic: between the Crown and the Church

Although the idea that the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs was a love match is widely extended, it is a fact that their union was motivated by political reasons.

The then princess Isabel, imbued in noble struggles to be recognized as the legitimate heir of Enrique IV to the detriment of Princess Juana, needed the international support that the Crown of Aragon could offer her, while Juan II of Aragon, Ferdinand’s father and one of the great defenders of this union, wanted to unite the territories of Castile to his dynasty.

Isabel and Fernando (the ‘infidel’): the Catholic Monarchs

Although the marriage was a great success in many areas, their personal relationship was enormously stormy, for both political and sentimental reasons.

And one of the most common reasons for their disputes was Fernando’s

frequent infidelities, which on many occasions resulted in the birth of various bastard children.

The monarch took charge of several of these descendants, which he legitimized before the wrath of Isabel, who saw her humiliation as a wife made public with the recognition of the existence of these royal bastards, some of whom came to play very important positions within the his father’s kingdom. Almost all of Fernando’s bastard children were linked, from a very early age, to the Church.

Within the ideology of Spain at the time, the birth of a child out of wedlock was considered a living sample of the sin committed by the parents, who many times sought to redeem themselves by giving that son or daughter “from sin” to an ecclesiastical life. , which also allowed them to maintain an honorable way of life and reach very high levels of power.


However, this rule was not uniform and, on occasions, especially when the mother was also of noble origin, such descendants could live a secular life, generally enjoying some noble titles and marrying powerful elements of their father’s kingdom, who it would allow them to enjoy great importance in the political field as children of the monarch.

Four are the illegitimate children of Ferdinand II of Aragon

Four illegitimate children of whom we have news, although it is possible that he had more, whose identities have not reached us. The ones we know about are the following:

Alfonso of Aragon

(1470-1520): he was the first natural son of Ferdinand the Catholic and, without a doubt, the most important of all those he would later have. Born shortly after his marriage to Isabel, his mother was Aldonza Ruiz de Ivorra, a Catalan noblewoman who would later marry Francisco Galcerán Castro y de Pinós, VII count of Ebol and Canet.

Although it is usually argued that Fernando’s relationship with Aldonza predated their marriage, the date of the birth of their first child in common contradicts this point, since in 1470 those who would become the Catholic Monarchs were already married and that same year he would be born. also his first daughter, Princess Elizabeth.

Fernando always protected and cared for Alfonso, who was one of his most beloved children. Linked from an early age to the ecclesiastical estates of the Crown of Aragon, which had traditionally been dominated by characters of the royal family, he became Archbishop of Zaragoza, but stood out for the political importance he had with his father, of whom he was a collaborator very close and, on many occasions, also a political advisor.

Fernando’s frequent absences from the different territories of the Crown of Aragon made necessary the constant presence in those kingdoms of a person of royal blood of his full confidence, who could act on his behalf, put his designs into practice and control the different noble factions in his absence.

Alfonso played this role with great success and his political importance increased enormously with the passage of time, especially after the death of the monarch’s only legitimate male child, Don Juan, in 1497.

It should be remembered that the succession laws of Aragon at that time vetoed the access of women to the throne, although they were allowed to transmit their rights to their male descendants. Likewise, there was an important faction within the Aragonese nobility that opposed a permanent union with Castile and that saw in Alfonso, raised in Aragon and trained in the politics and customs of the kingdom, an ideal candidate to succeed Fernando at the time. of his death.

Although Ferdinand the Catholic did not support his son’s candidacy to the throne, defending the rights of his daughters to his throne and finally getting them recognized as his successors in their territories, he did not stop trusting his son for government tasks. of the utmost importance.

In 1507 he was appointed by his father as general lieutenant of the kingdom of Naples after the conflicts that had faced him with Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the famous “Great Captain” and also commanded the troops that led to the conquest of the kingdom of Navarre in 1512 .

Finally, in his will, Fernando gave him the last sign of his confidence: he named him Lieutenant of the Kingdom of Aragon and ruler of all the territories of his Crown, with the mandate to govern them and protect the rights that his daughter Juana had to his succession. and his grandson, Carlos, until the latter’s arrival on the peninsula.

Alfonso had the support of a large part of the Aragonese nobility, who preferred a king who had been raised and educated in his customs, so that Alfonso would enjoy important opportunities to fight for the throne of the father of he.

But Alfonso fulfilled the mission entrusted to him by his father, keeping the Aragonese Crown under his control, until 1518, when the young Carlos went on to swear the privileges of the different kingdoms of the Crown of Aragon as the new king.

Carlos would reward his uncle’s fidelity by appointing him viceroy in his absence until his death in 1520, leaving his post as archbishop of Zaragoza to the eldest of the seven children he had with Ana de Gurrea, whom he could never marry due to his ecclesiastical condition. , but with whom he had a well-known relationship for more than twenty years.

Juana, Countess of Haro

Juana was also born from the union of Fernando with Aldonza, thus being the sister of Alfonso’s father and mother. Contrary to what used to be common for women born from illegitimate marriages at that time, Juana was not committed to a convent from her earliest childhood, but rather she was raised with her mother’s family.

When he reached adulthood, his marriage to the powerful Constable of Castilla Bernardino Fernández de Velasco y Mendoza served his father to ensure the fidelity of this family to his cause during his confrontation with Felipe “el Hermoso” and during the dangerous period of his regency in Castile on behalf of his daughter Juana until his death.

Apart from this, we only know of her that she had a daughter, Juliana, born in 1509, but the date of her death is unknown.

The two Marys

This name is known to the two daughters of Fernando el Católico, who also had during his marriage with Isabel, who shared the same name and who were interned in the convent of Nuestra Señora de Gracia el Real in the town of Madrigal de las Altas Torres, where they were religious all their lives.

Unlike their brothers, they did not know until their adulthood that they were daughters of the king, although he took care of their maintenance and assuring them a high standard of living,

Both became abbesses of the community, thus achieving an important economic power as responsible for the economic means of the convent and administrator of its many lands, as well as an important power as responsible for what was one of the most important convents in Castile. King Fernando also appointed María as abbess of the Pedralbes monastery, to extend the conventual reform to Aragonese lands.

Likewise, both had close contact with their nephew Carlos, who went to visit them and with whom he maintained an outstanding correspondence.

The confidence he had in them led Carlos to leave Juana, one of his illegitimate daughters, who died in infancy, under his tutelage and to provide the convent with important perks, such as the transfer of the nearby palace of Juan II where he was born, precisely, Isabel la Católica, for your use and enjoyment.

The World of Dreams and its meanings

We all dream. We do it, even when we are awake.

Real dreams, those that occur while we sleep, are considered the most subtle and profound way that exists to establish communication with ourselves.

When we sleep, in the moments in which we dream, we come into direct contact with our subconscious, with those complex pieces that make up part of the still unknown machinery of the brain.

Many researchers have concluded that the study of our dreams would lead us to know more about our real desires; to know how we can help ourselves with emotional blocks, phobias, misunderstandings, fears, etc. because the dream is a kind of graphic representation of that division between the conscious and the unconscious: between the world that we believe to be real and the world that navigates the mysterious side of our other self.

When dreaming, we turn the roles that are represented in everyday life: as if we were handed a key, capable of opening the doors to the unknown. Dreaming allows us to inquire about that mystery that is hidden from the eyes of understanding.

The dream in history

Dreams – and their mysteries – are another of the great issues that have accompanied man since the beginning of his days. It is enough to remember that, according to the Old Testament, God appeared through dreams to transmit his messages, to communicate his news and indicate his wishes. Jacob contemplated in his dreams the ladder that rose from the ground to heaven and that was used by the angels of the Lord, who, leaning on it, came to tell him: “The land on which you sleep, I will give it to you and your descendants. ”(Genesis).

Dreams and their interpretation have been the object of study and attention by all religions, apart from the fact that they have always been granted extraordinary credibility. For example, Muhammad used to start the day by asking his disciples about the dreams that had accompanied them during the night.

According to the legend, Muhammad shared with God, in dreams, ninety thousand words (the content of a short novel, a good many hours of conversation).

And also, according to legend, the birth of Siddhartha, better known by his enlightened name, Buddha, came into the world preceded by a symbolic dream. The Buddha’s mother, Mahamaya, just before giving birth, dreamed of a white elephant entering her womb.

Following this fact, the Brahmins examined Siddhartha and concluded that he would be their universal monarch. The mother died shortly after the little Buddha was born.

Many researchers have concluded that the study of our dreams would lead us to know more about our real desires; to know how we can help ourselves in the face of emotional blockages, phobias, misunderstandings, fears, etc. because the dream is a kind of graphic representation of that division between the conscious and the unconscious: between the world that we believe to be real and the world that navigates the mysterious side of our other self.

At the moment of sleep, we turn the roles that are represented in everyday life: as if we were handed a key, capable of opening the doors to the unknown. Dreaming allows us to inquire about that mystery that is hidden from the eyes of understanding.

“Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee
Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening”, Salvador Dalí (1944).

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee
Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening

The world of dreams has been represented by the great artists of history. In the image, Dalí shows us the disturbing and psychoanalytic side of a dream.

A dream embodied by her wife (Gala), who is being threatened by a bee (the tigers) that wants to sting her (bayonet).

That everything is a dream is indicated by the elephant, used as its symbol and which bears an extraordinary resemblance to Bernini’s sculptural elephants.

Below the woman, the painting is represented with the real elements: a pomegranate and a bee, with which the difference between reality and dream is impressed within the artist’s dreamlike sensations.

The Interpretation of Dreams by the Chaldeans

The Chaldeans were a tribe that inhabited Babylon, present-day Iraq, always mentioned as a place where so many things began. The Chaldeans, dominated the territory along the Persian Gulf and, with their extensive power, forged much of the history of Asia.

It is not known if they were correct in their predictions, but the Chaldeans attached great importance to dreams, so much so that the development of some of those dreams was recorded in official documents.

Many military campaigns, in this way, depended on the interpretation of the dreams of the high leaders. Its power extended from the 9th to the 6th century BC. Without intention, they demonstrated that no empire is eternal, not even one that manages to decipher all the great dreams.

What dreams for the Egyptians

Egyptian civilization was also fixated on dreams.

And, of course, they also thought that this disjointed dream world was sending messages from the gods.

In fact, the oldest surviving book on the subject was written by this civilization two thousand years before Christ.

It is not a book as such, but a rather extensive papyrus that is preserved today in the British Museum. The Egyptians believed in the theory of polarity, the theory that cold and heat or light and dark are actually the same thing, only to a different degree.

Due to this thought, the Egyptians believed that dreaming of death was synonymous with life lengthening. Or that, dreaming of darkness, a new dawn would arrive, which would mean the possibility of finding a solution, a way out of the problems.

A thought that, to this day, remains among dream interpreters.

All these eloquent details come to indicate that the interpretation of dreams has always been in the minds of human beings. Perhaps, the problem of antiquity, hopefully not of today, lay in the dreams that the rulers of each nation had.

Formerly, the superstition that threatened the rationality of things, and that connected directly with the world of dreams, could lead the emperor on duty, after a hectic night, to consider any type of action legitimate.

The dream of Alexander the Great

An example of this is found in the great Alexander the Great, who a little more than three hundred years before Christ had as his objective the siege of a city: Tyros. But all attempts ended with his defeat. At last, when he had almost given up, he had a dream.

One of Alexander the Great’s advisers who was a kind of sage and magician, Aristrando, advised him and helped him interpret his daydreams.

In the emperor’s dream, a satyr appeared, which in dream language – his interpreter told him – of him came to mean a play on words, Sa-Tyros, which means “Tyros is yours.” Alexander the Great, following Aristrando’s advice, returned to attack the city, conquering it.

Sleep Physiology and Functions

Our senses tend to fade during sleep. It is thought that only the sense of sight is constantly present in our dreams. The ear, for example, only appears in forty percent of cases, while the presence of the rest (touch, taste and smell) only represents a minimal percentage. So we dream of sight.

The images that are usually represented in dreams are usually images related to emotions, at least they contain a high emotional degree. We dream at ninety minute intervals, whereas dreams only last five to twenty minutes. In newborns, sleep time is equal to fifty percent of the time they sleep, for older ones, only twenty-five.

The Americans, Eugene Aserinsky and Nathaniel Kleitman, in the fifties of the last century, carried out a series of studies that came to show that two different moments occur during sleep. One, called “synchronized sleep,” during which our blood pressure and heart rate are lower than usual. The other phase, the R.E.M. (Rapid Eyes Movement), also called “deep sleep”, is a phase that appears cyclically. This is the phase in which we dream, in addition to sleeping.

There is controversy when it comes to listing the functions of sleep.

It is almost evidence that “synchronized sleep” is a process that helps us to regenerate. Especially from continuous brain activity, as it facilitates the synthesis of macromolecules: proteins and acids. This from a physiological point of view, although what is hidden in the world of dreams, from other points of view, may not yet be discovered.

Do animals dream?

Mammals and reptiles, like us, have been proven to dream.

While they sleep, they enter both phases of sleep.

A study that was carried out on chimpanzees revealed that during the time they were asleep they seemed to see familiar images: although they were dreamed of.

But how do animals dream?

Chimpanzees were trained to flip a lever when viewing certain images on a monitor.

Well, the primates themselves, while they slept and at certain times, operated the lever, so the scientists interpreted it as a cause-effect of what they were seeing while they slept.

Apparently, neither fish nor amphibians get to enter into prolonged periods of sleep, even so, it does seem that they go through moments in which the attention falls on their closest environment.

And, even if they are stimulated, they take time to react.

Birds go into short lapses of sleep time, yet the creation of illusory images drawn into their brains doesn’t seem to stop.

documentary sources, what it´s?

And what are documentary sources?

Well, a documentary source shows the origin of the information, without further distinction. DOCUMENTARY SOURCES are the documents, testimonies, events or objects that convey significant information about the origin of the information. As simple as that.

Depending on its origin and origin, a documentary source can be:

Primary source: is that source whose composition of the content it has is original. It can be said that it is the ORIGINAL and NEW SOURCE: primal. A typical example would be historiography (RAE: Discipline that deals with the study of history).

Secondary font: it is a document or text … in whatever format, which is based on primary sources.

Tertiary source: Finally, a compendium of the above is the tertiary source, which would be a selection or collection of primary and secondary sources. In this case we find those sources that give us information, such as a bibliography, a library catalog, summaries, etc.

By its form of expression, the documentary sources can be:

At this point, we find written, iconographic, audiovisual, oral and archaeological sources. According to his expression, as the word itself indicates.

  1. Oral source. That which is transmitted orally.
  2. Written or textual source. Those that we find in manuscripts, books, texts of all kinds. They are usually the most frequent sources because since ancient times it has been tried to record the events, discoveries. In this case, the Internet would be an example of this type of source.
  3. Together with all of them we find archaeological sources, also called material sources. That one, whose origin is in the localized remains. We can talk about the sources coming from our own existence, from daily life and customs acquired over time.
  4. Iconographic sources are those that include images, whatever they may be: pictorial paintings, a drawing in a cave of primitive men and women, a photograph, etc.
  5. Audiovisual source. It is about everything that includes image and sound, from radio broadcasts, television, cinema, etc.

Who was Attila?, “the scourge of god”

Why was Attila called the scourge of god?

Attila, the king of the Huns, was known like “The Scourge of God”. This name is due to the Latin statement “Ego sum Attila flagellum Dei”, which means: “I am Attila, the scourge of God. And it was enunciated in 1387. That phrase can be read in the medallion with which we illustrate (in the image) this article. But Attila lived in the 5th century after Jesus Christ.

The reasons why it was called that were diverse and, as we can imagine, although they are varied, all with a common link: its barbaric fierceness.

It is clear that this is how it has come to our days. Many Roman writings, of which really were his scourge, reflect the legends of the events of Attila and his army. They could be called “the hordes of Satan,” or something like “a plague of monsters.”

And it is that Attila is recognized as the first major non-Christian threat to the Roman Empire since his conversion, and a really serious threat.

Let us remember that for the Romans, the barbarians, were those who did not speak Latin. And Attila, entered that particular group, like other rulers considered as Genseric, king of the Vandals and the Alans between the years 428 and 477 or, the also mythical Genghis Khan.

But: Who was Attila? And the Huns?

Attila was the king of the Huns, a non-Christian people who lived in “the Great Hungarian Plain” during the 5th century AD. C.
At its peak, his empire spread across Central Europe. Under Attila the Huns sacked and destroyed many Roman cities and where they passed they showed no mercy.

Attila’s date of birth is unknown. We do know that he died in AD 453. C.

Interestingly, he passed away on their wedding night, which was not the first, since he practiced polygamy.

It still remains an enigma if his death was natural or if he was murdered, precisely by his new wife, Ildico. But that’s another story that we bring to our Actually Notes pages.

EUROPEAN IMPERIALISM : the 5 causes that caused it. COLONIZATION

What you need to pass an exam if they ask you about the causes that motivated the so-called EUROPEAN IMPERIALISM.

In the 19th century, a different model of IMPERIALISM developed different from the previous COLONIALISM, the one that developed in the Europe of the so-called Modern Age. The Europeans wanted something more than to exploit the other countries commercially, from which they took slaves, precious metals, spices …

The first imperialist countries were France and the United Kingdom, to which the rest of the industrialized countries joined, of the ‘second wave’, the second Industrial Revolution, which took place from 1870 to 1914, before the First World War began. .

Europe, the United States and Japan, dominating the world, or trying

Both countries were already in the line of development, so to speak. At the industrial forefront. What they achieved was to extend that influence, political and territorial, in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The 5 causes are as follows:

Second Industrial Revolution. Economic causes

Free trade: From 1870 on, the ‘LIBRECAMBIO’ (economic system that is based on the free movement of goods between states and in which customs disappears in their transactions in international trade). This meant that the countries sold their industrial production to each other.

However, in 1873 there was one (of so many) economic crisis, which meant that countries adopted protectionist policies.

At the same time, new powers began to emerge, such as the United States, Japan or Germany. New countries that increase competition.

Political Causes

At the end of the 19th century, the imperialist powers wanted to control and dominate the transport routes. Strategically, it was essential for their profits to grow. The ‘hot spots’ in this regard were the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal.

Thus, the imperialist ambitions of the countries were justified. By increasing their power in other countries, they increased their own. All of this led to growing rivalry between nations.

In short, colonial expansion experienced its peak due to political and military factors.

Ideological causes. Exaltation of patriotism

One more factor in the state of affairs has to do with the exaltation of the values ​​that each of the imperialist countries believed they had. As if they were superior to others because of their culture, traditions and language.

Thus, for example, they exalted History. This is the case of Italy, which appealed to Ancient Rome as a symbol of greatness. Or France, remembered her past as the basis of the revolutionary principles of the French Revolution.

All this leads us to an exaltation of patriotism, where certain racist connotations were added, which materialized in the birth of political parties that had as a common point the superiority of the race (theirs), compared to the inferiority of the colonized countries. .

We recall here the theory of social Darwinism. Accepted by the intelligentsia of the time: journalists, politicians, philosophers, who made the message permeate in society.

Scientific causes. Geographical societies

In relation to the previous point, the ideological causes, it was thought that scientific advances should continue with the exploration of colonized countries. Let us remember that the African continent, a good part of Asia, is being ‘discovered’ …

In this way, the Geographical Societies emerged, groups that financed expeditions through those lands, rivers and seas to be discovered and exploited. It is also remarkable, on a cultural level, the birth of a literary genre such as travel literature. Everything was told, everything was narrated, giving rise to brilliant moments with works like those of Rudyard Kipling.

Religious causes

Last, but also important, we have religious causes. The powerful religions in Europe, the Catholic and the Protestant, began to carry out missions in the colonized countries. They were supposedly evangelizing missions (remember the idea of ​​the superiority of Europeans that we mentioned earlier).

At this point, a concept should be highlighted: ACCULTURATION, which comes to mean the imposition of the culture of Western nations on colonized countries.



【What was Victorian England?】Politics and Economics

How many years did the VICTORIAN ERA last?

The Victorian Era lasted during the reign of Queen Victoria I, from 1837 to 1901.

Throughout the 19th century, the United Kingdom succeeded in completing the Industrial Revolution and, during the Victorian Era, achieved:

  • Its maximum industrial development;
  • Its maximum territorial expansion;
  • The maintenance of its Institutions: parliamentary monarchy;
  • Be a model of liberal democracy.


At the end of the 19th century, Great Britain entered an economic crisis, especially in agriculture. Although, its economy, especially its financial system, endured that swing, also seeing that the German or American economies reached the same industrial development.

Imperialism: It was the key to the British boom because it allowed them to control trade and shipping routes in half the world.


From the middle of the 19th century two political parties alternated in power.

  • The Tories or Conservatives;
  • The Whigs or Liberals.

In 1893 the Labor party was founded, which eventually displaced the Whigs.

1867 Electoral reform

The first reform of a democratic nature. It was carried out by the conservative government of Disraeli, who was the prime minister, but it was also supported by the liberals.

It was not a reform that allowed everyone to vote, only 1 million people, but it opened a new path to democracy.

With later governments, such as that of the Gladstone Liberals in 1869, he followed this trend.

Religious reforms. Confessional freedom

In 1869 the Anglican Church was separated from the State. In the government, as we said, were the liberals. As a detail, it remains to say that it was mandatory to belong to the Anglican church to, for example, be a teacher.

1884 New electoral reform

In addition to creating a new trade union law, the number of citizens with the right to vote was increased, reaching five million voters.
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