Anaxagoras of Clazomenae

Born: 499 BC in Clazomenae (30 km west of Izmir), Lydia (now Turkey)
Died: 428 BC in Lampsacus, Mysia (now Turkey)
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae was described by Proclus, the last major Greek philosopher, who lived around 450 AD as (see for example [4]):-

After [Pythagoras] Anaxagoras of Clazomenae dealt with many questions in geometry...

Anaxagoras was an Ionian, born in the neighbourhood of Smyrna in what today is Turkey. We know few details of his early life, but certainly he lived the first part of his life in Ionia where he learnt about the new studies that were taking place there in philosophy and the new found enthusiasm for a scientific study of the world. He came from a rich family but he gave up his wealth. As Heath writes in [4]:-

He neglected his possessions, which were considerable, in order to devote himself to science.

Although Ionia had produced philosophers such as Pythagoras, up to the time of Anaxagoras this new study of knowledge had not spread to Athens. Anaxagoras is famed as the first to introduce philosophy to the Athenians when he moved there in about 480 BC. During Anaxagoras's stay in Athens, Pericles rose to power. Pericles, who was about five years younger than Anaxagoras, was a military and political leader who was successful in both developing democracy and building an empire which made Athens the political and cultural centre of Greece. Anaxagoras and Pericles became friends but this friendship had its drawbacks since Pericles' political opponents also set themselves against Anaxagoras.

In about 450 BC Anaxagoras was imprisoned for claiming that the Sun was not a god and that the Moon reflected the Sun's light. This seems to have been instigated by opponents of Pericles. Russell in [6] writes:-

The citizens of Athens ... passed a law permitting impeachment of those who did not practice religion and taught theories about 'the things on high'. Under this law they persecuted Anaxagoras, who was accused of teaching that the sun was a red-hot stone and the moon was earth.

We should examine this teaching of Anaxagoras about the sun more closely for, although it was used as a reason to put him in prison, it is a most remarkable teaching. It was based on his doctrine of "nous" which is translated as "mind" or "reason". Initially "all things were together" and matter was some homogeneous mixture. The nous set up a vortex in this mixture. The rotation [4]:-

... began in the centre and then gradually spread, taking in wider and wider circles. The first effect was to separate two great masses, one consisting of the rare, hot, dry, called the "aether", the other of the opposite categories and called "air". The aether took the outer, the air the inner place. From the air were next separated clouds, water, earth and stones. The dense, the moist, the dark and cold, and all the heaviest things, collected in the centre as a result of the circular motion, and it was from these elements when consolidated that the earth was formed; but after this, in consequence of the violence of the whirling motion, the surrounding fiery aether tore stones away from the earth and kindled them into stars.

There are remarkable insights in this description. The idea of differentiation of matter which plays a large role in modern theories of creation of the solar system is present. Anaxagoras also shows an understanding of centrifugal force which again shows the major scientific insights that he possessed.

Anaxagoras proposed that the moon shines by reflected light from the "red-hot stone" which was the sun, the first such recorded claim. Showing great genius he was also then able to take the next step and become the first to explain correctly the reason for eclipses of the sun and moon. His explanation of eclipses of the sun is completely correct but he did spoil his explanation of eclipses of the moon by proposing that in addition to being caused by the shadow of the earth, there were other dark bodies between the earth and the moon which also caused eclipses of the moon. It is a little unclear why he felt it necessary to postulate the existence of these bodies but it does not detract from this major breakthrough in mathematical astronomy. There is also other evidence to suggest that Anaxagoras had applied geometry to the study of astronomy.

As to the structure of matter, Anaxagoras postulated an infinite number of elements, or basic building blocks. He claimed:-

... there is a portion of every thing, i.e. of every elemental stuff, in every thing...[but] each is and was most manifestly those things of which there is most in it.

However, it was the power of nous, or mind, that not only created the world but also was the driving force in its day to day processes. For example [2]:-

The growth of living things, according to Anaxagoras, depends on the power of mind within the organisms that enables them to extract nourishment from surrounding substances.

Aristotle both found much to praise in Anaxagoras's theory of nous. Both Plato and Aristotle, however, were critical of the fact that the driving force of the nous as proposed by Anaxagoras was not ethical. They wanted nous to always act in the best interests of the world. In fact the nous of Anaxagoras does provide a mechanical explanation of the world after the non-mechanical start when the vortex is produced. It is worth noting that Newton's mechanical universe would have more in common with Anaxagoras's views than the continuing ethical intelligence proposed by Plato and Aristotle.

We can obtain some clues to the mathematics that Anaxagoras studied but, unfortunately, very little remains in the records to allow us to know of definite results which he may have proved. While in prison he tried to solve the problem of squaring the circle, that is constructing with ruler and compasses a square with area equal to that of a given circle. This is the first record of this problem being studied and this problem, and other similar problems, were to play a major role in the development of Greek mathematics.

One other intriguing piece of information comes from the writing of Vitruvius, a Roman architect, engineer, and author who lived in the first century BC. He records information about the painting of stage scenes for the plays which were performed in Athens and says that Anaxagoras wrote a treatise on how to paint scenes so that some objects appeared to be in the foreground while other appeared in the background. This fascinating comment must mean that Anaxagoras wrote a treatise on perspective, but sadly no such work survives.

Anaxagoras was saved from prison by Pericles but had to leave Athens. He returned to Ionia where he founded a school at Lampsacus. This Greek city on the Asiatic shore of the Hellespont was the place for the worship of Priapus, a god of procreation and fertility. Anaxagoras died there and the anniversary of his death became a holiday for schoolchildren.

The best that we can hope to learn of Anaxagoras's personality is from the story that when once asked what as the point of being born he replied [4]:-

The investigation of sun. moon, and heaven.

Even if this story is fictitious, it is likely to be based on the way that Anaxagoras lived his life and so tells us something of the personality of this remarkable scientist who gave a description of the creation of the solar system that took 2000 years to improve upon.


Born: about 520 BC in Shalatula (near Attock), now Pakistan
Died: about 460 BC in India
Panini was born in Shalatula, a town near to Attock on the Indus river in present day Pakistan. The dates given for Panini are pure guesses. Experts give dates in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th century BC and there is also no agreement among historians about the extent of the work which he undertook. What is in little doubt is that, given the period in which he worked, he is one of the most innovative people in the whole development of knowledge. We will say a little more below about how historians have gone about trying to pinpoint the date when Panini lived.

Panini was a Sanskrit grammarian who gave a comprehensive and scientific theory of phonetics, phonology, and morphology. Sanskrit was the classical literary language of the Indian Hindus and Panini is considered the founder of the language and literature. It is interesting to note that the word "Sanskrit" means "complete" or "perfect" and it was thought of as the divine language, or language of the gods.

A treatise called Astadhyayi (or Astaka ) is Panini's major work. It consists of eight chapters, each subdivided into quarter chapters. In this work Panini distinguishes between the language of sacred texts and the usual language of communication. Panini gives formal production rules and definitions to describe Sanskrit grammar. Starting with about 1700 basic elements like nouns, verbs, vowels, consonants he put them into classes. The construction of sentences, compound nouns etc. is explained as ordered rules operating on underlying structures in a manner similar to modern theory. In many ways Panini's constructions are similar to the way that a mathematical function is defined today. Joseph writes in [2]:-

[Sanskrit's] potential for scientific use was greatly enhanced as a result of the thorough systemisation of its grammar by Panini. ... On the basis of just under 4000 sutras [rules expressed as aphorisms], he built virtually the whole structure of the Sanskrit language, whose general 'shape' hardly changed for the next two thousand years. ... An indirect consequence of Panini's efforts to increase the linguistic facility of Sanskrit soon became apparent in the character of scientific and mathematical literature. This may be brought out by comparing the grammar of Sanskrit with the geometry of Euclid - a particularly apposite comparison since, whereas mathematics grew out of philosophy in ancient Greece, it was ... partly an outcome of linguistic developments in India.

Joseph goes on to make a convincing argument for the algebraic nature of Indian mathematics arising as a consequence of the structure of the Sanskrit language. In particular he suggests that algebraic reasoning, the Indian way of representing numbers by words, and ultimately the development of modern number systems in India, are linked through the structure of language.

Panini should be thought of as the forerunner of the modern formal language theory used to specify computer languages. The Backus Normal Form was discovered independently by John Backus in 1959, but Panini's notation is equivalent in its power to that of Backus and has many similar properties. It is remarkable to think that concepts which are fundamental to today's theoretical computer science should have their origin with an Indian genius around 2500 years ago.

At the beginning of this article we mentioned that certain concepts had been attributed to Panini by certain historians which others dispute. One such theory was put forward by B Indraji in 1876. He claimed that the Brahmi numerals developed out of using letters or syllables as numerals. Then he put the finishing touches to the theory by suggesting that Panini in the eighth century BC (earlier than most historians place Panini) was the first to come up with the idea of using letters of the alphabet to represent numbers.

There are a number of pieces of evidence to support Indraji's theory that the Brahmi numerals developed from letters or syllables. However it is not totally convincing since, to quote one example, the symbols for 1, 2 and 3 clearly do not come from letters but from one, two and three lines respectively. Even if one accepts the link between the numerals and the letters, making Panini the originator of this idea would seem to have no more behind it than knowing that Panini was one of the most innovative geniuses that world has known so it is not unreasonable to believe that he might have made this step too.

There are other works which are closely associated with the Astadhyayi which some historians attribute to Panini, others attribute to authors before Panini, others attribute to authors after Panini. This is an area where there are many theories but few, if any, hard facts.

We also promised to return to a discussion of Panini's dates. There has been no lack of work on this topic so the fact that there are theories which span several hundreds of years is not the result of lack of effort, rather an indication of the difficulty of the topic. The usual way to date such texts would be to examine which authors are referred to and which authors refer to the work. One can use this technique and see who Panini mentions.

There are ten scholars mentioned by Panini and we must assume from the context that these ten have all contributed to the study of Sanskrit grammar. This in itself, of course, indicates that Panini was not a solitary genius but, like Newton, had "stood on the shoulders of giants". Panini must have lived later than these ten but this is absolutely no help in providing dates since we have absolutely no knowledge of when any of these ten lived.

What other internal evidence is there to use? Well of course Panini uses many phrases to illustrate his grammar any these have been examined meticulously to see if anything is contained there to indicate a date. To give an example of what we mean: if we were to pick up a text which contained as an example "I take the train to work every day" we would know that it had to have been written after railways became common. Let us illustrate with two actual examples from the Astadhyayi which have been the subject of much study. The first is an attempt to see whether there is evidence of Greek influence. Would it be possible to find evidence which would mean that the text had to have been written after the conquests of Alexander the Great? There is a little evidence of Greek influence, but there was Greek influence on this north east part of the Indian subcontinent before the time of Alexander. Nothing conclusive has been identified.

Another angle is to examine a reference Panini makes to nuns. Some argue that these must be Buddhist nuns and therefore the work must have been written after Buddha. A nice argument but there is a counter argument which says that there were Jaina nuns before the time of Buddha and Panini's reference could equally well be to them. Again the evidence is inconclusive.

There are references by others to Panini. However it would appear that the Panini to whom most refer is a poet and although some argue that these are the same person, most historians agree that the linguist and the poet are two different people. Again this is inconclusive evidence.

Let us end with an evaluation of Panini's contribution by Cardona in [1]:-

Panini's grammar has been evaluated from various points of view. After all these different evaluations, I think that the grammar merits asserting ... that it is one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence.

Pythagoras of Samos

Born: about 569 BC in Samos, Ionia
Died: about 475 BC
Pythagoras of Samos is often described as the first pure mathematician. He is an extremely important figure in the development of mathematics yet we know relatively little about his mathematical achievements. Unlike many later Greek mathematicians, where at least we have some of the books which they wrote, we have nothing of Pythagoras's writings. The society which he led, half religious and half scientific, followed a code of secrecy which certainly means that today Pythagoras is a mysterious figure.

We do have details of Pythagoras's life from early biographies which use important original sources yet are written by authors who attribute divine powers to him, and whose aim was to present him as a god-like figure. What we present below is an attempt to collect together the most reliable sources to reconstruct an account of Pythagoras's life. There is fairly good agreement on the main events of his life but most of the dates are disputed with different scholars giving dates which differ by 20 years. Some historians treat all this information as merely legends but, even if the reader treats it in this way, being such an early record it is of historical importance.

Pythagoras's father was Mnesarchus , while his mother was Pythais  and she was a native of Samos. Mnesarchus was a merchant who came from Tyre, and there is a story that he brought corn to Samos at a time of famine and was granted citizenship of Samos as a mark of gratitude. As a child Pythagoras spent his early years in Samos but travelled widely with his father. There are accounts of Mnesarchus returning to Tyre with Pythagoras and that he was taught there by the Chaldaeans and the learned men of Syria. It seems that he also visited Italy with his father.

Little is known of Pythagoras's childhood. All accounts of his physical appearance are likely to be fictitious except the description of a striking birthmark which Pythagoras had on his thigh. It is probable that he had two brothers although some sources say that he had three. Certainly he was well educated, learning to play the lyre, learning poetry and to recite Homer. There were, among his teachers, three philosophers who were to influence Pythagoras while he was a young man. One of the most important was Pherekydes who many describe as the teacher of Pythagoras.

The other two philosophers who were to influence Pythagoras, and to introduce him to mathematical ideas, were Thales and his pupil Anaximander who both lived on Miletus. In [8] it is said that Pythagoras visited Thales in Miletus when he was between 18 and 20 years old. By this time Thales was an old man and, although he created a strong impression on Pythagoras, he probably did not teach him a great deal. However he did contribute to Pythagoras's interest in mathematics and astronomy, and advised him to travel to Egypt to learn more of these subjects. Thales's pupil, Anaximander, lectured on Miletus and Pythagoras attended these lectures. Anaximander certainly was interested in geometry and cosmology and many of his ideas would influence Pythagoras's own views.

In about 535 BC Pythagoras went to Egypt. This happened a few years after the tyrant Polycrates seized control of the city of Samos. There is some evidence to suggest that Pythagoras and Polycrates were friendly at first and it is claimed that Pythagoras went to Egypt with a letter of introduction written by Polycrates. In fact Polycrates had an alliance with Egypt and there were therefore strong links between Samos and Egypt at this time. The accounts of Pythagoras's time in Egypt suggest that he visited many of the temples and took part in many discussions with the priests. According to Porphyry Pythagoras was refused admission to all the temples except the one at Diospolis where he was accepted into the priesthood after completing the rites necessary for admission.

It is not difficult to relate many of Pythagoras's beliefs, ones he would later impose on the society that he set up in Italy, to the customs that he came across in Egypt. For example the secrecy of the Egyptian priests, their refusal to eat beans, their refusal to wear even cloths made from animal skins, and their striving for purity were all customs that Pythagoras would later adopt. Porphyry in  and  says that Pythagoras learnt geometry from the Egyptians but it is likely that he was already acquainted with geometry, certainly after teachings from Thales and Anaximander.

In 525 BC Cambyses II, the king of Persia, invaded Egypt. Polycrates abandoned his alliance with Egypt and sent 40 ships to join the Persian fleet against the Egyptians. After Cambyses had won the Battle of Pelusium in the Nile Delta and had captured Heliopolis and Memphis, Egyptian resistance collapsed. Pythagoras was taken prisoner and taken to Babylon. Iamblichus writes that Pythagoras

... was transported by the followers of Cambyses as a prisoner of war. Whilst he was there he gladly associated with the Magoi ... and was instructed in their sacred rites and learnt about a very mystical worship of the gods. He also reached the acme of perfection in arithmetic and music and the other mathematical sciences taught by the Babylonians...

In about 520 BC Pythagoras left Babylon and returned to Samos. Polycrates had been killed in about 522 BC and Cambyses died in the summer of 522 BC, either by committing suicide or as the result of an accident. The deaths of these rulers may have been a factor in Pythagoras's return to Samos but it is nowhere explained how Pythagoras obtained his freedom. Darius of Persia had taken control of Samos after Polycrates' death and he would have controlled the island on Pythagoras's return. This conflicts with the accounts of Porphyry and Diogenes Laertius who state that Polycrates was still in control of Samos when Pythagoras returned there.

Pythagoras made a journey to Crete shortly after his return to Samos to study the system of laws there. Back in Samos he founded a school which was called the semicircle. Iamblichus  writes in the third century AD that:-

... he formed a school in the city [of Samos], the 'semicircle' of Pythagoras, which is known by that name even today, in which the Samians hold political meetings. They do this because they think one should discuss questions about goodness, justice and expediency in this place which was founded by the man who made all these subjects his business. Outside the city he made a cave the private site of his own philosophical teaching, spending most of the night and daytime there and doing research into the uses of mathematics...

Pythagoras left Samos and went to southern Italy in about 518 BC (some say much earlier). Iamblichus  gives some reasons for him leaving. First he comments on the Samian response to his teaching methods:-

... he tried to use his symbolic method of teaching which was similar in all respects to the lessons he had learnt in Egypt. The Samians were not very keen on this method and treated him in a rude and improper manner.

This was, according to Iamblichus, used in part as an excuse for Pythagoras to leave Samos:-

... Pythagoras was dragged into all sorts of diplomatic missions by his fellow citizens and forced to participate in public affairs. ... He knew that all the philosophers before him had ended their days on foreign soil so he decided to escape all political responsibility, alleging as his excuse, according to some sources, the contempt the Samians had for his teaching method.

Pythagoras founded a philosophical and religious school in Croton (now Crotone, on the east of the heel of southern Italy) that had many followers. Pythagoras was the head of the society with an inner circle of followers known as mathematikoi. The mathematikoi lived permanently with the Society, had no personal possessions and were vegetarians. They were taught by Pythagoras himself and obeyed strict rules. The beliefs that Pythagoras held were :-

(1) that at its deepest level, reality is mathematical in nature,
(2) that philosophy can be used for spiritual purification,
(3) that the soul can rise to union with the divine,
(4) that certain symbols have a mystical significance, and
(5) that all brothers of the order should observe strict loyalty and secrecy.

Both men and women were permitted to become members of the Society, in fact several later women Pythagoreans became famous philosophers. The outer circle of the Society were known as the akousmatics and they lived in their own houses, only coming to the Society during the day. They were allowed their own possessions and were not required to be vegetarians.

Of Pythagoras's actual work nothing is known. His school practised secrecy and communalism making it hard to distinguish between the work of Pythagoras and that of his followers. Certainly his school made outstanding contributions to mathematics, and it is possible to be fairly certain about some of Pythagoras's mathematical contributions. First we should be clear in what sense Pythagoras and the mathematikoi were studying mathematics. They were not acting as a mathematics research group does in a modern university or other institution. There were no 'open problems' for them to solve, and they were not in any sense interested in trying to formulate or solve mathematical problems.

Rather Pythagoras was interested in the principles of mathematics, the concept of number, the concept of a triangle or other mathematical figure and the abstract idea of a proof. As Brumbaugh writes in :-

It is hard for us today, familiar as we are with pure mathematical abstraction and with the mental act of generalisation, to appreciate the originality of this Pythagorean contribution.

In fact today we have become so mathematically sophisticated that we fail even to recognise 2 as an abstract quantity. There is a remarkable step from 2 ships + 2 ships = 4 ships, to the abstract result 2 + 2 = 4, which applies not only to ships but to pens, people, houses etc. There is another step to see that the abstract notion of 2 is itself a thing, in some sense every bit as real as a ship or a house.

Pythagoras believed that all relations could be reduced to number relations. As Aristotle wrote:-

The Pythagorean ... having been brought up in the study of mathematics, thought that things are numbers ... and that the whole cosmos is a scale and a number.

This generalisation stemmed from Pythagoras's observations in music, mathematics and astronomy. Pythagoras noticed that vibrating strings produce harmonious tones when the ratios of the lengths of the strings are whole numbers, and that these ratios could be extended to other instruments. In fact Pythagoras made remarkable contributions to the mathematical theory of music. He was a fine musician, playing the lyre, and he used music as a means to help those who were ill.

Pythagoras studied properties of numbers which would be familiar to mathematicians today, such as even and odd numbers, triangular numbers, perfect numbers etc. However to Pythagoras numbers had personalities which we hardly recognise as mathematics today :-

Each number had its own personality - masculine or feminine, perfect or incomplete, beautiful or ugly. This feeling modern mathematics has deliberately eliminated, but we still find overtones of it in fiction and poetry. Ten was the very best number: it contained in itself the first four integers - one, two, three, and four [1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10] - and these written in dot notation formed a perfect triangle.

Of course today we particularly remember Pythagoras for his famous geometry theorem. Although the theorem, now known as Pythagoras's theorem, was known to the Babylonians 1000 years earlier he may have been the first to prove it. Proclus, the last major Greek philosopher, who lived around 450 AD wrote:-

After [Thales, etc.] Pythagoras transformed the study of geometry into a liberal education, examining the principles of the science from the beginning and probing the theorems in an immaterial and intellectual manner: he it was who discovered the theory of irrational and the construction of the cosmic figures.

Again Proclus, writing of geometry, said:-

I emulate the Pythagoreans who even had a conventional phrase to express what I mean "a figure and a platform, not a figure and a sixpence", by which they implied that the geometry which is deserving of study is that which, at each new theorem, sets up a platform to ascend by, and lifts the soul on high instead of allowing it to go down among the sensible objects and so become subservient to the common needs of this mortal life.

Heath  gives a list of theorems attributed to Pythagoras, or rather more generally to the Pythagoreans.

(i) The sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles. Also the Pythagoreans knew the generalisation which states that a polygon with n sides has sum of interior angles 2n - 4 right angles and sum of exterior angles equal to four right angles.

(ii) The theorem of Pythagoras - for a right angled triangle the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides. We should note here that to Pythagoras the square on the hypotenuse would certainly not be thought of as a number multiplied by itself, but rather as a geometrical square constructed on the side. To say that the sum of two squares is equal to a third square meant that the two squares could be cut up and reassembled to form a square identical to the third square.

(iii) Constructing figures of a given area and geometrical algebra. For example they solved equations such as a (a - x) = x2 by geometrical means.

(iv) The discovery of irrationals. This is certainly attributed to the Pythagoreans but it does seem unlikely to have been due to Pythagoras himself. This went against Pythagoras's philosophy the all things are numbers, since by a number he meant the ratio of two whole numbers. However, because of his belief that all things are numbers it would be a natural task to try to prove that the hypotenuse of an isosceles right angled triangle had a length corresponding to a number.

(v) The five regular solids. It is thought that Pythagoras himself knew how to construct the first three but it is unlikely that he would have known how to construct the other two.

(vi) In astronomy Pythagoras taught that the Earth was a sphere at the centre of the Universe. He also recognised that the orbit of the Moon was inclined to the equator of the Earth and he was one of the first to realise that Venus as an evening star was the same planet as Venus as a morning star.

Primarily, however, Pythagoras was a philosopher. In addition to his beliefs about numbers, geometry and astronomy described above, he held :-

... the following philosophical and ethical teachings: ... the dependence of the dynamics of world structure on the interaction of contraries, or pairs of opposites; the viewing of the soul as a self-moving number experiencing a form of metempsychosis, or successive reincarnation in different species until its eventual purification (particularly through the intellectual life of the ethically rigorous Pythagoreans); and the understanding ...that all existing objects were fundamentally composed of form and not of material substance. Further Pythagorean doctrine ... identified the brain as the locus of the soul; and prescribed certain secret cultic practices.

In their practical ethics are also described:-

In their ethical practices, the Pythagorean were famous for their mutual friendship, unselfishness, and honesty.

Pythagoras's Society at Croton was not unaffected by political events despite his desire to stay out of politics. Pythagoras went to Delos in 513 BC to nurse his old teacher Pherekydes who was dying. He remained there for a few months until the death of his friend and teacher and then returned to Croton. In 510 BC Croton attacked and defeated its neighbour Sybaris and there is certainly some suggestions that Pythagoras became involved in the dispute. Then in around 508 BC the Pythagorean Society at Croton was attacked by Cylon, a noble from Croton itself. Pythagoras escaped to Metapontium and the most authors say he died there, some claiming that he committed suicide because of the attack on his Society. Iamblichus in quotes one version of events:-

Cylon, a Crotoniate and leading citizen by birth, fame and riches, but otherwise a difficult, violent, disturbing and tyrannically disposed man, eagerly desired to participate in the Pythagorean way of life. He approached Pythagoras, then an old man, but was rejected because of the character defects just described. When this happened Cylon and his friends vowed to make a strong attack on Pythagoras and his followers. Thus a powerfully aggressive zeal activated Cylon and his followers to persecute the Pythagoreans to the very last man. Because of this Pythagoras left for Metapontium and there is said to have ended his days.

This seems accepted by most but Iamblichus himself does not accept this version and argues that the attack by Cylon was a minor affair and that Pythagoras returned to Croton. Certainly the Pythagorean Society thrived for many years after this and spread from Croton to many other Italian cities. Gorman  argues that this is a strong reason to believe that Pythagoras returned to Croton and quotes other evidence such as the widely reported age of Pythagoras as around 100 at the time of his death and the fact that many sources say that Pythagoras taught Empedokles to claim that he must have lived well after 480 BC.

The evidence is unclear as to when and where the death of Pythagoras occurred. Certainly the Pythagorean Society expanded rapidly after 500 BC, became political in nature and also spilt into a number of factions. In 460 BC the Society :-

... was violently suppressed. Its meeting houses were everywhere sacked and burned; mention is made in particular of "the house of Milo" in Croton, where 50 or 60 Pythagoreans were surprised and slain. Those who survived took refuge at Thebes and other places.

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To write a biography of Apastamba is essentially impossible since nothing is known of him except that he was the author of a Sulbasutra which is certainly later than the Sulbasutra of Baudhayana. It would also be fair to say that Apastamba's Sulbasutra is the most interesting from a mathematical point of view. We do not know Apastamba's dates accurately enough to even guess at a life span for him, which is why we have given the same approximate birth year as death year.

Apastamba was neither a mathematician in the sense that we would understand it today, nor a scribe who simply copied manuscripts like Ahmes. He would certainly have been a man of very considerable learning but probably not interested in mathematics for its own sake, merely interested in using it for religious purposes. Undoubtedly he wrote the Sulbasutra to provide rules for religious rites and to improve and expand on the rules which had been given by his predecessors. Apastamba would have been a Vedic priest instructing the people in the ways of conducting the religious rites he describes.

The mathematics given in the Sulbasutras is there to enable the accurate construction of altars needed for sacrifices. It is clear from the writing that Apastamba, as well as being a priest and a teacher of religious practices, would have been a skilled craftsman. He must have been himself skilled in the practical use of the mathematics he described as a craftsman who himself constructed sacrificial altars of the highest quality.

The Sulbasutras are discussed in detail in the article Indian Sulbasutras. Below we give one or two details of Apastamba's Sulbasutra. This work is an expanded version of that of Baudhayana. Apastamba's work consisted of six chapters while the earlier work by Baudhayana contained only three.

The general linear equation was solved in the Apastamba's Sulbasutra. He also gives a remarkably accurate value for √2 namely

1 + 1/3 + 1/(34) - 1/(3434).

which gives an answer correct to five decimal places. A possible way that Apastamba might have reached this remarkable result is described in the article Indian Sulbasutras.

As well as the problem of squaring the circle, Apastamba considers the problem of dividing a segment into 7 equal parts. The article [3] looks in detail at a reconstruction of Apastamba's version of these two problems


Born: about 750 BC in India
Died: about 750 BC in India
Manava was the author of one of the Sulbasutras. The Manava Sulbasutra is not the oldest (the one by Baudhayana is older) nor is it one of the most important, there being at least three Sulbasutras which are considered more important. We do not know Manava's dates accurately enough to even guess at a life span for him, which is why we have given the same approximate birth year as death year. Historians disagree on 750 BC, and some would put this Sulbasutra later by one hundred or more years.

Manava would have not have been a mathematician in the sense that we would understand it today. Nor was he a scribe who simply copied manuscripts like Ahmes. He would certainly have been a man of very considerable learning but probably not interested in mathematics for its own sake, merely interested in using it for religious purposes. Undoubtedly he wrote the Sulbasutra to provide rules for religious rites and it would appear an almost certainty that Manava himself would be a Vedic priest.

The mathematics given in the Sulbasutras is there to enable accurate construction of altars needed for sacrifices. It is clear from the writing that Manava, as well as being a priest, must have been a skilled craftsman.

Manava's Sulbasutra, like all the Sulbasutras, contained approximate constructions of circles from rectangles, and squares from circles, which can be thought of as giving approximate values of π. There appear therefore different values of π throughout the Sulbasutra, essentially every construction involving circles leads to a different such approximation. The paper  is concerned with an interpretation of verses 11.14 and 11.15 of Manava's work which give π = 25/8 = 3.125.


Born: about 800 BC in India
Died: about 800 BC in India
To write a biography of Baudhayana is essentially impossible since nothing is known of him except that he was the author of one of the earliest Sulbasutras. We do not know his dates accurately enough to even guess at a life span for him, which is why we have given the same approximate birth year as death year.

He was neither a mathematician in the sense that we would understand it today, nor a scribe who simply copied manuscripts like Ahmes. He would certainly have been a man of very considerable learning but probably not interested in mathematics for its own sake, merely interested in using it for religious purposes. Undoubtedly he wrote the Sulbasutra to provide rules for religious rites and it would appear an almost certainty that Baudhayana himself would be a Vedic priest.

The mathematics given in the Sulbasutras is there to enable the accurate construction of altars needed for sacrifices. It is clear from the writing that Baudhayana, as well as being a priest, must have been a skilled craftsman. He must have been himself skilled in the practical use of the mathematics he described as a craftsman who himself constructed sacrificial altars of the highest quality.

The Sulbasutras are discussed in detail in the article Indian Sulbasutras. Below we give one or two details of Baudhayana's Sulbasutra, which contained three chapters, which is the oldest which we possess and, it would be fair to say, one of the two most important.

The Sulbasutra of Baudhayana contains geometric solutions (but not algebraic ones) of a linear equation in a single unknown. Quadratic equations of the forms ax2 = c and ax2 + bx = c appear.

Several values of π occur in Baudhayana's Sulbasutra since when giving different constructions Baudhayana uses different approximations for constructing circular shapes. Constructions are given which are equivalent to taking π equal to 676/225 (where 676/225 = 3.004), 900/289 (where 900/289 = 3.114) and to 1156/361 (where 1156/361 = 3.202). None of these is particularly accurate but, in the context of constructing altars they would not lead to noticeable errors.

An interesting, and quite accurate, approximate value for √2 is given in Chapter 1 verse 61 of Baudhayana's Sulbasutra. The Sanskrit text gives in words what we would write in symbols as

√2 = 1 + 1/3 + 1/(34) - 1/(3434)= 577/408

which is, to nine places, 1.414215686. This gives √2 correct to five decimal places. This is surprising since, as we mentioned above, great mathematical accuracy did not seem necessary for the building work described. If the approximation was given as

√2 = 1 + 1/3 + 1/(34)

then the error is of the order of 0.002 which is still more accurate than any of the values of π. Why then did Baudhayana feel that he had to go for a better approximation?


Born: about 1680 BC in Egypt
Died: about 1620 BC in Egypt

Ahmes is the scribe who wrote the Rhind Papyrus (named after the Scottish Egyptologist Alexander Henry Rhind who went to Thebes for health reasons, became interested in excavating and purchased the papyrus in Egypt in 1858).

Ahmes claims not to be the author of the work, being, he claims, only a scribe. He says that the material comes from an earlier work of about 2000 BC.

The papyrus is our chief source of information on Egyptian mathematics. The Recto contains division of 2 by the odd numbers 3 to 101 in unit fractions and the numbers 1 to 9 by 10. The Verso has 87 problems on the four operations, solution of equations, progressions, volumes of granaries, the two-thirds rule etc.

The Rhind Papyrus, which came to the British Museum in 1863, is sometimes called the 'Ahmes papyrus' in honour of Ahmes. Nothing is known of Ahmes other than his own comments in the papyrus.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Mary Kidman, AC (born 20 June 1967) is an Academy Award-winning Australian[1] A-list actress. In 2006, she became the highest paid actress in the film industry.[2] In the same year, Kidman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour.[3]

After making various appearances in film and television, Kidman received her breakthrough role in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm. Since then, Kidman's acting career has developed greatly. Her performances in several films, such as To Die For (1995), Moulin Rouge! (2001), and The Hours (2002), have won her not only critical acclaim but also many film awards. In 2003, Kidman received her Star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. Kidman is also a UNIFEM and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a singer and a successful recording artist.

She is also well-known for her former high-profile marriage to Tom Cruise, as well as her current marriage to singer Keith Urban. Because she was born to Australian parents in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kidman has dual citizenship of Australia and the United States. In January 2008, she announced that she is pregnant with her first biological child, with husband Keith Urban.

Early life and family
Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Janelle Ann (née MacNeille), a nursing instructor who edits her husband's books and was a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, and Dr. Anthony David Kidman, a biochemist, clinical psychologist and author, with an office in Lane Cove, Sydney.[4][5] At the time of Nicole Kidman's birth, her father was a visiting fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington, D.C. The family returned to Australia when Kidman was four years old, when her father took on a lectureship at the University of Technology, Sydney[citation needed]. Kidman's parents now reside in Sydney's North Shore.

She started taking ballet lessons when she was four. She attended Lane Cove Public School in her primary years and later attended North Sydney Girls' High School. While living in Longueville, she attended St Mary's Cathedral College,[citation needed] but dropped out when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; Kidman concentrated on her family responsibilities until her mother's recovery. She then trained at the Phillip Street Theatre, where she majored in voice production and theatre history.[citation needed] This led to studies at Sydney's Australian Theatre for Young People (of which she is now a patron).

She has a younger sister, Antonia Kidman who is a journalist.

[edit] Career

[edit] Early career in Australia (1983–1989)
Kidman's first appearance in film came in 1983 when, as a fifteen year-old, she appeared in the Pat Wilson music video for the song Bop Girl. By the end of the year she had secured a supporting role in the television series Five Mile Creek and four film roles, including BMX Bandits and Bush Christmas. During the 1980s, she appeared in several Australian movies and TV series, notably including the soap opera A Country Practice, the mini-series Vietnam (1986), Emerald City (1988), and Bangkok Hilton (1989).

In 1982, she might have appeared in the video for Roxy Music's song "True To Life".[citation needed]

[edit] Breakthrough (1989–1995)
In 1989, Kidman starred in the thriller film Dead Calm as Rae Ingram, the wife of naval officer John Ingram (Sam Neill), held captive on a Pacific Ocean yacht trip by the psychotic Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane). The thriller film received generally positive reviews; the staff of commented: "Throughout the film, Kidman is excellent. She gives the character of Rae real tenacity and energy."[6] Meanwhile, critic Roger Ebert noted the excellent chemistry between the leads, stating, "...Kidman and Zane do generate real, palpable hatred in their scenes together."[7] In 1990, she appeared opposite Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, a stock car racing movie. After this, Kidman starred with Cruise in Ron Howard's Far and Away (1992). In 1995, Kidman featured in the ensemble cast of Batman Forever. On November 20, 1993 she hosted Saturday Night Live.[8]

[edit] Critical success (1995–present)
Her second film in 1995, To Die For was a satirical comedy that earned her praise[citation needed] from critics. She won a Golden Globe Award, and five other best actress awards for her portrayal of the murderous newscaster Suzanne Stone Maretto. Kidman and Cruise portrayed a married couple in Eyes Wide Shut in 1999, Stanley Kubrick's final film.

In 2002, Kidman received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 2001 musical film Moulin Rouge!, in which she played the courtesan Satine opposite Ewan McGregor. Consequently, Kidman received her second Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The same year, she had a well-received starring role in the horror film The Others. While in Australia filming Moulin Rouge!, Kidman injured her knee; as a result, Jodie Foster had to replace her as leading actress in the film Panic Room. In that film, Kidman's voice appears on the phone, as the mistress of the lead character's husband.

The following year, Kidman won critical praise for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, in which the prosthetics applied to her made her almost unrecognizable. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, along with a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA, and numerous critics awards. Kidman became the first Australian actress to win an Academy Award. During her Academy Award acceptance speech, after tearing, Kidman made a statement about the importance of art, even during times of war: "Why do you come to the Academy Awards when the world is in such turmoil? Because art is important. And because you believe in what you do and you want to honor that, and it is a tradition that needs to be upheld."[9]

In the same year, Kidman starred in three very different films. Dogville, by Danish director Lars von Trier, an experimental film set on a bare soundstage. Secondly, she co-starred alongside Anthony Hopkins in the film adaptation of Philip Roth's novel The Human Stain. Cold Mountain, a love story of two Southerners separated by the Civil War, was her final release that year, and garnered her a Golden Globe Award nomination.

In 2004, Kidman appeared in the critically panned[citation needed] remake of The Stepford Wives alongside Glenn Close, Faith Hill and Bette Midler. In September of the same year, Birth, in which the 37-year-old actress' character has an encounter with a 10-year-old boy (played by Cameron Bright) who attempts to convince her that he is a reincarnation of her dead husband, was met with a mixed reception primarily due to a scene where the boy strips and joins Kidman in the bathtub.[citation needed] Despite this, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, and Kidman was nominated for another Golden Globe Award. Kidman's two movies in 2005 were The Interpreter, directed by Sydney Pollack, the film received mixed reviews, though it did become a considerable success at the box office grossing nearly $165 million worldwide, with its $80 million budget, and Bewitched, co-starring Will Ferrell, based on the 1960s TV sitcom of the same name; the latter fared abysmally with critics and made only $131,413,159, with a budget of 80 million at box office.

In conjunction with her success in the film industry, Kidman became the face of the Chanel No. 5 perfume brand. She starred in a campaign of television and print ads with Rodrigo Santoro, directed by Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann to promote the fragrance during the holiday season in 2004, 2005, and 2006. The three-minute commercial produced for Chanel No. 5 perfume made Kidman the record holder for the most money paid per minute to an actor after she reportedly earned $US3.71 million.[10] During this time, Kidman was also listed as the 45th Most Powerful Celebrity on the 2005 Forbes Celebrity 100 List. She made a reported US$14.5 million in 2004-2005. On People magazine's list of 2005's highest paid actresses, Kidman was second behind Julia Roberts with a US$16 million to US$17 million per-film price tag.[11] She has since passed Roberts as the highest paid actress.

Recently, Kidman appeared in the Diane Arbus bio-pic Fur, she also lent her voice to the animated film Happy Feet, which quickly garnered critical and commercial success, the film grossed over $384 million dollars worldwide. In 2007, she starred in the science fiction movie The Invasion, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, and played opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black in Noah Baumbach's comedy-drama Margot at the Wedding. She also starred in the film adaptation of the first part of the planned His Dark Materials trilogy of films, playing the villainous Mrs. Coulter. However, The Golden Compass''s failure to meet expectations at the North American box office has reduced the likelihood of a sequel.[12]

She is also set to star in director Wong Kar-wai's next film, The Lady from Shanghai and Baz Luhrmann's Australian period film titled Australia, which is set in the remote Northern Territory during the Japanese attack on Darwin during World War II. Kidman will play an English woman feeling overwhelmed by the continent, opposite Hugh Jackman.

On 25 June 2007, Nintendo announced that Kidman is to be the new face of Nintendo's advertising campaign for the Nintendo DS game More Brain Training in its European market.[13]

Kidman was featured in a series of advertisements for Sky in Italy, speaking Italian during the spots.

It is reported that Kidman will star and produce in an upcoming romantic comedy film called Monte Carlo. She plays one member of a trio of school teachers on holiday who cut short their no-frills sojourn in Paris and head to Monte Carlo, where they pose as wealthy vacationers.[14]

Kidman was originally set to star in The Reader (film) a post-war Germany drama, but due to her pregnancy she had to back out of the film. [15] Shortly after the news of Kidman's departure, it was announced that Kate Winslet would take over the role. [16]

[edit] Singing

Nicole Kidman and Robbie Williams in the "Somethin' Stupid" music videoNot known as a singer prior to Moulin Rouge!, Kidman had several well-received vocal performances in the film. Her collaboration with Ewan McGregor on the song "Come What May" from the film's soundtrack debuted and peaked at 27 in the UK Singles Chart. Later she collaborated with Robbie Williams on the song "Somethin' Stupid", a cover of the old swing song on Williams' swing covers album Swing When You're Winning. It debuted and peaked at 8 in the Australian ARIAnet Singles Chart, and at number 1 for three weeks in the UK. It was the UK Christmas number 1 Single for 2001.

In 2006, she provided her voice for the animated movie Happy Feet, along with her vocals for her character Norma Jean's 'heartsong', which was a slightly altered version of "Kiss" by Prince.

[edit] Personal life

[edit] Relationships
Kidman met Tom Cruise on the set of their 1990 movie, Days of Thunder. Cruise was married to actress Mimi Rogers at the time, and later divorced her. Kidman and Cruise were married on Christmas Eve 1990 in Telluride, Colorado. The couple adopted two children, daughter Isabella Jane Cruise (b. December 22, 1992) and son Connor Anthony Cruise (b. January 17, 1995), and lived in Los Angeles, Australia, Colorado, and New York City. They separated just before their 10th wedding anniversary. At the time she was 3 months pregnant and subsequently had a miscarriage.[17] Tom Cruise filed for divorce in February 2001. The marriage was dissolved in 2001, with Cruise citing irreconcilable differences as the cause of the divorce. [18] The reasons for the dissolution have never been made public. Also, in an interview for Marie Claire magazine, Kidman mentions that she had an ectopic pregnancy early in their marriage.[19] In an interview in the June 2006 issue of Ladies' Home Journal, Kidman reported that she still loved Tom Cruise. Kidman told the magazine: "He was huge; still is. To me, he was just Tom, but to everybody else, he is huge. But he was lovely to me. And I loved him. I still love him." In addition, she has expressed shock about their divorce.[18]

The 2003 film Cold Mountain was plagued by rumours that an on-set affair between Kidman and co-star Jude Law was responsible for the breakup of his marriage. Both vehemently denied the allegations, and Kidman eventually won an undisclosed sum from the British tabloids that published the story.[20] She donated the money to a Romanian orphanage in the town where the movie was filmed.[21]. There were also rumours that she and Jim Carrey were going out after the two were spotted at restaurants together, but they both denied it explaining they are just the best of friends.[22] Shortly after her Oscar win, there were unconfirmed rumours of a relationship between her and fellow Oscar winner Adrien Brody.[23] She met musician Lenny Kravitz in 2003 and dated him into 2004[24]. Nicole has recently revealed in an interview she was secretly engaged when her divorce from Tom Cruise was legalised and before she met Keith Urban. She declined to reveal who her fiance was, but considering Kravitz was her only major relationship between her two husbands, one could assume it was him. [25]

Kidman met country singer Keith Urban at G'Day LA, an event honouring Australians in January 2005. Kidman and Urban were married on Sunday June 25, 2006, at the Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in the grounds of St Patrick's Estate, Manly in Sydney. They maintain homes in Sydney and Nashville, Tennessee.

After constant speculation by the press, on January 8, 2008, it was confirmed that Kidman is 3 months pregnant and that Kidman and Urban are expecting their first child together.[26]

[edit] Religion
Kidman was raised a Catholic and currently is a practicing Catholic.[27] She attended Mary Mackillop Chapel in North Sydney. However, during her marriage to Tom Cruise, she was a follower of Scientology.[28]. She has kept private about Scientology in interviews, one time saying "I don't want to talk about it".[citation needed]

[edit] Politics
Kidman's name was included in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 2006) that condemned organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, and supported Israel's efforts in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[29]

Kidman has made numerous donations to U.S. Democratic party candidates and endorsed John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.[30]

[edit] Charitable work
Kidman publicly supports a variety of charities and causes. She has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Australia since 1994. She has worked to help raise money for and draw attention to the plight of the most disadvantaged children in Australia and around the world. In 2004, she was honoured as a "Citizen of the World" by the United Nations.

On January 26, 2006, Kidman received Australia's highest civilian honour when she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, for "service to the performing arts as an acclaimed motion picture performer, to health care through contributions to improve medical treatment for women and children and advocacy for cancer research, to youth as a principal supporter of young performing artists, and to humanitarian causes in Australia and internationally."[31] However, due to film commitments and her wedding to Urban, it wasn't until 13 April 2007 that she was presented with the honour.[32] She was also nominated goodwill ambassador for UNIFEM.[33]

Kidman joined the 'Little Tee Campaign' for Breast Cancer Care to design T-shirts or vests to raise money for breast cancer.[34] Kidman's mother, Janelle, is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 1984.[35]

[edit] Press
In January 2005, Kidman won interim restraining orders against two Sydney-based paparazzi photographers.[36]

[edit] Filmography
Year Title Role Notes
1983 BMX Bandits Judy
Bush Christmas Helen
Five Mile Creek Annie TV series
Skin Deep Sheena Henderson TV movie
Chase Through the Night Petra TV movie
1984 Matthew and Son Bridget Elliot TV movie
Wills & Burke Julia Matthews
1985 Archer's Adventure Catherine TV movie
Winners Carol Trig TV series - episode 1
1986 Windrider Jade
1987 Watch the Shadows Dance Amy Gabriel
The Bit Part Mary McAllister
Room to Move Carol Trig TV miniseries
An Australian in Rome Jill TV movie
Vietnam Megan Goddard TV miniseries
1988 Emerald City Helen
1989 Dead Calm Rae Ingram
Bangkok Hilton Katrina Stanton TV miniseries
1990 Days of Thunder Dr. Claire Lewicki
1991 Flirting Nicola
Billy Bathgate Drew Preston Golden Globe nomination - Best Supporting Actress
1992 Far and Away Shannon Christie
1993 Malice Tracy Kennsinger
My Life Gail Jones
1995 To Die For Suzanne Stone Maretto BAFTA Award nomination - Best Actress, Golden Globe win - Best Musical/Comedy Actress
Batman Forever Dr. Chase Meridian
1996 The Leading Man Academy Awards presenter
The Portrait of a Lady Isabel Archer
1997 The Peacemaker Dr. Julia Kelly
1998 Practical Magic Gillian Owens
1999 Eyes Wide Shut Alice Harford
2001 Moulin Rouge! Satine Academy Award nomination - Best Actress, Golden Globe win - Best Musical/Comedy Actress
The Others Grace Stewart Nominated for BAFTA Award - Best Actress
Nominated for Golden Globe - Best Drama Actress
Birthday Girl Sophia/Nadia
2002 The Hours Virginia Woolf Academy Award win - Best Actress, BAFTA Award win - Best Actress, Golden Globe win - Best Drama Actress
2003 Dogville Grace Margaret Mulligan
The Human Stain Faunia Farley
Cold Mountain Ada Monroe Golden Globe nomination - Best Drama Actress
2004 The Stepford Wives Joanna Eberhart
Birth Anna Golden Globe nomination - Best Drama Actress
2005 The Interpreter Silvia Broome
Bewitched Isabel Bigelow/Samantha Worst Screen Couple Razzie
2006 Fur Diane Arbus
Happy Feet Norma Jean voice
2007 The Invasion Carol Bennell
Margot at the Wedding Margot
The Golden Compass Marisa Coulter
2008 Australia Lady Sarah Ashley Post-production
2009 Need Post-poned because of her pregnancy
The Lady from Shanghai

[edit] Discography
"Come What May" single (Duet with Ewan McGregor - October 2001) AUS #10, UK #27
"Somethin' Stupid" single (Duet with Robbie Williams - December 2001) AUS #8, UK #1
"Kiss" / "Heartbreak Hotel" - Nicole Kidman / Hugh Jackman - November 2006 (Happy Feet Soundtrack)

[edit] Awards
Government honours

In 2006, Kidman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour, in recognition of her contribution to the arts and her charity work.[37] The award was presented by Governor-General of Australia, Major General Michael Jeffery in a ceremony at Government House, Canberra on 13 April 2007.[38]

Academy Awards

2003 - Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Hours
Berlin International Film Festival

2003 - Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress for The Hours
Boston Society of Film Critics

1995 - Best Actress for To Die For
British Academy of Film and Television Arts:

2003 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for The Hours
Broadcast Film Critics Association

1996 - Best Actress for To Die For
Golden Globe Awards:

1996 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for To Die For
2002 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for Moulin Rouge!
2003 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama for The Hours
Kansas City Film Critics Circle

2002 - Best Actress for The Others
Las Vegas Film Critics Society

2003 - Best Actress for The Hours
MTV Movie Awards:

2002 - Best Female Performance for Moulin Rouge!
2002 - Best Musical Sequence for Moulin Rouge!
Prestige Academy of Motion Pictures

1995 - Best Actress for To Die For
2001 - Best Actress for Moulin Rouge!
2001 - Best Musical Sequence for Moulin Rouge!
2002 - Best Actress for The Hours
2003 - Best Ensemble Cast Performance for Cold Mountain *(shared with the rest of the cast)
2003 - Distinguished Decade in Film
2004 - Best Ensemble Cast Performance for Dogville *(shared with the rest of the cast)
Seattle International Film Festival

1995 - Best Actress for To Die For
ShoWest Convention

1992 - Female Star of Tomorrow
2002 - Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film
In 2003, Kidman received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to those accolades, Kidman has received Best Actress awards from the following critics' groups or award giving organizations: Australian Film Institute, Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Empire Awards, Golden Satellite Awards, Hollywood Film Festival, London Critics Circle, Russian Guild of Film Critics, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association. In 2003, Kidman was given the American Cinematheque Award.

Preceded by
Jamie Lee Curtis
for True Lies Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
for To Die For
1996 Succeeded by
for Evita
Preceded by
Renée Zellweger
for Nurse Betty Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
for Moulin Rouge!
2002 Succeeded by
Renée Zellweger
for Chicago
Preceded by
Halle Berry
for Monster's Ball Silver Bear for Best Actress - Berlin Film Festival
for The Hours (tied with Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore)
2003 Succeeded by
Charlize Theron
for Monster and Catalina Sandino Moreno
for Maria full of Grace
Preceded by
Halle Berry
for Monster's Ball Academy Award for Best Actress
for The Hours
2002 Succeeded by
Charlize Theron
for Monster
Preceded by
Judi Dench
for Iris BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
for The Hours
2003 Succeeded by
Scarlett Johansson
for Lost in Translation
Preceded by
Sissy Spacek
for In the Bedroom Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
for The Hours
2003 Succeeded by
Charlize Theron
for Monster

[edit] Nominations
Academy Awards:

Best Actress in a Leading Role Moulin Rouge! (2002)
Golden Globe Awards:

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Birth (2005)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Cold Mountain (2004)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama The Others (2002)
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Billy Bathgate (1992)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Others (2002)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role To Die For (1996)
Goya Awards:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Others (2002)
Screen Actors Guild:

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role The Hours (2003)
Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Hours (2003)
Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Moulin Rouge! (2002)

[edit] References
^ Kidman, quoted in (March 4, 2002). "Pride of Place", Australian Story. ABC-TV.; Kidman, quoted in (August 29, 2004). "CV of a superstar". The Sydney Morning Herald.
^ UPI (November 30, 2006). Nicole Kidman highest paid female actor in film industry beating out Julia Roberts.. UPI.
^ Stafford, Annabel: Kidman and the Kennedys honoured for their service, The Age, 14 April 2007.
^ Keneally, Tom. "FILM; Nicole Kidman, From Down Under to 'Far and Away'", The New York Times, 1992-05-24. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
^ Thomson, David (2006). Nicole Kidman. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4273-9.
^ Dead Calm. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ Ebert, Roger."Dead Calm". 7 April 1989. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ Saturday Night Live episode 19.7 (#354). Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
^ Memorable Moments From Oscar Night. ABC News. 23 March 2003. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ AAP (September 29, 2006). Kidman Earns Her Way into Record Spot. Nine MSN.
^ Associated Press (November 30, 2005). Julia Roberts again tops list of highest-paid actresses. The San Diego Union-Tribune.
^ Sander, Peter. "New Line and Director Settle 'Rings' Suit, Look to 'Hobbit'", Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2007.
^ Nicole Kidman Exercises Her Brain (2007-06-25). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Nicole Kidman to star in, produce 'Monte Carlo' (2007-07-11). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ E! Online (March 30, 2001). Nicole Kidman Suffers Miscarriage.
^ a b "Nicole Kidman: Still Loves Tom Cruise". ABC News. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ MSNBC (November 12, 2007). Kidman says she’ll never have plastic surgery.
^ Kidman wins affair libel case (2003-07-31). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Nicole Kidman Biography. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Carrey and Kidman To Become Man and Wife? (2003-04-28). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Nicole Kidman Linked Again? (2003-06-05). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Kravitz Moves On (2004-01-07). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Kidman Was Engaged Between Cruise & Urban (2007-09-05). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Confirmed: Nicole Kidman is pregnant. The Sydney Morning Herald (2008-01-08). Retrieved on 2008-01-08.
^ Dan McAloon (2006-06-09). Kidman wedding in Australia seen as spiritual homecoming. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ "Tom & Nicole Split A Question of Faith", New York Post, February 12, 2001.
^ "Kidman condemns Hamas, Hezbollah" Herald Sun. August 17, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ Nicole Kidman's Federal Compaign Contribution Report October 16, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ Nicole Kidman. Australian Honours Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
^ Byrnes, Holly. "Nicole's new bridal path", The Daily Telegraph, 2007-04-12. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
^ "Kidman becomes ambassador for UN" BBC News. January 26, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ "Kidman joins the Breast Cancer Care crusade" July 2, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ "Nicole Kidman fashions fight against women’s cancers" USA Today. March 3, 2004. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ Kidman wins restraining order (2005-01-27). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Stafford, Annabel: Kidman and the Kennedys honoured for their service, The Age, 14 April 2007.
^ Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (2007-04-13). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.

[edit] Additional reading
Thomson, David (2006). Nicole Kidman. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4273-9.

Charlotte Mary Yonge

harlotte Mary Yonge (August 11, 1823 - May 24, 1901), was an English novelist, known for her huge output, mostly now out of print.

She was born in Otterbourne, Hampshire, England, into a religious family background, was devoted to the Church of England, and much influenced by John Keble, a near neighbour and one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement. Yonge is herself sometimes referred to as "the novelist of the Oxford Movement", as her novels frequently reflect the values and concerns of Anglo-Catholicism.

She began writing in 1848, and published during her long life about 100 works, chiefly novels. Her first commercial success, The Heir of Redclyffe (1854), provided the funding to enable the schooner Southern Cross to be put into service on behalf of George Selwyn. Similar charitable works were done with the profits from later novels. Yonge was also editor, for nearly forty years, of a magazine for young ladies, the Monthly Packet.

Among the best known of her works are The Heir of Redclyffe, Heartsease, and The Daisy Chain. A Book of Golden Deeds is a collection of true stories of courage and self-sacrifice. She also wrote Cameos from English History, and Life of John Coleridge Patteson: Missionary Bishop of the Melanesian Islands and Hannah More. Her History of Christian Names was described as "the first serious attempt at tackling the subject" and as the standard work on names, despite its etymological shortcomings, in the preface to the first edition of The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, 1944.

Although Yonge's work is largely out of print today, during her lifetime she was admired and respected by such notable literary figures as Alfred Tennyson and Henry James, and strongly influenced the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, especially William Morris and D. G. Rossetti.

Her personal example and influence on her god-daughter, Alice Mary Coleridge, played a formative role in Coleridge's zeal for women's education and thus, indirectly, lead to the foundation of Abbots Bromley School for Girls.

After her death, her friend, assistant and collaborator, Christabel Coleridge, published the biographical Charlotte Mary Yonge: her Life and Letters (1903).

[edit] Selected bibliography
The Heir of Redclyffe (1854)
Heartsease (1854)
The Daisy Chain (1856)
A History of Christian Names (1863, revised 1884)
A Book of Golden Deeds (1864)
The Dove in the Eagle's Nest (1866)
Life of John Coleridge Patteson (1873)
The Victorian Half Century (1887)
Hannah More (1888)

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (April 1, 1647–July 26, 1680) was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry.

He was the toast of the Restoration court and a patron of the arts. He married an heiress, Elizabeth Malet, but had many mistresses, including the actress Elizabeth Barry.
Rochester was born in Ditchley, Oxfordshire. His mother Anne St. John, Countess of Rochester was a Royalist by descent and a staunch Anglican. His father Henry Wilmot, a hard-drinking Royalist from Anglo-Irish stock, had been named Earl of Rochester in 1652 for military services to Charles II during his exile under the Commonwealth; he died abroad in 1658, two years before the restoration of the monarchy in England.

At age twelve, Rochester matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, and there, it is said, "grew debauched".[1] At fourteen he was conferred with the degree of M.A. by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was Chancellor to the University and Rochester's uncle. After carrying out a Grand Tour of France and Italy, Rochester returned to London, where he graced the Restoration court. Later, his courage in a sea-battle against the Dutch made him a hero.

In 1667 he married Elizabeth Malet, a witty heiress whom he had attempted to abduct two years earlier. Samuel Pepys describes the event in his diary for 28 May 1665:

Thence to my Lady Sandwich's, where, to my shame, I had not been a great while before. Here, upon my telling her a story of my Lord Rochester's running away on Friday night last with Mrs. Mallett, the great beauty and fortune of the North, who had supped at White Hall with Mrs. Stewart, and was going home to her lodgings with her grandfather, my Lord Haly, by coach; and was at Charing Cross seized on by both horse and foot men, and forcibly taken from him, and put into a coach with six horses, and two women provided to receive her, and carried away. Upon immediate pursuit, my Lord of Rochester (for whom the King had spoke to the lady often, but with no successe [sic]) was taken at Uxbridge; but the lady is not yet heard of, and the King mighty angry, and the Lord sent to the Tower.[2]

Rochester's life was divided between domesticity in the country and a riotous existence at court, where he was renowned for drunkenness, vivacious conversation, and "extravagant frolics" as part of the Merry Gang[3] (as Andrew Marvell called them). The Merry Gang flourished for about fifteen years after 1665 and included Henry Jermyn; Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset; John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave; Henry Killigrew; Sir Charles Sedley; the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege; and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Much of Rochester's poetry suggests that he was bisexual.

In 1674, Rochester wrote A Satyr on Charles II, which criticised the King for being obsessed with sex at the expense of his kingdom. Instead of handing a poem Charles requested, Rochester handed him this libel. Consequently, Rochester fled from the court. In hiding, Rochester set up as "Doctor Bendo", a quack physician skilled in treating 'barrenness' (infertility). His practice was, it is said,[citation needed] 'not without success,' implying his intercession of himself as surreptitious sperm donor. He was involved with the theatre and was the model for the witty, poetry-reciting rake Dorimant in Etherege's The Man of Mode (1676). According to an often repeated anecdote, his coaching of his mistress Elizabeth Barry began her career as the greatest actress of the Restoration stage.

By the age of thirty-three Rochester was dying, presumably from syphilis, other venereal diseases, and the effects of alcoholism. His mother had him attended in his final weeks by her religious associates, particularly Gilbert Burnet, who later became the Bishop of Salisbury. A deathbed renunciation of atheism was published and promulgated as the conversion of a prodigal. This became legendary, reappearing in numerous pious tracts over the next two centuries. This story is however suspect because the publisher of this "conversion" was Burnet, who had often criticised Rochester during his life and may have used a false conversion to further his own goals. Rochester was later buried at Spelsbury Church in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire.

[edit] Works
Because his interest in poetry was not professional, Rochester's poetic work varies widely in form, genre, and content. He was part of a "mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease",[4] who continued to produce their poetry in manuscripts, rather than in publication. As a consequence, some of Rochester's work deals with topical concerns, such as satires of courtly affairs in libels, to parodies of the styles of his contemporaries, such as Sir Charles Scroope. He is also notable for his impromptus,[5] one of which is a teasing epigram of King Charles II:

God bless our good and gracious king,
Whose promise none relies on;
Who never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.
To which Charles is reputed to have replied:

"That is true; for my words are my own, but my actions are those of my ministers."[6]
His poetry displays a wide range of learning, and a wide range of influences. These included imitations of Malherbe, Ronsard, and Boileau. Rochester also translated or adapted from classical authors such as Petronius, Lucretius, Ovid, Anacreon, Horace, and Seneca.

Rochester's writings were at once admired and infamous. A Satyr Against Mankind (1675), one of the few poems he published (in a broadside in 1679) is a scathing denunciation of rationalism and optimism that contrasts human perfidy with animal wisdom.

The majority of his poetry was not published under his name until after his death. Before his death, Burnet claimed Wilmot experienced a religious conversion recanting his past, and ordering “all his profane and lewd writings” burned, though this story is highly suspect given the rivalry between the two. It is possible that Burnet used this "conversion" to suppress Wilmot's anti-religious work.

Rochester was also interested in the theatre. In addition to an interest in the actresses, he wrote an adaptation of Fletcher's Valentinian (1685), a scene for Sir Robert Howard's The Conquest of China, a prologue to Elkanah Settle's The Empress of Morocco (1673), and epilogues to Sir Francis Fane's Love in the Dark (1675), Charles Davenant's Circe, a Tragedy (1677).

The best-known dramatic work attributed to Rochester, Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, has never been successfully proven to be written by him. However, supposed posthumous printings of Sodom gave rise to prosecutions for obscenity, and were destroyed. On 16 December 2004 one of the few surviving copies of Sodom was sold by Sotheby's for £45,600.[citation needed]

[edit] Criticism and influence
Rochester has not lacked distinguished admirers. His contemporary Aphra Behn lauded him in verse and also based several rakish characters in her plays on Rochester. Anne Wharton wrote an elegy marking Rochester's death, which in itself became a poem praised by contemporary poets[7]. Horace Walpole described him as "a man whom the muses were fond to inspire but ashamed to avow".[8] Daniel Defoe quoted him in Moll Flanders,[9] and discussed Rochester in other works. Tennyson would recite from him with fervour.[citation needed] Voltaire, who spoke of Rochester as "the man of genius, the great poet", admired Rochester's satire for "energy and fire" and translated some lines into French to "display the shining imagination his lordship only could boast."[10] Goethe quoted A Satyr against Reason and Mankind in English in his Autobiography.[11] William Hazlitt commented that Rochester's "verses cut and sparkle like diamonds"[12] while his "epigrams were the bitterest, the least laboured, and the truest, that ever were written".[13] Referring to Rochester's perspective, Hazlitt wrote that "his contempt for everything that others respect almost amounts to sublimity."[13]

[edit] In drama and film
The witty amoral nobleman Dorimant in Rochester's friend George Etherege's Restoration Comedy The Man of Mode is based on the Earl.

Two plays have been directly written about Rochester's life. Stephen Jeffreys wrote The Libertine in 1994; it was staged by the Royal Court Theatre. Craig Baxter wrote The Ministry of Pleasure, which was produced at the Latchmere Theatre in London, in 2004.

The film The Libertine, based on Jeffreys's play, was shown at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival and was released in the UK on November 25, 2005. While taking some artistic liberties, it chronicles Rochester's life, with Johnny Depp as Rochester, Samantha Morton as Elizabeth Barry, John Malkovich as King Charles II, and Rosamund Pike as Elizabeth Malet.

It has also been suggested[citation needed] that the libertine character in Aphra Behn's The Rover, Willmore, is based on John Wilmot.

[edit] Notes
^ Google books Thomas Hearne, Philip Bliss, and John Buchanan-Brown, The Remains of Thomas Hearne: Reliquiae Hearnianae; Being Extracts from His MS Diaries (London: Fontwell (Sx.) Centaur P., 1966). 122. Accessed May 5, 2007
^ Diary of Samuel Pepys — Complete 1665 N.S., available at Project Gutenberg. Samuel Pepys, entry for 26 May 1665, Diary of Samuel Pepys May 28, 1665. Accessed May 5, 2007
^ Google books Charles Beauclerk, Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King (New York: Grove, 2005), 272. Accessed May 15, 2007
^ Alexander Pope, "First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace", line 108.
^ Rochester composed at least 10 versions of Impromptus on Charles II
^ A thorough discourse concerning this epigram and the king's response can be found from the 19th to 21st paragraph of the Forward of the "The Tryal of William Penn and William Mead" [1]
^ Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the Yale University
^ Horace Walpole, A Catalogue of the Royal and Noble Authors of England, 1758.
^ Moll Flanders, available at Project Gutenberg. Daniel Defoe, The Life And Misfortunes of Moll Flanders
^ Great Books Online, François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778). "Letter XXI—On the Earl of Rochester and Mr. Waller" Letters on the English. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14,, Accessed May 15, 2007
^ Notes and Queries, No.8, Dec 22, 1849, available at Project Gutenberg. Goethe quotes Rochester without attribution.
^ William Hazlitt, Select British Poets (1824)
^ a b William Hazlitt, Lectures on the English Poets, available at Project Gutenberg.

[edit] Further reading
Greene, Graham (1974). Lord Rochester's Monkey, being the Life of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester. New York: The Bodley Head. ASIN B000J30NL4.
Lamb, Jeremy (New edition, 2005). So Idle a Rogue: The Life and Death of Lord Rochester. Sutton, 288 pages. ISBN 0-7509-3913-3.
Johnson, James William (2004). A Profane Wit: The Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Rochester, NY.: University of Rochester Press. ISBN 1-58046-170-0.
Wilmot, John (1999). The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Ed. Harold Love.. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198183674.
Wilmot, John; David M. Vieth, ed. (New edition, 2002). The Complete Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 256 pages. ISBN 0-300-09713-1.
Wilmot, John (2002). The Debt to Pleasure. New York: Routledge, 140 pages. ISBN 0-415-94084-2.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads.

Wordsworth's masterpiece is generally considered to be The Prelude, an autobiographical poem of his early years which the poet revised and expanded a number of times. The work was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem "to Coleridge". Wordsworth was England's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.


[edit] Early life and education
The second of five children born to John Wordsworth (b. April 7th 1741), William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth in Cumberland—part of the scenic region in north-west England called the Lake District. His sister, the poet and diarist Dorothy Wordsworth, to whom he was close all his life, was born the following year. After the death of their mother in 1778, their father sent William to Hawkshead Grammar School and sent Dorothy to live with relatives in Yorkshire. She and William did not meet again for another nine years.

In 1783 his father, who was a lawyer and the solicitor for the Earl of Lonsdale (a man much despised in the area), died. The estate consisted of around £4500[citation needed], most of it in claims upon the Earl, who thwarted these claims until his death in 1802. The Earl's successor, however, settled the claims with interest. After their father's death, the Wordsworth children were left under the guardianship of their uncles. Although many aspects of his boyhood were positive, he recalled bouts of loneliness and anxiety. It took him many years, and much writing, to recover from the death of his parents and his separation

Wordsworth began attending St John's College, Cambridge in 1787, maintained by relatives. He returned to Hawkshead for his first two summer holidays, and often spent later holidays on walking tours, visiting places famous for the beauty of their landscape. In 1790, he visited Revolutionary France and supported the Republican movement. The following year, he graduated from Cambridge without distinction. His youngest brother, Christopher, rose to be Master of Trinity College.[1]

[edit] Relationship with Annette Vallon
In November 1791, Wordsworth returned to France and took a walking tour of Europe that included the Alps and Italy. He fell in love with a French woman, Annette Vallon, who in 1792 gave birth to their child, Caroline. Because of lack of money and Britain's tensions with France, he returned alone to England the next year.[2] The circumstances of his return and his subsequent behaviour raise doubts as to his declared wish to marry Annette but he supported her and his daughter as best he could in later life. During this period, he wrote his acclaimed "It is a beauteous evening, calm and free," recalling his seaside walk with his daughter, whom he had not seen for ten years. At the conception of this poem, he had never seen his daughter before. The occurring lines reveal his deep love for both child and mother. The Reign of Terror estranged him from the Republican movement, and war between France and Britain prevented him from seeing Annette and Caroline again for several years. There are also strong suggestions that Wordsworth may have been depressed and emotionally unsettled in the mid 1790s.

With the Peace of Amiens again allowing travel to France, in 1802 Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, visited Annette and Caroline in France and arrived at a mutually agreeable settlement regarding Wordsworth's obligations.[2]

[edit] First publication and Lyrical Ballads
1793 saw Wordsworth's first published poetry with the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. He received a legacy of £900 from Raisley Calvert in 1795 so that he could pursue writing poetry. That year, he also met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset. The two poets quickly developed a close friendship. In 1797, Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, moved to Somerset, just a few miles away from Coleridge's home in Nether Stowey. Together, Wordsworth and Coleridge (with insights from Dorothy) produced Lyrical Ballads (1798), an important work in the English Romantic movement. The volume had neither the name of Wordsworth nor Coleridge as author. One of Wordsworth's most famous poems, "Tintern Abbey", was published in the work, along with Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The second edition, published in 1800, had only Wordsworth listed as author, and included a preface to the poems, which was significantly augmented in the 1802 edition. This Preface to Lyrical Ballads is considered a central work of Romantic literary theory. In it, Wordsworth discusses what he sees as the elements of a new type of poetry, one based on the "real language of men" and which avoids the poetic diction of much eighteenth-century poetry. Here, Wordsworth also gives his famous definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquility." A fourth and final edition of Lyrical Ballads was published in 1805.

Wordsworth hated the poetry of Alexander Pope, believing that it was the antithesis of his own work; he denied that Pope's work was even poetry, saying that if Pope's work was poetry, then Wordsworth's was not.

[edit] Germany and move to the Lake District
Wordsworth, Dorothy, and Coleridge then travelled to Germany in the autumn of 1798. While Coleridge was intellectually stimulated by the trip, its main effect on Wordsworth was to produce homesickness.[2] During the harsh winter of 1798–1799, Wordsworth lived with Dorothy in Goslar, and despite extreme stress and loneliness, he began work on an autobiographical piece later titled The Prelude. He also wrote a number of famous poems, including "the Lucy poems". He and his sister moved back to England, now to Dove Cottage in Grasmere in the Lake District, and this time with fellow poet Robert Southey nearby. Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey came to be known as the "Lake Poets". Through this period, many of his poems revolve around themes of death, endurance, separation, and grief.

William Wordsworth, reproduced from Margaret Gillies' 1839 original
Portrait, 1842, by Benjamin Haydon
[edit] Marriage
In 1802, after returning from his trip to France with Dorothy to visit Annette and Caroline, Wordsworth received the inheritance owed by Lord Lonsdale since John Wordsworth's death in 1783. Later that year, he married a childhood friend, Mary Hutchinson.[2] Dorothy continued to live with the couple and grew close to Mary. The following year, Mary gave birth to the first of five children, John.

Both Coleridge's health and his relationship to Wordsworth began showing signs of decay in 1804. That year Wordsworth befriended Robert Southey. With Napoleon's rise as Emperor of the French, Wordsworth's last wisp of liberalism fell, and from then on he identified himself as a Tory.

[edit] Autobiographical work and Poems in Two Volumes
Wordsworth had for years been making plans to write a long philosophical poem in three parts, which he intended to call The Recluse. He had in 1798–99 started an autobiographical poem, which he never named but called the "poem to Coleridge", which would serve as an appendix to The Recluse. In 1804 he began expanding this autobiographical work, having decided to make it a prologue rather than an appendix to the larger work he planned. By 1805, he had completed it, but refused to publish such a personal work until he had completed the whole of The Recluse. The death of his brother, John, in 1805 affected him strongly.

The source of Wordsworth's philosophical allegiances as articulated in The Prelude and in such shorter works as "Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey" has been the source of much critical debate. While it had long been supposed that Wordsworth relied chiefly on Coleridge for philosophical guidance, more recent scholarship has suggested that Wordsworth's ideas may have been formed years before he and Coleridge became friends in the mid 1790s. While in Revolutionary Paris in 1792, the twenty-two year old Wordsworth made the acquaintance of the mysterious traveller John "Walking" Stewart (1747-1822),[3] who was nearing the end of a thirty-years' peregrination from Madras, India, through Persia and Arabia, across Africa and all of Europe, and up through the fledgling United States. By the time of their association, Stewart had published an ambitious work of original materialist philosophy entitled The Apocalypse of Nature (London, 1791), to which many of Wordsworth's philosophical sentiments are likely indebted.

In 1807, his Poems in Two Volumes were published, including "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood". Up to this point Wordsworth was known publicly only for Lyrical Ballads, and he hoped this collection would cement his reputation. Its reception was lukewarm, however. For a time (starting in 1810), Wordsworth and Coleridge were estranged over the latter's opium addiction.[2] Two of his children, Thomas and Catherine, died in 1812. The following year, he received an appointment as Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland, and the £400 per year income from the post made him financially secure. His family, including Dorothy, moved to Rydal Mount, Ambleside (between Grasmere and Rydal Water), where he spent the rest of his life.[2]

[edit] The Prospectus
In 1814 he published The Excursion as the second part of the three-part The Recluse. He had not completed the first and third parts, and never would complete them. However, he did write a poetic Prospectus to "The Recluse" in which he lays out the structure and intent of the poem. The Prospectus contains some of Wordsworth's most famous lines on the relation between the human mind and nature:

My voice proclaims
How exquisitely the individual Mind
(And the progressive powers perhaps no less
Of the whole species) to the external World
Is fitted:--and how exquisitely, too,
Theme this but little heard of among Men,
The external World is fitted to the Mind . . .
Some modern critics recognise a decline in his works beginning around the mid-1810s. But this decline was perhaps more a change in his lifestyle and beliefs, since most of the issues that characterise his early poetry (loss, death, endurance, separation, abandonment) were resolved in his writings. But, by 1820 he enjoyed the success accompanying a reversal in the contemporary critical opinion of his earlier works. By 1828, Wordsworth had become fully reconciled to Coleridge, and the two toured the Rhineland together that year.[2] Dorothy suffered from a severe illness in 1829 that rendered her an invalid for the remainder of her life. In 1835, Wordsworth gave Annette and Caroline the money they needed for support.

[edit] The Poet Laureate and other honours
Wordsworth received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1838 from Durham University, and the same honour from Oxford University the next year.[2] In 1842 the government awarded him a civil list pension amounting to £300 a year. With the death in 1843 of Robert Southey, Wordsworth became the Poet Laureate. When his daughter, Dora, died in 1847, his production of poetry came to a standstill.

[edit] Death

Gravestone of William Wordsworth, Grasmere, CumbriaWilliam Wordsworth died in Rydal Mount in 1850 and was buried at St. Oswald's church in Grasmere. His widow published his lengthy autobiographical "poem to Coleridge" as The Prelude several months after his death. Though this failed to arouse great interest in 1850, it has since come to be recognised as his masterpiece. The lives of Wordsworth and Coleridge, in particular their collaboration on the "Lyrical Ballads," are discussed in the 2000 film Pandaemonium.

[edit] Major works
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems (1798)
"Simon Lee"
"We Are Seven"
"Lines Written in Early Spring"
"Expostulation and Reply"
"The Tables Turned"
"The Thorn"
"Lines Composed A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey"
Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems (1800)
Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
"Strange fits of passion have I known"[4]
"She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways"[4]
"Three years she grew"[4]
"A slumber did my spirit seal"[4]
"I travelled among unknown men"[4]
"Lucy Gray"
"The Two April Mornings"
"The Ruined Cottage"
Poems, in Two Volumes (1807)
"Resolution and Independence"
"I wandered lonely as a cloud"
"My heart leaps up"
"Ode: Intimations of Immortality"
"Ode to Duty"
"The Solitary Reaper"
"Elegiac Stanzas"
"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802"
"London, 1802"
"The world is too much with us"
The Excursion (1814)
"Prospectus to The Recluse"
Ecclesiastical Sketches (1822)
The Prelude (1850, posthumous)
The Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind

[edit] Notes
^ Appendix A (Past Governors) of Allport, D.H. & Friskney, N.J. "A Short History of Wilson's School", Wilson's School Charitable Trust, 1987
^ a b c d e f g h [1]Everett, Glenn, "William Wordsworth: Biography" Web page at The Victorian Web Web site, accessed January 7, 2007
^ Kelly Grovier, "Dream Walker: A Wordsworth Mystery Solved", Times Literary Supplement, 16 February 2007
^ a b c d e M. H. Abrams, editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Romantic Period, writes of these five poems: "This and the four following pieces are often grouped by editors as the 'Lucy poems,' even though 'A slumber did my spirit seal' does not identify the 'she' who is the subject of that poem. All but the last were written in 1799, while Wordsworth and his sister were in Germany, and homesick. There has been diligent speculation about the identity of Lucy, but it remains speculation. The one certainty is that she is not the girl of Wordsworth's 'Lucy Gray'" (Abrams 2000).

[edit] Sources
M. H. Abrams, ed. (2000), The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume 2A, The Romantic Period (7th ed.), New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., ISBN 0-393-97568-1
Stephen Gill, ed. (2000), William Wordsworth: The Major Works, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., ISBN 0-19-284044-4

[edit] External links
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
William WordsworthWikimedia Commons has media related to:
William Wordsworth
[edit] General information and biographical sketches
"Wordsworth's hidden arguments": an article in the TLS by Dan Jacobson, October 31 2007
Short biographical sketch by Glenn Everett
Worsworth's links with Claines, Worcester
Wordsworth and the Lake District
Wordsworth's Grave
Biography and Works
Wordsworth and the Lake District
The Wordsworth Trust
Romantic Circles -- Excellent Editions & Articles on Wordsworth and other Authors of the Romantic period
Hawkshead Grammar School Museum

[edit] Wordsworth's works
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
William's complete poetical works by Wordsworth
Selected Poems by W.Wordsworth
Biography and Works
Works by William Wordsworth at Project Gutenberg
Poetry Archive: 166 poems of William Wordsworth
To Toussaint Louverture - poem by William Wordsworth
Extensive Information on Wordsworth's Poem, Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey
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