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The Mind Creates the Beauty: The Editor’s Commentary on Neoclassicism

Rococo, or in French Rocaille, ended the period of baroque in grand style. Asymmetry, numerous decorations, diverse motifs – they were all parts of this style whose purpose was to impress and evoke fascination, awe and admiration. The generation that grew up in the mid- 18th century had different interests. These were the artists and students who went on a Grand Tour through Greece and especially Italy where they acquired experience and knowledge about the antiquities of Ancient Greece and Rome. The period of neoclassicism that commenced during the mid-century coincided with the scientific discoveries and the Age of Enlightenment that also marked this period.

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Conquer and Divide: The Spanish Resistance that Broke Napoleon’s Second Strategy

Although he was a brilliant military tactician, one of the ways Napoleon managed to hold on to conquered regions was by employing a strategy of carving up states based on historical precedent. The Rhodanic Republic (1802-1810), the Kingdom of Italy (1805-1814), and the Republic of Danzig (1807-1814) were among a few “sister republics” created by Napoleon. These client states, formed under the guise of revanchist history, aided the control of occupied lands in the First French Empire. When Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808, he set about to redraw its map in a similar fashion.  

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The Thousand-Year Saga of the Northwest Passage

For hundreds of years European explorers braved the Arctic Sea’s treacherous waters in search of an elusive “Northwest Passage” – a route to Asia and Cathay circumventing the Indian Ocean and treacherous horn of South America. The Vikings of Iceland and Greenland were the first to ply the frigid American waters beginning in the late 10th century but colonized and exploited regional resources rather than look for a route to the Far East.

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